Cinema of the Week-SEEMA (1955)
Philosophical songs in Hindi Films:
If we analyze the Hindi Film songs, especially of the bygone era we can find priceless gems which have marvellous resonance with ancient Indian Philosophy. The Musicians & Lyricists knew this. The people of those times were as much influenced by the surroundings as by the spirit of selflessness, for it was the formative period of a young India. Old Hindi Film Music & Lyrics are but different representation of that philosophy where core values of love, friendship and loyalty were prized and portrayed. There have been many songs in which Musicians & Lyricists explored the philosophy of life and gave people the essence of Indian philosophy in form of music and songs.
Music & Songs in Old Hindi Cinema are specially to capture and retain the audience and their interests throughout the Movie which lasts for three hours. The Musicians & Lyricists are like philosophers who want the audience to think, react or be affected, in some way. They impart to the audience ‘The Message’ which they intend to say through their music &songs. They are much beyond the purpose of only providing simple entertainment. The intangible meaning that it carries relates to every aspect of human life that is meant to teach, encourage, motivate, remind, inform, influence, inspire and develop people.
Essentially, these songs serve a social function to strengthen the circle of society. Some songs try to impart to individuals the roles and responsibilities to the society and nation. In addition, a number of songs also give an inspiration for life. In examining the history of Hindi cinema, there are a string of poets who have contributed outstanding lyrics; the power of their words and lyrics act as a strong instrument to provide hopes in hopeless situations and also power in powerless lives. Thus Hindi Film songs became important components of mass media to deliver the intended message to the audience, incorporated with the interesting storyline. In fact Film songs had simplified the works of the great Philosopher and Spiritualist for the benefit of illiterate or semi-illiterate people in society.
SEEMA (1955) is one such Film that takes the effort to inculcate positive human values in the community. The film takes us back to an era when Filmmakers thought of stories that were both socially relevant and entertaining and it is one of those good films that satisfy both these criteria
SEEMA (1955) is a Mars & Movies Production Written, Produced & Directed by SJ Loyalist Amiya Chakravorthy. For those looking for the synopsis, the same is posted in the Comment Column.
Seema is undoubtedly the finest film in Amiya Chakravarty’s career. The film is sensitively directed and is a fine look at the tough life inside a reform home. The film makes one empathize with the heroine in her sufferings and smile along with her as a ray of hope enters her life. Nutan is lovely as the sweet, put-upon, but ultimately spunky Gauri. She bagged her first Filmfare Award for this role. Balraj Sahni does his usual best and is very charismatic as the earnest and caring Ashok. The big surprise though, is Shubha Khote.. Her Putli is an engaging scamp and very, very memorable for her spunk and her saucy lines. C. S. Dubey’s Banke is appropriately sleazy and villainous. For a rather sentimental, oft-told tale, heavily laden with social messages, it is a delightfully sweet and engaging movie and well worth several watches
Seema is complemented by a fine musical score by Shanker-Jaikishen at the peak of their prowess, aided by the fine lyrics of Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. The movie was a roaring success not only due to its different story but the immortal songs penned by inimitable Shailendra & Hasrat Jaipuri.
The 6 songs of the Film, all Philosophical, are as under:
1. Suno Chhoti si Gudiya ki Lambi Kahani-Hasrat Jaipuri-Lata.(3 versions)
2. Baat Baat Par Roothon Na-Hasrat Jaipuri-Lata.
3. Kahan Ja Raha hai-Shailendra-Mohammad Rafi
4. Tu Pyaar ka Sagar Hai-Shailendra-Manna Dey..
5. Man Mohana-Shailendra-Lata.
6. Hame Bhi De Do Sahara, Ke Besahare Hain-Hasrat Jaipuri-Mohammad Rafi & Chorus.
Here is a link to my favourite song from the Movie ” Hame Bhi De Do Sahara, Ke Besahare Hain, Written by Hasrat Jaipuri & sung by Rafi.Hasrat Jaipuri-https://youtu.be/zAiZeFisFho
Amiya Chakravarty passed away just 2 years later after this masterpiece at just 45 years of age thus having cut short his wonderful cinematic career. Seema is one of his films which clearly remind us what might have been had he lived on.
The song Man Mohana. in the raag JaiJaiwanthi is perfectly rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and the lip sync of Nutan to this difficult song is spot on. Every subtle change in pace or tempo is registered subtly by Nutan particularly in the alaap portions and this song was in fact rated by Lata Mangeshkar as the best ever lip syncing given to any of her songs. Lata always felt that Nutan was the one actress who actually seemed to be singing her song rather then just enacting it.
Shubha Khote was a cycling champion and Amiya Chakravarty incorporated this aspect into the script when she is made to catch a thief after a thrilling cycle chase.
Venkata Raman G SEEMA (1955)-Synopsis-Detested by her uncle Kashinath (Shivraj) and aunt (Praveen Paul) with whom she stays, Gauri (Nutan) works as a domestic help where she is pursued by the lecherous cook of the house (CS Dubey). As she spurns him, she is framed for a robbery by him. Hungry and unable to get any employment because of her record of being a thief, she goes to teach him a lesson. But instead he tricks her and returns with the police. With her uncle and aunt unwilling to take her, Gauri is put into a reform institution run by an elderly kind warden Ashok Babu (Balraj Sahni). Angry at large with the world and constantly breaking rules and getting into fights there, Gauri is rude, abusive to everybody – including the matron (Pratima Devi).This reform home life includes useful work and a great friendship with fellow inmate Putli, a spunky and absolutely delightful Shubha Khote in her debut role. Putli has her own tale – she’s a small time thief and big-time trouble-maker. Ashok’s calm reception of her outburst and his praise for her tuneful singing completely disarms her, and before she knows it – she is on her way to a new life and gradually through his efforts, Gauri settles down there nicely and realizing she is falling in love with him. But Ashok is ill and wants her to marry his second-in-command, Murlidhar (Sunder). How Gauri resolves her dilemma is the climax.
Padmanabh Joshi The movie has finest music by SJ. All the dongs are even today very popular. Lata’s Man Mohana…, Suno Chhoti Si… and Baat Baat Mein Rutho Na…Manna Dey’s evergreen Tu Pyaar Ka Saagar Hai and Rafi Saheb’s Kanha Jaa Rahaa Hai….. Both Shailendraji and Hasratji did superb lyrics
Ashok Ballal Venkata Raman G,sir, Excellant Write-up for an Excellant Movie. Your views on the Phylosophical Songs are worth Appriciating thosand times. Old Lyricysts and MDs have given us a Treasure of such Beautiful songs which we listen and remember time and again. e.g. ” Kahan ja raha hain..” (Seema), ”Duniya bananewale..(Teesari Kasam),”Aa ab Laut chalen…”(JDMGBH) such Superb songs make us think about our life,our responsibilities,etc.It’s a great pity that such songs are found nowhere in today’s films !!!