Movie – Victoria No. 203 (1972):
Dekha maine dekha was featured in Dynamo International’s action flick Victoria No. 203 (1972). Roughly translated, Victoria means a horse carriage. Produced and directed by Brij, the movie starred Navin Nischol, Saira Banu, Ranjeet, Anwar Hussain, Ashok Kumar, Helen, Pran, etc. The performances of Pran and Ashok Kumar were lauded and the roles were reused in the movie Raja Aur Rana (1984).
Raja (Ashok Kumar) and Rana (Pran) are released from jail and immediately stumble upon the news that some really expensive diamonds had been stolen from a highly secure museum. They decide to execute another such robbery to end their requirement for money and get settled in life. They find a dead body and a mysterious key inside the dead body’s wig, which the killer had (shockingly) missed. Thus, begins their journey to locate the lock to which the key belongs.
Several co-incidences later, they locate a hospital ward boy (Mohan Choti), who had bagged a diamond ring in exchange for a favor he did to a man, before his death. Raja and Rana assume that it was this key that the ward boy had placed at a designated place under the instructions of the dead man. When caught the ward boy reveals that the key belongs to a locker at the VT station (Victoria Terminus Railway Station – CST or Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus now).
Following the clues, they reach the locker and find a paper saying that the diamonds are inside a horse carriage number 203. The elderly pair finds the cart and realizes that the driver is a girl Rekha (Saira Banu), who lives alone with her younger sister (Baby Gayatri). While having food, the girls discuss their father. Rekha tells the younger girl that they have 2 uncles and these uncles went to Africa and never returned. Raja and Rana lie their way inside the house saying they are the girls’ lost uncles. Rana declines food and pulls his friend out near the Victoria for the night.
When the girls have gone to sleep, the elderly pair tries to find the diamonds by dismantling the entire horse carriage. They do not find anything. Soon, they see Rekha going out in the rain and they follow her. Rekha reaches the home of a man (Ranjit) and pretends that she is being chased by 2 men, who are intent on raping her. The man allows her in and almost falls for her pretense. He gently pushes her into the washroom to change into something dry. While she is inside, he gets a phone call. The caller is a female colleague of his, who warns him that the girl is onto his criminal activities.
The man immediately closes the door and readies himself with a knife to protect himself. Rekha sings a song seductively and almost gets raped and killed by the man. But, Raja and Rana come to her rescue and the man gets killed by an invisible shooter before the questioning begins. The elderly pair reprimands her for the way she had approached her problem after she tells them that her father had been jailed, for a murder he did not commit. Raja and Rana promise her that they would help her to get her father released. Rekha regularly drives the Victoria for Kumar (Navin Nischol), who is a playboy. When questioned he says that he is on the lookout for the girl, who will fall for him and not his money.
Rekha decks up as a princess and makes an appearance at the club where Kumar spends his evenings, in an expensive car. She tries to spur his jealousy by not dancing with him. What I don’t understand is how did a poor girl learn ball-room dance and where come did she get the expensive sari, jewelry and car? On hire? It’s not clear. She leaves in the same car and he follows her. Rekha does not reply truthfully to his questions and gives him the slip. Disguised again as the Victoria driver, she finds him blowing cigarettes lying on his car on the road and asks what was wrong with him. He tells her about the girl he has just met through this song.
Song – Dekha maine dekha:
Indeevar penned Dekha maine dekha and Kalyanji-Anandji set the music for it.
The man sings that he saw the most beautiful girl in the world.
Video – Dekha maine dekha:
The cinematography is by Anwar Siraj. Dance choreography is by Surya Kumar.
The video opens with Navin Nischol pulling Saira Banu (disguised as a boy) toward him and placing his feet on her shoulders. He also begins the song. Then, he jumps into the Victoria and continues to sing. He treats her like a small boy, then picks and drops her on the road. It is clear that the road has been made inside a studio, with the fake buildings on the background.
Navin Nischol jumps onto his car and continues his antics. Having fallen down, Saira Banu gets up and limps toward the car and slaps it pouring all her frustration of what he had done to her. He jumps onto the Victoria and stations himself on the passenger seat on the back. She also climbs to the driver’s seat and starts the Victoria.
Saira Banu begins to smile at his description of the girl he had met. When he says that the girl was a little dark, she turns toward him, opening her mouth in surprise. The Victoria moves forward and he jumps down to walk beside it holding one of the Victoria’s protruding rods. He begins to dance on the road and mentions that he saw the girl’s sari slip from her shoulder.
Saira Banu blushes at the mention of the slipping of the sari. They encounter a marriage procession with some men performing Bhangra. Navin Nischol dances on the road. Saira Banu also dances on the Victoria. He helps her get down. They dance together until the procession passes. For a change, he begins to drive the Victoria and she climbs up behind.
The song peters out and the video ends as the Victoria passes out of the focus area of the camera. Saira Banu’s well-manicured nails clearly show that she is a girl. Guys may get a manicure done but will not have long nails on all the fingers. Very rarely some men have long nails that too on the thumb or the little finger.
A poor boy would not have even heard of a manicure. That reminds me. Saira Banu is playing a poor girl. How could she have had a manicure? During the dance, Navin Nischol holds her delicate very feminine hands several times. How come he does not know that she is a girl?
Kishore Kumar had sung for Navin Nischol. Saira Banu looks on.
There is not much cultural influence on this filmi song. Here the hero reveals that he has fallen in love with a girl, who rejected his advances. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.