My first film review was published in September this year. Though I had planned other reviews in due course, I couldn’t pay much attention to it for a few months. I was busy with Lata Mangeshkar posts for a couple of months.
I had already thought of a film to review, which I had watched a couple of years back. The film’s main attraction for me was of course the songs. Though the songs were quite popular, the film wasn’t a big success at the box office. It’s a story of a singer, who one day suddenly finds himself deaf and his entire world is turned upside down, not only his career is at stake, but his fiancée also leaves him. He starts feeling worthless and suffers from depression. The story was certainly interesting and with the melodious songs supporting it, I had high hopes. Though it wasn’t a great film, it was not bad too. You can watch it once.
Film – Kaise Kahoon (1964)
Star Cast – Nanda, Biswajit, Rehman, Naaz, Durga Khote, Om Prakash, Manmohan Krishna, Asit Sen, G M Durrani
Lyrics – Shakeel Badayuni
Music – S D Burman
Story & Producer – Ram Bellara
Director – Atma Ram
The film starts with a music concert coming to an end and the singer, Amar (Biswajit) leaving the venue, surrounded by his fans. He is making his way out through the crowd, signing autographs for some of his fans. He is a renowned singer at a younger age and has taken a lot of effort to achieve the place. At his home, we see Pandit Ji (Manmohan Krishna) and Mamaji (Om Prakash), playing chess and chatting with each other.
His Mamaji also works as his manager. He complains about Amar’s late return to the home. He was supposed to come at 4 in the afternoon, but it’s already 9 pm. Pandit Ji tries to resolve the matter by uttering clichés.
Amar arrives soon and clarifies the situation.
We meet Rekha (Nanda) who is Pandit Ji’s daughter. She’s angry with Amar and doesn’t want to talk with him.
On the dining table, Rekha complains about Amar’s ignorance to his own health. A thing that later turns out to be a bad habit on his part.
During the conversation between the cook, Chakkargun (Asit Sen) and a maid servant, Sundari (?), we get to know about Amar. Amar as a child, took music lessons from Pandit Ji and it was Mamaji who brought him to Pandit Ji. When Amar became a successful singer, he brought his guru to his home. His daughter and Chakkargun came to Amar’s home with him. Chakkargun has been with Pandit Ji for more than twenty years.
Though Rekha also sings, nothing is said about her singing career. But she is demure, and enjoys household work more than anything else. She doesn’t fancy clubs, kitty parties and other so called women socials. She prefers making her family happy. She looks after Amar’s routine and without her help, his things won’t run as smoothly.
One day, Amar sings a beautiful song with Pandit Ji and Rekha during Riyaz.
Suddenly he collapses, only to get normal in a moment. Everyone attributes this to excessive physical exertion on Amar’s part.
He doesn’t take adequate rest, remaining busy with Riyaz and recordings for the whole day. No one takes Amar’s fainting incident, as a warning sign.
The life goes on. Rekha clearly cares a lot for Amar and in fact she loves Amar. Amar though affectionate with Rekha, doesn’t understand her love. Only Mamaji knows about her secret love for Amar, and insist that she should confess. But Rekha is shy about it. She even doesn’t allow Mamaji, who readily takes the responsibility of conveying her feelings to Amar.
But sadly, Amar fails to catch her very apparent expressions, her evident love for him. (and we keep on thinking, are you really blind, Amar?) Even when he listens to her song, confessing her bashfulness, he takes no clue.
We can’t predict what destiny would offer us. May be a surprise awaits us at an unexpected turn! At a party thrown by Mrs Bharucha (?), Amar is mesmerised by the looks and dance performance of a young woman.
She is Anita Laxmichand (Naaz). It’s a love at first sight. She shares the feelings too. After primary introduction by Mrs Bharucha, Anita requests Amar to sing a song for the crowd, and adds that she is a huge fan and never misses his concerts. To Mrs Bharucha’s great surprise, Amar agrees to sing, who generally never sings for a party. Amar sings one of his popular songs. It has an exhilarating effect on Anita. Both of them get attracted to each other in no time.
Dr Shailesh (Rehman), is also charmed by Anita’s beauty. And while returning from the party, when Anita’s car breaks down, he is more than happy to drop her to her home.
Anita lives in an aristocratic flat with her mother (Durga Khote). The flat has its own private elevator service, which her father installed after the building was constructed.
Her mother welcomes the guest happily, as she happens to know him as a renowned surgeon. She’s much impressed by him, and even ready to accept him as her son in law. Anita obviously denies.
Amar is about to be shaken by the series of twists in his life. All incidents appear trivial at the face value, but ultimately turn terrifying and distressing.
One fine morning brings Amar a surprise, not a pleasant one! He notices he can’t hear the sound of running tap water. He is alarmed, but after a moment he’s all fine and hears it again. He pays no attention to it.
When Anita introduces Amar to her mother, she’s not much amazed. She clearly displays her disapproval.
But Amar is head over heels for Anita and she is the same. Both of them don’t seem to think much about her mother’s reaction. Amar prefers to keep the secret to himself, and his family is completely unaware of it.
At Amar’s home, however, when Pandit Ji and Mamaji, are chatting, Pandit Ji mentions his worries about Rekha’s marriage. Mamaji eagerly suggests Amar’s name. Rekha overhears the conversation and her joy knows no bounds. Exhilarated, Rekha sings a beautiful song to express her delight.
But as they say man plans and gods laugh. While they are chatting away, Amar arrives with Anita and introduces his family to Anita, as his fiancée.
It comes as a shock to everyone, but Rekha is completely heartbroken. She can’t manage to control her tears. Anita and Amar are surprised at her reaction. Mamaji tries to sooth Rekha, who’s completely in tatters.
Mamaji wishes to tell Amar the whole truth, but Rekha makes him swear on her life, not to mention anything to him.
In Anita’s house, she excitedly tells the news to her mother, the latter is not amazed. More so, as she has Dr Shailesh as a guest. He greets her and exits. Her mother again protests against the marriage, but Anita is firm.
And one day, the destiny strikes! During a song recording, Amar collapses again. This time, he goes deaf forever.
The doctors confirm so. He has an intracranial tumour, pressing on auditory nerves, resulting in complete deafness. The family is horrified.
The only solution is to operate and remove the tumour. But this could be life threatening. The family instantly denies operational intervention. They fear losing Amar forever.
Amar’s entire world is turned upside down. He loses some of his singing assignments. There is a crowd outside his home, to meet him. He feels totally worthless and even gets angry with Anita. Anita tries to mollify him, but he wants no sympathy. When he realizes his mistake, he apologizes to Anita. But when she discusses the matter with her mother, he feels humiliated and leaves.
At home, however, he watches Rekha holding his photo and crying. (She actually sings a song mentioning her dedication to him) The incidence makes him think of his conversations in the past with Rekha. He realizes her love for him, and he feels even more worthless.
He finally decides to go away from it all and flies to New York for lip reading therapy. Mamaji accompanies him.
In his stay there for six months, he learns lip reading and comes back much more confident. The doctors there advise him the same. Operation is the only answer to his cure, but it’s risky. He sends letters to his home and Anita. But Anita’s letters are unanswered. When he arrives back to India, his family receives him with joy. However, he misses Anita.
And why was Anita absent at the airport? She’s upset with Amar’s sudden illness and loses interest in everything. Encouraged by her mother, Anita gets more friendly with Dr Shailesh and they get closer. They start meeting frequently and a romantic connection soon develops between the two.
After his return, when Amar meets Anita, she’s not much amazed, though she’s happy for his recovery. But soon he senses that Anita has gone away from him. She doesn’t meet him, avoids him. Her mother also insults him by saying, he is out of work.
When he visits his composer friend, he observes that his place has been taken over by a fresh candidate. The composer also emphasizes the necessity of getting operated and being able to hear.
Amar realizes, though he can now communicate with others, he is far from resuming his singing career. But the family members don’t want to take the risk of operation, which may be fatal.
Amar is in a dilemma, whether to go for operation? Should he put his life at risk? What about his singing career? And would he marry Anita? Would Rekha get her love?
When I watched it for the first time, I didn’t know anything about the story line. But on reviewing, I noticed many things, that I had missed earlier.
The director has paid attention to the story keenly. He has addressed some queries that may come to viewer’s mind. The producer himself has written the story, which is quite straightforward, no side plots, no unnecessary characters. For a change, there is no character, either completely villainous or outrageously dedicated to someone. All the characters and their behaviour is quite believable and natural. Though before the operation, Amar behaves cynically with Anita, it’s due to a misunderstanding. Anyone would have thought the same, given he/she is under the same circumstances. There are no loud characters, , no filmy characters.
All actors do justice to their character. Nanda plays a demure, yet balanced and understanding girl. Her face is very expressive. She is the main attraction, than the music. Her character is not spineless. When needed, she tells Amar his faults and mistakes. When she thinks she has no place in Amar’s life, she goes away quietly.
The comedy side characters, Asit sen and Om Prakash (though the latter is an important supporting character as well) are also enjoyable. They don’t irritate. Biswajit also tries to offer justice to Amar, though he falls short to the expectations. Naaz looks nice and does her scenes well. Rehman and Durga Khote, though have a small role, do it perfectly.
And I must mention about the singer, G M Durrani, who acted in the movie, as a composer. We see him conducting the orchestra in some of the scenes.
He looks quite good and acts satisfactorily too. If I’m not wrong, he also acted in a few other movies as well.
The Music –
Of course, a very strong department of the film. The film has seven songs. Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi are the lead singers, and Asha Bhosle, Suman Kalyanpur with S D Batish appear just for a song each.
‘Manmohan Man Mein’, ‘Kaise Kahoon’, ‘Haule Haule Jiya Dole’ are obviously popular. Burman da received an award for ‘Manmohan Man Mein’, given by सूर सिंगार संसद, for excellent use of classical music in Hindi films. Lata’s rift with Rafi resulted in offering the song to Suman Kalyanpur, who excelled in the song. Her rendition in the difficult, classical based song was much appreciated. However, it was her last song with Burman da.
Rafi’s solos, ‘Dil Ka Dard Nirala’ and ‘Zindagi Tu Jhoom Le Zara’ are equally enchanting. The intoxicating party rhythm of the latter is much in contrast with the classical song.
‘Kisi Ki Mohabbat Mein’ is also worth mentioning, for combining sad and happy moods. While Biswajit is excited about his future life with Naaz, Nanda is in dismay. Rafi’s energetic voice and Asha’s melancholy voice offer quite an interesting contrast. The third verse of the song is generally not a part of the audio track, though it is worth listening to, and actually adds much more meaning to the song.
And the songs go along with the film, they don’t obstruct the flow of the story. Each song has a perfect situation. Even if the last song appears very late, it doesn’t look out of place. It actually has an apt situation. The song ends just a couple of minutes before the film ends.
In all, the songs are melodious and with a rare combination of Shakeel Badayuni and S D Burman. The lyrics go very well with the story, if we listen carefully. The lyricist is well aware of the storyline and the characters in the movie.
But, the simple story is treated as well very simply. Even if it’s not a bad film, it has very less or no commercially oriented inputs. No melodrama, no loud characters, just a simple story. And such films, though good, don’t appeal to the masses. They look dull overall and only a certain class of viewers support and watch such films. And such class is very small indeed. You like the movie, but it doesn’t offer entertainment as such. I think over simplicity of the presentation and the story could be one of the reasons for its average box office performance.
(Screenshots courtesy – Lehren Retro)
And I realized later, I’m posting it two days late for Biswajit’s birthday. I wish him a belated happy birthday!
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.
8 Replies to “Kaise Kahoon (1964)”
Of course I’ve heard the music of this film, but I’ve never got around to watching it. Thanks for the review – it sounds watchable. I’ll put it on my watchlist. Let’s see when I can get around to seeing it!
It is a watchable film. Do watch it, and tell me what you feel about it.
Oh Anupji, I am glad you reviwed this film I watched it a couple of months back and liked it a lot.
What’s likeable was the overall straight and simple treatment of story, mature characters and logical and objective handling of the illness. People around Amar are supportive without being fussy. Amar himself accepts the situation and tries to find an alternative to make his life easy. There are just a couple of scenes where he overreacts, but we can allow that. It’s him that’s gone deaf- right.
“overall straight and simple treatment of story, mature characters and logical and objective handling of the illness”
I agree. It was a good film and all the points you mention, hold true. Amar’s overreaction at certain situations seem natural.
Dear Anup ji,
There are times when you don’t see a Movie because so and so is the Hero or that Lady is the Heroine. And truth be told, during those college days (’60-’67), Biswajeet was a no-no.
But the way you’ve placed such compelling evidence, I have to place it on my TO-DO list.
That award winning song “Manmohan man mein” is actually based on a very old number by Sachin Karta (that’s how he’s addressed in Bengal), 1936, to be exact. Here’s that song in Bangla :
Touching on deafness affecting great Musicians, BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) is the best example. He began to lose hearing when he was 26 years old, and by the age of 44, he was stone deaf. Yet, his best Composition was his last, the 9th Symphony, composed just 3 years before his death. In the 4th and Final Movement is this piece “Ode to Joy” (based on a Poem by a German Poet, Schiller) :
[There is something in the Music that craves your attention and even if you are busy doing something else, you will tend to drop everything and listen to it. ]
The Ninth Symphony was first performed in Vienna on May 7, 1824. At the end of the first performance, Beethoven, who had been directing the piece and was consequently facing the orchestra, had to be turned around by singer Caroline Unger so that he could see the audience’s ecstatic reaction. Beethoven had been unaware of the tumultuous roars of applause behind him.
Today, this Song has been adopted by the European Union as its Official Anthem and is played at the beginning and the end of every sitting of the European Parliament, as also at all Official Functions.
As they say, when God shuts a door, He opens a window somewhere. In the case of Beethoven, he could hear the Music in his head.
Sorry for getting carried away, dear Anup ji.
With warm regards
Thank you Partha ji for such a detailed and insightful comment.
It wasn’t Biswajit’s good performance for sure.
I hadn’t known about the original Bengali song by Burman da. Thanks for sharing it.
I have heard of Beethoven and his symphonies, but my knowledge ends there itself. Thanks for sharing the interesting information (that he was deaf) and the video. It was certainly an excellent video.
Dear Anup ji ,
After “Anhonee” , once again U hv proved that U r very good as a reviewer .
This time , U hv chosen a simple rather one which is nt filmy kind of a movie !
Yet Ur review is enough tempting for a reader 2 watch d movie .
Whenever I used 2 watch d song ” मनमोहन मनमें ” on tv or youtube , I felt curious 2 know why did Biswajit faint in d end of d song , nd here U r with d answer.
I liked the poster nd d credits .I liked d detailed story plus d screenshots . I liked d way U hv taken notice of all character artists . I liked d narration about d music as well as d reasons that made this film a
Thnx for d link U hv given .I will watch it.
So Anup ji , a very perfect review .
Nd unlike Nanda , who hesitated in expressing her feelings” कैसे कहूँ” ,
I will tell U that U hv done a gr8 job …
Keep it up …
Looking forward for more reviews in future.
With lots of best wishes nd blessings ,
Pramod Godbole .
You are really very kind. Thanks for the appreciation and encouragement.
I think you will enjoy the film as well. It is certainly watchable.