A melody of devotion

After a few days of devotion, prayer and meeting up one’s near and dear ones, that marks the annual celebration of the return of the rightful ruler of Ayodhya, the Deity’s return this year marked by the joy of rebuilding the abode so cruelly destroyed by the rapacious invader, the thoughts since the morning in my head have been of a sublime kind.

I was reminded of this song in the morning while getting ready to head to the Cath Lab to meet patients. It is a beautiful composition from the movie Seema made by Amiya Chakravarty. Amiya Chakravarty had made Daag and Patita earlier, and actually won the Filmfare for writing the story of Seema. The movie had wonderful acting by the lead pair of Nutan and Balraj Sahni. For the powerful portrayal of a complex role full of many hues of Gouri, Nutan picked up the first of the five Filmfare awards for Best Actress. She probably deserved a handful more as well, so complete was her domination. Balraj Sahni probably deserved to get the Best Actor Award too, but missed out on that.

The musical score was given by Shankar Jaikishan and in keeping with their choice of lyricists , Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri got to write lyrics for 3 songs each. Of that one song was composed beautifully by Shankar Jaikishan in two moods- happy and song with a minor variation of lyrics, Suno Chhoti Si Gudia ki Lambi Kahaani.

This song was composed in a very melodious raag Jaijaiwanti. Shubha Khote made a very impressive debut in the movie. Nutan was only 18 years old when she was asked to portray the rather difficult role of an older woman with such a complex character and matching set of emotions. Hats off to her guts in agreeing to do this. And even more Kudos for pulling it off so brilliantly. The director’s mastery of the art of cinematic narration is so beautifully shown by the scene of the first interaction between Balraj Sahni, (the rector of the hostel for women) when he meets an enraged Nutan who is in an utterly destructive mood. The way he handles a difficult and tense situation and brings about an amazing transformation from an angry dragon that is spewing fire from her eyes to a placid singer who smiles most beatifically at the end of the wonderful song is amazing.

This song was written by Shailendra. One of the best songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar at the time. The only thing I didn’t quite like was the rather concocted romance between Nutan and Balraj Sahni. The romance was introduced so suddenly and abruptly that it didn’t make sense in the way the storyline was moving. Almost as if the director realized the film wouldn’t be quite complete without a romance. Thus the romantic angle is introduced almost out of the blue (in fact, when I first watched this film on Doordarshan, years ago, I couldn’t believe that was the end, I honestly felt there was a part which had been skipped or edited out or something like that). Given the caliber of the lead pair Nutan and Balraj Sahni, there was definitely scope for building up a touching love story here.

This song was actually recorded by Shankar Jaikishan in Sudha Malhotra’s voice before the duo zeroed in on Lata Mangeshkar for the final version. Can’t fault Sudhaji, she gave it all for the song, but then Lataji was a tad more effective. Check out the Sudha Malhotra version as well …..

Few will remember Nutan, arguably the most brilliant actress ever to have adorned the Silver Screen, ( in my personal rankings, the undisputed Numero Uno, ahead of all comers) was also a very good singer herself. In fact the voice at the beginning of the song, is her own. She hums the opening line while going about destroying all the window panes in protest for the perceived injustice.

Her voice was used by her mother in the home production as well. Chhabili has a solo by her: Ae Mere Humsafar. She also lent her voice to the famous song by Hemantada Lehron pe lahar. and is actually credited for this, too. Imagine singing a duet with the great Hemantada when you are the lead lady, (notwithstanding the fact that your mother is the producer) !!!!

Here is to remembering my most favourite actress, Nutan Samarth/Behl. Cruel fate and the Big C took her away from us, way too early.

Stay safe, folks, from the other Big C’s ( China, COVID, CONgress). I cannot make out which has harmed our country more… All three have the same capacity to hurt and even kill. The last named has also looted shamelessly. In fact the copyright for Corruption is owned by the party.

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

14 replies on “A melody of devotion”

Like the Thuu pyramid ka sagar hai song(was it in Hemant Kumar’s voice. Music with a soothing effect indeed. Agree Nutan plays her role/ s well in the movies she acted in. I think her mother Shobana Samarth played the role of Seeta in a Ramayana movie, my mother like her enacting Seetha.

Liked by 1 person

Like the Thuu pyar ka sagar hai song(was it in Hemant Kumar’s voice. Music with a soothing effect indeed. Agree Nutan plays her role/ s well in the movies she acted in. I think her mother Shobana Samarth played the role of Seeta in a Ramayana movie, my mother like her enacting Seetha.

Liked by 1 person

What a lovely share with all possible details
Again hats off to you 🙏🏾You can make a simple known song into a monumental gem🙏🏾
Yess Nutan and Balraj Sahani romantic angle was a blunder. Some how it got subdued 👍
Sudha Malhotra came new to me🙏🏾

Liked by 1 person

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