Chal ud ja re panchi (Part II) – Mohammad Rafi – Chitragupt | Bhabhi (1957)

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This video has both the part II and part III of this song. But, I found the part III separate, so I will be writing about it separately.
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 Agha, late Manorama, 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). Shanta’s child-widow sister Lata (Nanda) also comes to live with them. Advocate Motilal (Bipin Gupta) has been Ratanlal’s mentor.
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, Mangala 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 bliss.
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.)
Tara informs Ramesh and her brother Jeevan (Anwar Hussain) that she and Mangala are being tortured by Shanta at home. Jeevan decides to sort this issue. He meets Ratanlal and tells him to split the property into 4 parts. Ratanlal is hurt that Ramesh wanted the separation. He splits the property into 4 parts and goes to live back at his village home. Baldev, Shanta, Lata and his aunt also go with him. He is already taking ill. It is when they are leaving that this song again appears in the background.
Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Rajinder Kishen and the music was composed by Chitragupt.
The gist of the song is, “Fly away, o bird. This country has become someone else’s. You collected several sticks to make a nest. During rains, your wings became wet and in summer your body became warm. Don’t feel sad that your hard work did not bear fruits for you. It is good instead of taking something away it is better to leave something to others.”
Video: Cinematography is by S Maruti Rao.
The video opens with a bullock cart coming out of their house and Balraj Sahni, Pandhari Bai, Durga Khote, Jagdeep and Nanda coming out behind it. They all look back at the house for one last time and move forward. Durga Khote is crying and Balraj Sahni soothes her. Their faithful dog pulls itself out of its chain and runs out with them. They are soon on the outskirts of the city. Many birds are seen flying, symbolically showing the exodus of a family from their home. The song ends there.
Artists: The playback of this song was sung by Mohammad Rafi and the onscreen performance is by Balraj Sahni, Pandhari Bai, Durga Khote, Jagdeep and Nanda.
Cultural Influence: This is a typical filmi song, which symbolically mentions that Balraj Sahni is leaving all his property with his brothers. And he is going back to his village home. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.

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