Posts Tagged ‘Ashok Kumar’

Ten of my favourite Shyama songs

June 11, 2011

Shyama was one of the most beautiful actresses to have graced the screen. She was charming, gorgeous, lively, expressive and there was something very refreshing about her.

It was her birthday on 7th June. Though a little late, here’s wishing her a very Happy Birthday!!!

Her real name was Khurshid Akhtar. Shyama, her screen name, was given to her by Guru Dutt.

I haven’t seen many movies of hers, apart from Bhabhi. Chhoti Behen and Sharda (And she has a bit of grey shade to her character in all these movies). But I love most of the songs picturized on her.

Shyama and Geeta Dutt  – This is one deadly combination. Geeta’s voice suited Shyama’s vivacious-ness so well. Not that I am restricting my list only to this jodi but couldn’t help mentioning it.

1. Ae dil mujhe bata de (Bhai Bhai, 1956) : I didn’t want to include this song in this list as it had already featured in my Geeta Dutt special post. But I couldn’t help it, simply couldn’t move ahead without this one. It’ one of my all time favourites! Ae dil mujhe bata de tu kispe aa gaya hai, woh kaun hai jo aakar khwabon pe chha gaya hai…They say you are in love when kuch kuch hota hai… Hmmm, let me rephrase that – they say you are in love when somebody walks into your life, starts being a part of your every dream, when your every thought begins revolving around him/her and changes your life forever without you even realizing it and you dont mind when you do. And it’s also believed that love makes life beautiful. Filmy symptoms of being in love – You don’t feel hungry, you turn into an insomniac, you’ll suddenly start finding friends in stars and the moon, you smile to yourself, you day dream, you sing songs and dance like noone’s watching.  Well, this song has all of these ingredients and a lot more. The joy of feeling that attraction towards somebody…a tug at the heartstrings is so beautifully expressed in this song. Shyama, bright and glowing, her expressive eyes dreamy and dancing along with her – her happiness  so obvious. Geeta sounds equally happy, even in her plight of not knowing who exactly has taken over her heart. They are in such perfect sync with each other.  I thoroughly love listening to this song and watching it. And Ashok Kumar’s amused expressions are to die for!

2. Dekho woh chaand chhup ke (Shart, 1954) : This movie had very nice songs. After debating over Na yeh chaand hoga and this, I finally chose this one. Very very romantic. Shyama and Deepak pledging their love for each other under the moonlight. Though the video is little melo-dramatic, especially the beginning where Deepak is so nervous,  the song is very sweet – Hemant Da’s voice renders the soothing and subtle effect to it. I love the way Lata sings “Hum ho gaye tumhare….” and Shyama’s response to “Aisa naa ho ke humko raste mein chhod jao, Jaa kar kahin kisi ki duniya nayee basao” …her denial, the brief shake of her head, so brief that one would almost miss it and the smile that follows with the last antaraa. …

3. Lehraaye jiya balkhaye jiya (Shaarda,1957) : Well, Shyama was definitely very fond of dancing all around the house. She uses the space (covers the stage) very well while dancing and I find her pretty graceful as a dancer. She in fact flows with the song…in a state of joyful exuberance.  She’s singing with joy when she gets to know that she’s getting married to Raj Kapoor, who she’s always been in love with. I think I am not wrong about the plot. I went into a shock after watching this movie, so dont remember things very clearly. It’s Asha singing for her here to Chitalkar’s composition.  Shyama also won Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in this movie.

4. Yeh  lo mai haari piya (Aar Paar, 1954) : Though Shyama is confined to a car here and can’t dance,  her priceless expressions and her eyes do such complete justice to the picturization of this timeless classic and Geeta Dutt’s flawless rendition. Guru Dutt is great playing hard to get…but for how long can he resist the magic?  It was so difficult to choose just one song from this movie…it’s a true musical treasure house.  I almost chose Jaa jaa jaa bewafaa, though sad it’s such a beautiful song. But finally I settled for this one. It’s very entertaining and one of it’s kind. All of them – OP Nayyar, Geeta Dutt and Shyama are at their stunning best!

5.  Do naina tumhare pyaare pyaare (Shrimati ji, 1952) : Here we have dashing Nasir Khan and young Shyama dancing to a peppy and a romantic duet. I recently came across this song and fell in love with it. Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar sound so good together in this. And Jimmy’s composition is awesome  – it’s a simple, sweet and a catchy song. Geeta Dutt’s singing suits Shyama’s chulbulapan so perfectly.

6.  Achha ji maaf kardo (Musafir Khana, 1955) : OP Nayyar’s composition again, rendered by Rafi saab and Geeta Dutt for Karan Diwan and Shyama. Shyama is dancing again in the garden, doing her trademark steps. I especially like the way she actually counts on her fingers to  “Dil par jo teer chalaye unka hisaab kardo” at 1:20 and the way she pats his arms to the same line at 2:56. The last antara would have been so much fun to watch if Karan had shown little more attitude. Everytime I see this song, how I keep wishing it had Shammi Kapoor or Dev Anand or Guru Dutt in it. There’s one more track in the movie Dil de daala which I am very fond of.

6. Mujhe mil gaya bahana teri deed ka (Barsaat Ki Raat, 1960) : Simple and a delightful song. Shyama dancing yet again singing her gratitude to the moon for bringing her so much happiness. She looks so radiant, like a chaand-ka-tukda herself. I had seen this movie very long ago, during the good old Doordarshan days. I don’t remember much of the story, apart from Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolenge and a part of Madhubala-Bharat Bhushan love story. I need to watch this movie again, at least for its songs and for Shyama and Madhubala. Phew, there are so many movies to watch and so many to re-watch!

7.  Saiyan pyaara hai apna milan (Do Behne, 1959) : A very beautiful romantic song picturized on Shyama and Rajendra Kumar. I love the sets, it’s such a beautiful room. And Rajendra Kumar and Shyama make a very wonderful couple. The song, it’s picturization is so serene. And it somehow reminds me of Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko and Ek tera saath hum ko do jahan se pyaara hai.

8. Tumse hi meri zindagi (Apna Ghar, 1960) : Pretty Shyama and handsome Premnath pledging their love for each other. Geeta Dutt and Mukesh sing for them. The prelude is pretty fast and peppy but the song slows down once the mukhda begins. I just realized that all the songs so far have been extremely romantic. It wasn’t intentional but I’m a sucker for romantic songs, so can’t help it. Let me try, at least, try to end the post with two not-so-romantic songs 😉

9.  Tabiyat thik thi aur dil bhi bekraar na tha (Mirza Sahibaan, 1957) : Tabiyat thik thi aur dil bhi bekraar na tha, yeh tab ki baat hai jab kisi se pyaar na tha. Such a melodious song, though a little sad. Sardul Kwatra’s composition is awesome and Lata’s rendition flawless, as usual. For a change Shyama is not dancing with joy. This song is a true example of being helplessly in love. If only they had shown a glimpse of Shammi darling…sigh!!!!

10. Tumhe husn deke (Jabse Tumhe Dekha Hai,1964) :  I hadn’t set any rules for choosing the songs for this post, I just went with the flow –  flow of listing down which ever song came to my mind but I was still focussing on solos and duets.  And now, since I couldnt get a glimpse of Shammi Kapoor in the previous song, I had to include this one. Few days ago I had mentioned in dustedoff’s post that anything with Shammi Kapoor would qualify for my every post. So, here it goes! A terrific qawali picturized on Shyama, Kumkum, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Om Prakash, Bhagwan and many more.  – one of the most flamboyant qawalis I have ever come across. Fabulous song, glamorous starcast, great dance and all wonderful people…aur kya chahiye, hai na? 🙂

Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko and Oh Chaand jahan are two of my favourite songs but they are not a part of this list as I had already included them in my earlier posts.

There’s one more song that I recently heard on radio and have been dying to get my hands on it’s video. Dil unko utha ke de diya from Baap Bete. I am head over heels in love with this song, but as the video is not available, I decided to put it in the extras. The first 2 lines of the song is sung by Madan Mohan himself and then Lata follows. I hope somebody uploads its video soon on youtube. Log kehte hai dhoondne pe toh bhagwaan bhi mil jaate hai aur hum hai ke yahan ek video ke liye taras rahe hai.

And here’s one more not-romantic performance that I couldn’t list above.

Here’s wishing her good health and lots of happiness. To one of the most stunning and vivacious actresses!

My tribute to Rafi Saab – The A to Z of Mohammed Rafi

August 3, 2010

I started this post on 31st, as I was listening to Rafi marathon on Vividh Bharati but with such lovely songs playing I couldn’t concentrate on the post. I had listed the songs even before that, but still it took me so long to complete it. I kept getting lost in the songs in between that I forgot I had to come back here and finish this 🙂

After an extremely hectic week, the best thing I could ask for is a day full of Rafi saab’s songs. Not that I didn’t listen to his songs the rest of the week. Not even a single day of mine passes without listening to him. Thanks to Vividh Bharati for that. The first thing I do every morning after I get up is to put the radio on. And they play a minimum of one Rafi song in every program of theirs. Then my collection of hundreds of his songs in my cell phone which I listen to everyday on my way to work. Other people get frustrated with the traffic and I feel good about it. The longer it takes me to reach office, the more number of songs I get to listen to and I reach office more refreshed. And when I am not in meetings and am not reading something, I continue listening to music in office as well. A big thank you to Nasir and Venkat for sharing all those rare gems…you guys have introduced me to so many songs that I had never thought even existed. And a big big thank you to entire team of Vividh Bharati – Kamal Sharma, Renu Bansal, Mamta Singh, Nimmi Mishra, Yunus Khan, Amarkant Dubey, Rajendra Tripathi, Shehnaz Akhtari and to everybody else. Had it not been for you all I wouldn’t have known even half of these songs! I owe my filmi and musical knowledge to you all!

I missed out the programs on Vividh Bharti in the morning on 31st as I got up late. But ever since I got up I was been hooked to it. They played non-stop Rafi songs. And do I even need to say that each song of his is songs is a masterpiece!

So much is written about Rafi (1924-1980) that I don’t quite know where to begin and what new to say really.  Rafi was one of the most versatile singers…From the doleful Jugnu  to the patriotic Shaheed  to the classical Baiju Bawra to the effervescent Mr. and Mrs. 55  to the regal Raj Hath to the poetic Pyaasa  to the meltingly romantic Barsaat Ki Raat – phew! the list is endless—Rafi sang them all. And more.

The whole week I’ve been thinking of something special to post as a tribute to this legend. It’s just impossible to list out my 10 favourite Rafi songs. I’m in love with every song that he has sung. But at the same time I couldn’t even sit without doing a post. After sifting through numerous options like – listing down some songs of Rafi alphabetically, listing out human emotions and associating a song against each emotion, defining the 7 stages of human life through his songs….but I realized that I just couldn’t move beyond the first letter.

I started thinking of his songs that start with ‘A’ and the list was so long that I could break it into 2-3 separate posts. Then I tried with the emotions. Within no time I realized that there were too many of them for instance Anger, Anxiety, Anguish, Astonishment, Attraction, Amusement, Affection, Agony. And this is just the beginning. Next I shifted to the stages of human life. I opened Shakespear’s poem and started mapping Rafi’s songs against each of the stages. But 7 were too few and then realized that I would end up counting almost everyday as a different stage! So that wasn’t much help either.

So I came up with this rule for this post…I would include –
1. Not very popular songs of Rafi as in, not the songs that would feature in every top 10 or top 20. I’m promoting some rare gems of this mastreo.
2. One song per actor and preferrably picturised on a lesser known actor (at least I’ll try avoiding the supserstars as much as possible). There are bound to be few exceptions though. But don’t be surprised if you don’t see even a single Shammi kapoor song here! (As I am doing a series of Rafi sings for Shammi, I’m trying to leave out Shammi Kapoor songs so that other songs would get a chance).
3. For a change I’m including songs from movies that I haven’t seen as well.

A : Abhi na jao chhod kar (Hum Dono, 1961) – Absolutely awesome romantic duet, superbly rendered by Rafi & Asha and so convincingly picturised on Dev Anand and Sadhna.  The charming couple, the excellent rendition, Jaidev’s superb music, Sahir Ludhyanvi’s  thoughtful and yet so simple lyrics  and the beautiful depiction of two lovers unwilling to separate leave you wanting to fall in love – this is without doubt one of the best romantic song ever recorded.   When I  hear this song I feel like I am in another world, the feeling of the song is simply awesome. What a treat this is!  And for once I wished ‘A’ was the last letter of English Alphabet. Putting this song at the end would have made much more sense.

A : Ankhinyan milake zara baat karo ji (Pardes, 1950) : Striking the earlier song as I couldn’t think of any other song starting from ‘F’ other than Falsafa pyaar ka tum kya jano, picturised on Dev Anand. In his earlier years, before he had fully come into his own, Rafi sang for Ghulam Mohammed (Naushad’s protégé) a lovely duet with Lata. This one is picturised on Rehman and Madhubala and I love this  for lots of reasons: Madhubala’s striking beauty, Rafi’s deep, powerful rendition, peppy music and young and dashing Rehman!

 B : Bahut haseen hai tumhari aankhen (Aadhi Raat Ke Baad, 1965) : Very cute song…not very popular but sweet and very romantic nevertheless. Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur come together in this lovely track picturised on Sailesh Kumar and Ragini who playfully flirt and tease each other. Chitragupt’s music is soothing and pleasant.

C : Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko (Bhabhi, 1957) : My initial choice was Chal ud jaa re panchhi but couldn’t find the Balraj Sahni version of it  on youtube. I had once heard in an interview that Balraj was so sad after shooting the song. He felt he could have done it much better! It’s such a divine song. But guess I’ll go with the flow – romance and move ahead with this infectiously romantic duet featuring Jawahar Kaul and Shyama. Rafi teams up with Lata here and the rendition is magical. This is one of my all time favourite Lata-Rafi duets. I had first heard this song on Vividh Bharati years ago and always felt that it must be picturised on Meena Kumari. I somehow related the feel of the song and the name of the movie itself to Meena Kumari. But was pleasantly surprised to discover Shyama in it. I saw this film just because of it’s songs. Not a movie I am very fond of, but give me its music anyday and I would be more than happy. It has a variety of songs – Chal ud ja re panchhi, Chali chali  re patang meri chali re, Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko, Jawaan ho ya budiya, Kaa re kaa re baajra…Coming back to this song, Chitragupt’s music, Rajender Krishan’s lyrics, Lata and Rafi’s rendition is truly amazing. And check out Shyama’s expressions, esp when she lip-synchs “tumhari is adaa par bhi hamare dil ko pyaar aaye“. Haye…I just love this song!

D : Dil ki tamanna (Ghyarah Hazar Ladkiyan, 1962) : It’s Vividh Bharati again where I first heard this song. And the first thing I did after the song was over is to rush to search for it on google/youtube. Initially, I could just find the audio version of it, Rafi’s solo. And I have listened to it continuously for days, non-stop. What an intoxicating voice and there’s so much feel to it. I didn’t even know who it was picturised on then but just wished whoever it was – may his dil ki  tamanna come true! I’ve been looking for the cd/dvd of this movie ever since but with no luck. Rafi and Asha sing  Majrooh Sultanpoori’s lyrics for Bharat Bhushan and Mala Sinha, under the music direction of N. Dutta. It’s a classic composition.

D :  Dil mein chhupa ke pyaar ka ( Aan, 1952) : Striking Dil ki tamanna because I just confirmed that Ghar se toh cut chuka patta is picturised on Bharat Bhushan, though it doesn’t have a video, I don’t want to break my rule.. Here’s another lovely Rafi number featuring two actors whom I like a lot – Dilip Kumar and Nadira. Shakil Badayuni penned the lyrics for this lovely song and Naushad Ali composed the music. Rafi is heavenly and so is Dilip Kumar. There’s a color version of this video. But I find the B&W version more enchanting.  

 E : Ek tera saath hum ko (Waapas, 1969) :  Exteremely romantic song. Music is by Laxmikant Pyarelal and  lyrics  by Majrooh Sultanpuri. It is a duet sung by Rafi and Lata picturised on a newly married couple (Alka and Shekhar Purohit? Ajay?) pledging undying love and devotion to each other. I feel the essence is somehow missing in the picturisation, but just listen to it and it’s magical, such a treat to the ears!

F : Falsafaa pyaar ka tum kya jano (Duniya, 1968) : A terrific song by Rafi, composed by Shankar-Jaikishan and picturised on Dev Anand and Vyjayanthimala. “How would you grasp the philosophy of loving when you have never fallen in love before” – for once I kind of like the translation of the mukhda. I almost played around with Phoolon se dosti kaanton se yaari (Foolon se) but when I had a song starting with ‘F’, I thought I would rather go with it. Though Dev Anand looks wierd with that hair-cut and this song has the flavours of Badan pe sitare lapete hue, I  still love this number…it’s so intoxicating. This is what I call a quintessential Rafi song!

G : Ghar se toh cut chuka apna patta (Kal Hamara Hai, 1959) : I heard this song on radio last week and instantly fell in love with it. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the video.  Though imdb lists Bharat Bhushan as the lead in this film, I somehow don’t feel this song is  picturised on him. It sounds so much like a Johnny Walker kind of a song and I sincerely hope that it is. Something very catchy and lively about this song. Music is once again by Chitragupt. (P.S : I just confirmed that it is indeed picturised on Bharat Bhushan, so much for my guess work).

H : Hum toh hai tum par (Bewaqoof, 1960) – This is one very cute song rendered superbly by Rafi for I.S Johar. This movie was written and directed by I.S Johar himself. Majrooh’s lyrics and S.D Burman’s composition is beautiful. And it was R.D Burman on the Mouth Organ. The modulations in Rafi’s voice match I.S Johar’s antics so perfectly. There’s something very Shammi-sque quality to this song.

I : Itni badi duniya jahan itna bada mela (Toofan Mein Pyar Kahan ,1966) : Rafi sings this for Ashok Kumar. It’s so tender and so beautiful. There’s a softness to Rafi’s voice here which is just brilliant. “Versatile Rafi commendably modulates his voice to suit the great natural actor, Ashok Kumar, while singing on the pangs of loneliness” (Thanks Nasir for describing the song so beautifully).  Check out the picturisation for Guzre dino ka dhundla nishaan hai baanki, dil toh bujha kab se hai abh dhuaan baanki – the smoky effect is so amazing. Prem Dhawan’s melancholy lyrics, Chitragupt’s excellent music, Rafi’s magical rendition and Ashok Kumar’s brilliant performance – this couldn’t have got any better. My initial choice for a song beginning with ‘I’ was Itna haseen saathi itni haseen manzil from Aatma Aur Parmatma but couldn’t find a video to it. So settled for this one – another favourite of mine. Though not as romantic as I would have liked it to be, it’s a very beautiful song.

J : Jo baat tujh mein hai (Taj Mahal, 1963) : A timeless gem…one of my favourite songs. This one’s picturised on Pradeep Kumar. The lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi, music by Roshan and Rafi’s velvety voice is beyond this world – truly sublime!  I so very badly wanted to post Jab se hum tum baharon mein from Main Shadi Karne Chala but it’s such an irony that we don’t have videos of such lovely melodies on youtube yet. And since the basic filter criteria here is one song per actor, I don’t want to go on posting just the audios. Hopefully, somebody will upload the video soon.

K : Kahin ek masoom nazuk si ladki (Shankar Hussain, 1977) : For once, I am not relating a song to Vividh Bharati. I first heard this, an online radio station couple of years ago. Back then AIR, Vividh Bharati didn’t have online sites. I accidentally came across and I used to listen to it very regularly at work. One fine day, I heard this song and googled for it but couldn’t find it. Then, I came across the audio version of it after few months and finally found the video last year. I was rather surprised to discover Kanwaljit in it. Used to watch him in serials during my school days, Family No. 1 on Sony used to be quite popular then. Kamal Amrohi’s lyrics, Khhayyam’s music and Rafi’s rendition – it’s all so heavenly. Something very dreamy, fairy-tale like about this song. But the video somehow spoilt this for me. I love the song, can’t help not loving such a magnificient number but the picturisation is a spoiler. Chalo khat likhe jee mein aata toh hoga, magar ungliyan kap kapati toh hongi, kalam haath se chhut jaata toh hoga, umange kalam phir uthathi toh hongi, mera naam apni kitaabon pe likh kar, woh daanton mein ungli dabati toh hogi….kabhi subah ko shaam kehti toh hogi, kabhi raat ko din batati toh hogi…what an imagination! It’s so beautifully written!! I used to imagine this scene while listening to this song, but the video didn’t have any of it! Audio version didn’t have the last antarra. I heard it for the first time when I saw the video on youtube. And it took me some time to figure out what Palate is …Palate kabhi toot jaati toh hogi….

L : Le chala jidhar yeh dil chal pade (Miss Bombay, 1957) : This is Rafi singing for Ajit. in the good old days before he turned into a villian on screen. Bombay—that teeming metropolis, teeming then in the 1950s just as it is teeming today—the land of opportunities, sapno ka shehar—was masterfully captured by lyricist Prem Dhawan to composer Hansraj Behl’s tune. I had only heard this song on Bhoole Bisre geet on Vividh Bharati. Saw the video for the first time today. Half the time I kept imagining Ajit saying “Mona Darling” in between the song. 🙂 Ajit was quite a handsome man and smart too…he realized early in his career that it’s more fun being the villian than a hero!

M : Main toh tere haseen khayalon mein kho gaya (Sangram, 1965) :  My my my dear from Nagina was my first choice. I didn’t want to list Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha and Madhuban mein radhika nache re. Though I love both these songs, they have already featured many times in this blog.  And thanks to Richard for including all these songs in his list. I’m not feeling guilty about skipping them. So here I come with this lovely track from Sangram picturized on Randhawa (Dara Singh’s brother) and Swarna Kumari. I am so glad I decided to do songs from the movies that I haven’t watched. I had heard this song so many times on radio but it’s for the first time I am seeing it’s video and am so happy to discover Randhawa in it! Lala Asar Sattar music is very melodious and Rafi is fantastic in it!

N : Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon (Laal Quila, 1960) : I almost included Nu tu hindu banega na musalmaan banega but realized I had this song in one of my earlier posts. And this divine composition by S.N Tripathi in Laal Quila came to my mind. It’s a timeless classic, a stunning nazm. Such deeply moving lyrics! Rafi’s booming voice magnificiently amplifies the poignancy and grief expressed by Bahadurshah Zafar. Truly unforgettable!

O : O phirki wali (Raja Aur Runk, 1968) : This song takes me back to my school days. We had a cassette, Best of Mohd. Rafi volume 2 which had this song. And there was a time when I was in 9-10th when I used to listen to this song at least 2-3 times a day. It’s such a masti-bhara song that it fills my heart with happiness when I listen to it. I somehow had always imagined it to be picturised on Shammi Kapoor or Dharmendra, mainly due to the fun quotient. I was pleasantly surprised to see Sanjeev Kumar singing it to Nazima. I was listening to this after so long today and I still remember each and every word of it. I’m so pleased with myself. That’s Rafi’s magic! Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s foot-tapping music, Anand Bakshi’s fun-filled lyrics and Rafi’s flirtatious rendition topped with Sanjeev Kumar’s awesome performance makes this song immortal. I love the way Rafi sings Jubaan se and Jarra beimaan si

P : Phir milogi kabhi (Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi, 1966) : Biswajeet was one lucky actor when it came to songs. He got to feature in some of the best songs ever. I am not fond of him as an actor, but his songs, each one is a masterpiece! Rafi and Asha are singing for Biswajeet and Sharmila in this 1966 thriller. O.P Nayyar’s music, S.H Bihari’s lyrics and Asha-Rafi rendition, it’s picturization…everything about this song  is mesmerizing. I feel captivated everytime I listen to this and never want it to end. 

Q : Quismat ke likhe ko hum mita na sake (Duniya, 1949) : This is a lovely Rafi-Surraiya duet composed by C. Ramachandra. It has Surraiya, Karan Dewan, Yakum, Shakeela in the leading role. I don’t know who it’s actually picturised on. I have only heard this song on Radio and couldn’t find a video as well. Listen to Rafi’s young voice…it’s so gentle and soft. Amazing song!!!

R : Roshan tumhi se duniya (Parasmani, 1963) : This time it’s Rafi singing for Mahipal in Parasmani, which marks the debut of Laxmikant-Pyarelal as Music Directors. Rafi at one of his romantic bests, extremely melodious number penned by Ashad Bhopali. Such an apt song in praise of a princess! What awesome lyrics, equally amazing music and Rafi’s voice is subhan-allah!!! One can feel the emotion and depth in his voice…the way he sings “Haye”, the aalap in between and the accompanying tabla and sitar is just mindblowing. Even Mahipal and Geetanjali have expressed well. One more speciality about this film is that it’s partially color. The first half is in Black&White and the second half (if you remember, Hansta hua noorani chehra) is in color. Movie is total bakwaas but it has lovely songs.

S : Sau baar banakar maalik ne (Ek Raat, 1967) : I don’t know who this song is picturized on. Spent quite sometime searching for the video but couldn’t find. There’s hardly anything about this movie available. But I love this song so much that I just couldn’t leave it out. I was addicted to it when I heard it for the first time. Have been searching for the video for quite sometime now. It usually happens that the songs that I so desparately want to see are not as good as expected. So for the time being I am content just listening to it. Yogesh’s lyrics, Usha Khanna’s music and Rafi’s divine rendition…I get so lost in this song. Till I heard this song, I thought Chaudhvai ka chaand, Roshan tumhi se duniya, Tareef karun kya uski etc were the ultimatum when it came to praising the girl’s beauty. But now, there’s one more to the list.

T : Tum toh pyar ho (Sehra, 1963) : Ideal song on Rafi’s death anniversary would have been Tum mujhe yun bhoola na paaoge but that’s too popular and has already been discussed in this blog before. Then I thought of Tum akele toh kabhi baag mein jaaya na karo from Aao Pyaar Karein.  But again, even that doesn’t have a video available. So the next I could think of was this lovely duet by Lata and Rafi picturised on Sandhya and Prashanth. Hasrat jaipuri’s lyrics tuned beautifully by Ramlal, this is a gem of a song. And the depth in Rafi’s and Lata’s voice has taken it to a different level altogether! What a romantic duet it is!

U : Unse rippy tippy ho gayi (Agra Road, 1957) :  I discovered this song few months ago and fell in love it it. It’s such a cute and fun filled number sung by Rafi and Geeta Dutt. I was actually planning to include this is Geeta Dutt special post but I reached 10 before this could come up then. So here it goes! Picturised on Vijay Anand (this is his debut film as a hero) and Shakeela. He does resemble Dev Anand a bit, esp when he’s sulking. Yoddling is a quality that we generally associate with Kishore da. Felt good to hear Rafi yoddling for a change! There are few lines in Gujarati and few in Punjabi in between. Geeta and Rafi yoddling away to Roshan’s music and Prem Dhawan’s lyrics is very delightful.

V : Vo jo chahane wale hain tere (Duniya Rang Rangili, 1957) : I couldn’t figure out who was singing this song on screen…but who cares, as long as it’s sung by Rafi in real. It’s  sweet number written by Jan Nisar Akhtar and composed by O.P Nayyar. Check out Rajendra Kumar, he looks so young and handsome.  Is the girl Chaand Usmaani?

W : Woh hum na the woh tum na the (Cha Cha Cha, 1964)  : Rafi here sings for Chandrashekhar. He is so dull,  doughy and expresssionless. I don’t like him, every time I see him I keep wondering how he became an actor. Hence I am putting Helen’s picture below. Lets forget about the movie and the actor…coming to the song, it’s an excellent track. Penned by Neeraj and composed by Iqbal Quereshi, this is a touching song brilliantly rendered by Rafi.  

X : Phir aane laga yaad wohi (Yeh Dil Kisko Doon, 1963) : Ok, so this song doesnt begin with “X” – but then, how many songs do? I will just use this letter to insert another lovely song. And this song is specially dedicated to Nasir and Richard. We had a long discussion about this song sometime back. But due to my usual restriction of not including songs from the movies that I haven’t seen, I had left this one out in Shashi Kapoor special post. But since that’s not the case this time, here it goes to you both for reminding me of this song. Shashi Kapoor’s image below is for bollyviewer. This is one of the most melodious song, beautifully picturised. Ragini’s moves are so graceful and elegant. Shashi is a darling. Rafi is magical, Qamar Jalalabadi’s lyrics and  Iqbal Qureshi’s composition is so mystical with Usha Khanna chanting those simple syllables Pyaar ka aalam, it infuses so much feel to the song.

Y : Yeh teri saadgi yeh tera baankpan (Shabnam, 1964) : This post has been one hell of a revelation to me! I never knew Rafi had sung this song for Mehmood! Usha Khanna’s composition and Javed Anwar’s lyrics are simple and sweet. And Rafi as usual is outstanding! He could convincingly slip under the skin of characters that were poles apart: he sang for the brooding Dilip Kumar in Deedar with the same ease with which he lent his voice to a frolicking Johnny Walker in C.I.D.  And it is so difficult for the listener to decide where Rafi excels more and who his voice suits the best!

Z : Zara ruk jaa (Sitaron Se Aaghe, 1958) : I was feeling sad that I couldn’t include a song picturised on Johnny Walker so far. So am more than happy now for being able to do so. Apart from Rafi, I remember this song for Johnny Bhai’s cycle stunt and his friends going around puncturing everybody else’s cycle tyres. Rafi and Johnny share an amazing chemistry. Each song of this combo is special and tailor-made for them – the sync between Rafi’s voice and Johnny’s acting is always so perfect! I have a broad smile on my face everytime I see Johnny perched on a tree (he looks so comfortable there) and jumping down singing Zara ruk ja

Rafi saab was the most versatile and probably had the most mellifluous voice. His voice reflected the great energy and smartness of youth and exuded great skill and craftiness. He could sing slow, fast , semi classical, Bhajans, Qawalis, taranas, Geet, romantic numbers, sad songs – just about anything with equal zest and gusto.

Also, when I began listening to  songs of Rafi, I realized one thing – he enriched the compoistions that he sang for. Now this is quite  exceptional and rare because he did not require a great composition to create a a great song.

I feel like Kahin bekhayal hokar choo liya kisi ne when I listen to his songs. This is one song that I really missed putting up here along with Jo unki tamanna ho, Woh din yaad karo, Yeh jhuke jhuke naina and many more!!! Be it any song of his, even if I am listening to it for the very first time, I feel a sense of familiarity towards it.

I came across this blog while searching for few songs and since what was written there exactly described the songs and how I felt about them, I couldn’t help copying them. And I must admit that it did save a lot of time. Writing up about these songs do take a lot of time. And it gets quite distracting as well – I search for one song on youtube, see some other song on related link section and that leads to another song and so on (as it’s too much of a temptation to resist). So when I find few lines already written up about the song, it’s god-sent! 🙂 A big thank you to Cinema Corridor and all other fellow bloggers for all your contributions and wikipedia for providing me with so much of information always! I had acknowledged everybody in my earlier post on Shammi Kapoor but somehow I forgot about this one. Could be because it took me couple of days to finish this post and by the time I reached the end, I was just happy that I had completed the post and was in a hurry to publish it.

Love you Rafi saab!!! May your soul rest in peace.

Kishore Da’s songs coming up next. I should have done that today, but first things first. And that reminds me I still have my Mukesh special post pending!

Aadhi Raat Ke Baad (1965)

March 24, 2010

For once, I didn’t buy a movie because I liked the songs. When I picked this up, it was the title that kind of attracted me. When Atul had posted a song from this movie in his blog he had said the movie was called “Aadhi raak ke baad” (1965) which apparently was a B grade suspense movie, going by the title of the movie. Going by the title, it does sound fishy, but with Ashok Kumar in it, I doubted if it would be a B-grade movie. Guess, I have only seen good movies of his. And I love and respect him so much, that if I  ever come up with a filmy family, he would definitely be my father!

These days, I’ve been contradicting my own statements and here I go again. Having said “For once, I didn’t buy a movie because I liked the songs”, if only I had known Bahut haseen hai tumhari aankhen, Mukhde pe tere bijli si chamak, Gori tori baanki were from this movie, I would have seen it long ago!

Coming to the plot, movie begins with Seth Ramlal’s death. He suspiciously falls off a moving car and meets his end. Police rush to the scene but fail to unravel the mystery behind his death. All newspapers are flashed with the news of Ramlal’s death the following morning.

Seth Jamunadas (Murad), Ramlal’s partner,  comes to Bombay all the way from Nairobi (their business was based in Rangoon, but no idea what Jamunadas was doing in Nairobi) on hearing the news of Ramlal’s demise and halts at the Airlines Hotel.

His lawyer comes to meet him with a new will according to which all his property would go to his daughter Nemo. If Nemo decides to give/share the property with someone, it’s at her will but if something happens to her, then his neice, Ragini would inherit the property.

Next, the scene shifts to a lab where we have an invisible man performing some experiments – only the gloved hands holding testtubes are visible. His phone rings and again the hands answer the phone.

It’s from Seth Jamunadas and the invisible man is none other than Ashok Kumar (Ashok Kumar).  He asks Ashok to come to his hotel and meet him. He wants to talk to Ashok about his wedding with Nemo. Just as he hangs up and becomes shirtless-ly visible, Nemo (Naina) comes to meet him.

He asks his friend, Murali (Aagha) to take Nemo back to her hotel as he’s leaving for some urgent work saying he has a surprise in store for Nemo. (One things is very vague here, don’t know if it was deleted from the VCD, Nemo has no clue that her father is in town. Seth had asked Ashok to write to her and call her to Bombay…why didn’t he do it himself? And why didn’t he inform her of his arrival himself?)

He is on his way to meet Seth Jamunadas. Jamunadas is waiting for Ashok, when his brother walks in drunk, demanding for his share of property. They have a quarrel and suddenly there’s a gunshot, next thing we know is Jamunadas collapses down on the floor dead.

Just then Singh, Jamunadas’s secretary walks in to take his taperecorder that he had put in the room to record Jamunadas’s conversation with his lawyer in order to learn about the will. Now that the quarrel with his brother and the gunshot is also recorded, Singh blackmails Jamunadas’s brother to do as he says.

When Ashok arrives, the receptionist calls the Seth to inform Ashok’s arrival, but it’s his brother who answers. As soon as they learn that Ashok’s at the hotel, they both leave the room immediately. However, Ashok sees them getting out of the lift on his way. He reaches in to find the Seth dead. He flees from there but the guard happens to see him running away.

He first goes to meet Nemo to tell her of her father’s death, but Nemo’s taking a shower and makes him wait. With police on his trail, he has no other option than to leave the place.

Nemo is surprised to find him gone when she comes out, but suddenly realizes there’s someone in her room…an invisible man, who renders her unconscious and kidnaps her.

D’Souza, a drunkard loitering around the hotel, sees a girl being carried in space, put in a car and then the car being driven away without a driver! He rushes to the police station to report it, but who will listen to a drunkard?

The Police Inspector just waves him away, but Ramesh (Sailesh Kumar), a self-claimed detective, feels that they should check it out anyways and off they go. They reach Nemo’s hotel to find the room vacant with the light on and the door open. They surf through her belongings and find out her identity. They also find a letter from Ashok in her purse, along with a pic of his.

They recognize him as Mr. X, the invisible man and reach a conclusion that it was he who killed Seth Jamunadas and then kidnapped his daughter. And they get on to their mission of finding Ashok a.k.a Mr. X.

They go to raid his house but find Murali in the lab, disguised with a mask. Ashok, now gets desperate to get to the bottom of this conspiracy and he has a gut feeling that he’ll find all his questions anwsered in Rangoon….reason??? – he had seen Singh and Seth’s brother exiting Seth’s hotel and feels they were behind Seth’s death. Now as they have gone back to Rangoon, he decides to follow them and takes Murali’s financial (who’s a very rich shot’s son) help.

The detective in Ramesh is highly intrigued by all the happenings, feels he should go to Rangoon and investigate the case further. He’s also a rich man’s son, who has lots of wealth and doesn’t have to bother about working hard to earn his living. So, he just whiles away his time solving cases, more as a  hobby. His friends circle includes the Inspector, who is very concerned about his sudden decision to go to Rangoon. But after getting in touch with their Chief CID friend, Kundan in Rangoon, he rests assured. Ramesh, Murali and the invisible Ashok go to Rangoon by the same flight.

On the day of their arrival, they see Ragini dancing in the hotel to Badi rangeen hai rangoon ki yeh shaam.

Ramesh is adamant about meeting Ragini and finding out if she suspects anybody. But Kundan warns him that it might be an impossible task as Ragini isn’t very friendly or social – she doesn’t like meeting or talking to people.

Ashok also wants to meet her but realizes that she holds him responsible for her Uncle’s death and cousin’s disappearance. However, he goes to her house disguised as a Baba (Saint) but she is not of much help.

Ramesh poses as a journalist come all the way from India to take her interview and goes to meet her, but she gives a damn to him.

Murali is introduced as a Prince from India at the hotel, but Singh suspects that he’s covering up for Ashok somehow doing all this and appoints his Personal Secretary, Helen, to keep an eye on Murali/Prince.

Ramesh is bent on making friends with Ragini and follows her everywhere, tries to woo her singing Mukhde pe tere bijli si chamak.

Murali is having a gala time with so much of attention from Helen and other girls at the hotel. He entertains and impresses them with his magic tricks (all thanks to his invisible friend), a part of this also includes Gori tori baanki.

Finally, Ramesh succeeds in impressing Ragini and they both happily sing Bahut haseen hai tumhari aankhen. Then she tells him about Nemo and who she suspects behind all this.

Ragini confides in him that she has heard someone screaming for help from the basement of the hotel but could never summon up courage to go and check. So, Ramesh volunteers to go with her but as they both find Singh’s behaviour quite suspicious, they have to somehow ensure that he remains out of their way. They first perform to Kaafir nazar takrayi to entertain everybody at the hotel and then find their way to the basement. But they only find Singh’s insane cousin locked up down there.

Finally, it’s revelaed that Nemo is alive…and she was kidnapped by Ramlal.

She’s shocked to see a deadman alive! He fills her ears against Ashok and says he has held her captive to save her from Ashok who’s behind her wealth.

Since inherited wealth has endangered her life, he tries to talk her into believing that the best solution would be to get rid of her wealth. He says he’s even ready to take that risk for her and tells her to sign the papers and write the entire wealth into his name but she refuses to do so. And he orders to get her killed.

Singh gets Ashok caught and Kundan arrests him for the crime he never committed (or did he?).

Ramlal’s men kill Nemo by drowning her.

When her body is found, it creates headlines in the newspapers.

Ragini is in a state of shock but now being the lone survivor, inherits the entire property. The lawyer calls her and asks her to be careful – now that she’s wealthy, she might be the next target. She gets into her car and starts it only to realize that the brakes have failed.

She somehow survives the accident and goes to meet Ramesh and again there, she overhears Ramesh telling Kundan that he’s not serious about her…he has just been flirting around to get her co-operation in solving the case, but  now that she’s a rich lady, he might as well try his luck!

Poor Ragini, she feels so hurt and lonely!!! Singh comes to her rescue and tells her that he has always been in love with her and expresses his desire to marry her. They get engaged, but Ragini hasn’t got over her heart-break yet and she sings Mera dil baharon ka woh phool hai.

What is Singh’s intention behind marrying Ragini? Is he actually in love with Ragini or is it just the money? Who was/were behind the murders? Will Ashok be proved innocent? Or was he really behind all these conspiracies? Will Ragini survive the attacks? Finally what happens to the wealth that caused so many deaths? Will it have an hier to it?

Apart form the Travancore Sisters, I found a striking resemblance between this and Singapore – the plot was very similar, but handled much better here. The suspense is kept intact till the end (it wasn’t a difficult guess, but at least they don’t reveal it mid-way through and spoil the fun) and that’s what I liked the most about it.

The songs are lovely! And Sailesh Kumar looks so very handsome (he reminds me so much of Sunil Dutt).

I hadn’t seen any of Ragini’s movies earlier – she’s an amazing dancer…I would definitely rate her a better dancer than an actor (I liked her  heart-shaped hair clip in the pic below)

Ashok Kumar and Naina don’t have much screen time (not even a single song is picturised on them 😦 ) but  they still are very much an integral part of the story throughout – the entire story revolves around them. Aagha’s always around to lighten up a moment by flaunting his silliness.

While I could feast my eyes on Shammi in Singapore and it had the added advantage of Helen’s presence in Rasa sayung re rasa sayung sayung re (just couldn’t take my eyes off them), Aadhi Raat Ke Baad had better execution of the story to keep one hooked and guessing the culprit till the end.

Enjoyable watch on the whole – has invisible men, action, comedy, romance and murder mystery all clubbed together into a single package. It’s rather a light-hearted film – not much of rona-dhona.  Though Ashok is supposed to be depressed under the circumstances, he’s in a pretty good humour most of the time (not that he’s not concerned about Nemo though).

I liked Kundan-Ramesh chemistry – It was so casual and natural, like just how we play the fool with friends  in real life. But couldn’t somehow establish a connection with the rest of the characters – didn’t feel/care much for any of them but who cares all that as long as I enjoy watching the movie. I was rolling with laughter most of the time, even when there was something serious going on….very silly and filmy.

And looks like I’m on retro-actors-going-shirtless discovery spree!

Bewafa 1952

December 28, 2009

This post has been pending for a long time!!! I’m so glad that I’m finally writing it.  It was Raj Kapoor’s birth anniversary on the 14th and  I somehow managed to watch this movie but didnt have time to review it.

Raj Kapoor’s films dealt with diversified subjects which sometimes involved teenage romance , sometimes oppression of women and sometimes (or most of the times) corruption in the society. And no doubt  that all the movies of his (at least the ones that I have watched so far) were superb (Anari, Awara, Shree 420, Jaagte Raho, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Chhalia, Diwana to name a few). They had amazing actors, great story line, faboulous music and these are movies made to perfection (almost).  I like and respect Raj Kapoor as an actor and as a film-maker. But most of his movies are so socially awakening that they usually leave me morally (or should that be socially) depressed for days. Except for Chori Chori, I cant think of re-watching any of his other movies. And I usually have to prepare myself to bring myself to watch his movies.

After mentally preparing myself for more than a week I eventually watched this.

Roopa (Nargis) lives in a chawl with an alcoholic uncle (is that Siddiqui in the second screencap?).

He’s unemployed himself, sits at home and drinks the whole day. But he forces her to go out to work and earn money so that he can buy alcohol with it.

He mistreats her and literally beats her when she fails to get money. Everybody in the chawl is aware of Roopa’s fate. The children in the chawl enact the scene of Roopa’s uncle scolding her and punishing her on the streets where one becomes Roopa and another Roopa’s uncle. But it’s only Raj (Raj Kapoor), her neighbour who offers to help her. He even lends her some money when her uncle beats her and throws her out of the house saying she cant come back till she gets some money to buy alcohol for him.

Reluctantly she takes the money from him, unsure how and when she’ll be able to repay him. But he says he feels sorry for her for all that she has to go through and especially when he sees her dressed in rags. Also tells her that she doesn’t have to repay him. On a second thought he adds that she could come to his room and clean it up for him if she really wants to do something in return.

She feels so indebted that she lands up in his room the following morning to clean it. He is awed by her innocence and playfully sings Kaam haathon ka.

Her uncle keeps illtreating her so much that on one occasion when he throws her out of the house, she vows never to come back again and goes to kill herself.

But she realizes that she has never lived her life so she doesnt have the right to take it either (thankfully she realizes it on time and saves all the effort and trouble that hero would have had to go through otherwise to save her;-))

Innocent and unexposed to the outside world, she doesn’t know what to do or where to go. All that she knows is that she has to live and that she’s not returning back to the chawl. She just keeps walking aimlessly. Exhausted she sits under a street light, leans on the post and falls fast asleep.

She wakes up to find an artist’s easel infront of her.  And from behind the easel appears Ashok (Ashok Kumar), a painter who’s been making a portrait of her.

She’s scared first, then angry that he made her portrait without her consent. But when she sees the artist’s work and he promises to pay her Rs. 5 if she lets him complete it, she gives in. She agrees to be his model and accompanies him to his studio. He tries to make her sit in the same position and completes his painting.

And she…she’s more than happy to earn Rs. 5 for posing 🙂

Ashok is not a very successful artist himself.  He’s been painting for a long time but nobody ever cares to buy any of his work. And very predictably she becomes his lucky mascot. Once he starts making her portraits he gets his recognition as an artist, his work becomes popular and people start buying his paintings for thousands.

In the meantime he also teaches her how to read and write.

To celebrate his success Ashok throws a big party and Roopa (who’s been living in his house all this while and quite rich and popular herself now through his paintings) is his co-host. She looks gorgeous as she accompanies him all dressed up for her first public appearance.

Ashok’s looking so good here that I couldn’t resist myself from putting up this one!

Party without a song sounds so incomplete….so here comes the song, and that too quite a catchy one O tana derna tana mere dil mein aa jana. I wonder who this pretty lady (the one singing the song) is. Since she was dancing the whole time, I couldn’t get a clearer screencap, will have to check memsaab’s gallery for her name.

It’s so obvious that Ashok is in love with Roopa that everybody at the party keeps asking Ashok when he’s getting married. After the party when everybody leaves Ashok tells Roopa about it.

Ashok : Everyone was asking me when I am getting married.

Roopa : You are getting married?

Ashok : Yeah, I think I should. What do you say?

Roopa : I think so too. (After a pause) So when’s the wedding?

Ashok : You should be the one deciding the date.

Roopa : Me? You could have done it yourself and just informed me.

Poor Ashok, Roopa doesnt figure out that he’s asking her to marry him!

All’s well till now, but that’s just the first 40 minutes of the movie. Now comes the twist in the story. Raj re-enters Roopa’s life. He sits outside the wall (of Roopa’s  house), under a tree singing Tumko fursat ho expecting her to come out after she hears his voice while Roopa is swimming inside. But she doesn’t. So he jumps the wall and gets in.

She’s delighted to see him. She gets him introduced to Ashok and also asks Raj to stay back for dinner.

After dinner he sings Dil matwala and I fell in love with this song instantly. And I guess so did Roopa because she gets up the following morning singing it herself  Dil matwala (It’s the same song but tunes are different. Lata’s version is different from Talat’s).

The first time they meet Ashok senses that something’s wrong and doubts Raj’s intention. When he sees Raj trying to woo Roopa, followed by Roopa’s inclination towards him, Ashok warns Roopa to stay away from Raj. But all his efforts to do so prove in vain. Roopa is no longer interested in sitting still and posing for Ashok’s paintings. Half the time she waits for Raj to come and when he shows up, she leaves Ashok and his incomplete painting and leaves with Raj.

He takes her to a club one night. And oh god Roopa looks so beautiful and innocent.

Here we are treated to this lovely number Aa jao mere dilruba by another lovely lady (whose name I am yet to figure out).

By the way, I kind of like her outfit!

Coming back to the story, Roopa and Raj get pretty late that night. And Ashok scolds Roopa for coming home so late. He also points out that Raj is interested in her wealth and not in her. At this she promises Ashok that she will never see Raj again. So when Raj comes to meet her the following day she sends a word through her maid, Neeli (Neelam) saying she’s not at home. However, Raj sees her standing by the window seeing him leave. To convince her that his feelings for her are true, he sits almost all night singing Tu aaye na aaye teri khushi in the rain. This melts Roopa’s heart and she forgets all about her promise to Ashok.  She goes running to Raj and asks him to take her away with him.

He agrees to it and they fix a time. Raj is to come the following night at 10 and take her with him and go. Excited, she packs her things the whole day and is all set to leave. Ashok tries to convince her but she doesnt listen to him.  She goes outside the gate, sits on a bench and waits for Raj the whole night.

But unfortunately he doesnt turn up and she returns back home. Heart-broken and depressed she sings Ek baar jhalak dikhla ke hume . After a couple of days Raj turns up to apologize saying he’s extremely sorry that he couldn’t come that night to take her and begs her for one more chance. After a little bit of convincing she agrees. There’s nothing left for Ashok to say now. But Neeli, tells her that she’s making a mistake by trusting Raj again and pleads her not to go with him.

But Roopa has already made up her mind and this time Raj does come to take her. And she goes away with him.

She comes back home later on to find this painting.

Now, why does Roopa come back home again? What happens to Raj? Why is Raj’s character so mysterious? Is he really after Roopa’s wealth or is it just Ashok’s jealousy trying to create misunderstandings between them? What stopped Raj from coming that night, the first time they decide to leave Ashok’s house? Is Ashok really as good as he appears to be? And finally the million dollar question – who’s bewafa? Who betrays who?

Here, I take back my word – “Except for Chori Chori, I cant think of re-watching any of his other movies.” I wouldnt mind watching this movie again! What a power-packed performance, great songs (though I had never heard some of them before, I liked them a lot), and a good story with an apt title!

M.L. Anand’s direction, Akhtar Hussain’s story and  Sarshar Sailani’s dialogues were neither below the mark nor over the board. Music by A.R. Qureshi was pleasant and melodious, songs perfectly rendered by Talat, Lata, Shamshad Begum and Geeta Dutt and in situations and places where you expect them the most, pretty predictable.

I actually enjoyed watching this movie and wasn’t even depressed at the end of it (at least not as much as I had expected to)! May be that’s because it’s more of an emotional drama than a social. It has its own share of fun moments, romance, jealousy, competition, poverty, failure, innocence and betrayal. I would call it a complete package. And to top it all, it’s just 1 hour 46 mins long or should I say it’s just 1 hour 46 mins short? 😉

Akashdeep (1965)

November 29, 2009

Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha…..this song led me to this movie. Had heard it on radio first, then watched the video on youtube.  I just couldnt take my eyes off Dharmendra. And when I checked the other songs in the movie, I liked them as well.  So I ended up buying the DVD.

Though it’s more of Ashok Kumar movie (the fact that I wasnt aware of till I sat down to watch the movie), I wasnt disappointed. Dharamji makes his entry almost after half way through.

It begins with young Shankar staring at the chimney of a mill. He’s a troubled and disturbed guy. He leaves his brother Madhu at home to study only to find Madhu ordering people at their father’s Tea-stall.

Bipin, their father has taken to drinking. When Mamaji comes home and sees Bipin leaving:

Mamaji : Kahan jaa rahe ho, Bipin?
Wife : Naali mein girne
Bipin : Nahin, sab kuch bhoolne
Mamaji : kya bhoolna chahate ho, Bipin?
Bipin : Woh din jo beet gaye, woh din jo beet rahe hai, woh din jo kabhi nahin aayenge
Mamaji : Bhool sakte ho kya?
Bipin : Nahin, yehi toh musibat hai
Mamaji : Zindagi se bhagna aasan nahin hai
Bipin : Haan, yeh bhi thik hai. par zindagi hai toh maut bhi toh aayegi ek din, phir….phir kya karegi zindagi

Kya shey banayi hai aadmi ne peene ko
dekhne mein pani
paani ke andar aag, aag ke baad chingari, phir raag,
phir ban jaati hai samadhi, jispe koi phool nahin chadhata, koi phool nahin chadhayega

Accha toh main chala shankar ke mamu, abhi kuch paise baanki hai , kahin yeh (pointing towards his wife) phool na khareed laaye mere samadhi pe chadhane

Mamaji, seeing Shankar brooding, tells him that Bipin always wanted to become a poet, but then he had to do something to earn a livlihood and look after the family. That’s when he opened the tea-shop. But he was never happy about it.  He couldnt live his dream and to forget the pain, he drowned himself in liquor every evening.  The title track is played in the background

Bipin, before dying tells Shankar that he had a dream but could never make it come true. After father’s death, Shankar takes up the family responsibility. He works and works very hard. He does all kind of jobs.

One day, Mr. Sinha spots him and asks him what he does.

Shankar : I work
Mr. Sinha : Will you work in my Mill?
Shankar : No
Mr. Sinha : Why? Is the place where you work better than my Mill?
Shankar : No, but I can atleast think of buying the shop where I work, but your Mill….the chimneys are too high

And Shankar actually buys that shop, names it “Shankar Bhandar” and this is followed by a chain of his stores and business : Shankar Hardware House, Shankar and Co. Building Contractors, Shankar Timber Mart, Shankar Trading Corporation and so on. He grows up to be a very rich and successful businessman.

 Mamaji has a very important role, the only person whom Shankar turns to everytime he needs an advice, suggestions. Mamaji is a voice of conscince throughout, tries his best to keep Shankar grounded to his roots.

While Shankar has progressed so much, lives in a grand house, Madhu (Mehmood) still works in the same tea-shop, with Ramu (Kesto Mukherjee) as his helper. Wonder why the name of the  tea-shop is Cha Cha Cha 😛

 Shankar hates poverty and tries to make Madhu the General Manager of one of his firms but Madhu rejects his offer. When Shanker complains to Mamaji about it, Mamaji says may be Madhu is happy owning the tea-shop, and living in their old house.  And happy he is though he lives a very plain and simple life! He’s married to Sheila (Shubha Khote) and has a little daughter too. They keep fighting most of the times but in a very sweet way and must say that they both make a wonderful couple.  And this is not over-the-board comedy with Mehmood, he doesnt look forced into the script. He does it just right. And I love Mehmood in such roles.

 Roma (Nanda), their sister is studying in Shimla. After completing her studies she comes back home. Madhu goes to receive her at the airport. But she disguises herself as a pathan and Madhu doesnt recognize her. He comes back to Shankar’s house to tell him that he could find Roma at the airport when he sees the same pathan again. Pathan tries to bully Madhu and they have a small fight where Madhu tries to defend himself. In this process pathan’s turban falls and Madhu finally recognizes Roma.

Shankar buys the shares of Mr. Sinha’s mill. When he goes to meet Mr. Sinha to his house, he sees Vani (Nimmi) outside and asks if Mr. Sinha is home but Vani doesnt answer him. He asks her a couple of times but she doesnt respond to any of his questions. Furious, he asks if she’s dumb. He finally walks away and is driving out, when Vani comes running, stops him and hands him a note. After reading it he realizes that she’s actually dumb and cant speak (She wanst born dumb, she could speak when she was small, but loses her voice due to some reason. She can however hear everything. She can read and write as well).

He feels really sorry for her. When he meets Mr. Sinha he asks him if he can marry his daughter.  Shankar says that he knows Vani cant speak but he still wants to marry her, Mr. Sinha has no objection. On hearing this conversation Vani is so happy, that she goes to her room and starts singing. I want to point out that unlike other movies, she doesnt actually sing the song. She plays the record on a gramophone and just does lip-synch, smart girl! Dil ka diya jalake gaya

In a very quiet ceremony Shankar and Vani get married. Shankar takes over Mr. Sinha’s mill after his death. But the employees, union, board of directors dont accept him as their owner. As predicted, Tarun (Dharmendra) is the union leader.  Roma, dressed up as a pathan again, meets Tarun on her way to Madhu’s house. Her scooter breaks down and Tarun helps her fix it.

Tarun comes to Shankar’s house to meet him. Roma, when she goes to open the door and finds Tarun standing there, she’s surprised. He finds Roma familiar too but cant figure out where he’s seen her before. But the next time he sees her dressed as a pathan, he points out that he knows a girl who looks like him. Roma falls in love with Tarun and we are treated to another wonderful song here Mile to phir jhuke nahin.

There are lots of problems going on in the mill. The union decides to go on a strike and they need fund. All this discussion goes on in Madhu’s tea-shop and Shankar overhears the conversation.  They do a show (after lot of drama) to raise fund where Mehmood performs and this song is hilarious – Jaa raha hoon main zindagi se.

Back at the mill and board of directors meeting, Mr. Desai, also a board member,  opposes to everything that Shankar says or proposes.  There are lots of clashes.

In the meantime, Roma and Tarun are busy romancing. Finally my initial reason behind watching this movie comes…yes, the song: Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha.

Shankar initially has no problem with Tarun, inspite of him being the union leader.  When he comes to know that Roma is in love with him, he proposes a promotion to Tarun but being the typical egoistic hero, he refuses.  Lots of misunderstandings crop in and Shankar turns totally against Tarun. Roma leaves the house and goes to live with Madhu and Sheila. Vani, who’s expecting, falls down and has a miscarriage. Doctor says that she can never have a child again. Seeing Vani totally depressed, Madhu convinces Sheila to give their daughter to Vani. But Shankar doesnt like it.

The union is almost at war with Shankar. Vani desparately tries to convince Shankar to cool down, shows him the pictures where her father was distributing sweets to the employees in the mill. But Shankar is disappointed that even Vani thinks he’s wrong. She finally leaves the house and goes.

Filomina (Achala Sachdev), who had come to the house with Vani after her marriage decides to leave the house as well

Shankar is all alone.

When Mr. Tiwari (Ramayan Tiwari), Tarun’s father, who’s mentally ill, finds out about Tarun and Roma, he goes to Shankar to talk about their marriage. Shankar is too disturbed with the happenings at the mill to think about it. Tarun bunks work and goes to meet Roma one afternoon and there’s another lovely track – Suniye kya pyaar mein sharmana. During Tarun’s absence, an accident occurs in the mill. In another accident, Shankar gets hurt badly. Nothing seems to be going right.

When Tarun discovers that pathan and Roma are the same person, he feels that she’s been fooling around with him just to pass on the union secrets on to her brother, Shankar.  And they part ways as well. Vani learns that Shankar’s life is in danger and comes back home to stop him from going out. But doesnt find him home. She leaves a note for him and goes to the mill.

I feel really sad for Shankar. Everybody misunderstands him. It’s not that he doesnt like poor people or is dominating. It’s the poverty that he hates.  He has progessed so much, his dream to to take his employees, his family along and move ahead in life but nobody understands him. All his ideas to do so are taken wrongly. For instance, he decides to build houses for all his employees near the mill so that they wont have to travel long, and can come to work inspite of harsh weather. But Desai opposes to this saying he’s trying to take people under his control.  He’s left all alone 😦

After a lot of drama at the climax, the lawyer announces that Shankar has turned the mill into a cooperative soceity, where each employee is an equal shareholder and says :

“Jab tak mehnat karne wala haath aur sapna dekhne wala dimag saath nahin ho jaate, hum mein se koi aaghe nahin badh sakta”

Finally everyone is convinced that Shankar has been doing things for their good all along. He lights an Akashdeep and the movie ends.  And as the saying goes – All’s well that ends well!!!

Akashdeep lights up the sky and shows the way in the dark, similarly Ashok Kumar tries to lead the entire soceity towards a better livelihood, hence the name.

There’s nothing great about the movie (except for the music, of course) it’s still a nice watch. Story sounds extremely predictable and repetitive, but this could have been one of the first movies of it’s kind.  All in all, I enjoyed watching the movie.