Song Sketch

Desert Ambrosia – Tu Chanda Main Chandni – Reshma Aur Shera

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A quiet sunset, along the silent sand dunes. Each sand wave twisting and hiding a love story or a tale of valour within the layers. Each wave of sand ruffled by the night breeze. The sand particles are witness to the lovers meeting under the canopy of the dark sky, sprinkled with stars. The pangs of loneliness and desire fluttering along those waves.

Tu Chanda Main Chandni, a perfect Lata number from Reshma Aur Shera (1971). Skilfully tuned by Jaidev, one of the most talented composers of the Hindi film industry. Picturised on the talented Sunil Dutt and a graceful Waheeda Rehman. Both complementing each other in a subtle manner. Reshma Aur Shera is set in rural Rajasthan, story about family honour and revenge. Waheeda Rehman (Reshma) and Sunil Dutt (Shera) meet at a fair and fall in love. Reshma is anticipating their meeting and thus pouring her heart out through this song. Her feelings as uncertain as the shifting sands. The excitement of their tryst, that wait before seeing each other. Her paayal giving away her feelings as she leaves the house tip toed. Her passion for this tryst already kindled. Jaidev skilfully using the strains of santoor at the opening of the song. Lata’s voice breaks the eerie silence of the desert in an echoing effect. Tinkling and clinking like the paayal. Her initial lines begin without any background music (does she really need it?)

A richly textured, complex composition by Jaidev, based on Raag Maand. It doesn’t have the regular mukhda-antara structure. It has got different tune for different stanzas. Maand is a feisty and delightful raag, It mesmerises the listeners and develops the mood of romance, combined with cheer and warmth. As Jaidev has aptly used it for this song. The use of santoor, sarangi, flute in an exotic way awakens a vivid picture of the song in the listener’s mind. Jaidev has also made used an instrument called Kamaicha to give the song a desert effect.
Balkavi Bairagi’s lyrics give a picture painted description of the love Reshma’s experiencing.
Tu chanda, main chandni,
Tu taruwar, main shaakh re,
Tu baadal, main bijuri,
Tu panchhi main paakh re

2 lovers complete each other like moon is complete with moonlight, tree with branches, clouds with lightening and a bird is complete with its wings!!! She says her village is a desert. Empty and stark.
Na sarovar, na bawadi,
Na koi thandi chhaon, na koyal,
Na papihara, aisa mera gaon re

No lakes, no wells around. How is she to quench her thirst? What is she to do without him? But once he is with her even the fire seems honey sweet. She’s possessive about him
Tujhe aanchal mein rakhugi o sanware,
Kaali alkon se bandhugi ye paon re

She is dreaming about him, marrying him. Every word reminds him about that.
Mera sapna sajan ab toote nahi, mehndi rachi hatheliya,
Mere kajal waale nain re, pal pal tujhe pukarte ho ho kar bechain re

Wanting to spend as much as time with him. Dusk to dawn.
Char pahar ki chandni, mere sang bita and it will be possible only when they get married. Apne hathon se piya mujhe laal chunar udha, kesariya dharti lage, ambar laalam-laal re On the day they complete each other, the skies at dawn will be like her red chunar and the sand will have shades of marigold orange.
Jaidev’s music reflects the magic of development in their relationship. Blossoming love, wanderings, meetings and the entire sojourn of emotions and feelings. With Lata’s voice at its best, Jaidev serves this desert ambrosia!!

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan


  1. Kuldeep kaviya

    March 6, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Wow…such a beautiful way to describe this melodious song….it is so well put that i can visualise thode sand dunes in my mind…amazing ??

    • Deepa

      March 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

  2. Sanjay Kumar

    July 1, 2019 at 5:41 am

    You brought alive this song in a way most of us could not have visualized. Lucky for me to find your page. Legendary song by legendary artists: singer, lyricist, composer, as well as the actors. Waheeda Rehman renders the hesitation and the tentative boldness of the times perfectly.

    • Deepa

      July 21, 2019 at 7:10 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

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