Introspective melodies Romantic songs Sachindev Burman

Two in a row…..

The master I referred to in the blog yesterday, Bimal Roy, was a huge name in Bollywood and truly an institution by himself. His discoveries and protégés who would later make capital of their opportunity to train with him were many. Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Salil Chowdhury and Gulzar are just three of the best of the many glittering gems he gave Bollywood.

He steamrolled over all competition with his blockbuster Madhumati in the year it was released and won 9 awards out of 11 that it was  nominated for. The very next year he came up with a sensitively made movie that dared to tackle a burning social issue of the time (that sadly remains one to this day: Caste!

The movie, Sujata , had the best actress of the day, Nutan (to me the best of all time for the sheer spectrum of diverse roles she convincingly portrayed in her woman-centric roles, and I say this with all conviction, and I honestly do feel I have considered Meena Kumari, Nargis, Waheeda Rehman and the divine Madhubala amongst several lesser actresses ) and Balraj Dutt (aka Sunil Dutt who changed his on-screen name to avoid confusion with Balraj Sahni, who was already a highly appreciated actor) Shashikala, Tarun Bose (quite the quintessential Director’s actor) & Sulochana in an unforgettable role.

The movie based on a Bangla short story and bringing in references to the classic story of Chandalika was a huge hit. Bimal da got his 2nd  Filmfares in a row for best movie and best director, (after Madhumati a year earlier). It was not only entered at Cannes but also (for an Indian movie a really rare feat) nominated for the Palme d’Or .

The movie was all about one actor, really: Nutan in the eponymous role. With the canvas of a wonderful , very powerful storyline that is as socially relevant today (sadly) as it was six decades ago, a legendary director (Bimal Roy) , Nutan went up every ranking you can think of with a muted yet nuanced role. Only she could bring in conflicting and contrasting emotions in her wonderfully expressive eyes: pain, frustration, love, hope, anger and joy. Almost completely bereft of any make up (in keeping with the demands of the role) she let her face do all the talking. And wows the audience as much today as she did when the movie released in 1959.

A great score by the genius who spurned a throne for his love of music, Sachindev Burmanda and fantastic poetry by Majrooh Sultanpuri as well as great singing by all the singers meant the movie could be nothing else but a hit: adored by the audience and adulated by the ecstatic critics. Asha Bhosle had the larger share of the songs: 2 solos and a wonderful duet with Geeta Dutt, who had one of the best lullabies of the 100 years of Bollywood music, Nanhi Kali Sone Chali as her timeless classic from the eternally classic movie.

I love this song by Asha Bhosle primarily because it allows Nutan to emote so beautifully.

From the introduction to the end of the song, the melody is a deft weaving of love and longing, of desire and love as much unexpressed as stated. The subtext of futility of loving above one’s stratum is shown so subtly. The music is dominated by the wonderful flute and has a clear Bangla ethos.

For those who haven’t yet seen this poignant tale that is truly gut wrenching, please drop everything you’re doing tonight and watch this labour of love. I assure it would be time well spent.

Stay safe, folks and be happy. Enjoy the nip in the air which I have felt for the last few days consistently.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

31 replies on “Two in a row…..”

Yes classic song with superb acting by Nutan . But I still feel chhoti bahu ( Meenakumari ) .in Sahib bibi gave a better performance in Na jao Saiya. Everybody’s differing perception .

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One of the best movie I have ever seen. Person can be very dry in nature but he will definitely cry atleast once after seeing this movie. Nutan at her best…

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माणूस कितीही दगडाच्या मनाचा असला तरीही हा चित्रपट बघितल्यावर एकदातरी त्याच्या डोळ्यात अश्रू येणारच…
मनाला अंतर्मुख करायला लावणारा आहे…

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Wonderful, your choice of the song, the singer and above all your writing – so involved in the subject matter, emotional and displaying your love for music (the entire gamut of music)! Nutan can be compared with the best actors from other countries as well. I felt, she must have studied (and tutored by the director) the script thoroughly, as even her walks and actions were special, befitting the role.

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If you get a copy of Filmfare issued on 1967 awards occasion with a photo of Nutan on the cover, you won’t resent time and energy spent on procuring it, believe me!

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May I add that Nutan combined in her arsenal pathos of Meena Kumari, confidence of Nargis, beauty and acting skills of Madhubala and sparkle in eyes and vivacity of Waheeda Rehman?

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Nutan was trained in Paris I understand and also sang . A versatile actress !
Lovely song indeed and loved by many .
Regarding acting performance , I will leave it to ABC to decide . I like them all . Apples and oranges 😄

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That’s Dr Gharse. After her initial foray into films didn’t quite set Bollywood alight, her mother Shobhana Samarth did send her to a finishing school in Switzerland. Her return into films was much more impressive and produced an eternal impact


I have seen the movie atleast 5 times and songs I don’t even remember how many times👍✅👌👌
I am so lucky I actually met her in Aurangabad when she had come for a premier of Marathi film Paradh…. Believe me she was 100 times more beautiful in person 👍👍👌👌👌

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On Shri Boralkar’s perception about Nutan’s beauty , my late wife had similarly commented( I was not there with her on the occasion) ,on seeing her in course of Mumbai police Diwali melawa, that Nutan was far more beautiful off-screen.

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