Movie – Sargam (1979)
Dafliwale dafli baja 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. He sings a song and Hema performs it with him.
After the performance, Raju tries to mollify Hema. But, she is beyond any mollification since he did not listen to her about his health at the beginning of the performance. As she walks off in anger, Raju’s doctor comes that way. The doctor had been thinking that Hema and Raju love each other. Raju convinces him that it was not so because she belonged to a family of a higher caste. He even asks his doctor if he would marry Hema, without even bothering to find out if he is single. The doctor tells him to first find out if Hema would marry him. Hema has been listening to the entire conversation from her dressing room.
That night, Hema realizes that she is in love with Raju and thinks that both are performing this song.
Song – Dafliwale dafli baja
Dafliwale dafli baja was penned by Anand Bakshi on the music scored by Lakshmi-Pyare.
The girl sings, “O Musician, play the daff. My heavy anklets beckon to you. I will dance to your music.”
Video – Dafliwale dafli baja
The cinematography is by K H Kapadia. Dance has been choreographed by P L Raj.
The video opens with Jaya Prada taking Rishi Kapoor to a large garden. She takes the garland on an idol of Lord Krishna and places it around Rishi Kapoor’s neck. The music has begun in the background.
She begins to sing and dance. Rishi Kapoor begins to play the dafli and joins her in the performance. Sometime later the garland is gone. Perhaps, he was finding it difficult to dance with the garland on.
I know because I have performed Bharatanatyam wearing a large heavy garland of real flowers. The song peters out and the video ends as Jaya Prada is seen searching for Rishi Kapoor, who seems to have disappeared.
Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi sing this song for Jaya Prada and Rishi Kapoor.
This song is a romantic one. But, it does not follow the rules of a typical romantic song. The emphasis here is on the dance. The song and artists are good. The video is watchable.