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

Sar par topi laal haath mein resham ka roomaal

Posted on: August 16, 2011


Sunday, 14th August 2011 brought us the sad news that Shammi Kapoor was no more. We knew that Shammi Kapoor needed dialysis three times a week and he was wheelchair bound for years, and that he was 79 years old, still this news that came as a shock.

To millions, he still brought back the image of a dashing guy who wooed his ladies is style, and his wooing was so innocent and likeable that the lady, however hard to get she played, was bound to give in on the face of such persistence. And he danced in a manner as never seen before in Hindi movies. He danced with abandon, not worrying about the correctness or otherwise of his dance steps, because these dance steps were of his own design, which were thought literally on his feet at the time of the picturisation.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to think that he became a dancing and romancing star right away as soon as he deigned to grace Hindi movies with his presence. Not at all. Nothing could be farther from the truth. He may be a son of the great Prithviraj Kapoor, but that did not assure him instant stardom. For the first four years of his career, his movies were flopping with regularity. He was not the main attraction of these movies, his heroines were, and even the songs of these movies were picturised mainly with the heroine in mind, with Shammi Kapoor brought in the picturisation almost as an afterthought.

Shammi Kapoor looked quite an underconfident person in these movies who did not know what was going to happen to his career. He tried desperately to ape Raj Kapoor, his elder brother, but to no avail. With four years and several movies as a leading man under his belt, his career was going nowhere, and few people in the industry and outside it would have given him much of a chance to make it big, if you asked them their opinion of Shammi Kapoor in 1956.

But 1957 changed things and made a dramatic turnround in Shammi Kapoor’s fortunes.

“Tumsa Nahin Dekha” (1957) happened in Shammi Kapoor’s career, and we are happy that it happened. I do not know whose idea it was to ask Shammi Kapoor to stop apeing Raj Kapoor and evolve his own style, one which was not Chaplinesque, but Elvis Presleysque. And it worked like a charm !

But then, it all did not happen in one fell swoop. I am sure that lots of people contributed in making this Shammi Kapoor image makeover a success. For one, the movie needed to be a box office success for Shammi Kapoor’s new image to be accepted and lapped up by the public. And for that, the people involved in making this movie, who were more established than Shammi Kapoor , had to contribute their mites. And how well they contributed !

Take for example Ameeta, the leading lady opposite Shammi Kapoor. She set a very high standards for the leading leadies of future Shammi Kapoor style Shammi Kapoor movies. And it is her exuberance and enthusiasm that acted as a perfect foil to a still tentative Shammi Kapoor to help him leave his past behind him and discover his calling once and for all.

Music of this movie needed to deliver big time for this movie to register in public mind. Now, music of earlier Shammi Kapoor movies were also popular. But till then, no song that was picturised on Shammi Kapoor had ever made it to Binaca geetmala finals, which was a new and major barometer of the popularity of songs those days. “Tumsa Nahin Dekha” (1957) became the fist Shammi Kapoor movie whose songs (two songs ) appeared in the finals of Binaca geetmala 1958. One of them was the title song Yoon to humne laakh haseen dekhen hain(Tumsa nahin dekha) which appeared at the 10th position in that programme broadcast on 31 december 1958.

But the very first Shammi Kapoor song appearing in Binaca geetmala finals had appeared some 15 minutes earlier, and this song was “Sar par topi laal haath mein resham ka roomaal ho tera kyaa kehnaa”. Yes, it is this song, appearing on the 14th paaydaan of Binaca geetmala finals of 1958 which marked Shammi Kapoor’s entry into the big league of Binaca geetmala. And we are all happy and thankful for that.

This movie became a hit and celebrated its silver jubilee. Mr Surjit Singh, the famous music collector recalls somewhere else (in Memsaab’s blog) that “In Ludhiana his film Tumsa Nahin Dekha ran for 25 weeks (Silver Jubilee) and the theater owners distributed Laddoos and paper napkins with all the songs printed on them! My uncle saw it that day and he gave me one Laddoo and that napkin. I was about 10 years old; I wish I had kept that napkin.”

Indeed, what a great moment , a career reviving and redefining moment it must have been for Shammi Kapoor !

Here is this song, which contributed its bit in making it all possible. This song is sung by Asha Bhonsle and Rafi. It is picturised on a vivacious Ameeta and a tentative, but soon to become assertive, Shammi Kapoor, alongwith many other dancers performing this joyous Bhangra.

Majrooh Sultanpuri is the lyricist. Music is composed by O P Nayyar.

Audio

Video

Song-Sar par topi laal haath mein resham ka roomaal (Tumsa Nahin Dekha) (1957) Singers-Asha Bhonsle,Rafi, Lyrics-Majrooh Sultanpuri, MD-O P Nayyar

Lyrics

sar par topi laal,
haath mein resham ka roomaal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa
sar par topi laal,
haath mein resham ka roomaal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa
hoy
gorey-gorey gaal
gaal pe uljhe-uljhe baal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa
gorey-gorey gaal
gaal pe uljhe-uljhe baal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa

ho ho ho ho ho
mera dil o jaan-e-jaan,
churaake chali kahaan,
nashe mein bhari-bhari
mera dil o jaan-e-jaan,
churaake chali kahaan,
nashe mein bhari-bhari

ho ho ho ho
churaaun main dil tera,
jigar bhi nahin mera,
umar bhi nahin meri
churaaun main dil tera,
jigar bhi nahin mera,
umar bhi nahin meri
hoy
behki-behki chaal,
chaal haay, latke jaise daal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa
behki-behki chaal,
chaal haay, latke jaise daal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa

sar par topi laal,
haath mein resham ka roomaal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa

ho ho ho ho,
ye kyun dil pe haath hai,
wo kyaa aisi baat hai,
hamen bhi bataayiye
ye kyun dil pe haath hai,
wo kyaa aisi baat hai,
hamen bhi bataayiye
ho ho ho ho
bhalaa itni door se,
kahoon kyaa huzoor se,
mere paas aayiye
bhalaa itni door se,
kahoon kyaa huzoor se,
mere paas aayiye

ho ho ke behaal baalmaa
ye satrangi chaal,
ho, tera kyaa kehnaa
ho ho ke behaal baalmaa
ye satrangi chaal,
ho, tera kyaa kehnaa
hoy
gorey-gorey gaal
gaal pe uljhe-uljhe baal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa

ho ho ho ho ho
tamanna thi kam-se-kam,
koyi phool banke ham teri zulf choomte
tamanna thi kam-se-kam,
koyi phool banke ham teri zulf choomte

ho ho ho ho
rahi aarzoo sanam,
tera roop leke ham,
sharaabi se jhoomte
rahi aarzoo sanam,
tera roop leke ham,
sharaabi se jhoomte
hoy
behki-behki chaal,
chaal haay, latke jaise daal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa
behki-behki chaal,
chaal haay, latke jaise daal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa

sar par topi laal,
haath mein resham ka roomaal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa
arre aa ha ha
ho gorey-gorey gaal
gaal pe uljhe-uljhe baal,
ho tera kyaa kehnaa

harr
haahaa

18 Responses to "Sar par topi laal haath mein resham ka roomaal"

This is one of my all-time favourite songs. It always gets me on my feet. 🙂 OP Nayyar’s lilting music, Shammi Kapoor tilting his cap, Ameeta looking gorgeous, oh I just so-love-it.

In fact Tumsa Nahin Dekha is one of my favourite Shammi movies. It has a very special place in my heart because it was THE movie that changed his fortunes. Later on he was a star but at this stage he was still struggling.

What songs this movie had!

Lovely write-up too.

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Atul ji,
A real analysis of his success when you righly say that many factors must have contributed to his transformation.And you have given some credit to Ameeta too !
Frankly speaking I doubt very much if anybody could have imagined about the contribution of the leading lady in the success of the Hero ! I agree with you.Ofcourse it was a bundle of causes that effected the change.
Shammi Kapoor will always remain in our hearts.
-AD

Like

Thanks a lot for going through the tributes by me, as well as by Sudhir ji and Raja ji. These three tributes are extremely long (over one thousand words each) and going through them takes lots of patience and involvement. I will not hold it against readers who do not have the patience to go through such long tributes. what is important is that we have expressed our heartfelt views about Shammi Kapoor and the fact that we all have been able to mention so many things about him shows the enormity of his contribution in his chosen field.

He has left us with a rich legacy of movies and songs and other memorabilia, which will keep his memories alive in future too.

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Thanks a lot for all these tributes. Long or not I am sure all the regular visitors to this blog will have read them. All considered, an era of hindi film music did come to an end when he stopped playing the flamboyant character and crooning Rafi songs, with a multitude of heroines, and music directors such as O. P. N., S-J, K-A, etc.

When I first went through the list of songs posted, it was like, “how did i forget to look up this song” all these days. ” Sar par topi laal haath mein ” is much loved song, for Shammi kapoor as well as Ameeta.

Like

Atul ji,

A wonderful write up. Yes, it is really fortunate that ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’ happened. The circumstances before and after are very interesting, and that Shammi Kapoor was in this film and got a box office hit was almost incidental, nay providential.

This film is from the production house of Filmistan. Filmistan was created after Sashadhar Mukherjee, Ashok Kumar and others exited from Bombay Talkies after the passing away of Himanshu Rai. The studios were very active in the 40s and 50s, with a large number of hits being produced from here. In the early fifties, the studio was taken over by Sh. Tolaram Jalan, an industrialist. Sashadhar Mukherjee stayed on and continued to produce films.

Ameeta was a protege of Jalan, and after having appeared in supporting roles in many movies, Tumsa Nahin Dekha was planned as a launch vehicle for her as a leading lady. Dev Anand was originally signed up for the leading role, but he opted out before the shooting began. Subsequently, Shammi Kapoor was brought in as the lead actor.

Nasir Hussain had the charge of story, screenplay and direction. The image makeover that was the siginificant change for Shammi Kapoor was developed as a discussion between him and Nasir Hussain. The rest, as we say, is history.

But there is still some more, indicating that some providence was at work. Filmistan Studios produced three films in 1957 (Champakali, Paying Guest, and Tumsa Nahin Dekha). At the end of 1957, differences arose between Jalan and Sashadhar Mukherjee, and the latter departed to form his own production house ‘Filmalya’. After his exit, it was as if Filmistan lost the steam. A production house that was putting out 3 to 5 films every year, with many hits to its credit, produced only 5 films in the next 7 years. And after the release of Dooj Ka Chand in 1964, the studio ceased production of films and started renting out the facility to other producers.

So it seems that the providence and circumstances were colluding to make Tumsa Nahin Dekha happen, and that Shammi Kapoor should be in it before the studio itself lost the chugging power. Meant as the launch vehicle for Ameeta, instead it launched Shammi Kapoor into an orbit where no one had been before. 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

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Thanks a lot for this fantastic information. So it was indeed as if fortune was working overtime to smile on Shammi Kapoor, despite heavy odds. It is really the stuff of fairytales.

And Dev Anand too contributed by opting out of this movie. In early 1970s, providence played a similar role in case of Amitabh Bachchan. There too, it was Dev Anand, who had opted out of “Zanjeer” (1971) and the rest as they say was history in that case too.

All this is fascinating stuff.

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Dev Anand refused to do “Zanjeer” because there were no songs for the character of angry young man to sing. Othere characters played by Bindu, O. P. Rehlan and Pran apart from Jaya are having songs to sing. Dev Anand must have been at a loss, thinking what would i do if not sing songs. Not even lengthy dialogues to mouth. To suit Dev’s style the script would have to be altered beyond recognition.

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Sudhir ji,
Very interesting information,most of which was not known to me,especially about Filmistan.
Thanks.
-AD

Like

That’s a lovely and very informative post, Sudhir ji.

Apparently Dev was also first-choice for Teesri Manzil but it went to Shammi? Vijay Anand had never directed Shammi before, so there was some initial apprehension but they both learnt to work and respect each other for their respective skills. And what a product they came up with!

Is there a story behind “Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai” too? It is a Nasir Hussain film, it has Asha. To me it looks tailormade for Shammi, (esp since they’d just had Dil Deke Dekho as a big hit), in terms of storyline, songs.

But it has Dev. And, to be very honest, though I’m a massive fan of Dev too, I didn’t feel any chemistry between Dev and Asha in this film. I thought Shammi would have done a great job here, what with songs like “ye aankhen uff yuma” and the sad one “teri zulfon se”, not to mention the title song.

So any story behind this?

Like

Can’t quite agree with the quip about Dev anand and asha Parekh. I think he carried it off admirably, and Asha never looked more beautiful; and so different in different scenes!

But that’s irrelevant here. Shammi Kapoor had his own genre of films, and his own fan club, from my classmates from mid 50’s, to memsaab.

Speaking of thta, I should visit her blog for comments on Shammi Kapoor. C U later.

S

Like

I was away on a holiday when the sad demise of Shammi Kapoor was flashed on TV Channels. Soon the memories of his films which I had seen in my younger days, started flashing before my eyes like a slide show – Tumsa Nahi Dekha, Howrah Bridge, Janglee, Tisari Manzil, Evening in Paris, Brahmachari, Andaz, Manoranjan.

Although Shammi Kappor did not have acting abilities of the likes of Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, his impulsive acting and impromptu dancing abilities defied the copy book style acting styles of early 50s. And that was one of the reasons, I guess, that made him a likable actor for all generation. In my view, his acting reached a pinnacle in BRAHMACHARI which I rate as one of his best films.

Thanks to Atul, Raja and Sudhir for their well written tributes to Shammi Kapoor.

Like

Atul ji, Raja ji,

Talking about Dev Anand’s turning down films and others benefiting from that in a grand way, there is another slightly different example.

The song ‘Khaike Paan Banaras Waala’ from Don (1978) – this song was originally written and composed for Dev Anand for the movie Banarsi Babu (1973). Dev turned it down, and preferred to go with ‘Bure Bhi Hum, Bhale Bhi Hum. . . . Hamaara Naam Banarasi Babu’. The rest, as you may, is history. 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

Nahm Bhai,

I think you are referring to Gulshan Bawra and not OP Ralhan. OP Ralhan was not in this film. The song ‘Deewaane hain dewaanon ko na ghar chaahiye’ is sung on screen by Gulshan Bawra and Sanjana.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

Atul ji,Nahm ji and Sudhir ji,

While on the subject of Dev Anand’s refusal to act in Zanjeer,I remember a report published in London Times dated 16th Oct 2007,
” Mrs.Jaya Bachchan laucnhed Dev Anand’s autobiography ‘Romancing with Life’,in the Nehru Centre yesterday evening.
While every speaker lauded Dev Anand for his contribution to Indian Cinema,Mrs.Jaya Bachchan thanked Dev Anand for refusing the film Zanjeer.She said,because of this only today she is Mrs.Bachchan.
Prakash Mehra said,Zanjeer succeeded because Amitabh had decided to pack his bags and return to Allahabad,if it failed,and he had put all his efforts in the role. ”
-AD

Like

hullo to all my fellow hindi movie fans
i had read some where very long time back that Zanjeer was offered to even “Raj Kumar” and he turned down the film coz he didn’t like “Praskash Mehra’s looks” that is what the article said. and it was Salim- Jaaved who referred Amitabh Bachchan to PM.
god alone knows if this is true

Like

I think, if it was offered to Raj Kumar he would have done a good job, with some more spectacular dialogues.

It is also true that Amitabh Bachchan had decided to return to Allahabad, if ‘zanjeer’ had failed. Jaya and Amitabh got married after Abhimaan. I have read all these tidbits in the Urdu film Magazine “Shama” (Published from Delhi). My Mother used to subscribe this magazine alongwith another womens magazine called “Bano”, published by the Dehlvi family. The Editor of “shama’ was writing under pen name ‘Musafir”. I have read detailed interviews, on shoot reports, memoirs of many people working in the fim industry, as a child. when ever something is discussed such small things crop up in mind.

Like

Nahm ji,
I refer to an interview dated 16-9-2006,given by Prakash Mehra to MID DAY,Mumbai,in which he says,
“It is true that the Zanjeer role was first offered to DHARMENDRA,RAAJ KUMAR and DEV ANAND.After everyone rejected the role,Saleem-Javed suggested me the name of AMITABH BACHCHAN,whom I gave the consent almost immediately and he too grabbed the chance-which made his career.
Now that I am not in good health and not active on the circuit,the industry ignores me.It includes Amitabh Bachchan also.”
-AD

Like

It is initially Geeta Bali ( Kapoor ) , who advised her husband , Shammi Kapoor to come out of shackles and rediscover his own style in ‘ Tum Sa Nahin Dekha ‘ .This vindicates the fact ‘ behind the success of every man , there is a woman ( wife , mother , sister , aunty or even girl friend ) . This is as per ‘ Suhaana Safar with Annu Kapoor ‘ on Big FM .

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