So gaya yeh jahan – Nitin/Shabbir/Alka – Lakshmikant-Pyarelal | Tezaab (1988)

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When this movie was released, cable TV had just begun getting popular. No rules for new movies were in place, in India. The film fraternity was only appealing to the viewers not to see the pirated video of new movies. The pirated video of this movie was shown on the cable TV of our building within a few days of the release. My sister and I shot a letter to Chunky Pandey’s home complaining about it. I don’t remember from where we found the address and we got only his address from among the cast and crew of the movie. Immediately, some rules came into force and cable TVs were restricted to show new movies until a few months after their release. We, sisters, were studying at that time.

Movie: This song is featured in the 1988 movie Tezaab (Acid). Produced and directed by N Chandra, this is a typical Bollywood masala action movie promoted as a violent love story released in 1988. The movie starred Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Anupam Kher, Kiran Kumar, Annu Kapoor, Chunky Pandey, etc.

The beginning of the movie shows someone pouring acid on a plant. I winced at the scene the very first time I saw it because I love plants and that is why I did my post-graduation in Botany. They could have poured the acid on something inanimate. But, the makers chose to pour it on a plant.

The next scene shows Shyamlal (Anupam Kher) being threatened by Lotiya Pathan’s (Kiran Kumar) henchmen to return his money. Shyamlal is Mohini’s (Madhuri Dixit) father and he compels her to dance for money. Though she does not like it, she complies with his wishes. Shyamlal is made to come to Saxena’s (Tej Sapru) home for 50000 rupees, in whose shows Mohini performs and once he sends off Mohini for the rehearsals, the father is detained there.

Mohini performs at a show and at the end of it, Lotiya Pathan (Kiran Kumar) abducts her. Mohini’s college friend Jyoti (Suparna Anand) is at the show and is a witness to the abduction. Jyoti sends a telegram to her brother Munna Bhai aka Mahesh Deshmukh (Anil Kapoor) that there is a problem. Munna is in state-imposed exile and returns the moment he receives the telegram and soon is on his way with his friends including Baban (Chunky Pandey) to bring back his kidnapped girlfriend Mohini.

Inspector Gagan Singh (Suresh Oberoi) knows Munna as Navy Cadet Mahesh and had met him for the first time when Mahesh’s parents were killed during a bank robbery in Nasik. The inspector wants to know what happened that a patriotic boy had to be exiled by the state. Singh tracks Munna and tells him to surrender. Munna explains that he is on the way to save his girlfriend from Lotiya Pathan. The inspector goes along with Munna and his friends.

On the way, Mahesh tells him how he became Munna Bhai. Munna tells the inspector that when he shifted with his sister Jyoti to Bombay (Mumbai now) after the death of his parents. The brother-sister joins the same college. He meets Mohini and they fall in love with each other. Soon, Mohini’s father gets to know about their relationship and Munna is sent to jail for a crime he did not commit. Shyamlal also confines her in a house and beats her up.

Coming to the present, Munna is let off by the inspector so that he can rescue Mohini from the clutches of Lotiya Pathan. Munna has promised that he would surrender to the inspector, the moment he comes back after rescuing Mohini. Post a lot of action, Munna and his friends are successful in rescuing Mohini. But, Munna acts as if he has changed and has stopped loving Mohini for herself. He insists that he has rescued her for the money he would get after handing her over to her father. While returning, Baban sings this song.

Song: Music is by Lakshmikant-Pyarelal and lyrics are by Javed Akhtar.

The gist of the song is, “The world has fallen asleep. The sky has fallen asleep. The destinations have fallen asleep. The road has fallen asleep. When night came, most people went home and slept. When night came, homeless people like us took a path and disappeared there. Where can we go, even if we want – this lane or that, this city or that?”

Video: Director of Photography is Baba Azmi. Dance choreography is by Saroj Khan.

The video opens with a car moving on a road at dusk. 4 actors, including Johnny Lever, are lying on the roof of the car. Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit are sitting on the back and Chunky Pandey is driving the car and beginning the song. There is some underlying tension between the lead pair. Madhuri Dixit thinks that Anil Kapoor was whistling close to her.

She turns to him. But, Anil Kapoor is busy smoking. The 4 actors, on the roof of the car and at the same time moving in tune with the song. They stop at some place and start a campfire. Chunky Pandey, Johnny Lever and other friends shake a few legs. Madhuri Dixit looks at Anil Kapoor, with hope and sadness.

Anil Kapoor also looks at her with sadness and helplessness. Madhuri Dixit thinks about the happy times they spent together. They have again begun the travel. Madhuri Dixit is sleepy and is about to fall on the floor of the car. Anil Kapoor goes to her and supports her. She wakes up and he lets go of her.

At this time, a female voice begins to sing, as if Madhuri Dixit thinks about it. Then, another male voice replies in the song like it is going on in Anil Kapoor’s mind. Both she and he have tears in his eyes. Then, Chunky Pandey takes up the song. The song peters out and the video ends as the car-riders continue their journey.

Artists: Nitin Mukesh, Shabbir Kumar and Alka Yagnik sing the song on playback, while Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Chunky Pandey and others perform it onscreen.

Cultural Influence: This is a typically filmi song, describing night, travel and destinations. The song and the artists are very good. The video is watchable for the same.

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