Movie – Kalicharan (1976):
The song Ja re ja o Harjai appears in Parthiva Pictures’ Subhash Ghai-directed (debut) action drama Kalicharan (1976). Roughly translated, this name means the feet of Goddess Kali. Produced by N N Sippy, the movie starred Shatrughan Sinha, Reena Roy, Danny Dengzongpa, Madan Puri, Prem Nath, David, etc. Later, the movie was remade into Telugu Kaidi Kalidasu (1977), Kannada Kaalinga (1980), Tamil Sangili (1982) and Pathamudayam (1985).
IG Khanna (Prem Nath) is devastated when the fearless cop Prabhakar (Shatrughan Sinha) dies after an accident. For Khanna, Prabhakar was like a son and the cop’s accident looked fishy. Before dying he leaves a cryptic message, which the doctor and Khanna interpret as No 17. A retired jailor (David) tells him that a dreaded prisoner Kalicharan (Shatrughan Sinha again) looks like the deceased inspector. Kalicharan is a ferocious murderer. Khanna immediately jumps into action and declares to the world that Prabhakar is alive.
Next, Khanna gets the government’s permission to take Kalicharan out of the prison for an experiment. He gets the prisoner released and takes him to a hill station to convince him to turn a new leaf, so as to say. But, Kalicharan is a clever man. He runs away the moment he gets a chance and lands at a camp where Sapna (Reena Roy) and her friends have arranged some show. Sapna is a friend of Khanna’s daughter Anju (Alka). When Sapna meets her, she informs her about a thief (Kalicharan), who came into their camp. Sapna’s description of the incident makes Khanna realize that it was the murderer and he makes a beeline for the camp to bring the runaway man back to his home. From Anju, Sapna gets to know that the thief she encountered was none other than the Super Cop Prabhakar. She has already fallen in love with him and sings this song at the show.
Song – Ja re ja o Harjai:
Inderjeet Singh Tulsi and Kalyanji-Anandji have been credited with the lyrics and the music, respectively.
The girl sings, “O Harjai (a person, who jilts another), I have seen your extravagance. I have fallen in love with the enemy of my heart. Having taken you in my arms, by falling in love with you, I am done for. I have worshipped a stone and failed in my life.”
Video – Ja re ja o Harjai:
The cinematography is by K K Mahajan. Dance choreography is by P L Raj-Satyanarayan.
The video opens with several girls and men dancing on the ground. They are performing Punjabi folk dance. The music has already begun. Reena Roy is dancing in the center of the group. Prem Nath, Shatrughan Sinha and Alka are also present to watch the performance.
Reena Roy throws back her veil and has already begun to sing the song. Shatrughan Sinha gets up realizing that Reena Roy is targeting him. She comes closer to him and pushes him back into his seat.
While doing the entire activity, she is dancing. Alka is standing and watches them, with a smile. Shatrughan Sinha is smiling. Prem Nath is enjoying the performance. Snow begins to fall and Shatrughan Sinha plays the been (a wind instrument played by snake charmers).
Shatrughan Sinha joins in the dance. Point to be noted – Shatrughan Sinha, Prem Nath and Alka are wearing winter clothing. The dancers are in summer clothes. Wouldn’t they have frozen in the snow? Shatrughan Sinha stops dancing and hands over the been to Alka.
Toward the end of the song, Reena Roy pulls Shatrughan Sinha, Prem Nath and Alka into the group and all begin to dance. The song rises to a crescendo and stops. Shatrughan Sinha climbs on a horse standing on the wayside and runs away.
Prem Nath is not very pleased and he walks to the outskirts of the group. The video also ends there.
Lata Mangeshkar sang this song for Reena Roy. Shatrughan Sinha, Prem Nath, Alka and others look on.
There is a lot of Punjabi influence on this song-and-dance sequence. Bits and pieces from Bhangra, Tappe and Gidda have been used here. I just love this Lata Mangeshkar rendition. Perhaps, the credits for the same also go to the lyrics and choreography. The video is watchable for the dance.