A tweet, a new song and Aar Paar (1954)

Two posts in a day? Not intended at all… but cannot help this one. A particular tweet on my Twitter timeline this evening is responsible for this.

@BhopalHouse tweeted about a song on Coke Studio (Pakistan – Season 7) that reminded her of O.P.Nayyar’s music. Intrigued by the tweet, I heard the song.


And yes, she was right. Very O.P.Nayyar-ish in its tune and rhythm, the song does have an old world charm. It could very well have been from a fifties movie. And the lyrics are quaint too: Nadiya Paar Paar Karke, Tukde Chaar Chaar Karke, Kahin Door Kahin.. Woh Chali.  Addendum – So this is NOT a new song at all. The portion – Zara Halke Halke is a direct lift from a song from the Pakistani film Anokhi  (1956) which was then popularised by the Benjamin Sisters in the seventies. (Thank you Madhu! )

The portion that the girl sings (Zara Halke Halke …Kahin Dil Ka Jaam na Chhalke) reminded still does remind me of one song in particular, which set off this post!

Na Na Na Tauba Tauba Main Na Pyaar Karoongi (Aar Paar, 1954) is a romantic and fun duet sung by Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi and picturised on Johnny Walker and an actress whose name I am not aware of.  Picturised in a Zoo (or some kind of national park), Johnny Walker is chasing this girl who is refusing to “pyaar karo” with him or anyone else. An adorable Tun-Tun  accompanied by two kids on an elephant also shows up in the song.

Aar Paar made in 1954 is one of Guru Dutt’s early successes. It is a light-hearted movie (unlike the movies made by Dutt in the latter half of his short-lived career) and boasts of immortal music by O.P.Nayyar. Most of the songs are remembered to this day. (Babuji Dheere Chalna, Yeh Lo Main Haari Piya, Sun Sun Sun Zaalima).

The leading lady of the movie (Aar Paar) was Shyama, though in my opinion, the best songs of the movie were pictured on a very pretty newcomer – Shakila.

For someone who had a fairly brief career (she got married in the early sixties and left films), Shakila starred in some good films (CID, China Town, Nakli Nawab) and has some memorable numbers picturised on her: Aankhon hi Aankhon Mein Ishaara Ho Gaya (CID, 1956), Baar Baar Dekho Hazaar Baar Dekho (China Town, 1962), the very soulful Sau Baar Janam Lenge, Sau Baar Fanaa Honge (Ustadon ke Ustad, 1962),  the sweet Asha Bhosle – Manna Dey duet Zulfon ki Ghata Lekar (Reshmi Roomal, 1961)…. and my favourite Mohd Rafi number – Tum Poochtay Ho Ishq Bala Hai Ki Nahin (Nakli Nawab, 1962) – my father was a HUGE Manoj Kumar fan in his college days – so yes, I must have watched all of Manoj Kumar’s movies…. But Nakli Nawab is my favourite!)

I was very surprised last week at a Diwali party. As with most social gatherings, the children in the party were asked to exhibit some of their talents – recite a poem, sing a song or dance or do whatever… A small five year old child came up and crooned what he called was the “best song” he had heard. As I braced myself to listen to his rendition of a Salman Khan number, he went on to croon Babuji Dheere Chalna.... I probably cheered the loudest when he ended his song!

What can one say about Babuji Dheere Chalna, that has not been said. It is a classic club wala dance number. The hero (slightly amoral, grey, in a dilemma) enters this club and here is this sultry dancer warning him of the treachery in love’s ways.

But my favourite song from this movie is Hoon Abhi Main Jawan. Not as popular as the other club number, this song has a pathos that is conveyed brilliantly by both the singer (Geeta Dutt) and the actress (Shakila). Shakila looks gorgeous and very young which heightens the meaning of the song! The dancer now has fallen on bad times and is drunk as she ponders on her life. The lyrics by Majrooh are haunting – full of pathos and grief bordering on the optimistic.

Sample these lines –

“Jo hai ganeemat hai aaj, kal kaun jaane ho kya… ho na ho yeh sama aye dil ” or

“Dekhi hai ye zindagi yun hi nahi bekhudi,  Mujhko behak jaane de baaten na kar hosh ki…Hosh Kaisa Yahan aye dil…”



3 thoughts on “A tweet, a new song and Aar Paar (1954)

  1. That Kahin dil ka jaam na chhalke seems to be a direct lift from one of my favourite songs, Gaadi ko chalaana babu, from the Pakistani movie Anokhi: 😀

    Incidentally, Shakila had debuted as a child actress in 1950, in a film named Daastaan. Such a beautiful and peppy actress, and I’m so glad she appears in two films that I really like: CID and Chinatown.

    1. Oh wow, I havent heard this one!! Yes, it is a direct lift of the song 🙂 No wonder the old world feel! Who is the singer? That Zaalim part did remind of Na Na Na Tauba Tauba though –

      I like Shakila very much… she is very pretty and a decent actress… CID, China Town and Nakli Nawab – i really liked her in these three movies…

      1. The singer of Gaadi ko chalaana babu was Zubeida Khanum. The song was popularised by the Benjamin Sisters during the 70s and 80s, though I guess it must have been pretty well-known to start off with.

        BTW, I love Nakli Nawab too! Manoj Kumar is one of those people (a little like Dev Anand in that respect) whom I like very much in his earlier roles – before he turned all patriotic. He was very handsome in films like Nakli Nawab and Shaadi, and he acted in some great suspense films. 🙂

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