Panchi banoon udti phiron mast gagan mein – Lata – Shankar-Jaikishan – Nargis | Chori Chori (1956)

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Movie: This song appeared in 1956 hit romedy (romantic comedy) Chori Chori (Clandestinely) directed by Anant Thakur and produced by L B Lachman under the banner of AVM Productions. The movie starred late Raj Kapoor, late Nargis, late Bhagwan Dada, late Pran, etc. It is an unofficial remake of the Hollywood movie It Happened One Night and it was unofficially remade into Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin by Mahesh Bhatt in 1991.

Kammo (Nargis) is a brat and lives with her widower and multimillionaire father Girdharilal (Gope), who wants her to get married to someone, who is not a gold-digger. He is dismayed at her choice of a pilot Suman Kumar (Pran), who is a known womanizer and a greedy person. The father disapproves and the daughter runs away. He places ads in newspapers for her safe return and is ready to pay 0.125 million to the finder.

Sagar (Raj Kapoor) is a writer (read reporter) of a newspaper and is on the lookout for a good news-worthy story. He leaves for Bangalore in a bid to reach his newspaper office soon. He meets Kammo during the bus journey. When the bus halts at a stop for 30 minutes, Kammo and Sagar tell the conductor to wait for them and leave. Kammo buys some caged birds and while setting them free one by one she sings this song.

Song: The music of this song was composed by Shankar-Jaikishan and the lyrics were penned by Hasrat Jaipuri.

The girl wants to emphasize the fact that she is free from all bondage that day and she wants to fly in the sky like a bird.

Video: Cinematography is by V N Reddy. Dance choreography is by Kamala Kumari.

The song opens with the beginning of music and Nargis bringing a cage full of small birds to set them free. The moment she is done with it, she begins singing the song as the freed birds fly away. Then, she throws the cage away. The natural habitat is very beautiful though picturized on black and white film.

A farmer is seen throwing stones at birds to stop them eating his grains. As Nargis prances along a path bordering some fields, some farmers sing and dance standing on another path. She throws a bunch of flowers away. A lot of farm activities like drawing water to send it to fields, etc. are shown.

I find her carefree attitude fascinating because she has left her suitcase with her money where she bought the cage full of birds! She washes her feet with the well-water. At that time, the horn of the bus is heard. She finds the suitcase where she had left it! Amazing! She hides behind a wall to change her dress. The video ends with Raj Kapoor smoking a cigarette waiting for someone.

Artists: The playback of this song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and the onscreen performance was by Nargis.

Cultural Influence: The heroine is on a journey in a bus, which stops at some place for half an hour. She is in youthful thoughts so she liberates some birds she bought; imagining that she is also liberated like them and sings this song. This song has only filmi influence and nothing else. The song is good and the video is watchable several times.

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