Chal bhag chale purab ki aur – Lata Mangeshkar – Kalyanji-Anandji | Kalyug Aur Ramayan (1987)

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I did not get a chance to watch this movie when it was released. During that time, Dad had acquired a job in the Gulf and had bought home an audio cassette with Lata Mangeshkar’s songs. One of the songs was Chal bhag chale purab ki aur… This song attracted me to the movie. I had a general idea of the story due to the promotions on radio and TV. I began watching the movie today and it utterly disappointed me.

Movie – Kalyug Aur Ramayan (1987)

VIP Films’ take on the societal situation in the 1980s – Kalyug Aur Ramayan (1987) – produced by Shashi Goswami and directed by Babubhai Mistry; featured this song Chal bhag chale purab ki aur…. The movie starred Manoj Kumar, Madhavi, Om Prakash, Bindu, Rajiv Goswami, Prem Chopra, Satish Shah, etc.

Lord Rama sends Lord Hanuman to the earth to look at the society in India. When the Monkey God reaches here, He is mistaken for a spy from an enemy country by His own devotee a police inspector Thakur Hanuman Singh (Satish Shah). As Lord Hanuman begins to display His divinity, Lord Rama changes Him to a human being Pawan Kumar (Manoj Kumar). Pawan Kumar is a king of a princely state and a business tycoon. Due to Lord Rama’s boon, He is able to speak English and modern Hindi quite well.

Lord Hanuman, in the guise of the tycoon Pawan Kumar, makes fun of His own devotee Thakur Hanuman Singh. This is not a done thing even by a God. Just think from the point-of-view of Lord Hanuman. The Monkey God is a very innocent God. It is highly unlikely that He would ridicule His own devotee. If comic relief is required, filmmakers need to find something more sensible and acceptable.

Kamla (Bindu) is the guest of honor in a club’s fancy dress competition where her own daughter-in-law Sarita (Madhavi) is performing the role of Manthara (a negative character in the Epic Ramayana, who is responsible for the entire story to take place including the exile of Lord Rama). Sarita receives the first prize.

Pawan Kumar has been invited for the event, but cannot digest the result of the competition. I don’t understand one thing. This is just a fancy dress competition and Manthara is just a character, today. People perform Ram Leelas with the whole army of the demon Ravana. Does that make all of the actors bad? A good actor will find performing every type of character as a challenge. It only shows their prowess in acting. Now, how can good be proved to be good? Only by triumphing over evil. Good cannot be good unless there is bad.

Kamla meets Pawan Kumar through the evil Bhairon Singh (Prem Chopra) and his secretary Kamini (Huma Khan) and they plot to loot the rich Pawan Kumar. Kamla introduces her daughter-in-law to ensnare Him into her web. He insults Sarita and leaves the club. Sarita plots to accomplish their plan and sends Kamini to invite Him to a nearby swimming pool, the next day. When He is found by the 2 girls the next day at the swimming pool, they try to take advantage of His naivety and sing this song with other girls.

Song – Chal bhag chale purab ki aur

Verma Malik wrote the lyrics and Kalyanji-Anandji set the tune of Chal bhag chale purab ki aur…

The girl sings, “Let’s run back to the tradition. Otherwise, these modern girls will steal my beloved.”

Video – Chal bhag chale purab ki aur

The cinematography is by V K Murthy. Dance choreography is by Manohar Naidu.

The video opens with Manoj Kumar making a back-jump to the diving board and behaving like a monkey! The girls look up and plan their strategy. Madhavi and Huma Khan climb up the stairs and bring him back to the ground. They have also begun singing this song.

All the girls are wearing swimsuits. Luckily, it’s not bikinis. But, even that is not my problem. My issue is with the supposed dance movements that have been given to them. It’s just disgusting and an insult to womanhood!

Manoj Kumar pulls out a rosary and begins to chant some mantra. He tries to run off but is stopped by some other girls. A couple of these girls wear bikinis! The song rises to a crescendo and stops. So does the video.

Artists

Lata Mangeshkar sang this song for Madhavi. Huma Khan and other girls also dance with her. Manoj Kumar tries to keep away from them.

Cultural Influence

A very beautiful filmi song, it has been sung by Lata Mangeshkarji so well. But honestly, the song has been misplaced and the choreography misdirected. I haven’t said anything about the skimpy clothes worn by the girls, yet. That’s worse! It is sheer injustice to the song sung by a singer of Lataji’s caliber. However, I love the song and the singer’s efforts. The video is NOT worth any dekho!

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