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Legendary actor and singer whose performance in the lead role of Barua's Devdas set the standard for musical melodrama acting. Born in jammu. As a child, he occasionally played Seeta in the Ramlila of Jammu. His only formal training apparently came from a little-known Sufi peer, Salman Yussuf. The singing tradition he assimilated, sometimes described as the Kotha (where the courtesans performed), had little classical rigour, but emphasised the poetic ·bending' of syllables into musical curves in forms like th~ thumri and the ghazai. His renditions of Mirza Ghalib's poetry and his identification with its tragic iconography formed the famous Saigal persona. Worked as a typewriter salesman when B.N. Sircar recruited him for his singing ability. His style was substantially shaped at New Theatres by Rai Chand Boral who. with Timir Baran and Pankaj Mullick, composed most of the songs which remain among the most popular hits in Indian film history. Acted in a Bengali film for the first time when he did a small role, including two songs, in the Bengali version of De~das (having first had to satisfy Saratchandra Chatterjee that he could do it). He also sang two songs in P.V. Rao's 1936 Tamil version of Barua's film. Later proved very popular in Bengali films, e.g. Didi, Des her Matt. At New Theatres, the films of Nitin Bose (President,]ibau Maran) and Phani Majumdar (Street Siuger) allowed his music to develop its own autonomy. Inspired a whole generation of singers such as Mukesh, Talat Mahmood, Kishore Kumar and Kozhikode Abdul Qadir. Worked at Ranjit in the '±Os (e.g. the classic Tanseu). Biography by Menon 1989).

FILMOGRAPHY: 1932: Jiohabbat Ke Aansoo; Zinda Lash; Subah Ka Sitara; 1933: Purmz Bhakt; Rajraui Meera; Yahudi Ki Ladki; Dulari Bibi; 1934: Chaudidas; Daku .Manso01~ Mohabbat Ki Kasauti; 1935: Karwau-e-Hayat; Devdas; Bij'oya; 1936: Karodpati; Pujarin; 1937: Didi/President?; 1938: Desber Mati/Dharti? Mata; Street Singer!Saathi; Dushmaul]iban Marau; 1940: Zilzdagi; 1941: Parichay!Lagau; 1942: Bhakta Surdas; 1943: Tausen: 1944: Bhanwara; Meri Baheu; 1945: Kuruksbetm: Tadbir; 1946: Omar Khayyam: Shabjeban; 1947: Paru.wza.