AAJA TERI YAAD AAYI – MOHD RAFI & LATA MANGESHKAR – CHARAS

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Dream Girl Hema Malini and Dharmendra were being paired too much around the time this movie was released. They fell in love with each other in reality, though Dharmendra was a much married man and got married after converting into Islam.

Movie: This song appears in the movie Charas (1976) and it has been produced and directed by Ramanand Sagar. The star-cast of the film was Dharmendra, Hema Malini, late Ajit, Aruna Irani, late Amjad Khan, Asrani, late Sujit Kumar, late Nazir Hussain, late Keshto Mukherjee and Tom Alter.

Brindaban (Nazir Hussain) is an NRI based in Uganda. He lives with his son Suraj (Dharmendra) and daughter Nimmu (Aruna Irani). Civil War breaks in Uganda and they decide to return to India. On the night they planned to move out, their home is attacked apparently by rebels and set on fire. Brindaban is shot and dies almost immediately. Suraj jumps into the fire to save his sister. He carries a girl out, thinking that it is his sister. But she is the housemaid. Nimmu had given her clothes that she was wearing to the maid. When the house burns down Suraj does not find any dead body in it. So he finds it a little fishy that his sister is not to be found. With no other alternative, he returns to India.

When Suraj reaches India, he realizes that Kalicharan (Ajit), the caretaker of their property, has sold most of it and has been using the money for illegal purposes. He is even not ready to return the money.  Kalicharan tries to kill Suraj, but he escapes by hiding in the car of Sudha (Hema Malini). After a car chase, Suraj is saved by an unknown man, who introduces himself as the don of a rival mafia group. The man invites Suraj to join his gang. However, Suraj refuses and insists that he would rather suffer than become a criminal. After leaving Sudha at her home, when Suraj comes out, he is arrested by 2 constables (Asrani and Keshto Mukherjee). When he is taken to the police station, it is revealed that the unknown man is actually the DIG of police. Suraj is invited by the DIG to join them and combat Kalicharan’s international drug racket. He agrees.

Sudha is a renowned stage performer and has been involved in a murder in the past. Kalicharan blackmails her by framing her. He starts using her to smuggle his drugs. Suraj has to go to Rome and then to Malta as part of his mission and again bumps into Sudha. They are already in love with each other. Due to his job, Suraj is not in a position to give his beloved much time. Again due to his job, Suraj has to travel and he is not able to meet her. Around this time in the movie the song Aaja teri yaad ayi…has been placed.

Song: Music is composed by Lakshmikant-Pyarelal and the lyrics have been written by Anand Bakshi.

Anand Bakshi starts off the song with, “The heart of human being is a balance (weighing machine), which weighs the human being. Love is present strongly in its place. Earth and the sky moves side to side in synch with the rhythm (of the song). The biggest truth in the world is love, it reveals hidden truths. Life without love is lonely. This the crazy lover says.”

Here is a metaphor in the form of balance. Human being’s heart is indirectly compared to a weighing machine. Also earth and sky are given the human character of moving from side to side. Thus we have a personification as well.

The girl pleads to her beloved, “Please come back, I am reminded of you. O Beloved, Unfaithful! Please come back, I am reminded of you.”

Then the boy says, “Please come back, I am reminded of you.”

The girl takes over again, “O Cruel one. How long have you taken to return to me? Now you have come. If you hadn’t come now, I would have died. My heart is crazy. How would I have soothed my crazy heart? For the sake of Lord Ram, please come back O Beloved, I am reminded of you.”

Here the Epithet of being crazy has been transferred to the heart. Heart is also personified and said to be crazy.

The boy continues the song, “There is free time and the season is good (for love). My heart wants to enjoy life. You have hidden yourself in these buds as their fragrance. I have looked for you in homeless lanes. I called you thus – Please come back, I am reminded of you.”

There is a metaphor here, i.e. an indirect comparison of the Beloved with the fragrance of the flower buds. Also the lanes are personified and said to be homeless.

The girl takes over, “The lovely wind is saying something in our ears. It is like someone has filled wine in empty glasses. My heart flutters with inner desires. The season is stretching itself. Please come back O Beloved, I am reminded of you.”

Here the wind has been given the human quality of speaking in the ear. The season is also given the human/animal trait of stretching its body.

Video: Cinematography by Prem Sagar is exquisite.

Initially, they show churches in 2 different places, where Hema Malini begins to sing. Dharmendra recognizes her voice and himself starts singing. Then they are seen looking for each other in small lanes. Initially, Hema Malini is shown wearing bell-bottoms. Then suddenly she is shown wearing a sari. Even Dharmendra changes from a suit to T-shirt and trousers.

The location also changes to near the sea. Suddenly, the location shifts to Venice and a Gondola. Then they travel in a winch, to a mountainous area.

Artists: Playback singers are Anand Bakshi, Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi, while Hema Malini and Dharmendra lip-synch to the song.

Cultural Influence: Only affluent people can visit these places shown in the song and the movie. Others have to feel good by just watching these videos.

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Gayatri Rao
Gayatri Rao is a senior journalist with several years' experience in writing on various beats, predominantly Bollywood.

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