Cinema of the Week-PATRANI (1956) (Chief Queen)


Science v/s Superstition in Hindi Movies.


ASTROLOGY was once considered Science but is now regarded by Astronomy as Superstition.
INFERTILITY was considered a Stigma but it is now considered pure Science.
TAN or Dark Skin Colour was Scoffed at but is now considered as Racism.

Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) from sunlight affects everybody’s skin to some extent, but the skin’s response varies widely from person to person. Peoples’ sensitivity to the sun varies according to the amount of pigment in the skin and the skin’s ability to tan.

Ultraviolet Radiation causes tanning in two different ways: by immediate tanning and by delayed tanning. Immediate tanning causes the skin to darken in response to UVR. This darkening begins during the period of exposure, but fades within a few hours or days. The amount of tanning increases according to the skin’s natural darkness and previous amount of tanning.

Delayed tanning occurs two to three days after exposure. It lasts from several weeks to months depending upon the repeated exposure to sunlight. With delayed tanning, the skin increases its production and distribution of dark pigment. Some fair skinned people tan easily after the first hour of sun exposure, other people especially those with dark skin, rarely tan as their skin is already dark

Superstition (The Movie)
PATRANI (1956) is a Movie that has all of the above Superstitions in it.. It is about a Childless Polygamous King who is all set to remarry a Princess after Astrologically ascertaining that she is bound to bear him a Son but he is allergic to Dark Skin and the Queen-to-be has a peculiar malady where her skin turns Dark when exposed to the Sun.

“PATRANI” (1956) is by now a forgotten Historical/Mythological Movie which was Produced under Prakash Pictures, Directed by Vijay Bhatt and Produced by Shankarbhai Bhatt who were known for Mythological Films The Story,Dialogues and Screenplay are by R.S.Chaudhary. The movie has Pradeep Kumar, Vyjyantimala, Shashikala, Durga Khote, David, Jeevan, Om Prakash, etc in it. The Movie is lavish with its beautiful settings by Art Director Kanu Desai which are effectively captured on camera by Cinematographer Bipin Gajjar.

PATRANI-(1956) supposed to be a Historical film, but there is no basis for its story in real History. Historical Movies in India are most of the times ’Distortical’ , either being imaginary & dramatic due to the Cinematic liberty.

King Karma Dev (PRADEEP KUMAR) who gives a lot of importance to Outer beauty has a harem of queens, all of them fair and beautiful. But he does not have a child from any of them. And he can’t stand being around dark women. His mother, Rajmata (DURGA KHOTE) requests the Mahamantri Munjal Mehta (DAVID) to find him another wife, who would give the dynasty its heir. Karma Dev often dreams of marrying an unknown beautiful woman he had once seen in a Somnath temple which complicates matters further. Mrinalla (VYJAYANTHI MALA) is the princess of Karnataka, who also dreams of marrying a king she had once seen in a Somnath temple as a young girl. Although Mrinalla is a very fair and beautiful woman, her complexion is extremely sensitive to exposure to sunlight and prolonged exposure to sunlight makes her complexion turn darker & it takes quite some time for her complexion to return to its normal colour. Munjal Mehta happens to see Mrinalla during one of his travels in searching for a beautiful woman for Karma Dev. He carries back a painting of Mrinalla to the king. He also secretively arranges for the painter Vichitram (OM PRAKASH) to take Karma Dev’s painting for Mrinalla to view. Mrinalla is happy to finally find the man of her dreams. However, she learns that the King has refused to marry anyone. She runs away from the palace to convince Karma Dev on her own. She roams around in the harsh sunlight for many days, which turns her complexion very dark. Meanwhile, Karma Dev is being allured by a dancing girl Namanjala (SHASHI KALA). Unknown to the King, Namanjala is being helped by Uday Mantri (JEEVAN) in getting her the man of her dreams. Munjal Mehta shows Mrinalla’s painting to Karma Dev, who agrees to marry her. Mrinalla is brought to the palace for the marriage. However, on the day of the marriage, the King finds out she is dark and refuses to marry her. After several dramatic incidents Karma Dev realizes his follies of running behind only physical beauty and accepts Mrinalla as his PATRANI. Soon, the couple is blessed with a son.

All songs of PATRANI are Masterpieces. All are Semi-Classical songs. Lata is supreme and perfect in all songs as she has been throughout her career. Lyrics are superb. With Vyjayanthi Mala as the Heroine and Sashikala to support, there are ample Dance numbers and Dance related Songs & Music. The Movie has 11 melodious songs out of which 10 songs were written by Shailendra & 1 by Hasrat Jaipuri and all sung by Lata- 9 Solos, 1 Duet with Usha Mangeshkar & 1 Triet with Usha & Meena Mangeshkar as under:

1. Kabhi To Aa O Sapno Me Aake Chale Jane Wale –Shailendra-Lata
2. Dil Gaya Dard Raha Sine Me (Unche Mahal Me Rahne Wale-Shailendra-Lata
3. Chandrama Madbhara Kyon Jhoome Baadar Me –Shailendra-Lata
4. Rang Rangili Pagiya Bandhe Aaye Rituraja –Shailendra-Lata
5. Paavan Ganga Sir Pe Sohe (Jai Jai Shiv Shankar) –Shailendra-Lata
6. Ho Balma Tum Bedardi –Shailendra-Lata
7. Saat Samandar Par Hai Re Mera Sapno Ka Sansar –Hasrat Jaipuri-Lata
8. Na Jane Tum Kaun Meri Ankhon Me Sama Gaye –Shailendra-Lata
9. Dulhan Gori Ghunghat Mein Muskaaye –Shailendra-Lata & Chorus
10. Raja Pyare Mat Karo Pyar Ka Mol –Shailendra-Lata & Usha Mangeshkar & Chorus
11. Are Koi Jao Re Piya Ko Bulao Re –Shailendra-Lata, Usha & Meena Mangeshkar & Chorus.

Shankar-Jaikishen was assisted by Lallubhai Naik (Himself a MD) who played Sarod in this Film..

Here is the Youtube Link to my ATF song “Chandrma Madbhara Kyon Jhoome Baadar Me” sung by Lata-

Venkata Raman G's photo.
Venkata Raman G's photo.
Venkata Raman G's photo.
Venkata Raman G's photo.

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