Listening to : Anari (1959)


Music : Shankar – Jaikishen

Lyrics : Shailendra & Hasrat Jaipuri




What a nice album! I am not surprised that it won the Filmfare awards for Music, Lyrics and Best Playback Singer (Male) in the year it was released.  The music feels fresh and lovely even now. I am listing the songs in order of the tracks in Music India Online but they are again not in the order of appearance in the film. I must say that disturbs me, as the songs have their own narrative which is lost by this strange order.

  • Sab Kuch Seekha Maine (Mukesh) The song suits Raj Kapoor to a T. a very popular title song. Smile
  • Dil Ki Nazar Se (Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar) is the second duet in the film by order of appearance. A joyous song, sung to perfection.Open-mouthed smile
  • Tera Jana (Lata Mangeshkar) A sad song, it is interesting in that its beat is not that slow. A genre in which Lata excels. Smile
  • Woh Chand Khila (Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh) is  the only track with lyrics by Hasrat  Jaipuri. Beautifully composed and sung, it is enhanced by Nutan’s luminous screen presence. Has there been any actress as beautiful as Nutan looks in this song? Its almost unearthly !Open-mouthed smile
  • Kisi ki Muskuharat (Mukesh) This song introduces Raj Kapoor’s character in the film. An upbeat song with a catchy tune, it has a staccato feel to it. Cleverly composed and well sung.Smile
  • Nineteen Fixty Six (Lata and Manna Dey) Totally fails to capture my interest. A Helen dance number, it isn’t up to the standard of the rest of the album.Sad smile

To admire Nutan’s beauty and this brilliant song, listen to the clip below :

Woh Chand Khila – Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh


I must say though that I don’t see the appeal of the persona that Raj Kapoor so often adopted in his films. I am perhaps in the minority, as his films were very successful. He has a dialogue about social conscience in this film, near the end, which explains what he was trying to say however he seems to associate honesty, integrity and humanity only with poverty and with naivety touching upon ignorance. The line differentiating the unworldly, the  unsophisticated with the ignorant and the foolish is a blurry line indeed. As much as I admire the stellar qualities I listed above, I would only truly admire it when it is a result of a mind as sharp as sabre, a mind which arrives on these qualities by intellectually assessing their superiority and mindfully selecting them, not arriving upon them by mischance or naiveté. But we are talking about the music in this blog, and the music of Anari is stellar indeed.


Filed under Bollywood 50's Music, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh

4 responses to “Listening to : Anari (1959)

  1. Srinivas Bhogle

    Yes, “1956, 1957” is an outlier. I find it kind of sad that Manna Dey was given S-J’s poorest number. Manna Dey had briefly become Raj Kapoor’s preferred ‘voice’ at least in duets during the mid-1950s. Think Shri 420 or again Chori Chori. But Anari marks Raj Kapoor’s strong return to Mukesh. Raj Kapoor used Manna in Mera Naam Joker (for e bhai zaraa dekh ke chalo) and of course nobody else could’ve sung Raj Kapoor’s laga chunari mein daag in Dil Hi To Hai composed by Roshan.

    • I must say Mukesh’s voice suits Raj Kapoor very well even though I prefer Manna Dey as a singer. The 1956 song is not lip synched by Raj Kapoor, maybe thats why Manna Dey was selected for this song? Laga Chunari mein dag was sung so superbly by Manna Dey that one cannot associate the actor with the song at all; it is out-and-out a Manna Dey song alone. I must ferret out other Manna Dey songs for Raj Kapoor and see if I like the fit..

  2. Suja – I suppose the appeal to RK’s persona is partly a question of taste: he might not be quite your type of man, and if he isn’t, then you wouldn’t click to his personality all that much. Not all his filmi personas present him as an “Anari”, even though it’s one of his favorites. Don’t forget that the Charlie Chaplin period in which he started his movies was very much influenced by the open-heart pauper figure; this is something Raj Kapoor certainly enjoyed as much as we all do, and perhaps the reason why today we still can enjoy Chaplin and slightly cringe at RK’s version is that after all, his was only a copy of the original.
    But RK also has a charm and an intelligence which I find endearing and satisfying. Shree 420 and Awaara are still two of my best Indian Movies, for example.

    • Of course, I do know that Charlie Chaplin & RK both were successful with variations of this persona and evidently there are zillions of people to whom it appeals, even if it doesn’t do so to me. There are scenes even in Aar Paar when he is indeed charming, as you say. Very evidently, he was very astute in real life, the movies he has directed speaks for that. I am hoping to see again all his old films, I will be curious to see if my reaction to Shree 420 and Awara was the same as it was when I was a kid (I enjoyed them then..)

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