PIYA PIYA PIYA MORA JIYA PUKARE – KISHORE/ASHA – O P NAYYAR – KISHORE KUMAR/CHAND USMANI | BAAP RE BAAP (1955)

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This song is significant in that Asha Bhonsle made a mistake in the middle of the song and late Kishore Kumar went ahead with the mistake in the song, without going for a retake. Let me explain. During those times, a song would be learnt by rote and sung in one go. There were no digital recording facilities like today, where if there is a mistake it can be rectified by computers. So while the song was being recorded, Asha Bhonsle gave an alaap a second time, when it was not required. Kishore Kumar signaled her to go on and complete the song as it was. After the recording was over, he told everybody that he, being the hero of the movie, would place a hand on his heroine’s mouth, when that particular shot in the song would come. That was how the problem was resolved.

Movie: This song appears in the 1955 hit musical comic caper Baap Re Baap (Oh, My God!) directed and produced by A R Kardar. The movie starred Kishore Kumar, late Chand Usmani, Smriti Biswas, late Jayant, late Ulhas and late Leela Mishra. This movie gave a boost to Kishore Kumar’s career and he went on to act in 68 movies from 1953-68.

The plot has a rich young man’s parents trying to arrange a prospective bride for him. They advertise in the newspaper for the same and many people from the different states of India apply. This leads to several comic situations because of regional and language issues.

Kunwar Ashok (Kishore Kumar) has just returned after being abroad for 7 years for studies. His parents are overly protective and treat his one sneeze as if he has pneumonia. On the night when he is compelled to rest due to his ‘ill health’, he sees a flower-girl Kokila (Chand Usmani) singing and dancing to the tune of her song. He falls in love with her immediately. His parents get busy looking for a bride for him. Their ad in newspapers attracts people from many states speaking different languages. They receive applications with photographs of girls.

His father (Jayant) assigns his maternal uncle Saligram (S N Banerjee) the job of traveling throughout the country to find out about the girls, whose applications they had received. Ashok also decides to go to a hill station to improve his health or that is what he says to his parents. Before leaving he wants to see Kokila but he does not find her in her home. Disappointed he leaves in a horse carriage. Within a few seconds of their leaving, Kokila, who was hiding in the gap below the backseat of the horse carriage, stands up and comes over to the sitting area of the carriage singing this song.

Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Jan Nisar Akhtar and the music was composed by O P Nayyar.

The girl sings, “Beloved, my heart calls. I will also come with you.”

The man asks, “Why do you call me stealthily? Girl, you exist in my heart.”

The girl asks a counter-question, “Where are you going, hiding from me? I beg of you. Don’t leave me.”

The man says, “This beauty and this fair complexion are very attractive. Don’t look at me like that. My heart gets swaying, if you do that.”

The girl replies, “My eyes are innocent. They do not know any signals.”

The man continues, “Girl, you exist in my heart.”

The girl insists, “Beloved, I am your shadow. I sway with you. Wherever you go, I will come with you.”

The man now talks about the surroundings, “The season is lovely. The day is also lovely. See, we are going forward while laughing and singing.”

The girl replies, “My Beloved, my heart sways. The landscape sways.”

The man reiterates, “Girl, you exist in my heart.”

Video: Cinematography was by Dwarka Divecha and the camera was operated by K Ramanlal.

This song has been picturized on a different type of horse carriage called a buggy. The video begins with a visibly upset Kishore Kumar taking the place of S N Banerjee on the back seat of the carriage. S N Banerjee goes and sits with the driver of the carriage.

Right then Chand Usmani stands up in the place she had been hiding on the back of the carriage and begins the song. Kishore Kumar is surprised and looks around to find the sound. Then Chand Usmani places her hand on his shoulder, which makes him turn around to look at her.

Having seen Chand Usmani, he is happy and acts as if he is walking on the opposite seat, while sitting on his. Chand Usmani sits on the upper part of the seat and Kishore Kumar across the entire seat.

Then the camera focuses on the driver and S N Bannerjee, the latter looking behind him happily. Kishore Kumar and Chand Usmani straighten up. He sits straight on his seat still looking at her. She is also looking at him. She slowly comes to sit beside him in the backseat. The video ends with Kishore Kumar yodeling.

Most of the song has been shot in the studio, where the buggy is stationary and the scenes on the background screen change via projected images.

Artists: The playback has been sung by Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar, while the onscreen performances are by Chand Usmani, Kishore Kumar and S N Banerjee.

Cultural Influence: A couple sitting in a horse carriage with the driver as well as a relative is a completely different situation. This video is watchable for Kishore Kumar’s antics as well as the melody of the song as many times as required.

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