Jai Lakshmi Jai Lakshmi – Bappi/Asha – Bappi Lahiri | Gair Kanooni (1989)


Movie – Gair Kanooni (1989)

Jai Lakshmi Jai Lakshmi appeared in S M S Productions’ social drama Gair Kanooni (1989) or Illegal produced by Chetna M Modi and directed by Prayag Raaj. The hit movie starred Sridevi, Govinda, Rajnikanth, Kimi Katkar, Shashi Kapoor, Kader Khan, etc. The Hindi movie was later dubbed in Tamil – Rakkamma Kaiyathattu.

Honest Police Officer Kapil Khanna (Shashi Kapoor) and Dalpat Dalal’s (Kader Khan) wives have given birth to a boy and a girl, respectively, in the same hospital on the same day. Dalpat does not want a girl because he thinks a girl does not bring home money but only expenses. So, he exchanges the babies with the help of the owner of the hospital Robert D’Costa. They rope in the ward nurse for the purpose and kill her after the act is done. Thus, there is no evidence of the exchange of the babies. We have to remember that this was the time when paternity tests with DNA sampling were not prevalent.

Kapil Khanna files a case in the court and one of the maidservants in the hospital (Aruna Irani) is given the job of taking care of the female child. Kapil Khanna takes up the task of paying for the upbringing of the child. The maidservant brings up the girl without any education, as a thief. The girl Lakshmi (Sridevi) becomes so well-versed in stealing that… Please watch the video song to understand that.

Song – Jai Lakshmi Jai Lakshmi

 The music and the lyrics of Jai Lakshmi Jai Lakshmi were created by Bappi Lahiri and Indeevar, respectively.

This is a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi to be benevolent toward the Bhajan singer.

Video – Jai Lakshmi Jai Lakshmi

Director of Photography is Lawrence D’Souza. Dance choreography is by Saroj Khan.

The video opens with the shot of Sridevi in a Goddess Lakshmi Avatar. She is looking steadily in front of her. She is actually sitting inside the Garbhagriha of a temple. A priest is performing an aarti. She is sitting in front of the real idol. Some actors are dancing outside the sanctum sanctorium.

An old man sitting in front of a harmonium begins to sing the Bhajan as he plays the musical instrument. Sridevi is getting stiff after sitting for a long time without moving. Viju Khote appears near the entrance of the temple in a police inspector’s garb. He enters the temple dancing in tune with the song.

When Viju Khote reaches the sanctum sanctorium, he brings out a currency note to offer. Sridevi gestures that he should not offer that note. Then, Viju Khote brings out a note of higher denomination. She tells him to drop it immediately on the plate placed in front of her. When he does so, she is happy. But, she gets itching on her thigh and she scratches the same.

The priest closes the curtain of the inner chamber and Sridevi relaxes. She sneaks away with the offered money and jewelry. I wonder how the priest cannot realize that it is Sridevi, who was sitting in front of the idol. Maybe, we should leave this to be a comic visualization of the director, something like cinematic liberty.

The next shot is of an amusement park where Sridevi dances inside the grounds. The jhatkas and matkas that she performs are typical of Saroj Khan’s choreography. Sridevi’s style is mesmerizing. I am short of words to describe it. It is worth watching for oneself. The song rises to a crescendo and stops abruptly. The video also ends as Sridevi accomplishes another heist.


The song Jai Lakshmi Jai Lakshmi was sung by Bappi Lahiri and Asha Bhonsle for various artists and Sridevi. Other artists are looking on.

Cultural Influence

Diwali or Deepavali is a festival of lights. The new moon night during this festival is the darkest in the year. That is why several oil lamps and electric lamps are lighted at night. During this night, Hindus say that Goddess Lakshmi roams around the earth. She is worshipped during this time for prosperity. On the same day, Lord Ganesha is also worshipped because He is the remover of all obstacles. This typically filmi song is a sort of Bhajan invoking Goddess Lakshmi but with a modern and comical twist. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for Sridevi’s antics and comic timing.


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