Lag ja gale, ke phir ye haseen raat ho na ho…

Shaayad is janam me mulaqaat 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 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!



15 thoughts on “Lag ja gale, ke phir ye haseen raat ho na ho…

  1. In fact, a lot of Manoj Kumar’s earlier films (and even some after Shaheed, which marked the start of his ‘patriotic streak’) had him without those awful mannerisms – the curling lip, the hand in front of the face, and the hooded eyes. I like Woh Kaun Thi? the best, but he’s also good in Nakli Nawab and Anita – among others.

    I like Lag jaa gale better than Naina barse too! Such a gorgeous song, and I think Sadhana looks absolutely ethereal in it.

    I have heard Madan Mohan’s version of Naina barse – nicely rendered.

    By the way, another piece of trivia: Manoj Kumar helped design the posters for Woh Kaun Thi? I read somewhere that the movie’s name was also suggested by him.

  2. Lovely post Neha.
    I love all the songs of this movie. The lesser known ones are great too. Like Shokh nazar ki bijliya, picturised on a skating rink with Manoj Kumar and Parveen Chaudhary. But Sadhana is ethereal here. Nimmi, I think, would have been able to pull it off.

  3. Thank you so much Shami! 🙂 Sadhana really is luminous. I think Nimmi would have pulled it off too – she does have such a mysterious face (if you know what i mean!) Plus it would have done wonders for her career!

  4. Interesting tit-bits here Neha.
    Actually the hand thing was later. There are other films like Hariyali aur raasta, Himalay ki godmein (2 films of his I like very much) where he’s without his mannerisms.

    Nimmi’s face isn’t that full as Rakhi’s, and I think she was prettier (minus her histrionics). In Mere Mehboob she thought the maturer role had more scope for good acting.

    • Thank you P! 🙂 I think this is my longest post yet 🙂 And yes, I suppose the hand thing came much later. It is quite an annoying habit but I suppose in a way, it was his style 🙂

  5. Madan Mohan had a big role in shaping the career of Lata like OP Nayyar did it for Asha.
    In Who Kaun Thi, however, Madan Mohan also gave a fantastic song to Asha and that was “Shokh nazar ki bijliyan dil pe mere giraye ja”.
    It’s an awesome song that unfortunately always had to stay under the shadow of “Naina barse” and “Lag ja gale”

  6. Hi Anu! Gosh i thought no one was missing me 😀 I have been meaning to write for SO long but i am getting married in Dec and there’s SO much to do on the wedding front that I haven’t had a moment’s peace to sit and write something! But now that you posted this, (i love you for it) I will!

  7. wow ..neha…you really kept the old treasure alive…
    I stumbled upon your blog as i typed this song in google…
    Following your blog…will be tuned to new updates from u…!!! 🙂

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