Today is the death anniversary of Tun Tun , the Bollywood singer and a comedienne . Born Uma Devi Khatri or simply Uma Devi., in a North Indian family in the United Provinces , now Uttar Pradesh. All of 23 years, she is said to have run away from home and reached Bombay. In a dramatic way she knocked at the door of music composer Naushad to be considered for singing film songs. Naushad auditioned him and hired her as a singer there and then. Making her debut in playback singing with the film, Wamiq Azra . Soon she signed a contract with A.R.Kardar and started singing along side Noor Jahan , Raj Kumari, Zohrabai Ambalewali and Khursheed, all singing stars of the times. ‘ Afsana likh rahi hun dil- e – beqaraar ka’ the song she sang for the 1947 film Dard is a sensation even today.The other songs from the same film “Yeh Kaun Chala Meri Aankhon Mein Sama Kar”, and "Aaj Machi Hai Dhoom Jhoom Khushi Se Jhoom", which she sang for actress Munawar Sultana under the music direction of Naushad also became hits. She sang a duet , "Betaab Hai Dil Dard-e-Mohabat Ke Asar Se", with Suraiya also.She eventually married a gentleman from Delhi whom she called Mohan and who had became her ardent fan on listening to the song “Afsana likh rahi hun dil- e – beqaraar ka” .After ‘Dard ‘ she next sang for Mehboob Khan's Anokhi Ada , which again had hit numbers "Kahe jiya dole" and "Dil ko lagake humne kuch bhi na paya".
She came to be known as a highly rated playback singer,reaching her highest point in singing with the film ‘Chandralekha’ for which she recorded seven songs in a row , all becoming hits.
Times changed and so did singing with the singers like Lata Mangeshkar , Asha Bhosle, and Surayya coming on the scene. She was advised to switch over to acting.
Making her debut in Dilip Kumar – Nargis starrer “Babul”, she was well on her way to becoming a popular comedienne. It was Dilip Kumar who gave her the name Tun Tun quite in tune with her plump physique and bubbly persona. She worked in about 200 films in her career and tickled the funny bones of lakhs of cine goers over the decades. Her notable films include Aar Paar,Deedar, Pyasa, Udan Khatola, Mr.& Mrs.55 , Shri420, Raj Hath, Jaagte raho, CID, Phir Subah Hogi, Ujala, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Kohinoor, Dil Apna aur Preet Parayi, Bombay ka Babu, Ganga Jamuna , Chaudhawin ka Chaand ,Mr. X in Bombay, Kaajal, Jab Jab Phool Khile and many many others.
She died this day in 2003 aged eighty.
Our humble tributes !