Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966)

Poor Biswajeet must have gotten thoroughly sick of romancing spooky women in the ‘60s. True, in this one, the spookiness is rather more pronounced (Waheeda Rehman was pretty sunny and un-mysterious in Bees Saal Baad; everything else seemed steeped in mystery). But there is the inexplicability of everything around, dozens of very loud and pointed hints of someone haunting an area, and a song that’s sung again and again like a broken record.

This never-to-return night [thank goodness for that] begins in daylight at an archaeological site. A renowned archaeologist, Professor Sahib (Prithivraj Kapoor) is supervising the digging up of an ancient city. With him is his assistant Rakesh (Sailesh Kumar).
Professor Sahib’s daughter Rita (Mumtaz) drops by to remind her forgetful father that the two of them are supposed to receive Suraj at the railway station. Professor Sahib begs to be excused, and a huffy Rita leaves him to his beloved ruins and goes to the station on her own.


Suraj (Biswajeet), we learn, is the son of Professor Sahib’s old, long-deceased friend. Suraj has been living abroad for the past ten years, and has now returned to claim his substantial inheritance.


Having come home, he decides he must go meet Professor Sahib immediately, so he and Rita set out. Along the way, Suraj insists on stopping the car at an old haveli he used to frequent as a boy. He points out the old door, on which he’s scratched his name [I blame Hindi films for this fascination with defacing monuments. Shameful]. It’s an odd sort of mansion, with a bell hanging in a circular ‘porthole’, rather like a church or monastery.

They continue, and neither of them notices a very odd figure emerge [it looks like someone wearing a short, badly tailored habit on top of a full set of clothes—which reinforces the monastery impression]. This weird person comes out of the haveli and watches Suraj and Rita drive off.


Rita takes him to the ruins, where Professor Sahib and his protégé are reunited. Professor Sahib gets to deliver a brief [and rather cheesy] homily on the importance of ruins and archaeology.


Professor Sahib goes back to his work. Rita and Suraj are headed out of the ruins, when Rita remembers something and turns back. While he’s on his own, Suraj suddenly hears the jingling of ankle bells. Curious, he explores a bit, but to no avail. Little does he know that he’s been watched by a mysterious woman.


Suraj settles in at his old family home. He’s an artist and spends much of his time painting and trying to fend off the determined attentions of Rita, who is apparently pretty much in love with him. Suraj is willing to be friends (after all, they were friends in childhood, as she points out), but that’s it. He’d rather she and her friends don’t try to drag him into their picnics.


Little does Suraj know that his father and Professor Sahib, in time-honoured tradition of best friends in Hindi cinema, had arbitrarily decided that Rita and Suraj are now betrothed. [Nobody has even had the courtesy to let Suraj know all this while].

Meanwhile, Professor Sahib, Rakesh and their team have made a momentous discovery: an underground hall that’s gorgeously carved all around, and is decorated with statues. It’s quite splendid, but one of their first finds in this hall is rather creepy, and totally spooks out Professor Sahib’s helper.


It’s a skeleton, possibly of a woman, since there’s a rather distinctive bracelet on one wrist. Beside the skeleton is also a dagger, which (along with the bracelet), Professor Sahib places in his pocket. A stiff breeze, tunnelling through the stairwell, blows the skeleton into dust [I don’t know how a breeze stiff enough to do that barely ruffles the hair on Professor Sahib’s head].


Also in the hall, Professor Sahib and Rakesh find an ornate statue of a woman dressed in flowing garments and wearing the same bracelet that Professor Sahib had found on the skeleton. Professor Sahib comes to the conclusion that this is, therefore, the statue of the same woman who’d been a skeleton until that breeze came along.


That evening, Suraj is driving down a jungle road in his car, with Rita alongside. The car splutters to a halt [Woh Kaun Thi?, anyone?], and Suraj, doing a quick check, finds that the radiator’s heated up. He’s setting out to fetch some water from a stream when he hears a woman giggle [rather maniacally, in my opinion]. The song comes on, with much mist swirling about and—after much pursuing on the part of Suraj—an inevitable meeting with the mysterious singer (Sharmila Tagore).


She’s rather overdressed for a jungle waterfall, but Suraj, besides asking if she’s not scared, doesn’t probe much. The girl, after all, is pretty daunting: she has a weird look about the eyes, and makes odd allusions to not having forgotten him, Suraj (she even calls him by that name) all these many centuries. What the—?


She then tells him her name: Kiran. [Phut go Rita’s chances of ever marrying Suraj. Suraj (‘sun’) and Kiran (‘ray of light’) go together, in Hindi films. Always. Like Neela (‘blue’) and Akash (‘sky’)]. Suraj is spooked, all right, and goes back to the car, where Rita is getting very impatient. Suraj asks her if she’d heard the giggling and the singing, but Rita says no, and is puzzled. Is Suraj quite all right?

Next, the scene shifts to an exhibition of Suraj’s paintings. [‘The one and only master of modern art’. Hmm.]


Among the crowds milling about admiring Suraj’s work, Suraj finds Kiran. She’s dressed in a more modern style on this occasion, but is as mystifying as ever. When (on being asked if this is all his corpus of art), Suraj tell her that yes, these are all the paintings he’s ever made, she contradicts him. There is one unfinished painting that is missing, she says. You were making a painting of me, and you never completed it. [Another ‘What the—?’ moment].


Having dropped that bombshell, Kiran goes off, in a horse-drawn carriage [where on earth did she get that?]. Suraj follows in his car, trying to catch up. They race through the countryside, through a tunnel—and when Suraj drives out of the tunnel, all he sees is empty road ahead. For as far as the eye can see, there’s no carriage.


Even a labourer, breaking stones by the side of the road, denies having seen any carriage emerge from the tunnel. Suraj goes back into the tunnel, but it’s dark and gloomy—and empty.

We now have a quick break from all this What the—?’ness, with a nice little party, and a nice little song and dance by Helen and Madhumati.


…punctuated, for Suraj, by the song, all over again. He goes out, onto the bank of the lake outside, and sees Kiran being rowed along. He tries to follow on the bank, and reaches the boat only when the boatman’s mooring it to the shore. Kiran is gone.
Suraj asks the boatman (B M Vyas) where that girl is. The man [who’s just as spooky as Kiran] cackles madly and tells Suraj that Kiran is his daughter, and that they live in the old haveli—the same monastery-like place Suraj is already familiar with.


So Suraj, who’s hosting a party at his home the next day, goes to the haveli to invite Kiran. He is received by the badly-dressed monk [or whatever; he remains in the shadows and does not show his face]. Not only is the ‘monk’ badly dressed, he’s also badly behaved. Suraj gives him the message—the party invite for Kiran—and is subsequently told to get lost.


Meanwhile, Professor Sahib and Rakesh have been doing some research. They’ve discovered that the statue in the underground hall is that of a woman named Kiranmayi [does that ring any bells?]. Just about now, Rita dampens her daddy’s joy a bit by telling him about Suraj’s perfidy—that he’s going gaga about a strange woman, whom he’s probably invited to the upcoming party as well.


And, sure enough, Kiran turns up at the party. One look at her, and Professor Sahib is stunned. This woman’s dressed exactly like the statue of Kiranmayi in the excavated hall. Down to the bracelet on her wrist! [Spookiness goes through the roof].


Professor Sahib rushes to his office and opens his desk drawer, to find the ancient bracelet missing. And, when he hurries to the site and goes down into the hall—he finds Kiranmayi’s statue missing.

What is happening? Who is this mysterious Kiran who talks of a long, long association with Suraj (two thousand years, she tells him, in one conversation)? And what’s with the mysterious monk in the haveli? Is the boatman really Kiran’s father?
And why do so many people in this film look like they’re not enjoying themselves?


What I liked about this film:

O P Nayyar’s music. My favourite song by far is the exquisite Yehi woh jagah hai, sung by Asha—my mum used to sing it to me as a lullaby when I was a baby, so it’s been a favourite ever since my brain began to register music. The song (Kiran’s signature song), Har tukda mere dil ka, is lovely, as is Aapse maine meri jaan mohabbat ki hai.

The prettiness. Sharmila Tagore is lovely, of course, and Mumtaz, while not yet as totally fabulous as she was in Aadmi aur Insaan, is very pretty too. So is Biswajeet, actually.


What I didn’t like:

The unravelling of the plot. [Literally—it unravels and goes all to bits by the second half]. Hindi cinema (in the 60s, especially) used this particular story in different forms several times, and mostly with a fair bit of success. Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi would probably have succeeded as well, if it had been plotted with a little more of an eye for detail. After all, it does have excellent music, very popular leads, and good cinematography (courtesy the much-respected Keki Mistry).

Where it falls down is on the story. The first half of the film—when Suraj meets the mysterious Kiran for the first time, and we see the first hints of her seeming ‘ancient’ past and unfulfilled love story—are intriguing enough. Unfortunately, the scriptwriter seems to get carried away and fills up the story with lots of unnecessary spookiness that is eventually discovered to be either:

(a) actually inexplicable (for example, Suraj’s car heating up just near the very stream where Kiran is sitting and singing), or
(b) totally unnecessary to the plot (for example, the monastery-haveli and the weird monk-like character, who could as well have been dressed in a lungi, for all he contributed)

There are also some scenes that do not involve Suraj but are a ‘behind the scenes’ peek (so to say) and end up contradicting the plot, as it’s finally revealed. And, besides the minor plot holes, there’s one pretty major hole that the writer seems to have completely overlooked.

Anyway. This isn’t a Bees Saal Baad or a Woh Kaun Thi?, but if you’re in the mood for spectral heroines wandering around in gauzy white and singing songs of longing for old lovers, you might want to give Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi a try. Don’t use your brain too much, though.

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83 thoughts on “Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966)

  1. With such a beautiful review, I would watch it even if it is a bad movie. Huzure wala jo hogi ijazat I liked though I am not a great fan of OPN-Asha combo..

    • It’s not exactly a bad movie – it’s entertaining enough if one doesn’t pay too much attention to every bit – but the music is good enough to redeem it. And I usually like the OPN-Asha combo (Aaiye meherbaan, Yeh hai reshmi zulfon ka andhera, Maangke saath tumhaara and Jaaiye aap kahaan jaayenge are among my favourites)… so that would anyway have been sufficient to make me watch this film.

  2. I liked this film YRPNA quite a bit..In fact much better than WOH Kaun this which had lots of big plot holes and the famouus Kohra was a damp squib with the spcial effects of ‘bhoot haveli ‘ never explained clearly.
    Here it was quite tidy and satisfactory, the end was a surprise, I had not seen coming..So I liked it-that bit.
    Thanks a lot for a detailed review and good screenshots.

    • It’s been too long since I watched Kohraa to remember the details of it, but I think when it comes to plot holes, Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi and Woh Kaun Thi? are approximately on par with each other.

      Spoiler follows:

      For example, in this film, there’s the fact that ‘Kiran’ (dressed in that elaborate ‘ancient’ costume, jewellery and all) is shown looking surreptitiously at Suraj when he comes to the site for the first time. But this is before the underground hall is unearthed and the skeleton + statue discovered. I can understand that the crooks used the hall and its contents to weave a spooky story to lure Suraj, but how could they have foreseen the discovery of the hall?

      Spoiler ends

      Anyway, to each his/her own!

  3. I wanted to watch this movie sometime back, but couldn’t seem to find a source from where I could either buy or watch it. Thanks for posting this and felt wonderful going through the review.

    Reminds me of Woh Kaun Thi (1964) which also had some unexplained parts. For ex: Why did the doctor’s car wipers start all of a sudden at the beginning? And why did it stop?

    Manoj Kumar had mentioned in an interview that he did pick this up with the director, Raj Kosla, after the shooting was over. But Raj chose to keep those questions unanswered maybe just to retain that mystery element.

    The loophole you mention seems to be an oversight on the author’s part. Don’t know for sure since I have never watched this movie.

    • That bit about the car’s windshield wipers stopping/starting in Woh Kaun Thi? was what struck me as very similar to the radiator heating up at just the right spot in this film. I do wish Raj Khosla had listened to Manoj Kumar and done something about that – because in a suspense story that is really all created by human elements (not supernatural, as in Madhumati) plot holes like that can make the audience think you left out something pretty obvious.

      The DVD and VCD of this film are available on induna, if you’re interested:

      http://www.induna.com/1000005251-productdetails/

  4. “Poor Biswajeet must have gotten thoroughly sick of romancing spooky women in the ‘60s.”
    No wonder he took to drag! :-D

    “a song that’s sung again and again like a broken record”
    Ghosts do have the reputation of being repetitive, don’t they? That is why they became ghosts in the first place I think!

    “and a huffy Rita leaves him to his beloved ruins and goes to the station on her own.”
    Why in a huff? Won’t the old man have been a kabab me haddi?

    “[I blame Hindi films for this fascination with defacing monuments. Shameful].”
    I would so love to agree with you. But the traditions started very early. Supposedly, even the Romans wrote things like ‘Antonius was here’ on Greek monuments/ruins. Romans or Indians defacing monuments or trees for that matter is shameful.

    “This weird person comes out of the haveli and watches Suraj and Rita drive off.”
    What suspense, no? ;-)

    “Professor Sahib gets to deliver a brief [and rather cheesy] homily on the importance of ruins and archaeology.”
    Something as serious as this in a cheesy form? Shame on you, Prithvi!

    “[Nobody has even had the courtesy to let Suraj know all this while].”
    He might be just pretending not to know or is he suffering from amnesia. (main kahan hoon?)

    “which (along with the bracelet), Professor Sahib places in his pocket.”
    Such a sensational find and he pockets the things? Not a good archaeologist, our Professorsaab, eh? Tch, tch, tchhh…!

    “Professor Sahib comes to the conclusion that this is, therefore, the statue of the same woman who’d been a skeleton until that breeze came along.”
    Lucky archaeologists are not always the cleverest ones.

    “She’s rather overdressed for a jungle waterfall”
    …and scantily at that! While Suraj and everybody else wander along in jackets and sweaters. This poor thing is wearing shoulder-less choli and baring her midriff. The jewels won’t be protecting her much from the cold, would they? If I were her I would have protested and lodged a complaint at the filmi female ghosts trade union.

    “goes back to the car, where Rita is getting very impatient.”
    He left her alone in the car in the middle of the night? while he goes around stalking singing women? Not a very chivalrous thing to do! Tch, tch, tchhh…!

    “‘The one and only master of modern art’. Hmm.”
    Look at the paintings, yaar! They definitely have a different definition for modern art.

    “[where on earth did she get that?]”
    Never heard of Cinderella? This is her Indian sister and Indian fairy mothers are more generous and allow the pumpkin to remain a horse carriage for more than a night.

    “the party invite for Kiran—and is subsequently told to get lost.”
    I also would be in a bad mood, if I don’t get the invitation to a party.

    “Don’t use your brain too much, though.”
    Hindi fillim aur bheja?

    Laughed a lot! Thank you Madhu for this hilarious review!

    • Thank you, Harvey! Your comments on my notes about the film are always hilarious! :-D Glad you liked this review.

      Why in a huff? Won’t the old man have been a kabab me haddi?” – Yes, I guess she hadn’t thought that far ahead. I suppose at this stage she was just hoping Daddy could do the driving!

      Oh, and Prithviraj Kapoor is wasted in this film. From his dialogues and the way he reacts, you’d think he was a superstitious old villager, not an archaeologist who’d believe in a bhoot come back to haunt the area after 2000 years. Mr Kapoor, to be fair, really didn’t look as if he relished the role.

      Look at the paintings, yaar! They definitely have a different definition for modern art.” – And you haven’t even seen most of the paintings yet! They range from cubist to what looks like ‘Company school’, to something that’s pretty much like Sobha Singh’s work. Definitely not work by a single artist, unless he/she has no signature style at all. (Incidentally, one of the paintings has a large signature in one corner – a signature which didn’t look like ‘Suraj’ from any angle.

      I love your comment about Cinderella’s coach! :-D Well said.

    • By the way, re: the Romans leaving graffiti on monuments. Yes, I remember having read about that somewhere. My sister was also telling me that she’s seen medieval graffiti in a tomb not far from Humayun’s Tomb here in Delhi. It seems it’s human nature to try and leave a lasting mark wherever one visits! :-(

      • Loved your review! Also loved the idea of a filmi female ghosts union, and the Indian Cinderella with the coach! The icing on the cake – an archaeologist who slips artifacts into his pockets! Must watch this movie if I ever get the chance!

        • Yes, can you imagine an archaeologist who slips things into his pocket? I wonder what sort of archaeologist Professor Sahib was supposed to be – a freelancer (freebooter, more like it)? There certainly didn’t seem to be any sign of the ASI around. And this was a big site.

  5. With my love for ‘ghostly’ movies and lovely songs (and despite Biswajeet), I have been wanting to watch this movie for a long, long time – and now I’m torn! :)

    I thoroughly enjoyed your review, Madhu, and am only thankful that I had already finished drinking my coffee before reading it – or I would have been shy a keyboard. I laughed so much at:
    This never-to-return night [thank goodness for that]

    As for your rhetorical questions, I see Harvey has already done his bit to answer them (and thank you for adding to my laughter, Harvey!). My two cents:

    [Nobody has even had the courtesy to let Suraj know all this while].
    Of course not! *Shocked* How could you not know, Madhu, that the bride and groom are not very important in the larger scheme of things? Bapuji‘s word is law.

    She’s rather overdressed for a jungle waterfall,
    Of course! She has to compete with Biswajeet, right? Even you found him pretty!

    [I don’t know how a breeze stiff enough to do that barely ruffles the hair on Professor Sahib’s head].

    Industrial strength hair gel, Madhu. The same stuff that keeps Sharmila’s bouffant from toppling over despite mists, breezes and horse carriage drives.

    And why do so many people in this film look like they’re not enjoying themselves?

    Hey, cone on, give them a break – Prithviraj Kapoor has just had a skeleton play out the ‘dust unto dust’ dictum in front of his eyes; a valuable bracelet and an equally valuable statue disappear – how is he going to answer the authorities?

    And Biswajeet – he’s probably pouting because while he is so much prettier than both his heroines, they are the ones who get to sing all the lovely songs. Wouldn’t you pout too? :)

    I think I shall watch this movie if I can get my hands on it; though I’ll probably end up giggling at all the wrong places because I’ll remember your one-liners. :)

    • Anu, between you and Harvey, the two of you are certainly going to perk up the comments sections of my reviews a lot! This page is already looking a whole lot more amusing than Biswajeet gritting his teeth could ever be. ;-)

      Bapuji‘s word is law.” And – a very minor spoiler coming up – guess how Suraj comes to know of Bapuji’s word? As one would expect, he ends up thoroughly confused, and it is at this time that the faithful servitor (played by Asit Sen) comes with a letter to say that “Your father had left this for you when he was dying, and had told me to give to you when you were in dire straits and needed guidance”. The letter only tells him how much Bapuji loves Suraj, and how (out of love for Suraj) he has promised Professor Sahib that Suraj and Rita will get married when he returns. How this is going to solve Suraj’s problems in the future is anybody’s guess.

      I like the idea of “Industrial strength hair gel“! :-D You’re right, Sharmila also seems to have used a good bit of it – the only time her hairdo unravels a bit is when she’s caught in a thunderstorm. Perhaps her hair needed better waterproofing.

      But, whatever I may say: it’s an entertaining film, holes and all. Induna do have it in their catalogue, so if you’d like to lay your hands on it, try there.

      • Arre baba that is understandable!
        His father thought ki mere bete ko to koi ladki milnewali hai nahin. so that will surely depress him. And when he reads that he is engaged to Mumu, that he will leap with joy.

        And when does he sing this:

        • His father thought ki mere bete ko to koi ladki milnewali hai nahin.

          *In awe* Harvey, that’s sheer genius! That’s exactly what must have been going through Biswajeet’s baap‘s head! But Mumu? Surely Mumu would have had a paltan of suitors beating a line to her door?

          • Surely Mumu would have had a paltan of suitors beating a line to her door?

            Maybe that’s why Biswajeet’s bapuji was so ecstatic that he’d managed to snag her for his beta. Must’ve thought that that triumph would be enough to wipe out any other worries the beta might be facing at any point in the future. ;-)

        • But can you imagine what effect that dumb letter will have on a beta whose cause for anxiety is not at all about getting married? If I’d been in Suraj’s place at that time when the servant gave me the letter, I’d have been tempted to tear up the letter and shove it in the stove.

          • Madhu, my instinct would have been to not only shove the letter in the stove, but also the servant, and if I could, dig up bapu and shove him back into the (readymade) chitha too! Uff! These filmi parents!

            • Hehehe! Love that, Anu. :-) I’d thought of writing “tear up the letter and shove it down the servant’s throat” when I first wrote that, then decided the poor servant wasn’t to blame. But yes, deep down, I would certainly want to shove the servant (and the dug-up bapu – if a stiff wind hadn’t already turned him to dust!) – into the stove.

            • Apart from music and possibly cinematography [ becuse it is by Keki Mistry], the only good things about this movie is this review by Dustedoff and the leively comments thereto.
              In fact, very few mf Hindi Film Industry have been able to do full justice to the genre, because of several commercail [manadatory] elements that have to be accomodated.
              Biren Nag also could not repeat his masrely performance of Bees Saal Baad in Kohraa, Raaj Khosla’s attempts to infuse element of mystery in the tale of two sisters [ Mera Saaya and Anita] could not match the quality of ‘mystery genre’ of Woh Kaun Thi.
              Music, in each of such movie was always great, but not able to save the movie commercailly or critically, always.

              • In fact, very few mf Hindi Film Industry have been able to do full justice to the genre

                I agree, to some extent, that the suspense genre in Hindi cinema is very different, and not as effectively handled as in, say, the works of Hitchcock (an unfair comparison, though). But I think somehow that the better Hindi suspense films – like CID, Bees Saal Baad, Woh Kaun Thi?, Shikar and even Mera Saaya (which I do like) have their own charm, despite combining suspense with typically Hindi film elements like comic side plots and songs.

  6. Thank you madhu for the hilarious review of YRPNYG.The songs are very good. How ever Bees Saal baad,Madu mati,wou koan thee, and even kohara, are better movies .

    • Thank you, Epstein! Glad you liked the review. I agree about Bees Saal Baad and Woh Kaun Thi? being better, though since it’s been too long since I watched Kohraa, I won’t comment upon that. I need to watch it again. And, as for Madhumati, I tend to think of it as a different sort of film – actually supernatural rather than this style, where it’s a suspense film with a supposedly supernatural angle.

  7. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OH MY GOD DUSTEDOFF HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA MY AUNTY’S HAHAHAHAHAHAHA NAME IS KIRAN HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    AND SURAJ. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. SURAJ. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA. On top of all that the review is SOOOOOO FUNNY HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. (And I jumped a little at the name Rakesh, HAHAHAHAHAHA!) Sorry for the caps! I just can’t stop laughing! But my poor keyboard, oh my poor keyboard. It’s got bits of french toast and egg all over it. And my stomach hurts from the laughing! Hahahahahahaha!

    And Anu, your comments too made me laugh! Hahahahahahaha! -coughing- Wait… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I JUST REALIZED THIS MOVIE WAS REALIZED IN 1966 TOO HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    -dies laughing- :D :D :D

    • Ghost in the making? Need a haunting melody? Need a Rajendra Kumar or Dev Anand to haunt? I think you will find them easily, since they have already passed on!

        • I thought I told you it was lying in some forgotten box, somewhere, and if I find it one of these days, when I am on my “Let’s clear a couple of boxes” thing, I will scan it and send it to you, so you have to wait till that day. Patience, patience!

          • Woh din kab aayegi? :(

            Well. (goes back to babbling mode) His signature is really awesome, I’ve seen it online by some kind souls who I am also very jealous of and and and and uh uh uh uh uh it’s really cool but it’s illegible (First time I’ve seen a signature like that, yaaaaaaaaaay!) and I could only make out the R but can you uh uh uh uh uh. (pauses to catch breath)

            Can you tell me about the day at least?! :D

              • Aaaaargh! -facepalm- That’s the first time I’ve heard it, sorry! Cause no one teaches me Hindi, so. I have an online friend from India but she’s not serious about it. One of our conversations was like this:
                Me: Do you know what prem patra means? (I know what it means, but I’m just fooling with her)
                Friend: No, it sounds like an ancient word.
                Me: …It’s a phrase. And it’s in one of my favorite songs! Yay yay yay yay!
                Friend: I already told you, I’m not looking up a Dev movie!
                Me: It’s not Dev’s movie! It’s Rajendra’s! And Raj Kapoor’s! And it’s an awesome awesome love triangle. Honestly, I do all this love triangle stuff cos of this movie. So intense and… -rambles-

                Yeah. XD But we always ‘shabba khair’ each other when someone has to go.

                • :-) (By the way, you do know that shabba khair means “good night” and not “goodbye”, right?)

                  Does your friend from India actually speak Hindi? There are, after all, a lot of places in India where Hindi is almost non-existent as a language in use.

                  • -covers mouth- Oh dang. Then “Mere Yaar Shabba Khair”… oh… -facepalm-

                    No, she learns Hindi, but I don’t think she goes around speaking it. And then she whines that she wants to learn Spanish instead, Then I keep yelling, “Come here and I’ll go to India in your place!” It’s all so ironic, isn’t it? :P

                    But my uncle might be getting that Rosetta Stone thing for himself and I think I can peep over his shoulder and try and learn some stuff. I can’t write any Devangari (Is that it?), nor can I read it, so.

      • Anu could’ve ruined my keyboard too (Many times over!) but this review simply took the cake. I’m still laughing so hard at Suraj and Kiran! Why does my Aunty get Suraj and not me?!

  8. Your review was such fun to read. I particularly liked Rita’s plans going awry, the minute a Kiran was introduced into Suraj’s life. :)

      • Madhu, I was going to add that bit about ‘Deepak’ and ‘Jyoti’ not to mention the many variations of ‘Ram’ and ‘Sita’ and ‘Krishna’ and ‘Radha’.

          • And I knew someone in my school whose name was Jyoti Deepak, and a friend at work called Holly Wood! Why would their parents do this to their children?

            • Holly Wood? That’s – um – bizarre. Though someone I know (also a writer, from Chennai) had told me about classmates she had, named Princess and Immaculate Conception. The latter raises all sorts of questions… ;-)

              • I truly pity this person named Immaculate Conception! Besides being saddled with a name that would have definitely brought up some snide remarks, how would her teachers and friends have addressed her? Immaculate? Conception? Neither one seems like much of a name to me. And I would have been squirming if someone had called me Conception!!
                There was someone in my college named Faith Hope Charity, and she went by Charity, but her names were definitely better than Immaculate Conception! .

  9. ps: I read your review once more, and laughed again at all the pithy remarks. I fear that when I eventually see the movie, I’m going to remember your review and laugh at all the serious places. :)

    • Thank you, Anu! And you know what, there are really no really serious places in the film. They might’ve been meant to be spooky, but if you’re a seasoned Hindi film watcher, you’ll see right through them. ;-)

  10. Great! This is the first detailed review I have read on your blog, and now I plan to go through the archives to read more. All the tongue-in-cheek remarks make for delightful reading. I haven’t seen the film, and this review makes that superfluous. I guess I will just enjoy rehearing the songs on Youtube.

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed this review. Sometimes, the worst movies make for the best reviews (though Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi wasn’t a bad film – just a little inept when it came to the scripting of the second half).

  11. I saw this movie years ago. I had been gifted some money on Rakhi day and my brother and a friend, who had been one of the contributors as I had tied a rakhi on him, insisted on being shown this film as a treat. I remember quite liking this movie. Bheja to tha hi nahi un dino (aajkal bhi koi khas improvement nahi hai waise) so I just enjoyed the eye candy, the songs and came out.

    Your review is hilarious, bada maza aaya padh ke.

    • Thank you, Ava! I can understand what you mean when you write that “Bheja to tha hi nahi un dino“. There are loads of films I remember liking a lot when I was younger… and when I’ve watched them again, I’ve thought: “My goodness, was I really so dumb? Didn’t I see the huge plot holes in this?” But this one’s really not bad; at least it looks and sounds great, and it’s entertaining. Enough for me!

  12. Thoroughly entertaining Review DO. Great fun.

    But somehow reading in between the lines I feel I’m going to enjoy it.
    Lines like;
    >This woman’s dressed exactly like the statue of Kiranmayi in the excavated hall. Down to the bracelet on her wrist!

    *shiver* *shiver*
    Just love such spookiness. Not forgetting all those ‘I’ve known you for ages’ kind of thing. :-D

    Thank you for this enjoyable piece. :)

  13. I saw and liked the film not too long ago. Prithviraj Kapoor to me was always defined by the role of an emperor in a certain film, I thought he carried the same personality in his other roles , playing the patriarch mostly. (his voice,did he sound like Akbar even in his real life and didn’t add anything to that role?) this role was another one of those types of roles. He did play Dara Singh’s brother in some film and that was bad casting IMO.
    Isn’t Madhumati supposed to be Helen’s ‘lookalike’ according to some people on the blogosphere?

    • Yes, Chris – Prithviraj Kapoor does seem to have always acted the patriarch – whether it’s Akbar, or his real-life sons’ father in films like Rajkumar, Awara or Jaanwar. Always the imperious, thunderous-voiced man. I’ve not seen him play Dara Singh’s brother, but I am pretty sure that wouldn’t have worked. Who knows what Akbar sounded like… but I’m pretty sure Mr Kapoor certainly topped Akbar when it came to height. I believe Akbar was actually not very tall, though he was pretty stout.

      I can understand people thinking Madhumati is a Helen lookalike. When I was a kid, the first couple of times I saw Madhumati, I thought she was Helen.

      • Well, I just recalled another Prithviraj film of the late 60s of similar genre* called ‘ek nanhi munni ladki thi’ starring Mumtaz , I think she apparently plays the title role as well.
        *Isn’t the genre supposed to be ‘horror’?

        • I actually have a name for this genre – I invented the name while writing an article for the book The Popcorn Essayists. I called it ‘supernatural suspense’, because it makes you think, till well into the film, that it’s actually all supernatural, and then suddenly it flips and you realise there’s criminal activity at the root of it.

          I’ve heard of Ek Nanhi Munni Ladki Thi but haven’t seen it. Somehow, I always thought it was a kiddie film, something along the lines of Rani aur Lalpari. That teaches me to not jump to conclusions!

  14. I am still trying to figure out what I enjoyed more your review or the ccomments? I think I will give equal weightage to both. I wanted to see this film ever since I can remember I loved the songs now after reading your review I am all the more interested I wish the film was there on you tube.

    • Thank you, Shilpi! Incidentally, my husband said the same thing – he said he liked the review and the comments equally!

      I looked for it on Youtube after I’d finished writing up the review, hoping that I’d be able to find a link to the film. Unfortunately, no… but I’m currently writing the review of a very nice film that I watched on Youtube. :-)

  15. “Poor Biswajeet must have gotten thoroughly sick of romancing spooky women in the ‘60s” – Well, Bees Saal Baad revived the interest in the genre, so we had all the copycat movies like Kohraa and then Woh Kaun Thi, which had the fantastic songs, so it looked like the automatic choice for spooky movies in those days was either Biswajeet or Manoj, and of the two, I think Biswajeet had at least a mildly expressive face! Waheeda probably got tired of those movies and passed the baton to others like Sharmila and Sadhana, and they did a great job with it, too!
    Spooky stories sparked an interest in ghost stories, naturally, and I still remember a hot summer when we found an old book full of ghost stories and took turns reading aloud at nights, with one dim light to keep us company!

    • ‘Biswajeet or Manoj’ .I agree , I prefer Biswajeet any day. I said that ‘Sadhana made Manoj kumar look good in their films’ somewhere. maybe I an wrong but he is the only actor who annoys me onscreen,though there are some of his good films. I disliked him in ‘Pathar ke sanam’,I thought I would rather root for Pran there. I don’t find his patriotic films (and praises of India) post ‘upkar’ realistic. the art films of Om puri ,Shabana Azmi etc.are way better. I was surprised that his film ‘Hariyali aur rasta’ which I find awful except Shashikala reviewed here.’Himalay Ki Godmein ‘ with the same actors was better.

      • I was surprised that his film ‘Hariyali aur rasta’ which I find awful except Shashikala reviewed here.

        Ouch. So does that mean you think I review only good films? Not at all. I review what comes my way, good, bad or ugly. The only films I don’t review are the ones that are either new (70s and later) or which are just so thoroughly boring that I can’t even bring myself to write a review. In fact, if you’ll look closely, you’ll find some pretty awful films reviewed on this blog – to be frank, they sometimes make for the funniest reviews.

        I openly admit to hating Manoj Kumar in his patriotic roles or in films like Patthar ke Sanam and Do Badan – he has a habit of taking depression to new depths. But some of his suspense films are hard to beat. As is Naqli Nawab, one of my favourite romantic Muslim socials.

        • “So does that mean you think I review only good films? ”
          Not really, it was the plot of that film which according to me is more depressing than an average Meena Kumari ‘tragic’ film. I thought you would hate the movie to the point of not reviewing it. (like Nutan’s weepy films).I like the songs but prefer ‘Himalay ki god mein’ more. Manoj Kumar films I like post Upkar are Shor (despite the ending – reason for its failure?) and Sanyasi alongwith the suspense thrillers you mentioned. have to see ‘Naqli Nawab’ now.

          • Also I was into watching BR Chopra’s progressive films (Ek hi Raasta,Sadhna) when I saw Hariyali aur Raasta. that probably was a wrong time to see it.

          • No, no. Chris, the point is not whether I hate a film or not. The point is whether or not a film bores me. The good thing about films I hate (Bhabhi, Leader or Ek Phool Do Maali, for example) is that I can then tear them to bits while reviewing them, without feeling that I’m doing them injustice. On the other hand, films like Parivar, Naughty Boy or (as you mention, Nutan’s later films) are so incredibly boring, I can’t even bring myself to write about them. That’s why you’ll occasionally come across some frightful films being reviewed here, but none of the really boring ones.

    • Lalitha, you’re right about Biswajeet and Manoj Kumar seeming to be the most obvious choices, but I’ll opt for Manoj Kumar. I don’t have anything against Biswajeet, but some of my favourite suspense films – such as Woh Kaun Thi?, Anita and Saajan (and to some extent, Gumnaam, which was pretty gripping too) starred Manoj Kumar. And he played a major part in the publicity of Woh Kaun Thi?, too.

    • Can I join in? :D I like both of them, I think Manoj Kumar was good in Woh Kaun Thi, and heck, he’s kinda cute and handsome. But anyway. I’ve seen a lot of people bashing Biswajeet (And a guy bashing Joy too! I set him right!), but I’ve never seen his films. Bees Saal Baad is on my computer though, haven’t gotten the time to see it. Even then I think I’ll go for Manoj Kumar.

      Dustedoff, how did he play a part in the publicity for Woh Kaun Thi?

      • I believe Manoj Kumar designed the posters for Woh Kaun Thi?. I’d also read somewhere that he was the one who suggested the name for the film, and actually wrote some of the dialogues.

        If you have Bees Saal Baad, watch it – it’s quite good, and the music is wonderful.

        • Wow, that is so cool! :D He’s a year younger than my grandma, so.

          Yeah, Hemant Kumar’s music will obviously be good! But I didn’t know Biswajeet was the hero till I read this review… and Waheeda was in it. I only know the song “Kahin Deep Jale” which is on my Filmfare CD. And the CD which made me go crazy in the car, told you about that one.

  16. Hey Dustedoff, you know the book I told you about? So I told my uncle about it (-cough- I still haven’t forgotten that incident over Sangam… so there’s no way I’m disclosing the plot to him.) and he said I should publish an eBook or just write it online and ask for contributions. But you know at the same time it’s cool to have your own book in print… what do you think? Was it hard for you to get your book published or?

    And I think I’m gonna go to the bookstore one of these days, and I’m gonna comb the place thoroughly for books, like the Navketan book, and maybe Dev’s autobiography. Maybe. I just saw a horrible film the other day (Review coming up on my blog), so… And of course your books! Do they have them in bookstores in Jacksonville? Or will I have to turn to Amazon?

    • Well… yes, I have to admit it’s a bit tough to get your book published. At least in India, unless you’re willing to go to some really shoddy publisher who won’t do an ounce of publicity or anything. I must admit I didn’t spend too much time and effort looking for a publisher (to be honest, I didn’t have the time to search) – I was lucky in that a literary agency found me. Maybe it might make sense for you to get your book completely written first, and then try looking for someone to publish it. In India, it’s usual to approach publishing houses directly, but in a lot of other countries (the US and UK included) publishers will only accept manuscripts through literary agents, not directly from authors.

      Nah, my book won’t be available in bookstores in the US. Amazon is the way to go. (In any case, it’s invariably cheaper to order a book through an online retailer – they’re able to give you greater discounts than would bricks-and-mortar stores).

      • Alright, I’ll see what happens. For now, time to hit Microsoft Word! :D

        Just curious, who designed your book’s (The Englishman’s Cameo) cover art? It’s really nice!

        • Exactly. MSWord first, then everything else – because just writing it can take a long time (The Englishman’s Cameo too me a total of 7 years to write, including long spells when I suffered from writer’s block).

          The cover art of The Englishman’s Cameo is by Baishakhee Sengupta.

          • Wow. Writing’s a lotta fun though! :D

            Hey, how did you get the cover art done? The publisher found an artist?

            • Yes, writing’s a lot of fun, but it is also very hard work, especially when you run up against writer’s block. And writing a couple of thousand words is very different from having to write about ninety thousand words. ;-) Plus, there’s the sheer tedium of reading and re-reading your own words again and again and again to do self-edits before you submit them.

              The cover art was commissioned by Hachette. They found the graphic designer, and my editor and I evaluated each option she submitted before we finally picked the ones we liked. The finaly call on the cover was taken by the CEO.

  17. Lalitha, re: the crazy names people give their kids… I was at a family get-together last evening, and coincidentally, the conversation veered around to this. My sister had an interesting observation to make: that ‘Immaculate Conception’ being one of the basic beliefs of the faith (Christianity) – like Faith, Hope, and Charity – would appeal as a name to some of the very orthodox people to whom it was very important to name their offspring something ‘good’ and ‘Christian’, regardless of how idiotic it might sound in real life.

    For the record, my sister’s kids are caled Neeti and Deb. :-)

  18. Ha, hilarious review. I love love love the song Yehi Woh Jagaa Hai – shame it’s wasted in this film, which i’ve never seen and I guess won’t bother with at the moment.

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