One of the self-imposed rules of this blog, which I have just now recognised, is that – Thou shalt write a long post on at least one Sahir Ludhianvi song per week. This realisation came about as I heard an old favourite play on the radio a short while ago. I try not to listen to the FM channels while on the road. I am not too fond of the cacophony that passes off as music these days. No Yo Yo Honey Singhs or even the more melodious Arijit Singhs for me, thank you very much.
So a couple of hours back, I was very pleasantly surprised when I heard that rare Geeta Dutt song from Pyaasa – Rut Phire Par Din Hamare Phire Na.
Pyaasa, the 1957 Guru Dutt classic starring Guru Dutt, Mala Sinha and Waheeda Rehman, boasted of memorable music. The brilliant music was composed by S.D. Burman and the classic lyrics were penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. This was to be the last movie of this lyricist- music composer duo.
Each number is a legendary song in itself and requires a separate post for its lyrics, music, singing and picturisation. There is the lilting Geeta Dutt solo, picturised on a coquettish Gulabo (Waheeda), Jaane Kya Tune Kahi and the number in the Baul tradition, Aaj Sajan Mohe Ang Laga Lo Janam Safal Ho Jaaye. Then there is the haunting Hemant Kumar lament Jaane Woh Kaise Log Thhe, where Vijay the poet (Guru Dutt) comes face to face with his former lover who abandoned him to marry Rehman (Vijay’s current employer). One cant help contrast this with Sahir’s Chalo Ek Baar Phir se from Gumrah, where the context is similar yet different. There is the very romantic Mohd Rafi -Geeta Dutt duet, Hum Aapki Aankhon Mein Is Dil Ko. Or the Johnny Walker’s famous Tel Maalish gaana, Sar Jo Tera Chakraye, Ya dil dooba Jaaye. And of course, there are the hard hitting Rafi solos where Sahir’s cynicism is very evident and the music by SDB is in tandem to highlight the plight of the society as seen by the poet, Vijay – Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye toh Kya Hai and the Jinhein Naaz Hai Hind Pe woh Kahan hai.
Each and every song in this legendary movie can be dissected in adequate detail. This post however is about that one number which never made it on screen. Rut Phire Par Din Hamare was not there in the movie. In Nasreen Munni Kabir’s book (Conversations with Waheeda Rehman), the topic of this song comes. According to Waheeda, this song had been filmed with her rowing in a boat and everyone had appreciated the picturisation. However Waheeda Rehman differed with the view and she apparently pointed out that having that song slows the pace of the story and is just boring. Guru Dutt had heard her criticism and after the first screening, had agreed with her observation (seeing people walk out for a bathroom or coffee break), had taken it off.
Coming to the song, it is one of Geeta Dutt’s finest songs (in my opinion). The plaintiveness of the song comes through in her melancholic rendition of it – Seasons may come and go, but her days never do; her life is much the same. The fate of the world may be looking up and the earth may be becoming brighter, but her life is filled with just the same darkness day in and day out. The futility of her life and situation is brilliantly summed up. She is in the middle of a river – with nothing to look forward to on either bank.
It is a pity that the filmed song (even though unused in the film) hasnt been made available to the public. Redundant it may have been in terms of the narrative of the movie, but it would have been good to see this wonderful number on a beautiful Waheeda Rehman!