Song Sketch

Dil Ka Haal – Shree 420 – State of Heart

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Raj Kapoor on his fifth film as a Director, had already
tasted failure in two ( Aag and Aah )…. After the disaster called ‘Aah’, Raj Kapoor took a break to recoup, while he had his assistant, Prakash Arora, direct ‘Boot Polish’ for his now, well-established R K Films…

By now, he was sure that he had trustworthy colleagues in Shanker Jaikishen, Mukesh, Hasrat and Shailendra. Raj Kapoor knew his team would not fail him… Provided, he stuck to making entertaining, socially relevant films and did not deviate from that path.

Khwaja Ahmed Abbas wrote a story and screenplay ( along with V P Sathe ) which was all about what was happening in the newly independent country called India.

The film was all about how, India was struggling with it’s poverty. The rich were in control of the whole country ( They are even now )

Honesty was a word that got you nowhere… ” Honesty pays ” was just what parents and teachers told children…. It did not pay then, it does not pay now…
BUT…
Honesty makes one happy… one feels good… loved and respected…..

Tell it to the birds !!!

Raj Kapoor was surrounded by intelligent people… they were seeing the pitfalls… the disasters that were imminent…. Hats off to the great showman for his own vision and discerning intellect that made him stand out among the other directors of his time.

Shri 420…. The title itself is noteworthy…. The Indian Penal Code, 420 is about cheating and fraud… Shri 420 depicts Respectable, gentlemanly cheats and frauds…
There were 8 songs in the film…. Shailendra wrote 6 of them.

A situation for a song sequence arose in the film…. Raj Kapoor, the simpleton, singing in the ‘basti’…. He is among the poor people…

Shanker-Jaikishen composed a simple tune…A ‘dhaphli’, held by Raj Kapoor in the visuals, was the main source of the beautiful and simple rhythm…. A flute, a clarinet and a mandolin play important roles in the music…. add to that, the numerous ‘song violins’ that accompany Manna Dey’s impeccable singing….

Magic in the making……!
Add to this Shailendra’s words…..
The magic gets etched on our souls forever !!!

A ‘dhaphli’ and Manna Dey’s aalaap … that is the introduction… The rhythm of the dhaphli is as if beckoning the people around…. calling for their attention, as if an important announcement is about to be made…It eases into a simple beat… A flute enters… and then Manna Dey eases in…

Dil ka haal suney dilwalaa,
seedhi si baat na mirch masala,
kehkey rahegaa kehneywaala,
dil ka haal suney dilwaala…..

Shailendra has laid the foundation….. The announcement is clear….

I speak from the heart to all who have hearts ( emotions) … I speak the simple truth… So speak I will!

A clarinet brings up the simple interlude…
The first verse…

Chhotey se ghar mein, gareeb ka betaa,
main bhi hoon maa key naseeb ka betaa,
ranjh o gham, bachpan ke saathi,
aandhiyon mein jali jeevan baati,
bhookh ney hai, badey pyaar sey paala…

This verse, sad as it may sound, is actually Shailendra in an autobiographical mode…. The poverty he has seen and experienced in his childhood, never left him… He never forgot the many times he and his family went hungry… But amidst all the trauma, there was love…

The next verse…

Haaye karoon kya soorat aisi,
gaanth key poorey chor key jaisi,
chaltaa phirtaa, jaan key ek din,
binn dekhey, pehchaankey ek din,
baandh key ley gaya police waala…

Shailendra talks about how, we are taken up by appearance and beauty, however shallow it might be… A simple looking, average face is just not accepted by society…It is suspect ! That is how superficial society is…

A little example… Once a Producer, who did not know him, came over to our house… Shailendra greeted him at the door, dressed in a cotton lungi and kurta… The well-dressed Producer said… ” Sahab ko bulaao… ” …
Shailendra smiled, asked him to sit and went into his bedroom… He came out, dressed in white trousers and a white shirt… The Producer was shocked and embarrassed as Shailendra said… “Lijiye… Sahab aa gaye… !!! ”

The next verse…

Boodhey darogaa ney chashmey sey dekhaa,
aagey se dekhaa, peechhey sey dekhaa,
oopar sey dekhaa, neechey sey dekhaa,
boley, yeh kya kar baithey ghotaala,
haaye yeh kya kar baithey ghotaala,
yeh toh hai thaneedar ka saala…

Shailendra takes a swipe at the corruption and the system that prevailed in our country then…. It prevails NOW ! If one has relatives or friends, in the right places, one can get away with anything !

The next verse is again autobiographical as far as Shailendra goes…

Ghamsey abhi aazaad nahin main.
khush hoon, magar aabaad nahin main,
manzil merey paas khadi hai,
paanv mein lekin bedi padii hai,
taang adaata hai daulat waala….

Shailendra, the poet who snubbed Raj Kapoor on their first meeting, saying… ” I write for the people… I do not sell my poetry….”, has been sucked into the vortex of the film world….

He has had to write according to the demands of the producer who pays for his songs… He is ‘happy’ with the comforts that he has earned…. BUT, he does not consider himself ‘prosperous’….The lure of money has ‘shackled’ him in a way…He is not ‘FREE’….There is a tinge of remorse, sorrow in his success…

The last verse…

Sunn lo, magar yeh kissisey na kehnaa,
tinkey ka lekey, sahaara na behnaa,
binn mausam, malhaar na gaana,
aadhi raat ko matt chillaana,
warnaa, pakad legaa police waala…

Shailendra’s advice for the poor people of the ‘basti’… What he wants to convey is that the rich can get away with anything….IF you are poor, stay in your place and obey the rules… The rich can break the rules… NOT the poor…

Shanker Jaikishen compose a simple tune and use a simple but catchy rhythm…
Manna Dey sings as only he could…
Raj Kapoor shoots it perfectly… He choreographs the song to perfection… He wants the music and the words to have the right impact on the audience, so the Actor / Director called Raj Kapoor, keeps himself well within limits…
He lets his ‘Kaviraaj’ do all the talking… and that Shailendra does….
He is given an opportunity and he says it all so simply…

Seedhi si baat, na mirch masaala,
kehkey rahegaa kehney waala…

2 Comments

  1. Swapneel Sathe

    August 30, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Superb ❤️👍

  2. Anil B Kapadia

    August 30, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Amazing information about the Hindi film music

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