Movie: This song appears in the hit 1983 flick Avtaar (The Incarnation – a name here), which was produced and directed by Mohan Kumar under the banner of Emkay Enterprises. Late Rajesh Khanna was running a bad phase from 1976 to 78. Though Amardeep and Prem Bandhan gave him some success, Avtaar was the biggest hit, which also gave him critical acclaim. This movie was remade into the Telugu O Thandri Teerpu (1985), in Malayalam as Jeevitham, in Kannada as Kaliyuga and in Tamil as Vaazhkai. The Hindi Baghban (2003) starring Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan was also partly inspired by this movie. This movie stars Rajesh Khanna, Shabana Azmi, late A K Hangal, late Madan Puri, Gulshan Grover, Shashi Puri, Sachin, late Yunus Parvez, late Pinchoo Kapoor, late Sujit Kumar, Preeti Sapru, Rajni Sharma, Rajan Grewal, Madhu Malini, etc.
The movie begins with mourning at Avtaar Industries. Radha Avtaar Kishen (Shabana Azmi) offers floral tribute to her husband Avtaar Kishen’s (Rajesh Khanna) bust. Then it is flashback time. Radha, the only daughter of the rich Seth Jugal Kishore (Madan Puri), loves Avtaar, a poor man. Jugal Kishore is against Radha’s love. Thus, the couple elopes and gets married. Their life is ridden with several hardships in life. During this time, their newborn child falls severely ill. At that time, an old lady suggests that they go to the shrine of Vaishnodevi.
It is at this time that this song appears in this movie.
Song: The music has been composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and the lyrics have been penned by late Anand Bakshi.
This is a bhajan about the Mother Goddess Vaishnodevi. When we are afflicted with troubles, of any type, we first remember God. That is the reason why this song was written. It is thought by most people that only those who are beckoned by Vaishnodevi can visit Her shrine. Only those people are lucky. We don’t know if this is a myth or truth. Actually, here it is all about faith and nothing else.
Video: Cinematography is by K K Mahajan.
The video opens with Rajesh Khanna and Shabana Azmi looking at an old lady. The lady has just told them to visit Vaishnodevi because the couple’s child was ill. The room reveals that the couple is poor. The video shows that the couple hears one jattha (a group of people going on pilgrimage) climbing the mountain and singing the bhajan.
After the shot, the climbing of the jattha toward the temple is seen. This temple is in a cave on a mountain in Jammu, which is one of the Himalayan ranges. The Himalayan Mountain is shown before the jattha is shown and the scenery is pleasing to the eyes. Then the camera pans to the road, where one jattha is seen climbing the mountain and singing the song.
Within minutes another jattha joins the first one. Within seconds another jattha is seen with the lead pair leading the way. They all climb the mountain over the uneven stone path, which undulates all the way. Some people wear traditional dresses usually worn while going to temples. Others are wearing casual modern dresses. Suddenly, they show 3 red flags crossing each other, which can represent the 3 Devis in the temple.
The couple, with their child, gets separated from their jattha and climbs some stairs. Another jattha is returning from the shrine and there is a woman being carried on a doli (palanquin). Now they have reached almost the top of the mountain with snow around. They are completely tired and worn out not just because of the long climb to the top but also due to their sorrow. They show the temple from afar.
Then Rajesh Khanna is seen entering the cave alone. Since Shabana Azmi is carrying the child, she is perhaps not shown entering the cave because a person has to bend low to enter it and it would be difficult for her with the child. The couple is inside the cave now. They show the very beautiful and decorated pindi of the 3 Deities. The song reaches a crescendo with the main singer singing with maximum enthusiasm. Towards the end, the child begins to cry and with the noise of the child crying the song fades. Everything boils down to faith and it is faith that runs this world.
Artists: The playback singers are Asha Bhonsle, Narendra Chanchal and Mahendra Kapoor. Rajesh Khanna and Shabana Azmi lip-synch to the song.
Cultural influence: In India, people belonging to all castes and religions believe in Vaishnodevi. The main story is of a young girl, who performs penance to attain Maha Vishnu as her husband. Vishnu appears before her and tells her to go and stay in the Himalayas so that he can come to her at the end of Kalyuga to get married to her. She remains a virgin and is waiting for Maha Vishnu. This faith pervades the entire country. During the 2 Navaratris, people serve vegetarian food to 9 girls representing Nava Durga. There are 2 boys as well, who represent Ganapathi and Kala Bhairav. Some people hold Bhandaras, where they serve food for everybody. Hence, there is a high cultural significance for this. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable.