Pawan chale toh uthe nadi mein leher si – Asha/Rafi – S D Burman | Bambai Ka Babu (1960)


Movie: This song appears in the 1960 Naya Films’ Bombai Ka Babu (Gentleman from Bombay, Babu is also a name here) directed by Raj Khosla and produced by Raj Khosla and Jal Mistry. The star-cast included late Dev Anand, late Suchitra Sen, late Jeevan, late Nazir Hussain, late Dhumal, late Achala Sachdev, late Jagdish Raj and late Tun Tun.
Babu (Dev Anand) is running away from Bombay (Mumbai now) police for a murder he did for self-defense. He goes to various cities like Delhi, but he is chased by the authorities at every place. Finally, he lands in Joginder Nagar and meets Bhagat (Rashid Khan). Bhagat blackmails him into impersonating Kundan, the long-lost son of Dhalpur’s Zamindar Shahji (Nazir Hussain). The underlying intention for the impersonation is eventually stealing the Zamindar’s money.
Babu sends Kundan’s father a letter saying that he would be returning home. Babu is accepted by the family the moment he says that he is Kundan. The Zamindar’s daughter Maya (Suchitra Sen) asks several pointed questions about his past. But, Babu side-steps them and tells her that he would rather she did not ask something he wanted to forget. The affection showered by the Zamindar’s wife Rukmani (Achala Sachdev) makes Babu regret his despicable mission. Some of Maya’s friends come to visit them to get introduced to her brother.
Babu goes roaming with Maya all over the village and her friends beckon to her with their secret bird call. Babu pulls her ear in the typical strict elder brotherly way. Maya disentangles herself and hides behind a typical village wall made of stones. Now, Maya sings this song and Babu joins her in it.
Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by late Majrooh Sultanpuri and the music was composed by late S D Burman.
The girl says, “When the wind blows, waves are formed in the river. When we walk, waves are formed in my dupatta.” The man says, “I am impressed by someone’s style. At that time, lightning appears from dense clouds.” The girl considers the man, her brother. But, the man is falling in love with her.
Video: Cinematography is by Jal Mistry. Dance choreography is by Suresh Bhatt.
The video opens with a couple of girls beginning the dance and approaching Dev Anand. One of the girls begins the song. Several other girls join them. Suchitra Sen is hiding behind a wall of stones. Dev Anand catches hold of the girl, who began the song. He himself begins the song. He pulls out the rope encircling her waist and she moves in circles.
Then, she falls down and rolls toward her friends. Suchitra Sen has come out of her hideout and joins her friends in the song. Her behavior with Dev Anand is not like that with a brother. Rashid Khan is watching the song-and-dance sequence from behind a large tree. 3 men join in the dance. Dev Anand pulls another girl’s rope from her waist.
The music reaches a crescendo and the video ends as the lead pair moves out of the group.
Artists: The playback singers are Asha Bhonsle and Mohammad Rafi and onscreen performers are Dev Anand, Suchitra Sen and others.
Cultural Influence: This is a typical Punjabi but Bollywood song with some Hindusthani and classical undertones. The setting with the dresses of the extra dancers is pahadi (from the mountainous region in India). There appears some ambiguity in the direction of this movie and some songs. Dev Anand behaves like a lover, in an obvious way. During different scenes, Suchitra Sen acts like she believes him to be her brother. But, in some of the songs, she treats him as a lover. Some critics have mentioned that this movie was made ahead of its time. But then, can implied incest be a criterion of a futuristic outlook? The bond between a brother and a sister is divine. It should not be disreputed in any kind of future. Human beings have been evolved with the ability to think. Morals are the driving force in our world and they are the reason we are living a life of some amount of tranquility. If these disgusting thoughts and actions visit us, then there will be chaos and the world will end sooner than expected. This is what I felt. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.


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