Snack Time With Chana Jor Garam

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Snack time!! What do we have? Something that is healthy, certainly not very oily, easy to make, light on our pockets, should have nutritional value and it has to be delectable (snacks are meant to be chatpata!!). Keeping these things in mind, one snack item that comes to my mind is Chana Jor Garam. Mouth watering, very tasty. I’m sure everyone loves it. Something wrong with this post? Not about songs anymore? Well, how can that be!!! It is not a food blog and the post is about songs. Hindi film songs about this delectable snack item – Chana Jor Garam!!!

Chane jor and its vendors are fast vanishing from the big cities. Thankfully one can see them in smaller towns and cities, singing or calling out loudly to advertise the product, with Chana Jor Garam being the main phrase. From where did phrase originate no one knows.
Hindi films have 3 delectable songs based on this phrase Chana Jor Garam. Each having different meaning, different lyricist, different composers and different singers. Of course these songs are from different eras altogether, hence actors on screen vary too. 1940, 1956 and 1981. But before this the phrase was also heard in a Hindi play dating back to 1881 (was this the origin of the phrase?). Andher Nagari Chaupat Raja, Taka Ser Bhaaji Taka Ser Khaaja, a play by Bhartendu Harischandra. A political satire from 19th century had a small poem which went like –

Chana jor garam
Chane banaave Ghaasiram
Chana churmur churmur boley
Chana khaave tauki maina
Chana khaave Gafooran, Munna
Chana Khaate sab bangali
Chana khaate miyan-julaahe
Chana hakim sab jo khaate
Chane jor garam – take ser!!!

After this many poets must have tried this phrase in their own style. This phrase from Hindi literature has continued in Hindi film songs too. Have look at the songs and enjoy the snack time.

1. Bandhan (1940) – A family drama of love and revenge, this film starring Leela Chitnis and Ashok Kumar in the lead, was one of the highest grossing film of that era. The song Chane jor garam has 2 versions. Both rendered by Arun Kumar, composed by Saraswati Devi and lyrics by Kavi Pradeep. It is a typical vendor’s song, who is seen just outside a school, selling Chana jor to school children.

Here’s the 2nd version, with some difference in the lyrics –

2. Naya Andaz (1956) – It is a story about an aspiring lyricist and singer named Chand (Kishore Kumar) who meets a beautiful stage dancer Mala (Meena Kumari) and they join hands to give performances in various cities together. This version of Chana jor garam song is rendered by Shamshad Begum and Kishore Kumar, lyrics by Jan Nisar Akhtar and composed by O P Nayyar. It is a playful song with some carefree lyrics.

3. Kranti (1981) – A Manoj Kumar film based on the revolution and struggle between 1825 and 1875. The lyrics here by Santosh Anand clearly indicate the struggle for freedom. Composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, it is rendered by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed rafi, Kishore Kumar and Nitin Mukesh.

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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