Gorki patarki re – Rafi/Asha – Chitragupt – Rakesh/Padma | Balam Pardesia (1979)


Besides Bollywood songs, some songs from other Indian languages have attained global popularity. This is one such song sung by 2 of my favorite singers – Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle.

Movie: This song was featured in 1979 Bhojpuri family drama Balam Pardesiya (Beloved Stranger) produced by Mumtaz Hussain and directed by late Nazir Hussain. The movie starred late Nasir Hussain, Rakesh Pandey, Padma Khanna, late Leela Mishra, etc.

Young Kanhaiya likes to act in Nautankis. But, his father (Nasir Hussain), who plays the clarinet during celebrations, wants him to study. One day, Kanhaiya is drowned in the Ganga River, in a storm. His parents search for him all over the 2 banks of the river. The boy is found by a widow in another village. She calls him Pardesiya (Stranger) because he comes from a different village. Once, his father comes with a wedding procession playing the clarinet. Young Pardesiya is attracted to the sound. But, he cannot tell why.

Years later, Pardesiya (Rakesh Pandey) is good at playing the dafli and his foster mother is against it. She teaches him the lesson of being self-sufficient. Once, he overhears a few gamblers talking about stealing jewelry from a rich grocer, in the village of his birth. He does not know as yet that it is the village of his birth. That night, he sings a song warning the people of the village. He, immediately, gets a job in that village. That way he gets to be with his sweetheart Muraliya (Padma Khanna). Muraliya lives with her aunt (Leela Mishra), who is in a bid to sell her ward to the highest bidder. But, Muraliya is in love with Pardesiya. The lead pair sings this song at this time. All in a day’s work!

Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Anjaan and the music was scored by Chitragupt.

The man says, “This is a piece of stone. When used in a catapult, it flies to its target.” The girl replies, “Your eyes are so sharp that they pierce my heart.”

Video: Cinematography is by R K Mishra. Dance choreography is by Badri Prasad.

The video opens with Padma Khanna looking for Rakesh Pandey in the fields. He is rearranging some hay in a field. As she hits him with a small stone through a catapult, the music begins. He turns around and she hides behind a tree. He begins the song and even begins to perform a few steps.

She replies to him through the song and also begins to dance. After some prolonged dancing by both of them, the song peters out and the video ends as they leave the fields together. I wonder what happens to the leading man’s job after this!

Artists: The playback of this song was sung by Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle and the onscreen performances are by Rakesh Pandey and Padma Khanna.

Cultural Influence: This typically filmi song has a firm basis in the Bhojpuri language. The distinct feature of Bhojpuri films is that actors, who perform cameos or villain’s roles in Bollywood movies, have the main protagonist’s roles in this subsidiary of Bollywood. The song and the singers are fantastic. But, that cannot be said about the actors. The video is watchable.


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