O Nigahen Mastana – Remembering Nutan

I was planning a post on Nutan’s songs for a couple of years. But wasn’t able to actually get around writing it. This year I was waiting for her Birthday to publish my post. And today let’s celebrate it.

Nutan

Image Courtesy – Conversations Over Chai

Nutan was known for her natural acting and fabulous facial expressions. I’m in love with her black and white films where according to me, she looks absolutely beautiful. Her charming smile and expressive eyes were really mesmerizing. Her mother, Shobhana Samarth was a popular actress of her times and obviously Nutan must have had a flair for performing arts. In addition to acting, she also received formal training in classical music for four years. This reflected in her onscreen performance of songs. It is also said that Nutan was influenced by the natural acting of Motilal, who was a family friend.

Shobhana Samarth launched her under her own direction with the film, Hamari Beti in 1950, when Nutan was just 14. She participated in Femina Miss India in 1952. Her career took an uphill climb after the release of the film, Seema in 1955, for which she received her first Filmfare award for the best actress. She was awarded Filmfare best actress award on five occasions. The films were, Seema (1955), Sujata (1959), Bandini (1963), Milan (1967) and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978). It would be interesting to note that she was nominated for the best actress as well as the best supporting actress categories for the movie, Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, which was a super hit movie. I’ve mentioned the release year of these films. She also won the best supporting actress Filmfare award for Meri Jung (1985).

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Image Courtesy – Conversations Over Chai

She married Lieutenant-Commander Rajnish Bahl of the Indian Navy in 1959. Their only son Mohnish, was born in 1961, who’s continuing her legacy. He’s a popular and prominent face on television and Hindi films. His daughter is also into the acting career, continuing the family tradition.

Today’s let’s celebrate her birthday by remembering a few of her iconic black and white songs. I’ve tried to select songs with a happy or romantic mood, but of course a few have a gloomy mood as well. She looks absolutely beautiful and gorgeous in black and white films in my opinion. Her grace, her smile, her expressions, her expressive eyes, her vivacious presence are just a class apart. I’m completely bowled over by her looks. She worked with all the popular costars of her era except Dilip Kumar. Her pairing with Dev Anand (Baarish, Paying Guest, Manzil and Tere Ghar Ke Samne) and Raj Kapoor (Anari, Chhalia, Dil Hi To Hai) was very popular. My list has songs from all of these movies. She worked with Dilip Kumar much later in the 80s for Karma, which was a multi starrer film by Subhash Ghai.

So let’s start the journey, my favourite Nutan songs. I’ve arranged the songs in chronological order. I don’t have a particular favourite from Nagina (1951), though Nutan looks good. In fact I could find similarities between her and Tanuja and Kajol as far as facial expressions go. Look for yourself, Kaisi Khushi Ki Hai Raat. But there’s a trivia about the film. The film was certified as an adult movie with ‘A’ certificate. And it’s said that Nutan being 15 at the time, wasn’t allowed to attend the premiere of the film. It must be one of the strange and funny situations. Humlog (1952) has a few beautiful solos by Lata Mangeshkar, but I was a little disappointed to find both of my favourites picturised on Shyama. Nutan lip syncs to the soulful Chali Ja Chali Ja. The film Laila Majnu (1953) was on my shortlist too, but I was mainly looking for joyous songs and so I gave it a miss too. Still I would add,
Baharon Ki Duniya Pukare.

I’ll start with my favourites now,

1. Jogan Ban Jaaungi – Shabab (1954) Lata Mangeshkar / Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni
A beautiful solo by Lata Mangeshkar. Nutan, looking very pretty, announces that she would be ascetic as she’s worshipping him and has lost her peace of mind. Her beautiful face looks more attractive against a somewhat expressionless Bharat Bhushan. Nutan plays Ragini, a princess who suffers from insomnia. She looks gorgeous and suits the title of a princess.

2. Suno Chhoti Si Gudiya Ki – Seema (1955) Lata Mangeshkar / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
Nutan plays Gouri, a simple girl who changes from a timid girl to a furious and somewhat violent lady who has grudges with everything and everyone in the world. Her bitter experiences have changed her. With Amiya Chakraborty’s wonderful direction and Shankar Jaikishan’s melodious songs, Nutan reached heights of acclaim with the film. Her controlled, mature and natural portrayal of Gouri fetched her the first of the best actress Filmfare trophies. It’s really worth noting that Nutan was hardly 18 when the film was released. Perhaps, Manmohana Bade Jhoothe would be a more suitable choice for this position, but I’ve reserved it for another list to be published in July. And the story telling song is equally good, with fantastic मुद्राभिनय by Nutan.

3. Yeh Munh Aur Daal Masoor Ki – Baarish (1957) Lata Mangeshkar / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishan
Nutan plays Chanda, a village girl, who teases and annoys a visitor to her village, Dev Anand. I don’t think there are many songs where we watch Nutan doing a lot of funny faces and enjoying in a light hearted mood. A real fun to watch! Otherwise she looks beautiful throughout the film. I don’t think she has much to do in the film, except teasing Dev Anand and fighting with him. Still I have a liking for all the songs of the movie and I chose this one as I thought it to be different and rare than Nutan’s regular roles. Otherwise we also have, Zulf Hai Dosh Pe, (https://youtu.be/JNqVTA5fFic) where Nutan looks cute with a lot of anger on her nose. Very beautiful!

4. Chupke Chupke Rukate Rukate – Paying Guest (1957) Lata Mangeshkar / S D Burman – Majrooh
I won’t call it Nutan’s prominent role, still it’s a film that was very popular and majority of the songs are still very popular. I wasn’t aware of the situation in the song till I watched the movie. After her father’s death Shanti (Nutan) has no choice but to work for the family and for her sister’s illness. Her drunkard brother in law isn’t of any help. So against Ramesh’s (Dev Anand) wish, Nutan joins a theatre to make ends meet. The song is one of her stage performances. Nutan is lively and energetic, looking beautiful as always. Of course she looks beautiful in all the songs (especially in O Nigahen Mastana and Chhod Do Aanchal), but I decided to highlight a lesser popular song, as it’s not a bad song at all.

5. Hay Unki Woh Nigahen – Aakhri Dao (1958) Asha Bhosle / Madan Mohan – Majrooh
Nutan as Sheela looks gorgeous and beautiful, but not much scope for acting. Again not one of her good roles. But she’s absolutely delightful in this song. She is pretty, bubbly, and energetic. The tune by Madan Mohan is very catchy and addition of the whistling makes it more charming. Shekhar makes funny faces while driving. It seems he’s afraid of Nutan, who’s likely to engulf him at the earliest opportunity.

6. Yeh Raaten Yeh Mausam Nadi Ka Kinara – Dilli Ka Thug (1958) Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar / Ravi – Shailendra
Again not a movie where Nutan had scope to showcase her talent. But the songs are immortal and Nutan looks absolutely fabulous. She wears a swimsuit as well, of course no vulgarity, no skin show. Her charismatic presence lit up the silver screen. The song is one of the most romantic songs of the golden era. Her expressions are excellent, and she looks most wonderful in Hum To Mohabbat Karega. (https://youtu.be/JmXeTxVHs6k)

7. Woh Chand Khila Woh Taare Hanse – Anari (1959) Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
It was Nutan’s first film with Raj Kapoor and also her first with the director, Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Though it was a film revolving mainly around Raj Kapoor’s character, Nutan as Aarti had her own moments of excellence, in funny as well as emotional scenes. Look at her expressions in this song, she’s mischievous. On the other hand, in the song, Tera Jaana, her intense outburst of dejection touches our heart. Shankar Jaikishan excelled in the music department, fetching best composer Filmfare for them. Mukesh and Shailendra also received best playback singer and best lyricist Filmfare for the movie.

8. Kali Ghata Chhaye Mora Jiya – Sujata (1959) / S D Burman – Majrooh
Sujata is excited and confesses she is waiting for her prince charming. She innocently questions why would anyone mind it? Her joy is reflected on her face, she’s shy. Sujata fetched Nutan a much deserved Filmfare best actress award, her second. Her portrayal of Sujata, an untouchable, was rightly acclaimed and she was at her best. The alchemy touch of Bimal Roy, along with beautiful melodies by S D Burman created an environment that brought best film and best director Filmfare awards as well. It must not be an easy task to play Sujata. Nutan looks good with a bit darker makeup and minimal accessories.

9. Baaje Payal Chhun Chhun – Chhalia (1960) Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus / Kalyanji Anandji – Qamar Jalalabadi
Nutan’s next with Raj Kapoor, Chhalia, was directed by Manmohan Desai. I haven’t watched the movie, but she appears to have played a strong character. In the song, Nutan is enjoying with her friends. A good tune and a popular song.

10. Chupke Se Mile Pyase Pyase – Manzil (1960) Rafi & Geeta Dutt / S D Burman – Majrooh
After Baarish and Paying Guest, Nutan was paired opposite Dev Anand in the film, Manzil. It wasn’t for Navketan films, and doesn’t seem like revolving around Nutan’s character. Of course I haven’t watched it, but I’ve been listening to the songs of Manzil since childhood and utterly love this one. The prose lines by Geeta Dutt have enchanted me since then. Such a beautiful song and such a beautiful looking Nutan. Beautiful harmonica pieces in the interludes and at the end.

11. Chori Chori Ek Ishara Ho Gaya Hai – Basant (1960) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / O P Nayyar – Qamar Jalalabadi
The song is full of close ups of Nutan and she looks absolutely beautiful in a simple attire. The tune of the song is very catchy and the whistling makes it more lovely.

12. Mora Gora Ang Laile – Bandini (1963) Lata Mangeshkar / S D Burman – Gulzar
Bandini was Nutan’s second film with Bimal Roy and as they say, history repeats itself, Nutan was again awarded Filmfare best actress trophy for the movie. She plays, Kalyani, a lady sentenced for a murder. Nutan carefully acted the nuances of the character and was admired for her flawless performance.
This was Gulzar’s first popular song, though he had been writing for Hindi films earlier as well. The idea of asking for a dark complexion for being close to her beloved was very romantic and it was wonderfully tuned by Burman da.

13. Nigahen Milane Ko Jee Chahta Hai – Dil Hi To Hai (1963) Asha Bhosle / Roshan – Sahir
Would any list of Nutan’s songs end without this song? Of course not! A wonderful qawwali, equally well presented by Nutan. Her expressions, her graceful dance steps, perfect lip sync and her vivacious presence just glorifies the silver screen.
It should be noted that Nutan successfully continued her career after marriage and childbirth.

14. Ye Tanhai Hay Re Hay – Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) Lata Mangeshkar / S D Burman – Hasrat Jaipuri
A light hearted comedy film it was and the lead pair worked together for the last time. Dev Anand as Rakesh and Nutan as Sulekha made a perfect on screen pair for this romantic comedy. The film had moments of fun and drama, the pair pulled off every scene perfectly. Adorned with Burman Da’s master tunes, the film is a delight to watch. While Nutan looks fabulous throughout, I wanted a solo, she lip synced to, and chose this one. Of course Nutan’s contribution to the song, Dil Ka Bhanwar is unquestionably good. Her expressions and looks steal the show.

15. Kai Din Se Jee Hai – Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1967) Lata Mangeshkar / Madan Mohan – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
This beautiful piano song is perhaps overshadowed by the other Lata solos from the movie. What a wonderful composition! What a great tune and different from the usual Madan Mohan songs. By this time, Nutan started showing her age, at least slightly. Still she looks beautiful.

And,
To end the list, let me add the song Nutan sang for herself. A bonus track I would say!

§§Ae Mere Humsafar Rok Apni Nazar – Chhabili (1960) / Snehal Bhatkar – S Ratan§§
Nutan had a flair for singing and she had a formal training in classical music for four years. Chhabili was actually a film to launch Tanuja, but Nutan had a couple of popular songs to her credit. I find her voice quite similar to Geeta Dutt’s. She has sung it very impressively. Only if she would have got time for riyaz, she could have sung for herself more frequently.

I know I’ve skipped some of your favourites. Though I’ve refrained from posting her songs from colour films, readers, of course do add any of your favourite.

images (2) (1)

Image shared by Mohnish Behl on Twitter

Disclaimer –
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.

25 Replies to “O Nigahen Mastana – Remembering Nutan”

  1. Anup ji,

    I enjoyed reading about my most favorite actress.

    SARASWATICHANDRA fetched the National award for the music directors Kalyanji Anandji.
    Though Mukesh ‘s Chandan sa badan is the most popular song of the movie, Nutan had fantastic Lata songs of varied emotions.

    Main toh chod chali Babul ka des…

    Phool tumhe bheja hai khat mein..

    Chandan sa badan…

    Chod de saari duniya kisi ke liye….

    Talking of awards,
    KHANDAAN …
    Filmfare Awards for Best F Singer , Lyricist and Composer

    Tumhi meri mandir
    Tumhi meri pooja…

    MILAN.

    FF Award for LP.

    Sawan ka mahina…is an eternal favorite.

    Yug Yug se hum geet Milan ka…
    is good, too.

    I often wonder whether there was a Lata song…Aaj dil pe koi zor chalta nahin… recorded, but not picturised in MILAN.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. C A T Cat is a bubbly number I like from DILLI KA THUG.

    Lata must have sung almost 80% of Nutan ‘s songs, I think. Asha ,probably a dozen or so?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love her performance in “Saari Duniya Mein Dekhe Hain”:

    It’s the kind of lyric that could easily be cloying, but there is something about her physicality here, so solid and self-assured, that makes it seem as though she deeply believes what she is singing.

    I would also mention the telephone song from “Sujata” (even though Nutan doesn’t have any lines in it). I imagine it must have been extremely difficult to create a convincing performance in a song like that, but just seeing the expressions pass across her face is heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another note: “Chhalia” is a strange film, but a very worthwhile one. It hangs in my thoughts from time to time. Certainly worth a watch when the spirit may thus move you.

      Like

    1. Yes,
      I completely agree. I chose one of the duets, but the remaining two are good too. Both duets of Asha Bhosle with Rafi.

      Let me add the links,

      Dil To Hai Deewana Na

      Ae kash chalte milke

      Like

  4. Anup ji ,
    Nice birthday post of a versatile actress .
    I found all my favourite Nutan songs in ur list .
    Ur narration , as usual , is praiseworthy … perfect .

    Like जलते हैं जिसके लिए of सुजाता , where she does not have any lines to sing but her reactions nd expressions r simply great ,
    2 other songs show what a great actress Nutan was .

    रातभर का हैं मेहमाँ अंधेरा – सोने की चिडीयाँ
    Nd
    तुझे क्या सुनाऊँ मैं दिलरुबा – आखरी दाँव

    With best wishes ,
    Pramod Godbole .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pramod ji for your appreciation.
      There are a number of songs, where Nutan has no lines, but she steals the show with her excellent expressions.
      I’ve already mentioned, Dil Ka Bhanwar from Tere Ghar Ke Samne. And I’m happy you added a couple of songs.
      Let me add the links too,

      रातभर का हैं मेहमाँ अंधेरा – सोने की चिडीयाँ

      तुझे क्या सुनाऊँ मैं दिलरुबा – आखरी दाँव

      Thank you. I eagerly wait for your comment. It always brings a smile on my face.

      🙂

      Like

  5. Anupji, I was reminded of Nutan playing the role of Kaliganj Ki Bahu in the DD tele serial Mujrim Haazir. It had some wonderful Bengali folk music. Nutan would arrive in a palanquin with the palanquin bearers making the typical sounds. Here is a short clip about the serial that I found on YouTube.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes,
      A lot of songs in common. I was going to choose Manmohana Bade Jhoothe, but it’s reserved for a later post. So I chose another. 😀
      Thank you for visiting and commenting Anuji. The sing from Heer is good. It was perhaps the only film Anil Biswas composed for Nutan.

      Like

  6. Dr. Anup,
    This is an excellent tribute to Nutan with most of her popular and excellent songs being posted.
    I have always liked Nutan but I don’t like the movies that she did in late 60s. I have never able to sit through those social melodramas from the South that she did. According tome, her best roles and films were till 1963. I am even ok with some of her varied roles in 70s and 80s, but not the late 60s.

    Few songs that I would like to add:

    Sach bata tu mujhpe fida – Soen Ki Chidiya

    Ek ghar banaunga – Tere Ghar Ke Samne.
    I love the picturization and Nutan singing and reacting as if inside the glass is wonderful

    Tumhari mast nazar gar idhar – Dil Hi To Hai

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr Rajesh,
      Thank you for the appreciation. Glad you liked the songs. I agree with you, Nutan had good songs picturised on her, but not all of the films were good. In fact a few of her roles from the 60s are regressive.
      Thank you for sharing some of the wonderful songs. Among those songs, my favourite is from Tere Ghar Ke Samne. Nutan’s expressions are wonderful in it. Mainly when someone adds ice in the glass and she shivers.
      🙂

      Like

  7. Anupji thank you for this writeup on one of my most favourite actress Nutan. She was really great and acted in all shades of heroine with aplomb and her performance was always outstanding. What a classic performance in Sujata as the untouchable girl. She had happy moments in the film and sad ones. She was equally at home everywhere. She and Dev Anand had the right chemistry but somehow did not last long. I have seen plenty of her movies as they were released in Delhi cinema theatres. All the songs you posted were already well known and I enjoyed an enchore. Here are happy duets from the film Baarish, music by C Ramchandra.

    Phir wohi chand by Lata and Chitalkar

    Kahtehai pyar isko by Lata & Chitalkar

    There is also a sad version of this song sung by Chitalkar

    Liked by 1 person

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