Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959)

Raja, while commenting on my post on saheli songs, mentioned that Akhiyaan bhool gayi hain sona from Goonj Uthi Shehnai was his “all-time favourite”, and In my list of 1-10, I’d fill all 10 spots with this song.” I’ve had the VCD of this film lying around at home for quite a while, but I’d been putting off watching it (largely because Rajendra Kumar isn’t one of my favourites), but after I had a closer look [hear?] at the songs of Goonj Uthi Shehnai—and realized that some of my favourite songs were from this film—I figured I had to watch it soon.

This post, therefore, is for Raja. For having spurred me on to watch this film. And yes, I think Akhiyaan bhool gayi hain sona is pretty awesome too.

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The film begins in the riverside village of Radhapur [there are references aplenty to the love of Krishna and Radha in this film; this is just the beginning]. A classical singer, Raghunath Maharaj (Ulhas) is doing his riyaaz at the local temple, sitting by himself, when it dawns on him that some unseen musician in the vicinity is accompanying him on the shehnai. The notes of the shehnai are so pure, the musician’s skill so indubitable, that Ragunath Maharaj forgets his own practice and goes investigating.

Ragunath Maharaj's riyaaz is disturbed

The shehnainawaaz [yes, that’s the word for it; ‘shehnai performer’] turns out to be a boy named Kishan. Kishan is an orphan and has no home, no roots, no nothing [except that very good shehnai, and pots of talent]. Sitting beside Kishan is his friend, Gopi, who is all admiration for Kishan.

Gopi

Kishan begs Ragunath Maharaj’s pardon for having disturbed the master at his riyaaz, but Raghunath is so impressed by Kishan’s playing, he readily forgives the boy. On discovering that Kishan is all alone in this world, he decides to take the boy home with him, bring him up—and, most importantly, nurture that talent of his.

Raghunath Maharaj meets Kishan

What follows is a beautiful piece of classical vocals (by Ustad Ameer Ali Khan) accompanied by the shehnai (played throughout the film by the incomparable Bismillah Khan himself) as Kishan settles into Raghunath’s house, and begins to learn the intricacies of music. Raghunath’s little daughter Ramkali ‘Raami’ accompanies them on the sitar and watches Kishan with adoring eyes…

Kishan begins to learn music

…while little Gopi emulates her from outside the window.

...watched by Gopi

The loves of this precocious bunch of children are articulated one day when Gopi and Raami are arranging a wedding for their dolls. It’s a grand affair, with the neighbourhood children all decked up, Raami and her pals forming the baaraat for the doll-bridegroom, while Gopi brings out her doll-bride. Kishan has been specially invited to play the shehnai at this wedding.

When he’s asked if he’ll play the shehnai when Gopi herself gets married, Kishan puffs out his chest and says that at Gopi’s wedding, he’ll be the bridegroom, not the shehnainawaaz.

At the dolls' wedding

At this stage, a party-pooper arrives, in the form of the wicked Kanhaiyya, who, pint-sized though he is, has his eye on Gopi. He runs off to inform Gopi’s mother (Leela Mishra), who comes rushing out. She scolds Gopi, throws Kishan out after calling him a lot of nasty names, and generally makes it obvious that she thoroughly disapproves of Gopi’s friendship with Kishan.

Gopi's mother throws a spanner in the works

With, of course [and we have so many precedents for this in Hindi cinema], the result that the childhood sweethearts grow up to be sweethearts as adults, too. Gopi (now Ameeta) is still completely enamoured of the shehnai-playing of Kishan (now Rajendra Kumar). [In fact, her reaction when she hears his shehnai made me wonder what or whom she loved more: Kishan or his shehnai. I have a sneaking feeling Gopi would’ve dropped Kishan like a hot potato if it weren’t for his shehnai].

Gopi, enchanted by Kishan's shehnai

They’re sitting about on the riverbank and chatting when a banjara (lyricist-music director-choreographer Prem Dhawan, in his only role as an actor) and his wife come by. They begin a conversation, and the banjaran explains that she does tattoos for a living: she etches the names of their husbands on the arms of women.

Gopi immediately jumps at the opportunity, and has the woman tattoo Kishan’s name on her upper arm, where it will be well-hidden under her sleeve. [Smart girl, but not smart enough, as we shall shortly see].

Gopi gets Kishan's name tattoed

…because Gopi’s mother, seeing Gopi creep in late one evening, throws a fit. In her anger, she grabs Gopi’s arm—and Gopi’s blouse rips at the shoulder, exposing the tattoo. Oops.
Ma gets so wild that she snatches a burning stick of wood from the hearth and tries to burn Kishan’s name off.

Fortunately for Gopi, her mother’s brother Gangaram (Manmohan Krishna), who lives with them and is more sensible, restrains his sister. Nothing will come of this, he tells her, after having first wrenched the stick from her and flung her halfway across the room [which does make her rather more amenable to listening to him]. Gopi’s mother is forced to allow the tattoo to remain, but she makes it very clear that she will not have Gopi ruining her good name by going about with Kishan.

A furious ma rails at Gopi

Towards this end, she decides it would be best if Gopi were to be married off soon. Unknown to Gopi, she had already been promised in marriage when she was a child, to the son of her now-dead father’s friend. [Tell me something new. And—spoiler coming up—no, it isn’t Kishan, after all].
Gopi’s mother asks Gangaram to write to the young man, whose name is Shekhar. Shekhar should come and visit them and see Gopi for himself. If he approves of her, they should soon fix a date for the wedding.

Gopi's uncle and ma

[Which makes me think: what about that telling tattoo? How does Ma hope Gopi is going to explain that away to Shekhar? By passing Gopi off as a Krishnabhakt?]

Anyway, the letter is duly written and sent off. The village postman, by the way, is Kanhaiyya (now IS Johar), who still has the hots for Gopi and has no compunctions about pestering her or telling Kishan off. Kanhaiyya hasn’t the faintest idea that this letter is going to put paid to his hopes.

Kanhaiyya, at work as postman

Shekhar (Pratap Kumar) arrives one day in Radhapur, driving in a smart car. On his way to Gopi’s house, he happens to hear Kishan playing on his shehnai. Shekhar is mesmerised, and goes up to Kishan to praise his music—and to offer him a job. It emerges that Shekhar is a big shot at All India Radio in Lucknow. He invites Kishan to shift to Lucknow, and to come and play for radio. Such a talent must not be hidden.

Shekhar makes Kishan an offer

Kishan, whose world [read: Gopi] is right here in Radhapur, declines the offer. It’s very kind of Shekhar, but no, thank you. Shekhar is disappointed, but is gracious enough to not make a fuss about it; he merely expresses his hope that someday Kishan will reconsider.
Shekhar then makes his way to his destination—Gopi’s house—and meets Gopi’s mother. Gopi, who shows him into the house and is deputed to make tea, is blissfully unaware of Shekhar’s identity or why he’s come.

Shekhar meets Gopi

As he’s leaving, Gopi’s mother draws Shekhar aside, and the young man tells her that he likes Gopi. The old lady is overjoyed: she will get Gangaram to meet his parents and finalise a date for the wedding. Oh, how happy Gopi is going to be! [Poor Gopi, of course, is completely left out of this entire conversation, so doesn’t have a clue that her fate has just been decided].

Gopi, therefore, sees nothing wrong in going off that evening to meet her beloved Kishan on the riverbank. They sing, he plays his shehnai, and all is joy and romance—until Kanhaiyya discovers them. He’s so incensed that he hurries off to summon the entire village, including Raghunath Maharaj. Everybody comes rushing to see what the fuss is all about.
Raghunath Maharaj is particularly furious. He had decided, on his own, that Kishan would marry his daughter Raami, so discovering Kishan cavorting with Gopi makes him see red.

Raghunath Maharaj gets mad

He lashes out at Kishan, hurling abuse [and fists] at him, and telling Kishan that he is no longer welcome in their house. This orphan, who knows where he’s come from, who knows who his parents were—Raghunath has no need for him. Kishan picks himself up, and [since Gopi has also been hauled off home in the meantime] decides that there is only one solution: he must prove himself worthy.

Kishan is thrown out - and makes a vow

He will go to Lucknow to meet Shekhar; if he can make it big as a shehnainawaaz, fame and riches will come his way. He’ll return to Radhapur only when he’s wealthy enough for his dubious parentage [dubious, that is, in the eyes of people like Raghunath and Gopi’s mother] to not matter any more.
So Kishan takes the train to Lucknow [by some odd quirk, he manages to travel ticketless—since he cannot afford a ticket—and is asked for the ticket only when he reaches Lucknow. I didn’t know one could do that.]

It is at this point that Kishan realises he’s got a companion who’s come along, unseen by him, all the way from Radhapur [and who, very importantly, now presents a ticket for Kishan]. It is Raami, who firmly tells Kishan that she is here to look after him. With nobody to cook and clean and keep house for him, how will Kishan manage? [Umm. Like millions of other men do?]

Raami surreptitiously accompanies Kishan to Lucknow

Kishan tries to demur—Raami is neither his mother nor his sister (nor any other female relative with the duty of looking after him), but to no avail.

Kishan goes to Shekhar, is immediately welcomed with open arms, and sets up home in Lucknow, with Raami ‘looking after’ him. [Whether her father has been wondering where his girl’s vanished to is never divulged]. And, far away in Radhapur, Kanhaiyya, with the pesky Kishan now out of his way, is making sure that the Gopi-Kishan relationship never resumes. What he doesn’t know is that plans are afoot to get Gopi married to Shekhar as soon as possible.

Kishan meets Shekhar

What I liked about this film:

The music, by Vasant Desai (with lyrics by Bharat Vyas). While the cast is all right—not stellar, but decent enough—and the story is pretty standard tragic melodrama (along the lines of Baiju Bawra, of which this reminded me more than once), it is the music that makes Goonj Uthi Shehnai a must-see.

I confess that I know next to nothing of Indian classical music, but the jugalbandi between Ustad Ameer Ali Khan and Bismillah Khan towards the beginning of the film is mind-blowingly good, and Bismillah Khan’s shehnai playing throughout the film is so splendid, I get gooseflesh just thinking about it.

Even the popular songs are fabulous: the teasing Akhiyaan bhool gayi hain sona and the romantic Tere sur aur mere geet and Jeevan mein piya tera saath rahe are among my favourites. Keh do koi na kare yahaan pyaar, in my opinion one of the best songs of heartbreak, is stirring not only for its music and Rafi’s rendition of it, but also for the poignancy of its lyrics.

What I didn’t like:

The melodrama, which goes really over the top in the last half-hour of the film. Also, the idiotically convenient end of the film, which tries to stay true to two filmi standards of the time (the ‘true love lasts forever’ and the ‘a married woman must be true to her husband, even if she isn’t really married to him’). Guess what happens when you try to straddle the fence. Painful.

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57 thoughts on “Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959)

    • And the “most important” explanation I would give is that he’s credited as ‘Ameer Ali Khan’ in the film. Have a look:

      http://www.youtube.com/movie/goonj-uthi-shehnai?feature=mv_sr

      I know I made some mistakes in this review, but as far as the crew and cast involved are concerned, I made sure I checked exactly how they were credited. Incidentally, this is one of the few Hindi films where the cast and the roles they play respectively are actually given.

      • This seems to be like the old 35rpm records that often carried ludicrously incorrect names. I have a CD of a movie from early 1960’s and the music director’s name on the CD shows Nadim Shravan! I understand this from my own experience.

        • “I have a CD of a movie from early 1960′s and the music director’s name on the CD shows Nadim Shravan!”

          Do you mean the title credits within the movie show Nadeem Shravan as the MDs, or is it on the CD cover, or elsewhere – where it could have been put by present-day video producers? In Goonj Uthi Shehnai, the title credits (which are part of the film), list the ustad as Ameer Ali Khan.

          • The CD cover, I meant. But the inaccuracy even in credit titles comes as a surprise. I thought there might be some system, somebody responsible to check the credits as that is the basic record of the entire project.

            • Ah, CD covers, I can understand. One very common thing I’ve seen, especially with old films, is that they just look up the names of the stars and put photos of them – not necessarily from the film, not necessarily even from that period in their lives – on the CD cover.

  1. I saw this when I was in school. It was a re-run, obviously, as the movie was released in the year I was born.

    I remember liking it a lot. More for the songs of course.

    I liked the tattoo scene. Ameeta looked really cute in that. I liked the rollicking song Haule haule ghoongat pat khole

    Ustadji Shehnai was something eh?

    • Yes, this is a sweet song too. I usually like Ameeta (my favourite film of hers is Dekh Kabira Roya, where she’s such a lot of fun!) – and I think the role of Gopi did suit her a lot.

      And Ustadji’s shehnai was really something. He was fantastic.

  2. The only redeeming feature of the film is music. The classical pieces are part of the immortal heritage, not just of film music but also of classical music. These invaluable nuggets are the amazing pieces of art that can ever have been condensed in the typical time-frame of a three-minutes-film records. Ustad Ameerkhan’s voice is of the highest level of voice quality in classical music; for that reason what he rendered was often described as “kanth-vaadan”. As for Ustad Bismilla Khan, he has remained the best shehnai player and among the best artists of classical music, the giants that India has ever produced..

    • In your first comment, you’d put in a new user name, which was why the comment had gone into the moderation queue. I’ve approved it now, and given my response there too.

  3. Awww! You chose to write a post for me? Am SO honoured, Madhu – thank you SO MUCH!

    Yes, now that you mention it, I did say that “akhiyaan bhool gayi hai sona” would fill all top 10 slots in my 1-10 list. I’d forgotten all about the comment but you’ve reminded me now. :-)

    It’s an exaggeration, obviously, but it is SUCH a lovely song, isn’t it? I love Vasant Desai’s music (actually in all the songs but especially in this one). From the very first note, he’s totally got it nailed. And the setting is just so naturally rural – river bank, village belles, chhed-chhaad. And the voices of Geeta Dutt and Lata. Especially Geeta. What’s NOT to like?

    Glad you did get to see the movie – it’s no great shakes of course, story-wise. But it was considered a classic of its time, mainly for its music. And so you can tick it off your list now. :-)

    This movie was a big milestone in Rajendra Kumar’s career – though he’d acted in a few films before this (incl Mother India), this was his first big success in a solo lead role.

    It’s been a while since I saw this movie – so I think it’s time to see it again. Always happy to see Ameeta. :-)

    I quite like the other songs too – “jeevan mein piya tera saath rahe” is extremely pleasant and hummable.

    Thanks for this post, Madhu. Very well-written. As usual.

    P.S: There’s a small typo.” It’s very kind of Shekhar, but no, thank you. Kishan is disappointed, but is gracious enough to not make a fuss about it; he merely expresses his hope that someday Kishan will reconsider.” That should be “Shekhar is disappointed”, n’est ce pas? See, I read every word. :-)

    • You deserve the honour, Raja! :-) Really, this movie had been lying in my to-watch pile, and I probably would’ve gone on pushing it aside (and missed out on all those fabulous songs) if it hadn’t been for your comment about Akhiyaan bhool gayi hain sona. Oddly enough, Akhiyaan bhool gayi hain sona was one of the few songs that I’d not been very familiar with before you mentioned it on my blog – Jeevan mein piya tera saath rahe, Tere sur aur mere geet and Keh do koi na kare were all songs I’d been introduced to as a child. Vasant Desai’s music was simply superb here.

      By the way, there’s this other very well-known song of heartbreak which also features in Goonj Uthi Shehnai; Dil ka khilona haai toot gaya. I find it a trifle too morose (and funny, I must admit – that bit about the koi lutera aake loot gaya makes me grin), but it’s not a bad song.

      Thank you for pointing out the typo! Have corrected it. And thank you so much for reading every word. :-D

  4. I haven’t seen this film, and I have no intention of doing so after reading your very well-written review – as always, love, love, love your asides! I laughed so much at I have a sneaking feeling Gopi would’ve dropped Kishan like a hot potato if it weren’t for his shehnai and Umm. Like millions of other men do? and especially at Whether her father has been wondering where his girl’s vanished to is never divulged

    Your review told me the story without my having to put up with Rajendra Kumar. :) So, tell me, what is the ending, please? I want to know how they sorted out the whole mess while still remaining true to the whole ‘tvue wuw’ and the married woman trope.

    And I see Raja is ahead of me with the Shekhar/Kishan confusion. :) (I too read every word. *grin*)

    • Thank you, Anu, both for reading every word :-)) – and for being so appreciative! I’m glad you enjoyed this review.

      Okay, since you’ve asked for it, here’s how it all plays out:

      Major spoilers follow:

      Kishan becomes a big hit, and Raami (who’s been staying in his house, ‘looking after him’) accompanies him to all his concerts, radio programmes, etc. At one such event, they’re mobbed by photographers and journos. The next day, a photo of Kishan and Raami – both smiling, and garlanded – appears in the newspaper. Gopi sees it, thinks Kishan has married Raami, and is so heartbroken, she tries to commit suicide. Ma and mamaji stop her in time and reason with her. Finally, she’s so tired of everybody’s pestering, she agrees to marry Shekhar.

      Shekhar invites Kishan for the wedding (Kishan doesn’t know whom Shekhar is marrying) and requests Kishan to play the shehnai at the wedding. Kishan does, and Gopi – as soon as she hears his shehnai – recognises it and falls down in a faint in the middle of the pheras. She is so ill that eventually Shekhar and the baraat leave her to recover at Radhapur.

      Also, a chance event reveals to all concerned that Raami had been writing regularly to Gopi all this while, but Kanhaiyya – being the postman, and suspicious of anything to connect Kishan with Gopi – had been not delivering the letters. Gopi is by now in a very bad way and the doctors have given up on her; her mamaji urgently sends for Kishan, telling him the truth and asking Kishan to play. Perhaps the sound of his shehnai will stir Gopi. It does.

      It looks like all is going to be happiness, but Gopi, in a sudden fit of pativrata-ness (misplaced, since the pheras and mantras hadn’t ended) says she is Shekhar’s. She gets her uncle to take her to Lucknow. When the train pulls into the station, they find that she has died in her sleep. And the previous night, in Radhapur, Kishan has fallen off a cliff, following what he thought was Gopi, singing to him.

      “Gopi was Kishan’s in her soul, so her soul has gone to him. And her body was yours, so it has come to you,” mamaji tells Shekhar.

      Spoilers over.

      Easily avoidable, except for the songs. :-)

      • Aaaaaiiiiiiieeee! This is what I would call a contrived tragedy! I mean, they really had to go out of their way to make the lead pair die, no?

        I’m definitely giving this film a pass; I know the story thanks to your excellent narration, got some unintended (by the makers) laughter reading your asides, and thankfully, can listen to the songs without having to torture myself sitting through the movie – my heartfelt gratitude at your having sacrificed yourself on the altar of your readership. :)

        ps: I wouldn’t call this a ‘spoiler’. I would call it a well-deserved warning to folks who might inadvertently put this movie on. :)

        • I love that “Aaaaaiiiiiiieeee!” Sums up my reaction perfectly. ;-)

          Actually, it’s not too bad until that last half-hour; after that, it goes completely downhill.

          • It’s amazing how at about the same time across the world people liked tragedies. In 16th century Shakespeare wrote Romeo Juliet with as much melodrama/passion, especially the dying scenes, and in India Pilu was writing a story in couplets about Mirza nd Sahiban also dying at the end. Following through into the 18th century with Sohni Mahiwal and Heer Ranjha. I guess that ‘period’ (Anu would know ;-) has passed.
            I’ve just finished subtitling <mirza Sahiban (1947) for Tom, and it is a light, and entertaining film till the last half hour or so, when it turns tragic, drowning into a poetic form with two emotions running parallel.
            I think writers and poets thought expressing tragedies gave them more opportunity to come up with words dripping with emotion.
            Just my reflections :-)

            • Yes, there were a lot of tragedies floating around at one time – look at most of Shammi Kapoor’s early films (like Shama Parwana, too). I agree that there is perhaps more opportunity to weave lots of emotion into tragedy. Also, perhaps, that people can identify to some extent with tragic circumstances – “Oh, this happened to me too, I feel for this hero/heroine.” Maybe.

              • Yes, pacifist. I would know. :) And now Lalitha is encouraging him!
                As far as tragedies are concerned, my (totally uninformed) opinion is that they resonated more with people. The comedies were fine insofar as they made people forget their travails for a time, but the tragedies reminded them that there were others who shared their misfortune, or who had it worse. I think the share empathy made it much more popular.
                Besides, some of the best dramatic dialogues and songs were borne out of tragedy. Which, in my considered opinion, is why it is so hard to actually write a good comedy.

                • I guess it’s because laughing lacks depth. I mean it’s healthy to laugh and all that, and it’s fun. I love to laugh more than to feel sad watching a film, but I remember the sad film (if made well of course) long after, not the other :-)

  5. I think I can bask in raja’s reflected glory, because he was responding to the song posted by me in the ‘saheli’ list. :-)

    The lovely music, the rural setting, was so wonderful that I really liked the film, especially as I quite like Rajender Kumar :-) and Ameeta as well.

    Like Anu and raja, I too read every word.
    > he manages to travel ticketless—since he cannot afford a ticket—and is asked for the ticket only when he reaches Lucknow. I didn’t know one could do that.]

    Yes, they do (?)/did that, at least at Kanpur station. I think it is a UP thing, because I remember doing that even in Dehradun (it was in UP then).

    • Yes, you deserve your share of the credit for that too, pacifist! :-)

      I loved the rural setting of the film, too. The riverside temples (or whatever those monuments were) looked lovely. I wonder where it was filmed – it reminded me a lot of Orchha.

      I didn’t know that ticketless travel was possible in UP! But what was to prevent someone getting off a train when it slowed? Even now, most trains slow down a lot, even keep stopping every now and then, when they’re entering a city or large town. I’ve seen people getting off at such halts – in which case, it would be pretty easy to never buy a ticket.

      • IIRC the area along the lines were cordoned off for a long distance by fence, or mostly wall etc, so a person getting off would have to walk a long way back to get out. He/she would be clearly visible doing that.

        Though I’m sure there were/are a lot of ticketless travellers. This may have changed now.

  6. Bless You Madhu & done it for Our Raja too Oh! it is Superb but then so are You!!! Well done! I will have to go through it all once again for it all to sink in even more knowing Me eh! Much Love

  7. A well-written review Madhu, as usual! I havent watched the movie, but love all the songs and the Bismallah Khan-Ameer Khan affair. The AIR shehnai rendering is also superb, because it featured the other maestro in sitar, Ustad Abdul Haleem Jaffer Khan-

    Rajendra Kumar has shown involvement , please give it to him atleast for the song :-)!Did you notice the natural movement of the fingers of the sitarist?
    Ameeta looks so lovely !

    • Thank you for adding that clip, Karthik! I’d been looking for it last night just before I published the post, but hadn’t been able to find it. It’s a lovely piece.

      Yes, I agree that Rajendra Kumar should be given credit at least for looking as if he’s actually playing the shehnai. I wondered if he (like Dilip Kumar in Madhuban mein Radhika naache re) actually made the effort to learn the basic finger movements for when he’s shown playing in close-ups, or whether it just looks real to someone as ignorant as I am.

      Perhaps the sitarist is an actual musician?

    • Thank you so much for this. It’s really one of the highlights of the film, and Rajender Kumar impressed me a lot here. Lovely, lovely.

    • I had forgotten about this part in the film. Thanks for bringing it to the notice. Raag Kedar gets beautiful treatment at the hands of the masters in this jugalbandi. Film music has such a rich treasure of classical music pieces.

    • After reading your spoiler, it really sounds like a poor man’s Baiju Bawra. I personally find sad ending to a love story much more satisfying. ;-)

      Ameeta looks so beautiful in this or for that matter in that era. In the songs even Rajendra Kumar looks tolerable. Anita Guha is not my cup of tea nor is a harunging Leela Mishra. Thanks to this review, I will give this a miss. How nice to have a review, where one doesn’t feel that one has missed out on something!

      Thanks for the warning, DO!

      • I personally find sad ending to a love story much more satisfying. ;-)

        That’s quite a coincidence, because last night, while I was cooking dinner, I was thinking, “Why do people go gaga over tragic romances?” (I was specifically thinking of Casablanca, but that’s my opinion in general, too). I am one of those who like romances to end happily. I can make occasional exceptions – when there’s no way there can be a happy end, or when there’s something else to compensate, and of course if the film itself is wonderful, otherwise. Offhand I can name one romance that didn’t end with the walk into the sunset, but is a big favourite of mine: Heaven Knows, Mr Allison. Totally wonderful film.

  8. DO, I fully agree with you that “Keh Do Koi Na” is one of the best songs of heartbreak. There is something I noticed. In the opening line ” Baarat Kisee Ki” and “Pyar Jale” followed by the instrumental before Rafi takes off with “Keh do Koi” reminds so much of Arabic music, doesnt it?

    • Just what I was thinking, Karthik! It has a definitely Middle Eastern lilt to it. It’s a song I listen to very frequently, and before I’d watched it in this film (I’d never actually seen the song before), I’d imagined it to be set in one of those fantasy or historical settings, as in Halaku or Aab-e-Hayat.

  9. I liked this film mostly , though the end did spoil it. (similar to ‘Sangam’).and ofcourse I also like Rajendra Kumar.

  10. I just returned to Bombay and saw your post. Like Anu I too have no intention of seeing this film, I love the songs but the film obviously will not appeal to me. As usual I would like to add my two bit; the little girl in the third screen cap looks like Baby Shobha. If it is her then she was the one who played little Sujata in ‘Sujata’.I do not know whether you know this, but I am telling you all the same actor Shahbaz Khan is Ustaad Ameer Khan’s son. Long, long ago when I was a little kid I saw a documentary on Ustaad Ameer Khan and if Shahbaz Khan is the Ustaad’s only son then he is a wonderful tabla player. In the documentary I saw Ameer Khan’s little son about 4 or 5 years old playing the tabla effortlessly and beautifully.If it was him and I am not making it a mistake, it is a pity he gave it up for he would easily have been in the same league as Ustaad Zakir Hussain.

    • Yes, the little girl who plays Gopi is Baby Shobha – I thought she looked familiar, but it never struck me that she was the one who played little Sujata (and just the thought that sweet scene with your father and the plate of halwa gives me gooseflesh – I love that scene).

      You mean Shahbaaz Khan, who acted as Hyder Ali in the TV series The Sword of Tipu Sultan? Wow. I had no idea he was Ameer Khan’s son. That’s a discovery. Thank you, Shilpi!

      • Yes Madhu that Shahbaaz Khan and about that halwa scene there is a family joke connected with it, I will be talking about it when I do my post on Sujata. I feel terrible there are too may interruptions, I am not able to post as regularly as you and the other film bloggers do, my food blog too is suffering but I am not giving up either, I enjoy blogging whenever I get the time — Shilpi

  11. All though there are somany hit films to his credit somehow Rajenra kumar is not my favorite and I missed out many of his films. I read somewhere that he has that rare ability of predicting the sucess of a film accurately. This film seems to be a musical hit. Thank you for the review.

    • I’m with you on this one, Epstein. Even though Rajendra Kumar was hugely popular (and acted in so many hit films – ‘Jubilee Kumar’, after all), he’s never been a favourite of mine. I have seen quite a lot of his films (mostly for their music), but other than Mere Mehboob and Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan, there are none, offhand, that I can recall really liking.

    • Yes, Ameeta was lovely. I think the traditional ‘Indian’ look – sari, or ghagra-choli – suited her much more than those tight pants and odd little shirts she wore in some of Tumsa Nahin Dekha. :-)

      And the songs are awesome!

  12. I think Ameeta was introduced by the name ” Jay Jaywanthi” in a movie named “THOKAR” which flopped.
    Later on she was reintroduced as “Ameeta ” by Nasir hussain in “Tumsa Nahi Dekha ” .opposite Shammi kapoor.
    She was very pretty and acted well but was very short and did not take care of her figure and very soon was a rolly- polly and had to settle with side roles.

    • Didn’t know about the Ameeta-Thokar bit, but it is ironical that Tumsa Nahin Dekha, which was intended more as a means of highlighting her, ended up being the movie that totally changed Shammi Kapoor’s career!

      Incidentally, she acted in a few of my favourite films – Dekh Kabira Roya, Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Munimji and Mere Mehboob.

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