Jeenewale muskurake jee – Lata/Mahmood/Mohd. Rafi – R D Burman – Helen/Mahmood/Johnny | Chhote Nawab (1961)


Movie – Chhote Nawab (1961)

Jeenewale muskurake jee… 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 the Chhote Nawab’s 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.

Soon, Chhote Nawab falls prey to the advances of a cabaret dancer Sophie (Helen), who was initially working at Roshan’s brother Captain’s (Johnny Walker) Club. Being prompted by Sophie, Chhote Nawab leaves his mentor’s home and sort of settles with her in another club. He also picks up vices like ill-temper, ill-manner, drinking and gambling. Captain visits the club to convince Chhote Nawab to return to Roshan’s home. Sophie sings this song at this time so that he is not influenced by Captain.

Song – Jeenewale muskurake jee

Shailendra has penned the lyrics and R D Burman has set the tune of Jeenewale muskurake jee

The girl convinces the man that what he is doing is right and not to get influenced by anyone else.

Video – Jeenewale muskurake jee

The video opens with the song beginning and Johnny Walker and Mahmood turning around to look at the singer. Helen has begun to sing and dance. Mahmood makes some noises and Anwar Hussain, who plays the owner of the club, is pleased with what Helen is doing.

Johnny Walker stands up and begins to sing the song. Mahmood is completely drunk. Soon, the song ends abruptly and the dance gets a lot of applause. The video ends as Johnny Walker is left contemplating the next course of action.


Lata Mangeshkar, Mahmood and Mohammad Rafi have sung Jeenewale muskurake jee… for Helen, Mahmood and Johnny Walker. Anwar Hussain and other actors look on.

Cultural Influence

This is a typically filmi cabaret. Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar are fantastic, singing the song. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.


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