Meri beri ke ber mat todo – Asha Bhonsle – Roshan – Aruna Irani | Anokhi Raat (1968)


Movie: This song was featured in the 1968 L B Films’ murder mystery Anokhi Raat (Strange Night) directed by Asit Sen and produced by L B Lachman. The movie starred Aruna Irani, late Sanjeev Kumar, Zaheeda Hussain, late Keshto Mukherjee, late Mukri and Parikshit Sahni (as Ajay Sahni).

The events being portrayed in this movie happen on a single night. Many characters come together in a mansion and they share their life experiences with each other. The mansion is about to be auctioned when Rama (Zaheeda Hussain) the owner’s grand-daughter gets ready to be married to a much older man Madan Lal (Tarun Bose). The auction is canceled due to Rama’s decision. By evening, some more people including a painter Awara (Parikshit Sahni), Mr. and Mrs. Rai (Aruna Irani).

While talking to Rama and Awara, Mrs. Rai reveals that she was an orphan and had to marry a much older Mr. Rai when the opportunity came. She was a trophy for him, displayed often for the benefit of his friends. She performs this song at her orphanage and that is the first time Mr. Rai sees her.

Song: The lyrics were written by Kaifi Azmi and the music was composed by Roshan.

The gist of the song is, “People do not pluck the fruits of my plum tree because thorns might hurt you.” The song also goes on to give a mythological significance to the theme by talking about Shabari and her fruits that she partook before giving to Lord Ram. The girl has a lot of dreams about her future and she thinks that she would marry someone like Lord Ram. But, fate has something else in store for her.

Video: Director of Photography is Kamal Bose. Dance choreography is by Satya Narayan.

The video opens with some girls beginning the dance in tune with the music of the song. They are dancing on a stage. In the background, the scene is of a village. The girls are also playing villagers. 2 male dancers approach a couple of trees on the either side of the stage and shake them to drop the fruits on the ground.

Aruna Irani runs into the stage and toward the center of it to gesture not to shake the trees because there might be some thorns in them. The tree is symbolic of the body of the girl, who gets showered with a lot of affection from her parents and elder brother and she had grown up with that. The actor playing Mr. Rai is enjoying the performance voyeuristically.

Soon, the song peters out and the video ends there.

Artists: The singer of this song is Asha Bhonsle and Aruna Irani lip-synchs to it and others look on.

Cultural Influence: This typical filmi song is a sort of item song of yore. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.


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