Cinema of the Week: HAMRAAHI (1963)
“HAMRAAHI” is a Prasad Production movie. It is directed by T Prakash Rao, who also directed ‘College Girl’(1960), ‘Sasural’ (1961), ‘Suraj (1966), ‘Duniya’ (1968) & ‘Rivaaj’(1972) all with SJ. The Movie has Rajendra Kumar, Jamuna, Shashikala, Lalita Pawar, Mehmood, Shobha Khote, Nazir Hussain, Aagha, Rajendranath, O. P. Ralhan, Dhumal, Indira Billi etc. in it. It is a Remake of a National Award Winning Telugu Movie “Bharyya Bhartalu” (1960) Directed by K P Atma & Produced by L V Prasad, starring Akkineni Nageshwar Rao, Krishna Kumari & Girija.
When a womanizer is rejected by his own wife on the ground of morality, he starts reforming himself in order to win her love. However, an old altercation lands him into trouble, and he is charged for a This plot is nicely implicated in ‘Hamrahi’ with a twist and an unpredictable suspense involving the real Murderer.
Shekhar (Rajendra Kumar) is seen singing a jaunty song (1. MAIN ALBELA JAWAAN HOON RANGILA) while driving in his convertible in a foreign land. He is paying an ode to the plethora of beauties around him, concentrating mostly on the women that abound. He is a flamboyant philander who loves to enjoy life, love girls, never really taxing his brain about the consequences. One of his conquests is Hemalata or Hema (Shashikala), who blackmails him to marry him or else she would complain to his father that she is pregnant with Shekhar’s offspring. Shekhar is least bothered and shoes Hema away. But she anyway writes about it to Shekhar’s father, Public Prosecutor Dharamdas (Nazir Hussain) & Mother (Lalitha Pawar) who live in a different city alongwith their school going daughter Sarala (Baby Shobha) and her & Shekhar’s elder brother Mahesh (Mehmood) who is an unsuccessful and fumbling lawyer & his wife Shanti (Shobha Khote) and their children. The scene shifts where Shekhar’s father calls for him by sending his Maama Ji as he is fed up of his gallivanting ways. But the rogue boy is his mother’s apple of the eye and gets away because of her (Lalita Pawar). Now Shekhar arrive at his father’s place as also Mahesh who was away from the family all these days. The comic sub plot with Mehmood & Shubha Khote is funny and as all Mehmood/Shubha Khote/SJ combo would have a song, they have this melodious song (2. WO DIN YAAD KARO). Once while dropping his little sister Sarala to school in his Convertible playing aloud the ‘Sasural’ song “Teri Pyari Pyari Surat Ko”, he notices a young woman who is his sister’s teacher, Sharada (Jamuna). Shekhar instantly falls for her and even devises a plan so that She can come to his house everyday to teach his sister. His incessant advances towards Sharada bear no fruit. She despises him and makes it very clear to him. He tries wooing her with (3.WOH CHALE JHATAK KE DAAMAN). He creates a misunderstanding between his parents and Sharada’s parents (Aagha) & cat eyed Step mother (Indira Billi) that Dharamdas is forced to ask Aagha for Sharada’s hand. Shekhar feels that Sharada agreed to marry him because she loved him, but is devastated to learn otherwise. Sharada weeps in front of him and declares that she can never love a fallen man like him and in turn he vows that he will never touch her unless one day she realises her folly and begs of him to accept her and the newly-weds maintain their self-inflicted vows of celibacy. While Shekar is having a tough time staying away from his wife, they are sent on a honeymoon. On location, Sharada catches him frolicking with his friends singing (4. DIL TU BHI GAA), and immediately draws a conclusion that he is just not trying to mend his ways. So the fight is back to where it started. They return home to a function where Shekhar’s birthday is being celebrated. In the gathering She is asked to sing ( 5. MAN RE TU HI BATHA KYA GAOON) and Shekhar is just not pleased with her washing dirty linen in public and inflicting sorrow on herself. While still in separation, there is a sequence for a dream song (6. MUJHKO APME GALE LAGA LO). Things turn for the better when Sharada falls ill and Shekhar has to take care of her and there is a realisation of mistakes that necessitates another song ( 7. YEH AANSOO MERE DIL KI ZABAAN HAI) Gradually she realises that her husband is a reformed man. But it takes some more time before the two can regale in their new found love and just when that is happening while singing (8. KARKE JISKA INTEZAR), the police come knocking to take Shekhar away. They charge him for the murder of Hema, who was brutally killed in her house. Everyone is baffled except Dharamdas, who actually believes that his son is capable of this heinous crime and the legal fireworks start.
Hamrahi is not a very bad film after all. Only there are some cliches that sometimes pull it down. There are short stints with Rajendranath, O P Ralhan, Dhumal etc. Shashikala should have been exploited and Rajendra Kumar should have been given a more meatier role. Instead South Indian Jamuna is harped upon – her sorrows, her predicaments, her misfortune. The best thing about the film is how the murder mystery is sorted out. You get to see the stereotyped characters move out of their comfort zone to depict dark shades. For instance, the Director etches Rajindernath in totally different shade from his popular image. Rajendra Kumar is shown to be a womaniser & philander in the beginning which is quite a bold thing to do, considering that Jubilee Kumar had always been a Goody Two Shoes. Hamrahi could have been much more pleasing with Great Cast, Good Story & Good Music but the fun fizzles out in many parts.
The Movie has 8 beautifully Written & Composed songs as under and it is difficult to choose one song.
Both Rafi and Lata modulate their voice so perfectly for Rajendra Kumar, Mehmood, Jamuna & Shubha Khote that you feel it is them who are singing and not Rafi or Lata.
1. Main albela jawaan hoon rangeela – Hasrat Jaipuri – Rafi.
The Movie begins with this awesome Opening song which runs along with the Title of the Movie. This is the first instance that shows the flirtatious behaviour of Rajendra Kumar, the picturisation shows him driving a convertible singing this song.
2. Wo din yaad karo – Hasrat Jaipuri – Rafi, Lata.
SJ were known for composing few very popular songs for the Mehmood-Shubha Khote pair and no SJ Movie is complete without that. This is a very popular song picturized on Mehmood and Shobha Khote who were there to provide variety and comedy. Mehmood is trying to be funny and Shobha Khote is trying to be coy. Hasrat’s Lyrics of the song is very simple, such songs also have an appeal of their own. One can understand and remember the words without concentrating too hard.
3. Wo chale jhatak ke daaman – Hasrat Jaipuri –Rafi.
Rajendra Kumar is known for his “teasing” songs. There are number of songs where he would tease the heroine and the heroine would fall for his charms at the end of this teasing. SJ were masters in composing such teasing songs The main reason why Rajendra Kumar movies were such big hits was not Rajendra Kumar per se, but the Music of these movies. He was lucky to work in movies whose songs were huge chart busters, movie after movie. One more reason for the success of Rajendra Kumar is the playback singing of Rafi Sahab. Rafi Sahab sang some outstanding songs for Rajendra Kumar
4. Dil tu bhi gaa pyaar mein muskuraa – Shailendra – Rafi.
This a typical Rafi- Rajendra Kumar song which showcases his flamboyant attitude of flirting with girls. SJ has used multi instruments in composing this melody. The song features the impeccable Anglo Indian Dancers & Musicians of that time Ted Lyons & his cubs, Edwina et al.
5. Man re tu hi bataa kyaa gaaun – Shailendra – Lata.
There are occasions when a couple may have strained relations and they may not be in talking terms with each other. But they are required to put up a facade of normalcy in front of their acquaintances. This song is a lovely picturisation of that nature. It is a get together party and the friends of Rajendra Kumar want Jamuna to sing a song. Rajendra Kumar, who otherwise would not speak to her, is constrained to request her to sing and Jamuna, with a heavy heart, is forced to sing. The lyrics by Shailendra capture her turmoil superbly. Lata’s voice and Shankar Jaikishan’s music are magical. Lata while singing the lines “Main roti hoon, Dil rota hai”, manages to both cry and sing in one breath, which is amazing. SJ were famous for creating such type of tunes with high pitch or high scale based on classical ragas especially for Lata Ji and she does full justice to the song.
6. Mujhko apne gale lagaalo ae mere hamraahi – Hasrat Jaipuri – Rafi, Mubarak Begum.
This title song is the Movie’s best-known song. SJ tries out Mubarak Begum for the First time and weaves a magic with her voice and Rafi is divine as always, flawless singing, smooth as silk. The song is one of SJ’s Milestone song in the career of Mubarak Begum. Unfortunately she sang a very few songs for SJ.
7. Ye aansoo mere dil ki jubaan hain – Hasrat Jaipuri – Rafi
This is a melancholic & immortal song created by Hasrat Jaipuri, Shankar Jaikishan and Mohammad Rafi – Rajendra Kumar came with splendid on screen performance. Every tear has a story to tell.. Rajendra Kumar at his Rona-Dhona best.
8. Karke jiska intezaar mera dil gaya haar – Shailendra – Rafi, Lata.
Another melodious and a great duet with beautiful Lyrics by Shailendra Ji depicting the sincere most feelings of a couple who happened to be estranged for fault of each other. SJ/Rafi/Lata combo is a wonder for all times to come. Each one of them pushes the other to an even greater height. A sweet melody and you can see this pair truly enjoying themselves, and so are we.
SJ were very famous for their Original Background Music and there are many instances of Background Music of their Film being tuned into a song in the same or another Film. But unusually in this Movie, you find SJ using another vintage Music Director Smt.Saraswati Devi’s song tune “Mai toh Dilli sey Dulhan laaya re O Babuji” from her 1941 Film ‘JHOOLA’ as a Background Music when Aagha sees his father-in law Dhumal drinking soda on the road and rides past his bicycle to woo his wife Indira Billi who is alone in their house.
Here is the Youtube link to the song “Woh Din Yaad Karo”-https://youtu.be/CmnZESJyN9A