Ae mere dost – Mohammad Rafi – Ravi | Meherban (1967)

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Today’s second post is the analysis of the song, Ae mere dost, from the Bollywood movie, Meherban (1967). The song has been analyzed on the basis of its context and visualization.

Movie – Meherban (1967)

The song, Ae mere dost, was featured in the AVM Productions’ famrama Meherban (1967) produced by A V Meiyappan and directed by A Bhim Singh. The movie starred Ashok Kumar, Sulochana, Sunil Dutt, Nutan, Mahmood, etc.

Shanti Swaroop (Ashok Kumar) is an affluent businessman and his family consists of his wife – Parvati (Sulochana), 3 sons, 2 daughters (Actors Shashikala and Bharati), 2 daughters-in-law and an adopted son – Kanhaiya (Sunil Dutt). The older couple meet their long-lost friends’ orphaned daughter, Lakshmi (Nutan). The older couple want their youngest son, Sunder (Bhalla) to marry Lakshmi. But the young man declines their insistence and goes off to marry his girlfriend, Rachna (Padma Khanna).

Due to the above turn of events, Kanhaiya offers to marry Lakshmi and the marriage takes place on the same day as Sunder-Rachna marriage. Rachna’s rakhi brother, Madhu (Mahmood) helps Sunder get married to her. When the second pair visits Sunder’s home to take his parents’ blessings the older couple is very angry. Their anger is extinguished by Kanhaiya and they accept Sunder and Rachna’s decision.

The youngest daughter, Geeta’s (Bharati) marriage talks begin. The groom is Ramesh (Sudesh Kumar), who is the son of Lala Karamchand (Raj Mehra). Soon, Shanti Swaroop loses money in his business and Karamchand breaks the engagement of his son with Geeta. Shanti Swaroop’s health deteriorates when he has to sell his entire property, as his sons do not support him. The wretched men even avoid giving their mother a mere 50 rupees for a trip to a temple.

Lakshmi and Kanhaiya feel sad for Shanti Swaroop and his wife. Shanti Swaroop’s eldest daughter Devki’s (Shashikala) son steals Geeta’s necklace that had been set aside for the latter’s marriage. Devki incites her siblings to search Lakshmi’s belongings for the necklace and together with the others insults her. The despicable children of Shanti Swaroop even insult Kanhaiya. Shanti Swaroop is unable to watch the mistreatment of his wards and he tells them to leave home.

Unknown to his children, Shanti Swaroop sells his precious gemstone ring and gifts the money to his wards, before they leave. As luck would have it, Kanhaiya and Lakshmi are saved from a cheater by Madhu and the latter takes them home. Through some conversation Madhu realizes that Lakshmi is actually his biological sister. But he is unable to reveal himself since Kanhaiya does not have a very good opinion about Lakshmi’s brother, who had deserted his family several years ago.

Soon, Kanhiaya gets a job as a mechanic at a factory. He takes some gifts to his uncle, Shanti Swaroop and the kids. Kanhaiya’s gift to Shanti Swaroop is a box of costly cigarettes, which the older man had given up due to his daughters-in-law’s taunts of waste of money. The fact that cigarette smoking is actually injurious to health was not a popularly known fact then. After Kanhaiya leaves, this song is heard in the background.

Song – Ae mere dost

The lyrics of the song, Ae mere dost, were penned by Rajinder Kishan and they were set to tune by Ravi.

The song goes, thus, “When I think of my past, I remember the kindness of a compassionate person. O my friend, my confidant. Happiness or grief, you were always with me.”

Video – Ae mere dost

Director of Photography is A Vincent. Photography is by A Venkat.

The video opens with Ashok Kumar sitting on a chair and looking at the cigarette box. The song in a male voice begins in the background. Ashok Kumar imagines that Sunil Dutt is present in front of him. Tears well in the former’s eyes.

Ashok Kumar is about to wear his glasses but decides against it. He is in deep gloom and gets up from his chair with the help of his walking stick. In between shots showing him, the camera looks at Sunil Dutt working at a potentially dangerous factory situation.

Flashbacks of when a little boy is found at a temple by the characters played by Ashok Kumar and Sulochana is shown. Coming back to the present, Ashok Kumar sees Sunil Dutt as Lord Krishna and is overwhelmed.

The pace of the music increases when a red-hot piece of iron is being shaped by hammering it, in front of Sunil Dutt. Ashok Kumar seems to be getting a heart attack and again the speed of the tune increases.

He walks toward the large bed with difficulty and there he remembers how Sunil Dutt would serve him by pressing the older man’s feet. Then, Ashok Kumar staggers back and collapses. The song and the video end abruptly at this point.

Artists

Mohammad Rafi has sung this song in the background. Ashok Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Sulochana and a kid are also seen in the video.

Cultural Influence

There is no influence of any culture on this song, which has been amazingly sung by Mohammad Rafi Sahab. I love the rapid stumming of violins to show the grief. The song and the artists are fantastic. The video is watchable for the same.

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