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

Laaga Mohe Ab Ki Baar

Posted on: November 22, 2018


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3779 Post No. : 14759

For me, this is a crush that still endures – a crush that I have never gotten over. Since the days when I first saw her in ‘Talash’ (1969) – and the song – “Kar Le Pyaar Karne Ke Din Hain Yahi” – a part of me has always remained smitten with her image and her thoughts. Helen, aah Helen – the ultimate danseuse of the silver screen. Helen – whose art has established the gold benchmark as a dancer, for all measures – from the past, and maybe, forever in the future. For sincerely, till this time, no other dancer has come close to this ultimate – in grace, in innovation, in energy, in movement – in every aspect of this art form.

It is said that the classical dance forms of India, are probably the most expressive traditional dances. The dancers are coached to develop the enhanced expressions for all the human emotions. The artist is taught not just to exhibit a series of well coordinated movements, which of course is very pleasing to the senses, but it is imperative for them to also communicate the emotions through the facial expressions, body language and the finer movements like twitching and trembling of specific muscles and body parts. The art of the Kathak, Bharat Natyam, Khatakali, etc. is so very refined in this aspect, and the aspiring artists are trained from a very young age.

As far as I am aware, Helen simply started dancing in films (in her teens, as early as when she was 13). She probably has no formal training in any dance form. And yet, seeing Helen on screen, in all the dancing forms, is an experience that flows across and covers the entire spectrum of human emotions and human exchange. In a career that spans almost seven decades, from the end of 1940s to the present day, she has likely appeared in 600+ films, and has regaled the audiences with that many colors and flavors of practically any dance form that may exist on this planet – rhumba, prancing, conga, frolic, folk, swing, rock n’ roll, spin, skip, step, samba, kabuki, disco, cabaret, jive, jump, cha cha cha, foxtrot, cavort, flamenco, waltz, boogie, santoso, flit, jig, jitterbug, hustle, gambol, polka, hop, sway, bunny hop, tap, shimmy, careen, salsa, mambo etc. – and of course, lavani and bhangra too. 🙂

Seeing her in so many different avatars of dancing, one is convinced that rhythm is naturally ingrained into her, and that there is almost a divine intervention here that allows her to pick up any choreography and perform exceedingly pleasing movements to it. The expression of emotions come to her so naturally – and the graceful flow of movements that is so excellently effortless – when she is in front of the camera, she actually knows what she is into. Such realization in the mind brings about a natural performance that simply cannot be executed in any better way. Unlike many of her ilk that have also performed on the Indian screen – yes, she knows, she is fully aware of what she is into.

There are a handful of rare performances by her that are not accompanied by any song. One of the finest, and in my humble opinion, her best such performance is a songless dance from the film ‘Hulchul’ (1971). Folks may remember this stage dance – for the variety of dance forms that are packed into this maybe 9 or 10 minutes performance, the multiple emotions that flow through it, and the significant message this dance experience is attempting to convey. (I tried to bring on this dance clip to our blog, but Atul ji is uncertain whether it qualifies. 😉 Maybe, I will try again.)

For me and my puppy-love heart, Helen is an ageless wonder that I adore. Sweet sixteen – that is what she is in my books, and that is how she is going to be, always.

And that also brings up today the most appropriate song of hers – to wish her a very happy birthday. The film is ‘Toofaan’ from 1969. The words are from the pen of Akhtar Romani. Music for this peppy and well paced dance number is created by Daan Singh. The singing voice – Asha Bhosle, probably the longest lasting partnership of singing voice and dancing steps on the Hindi screen.

Sharing the screen with Helen in this song is Dara Singh, whose birth anniversary just came two days ago (19th Nov). With this song we also remember him – he would have been 90 this year.

The dance is a typical folk dance from north India, performed in a very rural setting. Just see how wonderfully, this ordained Queen of the Cabaret – how wonderfully she is executing this oh so typically a rural folk dance.

And the words of the mukhda,

laaga mohe ab ki baar
o baanke piya pandrah pe ek nayo saal

Dear Helen, always young, always fresh, always sixteen – always sweet sixteen – forever.

Song – Laaga Mohe Ab Ki Baar (Toofaan) (1969) Singer – Asha Bhosle, Lyrics – Akhtar Romani, MD – Daan Singh

Lyrics

laaga mohe ab ki baar
o baanke piya pandrah pe ek nayo saal
laaga mohe ab ki baar
o baanke piya pandrah pe ek nayo saal
duniya pukaare solah baras ki
dekho chali re kataar
o baanke piya sun sun ke rang bhayo laal
laaga mohe ab ki baar
o baanke piya pandrah pe ek nayo saal

nainon mein kajra
zulfon mein gajra
haathon mein mehndi racha ke
gaalon pe laali
pairon mein paayal
maathe pe bindiya sajaa ke
dekhoon jo darpan awaaz aaye..e..e..e
dekhoon jo darpan awaaz aaye
khil ye gayo re singaar
o baanke piya sun sun ke rang bhayo laal
laaga mohe ab ki baar
o baanke piya pandrah pe ek nayo saal

logon ke darr se
mein apne ghar se
panghat mein ja na sakoon
panghat to kya
main apne hi angnaa
ghoonghat hataa na sakoon
ghoonghat jo sarke awaaz aaye..e..e..e
ghoonghat jo sarke awaaz aaye
hamri bhi kismat sanwaar
o baanke piya sun sun ke rang bhayo laal
laaga mohe ab ki baar
o baanke piya pandrah pe ek nayo saal
duniya pukaare solah baras ki
dekho chali re kataar
o baanke piya sun sun ke rang bhayo laal
laaga mohe ab ki baar
o baanke piya pandrah pe ek nayo saal

———————————————————-
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————————————-

लागा मोहे अब की बार
ओ बाँके पिया पन्द्रह पे एक नयो साल
लागा मोहे अब की बार
ओ बाँके पिया पन्द्रह पे एक नयो साल
दुनिया पुकारे सोलह बरस की
देखो चली रे कटार
ओ बाँके पिया सुन सुन के रंग भयो लाल
लागा मोहे अब की बार
ओ बाँके पिया पन्द्रह पे एक नयो साल

नैनों में कजरा
ज़ुल्फों में गजरा
हाथों में मेहंदी रचा के
गालों पे लाली
पैरों में पायल
माथे पे बिंदिया सजा के
देखूँ जो दर्पण तो आवाज़ आए॰॰ए॰॰ए॰॰ए
देखूँ जो दर्पण तो आवाज़ आए
खिल ये गयो रे सिंगार
ओ बाँके पिया सुन सुन के रंग भयो लाल
लागा मोहे अब की बार
ओ बाँके पिया पन्द्रह पे एक नयो साल

लोगों के डर से
मैं अपने घर से
पनघट पे जा ना सकूँ
पनघट तो क्या
मैं अपने ही अंगना
घूँघट हटा ना सकूँ
घूँघट जो सरके आवाज़ आए॰॰ए॰॰ए॰॰ए
घूँघट जो सरके आवाज़ आए
हमरी भी किस्मत संवार
ओ बाँके पिया सुन सुन के रंग भयो लाल
लागा मोहे अब की बार
ओ बाँके पिया पन्द्रह पे एक नयो साल
दुनिया पुकारे सोलह बरस की
देखो चली रे कटार
ओ बाँके पिया सुन सुन के रंग भयो लाल
लागा मोहे अब की बार
ओ बाँके पिया पन्द्रह पे एक नयो साल

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6 Responses to "Laaga Mohe Ab Ki Baar"

I loved her “mungda” dance- lavani, “kitty Kelly”- freeform, “ooi maa ooi maa yeh kya hogaya” – Bollywood style, as much as her “suku suku”, “hassena zulfonwali”, “chin chin chu”, and I strongly feel “mehbooba mehbooba” was essentially an RD number. How can I forget her tale-in-a-dance numbers- “piya tu”, “aa jaane jaan”, “yeh mera dil” and all her other dances.

“Mungda” dance is memorable because Keshto Mukherji also “participates” in it. 🙂 Usha Mangeshkar has got very few Helen songs, but this song sung by her is right up there with the famous Helen songs sung by her two elder sisters.

Sorry correction– mungda is not a lavani. She has another song for which she has done a lavani

Enjoyed reading the post on Helen.You have also educated me about the number of dance forms that Helen has executed on the screen..:))
I also realised that Asha Bhonsle & Helen have been a long term pairing. ( unlike any other pairing)
I had seen ‘Mayur Pankh’ at an age when I only absorbed the story,drama & songs, without understanding various credits. Much later I came to know that the actor who sang -on the screen- ‘ Mohaabbat ki dastaan aaj suno…’ was teen-aged Helen!!
It is arduous to list best of Helen’s dances since there are too many!!

Dear Shenoy ji,

Thanks for your appreciative comments.

Yes, surely one is spoilt for choices – the number of excellent dance performances that she has rendered on screen. With 600 or so films to her credit, and for an excellent artist that she is, the list of her ‘Best 10 Dances’ will probably stretch to a 100. 🙂

And yes, thanks for the reminder of the song from ‘Mayur Pankh’. Such a devastatingly comely teen age appearance, so modest and so demure, and yet so beautiful. The link of this song is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgkTbdynbnU. I saw it yet once again after reading your comment.

Rgds
Sudhir

Dear Atul ji, and all Friends,

I missed adding another important anniversary with this write up. It was also the birth anniversary of Dara Singh (who is the hero in this film and appears in this song) just two days prior to Helen’s i.e. 19th November.

Great coincidences – Peevesie’s Mom posted a Helen song in which also appeared Zeenat Aman, whose birthday also was on 19th.

So this anniversary, we have two songs of Helen, sharing the screen with one other luminary (in each song), with a birth date of 19th Nov.

Rgds
Sudhir

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