Matwali ankhonwale – Mohd. Rafi/Lata – R D Burman – Mahmood/Helen | Chhote Nawab (1961)


Movie – Chhote Nawab (1961)

Matwali ankhonwale… was featured in the Mumtaz Films’ social drama Chhote Nawab (1961) produced by Usman Ali and directed by S A Akbar. The movie starred Mahmood, Ameeta, Minoo Mumtaz, Helen, etc.

Chhote Nawab (Mahmood) is a 20-year-old young man. But, having been pampered by his father, he is naïve and childlike. He was born on February 29th and leads a life of luxuries in a Nawab family, consisting of his father, his sister Mehnuma (Minoo Mumtaz) and her husband Safdar (Kumar), besides himself.

Safdar has prompted his father-in-law to borrow a lot of money from Bhagwati Lala, resulting in the older Nawab’s heavy debts. With the approach of Chhote Nawab’s birthday; Safdar and the Lala are plotting to usurp the only property the Nawab family has, their home. Post his birthday, the Lala visits the palace to throw the Nawab family out of the house. While pleading with the man, the older Nawab suffers a heart attack and soon, expires.

Safdar beats up and throws Chhote Nawab out of the house. Unable to fill his belly without any money, the naïve youth is found by his father’s friend Nawab Nazir Hussain (Nazir Hussain) from Calcutta (Kolkata now). The older man takes him back home and his daughter Roshan (Ameeta) teaches the young fellow how to behave maturely. About a year later, Chhote Nawab matures as a person and falls in love with Roshan. One day, Roshan brings Chhote Nawab to her brother Captain’s (Johnny Walker) Club. Sophie (Helen) the dancer requests Chhote Nawab to dance with her. He refuses. On Roshan’s insistence, he joins the dancer in this song.

Song – Matwali ankhonwale

Shailendra has penned the lyrics and R D Burman has set the tune of Matwali ankhonwale

The girl says, “The one having intoxicating eyes, I can give you my heart if you accept it.” The man refuses to have anything to do with her because he is a stranger in her life and his destination is elsewhere.

Video – Matwali ankhonwale

The video opens with Helen twirling around Mahmood. The camera takes a long shot. When the camera gets closer Mahmood also begins to dance. Johnny Walker is surprised that Mahmood can perform the dance.

Ameeta looks very pleased. Helen begins to sing and Mahmood replies. Other patrons of the club are also enjoying the performance. Soon, the song peters out and the video also ends there.


Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar have sung Matwali ankhonwale for Mahmood and Helen. Johnny Walker, Ameeta and others look on.

Cultural Influence

This is a typically filmi romantic cabaret. But, I think the dance has some Spanish influence from the flamenco dance with some amount of tap-dancing. I love this song and the performance of both the actors. Besides, Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar are fantastic. The song and artists are good. The video is watchable for the dance.


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