Movie – Shatranj (1969)
The song Tumhe agar main apna saathi was featured in Gemini Studios’ spy thriller Shatranj (1969), produced by S S Vasan and N N Sippy and directed by S S Vasan. The movie starred Rajendra Kumar, Waheeda Rahman, Mahmood, Shashikala, Helen, Achala Sachdev, Madan Puri, Agha, etc.
The movie begins with a helicopter taking away prisoners from an enemy country. The invisible leader of the country assigns a couple of his henchmen to find out more about the man, who gets the prisoners released. They decide to ensnare him through a dancer Meena (Waheeda Rahman), who is in Hong Kong for a dance performance. The man is Jay (Rajendra Kumar). But, it turns out that after convincing Meena’s father, he travels to China’s mainland to contact her. Meena’s mother has been taken a hostage to make her do their bidding. Jay makes his way to Meena’s house apparently without much trouble. Jay discreetly gives her a letter from her father as a reference. Soon, he appears in the house she lives in and gives indirect indications of his intentions to take her back to India, with her mother.
Jay’s assistant Aamir (Mahmood) has a knack of disguising as Jay’s duplicate, by wearing a mask. But, for a mask to work for this purpose, the skull of both the parties has to be similar. Mahmood wearing a mask and appearing like Rajendra Kumar looks illogical because their skulls don’t match. Anyways, Jay sends a message to Aamir through a colleague Salma alias Badkamma (Helen) to give the impression that Jay has left India just then in his private helicopter. Aamir does as he is told, alleviating the suspicion on Jay.
In the meanwhile, Meena has fallen in love with Jay. I don’t understand how someone can fall in love with a complete stranger without even trying to find out if he is unmarried. It’s a different matter that Jay seems to be single. Several girls, I guess, have committed this folly in real life due to movies like these. Coming back to the movie, Meena imagines this song.
Song – Tumhe agar main apna saathi
Hasrat Jaipuri has penned the lyrics and Shankar-Jaikishan has composed the tune of the song Tumhe agar main apna saathi.
The girl asks, “In this life journey, if I make you my traveling companion, till where you will go with me?”
Video – Tumhe agar main apna saathi
Director of photography is K H Kapadia. Dance choreography is by B Hiralal-Satyanarayan-Surya Kumar-P L Raj.
The video begins with the lead pair embracing. Waheeda Rahman begins to sing and Rajendra Kumar replies. There is a change of dress and he offers her a red flower. She moves around the trees very gracefully performing light dance steps. The scene and the dresses change and the lead pair is seen on a boat with him pushing the paddle. Soon, the song peters out and the video ends as the lead pair embraces, again.
Asha Bhonsle and Mohammad Rafi sang this song for Waheeda Rahman and Rajendra Kumar.
There is no cultural influence on the song. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for Waheeda Rahman’s grace.