Late R D Burman’s music drives me crazy. And when the song is rendered by his wife Asha Bhonsle, then the song goes beyond words.
Movie: Do lafzon ki hai dil ki kahani… appears in the movie The Great Gambler. This movie, which has attained cult status, is an action thriller produced by C V K Shastri and directed by Shakti Samanta. The star-cast includes Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman, Neetu Singh and Prem Chopra.
Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) has been an expert in gambling for a long time and has never lost in any game. His skills are noticed by the underworld Don Ratan Das (Madan Puri). The don wants Jai to win large amounts from rich people and then compel them to do whatever he wants. Jai agrees to do so and is successful enough to trap Nath (Jagdish Raj), who is a government employee. Nath loses large amounts of money and is blackmailed to reveal the blueprints of a top secret weapon. When the Indian police come to know about this, they hand over the case to Inspector Vijay (also Amitabh Bachchan) and he is asked to arrest Jai at any cost. The only problem is that Vijay is Jai’s lookalike and is not a good gambler.
Then Jai and Vijay, both are sent to Rome, where Vijay is supposed to salvage evidence against another underworld Don Saxena (Utpal Dutt) instigated by the Don’s former henchman. Jai, at the same time, has been attracted into a money-making scheme to marry his rich girl-friend Mala (Neetu Singh) to get her money. Mala, however, mistakenly catches hold of Vijay instead of Jai at the Rome airport. Vijay goes along with this to find out more about his lookalike. Jai in the meantime meets Shabnam (Zeenat Aman), a club dancer. Shabnam has been sent by Saxena to divert Vijay and stop him from retrieving evidence against himself. Shabnam on her part mistakes Jai for Vijay and Jai gets mixed up in the plot to kill Saxena’s former henchman.
It is around this time that Shabnam takes Jai on a Gondola trip in Venice’s Grand Canal, where she sings this song.
Song: Music by late R D Burman and lyrics by late Anand Bakshi.
In the beginning the boatman sings a few lines in Italian. The song is so melodious that we feel like repeating it again and again, even though we do not understand a single word.
The meaning of the song goes thus, “The story of the heart consists of only 2 words. It is either love or youth. Don’t ask the meaning of what the heart says. Don’t ask me anything else. The world is crazy about 2 things. It is either love or youth. What was this boatman singing? He was remembering someone, old happenings and old memories (of his beloved). It is either love or youth. The days available in this life are so less. There is so less happiness and so much sorrow. Let’s hug, since the weather is beautiful. It is either love or youth.”
In any situation our heart and brain thinks in different ways. These thoughts are put into different words in this song.
Video: Cinematographer Aloke Dasgupta. This song has been shot on a Gondola.
The color of the canal, the buildings, the Gondola and the dresses of Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman synchronize with each other. The boatman rowing the boat and balancing on the end of the boat looks good. The rowing movement is in rhythm and the song compliments it.
There is less space in the Gondola and the hero and heroine have made optimum use of the little space available to them. The views captured by the camera are very pleasing to the eye. During the song Prem Chopra and another man look at the couple though a pair of binoculars.
Artists: Sharad Kumar, Asha Bhosle and Amitabh Bachchan sing on the playback, while Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman and the boatman are present onscreen.
Cultural Influence: The Italian song sounds very good. And they have interpreted the song in Hindi. That is more appreciable. We feel like going to Venice and learn more about the culture there.