This song touches my heart every time I hear it. The deep meaning in it is an asset for its popularity. I listen to this song during ebb times and when I need to be perked up in life.
Movie: This song was a part of the movie Dharam Karam. Produced by late Raj Kapoor, the 1975 movie was directed by Randhir Kapoor. It stars Raj Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Rekha, late Premnath and late Dara Singh.
The movie has a lot of similarity with 2 films of the same name – Raj Kapoor’s own Parvarish (1958) and Amitabh Bachchan starer Parvarish (1977) in that, 2 new born infants are exchanged and they live different lives than they are born into.
Shankar is a criminal, living in a shanty with his pregnant wife, Kanta. He prays to Lord Shiva if he begets a son, he would make sure that the child is reared away from crime. As his wife gives birth to a baby boy, he loots another criminal J K. A well-known stage artist Ashok Kumar’s (Raj Kapoor) wife as well gives birth to a son at the same time.
The song is placed first at this juncture. At the end of the song. Ashok Kumar gets to know that his wife had given birth to a son. The song is repeated again twice with other artists like Randhir Kapoor and Rekha at different points of time in the movie.
Song: The lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri have deep meaning, while the music composed by R D Burman accentuates the meaning more effectively.
Here goes the song, “One day you will be sold at the price of the soil. On earth only your words will remain. If you give your songs to others, you will leave some trace of your existence here. Then only mingle with others.”
It means that when life is so cheap and worthless, you are going to reach the soil only, after your death. Only what you say and do will remain with the people – your near and dear ones. Your songs or good work should be such that others start singing it or talking about it. Then only your existence is worthwhile.”
Further the songs goes thus, “Disasters may sow many thorns on your path. If it is in your destiny, you will meet a lost friend. This separation is a restriction of a few seconds only. Then why does a brave person fear? When a river runs, the streaming water drops stay together. Become a running stream and then only mingle with others.”
Then the song says, “There is a dark lady behind the curtain, who has enchanted us. Make sure that this enchantment should not diminish and this bond remains between us. The morn is coming in sometime and only some part of the night remains. Why are you sitting with your head hung down, dear friend? Look into the eyes of that lady and then only mingle with others.”
Video: The song begins with the stage curtain opening to Raj Kapoor moving and gesticulating within a decorated trolley toward the audience first, then toward the right and left of the stage and then returning to the back of it.
For the second stanza of the song, there is a movie clipping going on in the background. The movie shows a scene of bombing, natural disasters and vast amount of destruction. In the foreground, many people are running helter-skelter trying to save themselves. In a barren land then, walks in Raj Kapoor and sings the second stanza of the song, with his typical style of gesticulations.
When the third stanza begins, he is brought into the stage in a swing from the roof. There is a girl in red ghaghra choli dancing with her chunri covering her face in the form of a veil. Here towards the end, Raj Kapoor compares the girl to Divine Goddress Durga by gesturing towards the roof. Raj Kapoor was a Punjabi and Punjabis have staunch belief in Goddress Durga. No wonder the allusion to Her creeps in here too.
Artists: Late Mukesh has soulfully sung the song, while it has been picturized on Raj Kapoor.
Cultural Influence: Though children will not understand much, middle-aged and elderly people will understand and appreciate the meaning of the song immediately. They will feel how easily the lyricist has taught how to live life in a worthy manner. Older people will definitely show this song to teenagers to teach them the real meaning of life. My Mom would show us this song or make us listen to it every now and then, when we were children. She would explain every single word for our benefit.
She would, “There is always a day when there is night and vice versa. Happiness follows sorrow and sorrow follows happiness. Similarly there will be deaths in families as well as births. But how we lived the life is more important.” When my mother could teach us about the meaning of the song in this way then other people’s parents and grandparents could have narrated in many other ways to bring up their children well. To sum up, it is a moral giving song. This should not be passed off as an old song, but taken as a way of life. New artists should take up themes like these to give meaningful and moral giving songs in a modern way so that everyone will think of becoming good citizens.