Yeh raat yeh chandni phir kahan – Hemant Kumar – S D Burman – Dev Anand | Jaal (1952)

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This is another haunting song from Hemant Kumar. There are 2 versions of this song – one sung by Hemant Kumar only and the other sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar. I have selected the first version.

Movie: This song appears in 1952 movie Jaal (Net or Trap) produced by T R Fatehchand and directed by late Guru Dutt. The movie starred late Dev Anand, late Geeta Bali, late K N Singh, Purnima, Ram Singh, etc. The story was very unusual for Guru Dutt because it had a strong religious color of the Christian doctrine of love and forgiveness.

Carlos (K N Singh) loses his vision during a storm. He lives with Maria (Geeta Bali) in a Goan coastal village, where fishing is the main occupation. One day, Maria finds Lisa (Purnima), who is a mysterious woman, hiding from the police in their boat. Maria brings the new girl to their home to live with them. Soon, Lisa is followed by a mysterious man Tony Fernandes (Dev Anand). That day, Maria finds Lisa hiding something in their garden and finds out that it is gold ornaments. She takes them and hides them behind the picture of Jesus in their place of worship in their home.

At church, Maria asks the priest, “What do we do if we know that someone is doing something wrong?” He replies that we should leave the decision of doing anything to the Lord Almighty and forgive them. Maria and Tony get attracted to each other, much to the vexation of Simon (Ram Singh), who is in love with Maria.

Lisa cautions Maria to stay away from Tony since he had betrayed her and he would repeat the same betrayal with Maria as well. Then a gypsy palm-reader also warns her that she is headed for disaster due to a stranger. Maria confronts Tony and accuses him of being the bad apple of the lot. Tony tells her that he wonders how he used to be a Good Samaritan for her and now he has become a rogue. He also insists that she was also in love with him as he is with her. He then tells her to come to meet him at night and says that he is convinced that she would come.

At night, he begins this song to beckon her.

Song: The music of this song was composed by S D Burman and the lyrics were penned by Sahir Ludhyanvi.

The man in this song is beckoning his beloved for a meeting in the night. He uses every possible word to convince her from a distance.

Video: Cinematography by V K Murthy.

The video begins with a door opening due to the storm and Geeta Bali standing up from her seat and coming out. She looks worried. Dev Anand is playing the guitar and singing inside his cabin on the beach. In between, the camera shows the moon hiding behind a cloud in the night sky. She sits down on the balcony worrying. When he sings about the waves, the wild sea is shown.

She closes the door and it again opens due to the wind. She comes back outside. She does not want to meet him. In between, Dev Anand is shown singing. But, his words are compelling. She moves down the staircase as if in a trance. She goes outside the house and the video ends with her standing in the courtyard of her home.

Artists: The playback singer of this song is Hemant Kumar and the onscreen performers are Dev Anand and Geeta Bali.

Cultural influence: The hero sends a message via this song to the heroine that this kind of situation will never be there again. So, he requests her to come and listen to his heart. Mom told me that she would perform a dance on the stage on this song in dim light depicting the moon, with lighted candles in hand, when in school. The video can be watched for the legendary pair and the melodious heart-stealing song.

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