I like this song not only because it has been sung by the legendary Mohammad Rafi, but also because it has been picturized on Dev Anand. I was not lucky to interview Mohammad Rafi Sahab, since he expired much before I became a journalist. But I did get a chance to interview Dev Sahab earlier in my career. My Mom is the biggest fan of Dev Sahab since her childhood. She used to be called Dev Anandi (Sic) as a child, that big fan! I also like his acting and his choice of songs in his movies.
When I got to interview him, though my Mom had come to meet him, with me; I was so nervous that I messed up a question. I had to ask that only Zeenat Aman and Tina Munim, among the female actors he had launched, made it big in Bollywood. But I blurted that except these 2 artists everybody made a good career in films! But kudos to the man! He understood what I wanted to ask and replied accordingly. While giving us the autograph, he stood in his patent style for our benefit! J
Movie: This song was placed in the thriller Gambler (1971) produced and directed by Amarjeet, starring late Dev Anand, Zaheeda, late Jeevan and Shatrughan Sinha.
Raja (Dev Anand) was abandoned by his own mother, when he was very small. Master (Jeevan), a criminal, brings him up. Master teaches Raja how to gamble and wants him to continue working with him on commission basis. Raja picks up all the tricks in the card game and leaves work with Master to start on his own. He is highly successful and becomes rich soon. He is in love with the beautiful Chandra Gangaram (Zaheeda) and wants to marry her. It is around this time that he sings this song.
Song: Music has been composed by S D Burman and lyrics have been written by Neeraj.
The song goes thus, “I yearn for you. When will my desire get fulfilled? Since I saw you, my heart has not been mine. Give your hand in mine. What will you lose by that? At least now don’t reject my desire.”
The man has fallen in love with a girl and requests her (who is absent) to fulfill his desire of marrying her.
The song continues, “My life is a gamble and you are my failure and success. You may play with me in any way you like. How innocent is this desire? I yearn for you. When will my desire get fulfilled?”
The man actually calls his life a gamble and his beloved as his loss and gain in it.
The man becomes a little sad now. He says, “I don’t know who I am and where do I have to go in life. My story is less known, but has become fiction, now. What is life but commotion! I yearn for you. When will my desire get fulfilled?”
Video: Cinematography is by Faredon A Irani.
Dev Anand sings the song in front of a hat stand that has a mirror on top of it. Guys become so crazy about girls that they do such things, though singing an entire song is taking things too far! The room in which he is singing looks very good. The colors of the sari on the hat stand, his dress, the color of the room and that of the bed-sheet complement each other and are pleasing to the eye.
When the hat stand and Dev Anand with his 2 hats are seen through the mirror, they look good. Dev Anand is wearing a chain with symbols of the 3 prominent religions of India. When the close-up of these pendants are shown, he becomes sober.
Artists: Mohammad Rafi sings playback and Dev Anand lip-synchs.
Cultural Influence: Boys crazy about girls will speak about the girls to their friends or talk to themselves. Here cinematic liberty has been used and the protagonist sings an entire song praising the girl.