Sridevi is her graceful best in this song and Saroj Khan’s choreography is worth writing home about.

Movie: This song has been placed in the1989 film Chandni Produced by Yash Chopra and T. Subbarami Reddy and directed by Yash Chopra.

This song is at the beginning of the movie. Rohit (Rishi Kapoor) meets Chandni Mathur (Sridevi) at a wedding and is immediately besotted with her.

Chandni dances at the Ladies Sangeet during her friend’s wedding and Rohit watches the dance by hiding behind pillars or inside blankets. This is because men are not allowed to watch this function. But he is caught by the other ladies, who are participating in the Sangeet function.

Song: Music is by Shiv-Hari and lyrics by Anand Bakshi. Anand Bakshi has developed this song with inspiration from his own song Bindiya chamkegi… from Do Raaste(1969). Though it is a take pff from another song, the result here is brilliant. The Hindi-Punjabi words have been taken only to rhyme with each other and apparently may not connect with each other; the overall meaning is that the girl is trying to be naughty during the Ladies Sangeet function of a wedding.

The song goes thus, “There are 9-9 bangles on my arms. Beloved, please wait, there are some restraints. We will meet, but there is a separation for only one night. During the long dark nights, why do my bangles click by hitting each other?”

The chorus then tells the girl, “Don’t listen to the bangles.”

This stanza expresses the separation of the bride from the groom for the night only, after which they would be meeting.

The song continues, “Take your wedding procession back, O Bridegroom. I won’t come with you. You will trouble me the whole night and keep me awake. My heart beats faster when I move about in the streets. 8-10 boys have fallen for me.”

The chorus tells the girl, “Those snake-charmers will take away this snake, hypnotizing it.”

Anand Bakshi has used the metaphor of indirectly comparing the girl with a snake and the 8-10 boys as the snake-charmers. Again this is a reference to Sridevi’s 1986 hit movie Nagina, where she played a snake’s role.

Further the song says, “My plait runs below my knees. My eyes are the dice (of snakes and ladders board game). Dad, don’t say that I am a little girl, now.”

This stanza depicts the physical beauty of the girl like thick long hair and beautiful eyes. And the girl says that she has grown up and she is no more a little girl.

The song goes further, “I fought with my tailor today. He stitched my blouse yesterday. Today it has become tight.”

To this the chorus replies, “What can he do? You were small then. Now you are older.”

Then the girl continues, “O my Beloved, you have done such a bad thing to me. I was a plain paper and you have written your name on it. You have defamed me.”

The above stanza means that now that the girl and her beloved are in a relationship that fact has defamed her. She may say this but she says it happily because she is happy about it.

Video: Cinematography is by Manmohan Singh.

This song is performed during the Ladies Sangeet event as part of the wedding that Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor and others have come to attend. In that function, Sridevi takes the initiative and starts dancing. The setting of the house where the typical Indian wedding is happening is shown.

Saroj Khan has taken steps from all kinds of Indian dances to choreograph this piece. Sridevi, being a versatile artist and a very beautiful actor, performs with a lot of grace. Each and every movement performed by her is appreciable.

Artists: Playback singer is Lata Mangeshkar and Sridevi lip-synchs to the song. Rishi Kapoor looks on from his hiding place.

Cultural Influence: During weddings in North India, there is an event called Ladies Sangeet, where girls and even older women dance with some of them playing dholaks (a type of drum – traditional musical instrument). They even hit the outer part of the dholaks with a spoon to create melodious sound. Actually, almost all the women dance taking turns. But here, Sridevi is shown taking the initiative.


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