Ab Ke Baras Bhejo Bhaiyya Ko Babul – A Daughter Sings – Bandini
Mujhko yakeen hai sach kehti thi
Jo bhi Ammi kehti thi
Jab mere bachpan ke din the
Chand mein pariyan rehti thi……
The simplicity of this ghazal makes you go back to your childhood days where life was simple and carefree. The laughter, the giggles, those happy faces, even the sorrows which were short lived, the tears, the trivial fights, the friends. Your parental home is the epicentre of all these childhood memories, those cheerful, feel good, tremors. These childhood memories can’t be taken away from you. Sometimes you miss those days so much that you feel like travelling back and reliving those moments. As a custom in India, the girl leaves her parental nest after marriage to live with her husband and in laws. A girl’s heart always yearns for those moments which she has spent at her parents’ place. The place where she grew up, where she spent her formative years. Those memories always have a special place in her heart. Like a treasured heirloom, the girl carries it in her heart. Festivals often bring back the memories of childhood. The atmosphere, the celebrations, the delicacies, all tend to go into a sweet nostalgia. Festivals combined with a specific season bring in dollops of memories. Rewinding you back to old days. Sometimes the fragrance of the earth during the rain reminds the girl of her parents. Sometimes the cool breeze of this rainy season bring fresh, vivid pictures of her childhood. They remind her of her siblings. Reminiscent rains usher in a bouquet of memories making her monotonous life fresh and fragrant. A daughter is reminded of her brother during the festival of Rakhi which falls during the rainy season. Yearning to be with him, become a child again.
The song is based on the folk song from Uttar Pradesh which is a Bidaai Geet written by Amir Khusro. Nimbua tale dola rakh de kaharwa
There must be hundreds of songs expressing this feeling of a daughter but the connection which she shares with her parents, her home is captured by the trio SDB-Shailendra-Bimal Roy in true sense.
Ab ke baras bhejo bhaiyya ko babul
Sawan mein lijo bulaye re
Lautengi jab mere bachpan ki sakhiyan
Dijo sandesa bhijaaye re….
Bandini (1963) a landmark from so many different aspects. A comeback for Nutan after her marriage, also the patch up of Lata Mangeshkar and S D Burman. Bandini – the imprisoned one, imprisoned in love. Bimal Roy’s poignant tale of an innocent village girl caught between the conflict of love. The bleak saga of inner turmoil, sensitivity and selfless love. The era of black and white cinema in its full glory. Bandini, though a love story, isn’t about the candy floss love but an intense love, unsettling love with grey shades.
A simple sari clad Kalyani (Nutan) adorns the inner conflict at the defining moment of the film with Mere saajan hain uss paar, main mann maar, hun iss paar, the conflict reaching its crescendo with Mera khinchti hai aanchal, mann meet teri har pukar . After all she’s Bandini piya ki, main sangini hun saajan ki, bound by love. What an earthy song by S D Burman himself and he pairs again with Shailendra!! If we look at Bandini the music album, it has so much to offer. S D Burman, Asha Bhonsle, Mukesh, Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar, with a bonus of Shailendra and Gulzar as lyricists. What more can a music lover ask for, in a single album. The singing sisters get 2 songs each and the songs contradict their usual singing styles. Asha gets the poignant numbers while Lata gets the playful ones.
A folk song describing the yearning of a married girl, the yearning that is there to stay. The yearning of her parental home, where she played, led a carefree life, blossomed in the care of her parents, soaked in the love of her siblings. She yearns for those sawan ke jhoole in the front yard, where she played with her sakhiyan. She is sad and melancholic remembering her carefree days. The rains, monsoon clouds bring back those memories to her.
Ambuvaa tale phir se jhoole padenge
Rimjhim padengi phuharein
Lautengi phir tere aangan mein babul
Sawan ki thandi baharein
Chhalake nayan mora kaske re jiyara
Bachpan ki jab yaad aaye re
A home that signifies protection and pampering. A home that was the heavenly abode of her toys, specially her dolls. Suddenly becomes a stranger to her and ironically, she is getting herself invited to that abode which was once hers. Finding some excuses just to be there. Cherishing the childhood memories which bring tears to eyes and a lump in her throat.
Bairan jawani ne chhene khilaune
Aur meri gudiya churayi
Babul thi main teri naazon ki paali
Phir kyun hui main parayi
Beete re jug koi chitthiya na paati
Na koi naihar se aaye re
Asha Bhonsle’s rendition is just superb. She’s all perfection. The sentiments she brings with each throw of the word, a daughter readily connect with her. The song is also a painful reminder of a dark chapter in her erratic personal life. Asha had run away from her home, at the age of 14, to marry the wrong person. The shocked and angered members of her conservative family snapped all the ties with her. Singing was the only thing she knew after her marriage went sour. By and by she became one of the top singers. While rehearsing for this song, she wasn’t getting the exact emotions in her words. It was then that S D Burman suggested her to remember her brother, her family. Her mental frame was now as it was wanted in the song. She broke down remembering her family. Thus, came out the expressive singing of this immortal song. Song of a wailing yet a poised heart.
S D Burman has kept the use of instruments negligible, bringing out the pathos in the song aptly. It brings out the sadness of lost innocence, the need of reconnecting with those days which will never come back. The situation of the song in the movie though makes you wonder about the lyrics. Are they really Nutan’s thoughts for her parental home? Being in the prison, she yearns for the freedom from its monotonous life. She has already lost her family, her brother, her father. There’s no one out there waiting for her. It is her inner turmoil, the thoughts of her disrupted heart. Bimal Roy has beautifully picturised it. The prison, the hand mill defining the monotonous life. Nutan anxiously looking at the huge walls of the prison which signify the walls created by her around herself. She needs to bring down those walls to be herself again. Giving the feeling of back home again.
Professing her thoughts to be herself, wringing out her heart’s pain, defining the transition of a girl to a woman, a daughter sings this timeless beauty!!!