BEHNA NE BHAI KI KALAYI SE – SUMAN KALYANPUR – SHANKAR-JAIKISHEN | RESHAM KI DORI (1974)

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There was a time in Bollywood movies when the girls playing the role of sister would always be raped or at least one attempt on her honor would always be there in the movie. I have always found this ridiculous. In this movie also an attempt is made on the sister’s honor. But such things did not happen to the heroine (in a few movies they have also not been spared!). In this movie, the heroine belongs to an honorable family. I don’t mean that such attempts should be shown. No, I don’t enjoy these scenes. In fact, I find them repulsive, I mean, any rape scene for that matter. I would like to attract attention to the ridiculousness of these ideas – that if there is a character of a sister she has to be raped or an attempt at least must be made.

Movie: This song appears in the 1974 movie Resham Ki Dori (Silk Thread) directed by Atma Ram and produced by T C Dewan. The movie starred Dharmendra, Saira Banu, Kumud Chugani, late Sujit Kumar, Ramesh Deo, late Rajindernath, Sajjan, etc. Rajesh Khanna was going to perform the lead role in this film. Due to date issues, he could not do the film and the role went to Dharmendra.

Ajit (Dharmendra) and Rajni or Rajjo (Kumud Chugani) lose their parents. Ajit as the elder brother takes care of his sister. He does a lot of sacrifices for her. While Ajit is saving her from his mill owner’s sexual assault on her, the perpetrator of the crime dies. Though it is proven in the court that Ajit was not entirely responsible for the death, he is given 5 years’ imprisonment.

In the meantime, Rajjo leaves the home where she had been living due to the dirty taunts of the woman of the house. When Ajit comes to know about it, he accomplishes a jail-break and runs away. He is followed by the police but gets into a train to Deshpur. There he gets a job in a mill as Vinod.

The mill is running at a loss, so the owner (D K Sapru) decides to close the mill and move on. Vinod, with the other workers, visit their mansion and protest against the decision. On the insistence of the owner’s granddaughter Anupama (Saira Banu), the owner allows them to continue the mill under the condition that they would pay some deposit and lease the mill. The workers are already poor and they do not have enough food. How could they make such a payment? Anupama visits Vinod, one day, and realizes that one of the workers Vishal (Sajjan) is her father. He tells her his story, which makes her turn over a new leaf.

Anupama convinces her grandfather to reopen the mill without any conditions. The day of Raksha Bandhan dawns and Rajjo goes to a temple to pray for her brother’s welfare. She does not have a rakhi but tears a piece of cloth from her sari to tie it on the hand of the idol. On the other hand, Vinod (actually Ajit) misses his sister. But, girls from the entire shanty, where the workers live group together and tie rakhis on the wrist of Vinod and sing this song.

Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Indiwar and the music was composed by Shankar-Jaikishen.

The girl says, “The sister has tied her love on the brother’s wrist, with the 2 strings of love she has tied the whole world. With the silk thread, she has tied the whole world. He is Lord Krishna in the looks front and in motherly love, he is Yashoda Maiya. It is no one else. It is my brother, who is the king. You are my flower, my sword. You are the protector of my honor. Where am I alone in this world? You are my whole world. Fate may take us away from each other, don’t separate me from your heart. Remember your sister on this auspicious day.”

Lord Krishna is considered to be very handsome and Yashoda was His foster mother. Once upon a time, in India, it was the brother who would protect his sister’s honor. Today, girls are proficient in protecting themselves. But are they? Though there is an awareness that if a girl says no, it means no; still incidents are happening. But awareness is spreading and there is still hope.

Video: Cinematographer was K G Prabhakar.

The video opens in a house in a lower middle-class locality with a few girls performing Aarti to Dharmendra. On the steel plate, there are a small lighted lamp, roli, rice, a few flowers and some sweets. The girls use it to perform Aarti and tie rakhis on his wrist.  Dharmendra remembers how his real sister tied rakhi on his wrist in childhood.

The girl in the traditional North Indian blue sari sings and performs a solo dance. The girl in the sari makes him sit on a bed and applies roli on his forehead. Then she places some rice grains on the applied roli. Next, she ties the rakhi on his wrist and sprinkles flowers on him.

Dharmendra feels like his own sister is singing about him. Dharmendra remembers that he is taken away by the police and that was the last time when his real sister had tied rakhi to his wrist. In the end, his real sister comes out of a temple, crying and wishing well for her brother.

Artists: The playback is sung by Suman Kalyanpur and the onscreen performances are by Dharmendra, Kumud Chugani and a few extra girls.

Cultural Influence: Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrating the bond of love between a brother and a sister. This song can be watched several times. During the festival, the song is broadcast on radio and even on streets and in different functions.

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