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

Raaste mein ik haseen

Posted on: June 4, 2012


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

Today is the birthday of Nutan, one of Hindi movies’ most loved actresses of yesteryear. She also just happens to be one of my own favourites and therefore I am very happy to write up a song for her.

There’s a lot available on Nutan on the net and from other sources, so I will try to avoid repeating what’s out there already. That she is considered to be one of the finest actresses to grace Hindi cinema should be well-known – and I don’t think many would dispute this.

Even so, if somebody does choose to challenge her acting skills, all one has to do is to show that person Seema (1955), Sujata (1960) and Bandini (1963) – and that should shut that person up. 🙂 If it still doesn’t, there’s no point persisting in a futile exercise.

Nutan came from an illustrious film background, her mother being the then-famous Shobhna Samarth. She in fact launched her (and her sister, Tanuja, then a child artiste) in her own production in 1950. Over the next two decades, Nutan was one of the top lead actresses in the industry. And even in the 70s, as she was fading as lead actress, she could be seen putting in powerful performances like her award-winning performance in Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978). By the 1980s, she was doing mother roles – and still winning fans and even awards. Her last award was as supporting actress in Meri Jung (1985).

But for most of us, she will be remembered for her roles in the 1950s and 60s. I remember, when I was very young, I would often get confused between various actresses. In the (usually black-and-white ) films of the time, I could not recognize heroines like Bina Rai and Nimmi but I could instantly recognize Nutan. She had a distinctive face, you could not miss the features.

I’d seen many Nutan movies as a young boy – and I liked her even then. But by then it was the 1970s and most of the screen space in that time was taken by the likes of Hema Malini. So, to be absolutely honest, though I did like Nutan in the movies I saw then, she was not my go-to actress at that time. That would be more Mumtaz, or even Hema (though I had a problem with Hema’s accent).

No, though I liked Nutan all these years, I REALLY realized what she was, only in this millennium.

It all started with Dilli Ka Thug (1958). For a long time I’d wanted to see this movie – mainly for its songs. As I watched it, I was surprised at Nutan. When I saw her in a swimsuit, I almost fell off my chair. I remembered her mostly in her “mera pati mera devtaa hai” roles (the Khandaan type) till then. And here she was , first in a swimsuit, and now lip-synching to “CAT, cat…cat maane billi” with Kishore!!!

I loved it! The movie itself was delightful, with lovely songs though it became serious in the second half.

What it did for me was to want to see more of Nutan. And not the MPMDH Nutan but the earlier Nutan.

I went on a Nutan-watching spree. I saw Dil Hi To Hai, Paying Guest and Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, within a week. And I fell madly in love with her. She was just SO delightful in all these movies! Whether she was teasing Raj Kapoor in DHTH or Dev in the other two movies, she was bubbly and loads of fun. One of my favourite scenes is from Paying Guest when Dev Anand sneaks into his room late at night, trying to avoid the landlord – and runs into Nutan. That “kiraaye ke paise laaye” scene is just brilliant!!!

I then saw Seema – and my love for Nutan grew manifold. Seema was very different from the three movies mentioned earlier. I began seeing what people meant when they talked about Nutan’s power performances.

I followed it up with Sujata. That just took it to a different level altogether! Seema gave me a first idea of Nutan’s capabilities – but in Seema she displays her considerable histrionic range, with anger being a big emotion. Sujata is different – here she is more subdued. And in this subdued role, she is just as powerful, if not even more so. By the end of the film, with its beautiful direction by Bimal Roy and its lovely songs, it is hard not to be left with the image of just Sujata in your head. Such is her performance.

I was then on a Nutan spree. I would see any movie if it had Nutan. I saw Manzil (with Dev), I saw Baarish (with Dev), I even saw Chhota Bhai (where the main character is a little boy – the movie is probably best-known for “ma mujhe apni aanchal mein chhupa le”). Nutan plays the boy’s mother-like bhabhi. In each of these movies, it was just a pleasure to see Nutan. There are some fun, teasing moments between Nutan and Dev in Baarish too.

I saw Milan – again it is Nutan’s performance that is the stand-out (and rightly, award-winning) performance in the film. Lovely songs too, of course.

And then I saw Bandini. By then, I did not need anybody to sell me Nutan’s acting abilities – but Bandini absolutely floored me.

Even by her very high standards, Nutan outdid herself in Bandini. It was a complex role, with many shades in it. Toughness, softness, lover, rebel – all in one. Nutan came out of it with such a credible performance that I felt this had to be one of the finest performances I’d seen in Hindi movies. Bandini is one of my favorite Hindi films – and while a lot has to do with the story, songs and everybody else too, Nutan’s performance makes it really special.

I think, now that it should be clear to one and all that Nutan is easily one of my favorite actresses, we can move on to the business of the song of this post.

This is from Basant (1960) – featuring Shammi Kapoor opposite Nutan. It is a fun movie (reminded me a bit of Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night”). The movie, though it did reasonably well (I think), deserves to be better-known. The songs of the movie are anyway lovely – OP Nayyar’s composition. I’ve seen this movie too – one of my Nutan-spree movies (though it doesn’t ever harm to see Shammi too, does it?). 😉

They were together in Laila Majnu (1953) too – I haven’t seen the movie but I’ve heard some songs. And I quite liked them. They were together in Laatsaheb (1967) too – I haven’t seen this either but I’ve come across comments which would not particularly encourage me to see this movie. But seeing as it is Shammi and Nutan, I guess I will see it – just for them, if for nothing else (and “savere waali gaadi” of course).

Anyway, coming to today’s song. It’s been a while, so I may have got the situation wrong but from what I remember, Nutan has run away from home and while there is a search party out for her, she lands up on the stage. She ends up performing an act with Shammi Kapoor. And what an act! I just love this song “raaste mein ek haseen” – from start to end, everything about it is just SO wonderful. Shammi of course, with his stylish moves (I think the word “glide” is more appropriate than anything else) – and Nutan, in that outfit, with that smile.

And when he says “chalti thi bal khaati hui” , she shows us what it means.

Wonderful, wonderful song! Lovely rendition by Rafi and Asha, lyrics by Qamar Jalalabadi, music by OP Nayyar – to go with the picturisation on Shammi and Nutan What more can you ask for? This song SO deserves to be better known.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.

And Happy Birthday, Nutan! Wherever you are, we remember you and miss you.

Audio

Video

Song-Raaste mein ek haseen aji mil gaya humko kahin (Basant)(1960) Singers-Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Qamar Jalalabadi, Md-O P Nayyar

Lyrics

Raaste mein ik haseen
aji mil gaya humko kahin
chaal thhi masti bhari,
aankhon mein thhi jaadugari
ye baat hai kal shaam ki
baat hai kal shaam ki

raaste mein ek haseen
aji mil gaya humko kahin
chaal thhi masti bhari,
aankhon mein thhi jaadugari
ye baat hai kal shaam ki
baat hai kal shaam ki

wo naazneen wo gulbadan
chal di dikha ke baankpan
aa aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa aa

wo naazneen wo gulbadan
chal di dikha ke baankpan
dil ne mujhe tata kaha
maine kahaa haafiz khuda
zulfon ko lehraati huyi
chalti thhi bal khaati hui
Haaye wo mudd mudd dekhna
aankhon se jaadoo phenkna
ye baat hai kal shaam ki
baat hai kal shaam ki

maine bhi rasta rok kar
poochha mera dil hai kidhar
boli ki dil hum le chale
aur dard tujhko de chale
haan dard tujhko de chale
maine kaha meri khata
O bewafa kuchh to bataa
kehne lagi ye dil tera
mere galey khud pad gaya
ye baat hai kal shaam ki
baat hai kal shaam ki

wo ajnabi wo manchala
chupke se yunh kehne laga
aa aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa aa
wo ajnabi wo manchala
chupke se yunh kehne laga
O khoobsoorat apsara
kuchh naam to apna bataa
ye sun ke main ghabraa gayi
kuchh soch kar sharmaa gayi
chalti hawaayen ruk gayin
milkar nigaahen jhuk gayin

ye baat hai kal shaam ki
baat hai kal shaam ki
raaste mein ek haseen
aji mil gaya humko kahin
chaal thhi masti bhari,
aankhon mein thhi jaadugari
ye baat hai kal shaam ki
baat hai kal shaam ki

10 Responses to "Raaste mein ik haseen"

Excellent write up as usual Raja. I love Nutan. Even if she had worked only in Bandini, she would have been very famous.

When she smiled her face glowed and eyes sparkled. I love all those fun-filled movies of hers that you mentioned.

Like

Thanks, Ava. You’re right – when she smiled, her face glowed and her eyes sparkled. And what a smile too! And those eyes – remember “tujhe kya sunaon main dilruba”?

Like

What a post, Rajaji! I second Ava.
It’s always a pleasure to see Nutan on screen. Her expressions are simply mind-blowing. And this particular song, is so playful. I love the way she sings ‘Yeh baat hai kal shaam ki”

Like

Thanks. Yes, that “yeh baat hai kal shaam ki” bit is lovely, isn’t it? And the way she walks around, keeping in tune with Shammi’s style. They look so good together in this song.

A lot of credit should go to Asha Bhosle also in this song. She and Rafi saab had such lovely duets.

Like

Raja ji,
I have not read such a wonderful article on Nutan(or anyone else) for a loooooong time.Just superb !
Thanks.
-AD

Like

Thanks so much for your appreciation, Arunji. I am a big fan of Nutan. I realised only in the morning that it was her birthday, I immediately thought I should definitely write up a song here for her. I like the songs of Basant a lot (though the film was a bit messed up in the second half after a fun first half).

Once I got into writing, my feelings took over and it just flowed. 🙂

Like

She is the 5-times winner of Filmfare best actress award (in an era when people used to act), a feat repeated only by her niece, Kajol.

Like

You make a good point. That’s no mean feat, to win 5 best actress awards. She was not just a pretty face, she could really act!!! Certainly an actress of substance.

Like

What a pleasant article, raja. Nutan looked great in a swimsuit as well as pativrata roles 😀
She did have a non conventional beauty.^whch was very pleasing to he eyes.
My father saw her in real life when they were returning from England n those long ago days, on a ship, and told us she was very impressive and very tall.
Even in her older roles she was excellent as an actress with well maintained looks as in Sauagar with Amitabh.

Like

Waah Rajaji waah!
Raja, a well-written article, giving us an insight in your love and admiration for this great actress!
Till I saw Bandini at the age of 13 or 14, i just didn’t like her much, though she was my mother’s favourite actress. Till then I had only seen her in films like Anari and late 60s films. After that I saw Sujata, which floored me. Then after my immigration, I lost touch with her art and in the mid 90s saw Bandini again and discovered more dimensions to her art as well as to the film. A rewatch two years back brought out more facettes to the foreground.
An excellent fan to an excellent actress!
Jodi khubh rahi!

BTW, Yves, your rival/companion in love for her has asked you something at my blog. Maybe you should answer him. 🙂

Like

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