Mera dil ab tera – Lata Mangeshkar – Shankar-Jaikishan – Meena Kumari | Dil Apna aur Preet Parayi (1960)


Movie: Mahal Pictures’ Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi (1960) was produced by S A Bagar and directed by Kishore Sahu. The movie starred late Meena Kumari, late Raaj Kumar, late Nadira, late Tun Tun, late Shammi (not Shammi Kapoor, this is a female actor), late Om Prakash, Baby Naaz, etc.
Sushil Verma (Raaj Kumar) is a surgeon in a hospital living in his quarters on the hospital grounds with his aging mother and younger sister Munni (Kumari Naaz). Sushil’s father died many years ago and he is indebted to his father’s close friend, who paid for his medical education. Sushil’s mother feels that they need to repay the debt in some way.
Nurse Karuna (Meena Kumari) comes to the hospital and assists Dr. Verma during an emergency surgery. Both of them fall for each other but keep their feelings under control.
During a beach picnic with the other nurses, Karuna sees Munni injure herself while playing. Karuna takes Munni back to the latter’s houseMunni turns out to be Dr. Verma’s sister. She dresses Munni’s wounds. Then, she does some work at his home, – the normal routine work like cleaning and cooking since his mother is ill. Dr. Verma comes out of the bathroom and sees her taking care of his home. He falls even more in love with her.
Things are going smoothly, until the time Dr. Verma’s mother arranges a family trip to Kashmir and convinces him to marry Kusum (Nadira), the daughter of the man who paid for his medical education. They return home and though Karuna is devastated when she finds out about Dr. Verma’s marriage, she manages to hide the fact. Kusum is a spoilt brat. She throws tantrums at the drop of a hat. She creates a lot of problems for Dr. Verma in his line of duty as a doctor.
When the hospital celebrates the silver jubilee function, Dr. Verma and Karuna’s closeness becomes apparent. Kusum does not like it. Kusum’s tantrums increase and she goes to the extent of injuring Munni. Dr. Verma gets frustrated with his wife. One day, one of the in-patients (Om Prakash) dies because Dr. Verma cannot reach on time, though Karuna had informed Kusum about it. Kusum had lied that he had gone out. The couple was actually leaving for the club at that time.
Dr. Verma gets to know about Kusum giving Karuna wrong information about him and he comes home and hits Kusum. Feeling insulted, she goes back to Kashmir. On Diwali, Munni brings Karuna back to her home. Dr. Verma’s mother is ill and unable to cook, so Karuna takes over. She does all the household work and Dr. Verma’s mother realizes that Karuna would have made a better wife for Dr. Verma. When Munni says the same thing to Dr. Verma in front of Karuna, she runs away from there.
Karuna tries to resign to get away from it all. But, the head of the hospital Dr. Malhotra (Kumar) insists that they still need an efficient nurse like her and rejects her resignation. Soon, she gets to have a change at least for a couple of days. Some distance away from the hospital a railway accident had occurred and the hospital had selected her as the nurse to accompany the ambulance. But, Dr. Verma is going with them. She realized this when it was too late.
The journey is very uncomfortable for her because Dr. Verma keeps looking at her all the while. The engine of the ambulance becomes overheated and needs some water. They see a light at some distance and find a group of gypsies camping there. While the driver and cleaner go to fetch water from the gypsies, the campers begin to dance to the tune of this song. Dr. Verma thinks that Karuna is dancing and he is with her.
Song: The award-winning music score is by Shankar-Jaikishan and the lyrics penned by Shailendra.
The gist of the song is, “My heart is yours, O my beloved. What magic did you spread on me?”
Video: Cinematography is by Josef Wirsching. Dance choreography by Surya Kumar-Satyanarayan-Sohanlal.
The video opens with Raaj Kumar beginning to imagine the song. In the next shot, Meena Kumari is seen running into the dance area alone and beginning the alaap. Both are wearing gypsy clothes. He tries to catch hold of her hand and she begins the song-and-dance sequence. Some female dancers join her.
Most of the dance steps that Meena Kumari has been given uses her right hand. In 1951, she was involved in a motor accident, when she hurt her left hand. Though she recovered, her left pinky needed to be banded for her entire life. She would cover her left hand during shoots. Thus, when the camera comes too close, she hides her hand, even during non-song sequences.
Some male dancers join the female dancers. Whenever Meena Kumari comes close to Raaj Kumar during the dance, he tries to catch hold of her hand. Raaj Kumar also joins in the dance. But, frankly speaking, dancing is not his cup of tea. He goes off beat often. Raaj Kumar tries to twist Meena Kumari’s hand.
The song peters out and they come back to reality. But, he keeps twisting the front door handle of the ambulance! Thus, ends the video.
Artists: Lata Mangeshkar sings the playback and Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar and others have performed onscreen.
Cultural Influence: This typically filmi romantic song happening in the hero’s thoughts. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.


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