I stumbled on this movie and it’s songs when I was researching for my Husnalal -Bhagatram episode for my fortnightly Monday morning show on AIR FM Gold with the wonderful Kiran ji Misra.
The movie is a hardcore quizzer’s treasure trove. For starters the movie was made by J Om Prakash, who later became famous as a producer (and for some movies Director) of successful , even , blockbuster films which for the most part had names starting with आ. The movie was directed by B K Sagar.
Farmaish had Bharat Bhushan with Vijayalakshmi as the lead pair. Vijayalakshmi was seen opposite Raj Kapoor in Kidar Sharma’s Baanware Nain (a big hit those days as a movie and for its acting) and is credited in Farmaish’s credits as Vijayalakshmi Bhosale. She was seen in movies made in the late 40s and 50s but faded away later.
Based on the well-worn theme (in the early 50s!!) of a romance between an unsophisticated village girl (गाँव की गोरी) and the well-to-do boy from the city (शहरी बाबू) and set against the clichéd back-drop of a theatrical company, the film pretty much is predictable.
The घिसा-पीटा formula starts with the romance between Bharat Bhushan and Vijayalaxmi, then on to the pretty inevitable misunderstanding and separation, catches up with the lovers when they are reconciled, and after some more friction and trouble has the final re-union and the duo go on to be together happily ever after.
The vamp is portrayed by Kuldip Kaur who loves the hero (Bharat Bhushan with a rather greater degree of animatedness than was his wont) in vain, despite stout help from the maiden’s rustic lover who naturally wants to keep her for himself and puts in his best efforts to that end. Pran is the inevitable villain in the early 50s movie. The smirk and the leer are already in place in the early 50s. The movie apparently had a huge number of songs. While most are performed by Husnalal-Bhagatram’s favourite Lata Mangeshkar, who shared a rather close relationship with Husnalal, this wonderful duet was sung by Rafisaab and the lady whose voice both Aruna and I mistook for Lata.
The singer is actually Lata’s sister Meena Mangeshkar who by all accounts from my aunts and uncles (my mom’s family is from Kolhapur) had a voice that was at least as good as (if not better) than Lata’s. She got married into the Khadikar family and didn’t sing much later except in a few collectively sung immortal Marathi Songs by the siblings. I also know she composed a few songs for children in Marathi. I didn’t quite believe in my uncles and aunts till I heard this song. I wonder what would have happened if Meenatai had got greater exposure in the big bad world of Bollywood.
C’est la vie, I guess. Whether she would have risen to greatness, whether her voice being similar to Lata’s would have affected Lata’s own career, must all be now only a matter of conjecture.
Enjoy the wonderful duet, folks, and stay safe, healthy and happy with the jab, far away from the Chinese Virus. Do take the jab.