Main toh banke nainonwali – Asha/Rafi – O P Nayyar – Shyama/Johnny | Choo Mantar (1956)


Movie – Choo Mantar (1956)

Main toh banke nainonwali was featured in Sadiq Productions and Shree Sound Studios’ romedy Choo Mantar (1956) directed by M Sadiq and produced by P B Billimoria. The movie starred Johnny Walker, Anita Guha, Gajanan Jagirdar, Shyama, etc.

Baijnath or Baiju (Johnny Walker) is an unemployed, slacker and flirt. He sings beautifully and all women from his village are attracted to his singing. The men always complain to his father and often, beat up Baiju for his supposed troublemaking. One day, the village Panchayat decides that they would boycott the entire family and burn down their house if Baiju is not thrown out of the village. Baiju himself decides that it is time for him to leave the village and leaves the place bag and baggage.

As he travels through a forest, he catches 2 dacoits trying to loot the belongings of an elderly stranger (S N Banerjee) and saves the older man. Baiju travels to another village with him protecting the old man and his belongings. They part ways at the outskirts of the old man’s village and he takes off further, on his own. Within minutes, he hears a girl (Anita Guha) singing a song. The girl is Princess Ratnavali of the kingdom and as usual, Baiju has fallen in love with her. He keeps looking at the balcony of the princess’ room. When the King (Gajanan Jagirdar) finds out that this stranger is watching the princess’ room, he gets Baiju beaten up and thrown in the jungle. But, Baiju returns and sings a song.

Again, Baiju is beaten up and this time he is thrown in the river. The elderly stranger, he had helped turns out to be a fisherman and the old man catches the unconscious Baiju while fishing. The old man has a daughter Sawli (Shyama) and she is in love with Mahesh (Karan Dewan), the son of a rich man, who is always ill. As Baiju recovers, he begins to call Sawli as his sister. It turns out that Mahesh’s father is in the process of marrying his son to Princess Ratnavali for the big dowry she is expected to bring.

On the wedding day, Baiju and Sawli visit the venue with a plan. But, they are caught. The King challenges the penniless, non-earner Baiju to get 10 lacs (1 million) rupees to prove that he is eligible to marry the princess. Baiju counter challenges that he would get 15 lacs (1.5 million) in 3 months. The princess’ marriage is stalled for the time being.

However, the minister is not happy with the turn of events. He orders Baiju, Sawli and her father to be arrested and thrown into the dungeon. Somehow, the brother and sister escape. But, Sawli’s father is caught and tortured. However, Mahesh supplies him with food. Having escaped imprisonment, Sawli loses her will to accomplish the task they had taken up. On the other hand, Baiju keeps his positive thinking intact. Right then, they find a group of gypsies, who earn money by performing in front of crowds in markets and fairs. Baiju and Sawli join them. The leader of the gypsies takes them to a theater owner in the city.

There within a few days, they realize that they have been taken for a ride. Post a performance, a theater-owner from Bombay (Mumbai now) approaches them and promises better pay. They trust him and follow him to the big city. Baiju keeps lamenting that again no big money have been seen by him and his sister. The theater-owner promises more income after the next performance. This is the song Sawli performs, next.

Song – Main toh banke nainonwali               

O P Nayyar and Jan Nisar Akhtar have been credited with the music and lyrics of Main toh banke nainonwali

The gist of the song is, “I have beautiful eyes. My style is different. People love me for my attitude.”

Video – Main toh banke nainonwali

Cinematography is by Minoo Bilimoria. Dance choreography is by Surya Kumar.

The video opens with the audience looking at the beginning of the performance with anticipation. The music also begins at this time. Some girls wearing traditional Marathi 9 yard saris enter the stage gracefully dancing to the tune of the music. Johnny Walker is sitting on a special seat on the box office.

Shyama enters the stage dancing and also begins to sing. Johnny Walker replies to her from the box office. Johnny Walker’s part of the lyrics say that only 10 days are left for the time given for them to return home with the money. A couple of men talk to each other. Soon, the song peters out and the video ends as the other men in the box office shake hands with him.


Asha Bhonsle and Mohammad Rafi sang Main toh banke nainonwali… for Shyama and Johnny Walker and others look on.

Cultural Influence

This is a typical O P Nayyarian song for a Bollywood movie. This song is all about self-praise by one of the heroines. The musical instruments used are typical of O P Nayyar and the old times. The song and the artists are good and the video is watchable for the same.


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