Sridevi has performed any role with élan. This song comes from the movie Chaalbaaz, where she plays the double role of identical twin sisters. Filmfare magazine, ranking Sridevi’s performance in Chaalbaaz 4th in its list of 1980s’ Iconic Performances of Bollywood said, “Sridevi´s penchant for giggles and her ability to look distinctly tearful when required polishes these performances to perfection. Hell, she made Sunny Deol and Rajnikant look like sidekicks in the film.” This song is a little mischievous and anybody with a happy-go-lucky disposition would love it. Oh, I almost forgot! This dance was choreographed by Saroj Khan.
Movie: Produced by A. Poorna Chandra Rao and directed by Pankaj Parashar. The romantic comedy or rom-com Chaalbaaz (Trickster) was released in 1988 and it was a remake of Seeta Aur Geeta (1973). This is another movie with the typical Manmohan Desai lost-and-found theme. But Sridevi’s acting talent has taken this movie to a new height.
Anju and Manju are identical twins separated a few days after birth. Manju is kidnapped by their nanny, since she is not mentally stable. Their parents are also killed in a car accident by an evil uncle Tribhuvan (Anupam Kher). Manju (Sridevi) grows up in a shanty town as a carefree stage dancer. Anju (Sridevi again) is tortured by her extended family. After a lot of suffering, Anju runs away from home. Manju fights with her childhood friend and neighbor Jaggu (Rajnikant) and leaves the place in disgust. She is mistaken for Anju and compelled to go to Anju’s home. While Anju lands in Manju’s home. Suraj (Sunny Deol) falls in love with Manju, whom he sees in Anju’s home.
Once Suraj and Manju meet in the streets in the rain and sing and dance to the tune of this song after having beer in a pub.
Song: Anand Bakshi’s lyrics are fantastic and the lilting music by Lakshmikant-Pyarelal is dance-worthy.
The chorus says, “Who knows where this girl has come from? Who knows where she will go? Whom will she make crazy for her?”
The people in the street do not know where the girl has come from. Neither do they know where she will go. She is a naughty and beautiful young girl. They do not know whom will she impress.
The girl replies, “The meeting is very short. It is a regretful situation. This girl will not be impressed by anyone.”
The boy says, “This wet body of yours will set fire to my heart.”
The girl replies, “When my hair will spread in the form of a cloud, it will make you mad.”
A girl’s hair is compared indirectly with dark clouds. It is a metaphor and it expresses the beauty of the girl’s hair.
The girl continues, “You will remember me day and night. It is a regretful situation. This girl will not be impressed by anyone.”
The chorus again says, “This girl, who is wet, has she run away from home?”
This stanza has been picked up from the Kishore Kumar song Ik ladki bheegi bhagi si… from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958).
The boy also repeats the lines.
Then the girl replies, “This is not a girl. This is a female snake, which has woken from sleep.”
Again this is a direct reference to Sridevi’s previous movie Nagina (1986), where she plays a female snake.
The boy tells the girl, “Place your hands in mine.”
The girl replies, “It is a regretful situation. This girl will not be impressed by anyone.”
The girl actually rejects the boy.
The boy is persistent with, “Sit comfortably with me. There is no need to fear.”
To which the girl replies, “My situation is not so bad that I will fall in love with you.”
The boy insists, “You will remember me day and night. It is a regretful situation. This boy will not be impressed by you.”
Video: Cinematography is by Manmohan Singh.
The scene is of a typical Mumbai street with lots of shops with a footpath running in front of them. Saroj Khan has choreographed the dance like any child would dance to the given tune. The steps are so simple. But, the way Sridevi has performed anybody else cannot repeat the feat. Let me hurry to inform that Sridevi is not a trained dancer. She self-trained herself by watching videos of old Bollywood dances.
The synchronized movement of the extra dancers with the main dancers gives a pleasant visual impact. The props have been used to the fullest. Sridevi’s dance with the raincoat is fantastic. The synchronized use of the similarly made umbrellas is appreciable. Sridevi’s dress is simple and like that of fisherwomen living in Vasai, Mumbai.
Though both the hero and the heroine as impressed by each other, they pretend to each other that they are not in love.
Artists: Amit Kumar and Kavita Krishnamurthy sing on the playback while Sunny Deol and Sridevi perform the dance with some male dancers.
Cultural Influence: This song and dance sequence is made for entertainment only. Otherwise there is no cultural importance to this song other than Sridevi’s dress. Children may dance to this tune in school and college functions if they prefer old songs.