Song Sketch

Dinesh Shailendra Narrates Story Behind The Anari Song

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Shailendra had moved with his wife and four children into a rented flat in Khar… It was a ground floor flat on what was then called 14th A road. (Now called Ahimsa Marg), The 5th child ( yours truly ) was born in that house…
It was a quiet neighborhood…. Khar, at that time, was a distant suburb of Bombay !
Late one night, the peace was shattered by the incessant sound of a car horn….. Disturbed, people were looking out of their windows…. screaming at the driver….
An uncle of mine went out to see what the matter was and was stunned ! Seated in a flashy Chevrolet ‘Impala’ was a drunk Raj Kapoor…. All he kept muttering was ” Mere Kaviraj ko bahar bulaao….”
Shailendra was woken up and told what the matter was… He went out…. As soon as RK saw him, he left the horn, jumped out of the car and rushed to embrace Shailendra…..
RK muttered ” Mainey abhi Anari ka gaana sunaa…. jeeyo mere Pushkin…” !
Before the half asleep Shailendra could even react, RK got back into his car and drove away…. Raj Kapoor was talking about this song…. which would fetch Shailendra his second Filmfare award in a row !!!
This song is one that we all identify with at certain times in our lives…It has been quoted in the Indian Parliament by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and incidentally, even in the Pakistan Parliament by Nawaz Sharif !!!
The situation was simple, yet complicated…. Raj Kapoor has discovered that Nutan, who he is madly in love with, has actually lied to him about her status…. He is shattered by her deceit…. Nutan is remorseful as she loves him too….. She wanted to play a prank on him and it spiralled out of control….
He is attending a party at Nutan’s house and is asked to sing a song…

The music is suited for the occasion … The words are what Raj Kapoor is feeling…. the turmoil of being deceived…. He pours out the pain and anguish he feels….
Hrishikesh Mukherjee knows he has a winner in this song…. He does not indulge in any fancy shots…. He depends totally on the music, the words and the performances ( excellently underplayed by RK and Nutan ) to keep the audience enthralled… He succeeds in his endeavour…. !
Starting with the introduction music of the accordion, a dancer makes her way down the stairs…. The camera on a crane, follows her down to catch RK. The dancer exits the frame as Raj Kapoor starts singing….

” सब कुछ सीखा हमने, ना सीखी होशियारी ..”

A little accordion piece follows on which the camera moves forward on Nutan … the words are sinking in… Cut back to RK as he sings the full ‘mukhda’…

” सब कुछ सीखा हमने, ना सीखी होशियारी,
सच है दुनियावालो कि हम हैं अनाड़ी…..”

He has a smile on his face while he sings, but we can feel his pain in his heart….On the interlude violins, a top angle shot establishes the crowd and the girl dancing… RK slowly moving back…. as if wanting to isolate himself from the festive atmosphere… An eye-level shot of the dancer… the interlude music ends and we see RK….
RK sings the complete verse in one shot… the director does not want to distract the audience from the words….

” दुनिया ने कितना समझाया,
कौन है अपना कौन पराया,
फिर भी दिल की चोट छुपाकर,
हमने आपका दिल बहलाया…”

On a little accordion piece, we see Nutan… she puts her head down…. RK continues…

” ख़ुद ही मर-मिटने की ये ज़िद है हमारी..”

The dancer’s hands cast a shadow on his smiling face…. In a wider shot, RK has his back to the camera and we see Nutan, Motilal and other guests… RK sings ” सच है दुनियावालो कि हम हैं अनाड़ी…”Close of the dancer’s feet on the mandolin piece of the interlude…. Camera pulls back on the accordion and reveals the full figure of the dancer and the other guests….On the violins, a close shot of RK looking lovingly at Nutan…. a counter shot of Nutan…. she puts her head down, unable to face him…. At the end of the interlude, the dancer crosses RK and exits…
He sings…

” दिल का चमन उजड़ते देखा,
प्यार का रंग उतरते देखा,
हमने हर जीनेवाले को,
धन-दौलत पे मरते देखा…”

He moves towards the camera as he sings…the crane moves down so that RK dominates the frame on these great lines…. On the accordion, we see Nutan in close… the lines are affecting her… A wide shot…. Nutan’s back…RK moves towards her as he sings…

” दिल पे मरनेवाले मरेंगे भिखारी,
सच है दुनियावालो कि हम हैं अनाड़ी….”

He bows looking at Nutan… she puts her head down in shame….Close of Nutan as the violins of the interlude play…she looks up at him…. love and repentance expressed beautifully… Close of RK…. his half-hearted smile…. A shot of the dancer moving towards the camera… A shot of Shobha Khote cowering in a corner…. RK enters the frame.. she was a partner to Nutan in the deceit…she cannot look him in the eye… RK turns…Camera tracks along with him as he moves behind the guests singing

” असली-नक़ली चेहरे देखे,
दिल पे सौ-सौ पहरे देखे,
मेरे दुखते दिल से पूछो,
क्या-क्या ख़्वाब सुनहरे देखे…”

At this point, he reaches where Nutan is seated… he puts his hand on her backrest…. Close of Nutan’s face and his hand…. on the accordion, the camera tilts up to RK’s face… he sings….

” टूटा जिस तारे पे नज़र थी हमारी …”

He moves towards Nutan on the lines

” सब कुछ सीखा हमने, ना सीखी होशियारी,
सच है दुनियावालो, कि हम हैं अनाड़ी…”

On the end music, the accordion piece, a wide shot as he folds his hands towards the guests as they applaud…. He turns and moves towards the exit….the camera moves slightly higher to make him more suppressed and smaller… he walks faster…. the audience cannot see his face, but the way he moves, his body language, hunched shoulders, conveys that he has broken down…

The song is over…
Hrishida and Shailendra have scored a perfect ten !
So have Shanker Jaikishen, Mukesh, Nutan and Raj Kapoor….

Years later, it will be discovered that Shailendra has, in this song, actually predicted the pattern his life will follow….
The ‘Anari’ producer….. heart-broken by the deceit of those he trusted….. and the bitter truth behind the lines….

” ख़ुद ही मर-मिटने की ये ज़िद है हमारी..”

” टूटा जिस तारे पे नज़र थी हमारी …”

” दिल पे मरनेवाले मरेंगे भिखारी..”


  1. Vijay Kumar Jai

    February 11, 2020 at 12:40 am

    Your last statement is very poignant. It is given to understand that even his lifelong colleagues in the film industry did not stand by Kaviraj Shailendra ji. He faced date problems from Raj Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman refused to shoot till payments were made, even SJ and Hasrat exacted their pounds of flesh. All in all, he came face to face with the naked truth about the film industry, that there are no friends in the industry. Every one is using the other. Shailendra ji did not die because of monetary loss after the film failed (he wasn’t financially so down, and he didn’t care too much about money). He was distraught to see his labor of love go waste. Alas he did not live to see how his film was raised to a cult status much after his passing away, much like Kaagaz Ke Phool, another film which showed the shallowness of the film world. Would you mind throwing some light on this matter.

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