Cham cham nachat aayi bahar – Lata Mangeshkar – Salil Chaudhury- Asha Parekh | Chhaya (1961)


Movie: This song appears in the 1961 AVM Productions’ family drama Chhaya (Shadow), produced by A V Meiyappan and directed by the legendary Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The star-cast included late Sunil Dutt, Asha Parekh, late Nirupa Roy, late Nazir Hussain, late Lalita Pawar, Baby Farida 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.
Her daughter becomes sick because of the lack of nutritious food and shelter. Desperately, since she does not have any other alternative, she leaves her at the entrance of a wealthy man Seth Jagatnarayan’s (Nazir Hussain) house. Having no children Jagatnarayan adopts her and calls her Sarita. Manorama comes to the man’s home after a few days and gets the job of her own daughter’s nanny.
Jagatnarayan decides to go to Bombay (Mumbai now) to start a new life and hide the fact that Sarita was an adopted child. Manorama accompanies them to the new city. There they are joined by his cousin sister (Lalita Pawar) and naïve son Lali (Mohan Choti).
Sarita grows up and becomes a carefree, beautiful and intelligent young girl under the care of her father and nanny. One day, little Sarita is performing in a school program and her grown up shot (Asha Parekh) is shown immediately before this song.
Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Rajinder Kishen and music was composed by Salil Chaudhury.
The gist of the song is, “Spring is on the way here playing its anklets with the sound of cham cham. Every node of the tree is stretching and every branch is swaying.” The song depicts the arrival of spring in so many words.
Video: Cinematography is by Jaywant Pathare and T.B. Seetaram. Dance choreography is by A K Chopra-Dandayudapani Pillai.
The video opens with the stage-curtains opening. Nazir Hussain and Mohan Choti look at the little girl, Baby Farida beginning the dance on the stage. The little girl performs a few steps and her feet are shown. Suddenly, she is older and the camera focuses on the face of Asha Parekh. She performs a few dance steps and begins to sing as well.
Asha Parekh’s talent as a Bharatanatyam dancer is clearly seen. Her decorated hair is not long. Having been a Bharatanatyam dancer myself, I know how difficult it is to handle long plaited hair while dancing. We would tie it to our dress from behind. Nazir Hussain and Mohan Choti are also older. The song and the video end abruptly.
Artists: The playback singer is Lata Mangeshkar. Onscreen performances are by Asha Parekh, Nazir Hussain, Nirupa Roy and others.
Cultural Influence: This filmi song is the introduction and establishment of Asha Parekh as the heroine. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.


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