Lag ja gale, ke phir ye haseen raat ho na ho…
I LOVE this song. For many, their favourite song from this film, Woh Kaun Thi, is Naine Barse but I like Lag ja so much more. It’s so sweet and full of longing. Granted, Naina Barse has a different intention (to spook you) altogether, but still.
The picture (above) I saw reminds me of “Pyaar hua iqraar hua hai” but for some reason, I like this one a lot more than the other. This lovely screencap shows Sadhna and Manoj Kumar.
It is said that Sadhna played a role in choosing the tunes of the songs composed by Madan Mohan. Naine Barse was composed by him in 1952 but was rejected by most filmmakers because they couldn’t find an apt situation to use it in. Things, however, took a turn when Raj Khosla, director, was searching for a “haunting” tune for his film. No prizes for guessing what happened next.
Here’s a bit of REALLY interesting trivia: (available on Memsaab’s review of the film too) The song Naina Barse was to be sung by Lata, but she had evidently fallen ill and couldn’t playback. In steps Mr Mohan and records the song in his voice because they had to prepare the sequence for the film! Apparently, people in Shimla couldn’t stop staring and wondering what in god’s name kind of ghost would sound like a man in a woman’s body. (Reminds me of exorcist *shivers*)
But eventually, Lata did record the song in her own voice and the one sung by Madan Mohan was later given to HMV by his family after his demise. It is said that Madan Mohan’s compositions were really difficult to sing. Not for Lata, obviously. A quote by her on http://www.madanmohan.in says, “People say I added something special in his songs – I do not know whether this happened consciously. Maybe it happened because of our personal rapport and affection for each other, our mutual respect for each others’ work. He created such beautiful melodies for me that were always challenging, and I had to be at my best.”
What a compliment!
Yes, that’s Nimmi. She wasn’t in the film but she is a part of the story in an indirect way: She was offered a Sadhna’s role in Woh Kaun Thi but she said no to it because she was already readying for a role in Mere Mehboob (In fact, she was also offered Sadhna’s lead role in MM but she said no to that too). Having refused both roles, Sadhna ended up getting the role of a lifetime in both films. Talk about a stroke of luck for Sadhna! Nimmi’s fatal choice ended up a lucky charm for Sadhna, who went on to establish a firm fan following in the era that followed along with biggies like Asha Parekh, Mala Sinha and Saira Banu.
Poor Nimmi. (By the way, don’t you think she looks a lot like Rakhi? Or is it just me?)
Anyway, now a little about Manoj Kumar (although this is not exactly trivia; more like a jibe – I hope I don’t get sued for it) You know the patent pose he strikes? Hand over face? None of that in this film! How strange and irregular is that, I asked myself. Then I read somewhere that he hadn’t yet made a place for himself in films so maybe he was yet to develop his unique style.
Phew! Such a treasure trove of info this film is! Ok, just two more things – On Upperstall‘s blog, I found out that the film loosely follows the plot of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White. Guru Dutt had planned to make a film based on it but for reasons unknown, gave up on it.
And the last: Woh Kaun Thi was remade into Tamil as Yaar Nee by Sathyam (1966) that starred Jaishankar and (lo behold!) Jayalalithaa, the current Tamil Nadu CM!
Ok, this has turned into an unbelievably long post but I wanted to share all that I found Until the next time, Cheers!