Ya keh de hum insaan nahin – Mohammad Rafi – Salil Chaudhury | Chhaya (1961)


Movie: This song appears in the 1961 AVM Productions’ family movie Chhaya (Shadow), produced by A V Meiyappan and directed by the legendary Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The star-cast included late Nirupa Roy, late Sunil Dutt, Asha Parekh, late Nazir Hussain, late Lalita Pawar and Mohan Choti.
Manorama (Nirupa Roy) goes to Lucknow with her infant daughter after her husband’s death, searching for her maternal uncle. Then, she finds that her uncle had sold the house and expired. At that time, she does not know what to do and has nowhere to go. It is, now, that this song is heard in the background.
Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Rajinder Kishan and music was composed by Salil Chaudhury.
The gist of the song is, “Either say we are not human beings. Or say that you are not God! We did not come into this world on our own. You brought us here, whimsically.”
Video: Cinematography is by Jaywant Pathare and T.B. Seetaram.
The video opens with the shot of Nirupa Roy standing with a child in front of the camera and this song beginning in the background. The next shot is of a temple. A mendicant is singing this song. Nirupa Roy is seen walking on a road and a lecher is looking at her. The man approaches her and she runs away from him. He looks at her with a sneer on his face.
As she walks, a time lapse is shown when her sari and blouse become torn over time. Nirupa Roy is seen holding her picture with her child and husband. She tries to give her milk to the child. But, the milk is not available. This fact is very decently and symbolically shown when a boy is trying to get water from a dry tap.
The mendicant climbs down the steps of the temple and Nirupa Roy is also seen walking on a road again. The song peters out and the video ends as the mendicant walks away from the camera on a road.
Artists: The playback singer is Mohammad Rafi. Onscreen performances are by Nirupa Roy and others.
Cultural Influence: More than being a typical Bollywood devotional song, this song is a complaint to God about what He has done with some individuals. It is also a plea toward Him for a better life. The song and the artists are fantastic. The video is watchable for the same.


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