Posts Tagged ‘Anil Biswas’

Chaar Dil Chaar Raahein (1959)

April 2, 2011

The idea of seeing the Kapoor brothers share the same screen space was what first prompted me to buy this movie. But inspite of it having my Shammi darling, I somehow kept postponing watching it for a long time. The picture on the cd cover always managed to demotivate me from watching it – the trio of Meena Kumari, Raj Kapoor and Nimmi give such a depressing look, that every time I took the cd, I just ended up keeping it aside, till now.

As always, it was a song that finally made me watch the movie. I had heard Stella o stella from Return of  Mr. Superman, and I sort of liked it for the humour in it. One fine day, somebody had posted this song on facebook and one of my friends had commented on it saying that this song was first picturized on Shammi Kapoor and Kumkum in Char Dil Char Rahen in 1959 and then was used again in Return of Mr. Superman in 1960!

The movie opens very beautifully, with Raj Kapoor making quite  an entry into the village and a conversation that leaves one wondering….

Chavli (Meena Kumari) recognizes Govinda (Raj Kapoor), and though he finds her familiar he can’t exactly place her. So he heads home. Govinda is Chaudhary’s son. And he had been sent to the town to study when he was a little boy. Now he has finished his schooling and has come back home.

When he inquires about the girl he had met on his way, he finds out that she’s Chavli –  who is an achhoot and a bal-vidhwa (an untouchable and a child widow).

As soon as he finds out who she is, he goes to meet her. He finds her sitting beside a stream.

Govinda : Pehchana mujhe? (Did you recognize me?)

Chavli : Hmmm

Govinda : Pata hai kitne baras ke baad mile hai? (Do you have an idea after how long we have met today?)

Chavli : Hazaron baras (Thousands of years)

Govinda : Bas? (Just thousands of years?)

Chavli : Isse aaghe ki ginti mohe naa aave (I can’t count beyond that) – I love the way she says this…it’s just so cute!

Next, we are taken to a flashback where two little kids are playing. And the entire village gossiping about an Ahir guy playing with a Chamar girl which is not acceptable in the society.  (The Ahir are a caste of cowherds, milkers, and cattle breeders. Chamar (“tanner”; from the Sanskrit Charmakara) is a prominent occupational caste in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Chamar is a Dalit sub-caste. Traditionally, their social status was low in the Indian caste system because of the association with tanning and thus were considered as untouchables, but in modern days they are one of the progressive castes in India – Courtesy wikipedia). It happens that little Chavli (Baby Naaz) has been expelled from the local school. When Govinda comes to know of this he voluntarily drops off saying that he wont go to a school that doesn’t let his Chavli study. So they spend their day playing and running around the village together.

When Choudhary comes to know about it, he sends his son to the town to study, as a punishment. And now, he has finally returned after so many years. He tells Chavli that he will stay back now, he wont go back to the town.

Chavli : Yahan rehke kya karega? Sheher jaayega toh baabu banega,  coat patloon pehnega, bungla mein rahega, motor gaadi mein pon-pon karta phirega. (But what will you do here? If you go to the town, you’ll become a gentleman – wear coat and pant, live in a bunglow, roam around in a car)

Govinda : I will look after my father’s cattles and will teach in the school here. But I am not going back.

He goes back home and tells his father of his decision to stay back. Choudhary is very happy to hear that and says his mother will be happier than him. He reveals that his wife has gone to Choudhary Malkan Singh to ask his daughter, Lajjo’s hands for Govinda.

Govind :  Baat meri karne gaye hai aur mujhse poocha tak nahih. (She’s gone with a proposal and she didn’t even ask me about it?)

Choudhary : Arey bhala..Ladka-ladki se poochkar koi unka biha kare hai?  Aur phir ladki ka baap koi mamooli aadmi nahin…60-70 bhains hai unke paas. (Does anybody ask the guy and the girl and get them married? And Choudhary Malkan Singh is not an ordinary man…he has 60-70 buffaloes.)

Govind : Uski beti bhi toh koi bhains se kum nahin hai baba! (His daughter is not less than a buffalo herself!)

Chodhary : Beta, shareef ladke aisi baat nahin karte (That’s not how a gentleman talks, son)


Govinda tells his father that he won’t marry Lajjo but will marry Chavli instead. He doesn’t believe in caste and religion. And he cares a damn about what the others would think of his decision.

He takes Chavli and goes to the temple and asks the Pujari (Nana Plasikar) to get them married.

But the Pujari suggests that if he’s rebelling against everybody and getting married to an achhoot, then why do it quietly in the temple without any witness. He should go to Chavli’s house dressed as a proper groom with proper band and baaja, marry her and bring her home. Govinda sees sense in this and goes to all his friends in the village inviting them for his wedding. But all of them refuse to be a part of such a disgraceful alliance except for one. So the two of them set out for Chavli’s place.

This causes agitation among the Ahirs and Chamars in the village. But as both groups are against the marriage, they unite and decide to stop the wedding. Choudhary goes to meet Chavli and offers everything he has to her –

Choudhary : Mere paas 14 bigha zameen, 14-15 bhains, 100-200 nagad hai…maang, kya chahye? (I have land, buffaloes, cash…what do you want. You name it and you’ll have it)

Chavli : Aapka aashirwaad (I only need your blessings)

When Govinda arrives, he sees that Chavli’s hut is on fire. He runs to save her, but all he can find there is an anklet of hers. He sees all the Ahirs and Chamars there and reaches a conclusion that they have burned his Chavli to death.

He announces – Aaj se mera koi baap nahin, ghar nahin, gaon nahin, jaat-biradari nahin, koi dharam nahin…yeh sab is aag mein jal gayi. Aaj se main akela hoon.  And he sets off. He walks for days together mourning and finally reaches a crossroad. He finds an anklet there, which is exactly the same as the one he had found at Chavli’s house. The thought that Chavli might be alive brightens him up but he doesn’t know which way to go from there. He sees a car coming and he asks the driver, Dilawar Khan (Ajit) if he has seen a girl passing by. When Dilawar says no, he decides to sit right there and wait for Chavli.

Dilawar is Nawaab Saab’s (Anwar Hussain) driver. His Munshi (Rashid Khan) tells Nawaab about Pyaari (Nimmi), a new tawaif in town who sings very well. Nawaab sends for Pyaari and she sings for him. He’s very pleased with her and is ready to bestow her with all his wealth but she refuses.

Dilawar hates her because he thinks she’s of the kind who would rob his master of all his wealth. But when he learns that she refused to take any of it, he develops a soft corner for her. And before long Pyari and Dilawar are in love. One fine day Nawaab loses all his power and riches and decides to go to Bombay to start a new life. He offers to take Pyari and her mother with him and promises to look after them lifelong. But Pyari chooses Dilawar over  Nawaab.

Dilawar and Pyari soon have a misunderstanding between them because Dilawar, though is in love with Pyari and wants to marry her, he doesn’t want the extra responsibility of looking after her mother. And Pyari refuses to leave her mother alone. She says, other women have  families, so the daughters can leave them when they get married, but a prostitute doesn’t have a family, all that she has is her daughter. And now that she has found love, she cannot be so selfish and leave her mother all alone. At the same crossroads, they part ways and go in different directions.

Johnny (Shammi Kapoor) makes an entry next (finally).  Rastogis – Mr. and Mrs. Rastogi, their little kid along with their aaya, Stella (Kumkum) are on their way to  Hotel Parbat on a vacation when their car breaks down right at the crossroads. Johnny offers to fix their car and in return they give him a lift till Hotel Parbat.

Johnny is in search of a job. So he goes to meet Mr. Ferreira (David), the Manager. He doesn’t have to work too hard to impress Mr. Ferreira and he soon gets the job of a waiter cum dishwasher at the Hotel.

Johnny being Johnny, is smitten by Stella at first sight and he doesn’t waste much time in getting his feelings across to her. And with all his cute ways of trying to impress her, Stella cant resist his charm for long either. Before long, the two are madly in love with each other.

One day Johnny asks Stella –

Johnny : Tumhara bachcha kaisa hai? (not to be confused…she’s an aaya after all)

Stella : Na toh eat-ta hai, drinkta hai saara din weepta weepta hai. Usko daant aa rahe hai.

Stella gets a letter from her mother one day saying that her father has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and will have to be sent to the sanitarium immediately, which would cost them Rs. 500. Johnny takes up the responsibility of earning that amount required for his would-be father-in-laws treatment.
There’s this sweet sequence where Johnny and Stella talk about their dreams, their future.

Johnny goes and asks Ferreira for extra work. He confides in him that Stella’s father is not well and he needs to earn extra money for his treatment.

In our films no love story can go smooth, unless it’s a Rajshri film, without a third person forming a traingle and plotting cunning ways to create misunderstandings between the two lovebirds. And this one’s no different. Ferreira, who also has an eye for Stella sees this as an opportunity and comes up with a plan to land Johnny in trouble.  He gives Johnny the charge of supplying the guests at the hotel with alcohol, which is legally prohibited in the premises of Hotel Parbat. Johnny blind in love doesn’t see the danger this task imposes, he sees it as an opportunity to make quick money and promises to himself that he’ll quit the job once he earns 500 bucks.

Stella is quite disappointed when she learns what Johnny is upto. She catches him red-handed when he goes to deliver Rastogi’s order of  Whiskey. He somehow manages to convince her that he’ll avoid trouble and he won’t do it for long. Just when he manages to manaofy her and all’s well between them, Ferreira gets Jhonny arrested!

He gets released after three months and unaware that Ferriera was behind all this, he first goes to Ferreira to collect his money. He asks him if he knows where Stella is. That’s when Ferriera introduces Stella as Mrs. Ferriera. Poor Johnny is heart broken. Angry and murderous, he tries to kill Ferriera.

He wanders around for sometime and then starts up a garage at the same crossroads to keep himself occupied. At one point of time, Johnny sings one line of the sad version of my song, Stella o stella o stella, tera johnny ab tak hai akela…


At this point, Nirmal (P Jairaj) makes an appearance. He is a well-educated man and reaches just in time to help all the protagonists of the story. He himself being a socialist, spreads awareness among people on what socialism can do. He makes speeches on exploitation of the poor by rich, lower castes by higher castes in the society etc…these are things that ordinary people can relate to. Thus, he manages to attract lots of people with his socialist theory. He comes up with a proposal of  building a proper road that would connect all the 4 destinations that the crossroads leads to.

There are lots of Contractors fighting for that contract, including Nawaab saab and Ferriera. But it’s Nirmal and his battalion of ordinary people who win it and start building the road.

Will they be successful in achieving their goal and proving the the so-called-rakhwales of the society that given a chance nothing’s impossible for them? With people like Nawwab and Ferriera in the opposition what are the challenges they will face? How is this mission connected to the earlier love stories? Will any of those 3 stories have a happy ending? Are any of these stories interconnected?

Frankly speaking, I don’t know how to rate this movie. It ended so abruptly, in fact the ending itself was missing from the cd. I could kill eagle videos for this! As though deleting the song, and lots of other parts of the movie was not enough, they had to compromise with the ending as well 😦
It was as if I was watching the movie on tv and kept having frequent power cuts. There were so many missing links that I had to use my own imagination to put all the pieces of the story together.

But having said that, I did enjoy watching this movie. To start with, it had been so long since I saw one that it was nice to see such a power packed performance. Everybody was fabulous! K Abbas has done a good job as a director. There were so many social issues addressed in the movie – caste system, religions (the 3 couples in the movie belonged to 3 different religions), power, money, corruption etc.  And the best part was, none of the stories were dragged for too long. Though there was a little bit of  rona-dhona, it was just for sometime and the story quickly moved to the next couple. Except for Nirmal’s speeches, which were a little preachy at times, must say it was quite fast-paced. I guess, I must give a little bit of credit to Eagle videos as well for wiping away so many scenes 😛

I don’t know how many songs were there originally in the movie, the only ones that I got to see were few Lata Numbers that Pyaari sings for Nawaab saab (Koi maane na maane, Intezaar aur abhi , Jab main kehti hoon), one Meena Kapoor (Anil Biswas’s wife)  song picturized on Chavli (Kachchi hai umariya) and the last song, which the entire crew sings as they build the road (Saathi re bhai re). I won’t say I loved the music of this movie, I found it pretty average. Anil Biswas was the Composer and Sahir Ludhyanvi the lyricist. Except for Saathi re bhai re, I dont even remember having heard the rest of the songs. And I was too disappointed that there were no songs picturized on Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor to be able to appreciate the rest 😦

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Ten of my Favourite Mukesh Songs

August 29, 2010

When dustedoff had done a post on Mukesh on his Birth Anniversary, this is what I had said :

“I don’t know how exactly to put my feelings for Mukesh in words….it’s kind of confusing. Not that I dislike him…he has a wonderful voice and he has sung some of my favourite songs. But I’ve never been a great fan of his either.
1. Majority, at least the most popular songs of his, are usually so sad and full of despair that I try avoiding them.
2. My dad is a big big fan of Mukesh….and he has some of the saddest songs ever in his collection
3. A cousin of mine had once told me that when someone gets hooked on to old songs, it usually begins with Kishore, then gets into Rafi mode and eventually ends up liking Mukesh better. And when I initially started listening to Hindi songs, it was Kishore Kumar’s. Now I’m in Rafi phase but I never want to get over Rafi. 🙂 Since half of his prediction came true, I guess I am scared of getting into the final phase.

Frankly speaking, I never gave it much thought, but looking back, I have been subconsciously avoiding Mukesh’s songs. Though I would like to believe that it’s because most of his songs are sad, I’m yet to figure out the real reason behind it. I agree that just because I like Rafi so much doesn’t mean I shouldn’t like any other singers. And that’s never been the case, in fact. I am extremely fond of Talat, Hemat, Manna Dey etc. Anyways, more thoughts on that later. When I discovered it was Mukesh’s Birth Anniversary today, and started thinking of his songs, I realized that I love quite a lot of them. I really wanted to do a post but was very very busy. I was kind of feeling guilty about it and was hoping somebody else would so that I could at least list down my favourite songs here in the comment section. But now I have changed my mind…like you quoted And for all those years I failed to recognise your genius : I am also going to dedicate a post to Mukesh Chand Mathur.”

It’s over a month since I said that and I have been listening to a lot of Mukesh’s songs since then. And before long I found out that  there are hundreds of his songs that I really really adore. Like dustedoff rightly said,  Mukesh is one of those voices that grows on you –  it has definitely grown on me. I have learnt to appreciate his singing better now.

I can completely relate to what Harvey had said :  “I started off as a Kishore fan, went through Rafi phase, came back to KK and then again to Rafi and now I luv both! Have turned bigamist 😉 and am regularly unfaithful to them with Talat, Hemant, Manna and Mukesh and not necessarily in this order!” And this is a blisfful state!

I just realized I am a polygamist and it’s indeed a blissful state! 😀 😀

After having consciously explored his songs regularly for over a month, it’s very tough to list just 10 songs of his. So, as usual I have put some filter criteria to make my job easier. As Mukesh was the voice of Raj Kapoor and Manoj Kumar, I am intentionally ruling out their songs. Or else I will end up listing only 10 RK songs or 10 MK songs.

With my newly found fondness for him, there’ll be many more posts dedicated to Mukesh in the months to come. Will cover some of his rare gems in my later posts. For this one, my focus is on songs he sang for the actors who were generally associated with other singers.

So, on his Death Anniversary (27th Aug), in fond memories of Mukesh, here are my ten favourite songs of his –

1. Kahin door jab din dhal jaye (Anand, 1971) : This is one of my all time favourite songs from my all time favourite movie. Out of the few songs that Mukesh has sung for Rajesh Khanna – Jis gali mein tera ghar na ho (Kati Patang), Maine tere liye hai saat rang ke (Anand), Haan toh main kya keh raha tha (Raja Rani), Kahin door jab din dhal jaye etc, this one tops my list. When he sings tabhi machal ke pyaar se chalke, chhue koi mujhe par nazar na aaye – I can actually feel the song caressing me. The deep longing in mere khayalon ke aangan mein koi sapno ke deep jalaye and the sense of loss in  kho gaye kaise mere sapne sunhere…yeh mere sapne yehi toh hai apne…is simply mindblowing. Touching lyrics (Yogesh), beautiful picturisation, soothing music (Salil) and sensitive and poignant rendition makes this song a masterpiece. Only Mukesh could build this atmosphere of a deep longing. I never tire of listening to this song.

2. Phool tumhe bheja hai khat mein (Saraswati Chandra, 1968) : It was the songs that tempted me into watching this movie. Had it not been for Nutan and the songs, I would never have seen it. Now that I’ve seen the movie, I would rather forget about it…it was a torture. But I still love the songs – this, Chandan sa badan and Main toh bhool chali. Another iconic chitthi song picturised on Nutan and Manish…it’s very sweet and overflowing with love. Penned by Indeevar, composed by Kalyanji Anandji and rendered by Mukesh and Lata, it’s beautiful in every sense,  one of my favourite romantic duets. Sweet lyrics, music with just the right ambience and listening to it one can feel the nervousness, anticipation and love in it. This shows the level of involvement that everybody has put in creating this gem.

 3. Yaaron surat hamari pe mat jao (Ujala, 1959) : A delightful Mukesh-Rafi duet brimming with bromance – both in singing and in picturisation. It’s the carefree attitude with which these two dashing dudes – Raj Kumar and Shammi Kapoor run around and jump and dance and sing to this song that it scores over Duniyawalon se door for me from the same movie. Shailendra’s lyrics and Shankar-Jaikishan’s tunes are simple and sweet. It’s an absolute delight listening to and watching this song!

4. Kisi nargise nazar ko (Main Nashe Mein Hoon, 1958) : The fun quotient in this song is simply superb. Maruti dancing to Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics and Shankar-Jaikishan’s music, this lovely song somehow reminds me of Lakhon hai nighahon mein. I first heard this song on Vividh Bharati. And was pleasantly surprised to hear Mukesh singing a fun song!

5. Chal ri sajni ab kya soche (Bombai Ka Babu, 1960) : Picturised on Dev Anand, Suchitra Sen, Nasir Hussain and Achala Sachdev, it’s one of the most emotional songs ever. Mukesh has never been more suited to a song…there’s so much emotion in his voice – it looks like the song was tailor made for him. Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics, SD Burman’s composition, Mukesh’s rendition and the vidai scene…everything is just perfect!

6. O jaane wale  ho sake toh laut ke aana (Bandini, 1963) : Very rarely did SD Burman use Mukesh. But when he did, the affect was truly magical and soul-stirring. Chal ri sajni and O Jaane wale are two such live examples. I love Mukesh’s voice here. Shailendra’s lyrics is touching and SD Burman’s music is classic. This song has something extremely melancholy and a sense of deep longing about it – something which only Mukesh could create. It takes me into a trance. Picturisation is equally beautiful.

7. Aaya hai mujhe phir yaad woh zaalim (Devar, 1966) : Another gem of a song picturised on my favourite jodi – dashing Dharmendra and enticing Sharmila. His rawness and her sophistication – simply an amazing combination. And Mukesh’s pathos leaden voice adds to the magic. When I first saw this film, it was Kaajal wale nain that stole my heart away but the next time I saw it, it was this song that captivated me. Fabulous composition from Roshan. Anand Bakshi’s childhood beckoning lyrics , Mukesh’s rendition, Dharmendra and Sharmila’s story in the movie everything put-in together, really takes me back to those carefree childhood days.  

8. Sambhal ke karna jo bhi karna (Ek Phool Char Kaante, 1960) : Each song in this movie is a masterpiece. And I had a real tough time choosing one. But the Shammi-Rafi-sque feel of this song just wins over the rest for me. A beautiful flirtatious melody picturised on Sunil Dutt and Waheeda Rehman. You can feel both Mukesh and Sunil enjoying the song to the fullest singing and portraying it.

9. Tu kahe agar (Andaaz, 1949) : Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen, Dil tadap tadap ke and Yeh mera deewanapan hai are more popular Mukesh songs picturised on Dilip Kumar. And I do love all these songs. I haven’t seen Yahudi yet, and the Madhumati songs are too popular. So my vote goes for Tu kahe agar.  Mukesh’s voice brimming with love and Dilip Kumar’s expression singing it onscreen as Nargis leans over his piano, it’s just amazing! Also, it’s one of those few compositions of Naushad that has Mukesh as the playback singer. Majrooh’s lyrics is very sweet and romantic.

10. Dil jalta hai toh jalne de (Pehli Nazar, 1945) : This is a historic song…historic as in, it brought Mukesh to limelight. It was his first hit song. It’s a known fact that it was Motilal who first noticed Mukesh and brought him to Bombay. He got his break as a playback singer in 1945 with the film Pehli NazarDil jalta hai toh jalne de was composed by Anil Biswas and lyrics penned by Aah Sitapuri. It was incidentally picturised on Motilal himself. He was such a big fan of K. L. Saigal that in his early years of playback singing he used to imitate his idol. He does sound so much like Saigal here. In fact, it is said that when K. L. Saigal first heard this song, he said “That’s strange, I don’t recall singing that song”.

It’s ten songs already. And I had so many other songs in my mind 😦

Dekho mausam kya bahar hai, khayalon mein kisike,Tumse hi meri zindagi, waqt karta jo wafa aap hamare hotey, Mein to har mod par thujko doontha chala, Gardish mein ho taare, Yeh sehar bada albela, Mile na phool, Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein, Jinhe hum bhoolna chahe, Kahin karti hogi woh mera intezaar, Tere hothon ke do phool pyaare pyaare, Oh re taal mile, Yeh kaun chitrakar hai, Hum toh tere aashiq hai, Aye dil na mujhse chhupa, Mujhe raat din yeh khayal hai, Jaaoon kahan bata aye dil, Tum ruthi raho main manata rahun etc….

For someone whom I have subconsciously ignored all these years, I spents hours devoted to him on the eve of my birthday. And now that I have finally done a post on him, I am feeling really very happy! 🙂

May your soul rest in peace Mukesh Chand Mathur! Though quite late in life, I have finally realized how much I love your voice.