Posts Tagged ‘Meena Kumari’

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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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 bollywoodondemand.com, an online radio station couple of years ago. Back then AIR, Vividh Bharati didn’t have online sites. I accidentally came across bollywoodondemand.com 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!

My Tribute to Raj Kapoor

June 1, 2010

Raj Kapoor, also known as the show-man of the millenium, was a legendary Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi films. As 2nd June marks his death anniversary, this is a small tribute to this great man from my side. May his soul rest in peace!

Raj Kapoor was a canny judge of filmi music and lyrics. Many of the songs he commissioned are evergreen hits.  I had heard somewhere that Raj Kapoor still remains an Institution for Directors, an Inspiration for Music Directors and an Idol for all the actors.

I have mixed feelings about his portrayal of a tramp-like figure in many of his movies, who, despite adversity, was usually cheerful and honest (I adore his character in Anari, but then it gets on to my nerves as well at times coz it’s so out-of-this-world and I find it pretty repetitive too). I love him better in other roles like Chori Chori, Bewafa, Sharda etc.

With all due respect, and like I always keep saying, no matter how much I like and respect Raj Kapoor as an Actor and a film-maker, I avoid re-watching his movies. They hit me too hard emotionally, morally and socially.

But he really had a taste in music. All his movies had fantastic songs. And without getting into further details, let me list some of his songs that I like the most – there are many but these are the first ten that came to my mind :

1. Mera joota hai japani (Shree 420, 1955) : Raj Kapoor produced, directed and acted in this blockbuster. All the songs from this film were big hits  esp. Dil ka haal sune dilwala, Ichak dana beechak dana, Mud mud ke na dekh, Pyar hua ikraar hua, Ramaiya vastavaiya. Raj Kapoor’s display about the corruption in society with the adaptation of mannerism of Charlie Chaplin amused the viewers. And this is one of his signature songs.


2.  Aawara hoon (Awara, 1951) : This movie was based on the theme that human being is a victim of circumstances. It’s not necessary that a barriseter’s son grows up to become a barrister and a theif’s son a theif. I like the Dum bhar jo udhar as well, but this is another signature songs of his.

3. Woh chaand khila woh taare hanse (Anari, 1959) : All the songs in this movie are amazing. Kisi ki muskurahaton pe and Sab kuchh sikha humne are more of typical Raj Kapoor songs, but I somehow like this one better. The way he stands with the flower in his hand, trying to put it on Nutan’s hair, the innocence on his face and dont know what to do next expression. – simply superb!!!Only the opening verse has Raj singing just one line, the rest of the song is Nutan’s but he’s still so dominantly present throughout the song.

4. Ae sanam jisne tujhe (Diwana, 1967) : One of my favourite songs…there’s something very innocently true and cute about this song. The lyrics, music and perfect rendition  go hand in hand so well.

5. Jaane kahan gaye woh din (Mera Naam Joker, 1970) : Though Jeena yahan marna yahan and Aye bhai zara dekh ke chalo were more popular, it’s this song that gives me goose-bumps everytime I listen to it. What a great composition this was! It more or less summarizes the story of the movie. I usually end up with tears in my eyes when this song ends.

6. Aaja sanam madhur chandani mein hum (Chori Chori, 1956) : My all time favourite movie of Raj Kapoor and the only movie of his that I love watching again and again. This was another musical blockbuster – all the songs were superb.

7. Dil matwala lakh sambhala (Bewafa, 1952) : This movie is one of my recent discoveries and I have fallen in love with this love-triangle. I am usually not very fond of movies with tragic endings…I prefer light-hearted, romantic,  timepass movies, but this one’s an exception. Serious as it is, it’s a very beautifully handled story laced with pretty songs – and it feels rather good to hear somebody other than Mukesh and Manna Dey singing for Raj Kapoor. Talat Mehmood was amazing in this one.

8. Sajan re jhooth mat bolo (Teesri Kasam, 1977) : This is a gem of a song from the awesome fivesome – Raj Kapoor, Mukesh, Shailendra, Shankar and Jaikishen. These five have given us so many unforgettable numbers,  this being one of them – with a spiritual touch.

9. Jap re preet ki mala (Sharada, 1957) : This movie had a power-packed performance and I liked most of the songs – O chaand jahan woh jaye (which I had mentioned about in Meena Kumari special post), then this one where Raj Kapoor tries to woo lovely Meena Kumari and there’s one more cute song in this film – Lehraye jiya, picturised on gorgeous Shyama. But guess I’ll keep that for Shyama special post. But storywise, I actually didn’t know how to react to this movie, I have been in a state of shock ever since I have seen this film. Had wanted to do a post on it for Meena Kumari’s death anniversary but couldn’t. Let me see if I can review this film some time soon.

10. Masti bhara hai samaan (Parvarish, 1958) : This is such a care-free romantic duet. I love everything about this song – Raj Kapoor, Mala Sinha, Lata and Manna Dey’s rendition, Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics, Dattaram’s composition and it’s picturisation.

I have this thing for the Kapoor men, no matter how much I try (not that I want to) but I just can’t dislike them. I simply love all of them – right from Prithvi Raj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor!
 
It happens to be Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’s death anniversary today. Thanks to Vividh Bharati and Yunus Khan  for bringing it to my notice. I was tuned into Vividh Bharathi on my way back home and when Awara hoon played on Aaj Ke Funkaar (@ 9:30), I was wondering why they were doing a Raj Kapoor special program today itself. And then Yunus said that this episode was dedicated to a writer, this made me think it was probably dedicated to  Shailendra and then he finally revealed that it was Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, who he was talking about. Though unknowingly, I had already included songs from some of his films (films that he has written) in my list – Awaara, Shri 420, Mera Naam Joker. And I am glad I had done that.
 
 
And it was Prithviraj Kapoor’s death anniversary on 29th May but I couldn’t do a post on him  😦 That’s on my to-do-list for this weekend.
 

Ten of my Favourite Meena Kumari Songs

March 31, 2010

31st March marks the death anniversary of  Mahjabeen Bano aka Meena Kumari aka the Tragedy Queen of Hindi Film Industry, who not only portrayed tragic roles in movies, but led a tragic life in real as well. With very fond memories, here is a list of songs through which she flirts, romances and cries—just, generally, keeps me glued to the screen admiring her but wondering about her fate at the same time.

1. Ajeeb daastaan hai yeh (Dil Apna Preet Parai, 1960) : This must be one of the most popular songs even till this day.  The picture of Meena Kumari singing this lovely number when she realizes that the man she loves is committed to someone else, is forever etched into my memory. And it has gorgeous Nadira in it too 🙂

2. Koi pyaar ki dekhe jaadugari  (Kohinoor, 1960) : A romantic duet filled with excitement, thrill and magic of being in love where she lip-syncs with her Knight in Shining armour after he rescues her from the clutch of wicked Jeevan.

3. O raat ke musafir (Miss Mary, 1957) :  I saw her in a light-hearted role for the first time ever in this movie. For a change she’s showing attitude and not crying her heart out…and I personally feel that she’s enchanting in this avataar. Wish she had done more roles like this.

4. Koi bata de dil hai jahan (Main Chup Rahungi, 1962) : This is such a sweet, innocent and romantic song. As the name of the movie suggests, it’s weepy Meena again, but it had some wonderful songs – Koi bata de, Chaand jaane kahan kho gaya, Ae dil kabhi toh koi aayega. Apart from the story, which gets highly melo-dramatic at one point of time – but thankfully doesn’t get boring because of the child, this movie had such a strikingly good looking couple, amazing performance and like I said before, very melodious songs.

5. Chalte chalte yunhi koi (Pakeezah, 1972) : Though I like Yeh mausam hai aashiquana better, this song finds its place in this list because this is one of Meena’s signature songs. And apart from the songs and Meena’s performance in this movie, there’s one more thing that became very popular with this movie- Aap ke paon dekhe, bahut haseen hai. Inhe zameen par mat utariyega maile ho jayenge

In 1952, on the sets of one of her films, Meena Kumari fell in love with and married film director, Kamal Amrohi. Soon after marriage, Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari produced a film called Daera (1953), which was based on their love story. They also planned another film, Pakeezah. However, it took sixteen years (1956 to 1972) before Pakeezah reached the silver screen. (The scenes in Pakeezah’s popular song, Inhi logon ne, were originally filmed in black and white, and were later reshot in color.)
Initially, after its release in February 1972, Pakeezah opened to a lukewarm response from the public; however, after Meena Kumari’s death less than two months later, people flocked to see it, making it a major box-office success.

6. Na jao saiyaan (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, 1962) : This is another signature song of hers. There’s actually a tie between this and Piya aiso jiya mein. The role of Chhoti Bahu, an alcoholic wife, is one of her best performances ever.

Upperstall wrote about her performance in Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam :

While each of the performances are spot on, if there is one person who is the heart and soul of the film, it is Meena Kumari. Her portrayal of Chhoti Bahu is perhaps the greatest performance ever seen on the Indian Screen. The sequence where Chhoti Bahu dresses for her husband singing Piya Aiso Jiya Main is a poignant exploration of a woman’s expectations and sexual desire. And later on when she has become a desperate alcoholic, you cannot help but cry with her in the sequence where she pleads with her husband to stay with her and then angrily turns on him to tell him how she has prostituted her basic values and morals to please him. However the common factors between the actress’s life and Chhoti Bahu are too dramatic to be merely coincidental – The estranged marital relationship, the taking of alcohol, turning towards younger male company, the craving to be understood and loved – all elements evident in Meena Kumari’s own life

7. Kabhi toh milegi (Aarti, 1962) : Its such a haunting melody! Lovely composition, inspiring lyrics, great voice and Meena’s screen presence – it has such a lingering effect, it just keeps playing in my mind over and over again long after I listen to it.

This song always reminds me of Rahe na rahe hum from Mamta and vice versa…saw somebody else’s comment on youtube stating the same. I’m feeling good to know that I have a company here.

8. O chaand jahan woh jaye (Sharada, 1957) : One of my favourite Lata-Aasha duets picturized on serious Meena and playful Shyama. Love their expressions…I find Shyama more dominating here, her lines and expressions are better. But since this also features Meena, I just needed an excuse to put this song here 🙂

9. Tu ganga ki mauj main jamna ka dhara (Baiju Bawra, 1952) : Though she had done few movies as a child artist followed by some mythological movies, it was this film that gained her fame and established her as an actor.  When I had first seen this song during my school days, I almost couldn’t recognize her, she looked so young!

10. Rang aur noor ki baaraat (Gazal, 1964) : I couldn’t possibly end this post with everything happy and romantic and sweet…I had to include a number that had the sorrow factor and this tops my list! Though the song is in a male voice, Meena remains the primary focus throughout…one look at her – those eyes brimming with tears, all my heart goes out to her.

When Meena Kumari was born her family was going through a financial crisis. She was forced to act in movies at the age of 7 to support the family due to which she lost out on her carefree childhood days. Later in life she fell in love and got married to Kamal Amrohi, but that didn’t last for long and they got divorced which led her into a depression. She craved for love and care all her life and this is very evident in her poetry. She found solace in heavy drinking. Her health began deteriorating and at the age of 40 she died of liver cirrhosis.

May her soul rest in peace!!!!

I just realized that I have 2 songs referring to Chaand (O raat ke musafir, O chaand jahan woh jaaye) in my list already….and the other two with Meena-Chaand combo that come to my mind are : Chaand jaane kahan kho gaya, Ruk jaa raat theher jaa re chanda….any other songs you can think of?

Kohinoor (1960)

December 15, 2009

It being Dilip Kumar’s birthday last week, I decided to watch a movie of his. Though I watched it on Saturday (12th Dec), I didnt have time to put it up here till now.

Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari come together in this hilarious flick directed by S U Sunny- a true fairy-tale. There’s a prince, a princess, a villian and lots of fights. They both look so good throughout. Music by Naushad is very melodious. Dilip Kumar  went on to bag a filmfare ward for Best Actor once again for his role as Rajkumar Dhivendra Pratap Bahadur Chandrabhan.

Maharaj Dhiraj Rana Chandrabhan of Kailash Nagar is long dead and Deevan Veer Singh has been taking care of the kingdom all this while.

On the occasion of Holi, Deevan  addresses the crowd announcing the coronation of Rajkumar Dhivendra Pratap Bahadur Chandrabhan (Dilip Kumar) the following month.

Rajkumar, however, is not present during the announcement and Deewan mentions that he should have been there.  Also says that this is the last time he’s addressing the crowd. From now on, their would-be king would take over.

This is when our crown prince makes his entry carrying his pet mongoose on his shoulder.

On being asked by Deevan he says he was delayed because of his pet and goes on to add that animals are more loyal than humans.

Deewan’s wife, whom Rajkumar calls chachi (Leela Chitnis), is extremely fond of him and has brought him up like her own son, Surinder (on extreme right. I dont know what his real name is).

Everybody is happy about Rajkumar’s coronation and is busy cheering up for him when his mongoose, sets itself free and  runs away creating a havoc (must see the girls creaming and running, it’s very funny).

Chachi wants Rajkumar to get married to Rajkumari Chandramukhi (Meena Kumari) of Rajgarh and has sent her an invitation to come for Rajkumar’s coronation the following month. When Surinder tells Rajkumar about Chandramukhi he desont seem all that interested. But is smitten when he sees a picture of her and says he’s so happy that he actually feels like playing holi.

And there plays holi in Kailash Nagar and Chandramukhi plays in Rajgarh, singing the same song Tan ranglo ji. Her Senapati (Jeevan) likes her but she just cant stand him.

The Maharaja of Rajgarh is pleased about the  proposal from Kailashnagar. But he is ill himself and when Chandramukhi comes to give him his medicine, he tells her about the invitation for Rajkumar’s coronation and also about the proposal.

He shows her a picture of Rajkumar that chachi has sent and asks his daughter to set forth to Kailash Nagar. She falls in love with him almost immediately (and how could she not?).

Senapati says it’s not safe for her to go along and that he would accompany her but she refuses and starts for Kailash Nagar with the rest of the army.

In the meantime, there’s a murder being plotted  in Kailash Nagar. Deewan wants to kill Rajkumar, so that his son, Surinder can sit on the throne. He trains a very poisonous snake to kill him.

Every year artists come from various places to showcase their talents (singing, dancing). Rajlakshmi (Kumkum) is one of them. She comes from a village nearby.

She comes to a gathering headed by  Maharaj (that’s what everybody calls him, I guess he is the music guru)  to show her performance.

Rajlakshmi has come here to dance, so Maharaj tells the musicians present there to play music but they refuse saying they wont play for someone so young (as though it’s a disgrace).

Rajkumar comes forwards saying he would play as well as sing for her. Though reluctant at first, she agrees to dance to his tune after he challenges her. And finally we come to Madhuban mein radhika naache re . When Rajkumar is busy singing, Deewan’s people come and leave the snake there but before it can do anything, Rajkumar’s pet mongoose comes and kills the snake.

Chachi and Surinder are shocked to know that someone wants to kill Rajkumar and they ask him to be extra careful. Same night, Rajkumar is attacked again while he’s sleeping.

But he fights and they run away. He knows Deewan’s behind all these attacks. So he goes and confronts him. Deewan vehemently denies the accusations against him. And while he keeps Rajkumar occupied in a conversation, he signals his people to attack him again. Luckily Rajkumar sees them in the mirror and fights back. He finally tells Deewan that he’s leaving the kingdom and going. In his own words “Agar bhagwan ke ghar mein nyaya hai toh kisi din aap yehi taaj mere sar pe dekhenge” (if there’s  justice, then you’ll see this crown on me someday)

Deewan’s still not happy. He wants Rajkumar dead at any cost. So he sends his people  to kill Rajkumar and bring his deadbody back.  So they follow him. When they witness him falling off a cliff, they take it for granted he is dead and his deadbody cant be found. Thus, they return back to the palace.

Rajkumar manages to pull himself back and goes in search of a place to stay overnight. He finally finds a place and asks if he can spend the night there but is refused, reason being Rajkumari Chandramukhi, who’s  is halting there on her way to Kailash Nagar.

Knowing that Chandramukhi is there, he cant bring himself to leave the place without meeting her.

Next three screencaps will tell you all what he does next :

Yup, he chops Tuntun’s hair, makes a beard out of it and goes to Chandramukhi disguised as a Sadhu Maharaj!!! When Tuntun appears, terrified about losing her hair, Sadhu Maharaj says she must have committed some sin and that’s what she’s being punished for.  Not just that, he gives her the silliest remedy ever :

Sadhu Maharaj : Jao 6 mahine tak apne bache-khuse baalon mein kale ghode ki doom baandh ke rakho (Go and  tie a black horse’s tail to your hair for 6 months)

Chandramukhi : Safed ghode ki dum nahin chalegi, Maharaj? (Wont white horse’s tail do?)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Sadhu Maharaj : Nahin Rajkumari. Kale ghode ki dum mein jo kartavya hai woh safed ghode ki doom mein avashya nahin hai (whatever that’s supposed to mean!!! I cant even think of translating it ;-))

Anyways, he tells Chandramukhi that if she goes to a place that he tells her at a particular time, she’ll get to meet Rajkumar Dhivendra.

Excited about meeting her prince charming, she goes and they sing Do sitaron ka zameen par (it’s more of a hide-and-seek song, he tries to hide, conceal himself behind trees and bushes while she goes searching for him).

When they finally face each other at the end of the song (oh check the curls on her forehead), she goes running to her room and stands infront of a mirror (wonder if she was checking how she looked?)

But, alas, she hardly gets few seconds to admire herself, she’s abducted by her Senapati’s men. Hearing her scream Rajkumar follows them and manages to rescue her safe and sound singing Koi pyaar ki dekhe jaadugari.  This entires sequence of abduction, following and rescue is totally crazy and hilarious.

They are totally lost in each other when Senapati’s people attack them again.  They lock Rajkumar in a hut and set it on fire first, then take Chandramukhi and go.

His horse however saves him. Rajlakshmi finds him on the horseback, injured and unconscious. She nurses him back to good health and falls in love with him during the process 🙂

They both perform to Jaadugar qatil after he recovers.

He learns that Rajkumari Chandramukhi is held captive by Senapati in a fort. So he sets forth to set her free.

When Chandramukhi tries to kill herself,  Senapati decides to call people to sing and dance in order to entertain her. And our Sangeetkar Maharaj Kohinoor (Rajkumar Dhivendra in disguise, check out his beard) makes his entry into the fort singing Zara man ki kewadiya khol

After the initial qualms, finally when Chandramukhi recognizes him, she listens to him and follows his instructions. And when she sings Dil mein baji pyar ki shehnaiyan, Senapati beleives that Chandramukhi is slowly falling in love with him.

Check out her curls again!!! (no no I’m not obsessed with her curls, at least not yet 😉 ). To convince Senapati that Chandramukhi has totally forgotten Rajkumar, they sing a duet Chalenge teer jab dil par. But during all this drama, Sangeetkar Maharaj Kohinoor’s real identity is revealed and he’s is captured.

Held in chains, he’s blinded by a vengeful Rajlaxmi.

Chandramukhi, prisoned herself, sings Yeh kya zindagi hai . She’s left with no choice, either marry Senapati or witness the death of her blind Rajkumar.

What will she do? Will she marry Senapati to save Rajkumar’s life? And will Senapati leave him alive either ways? What are Rajlakshmi’s true intentions? And what happens to Kailash Nagar? Was it only Deevan plotting Rajkumar’s murder or was the entire family into it?

If for nothing else, at least for eye candy (both Dilip and Meena look amazing), the film’s worth watching! And trust me Dilip is at his mischievious best! First half is extremely entertaining. Second half is full of drama and sacrifices and a death. But it’s still fun and a must-watch.

Oops, I almost forgot this scene where Dilip becomes Jeevan’s mirror image – it’s a total laughter riot!

Ten of my Favourite Dilip Kumar Songs

December 11, 2009

As Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) turns 87 today, here’s wishing him a great day, lots of happiness and good health! 🙂

Dilip Kumar is considered to be one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema. Starting his career in 1944, he has starred in some of the biggest commercially successful films from the late 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1980s. His performances have been regarded as the epitome of emoting in Indian Cinema. He was the first actor to receive a  Filmfare Best Actor Award and holds the record for most number of Filmfare Awards won for that category (8 filmfare awards for Best Actor and 19 Nominations , now isnt that something???) !!!

He has done a wide vareity of roles  (be it romantic, comic, social, negative, historic) and is better known as the Tragedy King of Indian Cinema.

1. Ude jab jab zulfen teri (Naya Daur, 1957) : This was one of the biggest hits of the year and it grabbed 3 filmfare awards : Best Actor (Dilip Kumar), Best Music Director (O.P Nayyar) and Best Story (Akhtar Mirza). One of the most successful films of B.R Chopra, this movie was set in post-independence India where Industrialization is slowly creeps in and the impact it brings when the son of a rich landlord (Jeevan) begins operating a bus service in the town of Tangawallahs, who earn their livlihood transporting people from one place to another by Tangas(horse – carts). 

I had seen this movie long long ago (around 12 years back) but I still remember quite a lot of it. To start with, it’s music. It has some great songs, be it Ude jab jab zulfen teri , O.P Nayyar’s signature song – Maang ke saath tumhara, Yeh desh hai veer jawaanon ka, Saathi haath badhana  or Reshmi Salwar Kurta Jali Ka.  Then the starcast – Dilip and Vaijanthi  made a great pair (though originally Madhubala was signed to do the role of Rajni), Ajit, Jeevan, Leela Chitnis all were wonderful in this film.

2.  Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen ( Madhumati, 1958) : Directed by Bimal Roy, this movie was one of the earliest movies that dealt with the concept of reincarnation. Though Dilip sahab didnt bag an award, the movie went on to win 8 filmfare awards – Best Movie, Best Actress (Vaijanthimala), Best Director (Bimal Roy), Best Music Director ( Salil Chowdhary), Best Supporting Actor (Jhonny Walker ), Best Art Direction (Sudhendu Roy), Best Payback Singer (Lata Mangeshkar) and Best Editing (Hrishikesh Mukherjee). This movie was a musical delight.

3. Do sitaron ka zameen par hai milan (Kohinoor, 1960) :  The Tragedy King and the Tragedy Queen of Bollywood come together in this light-hearted fairy-tale movie. They both look so good in this song and it really feels great to see both of them smiling throughout. Music by Naushad is very melodious and along with this,  Madhuban mein radhika nache re   was very popular. Dilip Kumar  went on to bag a filmfare ward for Best Actor once again for his role as Rajkumar Dhivendra Pratap Bahadur Chandrabhan.

4. Tu kahe agar (Andaz, 1949) : Three reigning stars of the era in the same movie caught in a love triangle!!! I dont remember the details, but had really enjoyed watching it. Dilip Sahab in a grey shade (wont say negative) – heroes those days were expected to sacrifice their love for their beloved’s happiness. But he pursues Nargis in this movie even after he learns that she’s engaged to Raj Kapoor.

5.  Nain lad jaye hain  (Ganga Jamuna, 1961) :  Produced by Dilip Kumar himself, the film stars real life brothers Dilip Kumar and Nasir Khan as two brothers on opposing sides of the law – where Dilip Kumar plays a leader of a dreaded band of killer bandits and Nasir Khan, a Police officer (story sounds familiar???).  The music of this film is by Naushad and the lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. It’s a beautiful composition. All the songs (Dagabaz Tori Batiyan, Dhoondho Dhoondhore Sajna, Do Hanson Ka Joda, Insaf Ki Dagar Pe, Jhanan Ghoonghar Baje) from this movie are really nice and they were big hits too.

6. Insaaf ka mandir hai ye (Amar, 1954) : I have always loved this song. Though it’s not my usual romantic, fun-filled type, it’s a great composition, beautifully rendered and brilliantly portrayed.  I just came across a comment on youtube, a fact that never struck me as such but is really amazing :

“Given the essentially Hindu ethos of the song, when you consider the fact that ALL the key people involved in the song (Writer – Shakeel Badayuni, Music Director – Naushad, and both the actors) were muslims, you have to bow your head to this demonstration of true secularism.”

7. Pyaar kiya toh darna kya (Mughal-E-Azam, 1960) : Though this movie doesnt need an  introduction, here are few facts (courtesy : wikipedia) :
It’s an Indian epic film produced and directed by K. Asif. With its lavish production, K. Asif’s magnum opus took nine years and Rs 10.5 million to finish. The film broke box office records in India when released and held the record for the highest grossing film ever until the 1975 film Sholay broke its record.


This was (counting Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas) the most expensive film ever made in Indian history. Tailors were brought from Delhi to stitch the costumes, specialists from Surat-Khambayat were employed for the embroidery, Hyderabad goldsmiths made the jewellery, Kolhapur craftsmen designed the crowns, Rajasthan ironsmiths crafted the weapons, and the elaborate footwear was ordered from Agra. For the battle sequence, 2000 camels, 4000 horses and 8000 troops were used, many of them soldiers on loan from the Indian Army. Altogether the film cost Rs. 1.5 crores (38.29 crores in present terms).


It’s not just the movie that created a history, the song “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kiya” has an unusual history to it:  it was written and re-written 105 times by the lyricist, Shakeel Badayuni, before the music director, Naushad, could approve of it; it was shot in the renowned Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors); and in those days of sound recording, editing and mixing, as there was no way to provide the reverberation of sound, Naushad had Lata Mangeshkar sing the song in a studio bathroom.

8. Saala main toh saab ban gaya (Sagina, 1974) : Not one of my best songs, but this song definitely pops up in my head when I think of Dilip Kumar.

9. Tere husn ki kya tareef karun (Leader, 1964) : An award winning performance by Dilip Kumar, yet again!!! This movie has some very romantic numbers : Aajkal Shauq-E-Deedar Hai, Ek Shahenshah Ne Banvake, Hameen Se Mohabbat

I was really confused as to which song to actually put in the list because I like all the songs in this movie. But then felt, as long as I mention them, it doesnt matter 😀

10.  Imli ka boota (Saudagar, 1991) : One of his later successes, this movie brought back Dilip Kumar and Raj Kumar together after almost three decades (they last appeared together in Paigham in 1959).  It’s a very cute song and feels so good to see both of them so happy and cheerful singing “imli ka boota beri ka ped, imli khatti meethi ber” at this age. And their chemistry is rocking!!!

As a youth, Manoj Kumar admired Bollywood superstar Dilip Kumar so much that he decided to name himself Manoj Kumar after Dilip’s character in Shabnam (1949). Though it sounds little wierd (no offense meant), I wonder if anybody else has gone to the extent of changing his(her) name and making a mark in the same industry as Manoj Kumar did. If we look at it in one way, I think it’s the biggest tribute one actor could pay to another actor.

He’s definitely a great combination of good looks and great performance. An actor who everyone looks up to. Happy Birthday Dilip Sahab!!!