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Rahul Dev Burman Romantic Duets

The indescribably intoxicating petrichor

I remember this movie for multiple reasons. It was actually the first “hit” movie that Rajesh Khanna made early in his career that helped define it. He went on to have an unequalled run of hits as the male lead ( 19 in a row!!). In an industry where success is an unpredictable and notoriously fickle, this was a truly amazing feat, one that hadn’t happened before, hasn’t been replicated thus far, and given the metamorphosis technology is bringing in now, with the very parameters of success being redefined rather radically and evolving rapidly like a mountain stream in full spate in the monsoons, what with longevity and commercial success no longer linked to one other, unlikely to happen in the future, either.

Baharon ke Sapney was made by Nasir Husain. There is a very interesting story behind the movie’s coming into existence. The superhit (as it turned out to be) film Teesri Manzil was originally supposed to be directed by Nasir Hussain and was to star Dev Anand as the male lead. Another of Nasir Hussain’s productions Baharon Ke Sapne was being planned and was to be directed by Vijay Anand. However, on the occasion of Sadhana’s engagement party, a chance overhearing (by Nasir Husain) of a rather dismissive and derogatory off-the-cuff remark by Dev Anand led to bad blood   between Dev Anand and Nasir Hussain. Dev Anand purportedly said “The film which Nasir is making with me is coloured and he has given Goldie some black-and-white film to make. Goldie is making the movie with some new boy, Rajesh Khanna”. Colour film was an expensive (& therefore less used) medium in the 60s, and was reserved for the most prestigious and bigger projects. Most movies were still being shot in monochrome.  Nasir Husain was enraged and the very next day requested Vijay Anand to direct Teesri Manzil but sacked Dev Anand. He swapped the directorial baton for  Baharon Ke Sapney, with the lesser known male lead.  It was only then that Shammi Kapoor was approached for Teesri Manzil. Asha Parekh remained the female lead for both films, with her famous personal equation with Nasir Husain.

Baharon ke Sapney had only one song shot in colour ( Kya janoon sajan, which is a dream sequence and has a very interesting story related to Pancham‘s innovative nature in its recording) & the maestro Jal Mistry picked up the Filmfare for his lensmanship. Both movies had the same music director: Rahul Dev Burman, who stamped his class and ingenuity. I love this amazing folk song which exudes petrichor. Starting off with a rhythm straight from the Maharashtrian Lavani, it shows Lakshmichhaya pirouetting to the steps of Lavani and has been shot  amazingly as a duet with Manna Dey (THE most undercelebrated of the top male singers in Bollywood but the one whose panoply of singing was truly the most varied and impressive) & Lata Mangeshkar. While Rajendranath is busy panting lecherously (an effect used to even greater effect by Pancham later in another Rajesh Khanna starrer Apna Desh) a bemused Anwar Hussain steps forward to sing and dance with the gorgeous belle, (surely a rare occasion for him). https://youtu.be/BZqx5k4aiJo

Rajesh Khanna clearly looks very boyish. The billboards reflected the star value at the time, with Asha Parekh getting top billing ahead of Kaka.

The song itself is so very rooted to the rustic environs it is aptly picturized. The rhythmic intro is reminiscent of SDB and Jewel Thief. I am sure Pancham was assisting his father on that project. Smoking had still not fallen into public disrepute and you can see Kaka in the background puffing. The song, I daresay looks much better in monochrome, rather than in its colorized form. The basic beauty and Jal Mistry’s skilled monochrome photography is negated by the colorized version. https://youtu.be/pXc-BUBqGU0

Have fun, folks, the early morning drizzle has brought the mercury down to mid 20s and the breeze adds to the nip in the air.

Stay healthy and happy.

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

8 replies on “The indescribably intoxicating petrichor”

Wonderful share of a brilliant song by Pancham
The change of rhythm is enchanting and pleasing to the ears..
And yesss…. The change over of actors in both the movies… is well known 👍infact the other day I saw a poster of Teesri Manzil where Dev is on the Drums🤔👍
I agree Monochrome is best✅🙏🏾

Liked by 1 person

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