Movie – Gair Kanooni (1989)
Saare sheher mein ik ladka ik ladka 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.
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 believes that 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 (Ranjit). They rope in the ward nurse for the purpose and kill her after the act is done. Thus, there is no evidence for 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’s wife dies due to the shock and he files a case in the court. One of the maidservants working with the hospital (Aruna Irani) is given the responsibility 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 very well-versed in stealing. But, she always yearns for the genuine love of real parents since Kapil Khanna refuses to accept her as his daughter. His son Om Narayan (Govinda), now, lives with Dalpat and his wife.
One day, Om and Dalpat are swindled by a tricky Lakshmi. But soon, circumstances bring them face to face during a party. Lakshmi requests Om Narayan to keep her secret, promising him that she would do the same for him, later. Om Narayan falls in love with Lakshmi and catches her in the basement asking her for a kiss. She retaliates by throwing red pepper powder in his eyes.
After some time, Om Narayan pursues her like a blind man, saying that he was blinded by the pepper powder. But, she is clever enough to know that he is just pretending. He persuades her to reciprocate his love and she complies with his wishes.
Lakshmi decides to leave the life of crime and right then, Dalpat catches her and hands her over to the police. She is brought to the police station where Kapil Khanna is present. A family comes to complain about them being swindled by Dalpat and Om Narayan. Lakshmi offers to help catch the father-son duo.
The police announce that an African princess has come to Mumbai on a visit. Kapil Khanna and Lakshmi form a team and arrange for an event at a club. Dalpat and Om Narayan disguise as Africans and appear there to swindle the princess, who is actually Lakshmi in disguise. This is the song that the Lakshmi and Om Narayan sing at this point.
Song – Saare sheher mein ik ladka ik ladka
The music and the lyrics of Saare sheher mein ik ladka ik ladka were created by Bappi Lahiri and Indeevar, respectively.
The song goes thus, “There is only one girl in this city with a fair heart and dark skin. There is only one boy in this city with a fair heart and dark skin.”
Video – Saare sheher mein ik ladka ik ladka
Director of Photography is Lawrence D’Souza. Dance choreography is by Saroj Khan.
The video opens with Sridevi beginning to dance in tune with the music. Some actors wearing African costumes hit tomtoms (African drums). Sridevi discerns Kader Khan and Govinda appearing in the club and gestures in a subtle manner to Shashi Kapoor.
I love the way they exchange the message in gestures that the 2 persons they had been waiting for had arrived. Govinda joins her in the dance. Kader Khan stands near Shashi Kapoor and smiles at him. They also dance in tune with the music and soon join the lead pair.
The pace of the dance increases to a crescendo. At that moment, Shashi Kapoor gives Kader Khan a briefcase full of cash. During the increased pace of the music, Govinda’s wig comes into Sridevi’s hand and the song and the video also end, abruptly.
The song Saare sheher mein ik ladka ik ladka was sung by Asha Bhonsle and Bappi Lahiri for Sridevi and Govinda and Shashi Kapoor, Kader Khan and others look on.
This typically filmi song has some influence of the African culture on it. I am not very happy with the lyrics of the song. It is not situational. If it really were an African princess, who had come visiting Mumbai, then she would not know that she would be meeting someone like her. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for Govinda’s dance.