A Remedy For Your Soul – Sar Jo Tera Chakraye – Pyaasa
Badruddin Jamaluddin Qazi, a bus conductor in Bombay, entertained his passengers with his funny stories while he issued tickets to them. He was noticed by Balraj Sahni who suggested him to try his luck and meet Guru Dutt. He had the ability of bringing up witty words and funny gestures instantly. He gatecrashed Guru Dutt’s sets of Baazi (1951) as a drunkard. Guru Dutt was impressed with his acting skills and rechristened him Johnny Walker after the popular whisky brand.
A man with a perennial face had a smile which he could stretch from ear to ear, like one of those emoticons or a cartoon character straight out of the Disney series. He enlivened the screen of all the heavy films with dense environment with his scratchy voice. Songs filmed on Johnny Walker became rage with the people who started insisting upon his songs in the film, even in a heavy duty film like Pyaasa (1957). With Mohammed Rafi as his voice, Johnny Walker had all top of the chart songs lined up for him.
Pyaasa (1957) a beautiful, poetic film, one of the best in Indian cinema history. The soundtrack of this film is an ensemble of sublime music by S D Burman and monumental lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi. Except for the song Sar Jo Tera Chakraye, which happens to be the most cheerful song of the entire soundtrack. We cannot imagine a Guru Dutt film without Johnny Walker. And it was mandatory that a song be filmed on him. Abdul Sattar, the masseur. Always cheerful and ever supportive towards the film’s hero, who is a poet. What a joyful entry by him in a gloomy film like Pyaasa. He’s singing a song written by his poet friend in the film. Watch him call out – Champi maalish champiiiii. Elegant comedian that he was, he needed a voice as elegant as Rafi’s. The 2 hit the jackpot with a string of playful and catchy numbers. In this song too, Rafi imitates his voice so well that for a minute you think it is Johnny himself singing. The song shows unadulterated versatility of music by S D Burman and vocals of Rafi. His voice cascades even in a song like this. Melodious and pleasing, it seizes the low notes, conquers the higher ones and still stays steady. It is candid and clear.
Tel meraa hai muski, ganj rahe na khuski
jis ke sar par haath phira dun, chamke kismat uski
sun sun sun, are beta sun, iss champi me bade bade gun
laakh dukho ki ek dawa hai, kyun naa aajmaaye
kahe ghabaraaye, kahe ghabaraaye
Calling out on the misty, dark streets which are as dark as the film, Abdul Sattar is the light which illuminates the screen like the song does for the film. He has a solution to every problem. He has the magic which can turn the tables in your favour. A remedy for all the complications.
Pyaar kaa hove jhagada, yaa business ka ho ragdaa
sab lafdo ka bojh hate jab pade haath ik tagdaa
naukar ho ya maalik, leader ho ya public
apne aage sabhi jhuke hai, kyaa raja kya sainik
Difficulty in love or business, he’s ready with his solutions for you. Just get that magical massage/champi and you are through. And his services are for everyone. No discrimination. The one who bows his head (literally) gets the best of the services. Stay humble, he says. Have patience, because time has a solution for everything. But work through it. Don’t be idle.
For those who are passing through a low phase in life and are stressed out, have a dose of Rafi-Johnny Walker combo. Their songs together like this one has a remedy for your soul!!
And here’s the inspiration for the above song!!