Mehboob Khan’s classic, dealing with the plight of agrarian India, the money lenders bonding with the poor farmers, and in the bargain shackling them in usurious bonds…Raaj Kumar setting out to lessen the burden of that extra unproductive mouth, Nargis mothering 2 boys, and literally ploughing her lone furrow. All these still are imprinted from 61 years back in that then 7-year old’s mind. Saw this in Odeon Dar es Salaam, with my parents.
Learnt later about that fire that actually got out of hand, and how Bichu, Sunil Dutt saving Nargis was filmed, and as a result how they fell in love and married.
Saw also the dour determination where the same mother did not bat an eyelid while shooting that same son, while he was abducting the teacher, on horseback.
The song in question, where Shamshad, Asha, Rafi & Manna revel in the harvest festival is perhaps one of the lighter moments of an otherwise, grim tale. Shakeel has captured the mood well, in his lyrics. Naushad had adapted an Assamiya folk song for this tune, I’ve read, long ago.
I’ve been impressed with the percussion and wondered till date, what it is. Perhaps a percussionist can chip in.
The refrain of the mukhda sung in the 3rd octave still gives me gooseflesh.
Originally written for composer Naushad’s 3-day birthday celebrations, 26-28 December 2018
Dr Pisharoty Chandran is a Psychiatrist based in Thrissur, Kerala. He is also a gifted singer, besides being a talented photographer.