Songs of Bandini (1963)

14 Oct

This post is on the same lines like Dustedoff’s ‘Some thoughts on the songs of Pyaasa‘. Bandini is a classic film, about which much has been written and said. It is always a treat for the eyes and the soul to watch it. As I was returning from Germany last Sunday, I was humming O jaane wale ho sake to laut ke aanaa and the thought crossed my mind to write up on the songs of the film, since they are so much like companions for me.

The music is by S. D. Burman and the lyrics by Shailendra and Gulzar (Mora gora ang lai le) It is interesting, that of the seven songs only two are picturised on the main character of the film. The two male protagonists don’t get any songs. Of the remaining five, four songs are sung by junior artistes and one is a background song.

O pancchi pyaar
Singer: Asha Bhosle

Kalyani (Nutan), a convict, silent, introvert and beautiful, Deven (Dharmendra), a young doctor in the women’s jail, caring, competent, good-looking and in love with her. Kalyani, immersed in her own anguish and guilt can’t open her heart to him. The song though sung by a single person is built up like a duet. The mukhda is the question posed by Deven; the antaras are Kalyani’s answers. So, although the score doesn’t have any duets, this is sort of smuggled in.

Ab ke baras bhej bhaiya ko babul
Singer: Asha Bhosle

To whom really is Kalyani beseeching in this song to take her back remains unclear for me. Till this point in the story she has no relatives left, thus there is no question of her brother (who passes away, while rescuing a girl from the floods) coming to take her back to her parent’s house. Kalyani, who had started blossoming under the kind attention and care showed to her by Deven is crushed under the intrigue and mockery by fellow inmates and the lecherous jail official. Seeking relief from this web of entanglements, her song gets nearly a metaphysical level.

Also crushed under this intrigue, Deven resigns from his job and goes back to his mother. When the jailor, Maheshbabu (Tarun Bose), asks Kalyani, why she refused Deven’s proposal, she reasons that she wouldn’t like to cloud the future of a nice man like Deven. When he asks about her past, she breaks down. Mahesh asks her to write down her story, since she finds herself unable to narrate it to him.

Mat ro mata
Singer: Manna Dey

This patriotic song is picturised on a freedom activist, who is being taken to the gallows. He asks his mother not to cry, since he feels blessed as he had the good fortune to be able to serve his motherland. I feel it must be a small consolation for the mother. When my grandfather dies, who was also a freedom fighter, my grandmother was left alone to fend for herself and her five children. Thanks to her resourceful mother-in-law and grudging help of her relatives could she pull through. Maybe Bimal Roy wanted the song to give us a sort of foreboding of the misery of the other freedom fighter, who would become more important for the story.

Flashback to Kalyani’s past and her chance meeting with the Revolutionary Bikash (Ashok Kumar), who is under house arrest in her village. She falls in love with him.

Jogi jab se tu aayaa mere dwaare
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

One of my favourite Nutan songs. What intrigues me though is the reputation of jogis (mendicants) as seducers. They are often mentioned in many Hindi songs that way (the other song which comes to my mind is sona lai ja re from Mera Gaon Mera Desh). Maybe it is meant in a spiritual way that the jogi seduces you away from the material to the spiritual world. An indicator towards the former though would be the episode in young Shrikant’s life in the novel by Sharatchandra Chaterjee, which was filmed as a TV serial in the 80s.

Mora gora ang lai le
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Now isn’t that a sweet song! The song starts with Kalyani’s father reciting Vaishnav poetry with the theme how Radha clads herself in dark clothes while going to meet her beloved Krishna. Similarly, Kalyani sings of all the hurdles, which block her way on the way to meet Bikash. She would like to exchange her fairness for a dark colour so that she won’t be noticed in the moonlight night. There is this interesting story about how the song’s lyrics came into being.

While taking care of sick Bikash, who lands up at her doorstep one evening, Kalyani spends a night with him in the same room. When they are discovered by the police the next morning, when they come to pick him up for not returning, Bikash sees himself forced to pass her off as his fiancé. He asks for her hand from her father, who agrees. But after his tranfer to other prison and his subsequent release he doesn’t come back. To spare herself and her father the taunts of the villagers, she leaves the village, while the following song plays in the background.

O jaanewale ho sake to laut ke aanaa
Singer: Mukesh

This is one of the few songs sung by Mukesh for Dada Burman and also one of my favourite Mukesh songs. I would even go so far to say that this is my favourite Mukesh song. But it wasn’t always like that. For a long time I was of the opinion that ‘laut ke aanaa’ gave a discordant note to the whole song. It started growing up on me after I left India. It rings in my ear every time I leave India. Just watch the picturisation and Nutan’s facial expressions!

The jailor, Maheshbabu forwards Kalyani’s written story to Deven’s mother. She is impressed by her sincerity and honesty. She gives her consent to Deven’s and Kalyani’s marriage and writes her a letter saying so. Happy about this new development, Kalyani sets off, after her pardon, to Deven’s house with her chaperone. At a train junction she meets Bikash again, who is suffering from tuberculosis. She learns about the reason behind his disappearance. A wayside jogi starts singing…

O re maanjhi… mere sajan hai us paar
Singer: S. D. Burman

Well, what can I say about this song, which I haven’t already said. I don’t know of any other film in which a song, which builds, forms and carries the climax of a film. What a climax! And what a masterpiece!
By the way did you notice the Good Luck Tea House board? Good Luck like Kalyan, Kalyani? Kalyani, which means auspicious?

If you are a reader, who has not seen Bandini and wondering, why Kalyani landed in jail or whom she will choose? Then you will have to watch the film and believe me, you won’t regret it.


Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists


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53 responses to “Songs of Bandini (1963)

  1. thandapani

    October 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    What songs.. all of them. Ab ke baras bhej bhaiyya ko babul is taken from a folk song about the yearning that lives forever in a girls heart for the house she grew up in, her parents home, where she was once innocent and carefree. Every happy girl returns to her parents home during the month of Sawan. Sad is the girl who cannot. Hence you are absolutely right that the singer of the song wants to escape her cares.

    How lyrical and romantic Jogi jab se tu aaya, and Mora gora ang lai le are. I have sung these song, listened to them so often with happiness. And o re majhi? Priceless.

    This was one unusual and a beautiful film.

    Thanks harv… lovely write up.

  2. harvey

    October 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    O Ava!
    How right you are! When I saw this movie again after 3 years, two days back, I was surprised that there were so many hidden things to be discovered! Certain glances, certain hidden lines! I think I am going to watch it again sometime this week!

    Ab ke baras… is so sad and melancholic. Like I commented at Richard’s Asha List sometime back:
    “That is a nice song and was on my asha fav audio cassette in my teenage years. Wonder where it is now! Asha recalled during the TV show ‘Yeh hai Asha’ that by coincidence during the recording of the song, she was undergoing some hard times, since her sisters and brother had severed their ties with her after marriage and thus this song struck a cord with her. I don’t know how far this is true. I had always thought that till the late 50s she had already left Mr. Bhosle and living again with her mother, if not she was completely independent. But maybe I’m mistaken as well. Mistaken in the dates or also maybe in the recollection.”

    As you said each and every song is a gem!

  3. thandapani

    October 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I was thinking about this sad song on Rakhi this year, and pondering on the underlying sadness in what should be a happy event.. a visit to father’s house and realised that a lot of folk songs suggest the hardships women faced in traditional setups. Here is the folk song written by the great Amir Khusro.

    • harveypam

      October 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      That is true many of the female folk songs do voice the hardships faced by women. Mostly it concerns the hardships faced at the in-laws place, where they are new. The ‘souten’ is also quite an issue.
      the song which you posted is real sad. I understood the part where the mother says that her father is too old to fetch her but what are the excuses given for the brother and maternal uncle?
      Sad and beautiful though they are they make me feel angry as well, about the society in allowing such injustice.

  4. Richard S.

    October 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Funny coincidence, because probably as you were writing this, I was picking up a copy of this movie in a batch of five DVDs that I got in one of my increasingly infrequent trips to the DVD stores in Jackson Heights, NY. I will make sure to look back at this post as I watch the film. 🙂 And I might want to consult you about some of it, because while I was flipping through it for the songs, I noticed that there is at least half an hour in the film in which the subtitles completely disappear. (By which I don’t mean that there are no subtitles for the songs – there are – but for half an hour, at least, in both dialogue and songs, the subtitles just vanish. So, Hindi-challenged readers in the U.S, be forewarned. – the DVD is from Baba Traders.) However, that problem is not nearly as bizarre as the ones that I encountered in my copy of the new Shemaroo Vintage edition of Anmol Ghadi – which would probably take a whole blog post to explain. 🙂

    • harvey

      October 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      Now that is some coincidence!
      Feeel free to ask about any part that is missing. It is really irritating when one is so much dependent on the subtitles and then the subtitles do the disappearing act. It happened to me with one Satyajit Ray film and I couldn’t even ask anybody. I don’t know how it is the US, but the real good vintage films are shown here late at night. And it has happened to me quite often that the next morning I discovered that the last ten or 30 minutes were missing! 🙂

      I am looking forward to your post on your mutiliated copy of Anmol Ghadi.

      Bythe way ‘occupy the wallstreet’ has arrived here as well at last. Will be there tomorrow! 🙂

  5. pacifist

    October 14, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Lovely post, harvey.
    The jail song (is that what you meant?) ‘ab ki baras’ has already been written about by thandapani and I have nothing more to add. I was going to write the same thing about it being a folk song.

    The birth of the lyrics for mora gora ang is really fascinating. Quite an insight into how they come about. Was amused by all that ghar/aangan se bahar nahin jayegi…jaayegi naheen to gayegi kaise 😀

    Great film, beautiful songs. They don’t make them like that anymore.

    • harvey

      October 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      Thank you, pacifist!
      Yes that is what I meant and naturally more!
      I had written ‘it is all about being bound up in jail and elsewhere’. The word-play was with the word ‘bound’.
      Ihad read about this story some ten years ago or somethinglike that and I had copied the article and saved it on my PC and suddenly I couldn’t find it. I took me nearly half an hour to find it! BTW Shailendra’s daughters are of the opinion that their father wrote the lyrics and that Gulzar just wrote the mukhda and Shailendra wrote the rest of it. Lata Mangeshkar, on the other hand says in an interview that S. D. Burman tol dher that the lyrics are from a new lyricist Gulzar. But on the other hand Gulzar was not that new anymore. He had already written lyrics for Sriman Satyawadi, it seems. But I do believe Gulzar that it is his creation although it doesn’t have any of his typical khali bartan and andhaa kunvah!

      • Moti Lalwani

        October 30, 2011 at 2:55 am

        About khali bartan and andhaa kunvah. Many a times SD Burman, alone or through his wife Meera Burman, used to tell the poet what he wanted to be written. In my interview, Gopaldas Neeraj who was a professor of Hindi and an accomplished poet since many years, has told me that SDB told him, “Gulo gulzar, shama parwana nahin chahiye, Rongila se shuru karna”, adding that the entire scene was narrated to him by SDB, and Neeraj was asked to write to the music which Dada had created for the song.

        • harveypam

          October 30, 2011 at 8:07 am

          Welcome to my blog, Motiji! Nice to see you here!

          That is an interesting anecdote! Thanks for that. I had Neeraj’s poems in our Hindi textbooks in school, but I have forgotten which. SDB and RDB both used to invest lot’s of time for creating a song. And when the director was devoted, like Guru Dutt (who at times even used to suggest tunes to the MD), Raj Kapoor, Bimal Roy, they were also highly involved in the creation of a song! I think one can see the quality then in the end product!
          SDB, I read somewhere was sort of a soft dictator on the recording set but very endearing and innocent!

          Coming back to rangila re, Abrar Alvi says that the tune was offered to Guru Dutt first, for Kaagaz ke Phool or Pyaasa. But Guru Duttt rejected it, although Alvi wanted him to retain it.

          • Moti Lalwani

            October 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

            My comments are supported by voice recording of Neeraj, while I don’t believe Guru Dutt would have been able to dictate to SDB. Reason: 1. He was in awe of SDB since his age of 15-16, listening only to SDB’s Bangla songs. 2. Even Bimal Roy, being a more senior director, had to bend before SDB’s insistence about two songs, one each in Sujata and Bandini, how to picturise the songs. SDB even told BR that he won’t give music if the Bandini song was not picturised according to what SDB wanted.

            • harveypam

              October 30, 2011 at 9:30 am

              You have an argument there.
              I got the above facts from Abrar Alvi’s reminiscences on Guru Dutt from the book ‘Ten years with Guru Dutt – Abrar Alvi’s Journey’

              He also narrates an incident, where Guru Dutt asked SDB to copy the song of Harry Black and The Tiger for sar jo tera takraye at least for the mukhda. SDB was shocked, but Guru Dutt was adamant. It seems that SDB blended the tune with his melody that it was not recognisable anymore.

              I think one has to take these narrations with a pinch of salt like all reminiscences!

              • Moti Lalwani

                October 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

                SDB was close to Guru Dutt, no doubt, and in his autobiography he has made quite a few references to Guru Dutt that 1. they both used to go fishing together in Powai lake, 2. Dev and Guru Dutt used to love his music and go regularly to his sion residence to listen to his songs, etc. etc.
                I do believe that Abrar Alvi is right but SDB would have copied only because the situation demanded such a song, and not because of the pressures. SDB was very proficient in western music, something which was appreciated by even Bobby Darwin, the iconic composer of ‘Come September’ who mentioned music of Sujata, Guide and Parakh (Salil C). He became aware of them through a British music critic, James Stewart, who was well informed about Hindi melodies. (Times of India Feb 21, 2009).
                Abrar memory was good during this book, but he made one mistake w/o realising it. ‘Harry Black and the Tiger’ was originally released as ‘Harry Black’ in England and Guru Dutt must have brought those 78 RPM records. It was later named HB&TT and released in India (1958) and other parts of the world.

                • harveypam

                  October 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm

                  I didn’t know that SDb had written an autobiography! That is wonderful. What is its title?

                  I remember Dev telling in an interview about his relationship with SDB in Star & Style magazine in the 80s. One anecdote was that SDB used to come to Dev’s hose and order a drink, but just a sip of whisky and ask to fill the rest of the glass with soda! And that when SDB was not keeping well, Dev would wait for him to get well again. He further said, that SDB was very much hurt that Guru Dutt didn’t show the same patience.

                  Abrar doesn’t mention the the name change from Harry Black to Harry Black and the Tiger, but he does mention that Guru Dutt got the records from England and the album got released later on in India.

          • Moti Lalwani

            October 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

            While I have Neeraj’s voice recording to support my post, I do not think SDB was the kind who will bend to any producer’s whims. Twice in as many movies, SDB had his say with a producer as senior as Bimal Roy, going to the extent that he will not give music if his advice was not accepted. Once it was in Sujata where he insisted that the song, ‘Jalte hain jiske liye’ be allowed to be sung on the phone by the hero, and again in Bandini when he insisted that Kalyani goes out to sing, while Bimalda wanted her to sing within the house. Both these anecdotes have been written about by eminent people of the industry, so can’t be wrong.

            • harvey

              October 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm

              That is surely an interesting anecdote about SDB wanting the song jalte hain jiske liye on phone. Thank you for that! BTW jalte hai jiske liye is one of my favourite songs!
              I had heard about mora gora ang lai le episode though. Gulzar talked about it. I have written about it above.
              SDB was surely a great composer!
              By no means I am doubting what Neeraj said. So it is surely right what he said and Alvi has his own memories.
              These reminiscences make good reading or hearing (as the case might be), becasue they give us an insight into the many faceted personality of artistes whom we love and this brings us nearer to their art.

              • Moti Lalwani

                October 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm

                I have quoted Manna Dey and the link at the end. I have read somewhere else that when Bimal Roy showed his apprehension about the telephone instrument being used, SDB asked him, “Have you ever been in love, to know that youngsters speak sweet nothings on the telephone”. That anecdote I have somewhere. Read below and enjoy:

                Majrooh Sultanpuri on SDB:
                Talking now of the song Jalte hain jiske liye (Sujata) Majrooh says that Bimal Roy was not particularly amenable to S.D. Burman’s suggestion that Sunil Dutt, the film’s hero, should be shown crooning to Nutan over the telephone. “The audience won’t like it,” the director argued. But the music composer was adamant Finally, Bimal Roy relented when S.D. Burman threatened to quit the film. The song, rendered memorably by Talat Mahmood, was one of the film’s highlights. “But today, everything is topsy turvy. Music directors dance to the tune of the producers,” he regrets.


                • harveypam

                  October 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm

                  Thanks for that link, that is a nice interview with Majrooh! Loved reading it!
                  Amazing stories!
                  That Naushad needed 2-3 days only for the mukhda, can be seen from the quality of his work.
                  We can’t imagine jalte hai jiske liye without the telephone now!

                  Is the cscs archive a search machine for Times of India articles?

                  • Moti Lalwani

                    October 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm

                    I have no idea about your question!
                    It has been refreshing to have interacted with you on the subject.
                    Take care,
                    Bye for now,

    • dustedoff

      October 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      It’s uncanny, but when you first mentioned the ‘jail song’ over at my blog, the song that came to my mind – after Zulf ke phande phans gayi jaan (which, as my father would explain, isn’t a ‘jail song’ – it’s technically a ‘lock-up song’! Big difference. ;-)) – was O panchhi pyaare. Somehow that song, with the shush-shush-shush of the threshing in the background, always builds up a very powerful image of imprisonment versus freedom in my mind.

      Great post, harvey – and it’s made me want to rewatch Bandini. Maybe in a couple of years’ time… after I’ve gone through the stack lying at home.

      P.S. Thank you for the link to that article on Gulzar’s writing of Mera gora ang. Loved it!

      • harveypam

        October 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm

        Well, I think a jail or lock-up would sure make a difference to the person who is on the wrong side of the prison boars! 😉
        O panchhi pyaare is indeed the first song that comes to me, when I think of a jail song. All others are like faint memories.

        Thank you for the compliments, dustedoff! You won’t believe it, I watched it again (nearly half of it) yesterday evening.

        I alos like the article on the creation of mora gora ang lai le lyrics. I am sure there are surely such interesting storeis behind more songs, but unfortunately we don’t know them. I recall R.D. Burman narrating a story of the creation of one more Bandini song, for which his father had sent him to Shailendra and they both sat at Chowpatty and Shailendra had the lyrics in three minutes or so! But I’m not sure if it is was Bandini.

  6. Anu Warrier

    October 14, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Harvey, I’d really misunderstood your play on bound! This was a double bonanza for me – what a film and what a score! And I laughed so much at your analysis of the patriotic song. But I think during those times, there was a different feeling to the whole martyrdom thing – women were proud that their brothers / husbands/ sons / fathers were giving up their lives for their motherland – it was a more idealistic time then. And that whole period – I remember my friend’s grandmother relating tales of coming from Lahore to Punjab during the partition.

    *LOVED* the story about how the lyrics of that song came about; it’s these things that are so interesting – the backstories! I’m so glad the post turned out this way instead of what I had (been led to) expected it to be… 🙂

    • harvey

      October 15, 2011 at 8:23 am

      well, it was a cryptic clue which sounded like a simple one!
      I don’ think it is a questtion of time. It is just a question of right waz of brain-washing a propaganda.
      Whom we call terrorists are martyrers for their cause. It just depends on which side you are. And sacrfices (of all kinds) are necessary to further a cause. If it is justifiable or not, depends on the angle which you look at it. The revolution devours its own children!

      The story about the creation of the lyrics of mora gora ang lai le is really charming. I’m sure there are more such stories. Would be nice to know more about it! 🙂

  7. Samir

    October 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Welcome back Harvey, this is a great post about a classic film with wonderful songs. As you may have guessed by my extremely generic first sentence, I have nothing of value to add 🙂
    I also read some of your earlier posts, the Phone-Songs & the Fruit-songs; could not think of any songs to add there, but enjoyed them.

    • harveypam

      October 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      Yeah, I agree with you when It comes to Bandini, I think, everybody is just in awe of it and admires the story, the direction and the songs. Though watching it has sent certain wheels in my brain rolling and maybe I may just make a post on like thoughts on Bandini, but I’m not so sure about it, if it will suffice to be a post by itself and I’m still not sure if I have come to any conclusion.
      It is always nice to hear from you and nice to know that you have been reading my other posts as well.

      • dustedoff

        October 16, 2011 at 6:41 am

        “post on like thoughts on Bandini”

        Oh, please, please! PLEASE! 🙂

  8. harveypam

    October 16, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Well, as for now it doesn’t look like it will be anything like on the scale of Guru Dutt films.

  9. Suchi

    October 21, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Makayi purai pad like jata especially paanchi payare and ab ke baras nice review on Bandhani by you Deva.

    • harveypam

      October 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      We both have always liked Bandini songs, haven’t we, Suchi?

  10. yves

    October 27, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Hallo Harvey,

    A very nice post on these glorious songs from a great movie, thanks!

    In the song Ab ke baras bhej bhaiya ko babul, you ask “To whom really is Kalyani beseeching in this song to take her back”, but you remember the song isn’t sung by Kalyani herself, but by the fellow inmate busy turning the wheel. Kalyani is listening to the words, and we understand she’s struck by the fact that precisely she has no one to turn to.

    And in Mat ro mata, I’d always thought the mother alluded to was the motherland, Bharat mata, no? So that when you say that his singing must be a small consolation for the mother, it isn’t his real mother, but India for whom he is fighting, and who should of course rejoice that one of his sons accepts to sacrifice his life for her. The theme of sacrifice runs throughout the movie.

    Like you, my favourite song is the climactic last one, where it seems again very clear that Kalyani has all the time she needs to weigh the pros and cons, and doesn’t choose her husband without reason (I’m alluding her to all those bloggers who believe Bimalji should have made her reunite with Deven instead of Bikash).


    • harveypam

      October 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      Hey Yves, nice to see you here again. I am having a real bad conscience of not doing a post on Nutan’s biography. I would have gladly done it, but the book is entirely bereft of any new details on her life. The article scanned by bollywood deewana can be said to have more info than in the biography. The biography itself is short and then there are different articles. One of them is written by Nutan, on Bimal Roy, which doesn’t say much than the fact that Nutan wanted to quit movies, when Roy came to her with Bandini and that she was pregnant during the shooting.
      That is a nice explanation of the song Ab ke baras bhej bhaiya ko babul. I had always presumed that the song reflects Kalyani’S feelings, but your explanation sounds more logical as well as plausible.
      As for Mat Ro Mata, indirectly it might mean Bharatmata, but I don’t think so. But I agree very much with you that it is the precursor to many acts of sacrfice that would follow in the narration.
      I think the wish, that Kalyani should go to Deven is much more based on Dharmendra’s good looks and naturally the efforts he has put into the relationship, which would be futile now!

      • yves

        October 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm

        Thanks for Harvey for your update on Nutan’s biography… Of course I was thinking about it when writing on Bandini, but I didn’t want to press it on to you! So, well, if the book doesn’t really contain much, what is one to do? There must be some information somewhere about Nutan’s life! Perhaps if I could check with Mohnish? Do you know if he has a website or an address somewhere?
        thanks for any hint.

        • harveypam

          October 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm

          Mohnish seems to be as media wary as his father. Even in Nutan’s biography, he finds hardly any mention. If I come up with anything, I’ll surely tell you!

  11. Moti Lalwani

    October 30, 2011 at 2:59 am

    I comments are about the song ‘Rangila re’ from Prem Pujari.

  12. Moti Lalwani

    October 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Autobiography: He was a multifaceted person. He is the only music director to have written his autobiography, about 32 pages, called ‘Saragmer Nikhad’ in Bengali, sometime in 1969-’70. It is a beauty when you read it, just like his beautiful and evergreen music. My god, I can’t believe he could write so well.
    He used to take a small drink and nurse it till the end.
    SDB after all was a human being, but would never discuss his hurt with anyone, so Dev must have imagined/guessed it.
    I have Abrar’s book. Since Abrar was recollecting after so many years, and the movie released in India in 1958 (after Pyaasa) was HB&TT, I would not blame him if he didn’t remember the name on the records. After all he would have seen the movie with the changed name.

  13. Shilpi Bose

    November 2, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Late as usual with my comment but as they say better late than never. Bandini songs! I love all of them and of course Bimal Roy had a special way of filming them. Incidentally this film is based on a Bengali novel written by a jailor who found his inspiration for his novels right there in the jail. In a way dad’s character of the jailor is based on the author himself for I think the novel though not a true story was written in the first person, almost as if the jailor were recounting a true story to his readers.

    • harveypam

      November 2, 2011 at 8:34 am

      That is very intersting! I was wondering about it, you know? I was telling myself, that this work must be basedon a Bengali novel, but couldn’t see any name in the credits. I liked the portrayal of the jailor. Whwn his subordinates say huzoor to him and bow and all, he accepts it as the rules are, but his ego is not inflated. He remains down to earth person.
      That is what I like about Bimal Roy’s characters they are never extreme, even though their actions at times maybe.

    • harveypam

      November 2, 2011 at 8:35 am

      Do you know the name of the novel or author by any chance, please?

      • Shilpi Bose

        November 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

        First of all Harvey – thank you so much for visiting my blog. I have replied to your queries which you had posted on my blog. You see I was down and out suffering from side effects of a medicine.
        The name of the novel? Well missing mom she had all the answers. I do know the author’s name or rather his pen name is Jarasandha. Since mom isn’t around I did the next best thing – which is- searched the net, the name of the novel is Tamasi.

        • madmovie&musiclover

          November 16, 2011 at 7:26 am

          yep,the novel is Tamasi and the writer is Jarasandha whose real name is Charu chandra Chakrabarti.He was a jailor by profession so most of his stories were written about prisoners and jailors and their experiences.Quite a few films were made based on his novels ,both in bengali and hindi.I am giving here a list-

          1] Bandini-Tamasi
          2] Paadi [bengali]-Paadi.Remade as Anokha milan Starring Dharmendra,Pronoti & Dilip kumar all of whom also starred in Bengali version of the film.
          3] Mahashweta [bengali]-Starring Satyajit ray’s favorite actor Soumitra chatterjee.Remade in Hindi as Shama starring Shabana azmi & Girish Karnad.
          4] Louhakapat -a cult Bengali film made By Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winner Tapan sinha based on hugely popular novel of Jarasandha of the same name.

          Bandini might be the best movie of the lot but Louhakapat and Mahashweta are great films too.Anokha milan or paadi isn’t that great but has got a very powerful storyline and some really good performance by Pronoti and Dilip kumar and Abhi bhattacharyya and is a good one time watch.Also some good music By Salil choudhuri.

          • harveypam

            November 16, 2011 at 10:27 am

            Thank you, MMML!
            That is lots of information! 🙂
            I didn’t know that so many of Jarasandha’s novels were made into films. I haven’t seen any of the films except Bandini.
            I remember Shama a bit from its songs, which featured in Chhaya Geet.
            (chaand apna safar khatm karta raha:

            (chaand apna safar khatm karta raha (Lata):

            Anokha Milan i totally new for me. I liked up on you tube and found two nice Salil Choudhary songs. Quite a discovery!
            (bandhu re, yeh man dole bole kya re koi na jaane:

            Unfortunately my knowledge of Bangla is limited. My occasional forays in Bengali cinema are limited to Ray films and during my time in India to the films showed on TV.

    • Moti Lalwani

      November 2, 2011 at 9:53 am

      @Shilpi Bose
      The credit here for location of ‘Mora gora rang lai le’ goes to SD Burman.
      Pl read what Gulzar has said,
      “Gulzar recalled that there was tension in the atmosphere that day. Music Composer S. D. Burman sat in a corner and Bimal Roy sat at a distance from him. It was evident that the veterans were in the midst of creative differences and nobody was willing to call a truce.
      Bimal Roy said, ‘There’s no way a sheltered girl like Kalyani is going to step out of the house to sing a song.’
      S. D. Burman argued, ‘If she does not step out, will she sing a romantic song like that in the presence of her father?’
      ‘Why not?’ Bimal Roy replied in a raised voice. ‘If the father can recite Vaishnav Poetry to his daughter what is the harm if the daughter sings the same poetry to him?’
      ‘Because,’ retorted Burman, by now visibly exasperated, ‘we need a song, not a poem and a song will be stifled indoors. The mood and the moment beckon nature, the meadow and the moon. I have made up my mind. ‘S. D. Burman stated finally, ‘If Kalyani does not step out of the house, I will not compose the tune!’
      Bimal Roy understood that Burman would not relent. He compromised that Kalyani would saunter up to the verandah and no further. ‘It is unacceptable that a girl like her would be wandering far away from home after dusk.’ The character was sacrosanct to Roy and his honesty reflected in his films. He encouraged creative participation from his team. In that sense Kalyani belonged as much to the music composer S. D. Burman, as to the writer Jarasandha, to debutante lyricist Gulzar as she did to the director.

      • harveypam

        November 2, 2011 at 11:48 am

        Thank you for the translation! I was too lazy to translate this incident, that is why I just gave the link to the article.
        This way non-Hindi speakers can also enjoy it!

        I think Bimal Roy wanted to give contrast to his character Kalyani, of a sheltered girl, who won’t go past the verandah, but who would be forced to leave her father’s house and her fore-father’s village in the middle of the night and also highlight her heroic deed of escaping in the night from her teacher’s home in a neighbouring village and passing on the news to Bikasbabu.

        • Moti Lalwani

          November 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm

          A good movie is that which makes viewers think and think, again and again, as to what and why the producer did and why he did. The more you see such a movie, the more you discover it’s finer points and you never tire of seeing it again and again. Like a good poetry, a good book, a good movie, a good song, and so forth. They all take you to a stage of eternal bliss.

          • harveypam

            November 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

            Couldn’t agree with you more!
            Food for brain!
            One feels so grateful to these brilliant artists!

            • Moti Lalwani

              November 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm

              This country is blessed with best artists and worst leaders. Bye for now. Cheers!

      • Shilpi Bose

        November 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm

        @Moti Lalwani: That is an interesting bit of info, thanks for sharing.

        • Moti Lalwani

          November 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

          You are welcome. On SD Burman, I have a lot of information. He would hear the story, decide he would give music or not, tell the producer (even Bimal Roy), how to film a song, etc. Even in Sujata he had told Bimal Roy how to film ‘Jalte hain jiske liye’ song. There was tension but SDB stood his ground. There will never be another music director of his caliber again.

  14. Shilpi Bose

    February 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Harvey I had forgotten about this post; thanks for reminding me about it, it was interesting reading it all over again, I absolutely agree with your observations, after coming here again I think I should also do a post on songs in Bimal Roy’s films, what do you think?

    • harveypam

      February 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      That is indeed a great idea, Shilpi!
      You should surely pursue it along with the posts on anecdotes of your Dad!


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