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

Sun Ri Baawli Tu Apne Liye Khud Hi Maang Le Duaa

Posted on: June 20, 2020

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusaist of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

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In Hindi film industry, there are very  few producer-directors who make the films out of their passion for bringing to the notice of the public at large,  the social issues which they consider to be important. The mainstream film makers would generally avoid in their films such subjects as they are not money spinners at the box office unless they add ‘spices’ to those social issues to make it the box office success.  I had earlier discussed such producers/directors like Nagesh Kukunoor and Sai Paranjpye. I guess, the main driving point for them in making socially relevant films is the creative satisfaction and probably the international recognition they may get. Showmanship in terms of top star actors, music directors, lyricists, costly sets and costumes and the marketing blitz before the release of the films do not fit into their budget.

‘Lakshmi’ (2014) was one socially relevant film based on a true story of child trafficking and prostitution. How did Nagesh Kukunoor got the idea of making ‘Lakshmi’ (2014)?

As revealed by Nagesh Kukunoor in a couple of interviews for the magazines, he was on a visit to a rescue shelter for child prostitutes run by a NGO, where he heard several stories of exploitation – both physical and emotional which were of very disturbing nature. But there was a story of one minor girl, Lakshmi who was kidnapped by a child trafficker and sold to a brothel. Despite all odds, she fought bravely, took the traffickers to the court and came out triumphant. All the rescued girls had only one wish list that such exploitation should not happen to other girls.  Nagesh Kukunoor found the experience very moving and decided to make a film on it.

The biggest problem for Nagesh Kukunoor was that though he got the start and the end of Lakshmi’s real story, he was almost blank as to what happened in-between the start and end of the story. He felt that it was not proper to make the girl to relive the trauma she faced in the brothel. So, he relied on the inputs from NGOs as to how the girls were treated in the brothels and his own imagination to fill the gaps in the story. Hence, he calls his film ‘Lakshmi’ (2014) as ‘a fictional account of a true story’.

There was a problem in selecting the actor for the main role of Lakshmi who should be around 14 years of age. But it would be awkward for the director to discussed with a minor actor or with her parents, the scenes involving her activities in the brothel. So, Nagesh Kukunoor dropped the idea of making the film.

In a filmy party, Nagesh Kukunoor met the playback singer, Monali Thakur who was 21, but looked much younger because of her lean figure and small face. He thought that with proper costumes and hairstyles, she could be made to look like a 14-year girl. Fortunately for Negesh Kukunoor, Monali Thakur agreed to do the role of Lakshmi in the film though she had never acted earlier. So, the main actors for the film – Monali Thakur, Satish Kaushik, Shefali Shah besides Nagesh Kukunoor in the role of a pimp was finalised. Ram Kapoor acted in the role of an advocate for Lakshmi. The film was completed in 22 days of shootings which took place in around Hyderabad. The film faced some hurdles in the Censor Board but eventually got the certification for adult viewing.

I had watched the film on a video sharing platform a few years back but had left it half way as some of the scenes involving the crime and violence were very disturbing. Recently, I watched the film once again skipping disturbing scenes in-between but up to the end involving court-room scenes. The gist of the story of the film is as under:

Lakshmi (Monali Thakur), a minor girl, is sold to Reddy Garu (Satish Kaushik) by her father.  Reddy is a child trafficker who runs a brothel in Hyderabad in the guise of a girls’ hostel as a ‘shelter for orphaned girls. He is assisted by Chinna (Nagesh Kukunoor) who is his front man for his brothel activities. But the kingpin for the immoral activities is a city corporator, Radha (Gulfam Khan). Initially, Reddy keeps Lakshmi in his house, giving her estrogen injections by his personal doctor in the name of injections for her weakness. After 3 weeks, she is sent to the brothel under the custody of Madam Jyothi (Shefali Shah) who is a tough both with her girls and clients but kind-hearted. Jyothi has a daughter who is studying engineering but she is not aware of her mother’s nature of job. Chinna often abuses Jyothi, both verbally and physically for not doing her job properly.

One day, Lakshmi runs away from the brothel and tries to register an FIR in the police station against the illegal activities going in the so called girls’ hostel. But instead of acting on her tip, the news is leaked out to Reddy who through Chinna catches her while on the run. He assaults her with his wooden club stubbed with nails. (did Chinese get the idea from this film!) so that she would not dare try to run away again. But she tells him that she would surely flee from brothel one day.

Since Reddy and Chinna get free every time there is a raid on the brothel, a social worker, Mohan (Ramkrishna Shenoy) sets a trap by becoming a bogus customer and record the activities in a room with a hidden camera with marked currency notes etc. A police raid on the brothel leads to the arrest of Reddy and Chinna along with Jyothi and girls. Girls are sent to the shelters run by Mohan for child prostitute. Both Reddy and Chinna get bail and the brothel is again opened.

Girls  are not happy in the shelter house as neither the work interests them nor their parents and the society honourably accept them. So, one by all girls are back to the brothel except Lakshmi who says to Mohan that she would fight the battle in the court. Encouraged by her stand, Mohan and another lady social worker take her to an advocate, Avinash (Ram Kapoor) who had stopped his practice some years back due to nervous breakdown which in turn was because of the unethical activities of his fellow advocates who could be bought by the interested parties and the manipulation of witnesses.

After listening to the case, Avinash, refuses to take up the case on behalf of Lakshmi as during his practice on Prevetion of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) cases, the complainers did not stand up to the uncomfortable questions put forward by the defense advocates and key witnesses became hostile. Thus, all the cases were dismissed. He further states that not a single case under PITA has gone in favour of the aggrieved parties since the introduction of the Act because of this reason as well as aggrieved parties taking back their complained either due to threat or with money power. Lakshmi says with conviction that she will not change her statement. Her firm commitment makes Advocate Avinash  to agree to fight the case on behalf of Lakshmi.

In the court, the defense lawyer asks Lakshmi very uncomfortable personal questions relating to her activities in the brothel so that she avoids answering which will make the case weak against the accused. The video footage of marked currency notes changing hands at the brothel did not carry weight as the defense lawyer says that the video could have been doctored. Also, being the girls hostel, the money could be changing hands due to legitimate activities of the hostel. in the absence of FIR and the medical report for rapes in the brothel at the material time, Advocate Avinash has no other proof to substantiate the charges made by Lakshmi.

The only proof which Mohan had with him was a long video footage of the room in which Lakshmi was raped in the brothel by 7 clients in the whole night which was recorded in a concealed close-circuit video camera which Mohan had installed with the connivance of Madam Jyothi. But the video footage is too personal to be displayed in the court room. But the urge in Lakshmi to punish Reddy and Chinna was so great that she agreed for the display of the video footage in the court. Also, the witness statement from the personal doctor of Reddy favouring Lakshmi’s contention and the video footage turned the court’s decision in favour of Lakshmi. Reddy, Chinna and Corporator Radha were found guilty under PITA and IPC and they were sentenced 10 years of imprisonment. Lakshmi’s father was also jailed for abatement of the crime.

Monali Thakur made a debut as an actor in the film and she has acted brilliantly though she could have been better trained in her dialogue delivery in Hyderabadi Hindi. She had displayed a very innocence face through out the film so much so that even after her bold decision to fight the case in the court, one never find aggressiveness in her face or in voice. She has played the role in a subtle way. Satish Kaushik in the role of Reddy has acted well but his dialogues with north Indian accents have let him down. On the other hand, Nagesh Kukunoor as Chinna the pimp, has excelled in his dialogues in Hyderabadi Hindi but was somewhat weak in his acting. Ram Kapoor as an advocate for Lakshmi has done excellent performance as an advocate.

As mentioned earlier, the film has some very disturbing scenes. The dialogues are raunchy. But these are expected in the film with the brothel having the central place in the story. Probably, on this background, Nagesh Kukunoor as a producer was not keen on releasing the film widely. The film was release in some select theatres all over India and mostly in the morning slots. However, the film was shown in International film festivals. In Palm Spring Film Festival, 2014, the film won the audience award for the best film among 191 films screened. The film was also shown free to many social organisations all over India.

‘Lakshmi’ has four songs – all as background songs. I am presenting the first song “Sun Ri Baawli Tu Apne Liye Khud Hi Maang Le Duaa” sung by Papon (real name: Angarag Mahanta). The song is written by an upcoming lyricist, Manoj Yadav which is set to music by Tapas Relia, also an upcoming music director from Gujarat.

I find the use of the words in lyrics interesting. The lyrics sounds like that 1960s and 1970s songs. A search in the internet gives me a profile of Manoj Yadav as the son of a mill worker of Mumbai who has spent his major life in Mumbai with summer holidays being spent in Gorakhpur, his native place. He says in one of the interviews that Gulzar’s jingles “Jungle Jungle Pata Chala Hai” which he had watched in his childhood influenced him to write poems. He started his career as a jingle writer for advertising films where Tapas Relia was one of the music directors. Then he gradually moved into Hindi films as song writer. So far, he has written lyrics for about 60 songs in 36 films since 2012.

The song under discussion is used as a background song in parts in 4 different situations in the film. Probably for this reason, the video clip of the song is not available. However, Tips, the owner of the music rights of the songs in the film has made a video clip of the song remixing some scenes from the film with the playback singer Papon while keeping intact the original sound track of the song in the video. The audio clip contains the elongated song.

Remixed Video


Song – Sun Ri Baawli Tu Apne Liye Khud Hi Maang Le Duaa (Lakshmi) (2014) Singer – Papon (aka Angarag Mahanta), Lyrics – Manoj Yadav, MD – Tapas Relia


ae aa aa ae aaa
o o o o o
uu uu uu uu
ha aa aa aa
re re re re re
la ra aa ra aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
bejaar saa nazar aaye jo
tere saamne tera masihaa
wo tera na hona
tan kaa kamra man ki kothi
saanson kaa khel khilona aa aa
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
ho o o
toothe taare uthaa le…
unse chanda bana le….ae..
toothe taare uthaa le
unse chanda bana le
thaam aanchal ka kona
usse tu aasmaan bana le
dhoop hai doli chhaavn hai dulhan
khud se preet chhodna
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona aa aa
ho o o
ud jaana jab
udne ka man ho.. ho…o o o
ud jaana jab 
udne ka man ho
bharose raai ke lena??
tu hi tera hausla ho
likhne de jo bhi likhta hai lamha
uske haath rok na aa
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
bejaar saa nazar aaye jo
tere saamne tera masihaa
wo tera na hona
tan ka kamra man ki kothi
saanson kaa khel khilona aa
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona…
sun ri baawli ae ae ae
sun ri baa…wli ee ee
sun ri baawli ee ee
sun ri baawli  ae ae ae ae

2 Responses to "Sun Ri Baawli Tu Apne Liye Khud Hi Maang Le Duaa"

Sadanand Ji,
Firstly, a decent song ( songs being the primary focus of the blog)
As for the film, I felt Nagesh Kuknoor was trying to revive his sagging film career by taking up films with titillation, as in this case.( the other film that comes to my mind is ‘ Bombay to Bangkok- which I read about but did not see) One may say the topic demanded it. But the story could have been told sans many scenes.
I consider his best works are ‘Dor’ & ‘3 deewarain’ .


Satish ji,

I entirely agree with your views about ‘Lakshmi’. I felt that some disturbing scenes could have been better visualised than depicted in the film. A few of the raunchy dialogues could have been easily avoided.

By the way, I had partly written this article about 2 years back. Then, I lost interest because of the above reasons. It was much later that I thought a socially relevant story and a couple of good songs of the film need to be brought to the notice of the readers of our Blog.


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