Na biwi na bachcha – Mahmood – Basu-Manohari – Mahmood | Sabse Bada Rupaiya (1976)

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Movie: This song appeared in 1976 rom-com Balaji Kalamandir’s Sabse Bada Rupaiya (Money is the Greatest Thing) produced by late Mahmood and directed by S Ramanathan. The movie starred Mahmood, late Vinod Mehra, Moushumi Chatterjee, Farida Jalal, late Asit Sen, late Keshto Mukherjee, etc.

Amit Rai (Vinod Mehra) is a multi-millionaire and is a generous and honest gentleman. He is always ready to help the needy. His subordinate and close friend Nekiram (Mahmood) warns him against his habit but to no avail. Amit is engaged to Sunita (Moushumi Chatterjee). But, they have never met each other. So, Amit goes to meet her in the guise of his driver to test her. In the process, he ends up teasing and upsetting her. She feels that Amit’s driver has misbehaved with her and visits his home to complain to him. There she meets Nekiram. Thinking that he is Amit, she complains about his driver and leaves.

At home, Sunita’s younger sister tells her that the person, who had come to meet her in the guise of the driver, was actually Amit. Sunita and her friends had been invited for a function at Himalay Youth Club, whose chief guest was going to be Amit. Sunita decides to play the same game that he had played with her. On that night, she flirts with Nekiram to make Amit jealous. It is at this time that Nekiram sings this song.

Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri and the music was composed by Basu-Manohari. The instrumental music of this song runs during the credits at the beginning of the movie. The music was inspired by the title song of the Hollywood musical 42nd Street (1933). The song has also been used in the Abhishek Bachchan-starrer Bluffmaster (2005) during the opening credits.

This song says that money is even more important than even mother and father.

Video: Cinematography was by Anwar Siraj. Dance choreography was by Chinni Prakash-Sampath-Vasant.

The video opens with someone playing the bongo. Mahmood approaches Moushumi Chatterjee and they smile at each other. Vinod Mehra also smiles at them. Moushumi Chatterjee gives Vinod Mehra a defiant look. Mahmood begins to dance in his patent style. He is the only one wearing dhoti-kurta in the party. He is pushed away by a couple dancing.

Mahmood begins the song. Moushumi Chatterjee moves toward Vinod Mehra dancing. When he approaches her, she moves away. Then again, she moves toward him, while Mahmood is singing standing near him and pulls Mahmood toward her to dance. Vinod Mehra is surprised.

Mahmood pulls a bundle of currency notes from his pocket and throws it near Keshto Mukherjee, who plays the role of the Himalay Youth Club President. Keshto Mukherjee stoops down to pick up the scattered money. When he has collected all of it, Mahmood takes them away from him. The video ends with the song and with the shot of a serious Vinod Mehra.

Artists: The playback and the onscreen performance in this song were done by Mahmood. Vinod Mehra, Moushumi Chatterjee and others look on.

Cultural Influence: The comic actor sings about money, which is even more important than family. The thought might be universal, but people would not sing about it this way. The makers have taken the cinematic liberty to place this song at this juncture in the movie. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the comic antics of Mahmood.

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