KHAIKE PAN BANARASWALA – DON – AMITABH BACHCHAN & ZEENAT AMAN

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Late Kishore Kumar used to behave in a strange manner often. After singing this song, he just ran away from the studio because he wanted to avoid singing the whole song once again. In those times, there were not much recording facilities like there are now. Singers had to learn full songs by rote and sing them in one go. If the music composer was not satisfied, the singer had to sing it again. But as far as this song was concerned, the music director and others wanted to congratulate Kishoreda for rendering it in such a beautiful manner. But he had left the studio before anybody could approach him!

Movie: This song appears in the hit movie Don, released in 1978, directed by Chandra Barot and produced by Nariman Irani. The movie starred Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman, late Pran, late Iftekhar, Helen, late Om Shivpuri, Sharad Kumar, late Satyen Kappu and late Pinchoo Kapoor. This movie was remade with Shah Rukh Khan, which released in 2006. A sequel was released in 2011.

Don is the story of one of the most powerful men in crime. Though he was on Interpol’s most wanted list, Don (Amitabh Bachchan) is hard to pin down by the police. Together with the police, he makes a few other enemies, due to his merciless attitude towards his organization. He kills one of his henchmen, Ramesh (Sharad Kumar) because Ramesh wants to leave the crime world. This results in 2 new enemies – Kamini (Helen), who is Ramesh’s fiancée and Roma (Zeenat Aman), Ramesh’s sister. Kamini seduces the Don and tries to get the police to arrest him. But her plan flops since the Don outwits her and the police to escape them. In this process, Kamini is killed.

Many unsuccessful attempts to nab the Don, the police finally succeed. Unfortunately, the Don dies during the chase messing up police officer D’ Silva’s (Iftekar) plan to catch the source of all crime, the man Don reported to, by catching the Don alive. He buries Don’s body and remembers having met Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan again), a simple man and a look-alike of the Don, who was trying to survive in the confusion called Bombay (Mumbai now) and to support 2 of his foster kids – Deepu and Munni. The officer decides to transplant Vijay in place of the Don, so that he can arrest the rest of the gang. Vijay pretends to have amnesia.

Roma is shattered after the death of her brother and his fiancée and decides to avenge them She cuts her hair short and learns judo and karate. Then she joins the Don’s gang after telling them that she is on their side. She impresses Vijay, who is in the guise of the Don now, with her fighting skills and allows her to work with him without suspecting anything.

Around this time, Jasjit (Pran) having just been released from jail, plans revenge against D’Silva and searches for his children. Vijay replaces the red diary of the Don with a blank one. Then he tells the gang that he was going to take revenge against the DSP, but really goes to give him the diary. Roma follows him but Vijay survives her attack and tries to explain to her that he is not the Don. She is not ready to believe him. But when D’ Silva explains what has actually happened, she decides against the revenge. Vijay learns more about the Don through the red diary and with Roma’s help, he informs his colleagues that his amnesia had gone. In the midst of the celebrations, the police raid the Don’s den and in the crossfire D’ Silva, who is Vijay’s only witness to his true identity dies.

The police refuse to believe Vijay. But the Don’s gang members realize that he is not the Don. Now he is chased by both the police and the gang members. Then Jasjit steals the red diary, the only evidence of Vijay’s innocence, in the hope of finding his children. But Vijay is the one who can reunite him with his kids. Vijay escapes from the police and the underworld with Roma’s help and becomes his old self. At the same time, he struggles to prove his identity and innocence.

This is the time the song appears in the movie.

Song: The music of this song was composed by Kalyanji-Anandji and the lyrics were penned by Anjaan.
The boy begins the song with, “Let the intoxicating effect of the bhang permeate well, then I will have the paan. I received such a blow on my heart that I was reborn. When you eat the paan from Benaras, the locked brain opens up. Then we will enjoy life in such a way that I will straighten everybody up. I am the boy from the banks of the Ganga. When you eat the paan from Benaras, the locked brain opens. O God! Where have I got stuck? I almost hung myself. I am a simple guy. I am an innocent guy. I don’t know since when I began meeting educated people. They killed me with a sweet-edged knife.”
The boy actually says that he was a simpleton and got influenced by educated people.
He continues, “I am the boy from the banks of the Ganga. When you eat the paan from Benaras, the locked brain opens. An unmarried girl has fallen for me. She has entered my heart. How fair is her complexion! Her eyes are very beautiful, which hurts me like chillies. She has stolen my heart on a whim. When I found the girl, I was overjoyed. I am the boy from the banks of the Ganga. When you eat the paan from Benaras, the locked brain opens.”
Being an uneducated person, he has become impressed by an educated girl.

Video: Cinematography is by Nariman a Irani.

The video opens with people sitting in the Dhobi Ghat to drink bhang (an intoxicating drink). Amitabh Bachchan dances in a small area in between the people. He eats pan and spits nearby. He does everything an uneducated villager would do.

Zeenat Aman is also present here. The short man, with the pot-belly, dancing looks funny. Due to space restraints, Amitabh Bachchan has been given few movements. With his stick-like legs and hands, whatever he does is attractive.

Artists: The playback singer is Kishore Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan performs the song and dance, while Zeenat Aman looks on.

Cultural Influence: In villages, drinking bhang is norm. During festivals particularly on Shivaratri and Holi, they have this drink. This ritual is being shown in this video.

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