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Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Man re Hari ke gun gaa

Posted on: June 27, 2011


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie songs and a regular contributor to this blog.

The film ‘Musafir’ (1957) is one of the most endearing movies for me. It is a remarkable and a representative perspective of the cycle of life. It is about a now forgotten era when our society was still sensitive to human values and faith was the bedrock of all relationships. The film brings forth reality of small town and the simple middle class folks of the 1950s engaged in punctilious fulfilling of their daily routines of life. Many of us, who toiled ceaselessly (or have seen our parents toil) after the 1947 partition to bring up their families in the 50s and 60s, would easily relate to these themes.

Produced and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, it boasts of a bevy of well known actors. The movie is a sequence of three episodes in life. Seemingly distinct and complete within themselves, still one finds threads of continuity from one to the other.

David is owner of a house that he rents out. The three episodes in the movie are about three families who rent this house, and live through a phase of their life in this house, and then move on as course of events takes them on to the next destination in life. The first episode is about coming together. The main players in this episode are Suresh, Suchitra Sen, Bipin Gupta and Durga Khote. Suresh and Suchitra Sen get married against the wishes and without the knowledge of Suresh’s parents. They come to this house, to set up a temporary home, not sure where their destiny would lead them. There are phases of uncertainty and frustration as they wait for some message from Suresh’s father, and their unfulfilled need to settle down as a household. One day, Suresh’s parents reach this house searching for them. In a case of mistaken identity, Suchitra Sen welcomes them, and lovingly takes care of them. The parent’s real identity is revealed when Suresh returns home; there is an emotional exchange that is a tender mixture of antagonism and love, and all is well. The newly married couple leaves the house to return to their parent’s home

The second episode is about expectations and new beginnings. Nazir Hussain, a retired govt servant, rents this house. He has recently lost his elder son. He is accompanied by his elder daughter in law (Nirupa Roy) who is expecting, and his younger son played by Kishore Kumar. This family has recently undergone an upheaval of having lost the primary bread winner, and have a need to settle down once again. Kishore is completing his graduate studies and is looking for a job. After some interludes, both sad and funny, things move to be better for this family. Kishore finds a job; the telegram arrives after he has consumed poison in frustration for not finding one, only to realize that the poison was having ‘milaawat’, and hence did not show its results. And a baby boy is born to Nirupa Roy. The family moves on as Kishore’s job takes them to another city.

The third episode is about dreams lost and a rejuvenation of hope. Paul Mahindra rents this house, having moved here for the treatment of his nephew (played by Daisy Irani), the son of his sister (played by Usha Kiran). Usha Kiran is separated from her husband (played by Dilip Kumar). There is a chance meeting, as they realize that Dilip Kumar, now a homeless wanderer with a failing health, is presently in the same neighborhood. Usha Kiran still loves him, but her brother does not want her to have anything to do with her estranged husband any more. They get together again, in very uncertain and apprehensive interludes, where they are not able to find any promises for the future. The child is stricken with polio. Dilip Kumar assures the child that he will be cured and will walk again, when the tree in the front of the house will bloom with flowers. Dilip Kumar tragically dies, literally on the doorsteps of this house. The tree is blooming with flowers next day, and the child gets up from his bed and starts an effort for a halting walk, simply on the power of the assurance he has got.

The film moves on multiple levels, and in multiple dimensions. There is continuity of the house and the world around it. A pesky, nosey neighbor, the tea shop across the road, the grocery store on the corner famous for ‘milaawat’, David, the owner of the house, who keeps changing the ‘To Let’ board back and forth. There are phases of life represented by each family that comes in – the meeting of souls, a childbirth, a death, and then a new hope, a new beginning. There are threads of continuity. The plant that bears the flowers in the third episode – the seed for that is planted by Suchitra Sen in the first episode, and is taken care of by Nirupa Roy in the second. There is an edition of a children’s periodical called ‘Munna’ lying in one of the shelves, which nobody takes away, but everyone reads. The song ‘Munna bada pyaara, ammi ka dulaara’ sung by Kishore Kumar, is being read from this magazine. The leading lady in each episode spends sleepless hours watching the tea shop employees across the road, cleaning up and winding up for the night. In all episodes, there is a completeness and yet there is a alluring reference to events on the periphery of experience, which are never dealt in detail. The unnamed, un-present uncle of Suchitra Sen, the death of the elder son of Nazir Hussain, the drifting apart of Dilip Kumar and Usha Kiran. All tantalizing references to larger perspectives in the tale, as the director leads us to believe that life is much bigger that what it appears to be, and not everything can be dealt with in detail. And yet, each episode, each phase in life is still complete in itself. All in all, a fantastic essay on life, which I am not able to put down; I have watched this movie so many times, after having first seen it on Doordarshan as a child.

This song is one of the most beautifully crafted and rendered bhajans in my opinion. So very simple words, such a soulful composition, and so softly and lovingly sung by Lata ji. And the performance on the screen by Suchitra Sen is so poignant and touching, as she is waiting for an acceptance and deliverance of sorts. Suresh’s parents have just arrived at the gate of this house. Suresh’s father (played by Bipin Gupta) is angry, and he has come to turn his son out of his life. The mother (played by Durga Khote) is apprehensive of the ensuing confrontation and is trying to appease her husband. They are about to knock on the door, when they are stopped in their tracks, as this bhajan is heard from inside. They stop and wait, listening to this beautiful voice, singing the praise of the Lord. The ensuing interaction between the unaware Suchitra Sen and her parents in law, is very emotional and very innocently truthful. Suchitra Sen looks so stunningly beautiful in a simple sari and a simple personality.

Click the link and enjoy this veritable treat, written by Shailendra, composed by Salil da, and so beautifully sung by Lata ji. A veritable treat, as is this entire movie. Enjoy.


Song-Man re Hari ke gun gaa (Musaafir) (1957) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Shailendra, MD-Salil Chaudhary

Lyrics

Hari gun gaa
aaa aaa
mann re
mann re Hari ke gun gaa
mann re Hari ke gun gaa
mann re Hari ke gun gaa
un sang preet lagaa
un sang preet lagaa
mann re
mann re Hari ke gun gaa
mann re Hari ke gun gaa

jin ke japey Ahilyaa tar gayee
bhav saagar ke paar utar gayee
jin ke japey Ahilyaa tar gayee
bhav saagar ke paar utar gayee
sanmukh sheesh jhukaa
sanmukh sheesh jhukaa mann re
mann re Hari ke gun gaa
mann re Hari ke gun gaa

jin ke japey amar bhayee Meera
naam ujaagar kar gayee Meera
jin ke japey amar bhayee Meera
naam ujaagar kar gayee Meera
lau un se hi lagaa
lau un se hi lagaa mann re
mann re Hari ke gun gaa
mann re Hari ke gun gaa

kabhi to Ram khabariyaa lenge
kabhi to Ram khabariyaa lenge
tere bhi dukh door karenge
tere bhi dukh door karenge
dukh se mat ghabraa
dukh se mat ghabraa mann re
mann re Hari ke gun gaa
mann re Hari ke gun gaa
un sang preet lagaa
un sang preet lagaa mann re
mann re Hari ke gun gaa
mann re Hari ke gun gaa

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4 Responses to "Man re Hari ke gun gaa"

Sudhir ji,
It is a pleasure indeed to read your articles because,
1)they are highly informative
2)they exude your passions
3)they seem to be drenched in your emotions about the subject and
4)the language is flowing ,catchy and simple which touches the heart.
It was an unusual movie.Considering that MUSAFIR was the directorial DEBUT film of H.Mukherjee,one must appreciate his daring and the producer’s confidence in the Director.
-AD

Sudhir ji,
Some more notes about MUSAFIR.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee,who was asistant to Bimal Roy,was staying in a One Room Tenement in Malad(Bombay).He used to see tenents come and go in his society and he got the idea for a film.
Dilip kumar encouraged him to do the film and promissed to act free in his film(probably in exchange for a song in the film).He did act free and also sang a song himself “laagi nahi chhute Ram” in the movie.
The story and the Episodic structure of the film was unusual for his time.The film flopped at the Box Office but won the President’s Gold Medal.
2 years later,in 1959,K.A.Abbas also tried telling 4 episodic stories in Char dil Char Rahen(where the constant factor was the crossroad junction of 4 roads).This film too flopped.
Atleast,in Musafir, Hrishida had made an unsaid comment on the 3 important aspects of life,namely-Marriage,Birth and Death,but Abbas got confused and made a mess of the film.
-AD

Arun ji,

Thanks for your words of encouragement, really appreciate that. 🙂

And of course, the additional facts and anecdotes, of which you seem to have an endless variety.

Regarding the comparison between Musafir and Char Dil Char Raahen; as you are aware, KA Abbas approached this subject from a Marxist-Socialist perspective, a philosophical theory that the masses were not really aware of. The main protagonists in this movie were labor class people – a farmhand, a truck driver, an industrial worker, and a union leader. The social representation – worker class against the rich imperialists – and the treatment of this subject seems limited and far removed from the realities of life. In comparison, Hrishi da’s treatment of the key events of life is probably more recognizable.

There have been other movies made on the trade union movement and the plight of the labor class. Some notable ones that come to mind are Paighaam (1959), Akaashdeep (1965), Baharon Ke Sapne (1967) and Namak Haraam (1973). When one thinks of these movies, then probably ‘mess’ is the right word used for Char Dil Char Raahen.

Rgds
Sudhir

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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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