This philosophical song appears at least 3 times in the movie all sung by my favorite Rafi Sahab. I have chosen the first version because that is only the full song. Rest are just small bits.
Movie: This song appears in 1974 drama Chowkidar (Watchman) directed by Shyam Ralhan produced by Gopal Ralhan under the banner of Namrata Movies. The movie starred late Sanjeev Kumar, Yogita Bali, late Om Prakash, Preeti Bala, late D K Sapru, etc.
Shambhu (Om Prakash) is the village night watchman, who helps the poor people, oppressed by Lala Dinanath (Jeevan). His rakhi sister Jyoti (Preeti Bala) is missing for around a year. One night, while patrolling, he finds his sister coming out of the Thakur Ranvir Singh (D K Sapru). It appears that his sister was cheated by the Thakur after an affair. When she got pregnant, she had gone into hiding. Now, the Thakur is not accepting the girl child. Shambhu’s sister hands him the baby and jumps into the nearby river. Shambhu takes the baby to the Thakur, who once again rejects the baby and dies accidentally in the process of shooting Shambhu.
When the Thakur dies, Shambhu is prompted to sing this song.
Song: The music of this song was composed by Madan Mohan and the lyrics were penned by Rajinder Kishan.
This song says that the life of an arrogant man is in vain. This is because during his lifetime he harasses others and ultimately after death he himself is consigned to flames. The man asks does anyone accompany the arrogant man in his journey after his death.
The man continues, “The tragedy is that the arrogant man considers the world as his own estate. King or pauper everybody is ultimately a watchman in his lifetime worthy of a few feet of ground only. People have come to this world with their own fates. The number of breaths written in one’s destiny is limited. It is such a simple thing. But the people do not understand. The person sleeping at night watches several types of dreams. He does not know what will happen when he opens his eyes the next morning. The fight of mine and yours is a useless one. People want to win, so they cheat in games. Whenever God wants, he can take away the cards in hand. Nothing will work in front of Him, though you show maximum cleverness.”
Video: Cinematography is by Surendra Naik.
When the video begins it is the night scene, where a funeral pyre is burning. The camera pans and shows Om Prakash holding an infant. He begins the song. He is sitting near a tree and stands up again. He turns his back to the pyre and continues the song. He begins to walk forward and the camera moves backward.
His dog walks with him with the lighted lantern. A dead body is being brought to the cremation ground. He walks into the village toward his hut. It is the next night and he has conveniently made a small bag out of a cloth, with the baby nestling in it. As he walks around the village, he feeds milk to the little one.
Few people are sleeping on cots outside houses. A couple of times the actor, who plays the sister of the Thakur opens the window of her bedroom as Om Prakash passes by. 4 men are playing a card game. When Om Prakash says that God can take away the cards from one’s hands, the men look up. The video ends with the actor playing the Thakur’s sister looking out the window crying.
Artists: The playback of this song was sung by Mohammad Rafi and Om Prakash lip-syncs to the song.
Cultural Influence: An illegitimate infant comes into the hands of the main character Om Prakash. The mother commits suicide and the father also dies after rejecting the child. Om Prakash sings this song holding the child. The song is good and meaningful. The video can be watched for Om Prakash and the melodious song several times.