Listening to: Aadmi (1968)

AadmiRemembering the glorious music of this film, I picked this from my long list of to-watch films. On reading the synopsis, I didn’t have much expectation but no matter. For me, the story is just the space between songs!

The theme of the film is reflected by the protagonist saying at the end of the film ‘मैंने भी इक भूल की थी | और अनगिनत आंसू बहा के यह जाना कि ग़लती करने वाला आदमी होता है और पछताने वाला इंसान |’  The first half was quite enjoyable. The unbelievable plot twists and melodrama of the second half bored and frustrated me but still, it wasn’t too bad on the whole.

The story is about Rajesh (Raja Saheb), a wealthy young (introduced as Naujawan)  man  played by a 46 year old Dilip Kumar!! By his own words, he needs to win at everything and has a greed for all that his mind wants.  In a childhood incident he kills his friend over a doll (a doll? young boys? !!!). This haunts him and leaves him mentally instable yet there is much that is honourable about him.  Dilip Kumar is very good at portraying deeply conflicted characters such as this one, but I appreciated his effortless and natural style more in the simple scenes, like the one in which his friend Shekhar talks to him of his lost love.

Shekhar is a young doctor played by a 31 year old Manoj Kumar. He is a friend but his obligation to Rajesh seems to take precedence over friendship. I am not much of a Manoj Kumar fan but he was decent enough. His struggles in emotional scenes is a bit pitiable to watch. His misfortune is to be up against the smooth strength of Dilip Kumar’s acting.

The triangle is completed by Meena played by a 32 year old Waheeda Rehman. I have always admired this beautiful actress and she delivers a quiet and dignified performance.  A class act.

Shekhar and Meena love each other secretly but circumstances lead to Meena being engaged to Rajesh.  An accident leaves him disabled. When Rajesh’s suspicions rear-up, the negative side of his personality takes hold. How will everything be resolved? Who will get the girl?

Able support is provided by an excellent Pran as Mayadas, who is conniving to ‘catch’ Raja Saheb for his daughter Aarti, an elegant but very bland Simi. Sulochana does well as the normal filmi weeping mother. Padma Chavan as Meena’s sister and Agha as Prem, her love interest, provide a small side story and a bit of comedy.

It is the music by Naushad which is the real strength of this film. It is quite glorious! Shakeel Badayuni pens the words which are equally good.

  • Kari Badariya – Lata Mangeshkar. How lovely Lata sounds! A lilting song with immediate appeal, Lata does it full justice. Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Kal Ke Sapne – Lata Mangeshkar. A song which enjoyed a lot of popularity, it is very appealing. Open-mouthed smile
  • Kaisi Haseen Aaj – Mohammad Rafi and Mahendra Kapoor/Talat Mahmood. Simply Fabulous!! A rare combination of a wonderful melody matched by lovely poetry (see footnote for lyrics) sung to perfection. The song was recorded first with Talat Mahmood but Manoj Kumar requested a change so it was recorded again with Mahendra Kapoor. The film features this latter recording but the album features the Talat version.  Open-mouthed smileRed heartRed heart
  • Main Tooti Hui Ik Naiyya – Mohammad Rafi. A sad song, not bad. I don't know smile
  • Na Aadmi Ka Koi Bharosa – Mohammad Rafi. The title song is a beautiful, heartbreaking song. Open-mouthed smile
  • Aaj Purani Rahon Se – Mohammad Rafi. A gem. Naushad ably demonstrates his genius yet again. And Rafi conducts a masterclass in singing. I am in awe of his voice which scales the octaves so effortlessly and with such beauty! Shakeel Badayuni’s poetry has a ring of truth and quite beautiful. (see footnote). Open-mouthed smileRed heart

To listen to the whole album, click here.  An album to be treasured; one can seldom find music like this nowadays!

My selection from the film is Kaisi Haseen Aaj. Listen first to the Mohammad Rafi and Mahendra Kapoor version from the film. [youtube]

Now listen to the Talat version. Which do you like better?


Given the beauty of my other selections from the film, I include them in this post as well.

Kari Badariya – Lata Mangeshkar

Aaj Purani Rahon Se – Mohammad Rafi

Footnote (Lyrics) :

कैसी हसीन आज बहारों की रात है |
इक चाँद आसमां पे है इक मेरे साथ है ||

ओ देने वाले तू ने तो कोई कमी न की |
अब किस को क्या मिला ये मुक़द्दर की बात है ||

छाया है हुस्न-ओ-इश्क़ पे इक रंग-ए-बेख़ुदी |
आते हैं ज़िंदगी में ये आलम कभी कभी ||
हर ग़म को भूल जाओ खुशी की बारात है |
इक चाँद आसमां पे है इक मेरे साथ है ||

आई है वो बहार के नग़मे उबल पड़े |
ऐसी  खुशी मिली है कि आँसू निकल पड़े ||
होंठों पे हैं दुआएं मगर दिल पे हाथ है |
अब किस को क्या मिला ये मुक़द्दर की बात है ||

मस्ती सिमट के प्यार के गुलशन में आ  गई  |
मेरी  खुशी  भी आप के दामन में आ गई ||
भँवरा कली से दूर नहीं साथ साथ है |
अब किस को क्या मिला ये मुक़द्दर की बात है ||

आज पुरानी राहों से कोई मुझे आवाज़ न दे |
दर्द में डूबे गीत न दे ग़म का सिसकता साज़ न दे ||

बीते दिनों की याद थी जिनमें मैं वो तराने भूल चुका |
आज नई मंज़िल है मेरी कल के ठिकाने भूल चुका ||
न वो दिल न सनम न वो दीन-धरम |
अब दूर हूँ सारे गुनाहों से ||

जीवन बदला दुनिया बदली मन को अनोखा ज्ञान मिला |
आज मुझे अपने ही दिल में एक नया इंसान मिला ||
पहुँचा हूँ वहाँ नहीं दूर जहाँ |
भगवान भी मेरी निगाहों से ||


Filed under Bollywood 60's Music, Mahendra Kapoor, Mohammad Rafi

12 responses to “Listening to: Aadmi (1968)

  1. Hi Suja,
    What beautiful songs! I cannot make up my mind between your two versions of Kaisi Haseen Aaj. But I liked very much Aaj Purani Rahon Se, perhaps even more.
    On a lighter note, I was quite amused at watching the male crop of hair that seemed to be fashionable in those days!
    And Waheeda was still gorgeous.

  2. Hi Yves, I am not surprised you liked the songs, they are a class apart! And yes, I did smile a lot at Manoj Kumar’s hair which was so bouffant 🙂 I was reminded from the boys from my neighbourhood who used to try and get the same effect 🙂
    Cheers. Suja

  3. Srinivas Bhogle

    I’ll go with Talat, although he’s lost his magical voice of the 1950s. And to be fair, Mahendra Kapoor has done a great job. And what’s one to say of Rafi singing for Naushad?

    I was surprised you gave a lal dil to the Lata song, but after listening … yes, it has that wonderful 50s and early 60s Naushad lilt.

    After Aadmi, Naushad could never be himself.

    • I believe that there was a poll to see which version was better liked and Talat’s was the listeners choice. I liked it too but I think Mahendra Kapoor has done a wonderful job and suits Manoj Kumar better. So you think Aadmi was Naushad’s last hurrah? Hmmmm…you may well be right…I’ll think a bit about that…

  4. Filmbuff

    I believe this is the hindi version of a tamil movie. I like Rafi’s aaj purani song. Have not seen this movie. Manoj kumar puts me off

    • Me too! But Manoj is not too bad in this film. I tend to see films for the music so I was happy enough. I have not seen the orginal Tamil version, Aalayamani; I plan to do so one day.

  5. Is it not remake of tamil film Alayamani? Tamil film itself has lot of overdose acting by Sivaji. But it has beautiful music by M.S.V..

    • You are right shoote, it is indeed a remake of Alayamani which too has lovely songs, like you say. I plan to see it one day…but I have an allergy of theatrics, so I normally see films of this sort only for the music!

  6. I feel Talat-Rafi song is unbeatable. As one said : Rafi is magnificent, but, Talat has silken touch to each word/syllable

    • Interesting that Talat had so many fans yet Manoj Kumar preferred to stick loyally to Mahendra Kapoor, dont you think? I am not normally a big fan of Mahendra Kapoor but I feel he has done a very decent job of this song, especially the stanza starting ‘aayi hai wo bahaar’.
      Cheers. Suja

  7. smitha

    Aalayamani has excellent songs, but in the hindi version, the music was a let down. Of course, dilip kumar could not match sivajis ganesan’s towering performance in the original.

    • Actually, I haven’t see Aalayamani and don’t know the Tamil version of the songs so I have nothing to compare with. So I quite like the music from Aadmi!!

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