A music director, however popular, is often forgotten with the passage of time when the trend of music changes. Bulo C Rani was one such composer whose best is buried under the debris of time. When the slow paced melodious music was replaced by the fast paced rhythmic melodies Bulo suddenly lost his relevance as a composer. He lived in a state of hybernation for so long that his death - a suicide - on 24th May 1993 at 73 was reported as if it was a matter of no big consequence. The eventful career of Bulo C Rani in the 40’s and the early 50’s was forgotten.
Bulo C Rani (Bulo Chandiram Ramchandani) was born in Sindh Province of undivided India on May 6, 1921. His father Chandiramani was also a well- known music composer. Bulo C Rani used to sing kalam (poetry) of Sufi poet, Abdul Shah Lateef, in his childhood. His love for music took him to Lahore which was a major centre of film production. He also had a chance to be present at the time of recording of Master Ghulam Haider
's song, Tu kaun si badli mein mere chand hai aa ja , sung by Noorjahan in the film Khandaan. Young Bulo C Rani was astounded. Master ji didn't take notice of the young singer, but he was spotted by Dina Nath Madhok
, the highest paid lyricist of the 40s and 50s. He took him to Bombay.
D N Madhok
introduced Bulo C Rani to Seth Chandulal Shah
of Ranjit Movietone
. He got a chance to assist the famous composers of Ranjit's Khemchand Prakash
and Gyan Dutt
of film Surdas fame. He assisted Khemchand Prakash
in films Chandani, Dukh Sukh, Tansen and Badshah Babar. Bulo C Rani composed O dukhiya jiyara (Khursheed) in the film Tansen (1943) independently. He also shared the credit with Khemchand Prakash in film Prabhu Ka Ghar (1945) in which he composed Piya mera kewede ka phool and Meri sajni sarangi si bole (Firoz Dastoor).
After assisting Gyan Dutt
in Paighaam (1943), Bulo C Rani got his break as independent music director in Ranjit's Pagli Duniya (1944) starring Mumtaz, Shanti and Motilal in the lead. The hit numbers were –Kyun aankh milayee thi gar aankh churani thi and Sham bhai ghar aa ja o raja"(Ameerbai Karnataki). Bulo C Rani also lent his voice under the pseudo name of Bhola, Soy hue bharat ke mukaddar ko jala de and in a duet with Amritlal Pagle udass kyun rehta hai (1945). He also claimed that the number in Gyan Dutt
's film Shankar Parvati (1943), O jogi o bairagi with Ameerbai Karnataki
was composed by him.
, after his initial failure as a singer, drew attention only when he sang for Bulo in Moorti (1945) ('Badariya baras gai us paar..'). The film 'Jogan' (1950) was a landmark in Bulo’s career. His composing skill enabled him to enhance the inherent charm of Meerabai’s traditional bhajans such as 'Ghoonghat Ke Pat Khol re..', 'Main to Girdhar ke ghar jaaoon..', 'Damag damag dole naiya..' and 'Jogi mat ja, mat ja..'. Even the Holi song ('Rang daaro ri..') and the sentimental one in the voice of Talat
('Sundarta Ke Sabhi Shikari..') were no less appealing. More than Dilip Kumar and Nargis in the film it was Bulo’s music which turned out to be the real star.
Before 'Jogan' came his way Bulo had already earned recognition through the films such as 'Rajputani' ('Ja parwane ja kahin shama jal rahi hai..') and 'Anjuman' ('Kaise bataoon tum se is dil ko pyar kyun hai..') and the immense popularity of the song 'Armaan bhara dil toot gaya..' from the film 'Wafa' (1951). Bulo C Rani had a special fascination for heavy voices which were capable of more expressive power. For the same reason he was able to create a great impact on listeners with the voices of Amirbai ('Sooni padi hai payar ki duniya tere baghair..', Zohrabai
('Ankhon mein intezaar Ki duniya liye huve..') and Geeta Roy
(Dutt) in the songs of 'Jogan'. Bulo did not hesitate to create an enchanting melody in the song 'Badi bhool hui tujhe pyar kiya..' in 'Maghroor'.
Bilwamangal (1954) was the last significant film of Bulo C Rani. Suraiya
sang one of her most memorable song 'Parwanon se preet seekhli, shama se seekha jal jaana..' and so did C H Atma in 'Panghat pe more shyam bajaaye muraliya..'. Despite the popularity of a stray song such as 'Hamen to loot liya milke husn Walon ne..' sung by Ismail Azad and party in the film 'Al Hilal'(1958). Bulo C Rani just continued to drift because his music had not remained a viable commercial proposition. After 'Sunhare Qadam' (1966). Bulo's career came to an end. Having once enjoyed the position of prominence the lack of assignment made him restless.
Bulo C Rani gave few good ghazals in Haseena, Madhur Milan and Shikar (1955). He composed all-time hit Qawwali, Hame to loot liya mil ke husn walon ne, in a costume drama Al-Hilal which had Shakeela and Mahipal in the lead. He also composed some rare gems in Haqdaar (1964) – Main hoon deewana bada mastana (Mukesh
) and Lata's hit number, Mangne se jo maut mil jati in Sunhare Kadam (1966). It also had two melodious numbers in the voices of Sudha Malhotra
's and G.M.Durrani – Na to inkar kiya na to iqraar kiya and Ye ghar aapka hai chale ayea ji. Sunhare Kadam was his last film.
In a career spanning over 22 years, Bulo C Rani gave music in 66 films. He also gave music in few Sindhi hit films. Practically with no work towards the later half, he started taking coaching classes in light music. He was isolated which led to depression. To overcome this he developed the habit of drinking. This lead his health to deteriorate and he had to be admitted to hospitals multiple times. When acute depression became unbearable, he took the extreme step and committed suicide by burning himself on May 24, 1993. He died at 73 leaving behind some unforgettable creations.