Movie – Sargam (1979)
Mujhe mat roko was featured in the N N Sippy Productions’ social drama Sargam (1979) produced by N N Sippy and directed by K Vishwanath. The Bollywood movie starred Rishi Kapoor, Jaya Prada (debut), Shashikala, Shreeram Lagoo, Asrani, Aruna Irani, Shakti Kapoor, Keshto Mukherjee, Vijay Arora, etc.
Hema (Jaya Prada) is born with a speech defect where she cannot speak. She lives with her father Chintamani Pradhan (Shreeram Lagoo), her stepmother Savitri (Shashikala) and stepsister Champa (Rajni Sharma). Hema loves to dance and is very talented. On the other hand, Champa is not very talented and does not have an aptitude for art. But, Savitri insists that Champa learn to dance and tortures and orders Hema about to perform household chores. Hema strikes up a friendship with the local Musician Raju (Rishi Kapoor).
Hema’s marriage is finalized and Raju visits the city for getting light anklets as a gift for her. He meets Kusum (Aruna Irani), who is deceived by Prakash (Shakti Kapoor). Prakash marries her and sells her to another man on the night of the nuptials. Raju, who had entered the compound of the house to save himself from the rain, saves Kusum from Prakash’s wrath and leaves the place. Kusum goes to the police. But, by the time the police come to the house Prakash has escaped.
Kusum and Raju meet again and this time Kusum helps him to get the silver light anklets for Hema since his money gets stolen. Raju reaches the village in time to see Prakash about to tie the mangalsutra around Hema’s neck. When Raju protests, he is thrown out of the temple. Raju begins to sing a song, challenging God, to protect Hema. He bangs his dafli so vigorously that his hand begins to bleed. Right then, Kusum comes there with the police to arrest Prakash. After the case is proven, Prakash is sent to jail.
Hema’s father dies of the shock after handing her over to Raju, as a valuable gift for safe-keeping. Raju promises the older man that he would find a good groom for her. Raju and Hema leave for the city after performing the old man’s last rites. In the city, leaving Hema safe in a temple, Raju goes around to find a house for rent. Kusum offers Raju and Hema the job of performing during events. But, he refuses it because for him performing on streets is ok and performing on stage is not.
Raju, soon, coughs blood and his doctor (Vijay Arora) tells him that it is tuberculosis. Raju hides the fact from Hema and does not bother to get himself treated. He wants to use that money instead to get Hema married to a highly educated groom. When he goes out, Hema finds the doctor’s prescription while taking his clothes to wash. She takes it to Kusum, who tells her the truth. Hema tells her that she is ready to perform on stage to earn enough money for Raju’s treatment. It so happens that Raju and Hema are paired together without their knowledge for the performance. This is the song he sings at this point. Hema performs this song with him.
Song – Mujhe mat roko
Mujhe mat roko was penned by Anand Bakshi on the music scored by Lakshmi-Pyare.
The man insists that he be allowed to sing. He says, “Don’t stop me. I am alive. Isn’t that enough? Let me play the dafli until I have the strength in my arms.”
Video – Mujhe mat roko
The cinematography is by K H Kapadia. Dance has been choreographed by P L Raj.
The video opens with Jaya Prada beginning to dance and approach Rishi Kapoor. She gestures to him not to play the dafli. Aruna Irani is watching from the side of the stage. Rishi Kapoor begins to sing. Vijay Arora is in the audience. While singing Rishi Kapoor begins to cough.
Worried and in tears, Jaya Prada manages the performance, alone. Aruna Irani is also worried. I am surprised at the audience. During such times, the audience has a tendency to blow wolf whistles and throw shoes at the stage. It does not happen here!
This kind of performance requires a lot of rehearsals together. But, that also does not happen here. The music rises to a crescendo and ends abruptly. Rishi Kapoor and Jaya Prada take a bow amid the applause of the audience and the video ends there.
Mohammad Rafi sings this song for Rishi Kapoor and Jaya Prada dances to its tune. Aruna Irani, Vijay Arora and others look on.
The situation of the song is like O’ Henry’s the Gift of the Magi. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable.