Aanewaalaa phal, jaanewaalaa hai… (The fruits, they come and go… )

21 Oct

Fruits! Delicious, luscious fruits! One would say everybody loves fruits. They are nutritious, taste good and are attractive for the eye. Well, they have to be, after all the plant wants it’s children to travel far and wide. Why then this step-motherly treatment to these fabulous creations of nature in Hindi film songs?

Fruits were and are associated with lust. Offering of the apple by Eve to Adam is often cited as an example of this partnership in sin. The Indian censors were very strict about this and only let small and insignificant fruits be sung about in the film songs. As you must have noticed in my post Fruit cake, even if they allowed some fruits to slip through, they saw to it that they had the ugliest melodies possible or it is was done indirectly like ambua ki dali (a mango branch) or beri ke neeche (below the jujube tree). Not the fruits themselves but the tree was in the focal point. Lots of lyricists still wrote lyrics mentioning the fruits of their taste or which suited the scene and occasion. All these attempts were brutally suppressed and the words changed beyond recognition.

During my stay in India in July, in London in August and the last week’s stay in the Black Forest, I could meet witnesses and activists in exile. They told me stories of suppression and oppression of artists and poets of the Bombay film industry by the censors. They told me stories of how works of art where mutilated on the grounds of decency and morality.

I can only write about ten such songs. After reading this article, you, my dear intelligent readers will surely see through many other songs, which we sing every day and have been racking our brains why a certain word doesn’t quite fit in.

1. Ek Khathal Bane Nyara – Badi Behen/President [1937]
MD: R. C. Boral; Lyricist: Anon; Singer: Saigal

Have you seen a jackfruit (Khathal in Hindi) tree with its small baby jackfruits? Then you surely know the feeling of disbelief at the thought that from the tiny ones these gigantic fruits would be growing soon. The anonymous lyricist was equally amazed and thought of transporting this overwhelming feeling with the magical voice of Saigal. The colonial censors put their foot down and wouldn’t accept it, although they let the title ‘President’ untouched, which fuelled the ongoing freedom movement for democracy in India. Funny, eh?
Original: Ek Khathal Bane Nyara (A jackfruit is ripening fine…)
Modified: Ek Bangla Bane Nyara (I wish myself a mansion…)

2. Sakhi Ri Sun Bole PapitaMiss Mary [1957]
MD: Hemant Kumar; Lyricist: Rajinder Krishan; Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle

The grass is greener on the other side and so is the papaya on the other side of the fence sweeter. Hasn’t it happened to you as well, that the papaya plant which you cared for and watered daily tuned out to be male and the neighbour has the prized female specimen and bearing the delicious fruit. Rajinder Krishan had experienced the same, Ramanbhai (name changed) told me in his store in Chor Bazar in Bombay. The producer intervened just before the recording and changed papita (papaya) to papiha (a bird). Asha knew about the original lyrics and you can still hear her singing papita.
Original: Sakhi Ri Sun Bole Papita Us Paar (Hark, dear friend, the papaya calls from the other side…)
Modified: Sakhi Ri Sun Bole Papiha Us Paar (Hark, dear friend, the hawk cuckoo/brain-fever bird calls from the other side…)

3. Tarbooz Tera Kya Naam Re C.I.D [1956]
MD: O P Nayyar; Lyricist: Majrooh; Singer: Shamshad Begum

Our neighbour in Bombay had the knack of talking to her garden plants and trees, while watering them. I am sure she had names for all of them. Majroohsaab wanted to impart this innocence to the character, the village belle, who would be singing the song. None of the concerned people even thought about the unspoken ban on mentioning fruits in songs. But the censors weren’t to be convinced. Samshad Begum was not ready to record the song again, while she justifiably said that she didn’t see any sense in saying Bhuj (a city in India) instead of tarbooz (water melon). The sound recordist then had to delete the ‘tar‘ from ‘bhooj‘, that is hwy it still sounds a bit abrupt at the beginning of the song.
Original: Tarbooz Tera Kya Naam Re (Tell me your name, dear water melon)
Modified: Bhooj Mera Kya Naam Re (Guess, what’s my name)

4. Aurat Ne Jamun Diya Mardon KoSadhana [1958]
MD: N Dutta; Lyricist: Sahir; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Shahir, the boldest of them all, was not ready to accept the dictates of the censors. He decided to bring the very act of offering fruit in his lyrics. B. R. Chopra, the director was not only open to it but encouraged it as well. N. Dutta was euphoric of this revolutionary moment. The censors were furious and threatened with a ban on the film. Chopra relented and made janam (birth) out of jamun. Sahir was heartbroken, that his profound lyrics of offering fruit had been converted to a simple everyday line of a woman giving birth to a man.
Original: Aurat Ne Jamun Diya Mardon Ko (Woman gave jamun to man)
Modified: Aurat Ne Janam Diya Mardon Ko (Woman gave birth to man)

5. Naranga Teri Yaad Me, Nain Huwe Bechain – Saranga [1960]
MD: Sardar Malik; Lyricist: Bharat Vyas; Singer: Mukesh

Have you also experienced this, that the oranges when you really need them in the hot and dry Indian summer, they are just dry and fibrous. One thirsts for a good glass of orange juice and all you get are the dry ones. You just long for the juicy ones from winter. Bharat Vyas was thinking of those juicy oranges when he innocently wrote the poem. My informant told me, that when Mukesh read the lyrics, he was in tears. It was the month of May, in which the song was recorded. Naranga is the Sanskrit word for oranges, from which nearly all the words for oranges in the European languages have evolved.
But when the censors heard the word naranga, they saw only depravity. They forced the director to change the name of the film to saranga and also the lyrics.
Original: Naranga Teri Yaad Me, Nain Huwe Bechain (Oranges, in your remembrance my eyes are impatient)
Modified: Saranga Teri Yaad Me, Nain Huwe Bechain (Saranga, in your remembrance my eyes are impatient)

6. Ai Aa Aa Karu Me Kya Chikoo, ChikooJunglee[1961]
MD: Shankar-Jaikishan; Lyricist: Shailendra; Singer: Mohd. Rafi

Chikoos are, though not native to India, quite loved by Indians. It is cheap and nutritious and makes a very good milk shake. For non-Indians, chikoos (also written as chiku) are sapodillas (Manilkara zapota).
Shailendra, a poet of the folk, loved this fruit and always associated its mushy consistency with the mushy feeling of young love. He wanted to give an expression exactly to this feeling in this song. The censors saw this as a danger for the youth and as an impetus to the budding sexual revolution. In the process, they completely oversaw that it was coming through the back-door with a big yahooo in the same movie.
Original: Ai Aa Aa Karu Me Kya Chikoo, Chikoo (Oh my god, I’m going sapodillas)
Modified: Ai Aa Aa Karu Me Kya Suku, Suku (Oh my god, I’m going suku, suku)

7. Ek Kela Hu Me, Is Duniya MeBaat Ek Raat Ki [1962]
MD: S D Burman; Lyricist: Majrooh; Singer: Mohd. Rafi

Bananas are social fruits or have you seen Bananas being sold in single pieces? Well, in fact I have, on the streets in Bombay. And such a banana feels very, very, very lonely. And in certain artistic circles it was common to use the metaphor of banana to express the feeling of loneliness. Clueless about it’s implications, Majrooh wrote the above lyrics to describe the loneliness of the character played by Dev in the film. The alteration recommended by the censors was naturally very easy in this case, from kela (banana) to akela (lonely).
Original: Ek Kela Hu Me, Is Duniya Me (I am like a single banana in this world)
Modified: Akela Hu Me, Is Duniya Me (I am alone in this world)

8. Seb Aayaa Hai Jab Se Mera Haath MeDil Aur Mohabbat [1968]
MD: O P Nayyar; Lyricist: Shevan Rizvi; Singers: Asha Bhosle, Mahendra Kapoor

Ten years after Sahir’s bold attempt, Shevan Rizvi made a similar but bolder attempt, expressing Adam and Eve’s triumph at getting the fruit of wisdom. This was supposed to be the ultimate rebellious moment. A rebellious stroke against the clergy. Unfortunately the producer got cold feet before it even could pass the censors. He didn’t want to risk the money he had invested in the film and substituted seb (apple) with haath (hand).
Original: Seb Aayaa Hai Jab Se Mera Haath Me (Since I’ve got hold of an apple…)
Modified: Haath Aayaa Hai Jab Se Tera Haath Me (Since my hand has come in your’s…)

9. Mile Jo Kadi-Kadi Ek Anjiir BaneKasme Vaade [1978]
MD: R D Burman; Lyricist: Gulshan Bawra; Singers: Mohd. Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle

Gulshan Bawra, who wanted to start his career in the film industry as a film hero, had taken up Botany in his first year at the university. He knew that the figs (anjeer) are not real fruits in botanical sense. They are in fact many small fruits in a fleshy mantle, so to say a composite fruit. Gulshanji wanted to use the medium of song to educate the people, that many fruits are needed to make a good anjeer, but all that the censors could see was *+#%. Thus a chain (zanjeer) arose from a fig (anjeer).
Original: Mile Jo Kadi-Kadi Ek Anjiir Bane (A fig is a composite fruit)
Modified: Mile Jo Kadi-Kadi Ek Zanjeer Bane (A chain is made up of links)

10. Khajoor Is Kadar Bhi Na Itara Ke FaliyeMasoom [1983]
MD: R D Burman; Lyricist: Gulzar; Singers: Bhupinder, Suresh Wadkar

Gulzar and his funny metaphors are known to all and sundry, but the censors were sure that he meant something indecent with that. All that Gulzar wanted was to use the metaphor of an elegant date palm (khajoor)  for a lady. As the saying goes who has dirt in his eyes sees dirt everywhere, such was the case with the censors, Faaroq Mia informed me, one of Pancham’s arrangers at that time.
Original: Khajoor Is Kadar Bhi Na Itara Ke Faliye (Dates, don’t fruit so abundantly)
Modified: Huzoor Is Kadar Bhi Na Itara Ke Chaliye (Don’t walk with such a style)

Well, these ten songs are just the tip of the iceberg. Dear readers, keep your ears open and your brains sharp and please do report here, if you discover more of these poor mutilated songs, where the fruits were deleted and nonsensical words substituted instead! Thank you!


Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

56 responses to “Aanewaalaa phal, jaanewaalaa hai… (The fruits, they come and go… )

  1. Anu Warrier

    October 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Harvey, you horrible man, you have afflicted me with the worst case of giggles ever! What with Madhu’s Shammi-lovefest and now this, I’m *Really* not going to get any work done. What a lovely set of songs, even though (as you say) they have been modified. 🙂 By the way, you may want to check that Aiyya ya Karoon ain kya suku suku one: You have left your ‘modified’ version as Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko. 🙂

    ps: By the way, you owe me a new keyboard!

    • harveypam

      October 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      Sorry dear! Very much sorry about that! But you know I had to write this article to expose the evil face of the censors, who are abjecting such a cruelty to our poets and lyricists by no them allowing to include fruits in their works! That is suppression of the creative arts and literature! We can’t just take this laying down can we?
      I mean, you can get a new keyboard! What does a keyboard cost? Hopefully not the integrity of our lyricists!
      Thank you for the correction. You know the censors are changing the wordings of my article nearly every minute. I check and recheck and correct it every half an hour. Their agents are everywhere! Shhhhhh!
      The WLAN is getting weaker in this bunker here. Goodbye! see youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…..

  2. pacifist

    October 21, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Well, what do you know? Dry fruits weren’t spared either.
    What with;
    `kaaajoooooo!! Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe’ being changed to;
    ‘yahoo!! Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe” just because the censors wanted to ‘invent’ a new word for the use on the net? And shamelessly they misused Shammi for this propoganda.

    Kajoo = cashew nut

    • harveypam

      October 22, 2011 at 12:31 am

      Not Yahoo as well. I had heard rumours, Venkatesh from Bangalore told me about in Coubon Park, but I didn’t want to believe it. And that I should hear about it on Shammiji’s 80th birth anniversary. Hai Allah, hey Khuda, mujhe iske pehle apne paas kyu nahin bulaya!

      Kajoo, our dear kajoo, which we use in Pulaos and Navratan Korma. In Mangalore they make a make a sweet bhaji of it with… rehne do! Kajoos of kajoo Katli! Even Kajoo was not spared. Parvaardigaar! Yeh kaisa zulm hai! Itne nazuk aur komal kajoo ko yahoo bana diya!

      *sinks on the ground holding his chest*

  3. pacifist

    October 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Oh yes, I forgot the luqaat story.
    It was all set and ready. They had Joy Mukherjee high up on stilts for film Aao pyar karen with Saira Bano. People stood on their balconies high up, which didn’t matter because Joy Mukherjee was at the same level anyway.
    All, mind you – all – ready to hear the magic word when the censors were suddenly overpowered with religious feelings of utter devotion to God, and forced the lyricist to change the words ‘ yaa luqaat’ …to ”yaa khuda’ the poor people on the road and balconies were forced to smile away as though all was well, overlooking the high handedness of the censors.

    So there we had Joy Mukherjee mouthing the words ‘jinke liye main deewana bana wohi kehte hain deewana mujhe…… ya khuda aa, ya khuda’ instead of;
    ‘jinke liye main deewana bana wohi kehte hain deewana mujhe ya luqaaat, ya luqat’

    If you can bear to watch then here is the clip link;

    (jinke liye deewana bana – Aao Pyar kare:

    Don’t miss the disappointed looks of people trying their best to hide it behind a smile, though some girls were bold enough to show their intense displeasure at this change.

    • harveypam

      October 22, 2011 at 12:43 am

      Kya bigada tha is masoom japani phal ne, ki usko bhi gaane se nikala.(What harm did this poor japanese fruit do to anybody that it was also removed from the song!)
      Joy Mukherjee was so happy about being able sing praises of this japenese fruit, since he had good japanese friends from his time in Japan during the shooting of Love in Tokyo. Rajubhai had told me about it in London, but he couldn’t remember the fruit’s name. He is getting old you know!
      I saw those brave girls, who show thier displeasure at this insult. Women have always been the braver soldiers of the revolution!

      No, I won’t cry anymore, these valuable tears, I will save for the day, when the fruits get justice and be featured in song lyrics set to beautiful tunes! Then I will let them flow as tears of joy!

      Thank you pacifist for bringing these two cases to light! We need more brave warriors like you! Inquilab Zindabad!

    • Lalitha

      October 22, 2011 at 1:38 am

      I loved the song, but what is a ‘luqaat’? I have been away from India and Hindi for too long!

      • harveypam

        October 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

        According to Wikipedia: The loquat (play /ˈloʊkwæt/), Latin: Eriobotrya japonica, is a fruit tree in the family Rosaceae, indigenous to southeastern China. It was formerly thought to be closely related to the genus Mespilus, and is still sometimes known as the Japanese medlar. It is also known as Japanese plum and as Chinese plum.
        Click on the word Loquat for more info and pics

        • Lalitha

          October 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

          Thanks! I have never seen this before, but I have heard of kumquat, and now I find they are distantly related!

          • harveypam

            October 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

            I don’t think they are related to each other, if yes, then as much as apples are related to oranges!

            I think you surely must have heard of the song ‘Woh kumquat mujhe de do, jise me gale lage lu’
            (woh haseen dard de do:

            The song plays in China and kumquats are loved by the people there and it is kumquats are part of engagement gifts offered by the man to his future wife.

            • dustedoff

              October 23, 2011 at 6:11 am

              😀 😀

            • Lalitha

              October 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm

              I don’t know what to say, or write, any more! You have me laughing my head off – how do you come up with these twisted lyrics so effortlessly?

            • harveypam

              October 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm

              Telling the truth is always effortless, dear Lalitha! You know it yourself! 🙂

  4. Lalitha

    October 22, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Wonderful post! You had me in splits while reading this post and the comments – never knew that it was a ‘jamun’ that became ‘janam’, or that the ‘papiha’ was originally a ‘papita’!
    Just for your information, even the mosambi was not spared! When the film “Do Bigha Zamin” was being shot in some remote village, all the villagers had gathered because they were filming a song, and the lyrics went ” mosambi taaja hai …”. The director found that they were all there to buy mosambis, and since they had not planned on such a big crowd and didn’t have enough mosambis to give everyone, they told the people that the lyrics actually went ” mausam beeta jaaye …”, and then the lyricist had to get to work in a hurry! Just kidding, but the incident did occur!

    • harveypam

      October 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Bimalda would never have allowed mosambi to be manipulated that way, but he was helpless wasn’t he? As you say Mosambi fits in the song much better than mausam. Everyone knows that mausam (weather) passes away and nothing to be sung about! But the fact that the mosambis (sweet oranges) are fresh is very important for a traveller, after all the charcter played by Balraj Sahni is leaving for the city and some juicy mosambis are going to help him much more than the news that weather is going to change. Poor Mosambi!

      (mausam beeta jaaye from Do Bheega Zameen:

      Thank you for the compliments, dear Lalitha!

  5. dustedoff

    October 22, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Harvey, what can I possibly add to this post? It’s simply AWESOME. You are going to get into deep trouble with the film industry, my friend, for exposing their deepest and darkest secrets (though I’m guessing you’ll get the gratitude of the lyricists!). 😀

    I’ve been giggling over this post from the first paragraph itself. You may not have been publishing posts every other day, but it’s obvious that we, your readers, get our reward for being patient. Sabr ka phal meetha hota hai, right?

  6. harveypam

    October 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you, dear Dustedoff! I don’t think the film industry itself will give me trouble it is more probable from the censor board and it’s secret moral police. Yesterday I got two letters asking me not to publish this post, but I didn’t let myself be cowed by it. But I had to reduce the list from twenty to ten, so as not expose my informants.

    I know I am slow with my posts, that is why my new gravatar is a fresh water turtle. 😉
    Thank you for the kind words DO!

    • dustedoff

      October 23, 2011 at 6:16 am

      Oh, please don’t get the impression that I’m giving you a rap on the knuckles for being slow – I wasn’t being able to remember any incidents about fruit-related songs being censored and changed, so that line about Sabr ka phal… was the only way I could find to push in my two paise about fruit! 😉

      (In fact, since you did do that post on the songs of Bandini just a few days back, nobody can accuse you of ignoring your blog!)

  7. harveypam

    October 23, 2011 at 9:01 am

    O dear, no DO, you always have been encouraging and helpful and have been there with the blog since its first post (alongwith pacifist), is liye tumhe puri azadi hai! And you are a very courteous lady, I would never even dream of thinking like that of you and even if you had meant it that way, … to yeh haq hai tumko, meri baat aur hai… 😉

    The line sabr ka phal went quite well with the title, and I wanted to write back sabr ka pal? But , that would have been a PJ. And I was very proud of the fact that I’d atlast a gravatar (in fact I had it for a long time but didn’t know how to activate it!).That is whyI’d to mention it. And how could I even think that you would call me slow after giving me the fastest worker award! 🙂

    And dear DO, aap ke haath ke rap on the knuckles, can only be sweet! 🙂
    So dear DO, even if you want give me rap, just go ahead! 🙂

  8. dustedoff

    October 24, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I knew there was a fruit-suppression rumour lurking somewhere in the recesses of my memory, but I only just remembered it. For Don, Anjaan had initially written a song on the merits of a type of mango: Khaike aam dussehri waala, khul jaaye band akal ka taala.

    But the paan lobby is so strong in Hindi cinema (that’s why you see so many actors in old films with paans tucked into their mouths, and that’s also how Paan khaaye saiyaan hamaaro happened…), well – poor Anjaan didn’t have a chance. They bullied him into changing it, of course. They even had the nerve to tell him that since he belonged to Banaras, it would be treacherous for him to not extol the virtues of a Banarasi paan in his song. 😦

    Which is why they ended up with this:

    (khaiyke paan banaraswala from Don:

  9. harveypam

    October 24, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    *tears welling up and a choked voice*

    Not the dussehri aam! Dussehri aam (mango), which gives so much pleasure to the taste buds, after the mango season has passed and people are longing for a good fruit in the rainy season! It is quite natural that Anjaan would love to extol it’s values. And everybody knows how bad the paan is, at least the one with tambaku and chuna and what not. But as you say the paan lobby is a strong one. I am sure the original song in Tessri Kasam was aam khaye saiyan hamaro.

    But please don’t have a bad conscience for not remembering this incident straight away. It happens quite often with victims and witnesses, that they suppress the memory of it. It is a part of the process of coming to terms with the experienced trauma.

    • Anu Warrier

      October 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      Harvey, this should make you happy – remember that song from Evening in Paris? Well, the lyricist really managed to put one over the suppressors there. It is actually meant to be Ah- kele, ah-kele kahan jaa rahi ho . Apparently, Shammiji was so happy to hear this because he couldn’t get good bananas in Paris. But shhhh! if they see this, they might change it even now.

      • harveypam

        October 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm

        Anu, you are a darling!
        Thank you for the discovery. Hasrat Jaipuri did manage to smuggle a fruit in there, didn’t he?
        Even now one gets only one variety of banana in Europe and I can imagine at that time it was worse. One can hear the longing for a decent banana on the shores of Seine. One almost hears ‘O kele, o kele….’
        This is a balm for my troubled soul, in fact chicken soup for my ears!
        Today I can sleep well!

        But as you have already warned, no more to it!


  10. bollywoodeewana

    October 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    What a hilarious post, and your modifications are hilarious especially the miss Mary one. And here’s Meena in what I think is a song about Rain and mangoes, please correct me if I’m wrong
    (pad gaye jhoole sawan rut aayi re from Bahu Begum:

  11. harveypam

    October 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Thank you for your kind words, BD! Nice to have you back!
    Unfortuantely there is no mention of mangoes although they are shown in the song.
    But with this song, you have brought a major pawn in the game.
    I have already mentioned that Sahir was the boldest of them all and he didn’t give up his fight against the censors. He came up with the lyrics of this song to expose this farce. It was his satirical take on the hypocrisy of the censors and to expose the corrosion of human values in the censor board.

    The original lyrics were sad gaye kele sawan rut aayi re (the bananas are rotting, the monsoon has come). Due to the high humidity, the fruits do rot very quickly during the monsoon!
    The rotten bananas were the members of the censor board and the rain was the the platter of nonsensical lyrics that was pouring down on the film industry. Wonder what he would have said to the lyrics which would come in the coming decades!

    • dustedoff

      October 25, 2011 at 8:26 am

      ROTFL about that “sad gaye kele” bit, harvey!! 😀

      • harveypam

        October 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm

        Somebody told me the other day, that when it comes to talking nonsense, I stand alone!
        Then I showed her the comments on my blog to prove that I am not alone, I have you (second person plural) with me!

  12. Banno

    October 25, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Harvey, this was hilarious. The post, the comments, everything. I am speechless and dumb-witted. 🙂

    • harveypam

      October 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      Thank you, dear hariyali Banno!
      Don’t call youself dumb-witted, the censorwalas were ruthless in their suppression of truth. They just didn’t want the song lyrics ot be fruitful and everybody thought, that India doesn’t have any good fruits that is why this scarcity of fruits in the hindi film songs. But now where we know the truth, hum apna phal pake hi rahenge!
      Jaago, jaago!

      (ham mehnat kash is duniya me jab apna hisa mangenge from Mazdoor:

      This fits in right now quite fine with the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement!

  13. Banno

    October 25, 2011 at 5:25 am

    And I must go and eat some fruit now.

    • harveypam

      October 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      Arre, aaj Diwali hai, to kaaju-kishmish kaho! Pedaa kaho, ladoo kaho, mithai kaho! Aanewala phal jaanewaalaa hai!

      I don’t get any off these things here, so enjoy them! 😦

  14. raja

    October 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

    And what about the harsh treatment meted out to Hasrat Jaipuri when all he was trying was a cross-cultural innovation for, what eventually became, Love in Tokyo? Originally the movie was supposed to be a South Indian-Hindi movie called “Love in Kumbakonam”. Shot entirely in India.

    There was a scene originally shot, where Saira Banu is requested to sing a song but refuses. Joy Mukherjee knows her weakness for pomegranate (anaar) and tempts her with it.
    She then bursts out “aiyo-anaar-a, aiyo-anaar-a, gaana main gavoongi, aiyo-anaar-a”.
    The censors came down ruthlessly on this and the scene had to be scrapped. Hasrat was very upset – out of vengeance, and influenced by the Tokyo Olympics, he suddenly changed the words to “sayonara, sayonara” which he had just heard on radio. Now, with these words, obviously the setting had to move to Tokyo and that is how the entire movie moved to Tokyo. Thus, the name also changed from “Love in Kumbakonam” to “Love in Tokyo”.

    Saira Banu was very upset – and a few years later, when she got a role in Padosan, insisted she’d act only if there was an anaar song by a Tamil guy with a kudumi. Rajinder Krishan, quickly came up with “ek chatur anaar karke singaar”, picturised on Mehmood. In fact, Mehmood was made a South Indian, especially for this song and this request of Saira.

    • harveypam

      October 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

      Now I know who you are!
      You are Agent 18-1-10-1! I was supposed to meet you in London at the Trafalgar Square, but you didn’t turn up. Later Ram Manohar told me that THEY had raided yor hideout and thus you couldn’t come!

      *tears welling up in the eyes and in a choked Dahrmendra voice* Mere bhai, mere yaar!
      Tumne apni jaan ki baazi lagakar yeh information (what is the hindi word for that?) laaya. Tum sachmuch ke phal bhakt ho!

      This explains lots of things! Saira Banu was smitten with the song “aiyo-anaar-a, aiyo-anaar-a, gaana main gavoongi, aiyo-anaar-a” so much that when it was turned into Love in Tokyo she refused to be a part of the project. Then Asha Parekh was brought in to replace her and in the press the rumour was spread that since Saira Banu didn’t look Japanese enough Asha Parekh got the role. Poor Asha didn’t know all about this, but Saira stopped talking to her and also didn’t allow hubby Dilip Kumar to act with her. Meanwhile Saira got her back with the producers and landed the plum role of Meloda and proved to everybody that she could look like a Japenese as good as Asha!
      Thanks for that tip on “ek chatur anaar karke singaar”! Salutes to Pancham on the skilful concealment of the pomegranate in the song without anybody realising it!

    • pacifist

      October 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      sad gaye kele

      But seriously, what about the ‘ber’ scandal.
      Changing ‘ber khake dekho ber khake dekho ber khake dekho ji’ to ‘Dil deke dekho, dil deke dekhoji’
      Shammi was so scandalized by this change of lyrics enforced by the censors that he had to act very energetically to keep back/hide his tears. Result? The jerking twisting movements stayed on with him into later songs and films.

      • harveypam

        October 26, 2011 at 12:17 am

        Being a little bit of South Indian, I also feel very much scandalized that they did away with ‘aiyo-anaara-a’ I can only say ‘aiy-aiy-yo, deva’!

        Ber khake dekho! Yeah, my God it is so obvious! Pacifist, you are a genius! Are you sure you are not the actvist of the LLF (Lyrics Liberation Front), whom I was to meet in Zürich? Who else but you could know this insider stuff!

        Going by Shammi’s body movements in the song he must have been really angry about this change!
        And people thought he was imitating Elvis! We in indian cinema don’t need to imitate nobody, we have our emotions and naturally we have maa!

  15. raja

    October 25, 2011 at 11:54 am

    And there was this one during the making of Patthar Ke Sanam (a movie which I think was originally meant to be called “Machhad Ke Kadam”).

    Manoj Kumar was known to be very fond of fruits, especially the guava (amrood). So in an outdoor song sequence, to humour him, Majrooh decided to dedicate a song to this luscious fruit, a sort of ode to it.

    The song was written as follows
    Amrood mere, amrood mere
    Tu hai to duniya kitni haseen hai
    Jo tu nahin to
    Kuchh bhi nahin hai

    The censors saw some evil in these innocent lines and killed the text. Majrooh was forced to go with “mehboob mere, mehboob mere”. And thus the royal guava had to give way for the common lover.

    • harveypam

      October 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Tum mahaan ho Raja! jeeyo, jeeyo!
      It is true, Manoj Kumar loves fruits particularly the guava. In the days, when he was new and looking for roles in Bombay, this was the only fruit which he could afford.

      His love for amrood can also be heard in the song from Anita
      Gore gore amrood ke mukh par
      kaali kaali aankhen hai

      Well, the guava has often small black spots on it. And a true lover of fruits loves even the black spots on it, doesn’t he? In fact Sadhana got a new hair-do for this song, so she can resemble an amrood (guava).
      He even went ahead and identified himslef with this fruit in the song from Himalay ki God Mein
      Main to ek amrood hoon
      is amrood se tu pyaar na kar

      This just goes to show that Manoj Kumar is not only a desh bhakth but also phal bhakt!

  16. Lalitha

    October 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Omigosh! Aiyo, aiyo, aiyo! Allah bachaaye mujhe in logon se, allah bachaaye
    Phalon pe marne walon se, allah bachaaye!

  17. Samir

    October 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    ROFL !!!!! A very innovative post Harvey.

    I am surprised to find grapes/angoor not yet mentioned, what with so many songs sung under their influence. Allow me to introduce (while not yet under their influence:) ):-

    1) Badan Pe Angoor Lapete Hue, O Jaane Tamanna Kidhar Jaa Rahi Ho. Obviously this line relates far better to “Zara Paas Aao to Chain Aa Jaye”, and legend has it that Vyjantimala (continuing from the Jewel Thief cotton balls on a sari) had several grapes (& its derivatives) pinned on her sari. Naturally the spoilsports (Indian Censor Board) objected, and the film-makers had to change Angoor to a tamer Sitare, and also call in the dresswallah to “do the needful”.

    2) A very prophetic, Rajendra Kumar singing to MEENA KUMARI
    “Yahaan Koi Nahin Tera Mere Siva, Kehti Hai Jhoomti Gaati Hawa,
    Tum ANGOOR Ko ChodKar Aa Jao”
    I hope this is self-explanatory 🙂

    3) Continuing on the same vein (as in #2), Dharm-Veer was supposed to have been Dharam-Angoor; with the song lines being “Toote Se Bhi Tode Na Yeh Dharam-Angoor Ki Jodi”.

    4) Almost all songs with “Mausam” in them probably were written with Angoor in mind, such as
    Ruk Jaana O Jaana Humse Do Baate Karke Chali Jaana Ke ANGOOR Hai Deewana”. If you saw Dev Anand (with a moustache) in Warrant (if you saw Warrant at all), you will wish for some Angoor-Derivative to soothe your experience. 🙂

    • harveypam

      October 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      An oenophile on angoor! Sone pe suhaga!

      You are right it makes much more sense with badan pe angoor than badan pe sitaare. If it were sitare, she would be burn, won’t she! I had always wondered why he sings badan pe sitare, now it is clear!

      Angoor ko chod kar aa jao? more like angoor ki beti chod kar aa jao! Poor Meena, may her soul rest in peace!

      In Dharam’s case it was more like Dharam and single malt ki jodi, wasn’t it?
      Any Dev Anand film post 70s need at least an angoor derivative if not something stronger!

      As for angoor in the songs there was this song from Do Bahi sung by Geet aDutt:
      mera angoor sapna beet gaya‘. Raja Mehdi Ali Khan wrote it on a hot day of May, when he couldn’t get any grapes in Lucknow and in the night he dreamt that of grapes and in the morning he woke up with this song on his lips! But it was the year 1947 and the censors stricter than usual and wanted angoor to be changed to langoor. But we see Khansaab’s creativity, how he made sundaar from the word langoor!


  18. Lalitha

    October 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    You are something else, that’s for sure! I am opening this site just for the laughs now, and then trying to hide it, so no one wonders if I am crazy!

  19. Lalitha

    October 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    You are most welcome, harveypam! Btw, who does this blog – harvey or pam, or is it just one person whose name is neither harvey nor pam? Just wondering!

    • harvey

      October 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      As someone has said a wonder is so much more beautiful than a question!
      The wondering comes first and so liberating, the question comes later and so restricting! 🙂

      Call me harvey, one of my teacher used to do it! 🙂

  20. Shilpi Bose

    November 2, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Was feeling a little down and out but after going through your post and the response of your readers am feeling much better.

    • harveypam

      November 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

      Now that is some compliment!
      If it has made you feel better, than it deserves a sequel! 🙂
      Hugs to you!

  21. Lalitha

    November 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Will the sequel be more phal or will it have sabzis in it now, I wonder? Such as “paalakwali dekhna, yahin pe kahin dil hai pag tale ….” in case the paalakwali stepped on it?

    • harveypam

      November 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

      You are into investigative journalism, already! 🙂

  22. Lalitha

    November 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Here’s another one to help you along: Sabziwaale, sabzi uthaar, … on the lines of Dafliwaale …

    • harveypam

      November 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      You’ve got the parody bug, Lalitha!

  23. Lalitha

    November 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I know, and you and all the others here are responsible for it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: