This is a Lata Mangeshkar song that depicts the pining of Radha for her Lord Krishna. Rajesh Khanna’s dialogue from the movie, “Pushpa, I hate tears,” became very famous.
Movie: This 1972 movie has been produced and directed by Shakti Samanta. The star-cast includes late Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, late Madan Puri, late Leela Mishra, Manmohan, Sujit Kumar and Vinod Mehra (special appearance).
Pushpa (Sharmila Tagore) is thrown out of her home by her husband Ram Ratan (Manmohan) and his new wife, violently. Even her mother disowns her. She tries to commit suicide when she is sold to a brothel in Calcutta (Kolkatta now) by an uncle from her village, Nepal Babu (Madan Puri). While she is being auditioned at the brothel, Anand Babu (Rajesh Khanna), a businessman is attracted to her singing. This man is unhappily married and is lonely so he is seeking love at the brothel.
This is the song that Pushpa sings at her audition.
Song: Lyrics are by Anand Bakshi and music is composed by R D Burman.
The song goes thus, “The night is passing, but Lord Krishna has not come yet. I can’t sleep.”
The girl talks about her yearning for Lord Krishna, since he has not come home, yet.
The song continues, “In the evening, Shyam (Lord Krishna) forgot his promise. Radha remained awake with the lamp. I can’t sleep.”
The girl asks, “Which other woman stopped him? Has he been seeing another woman? Who is she? I can’t sleep.”
The girl again adds, “I am suffering from the pangs of separation, being madly in love. My body and mind both are thirsty and my eyes are misty. I can’t sleep.”
The girl expresses the inner desire to meet Lord Krishna and says how much she is in love with Him. She explains that she is being wrenched from within by the separation that she has from her Beloved Krishna. Here a contradiction is used as a figure of speech. It is an Antithesis. Her body and mind are thirsty. But that thirst is not satisfied by the water (tears) in her eyes.
Video: Cinematography is by Aloke Dasgupta.
In the red light area of Calcutta, Rajesh Khanna is seen completely drunk and not in a condition to even balance himself. He hears the melodious voice of the girl. Attracted by it, he goes to the house where the song emanates from. The entire place is shown how a red light area usually is and how we are made to imagine.
When he reaches the house, Sharmila Tagore stops singing. The room is like in any red light area. Rajesh Khanna tells her to continue with the song. Madan Puri introduces Rajesh Khanna as a big businessman to Leela Mishra, who runs the brothel. The director has shown Sharmila Tagore in a good light and having a good character. That is why she is made to sign a devotional song.
At the end of the song, Rajesh Khanna says that she has converted the room into a temple by singing this song. He also says that there is so much sorrow in her presentation of the song that it could alleviate the sorrow of the others. When he gets to know that her name is Pushpa, he says that it should have been Meera.
Artists: Sharmila Tagore is lip-synching the song, which has been sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Rajesh Khanna looks on.
Cultural influence: The man could have divorced his wife, since he was unhappily married and just gone his way. There was no one to guide him properly. So he drinks uncontrollably and lands in the red light area. But he finds a girl of good character because he is lucky. They become the support systems of each other and good companions. This should be taken as a lesson and people should take control of their own lives in the right way. If all the cinematic liberty is eliminated from the song and the movie, we get a moral that we should not lead such a life. Instead of taking this as an unusual film story, we should use this as a learning experience for us. When things begin to go wrong, we should become alert and take things into our hands earlier on.