This is another one of Lata Mangeshkar’s songs and one of the most famous songs of the film Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi that I like. It is also one of tragedy queen Meena Kumari’s sad songs.
Movie: Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi (1960) was produced by S A Bagar and directed by Kishore Sahu. The star-cast includes late Raaj Kumar, late Meena Kumari, late Nadira, late Tun Tun, late Shammi (not Shammi Kapoor, this is a female actor) and late Om Prakash.
Sushil Verma (Raaj Kumar) is a surgeon in a hospital in Shimla. He lives in his quarters on the hospital grounds with his aging mother and younger sister Munni (Kumari Naaz). Sushil’s father died many years ago and he is indebted to his father’s close friend, who paid for his medical education. Sushil’s mother feels that they need to repay the debt in some way.
Nurse Karuna (Meena Kumari) comes to the hospital and meets Dr. Verma during an emergency surgery. Both of them fall for each other but keep their feelings under control.
The nurses go to the beach for a picnic one day. During the trip, Karuna sees Munni injure herself while playing. Karuna takes Munni back to the latter’s house, without knowing that she is going to Dr. Verma’s home or that Munni is his sister. She dresses Munni’s wounds. Then she decides to do some work at home, since the normal routine work like cleaning and cooking have not been done there. When Dr. Verma comes home and sees her taking care of his home, he falls even more in love with her.
Things are going smoothly, until the time Dr. Verma’s mother arranges a family trip to Kashmir and convinces him to marry Kusum (Nadira), the daughter of the man who paid for his medical education.
They return to Shimla and though Karuna is devastated when she finds out about Dr. Verma’s marriage, she manages to hide the fact. It is at this time during the flow of the movie that this song is placed.
The hospital staff throws a boat-party for the wedded couple.
Song: This song is composed in typically Goan music is by Shankar-Jaikishan.
The main hospital staff goes for the boat trip together. The ambiance is of a wedded couple being given a party by the hospital staff. At the same time, the girl’s love has got married to someone else. Thus the song combines happiness of Nadira as well as the sorrow of Raaj Kumar as well as Meena Kumari. In such a situation, if the girl is asked to sing, what will she sing? After all, she will sing what is in her heart. She can’t share her feelings with anyone. So she pours all her frustration into the song.
The song goes thus, “This is a strange story. Where has it begun, where it ends? Which are these destinations? Neither he understood, nor did I.”
The lyrics by Shailendra have deep meaning. The lines say, “The light from the lamp accompanies smoke, why? I am in the dream world and when I wake up, I see this.”
Then the song continues, “Congratulations to you! You have become a precious possession of someone. You are so near someone, but you have gone so far away from others.”
The meaning of the above stanza is that the man has become someone else’s possession due to that he has drifted away from everybody else.
The song carries on this way, “You will accept someone else’s love and establish a new life. Whenever the evening comes, we will remember you.”
The jeopardy of the girl that she can neither go near her beloved nor forget him has been expressed in a very subtle way.
Video: Cinematography by Josef Wirsching has been attempted very well though it is in black and white and there is not much scope in it.
The hospital staff moves in a boat during dusk. Raaj Kumar and Nadira had just got married. The boat has been decorated because it carries the married couple. Meena Kumari has worn a white sari, in acceptance of her emotional condition as she has lost her love and is sitting separately from the others. The picturization in the natural setting is very good and pleasant to the eyes. The boat moving among the crooked coconut trees looks very good.
All the main characters are versatile actors and they live in the characters. This is the beauty of the acting of performers of those days. That is why the people still watch these old movies at homes. Even though the picturization is on black and white film, the entire sequence is pleasing to the eyes. Since Meena Kumari is singing the song in the movie, the focus is mostly on her. She tries to hide her tears and sorrow, which she has done very well. Only the audience and Raaj Kumar get to know about it. Soon Shammi also realizes what’s going on.
Artists: Lata Mangeshkar sings the playback and Meena Kumari lip-synchs the song while Raaj Kumar, Nadira and Shammi look on with others.
Cultural Influence: Normally after a love failure a girl will not go for an outing with the group where her former beloved would be there. This kind of situation is common in India. Therefore, people should think it over before getting into a relationship with someone and think of their own future.