Posted on Trivia – The Spice of Life on 03/04/2022
Often at birthday parties of children, have you noticed how the entire focus is on the gift bought for the star of the day and the return gift received? It is all about give and take. It is almost a given that you have to give something and get something in return. This is perhaps how transactional a majority of the modern day celebrations and relationships have become. It is all about keeping neat ledgers which need to be squared off at the earliest. Don’t many of us as adults do this in marriages, especially when the person in question is not a very close family member? When it is time to buy a gift for someone’s marriage, we start thinking about what the other party had gifted us in ours. The gift is decided after such deliberation. Everything is measured and metered.
Thankfully, not all relationships are transactional. Many organically develop to fall in the reciprocal category and even move beyond this to become personal relationships. In the former, what one expects from the other is fluid – never specific. The latter goes a step ahead where the other’s well being and happiness is included in yours. This is particularly true of your spouse, your children and your parents.
Some relationships turn sour, while others fructify into strong long term bonds. Of course, it depends on what you are looking for in the relationship. It depends on what you are ready to part with, which may decide what you would acquire in exchange. While in economic exchanges, it is easier to quantify the give and take, it is impossible to do that in human relationships. Sometimes, you feel happy sharing someone’s sorrow. This is pretty bad economics but a very good way of unknowingly earning social capital.
Well, this post attempts to explore these aspects of give and take in the context of human relationships through film songs. Essentially, in every relationship there are expectations, sometimes clearly spelt out and at other times unstated. All the songs seem to suggest this. I have dwelt on songs which do not refer to money but still talk of getting something in return or even returning something when relations are embittered. Thus, the words that would get highlighted are लेन – देन (len den – give and take), मुफ़्त (muft – free), हिसाब (hisaab – accounts), उधार (udhaar – loan), लौटाना (lautana – return), सौदा (sauda – deal), कर्ज़ (karz– loan) – essentially all those words that are associated with commercial or monetary transactions. Many of them are light hearted songs and are a pleasure to listen to. They largely pertain to the golden era. These songs are not arranged in any particular order. I may also mention here that I have not included mujras ( Kya Kya Kharidoge from Sadhana) because by their very character, they would speak of commercial transactions.
1) Bolo Ji Dil Loge to Kya Kya doge (Patanga, 1949) Lyricist: Rajinder Krishan; Music Director : C.Ramchandra; Playback Singers : Shamshad Begum & Md.Rafi. This movie has some outstanding songs like mere piya gaye Rangoon. Featuring Nigar Sultana and Shyam, this lovely playful duet initially sounds very business like; the lady asks – if you take my heart, what all will you give me in return? The man answers in a matter of fact manner that it is his heart that he shall give her in exchange and nothing more, for love is priceless. The lady too is expecting nothing more than his love, is what we learn as the song unfolds.
bolo ji dil logey to kya kya dogey mohabbat ki koyi bhi qeemat nahin hain ho qeemat to phir woh mohabbat nahin hain jo dil mujh ko dogey to dil hi mujhse logey main na maangoon sonaa main na maangoon chaandi main to hoon sachchi mohabbat ki bandi mohabbat ke badley mohabbat jo dogey to dil meraa logey
2) Dil Deke Dil Diya Hain (Stage, 1951) Lyricist : Sarshar Sailaani; Music Director : Husnlal Bhagatram; Playback singers : Lata Mangeshkar & Md. Rafi. While the video of this transactional (?) song is not available, one could perhaps presume that it featured the lead pair Ramola and Dev Anand. Ramola was born Rachel Cohen on July 5, 1917 in a Jewish family to Hayam Cohen. She spent her childhood in Bombay and then moved to Calcutta where she started acting in Bengali movies, before stepping into the world of Hindi movies. Her film Khazanchi was a big hit. After several memorable performances, she retired from films in the early 1950s.
The song has apt lyrics by Sarshar Sailaani, who was also a popular dialogue writer. The lady asks the man – you have taken my heart and only in exchange have you given yours. What favour have you done? Why are you so haughty? You have not given your heart for free. So here are the references to a perfect commercial transaction – of barter. There is nothing for free (मुफ़्त) and no favour ( एहसान) being done whatsoever. While the man initially cajoles her and expresses his admiration for her, towards the end he says – jis din se dil diyaa hai, ik dard le liyaa hai (since the day I parted with my heart, I have harboured pain which of course in this case is pleasant – मीठा-दर्द should we say?
Dil leke dil diyaa hain ehsaan kyaa kiyaa hain itna guroor kaisa, kyaa muft de diyaa hain jis din se dil diyaa hain ik dard le liyaa hain
3) Mera Dil Meri Jaan Chaahe le Le ( Aab-e-hayat, 1955) Lyricist : Hasrat Jaipuri; Music Director – Sardar Malik; Playback singer : Geeta Dutt. Here is a fairy (Smriti Biswas) trying to seduce Premnath, the hero of the movie. One can see how Premnath does everything to show that he is not one bit interested. This fast paced song by Geeta Dutt, with a chorus (which is akin to opera singers), is a personal favourite of mine. This was the first time I actually watched the song. Here the lady is willing to give up both her heart (दिल – dil)and life (जान – jaan) to the man in exchange for just one thing – a little (ज़रा सा -zara sa) love. The man however does not fall for the bargain even though it ostensibly is in his favour – getting two in exchange for one. Sardar Malik’s music is delightful and sounds a little different from his usual style.
Mera dil meri jaan chaahe le le ik pyaar zaraa saa de de
4) Ek Pardesi Mera Dil Le Gaya (Phagun, 1958) Lyricist : Qamar Jalalabadi; Music Director : O.P.Nayyar; Playback singers : Md.Rafi & Asha Bhosle. This lovely dance number from Phagun has the gorgeous Madhubala dancing to the been. As the song unfolds, we learn of what all has been taken away by the pardesi and how she has perhaps got a raw deal, after all. She knows that it is her lover in disguise who is dancing with her and so she willingly plays up. What all the pardesi (the lover from a foreign land/ an outsider) has taken – her heart, the light of her eyes – and what all he has left her with – joyous ache, salutations of deep sighs and tears – is what the song is about. In the end, when he asks what she will give him if he gets the pardesi to meet her (another deal being struck!!), she says that the pardesi has taken away everything she ever had – jo bhi mere paas tha wo sab le gaya – and has left her with joyous pain (मीठा ग़म).
Ik pardesi mera dil le gaya jaate jaate meetha meetha gham de gaya Kaun pardesi tera dil le gaya moti moti ankhiyon me aansoo de gaya thandi thandi aahon ka salaam de gaya.... jaate jaate meetha meetha gham de gaya haan aankhon ka ujaala pardesi le gaya..... jaate jaate meetha meetha gham de gaya haan usko bulaa doon saamne laa doon kyaa mujhe dogi jo tum se milaa doon jo bhi mere paas tha wo sab le gaya jaate jaate meetha meetha gham de gaya haan
5) Ho Sake To Dil Ke Badle Dil (Aladdin Aur Jadui Chiraag, 1952) Lyricist : Pandit Chand; Music Director : S.N.Tripathi; Playback singers : Md.Rafi, Chitragupt, Shamshad Begum & Asha Bhosle. This is a wonderful song with two couples – Meena Kumari (playing Princess Badar) and Mahipal (playing Aladdin) being the lead couple. I do not recognize the actors playing the second couple. It is perhaps the genie and his lover. There is Arabian music being played to create the right mood. Here there is a request to exchange hearts – dil ke badle dil inayat kijiye. It is interesting to note here that the music director S.N.Tripathi also acted in the film as Hikmat, the magician!
Ho sake to dil ke badle dil inaayat kijiye kah rahi hain har nazar humse mohabbat kijiye
6) Dil Diya Dard Liya (Dil Diya Dard Liya, 1966) Lyricist : Shakeel Badayuni ; Music Director : Naushad; Playback singer : Md.Rafi. Shot in the magnificent monuments of Mandu, this movie has some wonderful songs. In fact, the first post of my blog was dedicated to this movie. In this song, which is also the title song of the movie, the hero is trying to tell his beloved that he has sacrificed a lot in love. He says that in exchange for his heart, he has only got affliction – dil diya dard liya. Yet, he will continue to love her – apni kashti ko sahaare pe tere chhod diya. Thus, he does make it a point to pat himself on the back even as he expresses his feelings.
Dilruba maine tere pyaar mein kya kya na kiya dil diya dard liya kabhi phulon mein guzaari kabhi kaanton mein jiya
7) Acchha Ji Maaf Kar Do (Musaafir Khaana, 1955) Lyricist : Majrooh Sultanpuri ; Music Director : O.P.Nayyar; Playback singers : Md.Rafi & Geeta Dutt. This jocular duet featuring Shyama and Karan Dewan, has the hero asking his beloved for forgiveness as well as justice. He says that he must get an account of the number of arrows that his heart has had to take. The word used is hisaab (हिसाब). The lady replies that by forgiving him she has dispensed justice; also by keeping his heart in hers, she has ended the fight for ever (jhagda hi saaf kiya). This trading of charges continues throughout the song with both begging for forgiveness alternately. The final stanza has the lady again pinning the blame on the man saying that his misdemeanours cannot be counted or estimated and it is a case of not just committing a mistake but also failing to take blame for them (chori aur seena zori).
acchha ji maaf kar do thoda insaaf kar do dil par jo teer chalaye unka hisaab kar do
tune woh chaal chaldi jiska hisaab nahin chori aur seena zori tera jawaab nahin
8) Jo Diya Tha Tumne Ek Din (Sambandh, 1969) Lyricist : Kavi Pradeep ; Music Director : O.P.Nayyar; Playback singers : Mahendra Kapoor & Hemant Kumar. This duet sung by a son (Deb Mukherjee) and father (Pradeep Kumar) on screen is about an emotional reunion. The story line is pretty mind boggling and not worth mentioning. But as the lyrics and the flashback sequences in the song would reveal, it is about troubled relationships and unfulfilled expectations. There is Deb Mukherjee looking terrible in his orange wig, one that even Pradeep Kumar sports in the film initially, before he thankfully grows older and has more dignified streaks of silvery grey. Here is the hero asking for a loan from his father (कर्ज़ — loan) and he wants his childhood to be loaned (udhaar – loan) to him. This obviously means pangs of remorse and guilt as far as the father goes. I have not come across any more duets of Mahendra Kapoor and Hemant Kumar. This could be the only one. The link posted here has only the audio. I am sharing the video link here.
Jo diya tha tumne ek din mujhe phir woh pyaar de do ek karz maangta hun bachpan udhaar de do
9) Jo Pyaar Tune Mujhko Diya Tha (Dulha Dulhan, 1964) Lyricist : Indeevar ; Music Directors : Kalyanji Anandji; Playback singer : Mukesh. This is a song of heart break, accusing the beloved of perfidy. What is unique about the song is that from an emotion, love becomes an object that can be traded – it can be acquired and returned. So here is the quintessential Mukesh song featuring Raj Kapoor, who is devastated after his lady does not remember or recognize him. After having suffered thus, at her hands, he sings this soulful melody, returning (lauta raha hun) her love and settling accounts.
Jo pyaar tune mujhko diya tha woh pyaar tera main lauta raha hun
10) Na Chahoon Sona Chaandi (Bobby, 1973) Lyricist : Vithalbhai Patel ; Music Directors : Laxmikant Pyarelal; Playback singers : Manna Dey & Shailendra Singh. This is perhaps the best song that one can think of to end this post. It underlines the keynote of the post that in love there can be no bargains – प्यार में सौदा नहीं (pyaar mein sauda nahin). The only exchange possible is of hearts. There is no place for materialism in love. With a smattering of Konkani, as the song is shot in a fishermen’s locality, this song carries a strong message amidst all the fun and frolic.
Na chaahoon sona chandi na chaahoon heera moti ye mere kis kaam ke na maangu bangla baadi na maangu ghoda gaadi ye to hain bas naam ke deta hain dil de badle mein dil ke ghe ghe ghe ghe ghe re saaiba pyaar mein sauda nahin
This brings me to the end of my post on the songs of give and take. Human emotions are very complex. They can never be reduced to debit and credit. While we intend to settle all accounts before we depart from this world, those accounts that deal with feelings, emotions and love can never be settled. There is no way one can quantify, objectify or measure love. There is no way one can bargain in love. Here are the lines from a popular song of Ek Thi Ladki (1949) that I would end my post with which mean that there can be no deal struck in love as it is pious.
Ja len den par khaak mohabbat paak bade farmaa gaye hain
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