Romantic songs Sachindev Burman

A classic, interpreted…

The local FM station played this song, a personal favourite since many decades today morning. I was instantly transported back through the decades as if in a time machine. The song is from a 70 plus year old movie, Afsar starring the debonair and perennially young Dev Anand and Suraiya. The movie, based on Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector, which was a very acerbic and incisive comment about the rampant corruption in Imperial Russia.  The novel was actually published in the 1830s. The movie was the very first movie Dev Anand made under the Navketan banner. Directed by his older brother Chetan Anand, it had great music by the genius Sachindev Burmanda who struck a great partnership with Navketan right from the get go, so to speak. Suraiya sang 5 songs picturized on her. Listen to this:

Suraiya undoubtedly was a very good singer and it shows in her songs. Right from the first notes of the introduction, she weaves a magical spell on me in particular and the entire audience in general. Such a distinct, soothing sound. She sings the low notes as well as the highest ones. The song’s lyrics are by Pandit Narendra Sharma.

The plot is hilarious and it’s amazing that there are unmistakable parallels  between Tsarist Russia and India.

The story relates to the last era of British rule when after several land reforms in India, the government faces the impossible task of assessing the actual incomes of landlords to get them in for taxing them. For purpose of direct assessments revenue officers are sent out, and s larger number of (for more accurate assessments) people are sent out in disguise claiming to be pursuing various professions for longer periods of time to make their own assessment of reality and of actual sources and incomes.

Dev Anand is a smart but long unemployed city youth who doesn’t know all this goes along with an illiterate whimsical assistant, barest of furniture and no medical knowledge whatsoever goes into the village and sets up a dispensary claiming to be a doctor, to earn a living. He meets the village chief , who has much to hide, and as his medical illiteracy is only too apparent, thinks he is a Government agent sent to spy on them, and tries to honey trap him with his beauteous daughter, Suraiya.

The rest of the story is pretty much predictable.

The song has such strong Bangla influence, Burmanda‘s magic is very apparent. A superhit song and score that set up the foundation for a very durable partnership between Burmanda and Navketan. The song is based on a Rabindrasangeet

The influence of Rabindranath Thakur on the Bangla mind and psyche is unimaginable in every way, such was the multifaceted genius.

Stay happy and healthy, folks, as I rush to the hospital with dense clouds in the dark skies


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

4 replies on “A classic, interpreted…”

Wah wah wah.. What a golden song after so many days I am listening !! .. Suraiya, Shamshad begam.. Those were days full of true voices, music, meaningful songs, what not !! All pure.. Thank God I enjoyed their songs, in school/college days. Thank you sir for this song.

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