BECHARA DIL KYA KARE – ASHA – R D BURMAN – HEMA MALINI/FARIDA JALAL | KHUSHBOO (1975)

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Movie: This song appeared in the 1975 drama Khushboo (Fragrance), produced by Prasan Kapoor and directed by Gulzar. This movie was based on Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Bengali novel Panditmashai, on which a Bengali film was also made and released in 1951. The Hindi movie was praised for the good acting by Jeetendra, Hema Malini, Asrani, Farida Jalal and Sharmila Tagore.

Kusum is married to Brindavan during their childhood in a small ceremony. Within a few days, riots occur in Badal village, where they live and Brindavan’s father (Om Shiv Puri) is blamed in error for the death. Thus, Brindavan’s father rejects Kusum’s claim to be his daughter-in-law. Kusum, her mother (Leela Mishra) and toy-seller brother Kunj (Asrani) shift to a different village. Though they have grown up Kusum (Hema Malini) still believes that she is Brindavan’s (Jeetendra) wife and objects to marriage with anyone else.

Her mother dies and her brother stays single with a vow to marry only after he sends his sister to her in-laws. Meanwhile, Brindavan’s father also dies and Brindavan becomes a doctor. He is oblivious to Kusum’s feelings. He has married someone else and has a son Charan (Master Raju) from her. His wife is also no more. Brindavan returns to Badal village and begins his medical practice there.

Once, he visits a wealthy patient in Kusum’s village and Kusum recognizes him. He doesn’t since he knows her by pet name only. They gradually come close and Brindavan’s mother (Durga Khote) happily accepts her as her daughter-in-law. Vrindavan, his mother and Charan visit Kusum at her home one day, when Kunj has gone out for work. Kunj had made this arrangement. Brindavan’s mother hands over her kangan (bracelets) as Shagun (good omen) to Kusum. The next day, Kusum sends the kangan back to its owner through Kunj, who was blissfully ignorant of what had happened.

Vrindavan’s mother decides to get him married elsewhere despite his disagreement. One day, Kusum is climbing down the steps of the nearby river to fill water in her pot, when she observes Brindavan and Charan coming towards her village from a boat. She turns away from the stairs when she meets her friend Manno (Farida Jalal). Manno tells her that people in the village are talking about Brindavan and her. She also informs her that he had rented a house near the market to establish a dispensary there and people were of the opinion was he was doing it for Kusum. Kusum tells her that she was rejected by them first. How can they do all this for someone they had rejected?

When Brindavan and Charan pass them, Manno requests Brindavan to let his son stay with them for the day. He replies that it was fine with him. But he also requests them to leave him back with him soon since he was leaving early. When he leaves, Manno begins to sing this song.

Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Gulzar and the music was composed by R D Burman.

The girl says, “Poor heart! What can it do? It burns during rains as well as autumn. It can’t wait for even 2 moments. It stops for one moment. It moves for one moment. A mendicant moves from one village to the other curing diseases. He does not know about the ailment of my heart. He doesn’t even hold my hand. There are many roads for you to walk on. You may choose any for yourself. But for me, there is only one path, yours, if you take my company.”

This song perhaps indicates the ignorance and insensitivity of Dr. Brindavan, who has not understood the feelings of Kusum.

Video: The cinematographer was K Vaikunth.

The video begins with the smiling shot of Hema Malini. Next Farida Jalal clicks on the mud pot in her hand. Both are on the way to get potable water from the river. Master Raju is with Hema Malini. The scene is that of a green village. Hema Malini climbs down the steps with the little boy. Farida Jalal climbs down behind her singing. In between, Master Raju hums the song.

Then Master Raju is sitting in front of an old house and unlacing his shoes. When Hema Malini reaches him, she helps him remove his socks and dress. He goes towards the river and Hema Malini hums the song. Post that they walk the mud path towards the river. Both the ladies hold the boy and help him take a dip in the water and the video ends.

Artists: The song in the playback has been sung by Asha Bhonsle and the onscreen performances are by Farida Jalal, Hema Malini and Master Raju.

Cultural Influence: Previously; farmers, potters and weavers would live in the village and maintain the greenery. They lived in ramshackle houses with broken doors. But they used to be content and they were never stressed out. They used to get deep natural sleep and were very healthy. They used to be happy to walk and they would walk long distances. Today, we won’t be able to see this scene. Even villages have now become concrete jungles. Most of the greenery is gone. To watch such a peaceful place, we can watch this kind of videos as many times as we like and live in the memory of the past.

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