Let me first explain my idea for the post. Old Hindi films many times have songs that were sung by the hero on his first appearance on the screen, or sometimes during the early minutes of the film, explaining his philosophy of life. The songs used to establish his character in the movie and made it easier for the viewers to understand.
Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand had such songs in the majority of their movies. And of course other heroes would have had such songs, though off hand I can’t think of any. Let me see if I could find those songs. As I haven’t watched many movies from the golden era, it would be an exercise for me.
Let’s go to the list, ten songs that introduce the hero and tell us of his character in the movie. I’ve tried to find songs picturised on heroes other than Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand. Otherwise the post would have ended enumerating their songs. Still, as their songs are the main inspiration for the post, I’ve added a couple of songs each. So without a further ado, let’s hit the list. As usual the songs are from the pre-70s films.
1. Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke – Nau Do Gyarah (1957) Kishore Kumar / S D Burman – Majrooh
It was obviously one of the songs that I’d in my mind. Dev Anand merrily singing the anthem of his life. He plays Madan Gopal, who has to keep moving homes, as he fails to pay the rent and the landlord throws him out. He is too hard up to pay the rent. His happy go lucky nature is highlighted in the song. His uncle leaves him a sum of 11 lakhs and he buys a lorry to travel to Mumbai. What a philosophy! He is rough and tough, can manage to survive in any circumstances. He welcomes grief and joy with equal ease. The playful song also has a tinge of sadness, but it is waved off in the joyous mood.
2. Awara Hoon Awara Hoon – Awara (1951) Mukesh / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
Raj Kapoor is released from jail. He’s a free bird now. But his time in the jail has left an impact on his mind. He has lost his innocence, moreover he has lost faith in humanity and the world in general. He is now a homeless vagabond, there’s nobody left who cares for him. His soul is wounded, but he spreads happiness. Raj Kapoor built his screen image akin to that of Charlie Chaplin. Though it wasn’t suitable for this film, he carried forward the image to his future RK film’s ventures.
3. Main Ghareebon Ka Dil – Abe Hayaat (1955) Hemant Kumar / Sardar Malik – Hasrat Jaipuri
Prem Nath plays Jamal, who’s the son of the Wazir of the Kingdom. He helps out poor citizens and makes fun of the rich. He calls himself heart of the poor and voice of the nation. He further describes his attitude towards life.
4. Mera Joota Hai Japani – Shree 420 (1955) Mukesh / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
The list can never be complete without this one. In this movie, Raj Kapoor fully explored his Charlie Chaplin image. Look at his attire, his facial expressions. Worn out shoes, a short pants, old coat and a hat. He also adapts some of Chaplin’s gestures to complete the picture. He proudly emphasizes his being an Indian at heart, let his attire be a combination of multinational styles. He wants to reach Mumbai, but has no idea about his destination or the goal in life. He has left that to god’s grace. He believes in consistency and dedication. To give up is the end of life, he adds. The song appears at his very first entry on screen. It builds the necessary background for his character in the film.
5. Le Chala Jidhar Yeh Dil – Miss Bombay (1957) Rafi / Hansraj Behl – Prem Dhawan
I had included the song on my list of Hansraj Behl post. It fits the bill perfectly. The film opens with the song, with Ajit driving a lorry, named Miss Bombay. He sings to himself uncovering his philosophy of life. The one who adapts to the changing circumstances and succeeds, the rest lose the battle. Don’t accept beggary, believe in your own self. Follow your heart, have faith. The harmonica pieces and whistling adds a cheerful and carefree attitude. The lorry has a cute puppet playing violin, attached to a side.
6. Akela Hoon Main – Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962) Rafi / S D Burman – Majrooh
Dev Anand plays Rajesh, a lawyer by profession. He’s all alone, to the extent that he calls his shadow his only companion. He wanders aimlessly, following only his heart. He hasn’t undertaken any new case for a long time and his friend, Johny Walker worries about his future. A good song. It is said the movie was titled ‘Akela’ and this song was supposed to be the title track. It was however changed to Baat Ek Raat Ki, I’m obviously not aware of the reason.
7. Lakhon Hai Nigah Mein – Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) Rafi / O P Nayyar – Majrooh
Joy Mukherjee makes a musical entry with the song. A good melodious song. The hero is looking for his dream girl, but hasn’t found her so far. The park he’s strolling with his guitar in, has groups of beautiful girls merrily hanging out. (Perhaps a girl’s college has arranged a picnic!). He likes a girl’s hair, another girl’s beautiful face, other’s eyes and so on. But he wonders where would his mate be? She is supposed to have all the qualities of his dream girl. He keeps on daydreaming of her. This song doesn’t talk about his life philosophy, but mentions his dreams about his mate. I wonder if he plays a singer in the movie. I’ve seen the movie on Doordarshan, years ago and don’t at all remember anything.
8. Dil Mera Ek Aas Ka Panchhi – Aas Ka Panchhi (1961) Subir Sen / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
Rajendra Kumar plays Rajan Khanna who aspires to join military services. He’s a member of NCC in school and continues to be a sincere and dedicated cadet in college as well. He is optimistic about his bright future and talks about the goal of his life. Subir Sen, who sounds very much like Hemant Kumar, has sung the song quite impressively, though he couldn’t establish himself in Hindi films.
9. Ehsan Mere Dil Pe Tumhara Hai – Gaban (1966) Rafi / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
Sunil Dutt plays a character who takes bribes to get people’s work done. His father is an honest clerk and doesn’t know about it. It seems from the song that he borrows things from his friends or even lifts things without getting noticed. His charming behaviour covers it all. It would perhaps be the only song that is designed to showcase the dishonest hero.
10. Kisi Na Kisi Se Kabhi Na Kabhi – Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) Rafi / O P Nayyar – S H Bihari
Shammi Kapoor has run away from his home as his mother intends to marry him off with a girl of her choice. She doesn’t care if he approves or not. She wants to impose her choice on him. The latter, frustrated and angry, escapes to Kashmir. On the way, he breaks into a song where he sings about his wish. He wishes to meet a girl, who’s one of the most beautiful and gorgeous girls. Very cheerful and catchy song, thanks to O P Nayyar for the wonderful melody. I thought about the song twice, as I felt it’s not exactly fitting the theme. But later settled for it, though I’m still not sure about it.
Would you like to add a song to the list?
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.