Lagja gale ke phir yeh – Lata Mangeshkar – Madan Mohan – Sadhana | Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)

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Today’s first post is the song, Lagja gale ke phir yeh, from the Bollywood movie, Woh Kaun Thi? (1964). The song has been analyzed on the basis of its context and visualization.

Movie – Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)

The song, Lagja gale ke phir yeh, appeared in Prithivi Pictures’ hit psychological mystery Woh Kaun Thi? (1964) meaning – Who was she? directed by Raj Khosla and produced by N N Sippy under the banner of Prithvi Pictures. The movie starred Sadhana, Manoj Kumar, Prem Chopra, K N Singh, Helen, Parveen Chaudhary, etc.

Dr. Anand (Manoj Kumar) is driving a car at the beginning of the movie. Suddenly, a woman (Sadhana) comes in front of his car and he gives her a lift. She introduces herself as Sandhya. The moment she enters the car, the wipers stop working! Anand is even more spooked when the woman shows him the way, without proper visibility and directs him to a cemetery. When they reach the cemetery, the gates open, as if automatically and Anand hears someone singing Naina barse rimjhim rimjhim… The woman disappears in front of the cemetery gate.

Anand is expected to inherit a huge fortune from a distant relative. There is a catch here. He will get the inheritance only if he is mentally stable. It appears that there have been cases of insanity in his family in the past. Lata (Parveen Chaudhary), another medical expert in the hospital, loves Anand. However, he does not intend to leave his girlfriend Seema (Helen).

In the next shot, Dr. Singh (K N Singh), who is Dr. Anand’s boss and Lata’s father, announces a dance item by Anand and Seema and Dr. Singh doesn’t seem to be very pleased that Anand and Seema are performing together.

Soon, Anand’s mother (Ratnamala) gives him an ultimatum regarding his marriage. But one night post their romantic date, Anand visits Seema’s residential building to leave her. She usually reaches her flat and signals from her deck when he leaves. But on this particular date, she doesn’t and he gets worried. It turns out that she has been fatally assaulted by someone in the elevator.

A few days later, Anand is contacted by someone to attend to a patient in a villa that’s almost in ruins. The patient turns out to be the same girl (Sadhana), whom he met in the dark monsoon night. However, she’s dead before he reaches her. An old woman is wailing nearby blaming him of the eventuality. He leaves the place.

What struck me at this point is that Anand, though a medical doctor, does not insist on checking the pulse of the girl and trusts the woman in the matter. When he comes out of the villa; he meets some police officers, who tell him that many doctors have been called during rainy nights to this bungalow and the same incident happens. But when the doctor re-enters the bungalow with the police, there is no evidence of what had happened in front of him.

It so happens that post the insistence of his mother and some convincing by Dr. Singh (though his intention is to get him married to his daughter), Anand gets married to Sandhya. Shockingly, he hadn’t seen her face! How can someone actually take a lifetime decision like marriage without knowing the person they are getting married to? According to my information about those times, educated people had already begun to take informed decisions in these matters.

During the night of the nuptials, he tells her about the 2 incidents, involving the mystery girl, that happened to him. Sandhya raises her veil and it is time for him to be shocked. Sandhya is the same mystery girl (Sadhana). He asks her in a threatening voice about who she really is. She gets frightened. He leaves the nuptials room and tells his mother she got her way as far as his marriage was concerned and neither of them knows the consequences.

The next day, their manservant (Dhumal) brings some paintings made by Sandhya to Anand. One of the paintings was of, hold your breath, the villa where Anand found the mystery girl, dead. At that point, Sandhya sings the first version of the song.

Post the song, Anand asks Sandhya, who she is, throwing the painting of the ruined villa into the house. Her replies are vague and not satisfactory. Anand’s mother asks him why he had thrown the painting away. He stomps off saying that she had seen only the painting and not the different facets of her daughter-in-law. Sandhya asks Anand when he returns from the hospital – why was he behaving the way he did with her. He is very rude with her and stomps off the place again. In the next shot, Anand is sitting on a garden chair near a lake and hears the second version of the song.

A few days post the wedding, Sandhya still remains a mysterious girl, who keeps dropping hints of her having, what I would call, supernatural connections. One day, she visits Anand’s hospital at night and convinces him to come with her to the beach to speak their minds out to each other. Sandhya tells him that she had been waiting to unite with him for several births. She also sings this song at this point.

Song – Lagja gale ke phir yeh

The lyrics of the song, Lagja gale ke phir yeh, penned by Raja Mehendi Ali Khan, were set to tune by Madan Mohan.

The girl sings, “Let’s hug since this beautiful night might never return. Also, we may never meet each other in this birth.”

Video – Lagja gale ke phir yeh

Director of Photography is K H Kapadia.

The video opens with Sadhana laying on her side on the sand and beginning to sing. Manoj Kumar looks at her sitting close by. She gets up to sit, continuing to sing. Then, she stands up to walk around on the sand.

By now, even Manoj Kumar is standing. At one point she smiles, trying to entice him. He also begins to smile, soon, showing that her behavior was having some effect on him. She says that he should come closer to her because she wouldn’t do it again and again.

Now, he approaches her. But she moves into his arms and tears start flowing down her cheeks – all as she continues to sing. She moves away and beckons him into her arms and as they get intimate, with lightning flashing in the sky, the song and the video end abruptly.

Artists

Lata Mangeshkar sings this song on the playback for Sadhana. Manoj Kumar is also seen in the video.

Cultural Influence

The music of this melodiously romantic song, with a sad tinge to it, does not have any influence of any culture on it. I love this song for the lyrics, the slow music and the performance of the artists. The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.

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