When I wrote about Dev Anand in another article Hindi Songs And The Age of Innocence, I wrote about Dev Anand who had the toothy smile, tilted walk, and a way of being totally at ease with his heroines, especially those who sang those light-hearted, lilting and melodious duets with him. However, there was another Dev Anand in the Hindi movies; the sad, lonely, forlorn Dev Anand, forever looking for love, companionship, togetherness and happiness. Just like he did in his chirpy roles, Dev Anand excelled in melancholic roles too. Lyricists must have loved to write such numbers for him because he enacted them so well. Some of these songs, the sad songs, that is, came about by his acting in movies to prove his talent after an unsuccessful romance with a singer – actress Suraiya who was bigger than him in the Hindi movies and hence rated before him in the credits of the movies. They acted in seven movies together from 1948 (Vidya) to 1951 (Sanam). She fell in love with him and wanted to marry him but her mother opposed the match because they were of different religions: Hindu boy and Muslim girl.
Just as it happens in the movies, Suraiya fell in love with him whilst shooting one of Vidya’s songs ‘Kinare kinare chale jayenge’. She fell in water whilst enacting the number. Dev Anand, forever chivalrous, jumped right after her and saved her from drowning.
It is not known whether Dev Anand’s perfection in lugubrious roles was as a result of unsuccessful love affair or not, but, the lyricists and directors seemed to have worked on the theme very well for him. Indeed, there is a 1963 movie Kinare Kinare with Dev Anand opposite Meena Kumari. The title song of the movie ‘Chale jaa rahe hain mohabbat ke maare; kinaare, kinaare; kinaare, kinaare’ is one such desolate song.
However, my effort tonight is to give you not just the best sad songs of Dev Anand but also to give you songs that seem to ask the questions ‘What have I got of my own?’; ‘Is it worth wandering through the world without love and happiness?’ and ‘Why can’t I have a single friend, love, companion and mate in the world?’
Here goes then. The songs that I give you all ask these questions; they are all the top sad songs of Dev Anand; but they are not in any particular order – either chronologically or in their popularity or in excellence. The first song is from the 1960 movie Bambai Ka Babu in which Dev Anand acted opposite a young Suchitra Sen. The story was written by Rajinder Singh Bedi and hence you could expect an out of the ordinary story; and yes it was because the story hinted at incest between Dev and Suchitra. The film was directed by Raj Khosla (remember him in such movies as C.I.D., Kalapani, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, Do Badan, Do Raaste, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, which, some say, inspired Sholay. Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote these lyrics but the actual life in the lyrics was put by Sachin Dev Burman (who gave music for most of Dev Anand movies and thus took his favourite hero’s name as his middle name) and heart with Mohammad Rafi’s passionate singing. The song is ‘Saathi na koi manzil, diya hai na koi mehfil’:
In the 1963 movie Sharabi (Drunkard), Dev Anand excelled himself in a melancholic role. The movie had Raj Rishi writing the story and screen-play and as director too. Keshav (Dev Anand) lives a poor lifestyle in a small town in along with his ailing father, Dinanath, mother, and a much younger sister, Munni. He is an alcoholic but after the passing of his father promises to abstain completely, much to the relief of his mother as well as his sweetheart, Kamala (Madhubala), as well as her businessman dad, Laxmidas, who arranges his employment at his Coal Mine, and arranges for them to get married . Less than a week before the marriage, Laxmidas cancels it and Keshav relapses and his mother threatens to leave the town, and even Kamala refuses to speak with him. Shortly thereafter Laxmidas, on his deathbed, gets Kamala to promise to marry someone else, while Keshav, blacklisted by the entire community is well on his way to self-destruction as well as endangering lives of hundreds of coal mine workers.
The movie had some of the saddest songs of Dev Anand; eg, ‘Mujhe le chalo phir aaj us gali mein’, ‘sawan ke mahine mein’ and this number: Kabhi na kabhi, kahin na kahin, koi na koi to aayega’. Lyrics are by Rajinder Krishan who wrote the maximum lyrics for Madan Mohan and music is by the latter:
The name of this 1956 movie is Funtoosh and in this to help Dev Anand express these feelings of despair and despondence are Sahir Ludhianvi, SD Burman and Kishore Kumar. Dev Anand acted opposite Sheila Ramani. The movie was inspired by Meet John Doe, which was a Frank Capra movie about a man agreeing to impersonate a non-existent person who said he was committing suicide in political protest. The number ‘Dard hamara koi na jaane, Apni garaj ke sab hai deevaane, Kisake aage rona roye, des praaya log baigaane Dukhi man mere sun mera kehhana is the one I have chosen for you since it meets the theme that I have set for the evening:
Two years before the above song and the movie was Dev Anand in and as Taxi Driver. This 1954 movie was directed by his brother Chetan Anand, who directed quite a few of his movies under the banner of Navketan Films. Dev Anand acted opposite his would be wife Kalpana Kartik. The movie, if watched, offers a nostalgic journey through Bombay of 1950s. Same combination of Sahir Ludhianvi with SD Burman in this song too but this time it is Talat Mehmood singing this forlorn number. Maayusiyon kaa majmaa hai dil mein, Kya reh gaya hai is zindagi mein; Rooh mein ham dil mein dhuaan; Jaayen to jaayen kahan kis ko kahen apna yahan?
Talking about Talat Mehmood, who can ever forget this disconsolate number by him for Dev Anand in 1963 movie Kinare Kinare on similar theme? Nyay Sharma wrote the lyrics and Jaidev composed the music. Mere Malik kya kahoon teri duyaayon ka fareb, Mujh pe youn chhaya ke mujhako ghar se beghar kar diya. Dekh li teri khdaai, bus mera dil bhar gaya.
I know all this while you have been waiting for this song from Hum Dono on similar theme and, ladies and gentlemen, how can I ever forget it? Hum Dono has, as depicted by the name, Dev Anand in double role opposite Nanda and Sadhan. Music director Jaidev came up with some of his best music and songs in this movie, many of them having been penned by Sahir Ludhianvi and sung by Mohammad Rafi, who had such magic in his singing that he could actually step into the soul of actors for whom he sang. There were songs like: Abhi na jaayo chhod kar, allah tero naam, main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya and this great number with the ending stanza: Kaun rota hai kisi aur ki khaatir ai dil, Sabako apni hi kisi baat pe rona aaya; Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe rona aaya.
Yes, Dev Anand was popular for his light hearted songs, especially his being totally at home with his heroines in duets, but, he was also outstanding in melancholic roles. Here is one with my favourite singer Hemant Kumar in Manzil. Dev Anand and his childhood love Nutan, are separated at the hands of fate. Thinking that Dev is scandalising his relationship with her, she confronts him at a function where Dev is being honoured as a composer. What follows in the confrontation scene is drama, dialogue, acting, and picturisation at its peak. Dev and Nutan simply excel in their roles. One cannot but mention the classic song ‘Yaad aa gayin woh nashili nigahen’, composed by maestro S D Burman and penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Main in zakhmon ko seeke, Kya karun hosh mein jeeke: Yaaro tham lena tham lena meri baahen Yaad aa gayin vo nasheeli nigaahen. I have given for you the scene leading to the song so that you may see their acting at their best.
As late as in 1973, Dev Anand sang on the same theme in Joshila. The movie was directed by Yash Chopra who was ever fond of making movies with a triangle. In this movie the triangle was between Dev Anand, Hema Malini and Rakhi. Dev Anand is imprisoned for a murder that he didn’t commit but it was pinned on him by the evidence of the same witness whose life and honour he had tried to save. The movie, therefore, opens with this song by Dev Anand in the prison. The combination of Sahir, SD Burman and Kishore was the most abiding combination for Dev Anand. Enjoy the song: Kiska rasta dekhe ai dil ai saudaayi, Meelon hai khaamoshi, barson hai tanhaayi…
Lets get back to Sharaabi and I am now going to put up the most romantic and beautiful number sung by Dev Anand: ‘Mujhe le chalo phir aaj us gali jahan se main betaabiyan le ke aaya’. An equally good song from this movie is ‘sawan ke mahine mein, ik aag si seene mein, lagti hai to pi leta hoon, do chaar ghadi ji leta hoon’. However, this one is special to me. Rajinder Kishan, Madan Mohan and Mohammad Rafi have together not just created a song but a complete era; an unforgettable era of such adorable pulchritude that you feel like helping Dev Anand to go back in time and live his love life again…this time with happy ending:
I shall do grave injustice if I don’t choose this number in the top ten sad songs of Dev Anand and I have chosen it over Guide’s Kya se kya ho gaya for two reasons: one, it depicts the theme that I have chosen most ably and two; there is another song from Guide that meets my requirement better. Okay, then; this is once again from 1963 movie Kinare Kinare in which Dev Anand acted opposite Meena Kumari. Once again Jaidev has given outstanding music on Nyay Sharma’s lyrics. ‘Koi dawa nahin, fariyaad nahin, rang nahin: reham apne pe jo aata hai to hans leta hoon….jab gam-e ishq satata hai to has leta hoon’. One more reason for selecting this is to bring out the great melancholic singing of Mukesh:
Shall we end tonight with Guide? And why not? Vahan kaun hai tera musaafir jaayega kahan? Exactly on the same theme that we started with and all with the same actor: Dev Anand. …Koi bhi teri raah na dekhe, nain bichhaye na koi; Dard se tere koi na tadpa, Aankh kisi ki na royi; Kahe kis ko tu mera; Musafir jaayega kahan? Wahan kaun hai tera? In other words: What have I got of my own?
The 1965 movie Guide is regarded as a classic, the best of Dev Anand. It was directed by Vijay Anand and starred Waheeda Rehman opposite Dev Anand. The story was by RK Narayan about a man with whom nature conspires to make him a great swamy, after he is betrayed by a woman whom he thought he had won in love from her husband who neglected her. The name Guide, therefore, applied on two planes; one in reel life where Dev Anand as Raju was a tourist guide; and the other as a Guide for the villagers who were dying of hunger and thrust and take him as a saint with miraculous powers. On another plane, Guide is all about finding the guide within ourselves to direct us towards a path of goodness and sacrifice.
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