A grand musical and visual romantic treat

In the late fifties, Nasir Hussain (Aamir Khan’s uncle) started the trend of masala Hindi movies in which the least attended aspect was the story. The screenplay was created on the basis of some set formulae – melodious music, some action, some comedy, some romance, the works. When colour movies became a routine since the sixties, one more thing which got added to this set-up was beautiful photography of beautiful locations. Nasir Hussain made the Bollywood movie viewers habitual of such movies in which two and half hours entertainment was guaranteed without any proper storyline.Such movies became box office success and the formulae of this type of mix-masala continued till the early seventies without a hitch.

One such movie is Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon which was released in 1963, starring Joy Mukherjee and Asha Parekh. The title of the movie had been taken from an emotional song of another Joy Mukherjee starrer Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962). One song was composed for this movie too as the title track because fortunately like the hero, the music director was also the same for both these movies – O.P. Nayyar. While Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (directed by Raj Khosla) was a black and white movie, Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon was made as a colour movie with negative and celluloid material of such a good quality that even today the print of the movie is a visual treat for the viewer with eye-soothing colour combination in the scenes of the beautiful locations of Kashmir.The story as I have already mentioned is just a formality to make a romantic movie with melodious songs to fit in alongwith a comedy track and a track for the baddies who need to be beaten by the hero in the climax before their arrest by the generous Indian police. Hero Joy Mukherjee is fostered by his mother because of rift between his father and mother. His father fosters his friend’s little daughter (Asha Parekh) like his own child. Destiny brings the hero and the heroine together and they find themselves in deep love. Villain (Pran) enters the scene to take advantage of the situation that the rich father of the hero does not recognize his son and presents himself as his son. After a good dose of comedy, romance and action to the viewers, the final outcome is – all’s well that ends well.Under the pretext of the romance between the lead pair, the director Nasir Hussain got ample opportunity to insert melodious songs sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle. And music is the biggest plus point of this movie for which you can watch it again and again without giving a damn for the story. Rafi’s classic songs – Banda Parvar Thaam Lo Jigar (which is the title song), Laakhon Hain Nigaah Mein Zindagi Ki Raah Mein, Aji Kibla Mohatarama Kabhi Shola Kabhi Naghma and my favourite Aanchal Mein Saja Lena Kaliyaan Zulfon Mein Sitaare Bhar Lena alongwith Asha Bhosle’s classic song Aankhon Se Jo Utri Hai Dil Mein as well as Dekho Bijli Dole Bin Baadal Ke make this movie a musical treat. Rafi-Asha duet – Humdum Mere Khel Na Jaano Chaahat Ke Ikaraar Ko is also no less. One excellent Rafi-Asha duet – Zulf Ki Chhaon Mein Chehre Ka Ujaala Lekar Teri Veeran Si Raaton Ko Sajaaya Humne is not found in the movie available on CD (perhaps the complete version of the movie has not been transferred on the CD) and can be listened to in the album only (now it can be seen on youtube). Summing up regarding the music of the movie (by O.P. Nayyar), it’s timeless. Majrooh Sultanpuri has written the lyrics with highly emotional and meaningful words which, being strung in the melodious compositions, touch the listeners deep into their hearts.

Cinematographer has exploited the opportunity of arresting the enchanting beauty of Kashmir in the colour movie (whose trend had just started those days) to the greatest extent possible for him. If anybody gets the opportunity to watch this movie on big screen, he/she must be highly fortunate to watch the enchanting beauty of ‘Heaven on Earth‘ in the most satisfying manner.

Direction of the movie is routine but the songs have been aptly placed. The scene (alongwith the relevant dialogues) picturized on Joy and Asha which consists of the song – Aanchal Mein Saja Lena Kaliyaan – is emotionally penetrating for tender-heart romantic people (like me) and definitely a memorable one.

Comedy tracks are two. The bigger one is of Rajendra Nath which is inter-twined with the main plot and another one is a watered down one in which Ram Avtar, as the hero’s friend, makes the audience laugh. However, being short of a full-length storyline, the comedy track of Rajendra Nath has been excessively prolonged. Tabassum and others, as the Sahelis (friends) of the heroine, also present amusing situations in the movie.Performances are okay whether they are of the charming lead pair (good on-screen chemistry between them) or of the supporting cast alongwith the villains and the comedians. Pran has not got a meaty role as the villain considering his reputation for the negative roles in that period but he has tried his best.

Technically the movie is perfect and it has a high production value.

Overall, the movie is successful in entertaining the audience and that’s why it was a hit. I watch it whenever I am willing to get the combined effect of the visuals and the songs upon me which is always mesmerizing. I recommend it to all the lovers of melodious music who are also desirous of light romantic entertainment.

I dedicate this review to the music legends – Asha Bhosle and Late Bhupen Hazarika whose birthday is today (8th September).

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
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