Posts Tagged ‘Raj Kapoor’

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!

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 😦

Ten of my Favourite Mukesh Songs

August 29, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Manna Dey Songs

May 1, 2010

I’ve been away from the blogworld for quite sometime now. Lots of other things kept me extremely occupied – I was looking for a change in job, so to start with, I was busy attending interviews. When I got a new job, I resigned from my previous company and was serving notice period for a month, and that just flew away in giving trainings. And now that I have finally joined the new place, I’m trying to get used to the atmosphere here.

So, I hardly had time to watch movies or post something here for the last one month. Now that life has come back to normal again, when the weekend approached I was glad that I could watch movies and get back to blogging again. Thanks to Vividh Bharati that I came to knnow it’s Manna Dey’s birthday today. So here I am with some of my favourite Manna Dey songs.

Born on 1 May 1919, Prabodh Chandra Dey is better known by his nickname, Manna Dey. As he celebrates his 91st birthday today, here’s wishing him a very very happy birthday and a wonderful year ahead!

1. Laaga chunri mein daag (Dil hi toh hai, 1963) :  This is a real masterpiece, one of my all time favourites and one of the most popular Manna Dey songs. Roshan’s music, Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics, Manna Dey’s voice, Priyadarshini’s dance and Raj Kapoor’s screen presence – everything is just so superb. And this song has such a spiritual feel to it.

2. Yeh raat bhegi bheegi (Chori Chori, 1956) : Along with Mukesh, Manna Dey was also Raj Kapoor’s voice in many movies. And this movie is one of my favourite Raj Kapoor films. Raj Kapoor is undoubtedly one of the finest actors we’ve ever had and a great director too, with an amazing sense of music – all his films have such lovely songs. But his movies are usually so socially awakening that they leave me emotionally, morally and socially depressed. So I don’t re-watch many of his movies but this is an exception. It’s such a fun movie and has wonderful songs (Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics and Shankar-Jaikishan’s music) – be it Jahan mein jaati hoon, Aaja sanam or Panchhi banoo udti phiroon.

3.  Gori tori baanki (Aadhi Raat Ke Baad, 1965) : Manna Dey had a very strong classical base and was usually roped in to sing semi-classical songs. And this song, penned by Prem Dhawan and composed by Chitragupta is a semi-classical song set on Western music – a fun number picturised on Aagha where he tries to impress girls with his magic tricks.

4. Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo (Mera naam Joker, 1970)  : One more Manna-Raj duo and Manna Dey won the Filmfare best Playback singer award for this song.  This movie marks the debut of Rishi Kapoor. Raj Kapoor spent so much of his own fortune in making this movie, that when it flopped at the box office, Raj came close to being totally bankrupt. I had watched this film on Doordarshan during my school days but they had to cut it short to fit in the allocated 3 hours. But my dad says that this was almost 5 hours long and when he had watched it in a theater, it had 2 intervals.

5. Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge (Sholay 1975) : IMDB’s tagline for Sholay reads : “The greatest star cast ever assembled…….The greatest story ever told”. I doubt if there’s any Bollywood fan who has not seen this movie but I wont get into the details of the movie, let Raju Shrivastav do that. This Manna Dey-Kishore Kumar duet is one of the most popular songs on dosti – be it any occasion/event…this song is always played/sung.

6. Ek chatur naar karke (Padosan, 1968) :  A musical battle where both Mehmood and Sunil Dutt lip-sync to Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar respectively as they try to win over Saira Banu. The singing by both the artist is sheer madness at its best.

As per wiki –  “Reportedly the song ‘Ek Chatur Naar’ (a duet by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey) was partly improvised by Kishore Kumar at the time of recording and Manna Day, determined to show Kishore Kumar how he would sing the duet better (since Kishore had not been trained classically), got into the mood of the song and immortalized ‘Ek Chatur Naar’. Legend also has it that Manna Dey was upset by the fact that in the picturisation of the song, the singing competition between the two heroes (Dutt and Mehmood) was won by Dutt, for whom the background singing was done by Kishore. Dey didn’t like the fact that a classically trained singer like himself would have to lose, though only on-screen, to an un-trained singer (Kishore). In the song, at a couple of times Mehmood had to say “sur gadbad jee” against Sunil Dutt where Kishore was singing hence Dey refused to say those words so Mehmood gave his own voice for the same.”

But this is what Manna Dey had to say about this song in – “Memories Come Alive: An Autobiography” :
“I was especially cautious when asked to sing for Mehmood in Ek chatur naar with Kishore Kumar. The latter had a unique and unaffected style of singing which tended to eclipse the subtleties of classical music, and place his singing partner, in a duet, at a disadvantage. To be put in the shade by Kishore’s flamboyant style of singing was a distinct possibility and, to counter the risk, I decided to work with Pancham, striving to build on my strengths and find a way of holding my own.”
“On the day we were to record Ek chatur naar, the entire staff at the studio stood outside the glass-door to watch Kishore and me sing. For the two of us, the session had taken on the magnitude of a duel. It took us 12 hours – the recording started at 9 am and ended at 9 pm – to complete it, and I must admit, Kishore was in his element that day. Out of this tough battle to outshine one another, would emerge a new star in the world of music.”

7. Ae meri zohra zabeen (Waqt, 1965) : Another gem of a song – picturised on one of my favourite actors, Balraj Sahni;  sung by one of my favourite singers, Manna Dey and from one of my favourite movies. This is just amazing! 

8. Pyaar hua hai ikraar hua (Shree 420, 1955) : Yet another Raj Kapoor-Manna Dey duo. I think of Raj Kapoor and Nargis and this song is the first thing that comes to my mind. I think of a rain song, I think of this song. I remember reading that this song is one of the top ten romantic songs in Bollywood.

9. Tum bin jeevan kaisa jeevan (Bawarchi, 1972) : There are some songs which I just cant imagine anybody else singing, and this is one of them. Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Rajesh Khanna playing the All-rounder Bawarchi is one of my favourite films too. And this film had a different music altogether, not the usual romantic numbers, as per the prevailing trend.

10.  Jhanak jhanak tori baje payaliya (Mere huzoor, 1968) : Its a great song, great composition and great singing by Manna Dey – simply superb.

And there I go as usual, I was just getting into the flow and I have reached 10 songs already. There are so many other songs of his – Chalat musafir (Teesri Kasam), Jeewan chalne ka naam (Shor), Door hai kinara (Saudagar), Na maangoo sona chandi (Bobby), Kaun aaya mere mann ke dware (Dekh Kabira Roya)…….to name a few.

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?

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? 😉

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!!!