BAIYAN NA DHARO – LATA – MADAN MOHAN – SANJEEV KUMAR/REHANA SULTAN | DASTAK (1970)

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The movie Dastak in which this song appears was released during the times of western tunes making rounds in the music of composers like R D Burman. Madan Mohan, who composed the songs of this movie, insisted that he would continue making music based on ragas. He even got Lata Mangeshkar to perform some of her best croons in this movie. He won his first National Film Award for these songs.

The movie is also known for the touching lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri, particularly in the songs Hum hain mataye koocha bazaar ki tarah… and Mai ri main kase kahoon peer apne jiya ki… But I have chosen the happier song Baiyan na dharo…

Movie: The 1970 movie Dastak (The Knock) was produced and directed by Rajinder Singh Bedi and it was his first movie as a director. Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the editor of the movie, won his second Filmfare Award for this movie after the first of Madhumati(1958). Dastak is the expanded film version of the director’s radio play Naql-e-Makaani (Moving into a new house), performed for the first time on All India Radio, Lahore (1944). The movie was considered to be an important movie of the decade. Rajinder Singh Bedi was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972. Sanjeev Kumar and Rehana Sultan won the National Best Actor and Best Actress Awards for this movie. Kamal Bose won the Filmfare Award for the Best Cinematography. This movie was also listed in the book 40 Retakes: Bollywood Classics You May Have Missed by Avijit Ghosh.

The movie begins with the newly married couple Hamid (Sanjeev Kumar) and Salma (Rehana Sultan) moving into a rented flat. Slowly, while cleaning the flat, they discover that something was amiss about the previous occupant of the flat. That night Salma hears someone singing a song. Hamid says that a couple of streets beyond is located the red light area, the place where courtesans live. But the area, where they had shifted is a reputed one. Salma remembers that her father a great musician sang the song she just heard differently. She also sings the song for the benefit of her husband.

Song: The lyrics of this song were written by late Majrooh Sultanpuri and the music was composed by late Madan Mohan.

The girl requests the man not to hold her hand and not to play mischief with her. She adds, “Otherwise, my dupatta will fall from my shoulders. My bangles will laugh (or make a sound). Let me go, O Beloved. The light of the lamp is falling on us.”

The girl probably wants to say that if her glass bangles would click, people outside would realize what was happening in their flat and try to peep in.

Video: Cinematography is by Kamal Bose.

The video shows the room of a lower middle-class Indian family of 2. People peep into their home while they are having a private moment. One man even dances to the tune of the song Rehana Sultan sings. Sanjeev Kumar wears a simple dress while Rehana Sultan wears a bright dress with flowers on her hair. This is quite normal in India.

Artists: The playback singer is Lata Mangeshkar and Rehana Sultan lip-syncs to the song, while Sanjeev Kumar looks on.

Cultural Influence: This song is worthy of watching at least once. If couples have experienced people peeping into their private moments, they will share those incidents with others, while watching this song.

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