Movie – Mr. and Mrs. 55 (1955)
The song, Meri duniya lut rahi thi, appeared in 1955 Guru Dutt Films’ romantic comic caper Mr. and Mrs. ’55, produced and directed by Guru Dutt. The movie starred Guru Dutt, Madhubala, Johnny Walker, Vinita Bhatt, Lalita Pawar, Jagdeep, etc.
Preetam (Guru Dutt) is a struggling cartoonist and meets Anita (Madhubala) at a tennis match, as she watches her favorite tennis star. Anita is a westernized heir to abundant wealth, but, is controlled by her feminist Aunt Sita Devi (Lalita Pawar). Sita is a misandrist and tries to cultivate the same attitudes in her ward, Anita. But, Anita has to get married within one month of her 21st birthday to avail of her fortune. Sita Devi tries to set her ward up in a contract marriage, which is expected to end soon in a divorce. Sita hires Preetam to marry Anita, to which he agrees when he gets to know who the bride is.
Anita would have preferred getting married to Preetam since she liked him, according to her. But, when Anita and Preetam get married, she does not like it since she believes that he had married her for the money – a paltry sum of Rs.250/month. Sita Devi gives him his first cheque and tells him to stay away from Anita. Preetam and Anita meet each other again at a club that night. She is irked at seeing him and behaves in a very detached manner with him.
He cartoons taking inspiration from his own life involving Sita Devi and Anita. It gets published and the elderly lady comes to his home to demand a divorce. He refuses. He has been saving the cheques that he has been getting from Sita Devi and not been using them. On his friend Johnny’s (Johnny Walker) insistence, he tricks Anita into coming with him to his home, where his sister-in-law (Kum Kum) stays. There Anita strikes a conversation with the sister-in-law and gets convinced about how the traditional housewife keeps working inside her home and is ready for love as well as the beatings of the husband. Modern thoughts on liberated women do not matter to her now. Then, Anita realizes that she has fallen in love with Preetam.
But, before that, she has already sent a telegraphic message to her aunt revealing her location. Her aunt lands at Preetam’s home to take Anita away with her. Sita Devi gives Preetam the final cheque to let go of Anita. But, he tears them and throws them away, saying that he can earn a dignified living without her money. Anita, meekly, leaves the place and Preetam misunderstands her behavior.
With the help of his friend, Johnny Preetam takes a snap of him with an empty bottle of alcohol and 2 girls. Preetam takes the picture to Sita Devi and tells her to use it during the court hearing for divorce. Sita Devi shows the picture to Anita and tells her that the picture was given to her by Preetam’s last victim. Anita believes her and is grief-stricken.
When Preetam walks away from Anita’s home, he hears this qawwali, sung by some people on the street.
Song – Meri duniya lut rahi thi
The lyrics of Meri duniya lut rahi thi were penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri and the music was composed by O P Nayyar.
The man laments, “My world was being destroyed and I was watching the fun.”
Video – Meri duniya lut rahi thi
The cinematography is by V K Murthy.
The video opens with Guru Dutt walking briskly toward his destination. Someone begins this qawwali from nearby and the lead actor stops on his tracks. They are a group of singers, performing near the streets, for their own enjoyment.
Guru Dutt picks out a cigarette from his pocket and puts it in his mouth. Soon, he walks away from the group. The music rises to a crescendo and the video ends as the visual of Guru Dutt walking away is overlapped by the image of the printing of a newspaper.
The playback of this song was sung by Mohammad Rafi for an unknown artist.
This typically filmi qawwali is a lamentation of the hero on having lost his beloved to money. Or we can say that this is a lamentation of the hero in the form of a Sufi qawwali. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the song and the artists.