O mere sanam, by Kalpana Swamy

One of the ruling queens of beauty, expressions and commercially successful cinema, Vaijanthimala was a complete package and set the trend of South Indian heroines, skilled in classical dancing, setting the Hindi cinema on rage!

When I first saw the movie Sangam I was very young and frankly, I didn’t understand what the fuss was about. I mean a woman falls in love, that doesn’t result in marriage and she ends up marrying another man.. yes initially she is unsure of the relationship but eventually, she accepts the man wholeheartedly. And when they were about to live happily ever after the husband finds old letters and starts doubting her again… I mean why?? Why couldn’t they just openly talked about their past and live peacefully! Well, I guess that’s my 21st-century mind!

However today when I think back to the era this movie was made, life wasn’t that easy for a woman! A woman with a past was not an ideal one. A man can keep stalking her that’s fine. The lover can take a decision of giving up life for friendship that’s fine. The husband can doubt a wife for having an affair before marriage that’s also fine.. but a woman cannot have a say anywhere. A man stalked her and she hated it, her lover exchanged her for friendship and she had to play along and finally when she accepts her fate and loves her husband unconditionally, past haunts her again and this time again she has to bear the brunt!

Vaijanthimala looked convincing in every phase of the movie.. but the climax song with her frustration and desperation was beautifully depicted and penned aptly by none other than Kaviraj Shailendra.

“Tan saunp diya, man saunp diya, kuchh aur to mere paas nahin
Jo tum se hai mere hamadam bhagawaan se bhi wo as nahin
Jis din se huye ek duje ke, is duniya se anjaan hain ham”

“Jo sach hai saamane aya hai, jo bit gaya ek sapana tha
Ye dharati hai insaanon ki, kuchh aur nahin insaan hain ham”

How can a woman ever prove her intensity and still not be judged? She has given herself to the man fate has chosen for her and still, she has to justify her actions of past! To err is human, but unfortunately it’s understood as “to err as a man”, a woman has to balance that by perfection!

One of the best Shivranjani duets with Lata and Mukesh to the tunes of Shankar Jaikishan.


Published on Vyjayanthimala’s birthday, 13 August 2018

Kalpana Swamy is a seasoned communications professional with over 16 years of experience in corporate communications and brand consultancy. A music enthusiast, Kalpana believes creative exploration is food for her soul. A classically trained Hindustani vocalist, Kalpana loves to sketch, do oil painting and writes poetry in her spare time. She is fanatically in love with Hindi Film Music!

38 Replies to “O mere sanam, by Kalpana Swamy”

  1. Very aptly put up in words…..all regards to your humbleness in putting real feelings across…. Irrespective of past, present…. Congratulations!!!

  2. An article written about a song from may be a feminist point of view 🙂 Though its explained in article that 21st century mind is thinking of a situation which happened 50 years before 🙂 Frankly I felt its an article about character played by Vaijayantimala and not about song though few lines of song are taken to support viewpoint. I would have loved more to read about the song itself and its sheer beauty by the way ! But I must tell that this doesnt mean I didnt like article 🙂 Only thing is that there is no point in analyzing situations of past from todays point of view. If we do this, all classics of past can be criticized for their characters 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comment sir. I respect your point of view, my writing or observation is purely from an audience point of view. I am no expert in analysing Kaviraj or SJ’s expertise. I enjoy and review a movie or song as a layman, mass! When an audience watch a movie every aspect of the movie or song impacts, situation and it’s matching lyrics and tune to suit the mood. Considering all that I had share my viewpoint. I am glad that you shared your observation, will definitely be more careful henceforth 🙂

  3. Excellent write up dear…u r indeed a true artist. The way you have portrayed in few lines the irony n agony of women since generations, is truly remarkable n it shows that u can do wonders with your writing skills. So Keep writing n wish u all the gud luck dear…..

  4. Such was an era of helplessness esp for Women.. victims of the past.. your words justify emotions which are balanced between anger and hope… continuing the good work Kalpana..

  5. Very well written.Its actually true,about the women.Even in today’s world , women hv to prove themselves..at every phase! Very disturbing..but true!

  6. Very well written kalpana.. “to err as a man”… Very true..
    Beautiful song.. “जो बीत गया वो एक सपना था”.. कुछ और नहीं इन्सान है हम..” these words and lata’s voice dil ko chuu jate hai.. And your write up dil ko bha गया..
    Keep writing girl..

  7. Great job Kalpana ji…
    The situation is unique… The music, the lyrics, the performances and the picturisation do full justice to this masterpiece… No wonder we remember it with so much love, 54 years after it first came on the screen…. Thank you….

  8. Excellent write up dear… Perfect thoughts penned beautifully! This is one movie I remember from my childhood days esp for it’s music and beautiful songs!!!

  9. Very well written. Yes, the song is not just awesome but haunting as well. It infuses pathos, rather subtly I always felt, not a Madan Mohan gutwrenching hauntingness, but a depth of sadness that Shankar jaikishan managed. Nice of you to write on such a wonderful song. Keep it up.

  10. Very well written.. to live in a judgemental world..with nothing in one’s hand to mend past…
    sorry yet true state of woman put in such precisely..

  11. I can relate what you have written.considering today’s busy schedule if you relate to a topic you feel to read .I liked your approach so friend keep wrting and do let us know to get a chance to read such article.love you.

  12. You voiced my thoughts Kalpana…well written…your description took me back to the blurred memories of the movie I had to go to watch just for my parents’s sake but which reminisced my thoughts when I was a fully grown up woman and though the songs lyrics are not exactly in my memories I remember the pain which it infringed upon every audience…

    A well penned thought?

  13. Well said Kalpana. Excellent write up. You have given a perfect women’s view, something which a man really thinks about. You are perfectly correct.
    Besides the raag Shivranjani, the rendition is perfect. Shankar Jaikishan are bang on. Orchestration is awesome. Thanks for this beautiful write up. Keep writing more .

  14. “How can a woman ever prove her intensity and still not be judged? She has given herself to the man fate has chosen for her and still, she has to justify her actions of past! To err is human, but unfortunately it’s understood as “to err as a man”, a woman has to balance that by perfection!” Bingo ma’am, so well said, and what a song, what an essay _()_ 🙂

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