Achaji main hari chalo maan jao na – Asha/Rafi – S D Burman – Madhubala/Dev Anand | Kalapani (1958)


This is one of my favorite Rafi-Asha duets.

Movie: This song appears in 1958 thriller Kalapani (Direct translation is Black Water. But it was a type of punishment in India during the British Rule.) The movie was produced by late Dev Anand and directed by late Raj Khosla. The movie starred Dev Anand, late Madhubala, late Nalini Jaywant, late Agha, late Nazir Hussain, late Mukri, late Agha, late Jankidas, Krishan Dhawan, late Kishore Sahu, late D K Sapru, etc. The story of the movie is based on A J Cronin’s novel Beyond This Place (1953). It is also a remake of the Bengali movie Sabar Upaarey (1955). The Hindi movie bagged 2 Filmfare Awards – Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

Karan Mehra (Dev Anand) gets to know that his father Shankarlal is in jail for a murder. His mother (Mumtaz Begum) had been pretending for the last 15 years that his father is dead. Karan gets a job as a journalist and goes to Hyderabad to meet his father.

Since I saw the movie, I have been wondering how will the publishing company, where he is supposed to be working, allow him to go on perhaps a wild goose chase of investigating a very old case, the moment he has joined them. This seems to be his first job as well. I then decided to think that he has told the editor that he would be writing about the case as his first assignment with them. But, unless it is shown thus, it would not be very convincing.

There he gets to know that his father is innocent of the murder. Karan begins to gather proof of his father’s blamelessness as that can help reopen the case to set him free. Karan meets one of the witnesses, who had supported his father in the court. The man informs him about the investigating officer, Inspector Mehta (Nazir Hussain).

When he visits a newspaper office to investigate the case, he gets attracted to investigative reporter Asha (Madhubala). Asha is the owner of the lodge, where he stays as the paying guest, as well.

With the support of the retired investigating officer, Karan gets to know about other witnesses – Kishori (Nalini Jaywant) and Jumman (Krishan Dhawan). Mehta had overheard a conversation between Kishori and Jumman about a letter, which might be helpful to prove the innocence of Shankarlal.

Karan tries to woo Kishori, so that he would get the letter from her. Meanwhile, Karan and Asha come romantically close to each other. But, one day, she observes Karan getting down from a horse carriage and kissing the hand of Kishori.

Mehta takes Karan to the defense lawyer Rai Bahadur Jaswant Rai (Kishore Sahu), who had silenced him during the investigation. The lawyer has also retired. Impetuously, Karan blurts out to the lawyer that he knows about the letter that is with Kishori. The lawyer warns Diwan Sardarilal (D K Sapru) and Jumman, in turn, informs Kishori that Karan’s intention in coming close to her is the letter.

Kishori confronts Karan for cheating her and Karan answers back that she was responsible for his father going behind bars. Kishori repents and gives the letter to him. Karan is overjoyed and takes the letter to the lawyer. But, the senior man burns the letter. Karan realizes that the man is also involved in the plot. He visits Asha in her office to request her help. But, she cold shoulders him for two-timing her.

With no other alternative, he protests outside the lawyer’s house in front of a crowd and gets arrested by the police. Asha gets to know about it through a press photographer and goes with him to the place Karan was mouthing slogans against the lawyer. The crowd there has dispersed and they are told that Karan had been arrested. He has been released by the time Asha reaches the police station.

At the police station, though Karan is upset with her, he tells her about the case on her insistence. After that, she follows him everywhere. At one place, he sits near a pillar and she also finds a place to sit near a cross. All her requests to forgive her fall on deaf ears. Thus, she begins this song and he joins in reply.

Song: This song was composed by S D Burman and Majrooh Sultanpuri penned the lyrics.

In this song, the girl apologizes to the man and tries to appease him in so many words.

Video: Cinematography is by V Ratra.

The video begins with Madhubala picking up a small stone and throwing at Dev Anand. It hits his cheek and he turns toward her. The music has already begun. He is wearing a pair of black trousers and shirt, while she is wearing a white sari. Madhubala begins the song with a very expressive face. Dev Anand replies to her with attitude.

Madhubala stands up from her place and goes toward Dev Anand to apologize. He gets up and moves backward looking at her to stumble on something. She laughs. He moves back and stands near another wall. Madhubala looks very beautiful and glamorous despite the film being a black and white one. Kudos goes to the cinematographer.

Madhubala apologizes with different types of actions every time those lines come. But, Dev Anand, though is expressionless throughout, plays the role of an upset man very well here. Jankidas climbs down a staircase and blinks in tune with the music of the song. Mukri also repeats the same. Agha, when his turn comes, moves his head front and back. Their behavior, the way they do it, is funny.

Dev Anand in the meanwhile has gone to the alley between 2 walls and peeks back at Madhubala. Madhubala tries to convince him again while moving toward him from the other direction. As the exchange goes on, Dev Anand moves to the next wall and they bump into each other at a corner.

The video ends with both reconciling with each other.

Artists: The playback singers of this song are Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle and onscreen performances are by Madhubala, Dev Anand, Mukri, Agha and Jankidas.

Cultural Influence: This is a different situation in a movie, where the heroine tries to appease the hero. This can happen in real life. But, the situation is handled in speech only. Taking the cinematic liberty, a song has been woven from the speech. The video can be watched many times for the lead pair.


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