I have at least one favorite actor belonging to every era. Shashi Kapoor is one of them from the 1960s-70s eras. I have been trying to get in touch with him for an interview. But since he keeps ill, I have not had that good fortune till now. This song was the inspiration for Sameer’s lyrics of Pardesi Pardesi jana nahin… from Raja Hindustani (1996).
Movie: Jab Jab Phool Khile (Whenever the flowers blossom) is a 1965 movie produced by P.M Sethia and H.M Sethia and directed by Suraj Prakash. The star-cast is late Nanda, Shashi Kapoor, Shammi (female actor).
Rita Khanna (Nanda) is the only daughter and heir to Raj Bahadur Chunnilal’s wealth. She goes to Kashmir for a holiday with her maid Stella (Shammi). There she rents a houseboat and picks up a friendship with the owner Raja (Shashi Kapoor). Raja is a naïve, romantic village fellow, living with his sister Munni. Post some misunderstandings, Rita and Raja become good friends and Raja falls in love with her.
It is around this time that Raja sings this song.
Song: Anand Bakshi’s lyrics are interesting and different while Kalyanji-Anandji’s music is catchy.
The song goes thus, “Never get involved with foreigners. Foreigners will have to leave one day. When the beautiful season (spring) comes, some or the other story is created. This year let’s watch what kind of affair occurs.”
The meaning of this stanza is that during peak season many tourists come to Kashmir and the people who live there permanently have to get involved with them. But the man says that too much involvement could be disadvantageous to their own selves.
The song continues, “People say the right thing about them that they are migratory birds. They might stay with you at night and leave the next morning. Today they will be here and tomorrow someplace else.”
This stanza uses a metaphor comparing tourists indirectly with migratory birds. They might be near us at a given point of time. But they will not stay here for long. If we get involved with them, things will become difficult only for us.
The song ends with, “When flowers blossom in the gardens, these unfaithful people come here at that time. How will we spend the autumn season (without them)?”
The last stanza is explained thus, “The tourists arrive when there is spring in Kashmir. They stay there for some time and enjoy what Kashmir can give. Then they leave. After they leave, we stay behind because we live here. Once they are gone, it becomes difficult to stay here during autumn if we have got too involved with them.”
Video: Taru Dutt’s cinematography is fantastic because he has a lot of scope with many colors to work with.
Shashi Kapoor is a boatman and he is rowing a boat. The scenery is breath-taking. They have selected a very good place to shoot this song. The reflection of the trees in the bank of the lake on the water of the lake is pleasing to the eye. He travels below different types of bridges in the course of his journey towards his boathouse.
When Shashi Kapoor starts the song, he moves with his special jerking style with the rowing stick on his shoulder. His job is to take tourists for sight-seeing trips and keep them entertained with his stories and songs. This is one of the songs he sings for that purpose. It is not just for passing the time, but also a revelation of his inner feelings.
Artists: The artists are Mohammad Rafi on the playback and Shashi Kapoor onscreen.
Cultural Influence: This song and its picturization show the Kashmiri culture. A boatman’s duty is to be a guide for tourists, who are present there temporarily. Therefore, he says to himself that he should not get too involved with them. Otherwise, he might lose his peace of mind.