A song with a story (and more)…

For some strange reason (without being in the least bit sexist and gender insensitive, as this view is shared and seconded by Aruna, too) whenever in Bollywood movies the same song is rendered by a male and a female singer, the male version comes out much more effective and becomes memorable. Honourable exceptions do exist to this. Parveen Sultana famously won her only Filmfare for such a song– Humein Tumse Pyaar Kitna in 1982 for Kudrat, where the male version is brilliantly sung by none other than Kishore Kumar but the treatment of the feminine version is markedly different from the male.

I heard this song way back in the 60s when I was still in school, had joined Sardar C D Barfivala High School (at the time called by its old name – Cosmopolitan Education Society’s English School). One of my classmates was a fan of Roshan and also of Talat Mahmood.

I first heard the male version at his home which was very close to the school and a short diversion off the route to the Dhake Colony Bus stop. For me the daily journey to the school meant taking either a Bus or a Train from Goregaon to Andheri, then get onto a bus to go to Dhake Colony and a number of buses would go from the station to the area.

The song is from Taxi Driver  produced by Navketan. Directed by the oldest of the brothers, Chetan Anand, it had Dev Anand and Kalpana Kartik (who would be his wife later) with Johnny Walker. The story was written by Chetan Anand with his wife, Uma Anand and Vijay Anand (the third brother). S D Burmanda gave the divine music and the marvellous Sahir Ludhianvi.

Dev Anand is eponymous taxi driver who is called “Hero” due to his magnanimous habits. He is a driver who drives a cab by day, then at night listens to the seductive club singer/ dancer Sylvie (played by Sheila Ramani ) who has a huge crush on him. One day, while assisting another taxi driver,  Dev Anand rescues Mala (Kalpana Kartik) who is being preyed upon by two thugs.  The rescued Mala comes along with Dev Anand to his small flat and the two fall in love. She is an aspiring singer. An interesting triangle of a taxi driver who is being now chased by two women.

Burmanda picked up the Filmfare for the Talat Mahmood version of the song.

The other version , sung by no less a singer than Lata Mangeshkar, somehow just doesn’t have the same impact. This despite Lata Didi being at the peak of her career, in the mid 50s.

It is interesting to note that the lead pair was very much in love with one other and actually got secretly married during the lunch break while shooting the movie. The song (male version) also made it to the top of the list on Binaca Geetmala.

Have fun folks, enjoy your Sunday. Stay safe, stay healthy.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

10 replies on “A song with a story (and more)…”

Yess SIRJI…most of the time male version wins..I remember Jangli song as an example Ehsaan tera hoga muzh par
And Chandan sa badan being same!
Lovely share!

Liked by 1 person

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