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Romancing the Night with Dev Anand

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There’s something mystic about the silent night sky. The silence is full of answers. Have you ever looked at the night sky for a long time and contemplated its beauty? The stars, the moon, the eerie silence have their own stories. They sing their own songs and yet the night is silent and alone. This beautiful night hides all the wounds of the Earth under its dark canopy. But for the night lovers, it shines brightly, soft and glorious.
Quoting Vincent Van Gogh – I often think that the night is more alive and richly coloured than the day.
For me, Dev Anand is just like that night sky, more alive and more richly coloured than the day. His flawless energetic side hid the silent side of him. I’ve always felt, deep down he was a silent contemplating person. His views, his thinking, his face everything points towards that. Always alive and kicking, yet leaves an indelible mark on our minds with songs such as Wahan kaun tera musafir or Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chalaa gaya. His puffed hair, his charming, toothless smile, his crisp dressing sense tell us his synchronous manner but at the same time his interviews leave you thinking about life, contemplating life. There seldom might be a woman who isn’t enamoured by this debonair actor but then he’s also the actor who gave us a film like Guide. No doubt it was directed by his younger brother Vijay Anand, but Guide was Dev Anand’s brain child. Though he was immensely popular in the golden era of Hindi cinema, his popularity declined with the changing times since he never changed himself. He followed his own rules, his own ethics. A pleasure seeker, he has dedicated his autobiography to life itself. To life, as it is lived by people the world over and to that special ray of sunshine that makes life worth living. Only a thinker can give you this sort of line.
Coming back to the glorious night and Dev Anand, I’ve also observed that there are so many songs picturized on him which refer to the moonlit night and stars. Or they describe the calmness and standstill nature of night.
Pedon ki shaakhon pe soyi soyi chandni
Tere Khayalon mein khoyi khoyi chandni
Aur thodi der mein thak ke laut jaayegi
Raat ye bahar ki phir kabhi na aayegi
Do ek pal aur hai ye samaa
Sun jaa dil ki dastaan…..

These are the words which readily come to my mind when I think about a languorous night and Dev Anand. So as we celebrate him why not romance the night with him just as he romanced with life!?

Ye raat ye chandni phir kahan – Jaal (1952) – A philosophically romantic song by Sahir Ludhianvi, composed by S. D. Burman, sung beautifully by Hemant Kumar, this song has Dev serenading his ladylove Geeta Bali.

Dheere dheere chal chand – Love Marrige (1959) – Romancing the night with his ladylove Mala Sinha, Dev is asking the moon to go slowly lest the night shall pass soon. SJ at their best with Hasrat Jaipuri, Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi.

Khoya khoya chand – Kala Bazar (1960) – We just cannot miss out on this song when it comes to Dev Anand and night songs. The song is hopelessly romantic and so is Dev Anand (yes including that loose limbed run across the hills and fields).

Tum toh dil ke taar chhedkar – Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1961) – A bubbly, romantic number by Talat Mahmood, composed by SJ, written by Shailendra. Dev and his ladylove Waheeda Rehman on screen.

Na tum humein jaano – Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962) – The trio of Dev, Hemant Kumar and S D Burman steal the show again while this time it is Majrooh Sultanpuri who describes the calmness of night….ye mausam ye raat chup hai….

Tu kahan ye bataa – Tere Ghar Ke Saamne (1963) – Combing through the streets of Shimla at night, searching for his ladylove Nutan, with Rafi’s voice echoing gloriously, can romance be any better than this?

If the above songs has Dev Anand singing through the night either for his lady love or with his ladylove, there are a few songs where the ladies are singing for him. Let’s take a look at few such songs.

Aaj ki raat piya – Baazi (1951) – Kalpana Kartik persuades him to give time to their love while the night is the witness. And we again have Sahir and S D Burman churning out a blissful song this time with Geeta Dutt.

Kahe jhoom jhoom raat ye suhani – Love Marriage (1959) – As the accordions bellow throughout this song, giving the stamp of SJ, Shailendra’s lyrics give an account of the wonderful night that is passing romantically and it is a female solo by Lata Mangeshkar, so for a change Dev is just following his ladylove Mala Sinha on the path of romance.

Raat akeli hai – Jewel Thief (1968) – A super sensuous song by Asha Bhosle, composed by S D Burman, lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri and on screen, the svelte Tanuja with Dev.

Koi koi raat – Banarasi Babu (1973) – Composed by the duo Kalyanji Anandji, written by rajendra Krishan, rendered by Lata Mangeshkar. This song is a lesser known one, picturized on Rakhee and Dev.

If you thought the list ends here, check out a few more songs. These songs though do not have the particular word Raat but the lyrics hint towards or give the idea of the night that is passing by.

Rootha hua chanda – Aaram (1951) – A vintage song by Anil Biswas, Lata Mangeshkar and Prem Dhawan. Madhubala and Dev look adorable on screen.

Chup hai dharti – House No. 44 (1955) – A beautiful solo by Hemant Kumar, composed by S D Burman and written by Sahir Ludhianvi, Dev misses his ladylove and sings in all romance for her.

Phir wohi chand – Baarish (1957) – This song is sweetness personified with Lata Mangeshkar and C. Ramchandra at their romantic best off screen just as Nutan and Dev on screen. Rajendra Krishan penning yet another Chand song.

O nigahein mastana – Paying Guest (1957) – The winning combination of Majrooh Sultanpuri and S D Burman and Kishore Kumar. Nutan and Dev under the canopy of stars.

Abhi na jao chhod kar – Hum Dono (1961) – One of the most romantic songs, the silk song. Asha and Rafi pair off screen while Sadhana and Dev pair on screen. Jaidev and Sahir work magic with lyrics saying….Sitaare jhilmila uthe, chirag jagmaga uthe….yes it is night time.

Tera mera pyar amar – Asli Naqli (1962) – Sadhana and her undying love for the handsome Dev. We’re mesmerized as she sings it under the stars, Kya kahaa hai chand ne, jisko sun ke chandni…. rendered by the inimitable Lata Mangeshkar, composed by SJ and written by Shailendra.

All of the above songs not only emit romance but they emit a magical energy. The same magical energy which Dev Anand had. He still has it and it glows through all his fans. Which song comes to your mind when you think about Dev Anand and night full of stars?

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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