Hai bahut dinon ki baat – Balbir/Rafi/Manna – Chitragupt | Bhabhi (1957)

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Movie: This song appeared in 1957 AVM Productions’ hit family drama Bhabhi (Sister-in-law) directed by Krishnan-Panju and produced by A V Meiyappan. The movie starred late Balraj Sahni, late Pandhari Bai, late Om Prakash, late Bhagwan, Jawahar Kaul, Shyama, Raja Gosavi, Nalini, late Nanda, late Durga Khote, Jagdeep, Bipin Gupta, etc.
Shanta (Pandhari Bai) is a graduate, but, gets married to a lesser educated widowed businessman Ratanlal (Balraj Sahni). Ratanlal already has a son, Mithu. His family also includes 3 brothers – Ramesh(Jawahar Kaul), Rajan (Raja Gosavi) and Baldev (Jagdeep) – and an aunt (Durga Khote). Ratanlal allows Shanta’s child-widow sister Lata (Nanda) also to live with them. Advocate Motilal (Bipin Gupta) has been Ratanlal’s mentor since the death of Ratanlal’s father.
Soon, Mithu (Daisy Irani) is a school-going boy. In the meantime, Ratanlal’s brother Ramesh also becomes a lawyer and bags a job with their family friend Advocate Motilal. Ratanlal decides his brother Ramesh’s marriage with his manager Munshiram’s (Shivraj) daughter Mangala (Nalini). But, Advocate Motilal’s daughter Tara (Shyama) and Ramesh are in love with each other. Ratanlal gets to know about it from his mentor Motilal and he changes his mind.
Ratanlal decides to marry Ramesh with Tara and Rajan with Mangala. When the newlyweds were being welcomed into the house, Lata runs out to apply tilak to Rajan. Mangala is told by some gossipmongering women that Lata is a child-widow and thinks her appearing in front of her inauspicious. At night, she fights with her husband and he gets angry as she had insulted Lata, who was loved by everyone at their home.On the other hand, Tara and Ramesh are beginning their wedded life in.
Ramesh is told to handle the business from Bangalore. Tara becomes pregnant and wants to go to her husband in Bangalore. Shanta insists that she go with Baldev. But, Baldev is practicing for a kite-flying contest. Tara gets to know about it. Initially, she is unflustered. But, Mangala sparks her negative side and instigates her to create a scene. Tara fights with Shanta. In the process, Tara reveals that Lata is a child-widow, which the poor girl did not know. Lata becomes sorrowful and changes into a white sari and begins to fast. Traditionally, widows in India are supposed to stay away from auspicious activities and keep away from most people other than close family members. (But, this trend has been abolished quite some time ago, though some people still indulge in hurting others. However, that cannot be helped and these people need to be ignored.)
The next shot is of a Nautanki, where this song and drama are being played.
Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Rajinder Kishen and the music was composed by Chitragupt.
This song is basically the legendary story of Laila and Majnu.
Video: Cinematography is by S Maruti Rao. Dance choreography is by K N Dandayudapani Pillai.
The video opens with the curtains opening on stage and actors playing drums to announce the beginning of the dance-drama. Bhagwan enters wearing a typical Arabian joker dress performing comic antics. He begins to sing the song. He seems to be the anchor. Om Prakash enters the stage. He is playing Majnu in the dance-drama.
Some actors come on stage and throw stones at him. Laila enters at this time on a camel. The close-up shot shows that it is Agha. 4 actors play different types of drums. Agha and Om Prakash roll on the floor and act as if they die. There is a change of scene and Aga and Om Prakash are seen sitting on a swing together representing their afterlife together.
The swing is pulled up and the curtains fall. The song and the video end there.
Artists: The playback of this song was sung by S Balbir, Mohammad Rafi and Manna Dey and the onscreen performance is by Om Prakash, Bhagwan, Agha and others.
Cultural Influence: This is a typical filmi song, depicting the legendary story of Laila and Majnu. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.

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