Mohabbat ka hath jawani ka palla – Rafi/Asha – O P Nayyar | Howrah Bridge (1958)

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Movie: This song has appeared in the movie Howrah Bridge (1958) produced and directed by late Shakti Samanta under the banner of Shree Shakti Films. This movie starred late Ashok Kumar, late Madhubala, late K N Singh, late Dhumal, late Madan Puri, Chaman Puri, etc.
Rakesh (Ashok Kumar) and Madan (Chaman Puri) are brothers, living with their father (Brahm Bharadwaj) in Rangoon. Madan has fallen into bad company and steals the family heirloom, which is in the shape of a dragon, with some cash and runs away to India. Within a few days, his dead body is recovered near Calcutta’s Howrah Bridge. Rakesh travels to Calcutta to find out more about the mystery of Madan’s death. He also wants to bring back the family heirloom.
While traveling to Calcutta via a ship, he encounters Edna (Madhubala), a dancer. He meets her again at a shady restaurant where Madan was seen live for the last time. Edna and her Uncle Joe (Dhumal) work for Pyarelal (K N Singh) as drug-smugglers. Pyarelal is attracted to Edna. Edna pays Rakesh’s horse cart driver (Om Prakash) so that Rakesh can check into her Uncle Joe’s hotel. The horse cart driver is actually Rakesh’s friend and had told him that Edana was the right person to ask about Rakesh’s brother. Thus, Rakesh and Edna get close to each other and go on a trip in a boat over the Ganga. The fisherfolk sing this song at this time.
Song: Music composer is O P Nayyar and the lyrics have been written by the famous lyricist and Urdu poet Qamar Jalalabadi.
The gist of the song is, “The hands of love have caught hold of youth. Subhanallah. Sweet nothings are being exchanged. Subhanallah.”
Video: Cinematography is by Chandu. Dance has been choreographed by Surya Kumar.
The video opens with a male and a female artist as fisher folk begins the song. Madhubala is in Ashok Kumar’s arms. She feels a little awkward and moves away from him. The fisher folk couple begins to dance as well. They are on one bank of the river. The lead pair is enjoying the song. The fisher folk pair also gets into a boat and drift off. The song peters off and the video ends there.
Artists: Singers are Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle and Madhubala and Ashok Kumar are watching the dance.
Cultural Influence: This is a typically filmi item of yore where extra dancers perform. But, this song only takes the story forward because it depicts exactly the feelings of the lead pair. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.

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