Arey ja re hat natkhat – Asha/Mahendra – C Ramchandra – Sandhya/Mahipal | Navrang (1959)

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This is a fantastic dance song and has a lot of scope as far as performance is concerned.

Movie: This song appears in the 1959 movie Navrang (9 Colors), which was directed by late Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre or V Shantaram under the banner of Rajkamal Kala Mandir. The movie starred Mahipal, Sandhya, late Agha, etc.

Divakar (Mahipal) is a poet and loves his wife Jamuna (Sandhya) dearly. Jamuna does not approve of her husband living out of writing poetry. Since he does not get the love he expects from his wife, he lives in a fantasy world and has created a woman (Mohini) in his imagination, who looks very much like his wife. Soon, he becomes a recognized poet in the court of the king of that place and Jamuna gives birth to a boy.

He sings this song for the king’s court and imagines that his wife in the guise of Mohini dances to the tune of this song during the festival of Holi.

Song: Music of this song was composed by late Ramchandra Narhar Chitalkar (C. Ramchandra) and the lyrics have been written by late Bharat Vyas.

The situation of the song is where the boy teases the girl with the excuse of Holi and the girl replies equally well.

Video: Cinematography is by Tyagraj Pendharkar.

The song begins with the camera focusing on the Ganapati idol. The idol is so beautiful, particularly the eyes, that the beauty of the eyelids can be realized only when we see it. Mahipal sings the beats of the song in the form of words, which is called Bol in Kathak. The dance is mostly Kathak, with a mixture of other Indian classical dances.

The song has been shot in a studio, where the background shows a natural environment of a typical village. Sandhya, who has a reputation of being a good dancer, takes on the guise of both the male and female characters. Initially, she dances in these disguises separately, supposedly changing the dresses behind a large tree. Finally, she wears both the dresses on her front and her back and dances with them. Her timing is almost perfect. Only at one place, she turns her back to the camera, a couple of seconds early. Being a dancer myself, I realized it.

The dance has more jumping rather than proper dancing. To sum up, the picturization had been done well. But the editing has a few flaws in the intensity of the lighting during the change in Sandhya’s dresses. For the first and perhaps the only time in the history of Indian cinema, a girl dresses up like a girl as well as a boy, one in front and one in the back of herself at the same time. Towards the end, it is shown that Lord Ganesha himself comes in the form of an elephant to dance with Sandhya.

Artists: The playback singers are Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor. Sandhya and Mahipal lip-sync to the song.

Cultural Influence: In India and elsewhere, a festival called Holi is celebrated around February-March. The festival might come before children’s exams but after playing with colors and water, they fall ill and find it difficult to perform well in the exams. Nowadays, people from all religions participate in the Holi festival. During that time, they play this song.

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