Today is Hrishida’s birth anniversary and tomorrow Dada SD Burman and Majrooh Sahab share their birthday – a coincidence that perhaps they themselves had never paid much attention to, But it makes me revisit a creation they did together – the musical classic Abhimaan where every song is a vital link to the story – each song takes the story forward. You drop a song, you break the flow of the story irrevocably.
Of all the amazing songs of this film, let me pick this astonishingly sweet duet, picturised so delicately.
Teri bindiya re
How would two newlyweds convey their longing for each other in the midst of their reception party? If the new films are to have it, they will lead their respective song and dance troupes and make a huge public spectacle of their affection.
Not so with Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Abhimaan, where all that the newlywed couple does is exchange a few loving glances and tender signs amid a crowd of people without anyone noticing, and nothing can be more intimate than those seemingly innocuous gestures.
The song itself is a beautiful conversation between the newlywed couple. Subir (Amitabh Bachchan), the star singer, describes how each piece of Uma’s (Jaya Bhaduri) bridal finery (her bindiya, trinkets and bangles) is having a telling effect on his consciousness to his wife Uma, a small town girl.
Uma (Jaya Bhaduri) responds mischievously in equal measure through the song, assuring him they will surely take his sleep away
“Sajan bindiya le legi,
le legi, le legi,
The words are a premonition to the turmoil thats truly going to snatch Subir’s sleep away as his wife catapults into the limelight, but you won’t know about this ego trap till you further get into the story.
Teri bindiya re, on the face of it, is a tender tête-à-tête. Looking a beautiful picture of grace and dignity, Uma hardly ever looks straight back at her husband and instantly lowers her eyes with a shy smile when he signals a kiss.
In a wonderful gesture of sobriety, befitting a newlywed Indian bride, she sits with her back to Subir, and yet the undercurrent of passion between the two is palpable. Talk of how romance can be understated yet is intensely apparent, and this duet in the god-gifted voices of Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi comes to mind.
Written on 30 September 2017