Chali Re Chali Re Main toh Des Parayee (Saranga, 1961)

More than ten years back, I had joined an online forum of old Hindi film music lovers. I met some very interesting people virtually through the forum. And we became friends thanks to our shared interests – love for Hindi music in general and love for Rafi, Asha Bhosle, SDB, OPN and Sahir in particular.

This post is dedicated to one person whom I met and got rather close to in a very short time frame. I haven’t met a bigger Asha Bhosle fan than her. We bonded over our common love for Asha ji. She introduced me to some very rare numbers by Asha Bhosle that I hadn’t heard before.

One of the Asha songs that she made me listen to was this haunting, plaintive number from the 1961 film Saranga, Chali Re Chali Re Main toh Des Parayee. The lyrics are by Shakeel Badayuni and the music by Sardar Malik. The actress who is lip synching the song on screen is the Marathi actress Jayashree Gadkar, who if I remember right played Kaushalya in the Ramanand Sagar TV version of the Ramayana. What surprised me at that time was that while I vaguely remembered watching this movie when DD played it in the late 80s or early 90s, I had no recollection of this particular song.

It is a song of separation where the heroine is forced to move to another land. She is telling her childhood lover to forget her and their love as a bad dream. Their vows and promises are now all false as their fates have conspired against them. Instead of railing at the fates, there is a silent acceptance of the estrangement.

This is one of Asha Bhosle’s most melodious songs that highlights her amazing versatility. I found it surprising that this was sung by her and not Lata Mangeshkar or Suman Kalyanpur (if Lata Mangeshkar wasnt available). I think Suman Kalyanpur did sing a song in Saranga. It is very much their type of song – a sweet sad song.

I like this song mainly because of her flawless singing that brought out the sadness plus the fatalistic acceptance.

When I first heard this song, I used to have it on repeat mode most of the time. I have since associated this song entirely with this online friend.

Unfortunately our friendship was short-lived and she tragically passed away 8 years back to the day. I had stopped listening to this song since then. Today, I remembered her out of the blue and played this….



5 thoughts on “Chali Re Chali Re Main toh Des Parayee (Saranga, 1961)

  1. I’d forgotten about this song from Saranga – though another song from the film, Saranga teri yaad mein nain hue bechain – is one of my favourites (even though I don’t much care for Mukesh). I remember my sister and I sitting through the entire movie when it was shown on DD, just for the song. The movie was frightfully boring and melodramatic, and the song came pretty much towards the end, so my memories of Saranga are admittedly somewhat flawed.

    P.S. I must confess to a very deep love for Asha Bhonsle too. 🙂

    1. Ditto – The only song I remembered from Saranga, back from the DD days, before discovering Chali Re, was Saranga teri yaad mein. Am not fond of Mukesh either – though I do love some of his songs. I have completely blotted out the memory of the movie and not planning to watch it again 🙂

      Aha, you love Ashaji too 🙂

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