Diya na bujha mere gharka – Asha Bhonsle – Ravi – Meena Kumari | Phool Aur Patthar (1966)

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Today’s second post is the analysis of the song, Diya na bujha mere gharka, from the Bollywood movie, Phool Aur Patthar (1966). The song has been analyzed on the basis of its context and visualization.

Movie – Phool Aur Patthar (1966)

The song, Diya na bujha mere gharka, was featured in the Ralhan Productions’ action romrama Phool Aur Patthar (1966), produced and directed by O P Ralhan. The star cast included Meena Kumari, Dharmendra, Shashikala, Lalita Pawar, Madan Puri, Iftekhar, O P Ralhan, etc.

Shaaka (Dharmendra) is leading a life of crime and works for John (Madan Puri). Shaaka has a girlfriend Rita (Shashikala), who is a club dancer. Shaaka has been exiled for a recent crime, during which he had been caught red-handed. But, he returns to his place to help some of his henchmen, unnoticed by the police.

Shaaka is reprimanded for returning to the city by John. But, the latter gives Shaaka another assignment. This is a big heist at a house where there are only 4 people and no security. A fair also opens nearby, which gives Shaaka a crowd to get inconspicuous. At this fair, he meets his longtime friend, Sadakram (O P Ralhan) a street performer performing with his team. Sadakram and his team are actually a group of pickpockets, who attract crowds and steal wallets of people.

The village appears to be experiencing a plague epidemic and the police with the government officials warn the people to vacate the place. In anticipation of a great heist, Shaaka goes to the house, John directed him to. But, Shaaka does not find anything other than an ill woman, Shanti (Meena Kumari). Shaaka calls the kindhearted vaid (Sunder) and nurses her to health again. Shanti is a widow and has been abandoned by her family to die, as they think that she is a jinx.

Soon, the plague scare is over and Shanti’s family return to see that Shanti is still alive. When they discover that a man (Shaaka is a smoker) has been in the house, she is beaten up. Her brother-in-law, Kalicharan (Ram Mohan) attempts to rape her at night. The rape-attempt is foiled by Shaaka, who returns at the right time. In the ensuing fight, Kalicharan is injured badly. Shaaka lifts Shanti to safety and tells her that she can live with him in his house. He promises that he would never touch her, inappropriately.

At night, Shanti watches Shaaka jumping onto a passing goods train and leave. Shaaka is, actually, still on exile. He reaches John’s club and asks his boss for some money. But, John is not very happy with him because Shaaka could not complete his latest assignment. John complies on Rita’s insistence. Rita tries to entice Shaaka into having an intimate relationship with her. But, when he glances at a small statue of a woman, he stops himself and leaves. Apparently, he has fallen in love with Shanti.

On the other hand, Shanti’s family gets to know that Shanti is the recipient of some inheritance and they begin to scheme against her. They place a false police complaint that she has made off with the money and jewelry that was present at their home. The police appear at the place where Shaaka is staying, due to the complaints by his neighbors and find Sadakram in a widow’s attire. John is informed by his henchmen, who have been keeping an eye on Shaaka’s home, about the presence of Shanti. The boss summons Shaaka with the offer of another heist of 2 million rupees worth jewelry that a rich man was planning to gift his daughter on her wedding.

When Shaaka is about to leave for the heist, Shanti lectures about being righteous. Shaaka insists that he was going to steal the jewelry because he had seen her going to bed hungry, due to lack of groceries and money at home. She insists that she is not interested in wealth snatched from others because it came with the curses of the owners.

He leaves anyways. But he is interrupted by a fire, consuming one of the other houses in the colony. There’s a little girl caught in the fire and Saaka rescues her, getting fatally burnt. He walks with the police officer (Manmohan Krishna) and others from the colony and climbs up the steps to his home. I don’t know how he can achieve such a feat, given his condition. When the police officer sees Shanti, he is shocked but doesn’t do anything. The doctor is called, and he says that Shaaka wouldn’t last long. Shaaka’s neighbors regret their irresponsible behavior toward him and Shanti. The police officer shoos off the neighbors and they leave Shanti alone with the bedridden Shaaka.

Shanti sings this song at this point.

Song – Diya na bujha mere gharka

The song, Diya na bujha mere gharka, was penned by Shakeel Badayuni and set to tune by Ravi.

The song goes thus, “Don’t extinguish the light of my home, O the Owner of my Fate. Listen to my pleading. I have come to your doorstep, with streams of tears, O Lord!”

Video – Diya na bujha mere gharka

The cinematography is by Nariman Irani.

The video begins with Meena Kumari touching Dharmendra, as she sobs. It appears that she is regretting the lecture that she gave him sometime ago. Lightning strikes somewhere and a dog starts wailing. A wailing dog is considered to be a bad omen.

Meena Kumari runs to the Lord Krishna idol that she had kept in the small altar she had made in the house and begins the song. She again runs back to him and listens to his heartbeat. Satisfied that he is alive, she smiles.

Meena Kumari again goes back to the altar and continues to sing. Other actors are also seen to be crying and praying for his health. Soon, the song rises to a crescendo and ends abruptly. The video also ends as she places her head in front of the deity.

Artists

Asha Bhonsle sings this song for Meena Kumari. Dharmendra and other actors are also seen in the video.

Cultural Influence

The song is influenced by the Bhakti culture. I love this Asha Bhonsle croon. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.

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