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21 November 2013

Word Play: Chand

I was driving my son back from his ballet class on Monday when, just as I was about to turn the corner to our home, he exclaimed excitedly from the back seat. I stopped the car on the slope so we could both enjoy the glimpse of the golden orb that looked like it was hanging between the trees. It was a glorious sight. 

And that brought me to my sorely neglected blog. The last few months have been stressful, for various reasons, and the blog has suffered as a result. Never mind. That can always be changed. 'Word Play' is not a new category for my readers, but it has been woefully under-represented. In the two years that I have been consistently blogging, I have only written two posts under this category. So this seems the perfect time to make amends. Interestingly enough, this word links to my earlier posts - Raat and Piya 

Raat, Piya, Chand - they are inextricably bound to each other. Not just in our films, but in literature as well, the moon is often a witness to love and its myriad endings. Think of the importance of the moon in the scene where Pyramus and Thisbe meet, in the play-within-a-play in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  And so, today's word: Chand. (And perhaps it is because the word is 'Chand'  that I found that the underlying theme of all songs, whether happy or sad, is love.)

As always, this category has its own rules. Unlike the My Favourites series, where the selection of songs is made by theme, or singer, Word Play cuts across themes, settings, even genres most times. It has only two conditions: a) that the mukhda of the song begins with the chosen word (or, it is at least the second word in the first line). Preludes, of course do not count. b) The word itself, not its variations - Chand, not Chanda, for instance. (That condition effectively removed one of my favourite C Ramchandra compositions from Parchaain.

While I had a list in place (I always have many lists in place!) I have listened to some lovely songs these past two days in an attempt to whittle my choices down to the final ten. That was a mistake, since I ended up with more songs than I had, originally. Eventually, after a lot of mental calisthenics over which song to keep and which to drop, I eventually (with a deep sigh for all those songs that I couldn't accommodate in the list) came up with the songs below as my final choice. 

Since it was the sight of the full moon in all its golden glory that facilitated this post, let me begin with: 
1. Chand zard zard hain (Jaali Note/1960) Asha Bhosle - Mohammed Rafi / OP Nayyar / Anjaan)
I usually avoid this adjective, but 'sweet' is the only way to describe this song. This is not as well-known as the other songs from Jaali Note, but OP Nayyar allows the vocals centre stage, even as he fills the void with some tuneful whistling, and wonderful trumpet set pieces. My husband is sure that the trumpet was played by Anthony Peter Monsorate because of the way it sounds (Yes, he usually picks up the instrumentalists by the way they play, and what is more, he is usually right!) but the person on screen is choreographer Surya Kumar - as identified by Tom Daniels in the comments on Dustedoff's blog. 

The picturisation is sweet as well - Dev Anand singing over the telephone to Madhubala - just watch her expression after he sings 'Mere dil mein pyar ka halka halka dard hain'; she looks like she is going to swoon. (I nearly did!) A very soft, romantic number that talks of the wonder of that love: Tere pyar pyar hai ke khwaab hai? Lovely!

2. Chand jaane kahan kho gaya (Main Chhup Rahoongi/1962) Mohammed Rafi - Lata Mangeshkar / Chitragupt / Rajinder Krishen
Here, the hero (Sunil Dutt) wonders where the moon has vanished to; perhaps his beloved shouldn't have unveiled her face. (The comparison of a woman's beauty to that of the moon is one of the most beloved tropes of literature and poetry.) She (Meena Kumari), not to be undone, claims that perhaps he shouldn't have smiled; the moonlight pales in comparison. And indeed, so much in love are they, that it doesn't seem overboard. There is an innocence there that admits to being starry eyed because of the magic of love - Aankh taare jhapakne lage, aisi ulfat ka jaadu jagaana na tha...

Interestingly, Chand jaane kahan kho gaya mimics the mukhda of Aaj mausam ki masti mein gaaye pawan from Benarasi Thug, which is similar in tune to Ek chameli ke mandve tale from Cha Cha Cha (both composed by Iqbal Quereshi.) The mystery of who 'inspired' whom deepens when you consider that Benarasi Thug and Main Chhup Rahoongi were both released in 1962. (Cha Cha Cha was released in 1964.) So did Chitragupt find inspiration in Iqbal Quereshi's composition, or was it vice versa? Or were both composers inspired by a composition that was even older? 

3. Chand jahaan woh jaaye (Sharda/1957) Lata Mangeshkar - Asha Bhosle / C Ramchandra / Rajinder Krishen
The moon as a messenger is another plot device used extensively in literature. While one maiden is exhorting the moon to be a constant companion to her beloved and to illuminate his path, the other is pleading with the moon to tell her beloved how difficult she finds life in his absence.

And so, one (Meena Kumari) shows concern -  it is his first journey and he is ignorant of the place and its patterns of behaviour... Pardes mein raahi ko manzil ka pataa dena, Hai pehla safar unka aur reet hain anjaana... she doesn't want the moon to say anything to her beloved, just bring her back news of him.  

The other (Shyama) is pining away for her beloved. She wants the moon to tell him just how much she misses him and... Ek dard ke maare ko achcha nahin tadpaana...

Two very different messages, and two very different ways of loving...

4. Chand raat tum ho saath (Half Ticket/1962) Kishore Kumar - Lata Mangeshkar / Salil Choudhary / Shailendra)
Now here is a song with a difference! The presence of the moon has evidently not softened the woman's heart. While he insists that the night, the moon and her presence is enough to make his heart beat faster, she scoffs that it is only a heart, who is to say that it will not change its tune on the morrow? A comical conversational set piece, it consists of him (Kishore Kumar) continuously offering his love, and she, equally constantly, disposing of his arguments. And so, while he sings Zulmi nazar, kaisi nidar, dil chura liya... she claims:
Ye bhi koi dil hai kya, jahaan mauqa mila, phisal phisal gaya... 

He is bent on convincing her, even pleading: Behke kadam, ab to sanam, baah thaam lo, she brushes him off: Apni nazar, apni nigaahon se kaam lo. Finally, she begs him: Suniye zara, maine kaha mat sataaiye and he replies: Ye woh raahein nahin, jispe chalke koi sambhal sambhal gaya...

Obviously, taking 'no' for an answer is not in the Hindi film hero's lexicon, but here, she is so busy smiling her effervescent smile at him, and linking hands to dance around trees with him on a moonlit night, that one can scarcely blame the fellow for thinking he can change her mind.

5. Chand bhi koi deewana hai (Apna Ghar Apni Kahani/1968) Asha Bhosle - Mahendra Kapoor / N Dutta / Qamar Jalalabadi
A moonlit night, a boat ride on a gently flowing river, time spent with someone you love very much... what is not to like, especially when the picturisation includes a very young and very pretty Mumtaz, who is quite the house favourite. (My husband concurs vehemently!) This is one of the songs that I first heard when I was researching songs for this post, and quickly became a favourite. A very soft, romantic number, with Asha's silken vocals, and Mahendra Kapoor dialling down his timbre by a notch, this is probably the only song where they compare the moon to themselves. She sings... Ye bhi hain, hum sa hain awaara, Raat bhar phirta hai maara maara...

6. Chand aahein bharega (Phool Bane Angare/1963) Mukesh / Kalyanji-Anandji / Anand Bakshi
A drive in a car with someone you love, a soft romantic number playing on the radio (and being hummed by the hero, once in a while), and what can a woman do, but be lost in a dream? Especially when the song says: Chup na hogi hawa bhi, kuch kahegi ghata bhi, Aur mumkin hai tera zikr kar de khuda bhi... and Teri khatir farishte sar pe ilzam lenge, Husn ki baat chali toh sab tera naam lenge... 

The dream sequence was a pain, though; it would have been far more interesting to see the interaction between the two people - who, though evidently attracted to each other, haven't still confessed their love - as they listen to the song.

7.  Chand ghatne laga (Shart/1954) Geeta Dutt / Hemant Kumar / SH Bihari
Picturised on a very young (and very pretty) Shashikala, this peppy Geeta Dutt number is a sheer joy to listen to. A club number, it nevertheless talks of love and her heart's desires, and how it is unaffected by the waning of the moon and the passing of the night... Chand ghatne laga, raat dhalne lagi, Aarzoo mere dil ki machalne lagi... she exhorts her listeners: Meri nindiya se bojhal ye akhiyaan kahein, Zara paas baitho, kuch kahein kuch sunein...

Do listen; it will get your feet a-tapping... 

8. Woh chand khila (Anari/1959) Lata Mangeshkar / Shankar-Jaikishen /Shailendra
This is when I thank my stars that I put in the clause that the chosen word could appear second in the first line... 

One of my favourite romantic numbers, I love the playfulness that Nutan depicts on screen. Both Raj Kapoor and Nutan shared a comfort level that was evident in their on-screen chemistry. Here, she is the one who is flirting with him, dropping broad hints which, as she says Samajhnewale samajh gaye hai, na samjhe, na samjhe woh anari hain! She has fallen in love with him much before, and according to the social norms of the day, it wasn't the 'done thing' for a woman to tell a man that she loved him. So what else can she do but drop hints? So she is stuck to singing Baaje dil ke taar gaaye ye bahaar, Ubhre hai pyaar jeevan mein and Chanda ki chaal mastani hai paagal jispe raat ki raani, Taaron ka jaal le le dil nikaal, poocho na haal mere dil ka...  

Na samjhe woh anari hai, indeed!!

9. Chand phir nikla (Paying Guest/1957) Lata Mangeshkar / SD Burman / Majrooh Sultanpuri
Nutan again, but this time, she is bereft. The moon has risen again, but her beloved has not come to her. The waiting is torture, and even the coolness of the spring breezes is not enough to assuage her searing agony - Ye jaanta hai dil ke tum nahin mere...

She has loved, and it seems, lost. Her lover is now besotted with someone else. What is she to do when she cannot forget him? Sulagte seene se dhuaan sa ut-tha hai, Lo ab chale aao ke dam ghut-tha hai, Jalaa gaye tan ko bahaaron ke saaye, Main kya karoon haaye ke tum yaad aaye... A lovely SD Burman composition, rendered by Nutan, of whom Lata Mangeshkar once said she was the only heroine who looked like she was singing the song on screen.   

10. Chand madham hai (Railway Platform/1955) Lata Mangeshkar / Madan Mohan / Sahir Ludhianvi
This last song is a plaint as well. Chand madham hai was originally a nazm titled Intezaar (Waiting). Sahir Ludhianvi used it in the film where the heroine's anguish - Dil mein nakaam hasratein lekar, hum tera intezaar karte hain - was brought to life beautifully by Madan Mohan's melody and Lata's voice. Her beloved is not too far away, physically, but he has lost his way, and she begs him to come back... In bahaaron ke saaye mein aa jaa, phir muhabbat jawaan rahe na rahe, Zindagi tere naamuraadon par kal talak meharbaan rahe na rahe... 

Her plaint is piteous indeed as she waits, and waits...and her tired eyes beg for one night's sleep...Aa tere gham mein, jaagti aankhen, kam-se-kam ek raat so jaaye... 

To mix up my metaphors a little, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The moon is an important part of being in love, and I'm sure there are far more songs waiting to be discovered. Why don't you tell me what your favourite songs are? Just remember, no variations, and the word has be the first or the second in the first line of the mukhda. 


  1. Lovely topic and what a wonderful word - chand - even an old cynic like me gets lost in its magic! I thought of Woh chand khila ..., chand phir nikla ... and chand zard zard hai ... immediately, then remembered another old favoirite - woh chand muskaaya, ... Let me find the song on Youtube.

  2. Thank you, Lalitha. Yes, there is something about the moon that erases any, and all cynicism. :) And some of these songs are so romantic, even I can forget the pitfalls....

  3. (Looking sadly at Lalitha... You don't read my posts, do you? :( I said
    b) The word itself, not its variations - Chand, not Chanda, for instance.

    and then, I said:
    Just remember, no variations, and the word has be the first or the second in the first line of the mukhda.


    So out of your songs, I have Chand ko kya malum - it was on my shortlist, but got bumped off to make space for Chand ghatne laga. I had completely forgotten about Woh chand muskaya... thank you for posting it. And here is the link:


    All the other songs on your list are on *my* longlist for Chanda... *grin*

  4. Sob,sob! And here I was, congratulating myself for remembering so many songs, for a change! But I did read the post, which is why I knew Chaudhvin ka Chand ... Had been omitted for a reason!

  5. *grin* As I often tell young A, you need to pay attention! :)

  6. Heh. If I didn't allow that, how could I put in Woh chand khila? So, some judicious rule bending there. :) I don't remember Laat Saab very well, except Nutan dressed in jodhpurs and spouting French. But I have heard this song (without knowing it was in Laat Saab)... thanks for the link.

  7. As you have already listed all my fav chand songs and the remaining your readers have already posted, like a child I did not want to be left behind. I thought let me check on You Tube and see whether I can find something and guess what I found a very young Madhubala obviously lip synching to an audio of a song that was probably sung by Lata much later, Lata's voice doesn't sound youthful, a nice effort by the person uploading it. He probably had the visual, a nice case of mix and match, I guess the original audio wasn't clear, being such an old film.


  8. The song is from Jawab, a 1942 film starring Kanan Devi and PC Barua. The original song was sung by Kanan Devi. I'm guessing the Lata Mangeshkar version was the one she sang in tribute to Kanan Devi.
    Here is the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2-GkUUwjsg

  9. Hah! I should have posted that, no? I love her I write, I recite videos...

  10. Anuji,

    An interesting theme, wonderful write-up and some beautiful songs.Thank you Anuji. Enjoyed the post. Chand aahein bharega, Who chand khila, Chand phir nikla and Chand madham hai are some of my favourite songs.

    Since ages moon has been associated with love and beauty. I used to wonder, if the side of the moon which is revealed to us is so beautiful then the side which is not revealed to us must be all the more beautiful. Men
    are always in awe over the side that is not revealed to them! In one of my write-ups I had compared Madhubala’s beautiful face with the other side of the moon. Thank you for including two songs picturised on Madhubala. And Shilpiji added a bonus.

    Let me start with a sad song followed a few more:
    Ae Chand tere saath by Surinder Kaur, film Dada(1949), lyrics Shewan Rizvi, music Shaukat Dehlvi Nashad

    Maine Chand aur sitaron ki tamanna kit hi by Md.Rafi, film Chandrakanta (1956), lyrics sahir Ludhyanvi, music N Dutta

    Chand so gaya tare so gaye by Meena Kapoor, film Raahi(1953), lyrics Prem Dhawan, music Anil Biswas

    And the last one where the moon appears in its full glory!
    Chand sa Mukhda kyon sharmaaya by Md rafi and Asha Bhosle,film Insaan jag utha (1959), lyrics Shailendra, music S D Burman

  11. Thank you, Mr Venkatraman. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Of the songs you listed, I am only aware of Maine chand aur sitaron ki tamanna ki thi... thank you for introducing me to some 'new' old songs...

  12. I make common cause with my friend AK of 'Songs of Yore' in lodging a strong protest against the autocratic and dictatorial conditions limiting the choice of songs. I think the two of us will join hands one day to come up with a meta-post: "Top ten posts by Anu and Madhu with the most unreasonable restrictions!"

    In true Gandhian tradition I will link one beautiful song from Barish by Lata and Chitalkar in which the word occurs in the 'third' place of the Mukhda: 'Phir wohi chand' penned by Rajinder Krishan. He later recycled it to come up with the more famous 'Phir wohi sham' -

    The next protest link is a song that meets the criterion but is not from a film: Jagmohan's 'Chand hai Mehmaan' -

    Lastly, as I don't want to be banned from commenting on this blog, I link (tail between legs) one song that checks every box: Geeta Dutt's 'Chand hai wohi' -

    Thanks for a great theme and great selection of songs.

  13. I'm so glad you reminded us of Chand sa mukhda, Venkataramanji! Such a lovely song. :-)

  14. I rewatched Laat Saheb a couple of years back - till then, all I'd remembered of it was Nutan's 'convertible' dress, the skirt of which got pinned up to make those stylish jodhpurs. :-) Not one of Shammi's most memorable movies - but I like this song.

    And, another song with chand as the second word. Not a song I really like very much, even though Uttam Kumar does look quite dishy. Ae chand ki zebaai:


  15. this is a melodious song toooo...


    1. this song is from afsana 1966-padmini and pradeep kumar

  16. the autocratic and dictatorial conditions limiting the choice of songs

    Hey, hey, my blog, my post, my rules... (You have no idea how long I waited to say that! *grin*)
    Thanks for the links, Subodh (and I have noted your 'protest'). I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and added to it.

  17. Yeah, sounds like Shankar-Jaikishen were on valium when they composed this, no? And yes, Uttam Kumar does look rather dishy, even if the film was a bore.

  18. Beautiful list! Song #4, #6, #7, #8 and #9 are my favorites. #5 is a song that I haven't heard before,thanks for discovering this geam featuring one of my favorite actresses,Mumtaz

    Some of my favorite songs on this theme are-

    Khoya Khoya Chand-Kala Bazaar (1960)


    Yeh Chand Sa Roshan Chehra- Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)


    Chand Si Mehbooba Ho Meri- Himalaya Ki God Me (1965)


  19. Khoya khoya chand does not qualify, even if Subodh decides to protest against what he calls my 'autocratic and dictatorial' rules. :) But it is nice to hear it again.

    How could I have forgotten Ye chand sa roshan chehra? *head to desk moment*

    Chand si mehbooba was on my list, but it is not one of my favourite songs. (Partly because, I think, it is picturised on Mala Sinha and Manoj Kumar...)

    Thanks for the links. :)

  20. Thanks for that bit of info Anu, this kind of mix and match keeps happening on You Tube all the time.

  21. And some of them do it very well, Shilpi. Have you watched this one? Whoever edited this video has done a brilliant job...


  22. Here's another one:


    I used to listen to this song in my Bombay days, circa 1956 or 1957.

  23. Wow...this is a really wonderful post with so many lovely songs both in the original post and in the comment section. * Love * :)))

    Most of the "Chand" songs have been posted. But maybe I have one that hopefully meets all your criteria !


  24. I must have heard this song before (since I have seen the film) but definitely didn't remember it, until Mr Venkatraman posted this in the comments. Madhubala looks so pretty, doesn't she? I love her smile...

  25. Thank you, Aparna, I'm glad you liked the post and the songs. Yes, the comments do throw up so many 'new' songs, that is what is so great about it, :)

    Yes, your contribution definitely fits my criteria. :) I very rarely go beyond the 60s for my songs, so it is up to my readers to make up for the lack. :)

  26. You had me at "Chand zard zard hai" - that's a swoonworthy song. :-) Some other "chands" that I like that haven't been mentioned:

    Chand takataa hai idhar - Dooj Ka Chand

    Chand nikelega jidhar - Durgesh Nandini

    Chand kanwal mere chand kanwal - Sanjh aur Savera

  27. Trust you to come up with songs that I either haven't heard at all (Durgesh Nandini) or that I scarcely remember (Saanjh aur Savera)! *grin* I can't believe I forgot Chand taakta hai idhar...

    Thanks for the links, Shalini.

  28. Good one this Anu.

    Did you mean to miss this one or is it disqualified? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5neEc7PjHg - Mr. Dev 'Gregory Peck' Anand and S.D has worked in a fair bit of magic here.

    Dheere Dheere Chal Chand Gagan Main http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joh6F-qztBc - another Dev Anand number (who, incidentally has this 'bad' habit of serenading the innocent damsels at night - bad bad boy).

    The Jaali note number is a surprise. I have hummed the song Raat Sard Sard hain; Chand Zard Zard hain all these years - (from a tape of O.P I had when in college). Out here the song starts with Chand and there is no raat even in the second line. Is there a reprise in the same film or what? Or maybe age just caught up with me.

    Pyaas - Chand Bhi Koi Deewana Hai is an absolute gem. Thanks for that one. Has become a favourite already.

    PS: Please Please Please do not try to do a word play list on 'Mohabbat' ever!

  29. You didn't read my criteria for this category, did you? :) The word has to appear, preferably at the beginning of the mukhda; at a pinch, it has to be the second word. Your selections place the word in the third and fourth place, albeit in the first line. (Both songs are favourites, by the way.)

    What do you have against 'Mohabath? *grin* So far, that word it is not a contender for this category. Now that you mention it, however... :)

  30. Yeah! I went back and looked to see the 'second' word condition (tough to roll eyes here, but consider it happening) - posted anyway, what if you were to relent ;)

    That ought to be one word most trampled upon in Hindi cinema, Mohabbat. Don't try to curate a list unless the idea is an encyclopaedia of Hindi Songs!

    And hey while on the subject,
    Anu: if you think this is not appropriate, let me know and will remove this bit from the comment.
    Worldspace satellite radio (before it shut down) used to have a channel dedicated to old Hindi music called Farishta (also for other Indian languages). They're back!, now with Saregama (HMV) providing content and as a mobile app for Android as well as iOS - http://goo.gl/cHrcWU. This made my day (and nights too). Hope your followers would feel likewise. Needless to say I have nothing to do with the company or the app, just playing good samaritan in the interest of good ol music.

  31. Roll all the eyes you want, but hey, my category, my conditions. Tough! :) :) :)

    No probs about the PSA. Anyone who wants to take a look at it, is welcome to do so.

  32. Hey I a have beautiful rare song fof Geeta Dutt that fits your criteria.

    Listen in,


  33. I had completely forgotten about this song, Ashraf. Thank you so much for the link. It definitely fits the criteria of the post.

  34. First of all lovely song choices as usual ! I do however have a question, why limit yourself to just 10 songs since you were having a hard time choosing which to keep on your list. Why not 15 or even 20 ? That aside, usually when I read your song lists, first ones that come to my mind are always there on your list ! So we like similar songs :) this time, the first that came to mind was " Chand sa mukhda, kyon sharmaya" not on your list, ( I know it is there in the comments ) second was.. Chand zara zard hai and most all of them. Others I thought of already mentioned. " chand hai wohi, sitare hain, wohi gagan, phir bhi kyon udaas hai udaas mera man " used to make me homesick for India. I missed the nights full of stars. Now even over there the stars are few to be seen unless you are in remote places.

    Your post reminded me of a plane trip to India, the audio selection had songs based on the Chand theme presented by Raza Murad. It was a very enjoyable hour. Of course the criteria was not so strict as yours.
    I do have a couple to add.
    " chand tu yahan hai aur chand tu wahan" Asha Bhosle from Bhabhi ki choodiyan.

  35. I tried to edit the following comment but Disqus won't let me, I just saw the song woh chaand musk aaye was already posted. Pardon the repeat.
    One more : chand ko dekho ji http://youtu.be/szO7GmZ-cL0
    I did come across another by Asha Bhosle and G. M. Durani, udhar chand nikla, but I did not care for it.
    The one chand song I do dislike, I am glad was not on your list :) " chand si mehbooba ".

  36. I agree it is very hard to limit myself to just ten, Neeru, but if I put in *all* the chand (or whatever the theme) then where is the fun? Plus, the comments section usually throws up quite a few that were on my shortlist or even my long list, and introduces me to several 'new' old ones. :)

    I love all the songs you have listed. Woh chaand muskaaya, specifically, is such a fantastic duet. Thank you for these.

  37. I'm afraid I didn't go down all the comments to see whether it had been posted, and in any case, it was such a beautiful song that I'm glad it got posted again. :)

    I hate Chand si mehbooba with a vim and a verve, so it would definitely not make my list. I've a shamefaced confession, though. It was on my shortlist - just in case I could not remember all my favourite chaand songs. :)

  38. Nalini Ikkandath31 October 2014 at 05:18

    Just went through the blog again (inspired by the comments) & listened to "chand raat, tum ho saat...". Actually I don't always see the visuals, just the songs. But as I watched I suddenly felt that a bejewelled, sari-clad smiling Madhubala was probably one of the most beautiful things ever to exist on this earth. Sad that she died young.

  39. Sorry for the delayed reply, Nalini. It's been a rather stressful time here. I agree with you that Madhubala looked divine on screen. It wasn't just her looks, beautiful though she was. I think it also had something to do with the fact that she genuinely loved the camera, and there was a certain charisma that she brought to the screen. It is indeed sad that she died young.

  40. Another great collection of songs in spite of your strict rules . Some songs from beyond the 60s, which I like
    but wouldn't call them my favourites

    - Chand mera dil from Hum kisi se kum naheen
    - Chand tare tod laoon from Yes Boss . Not sure if this fits
    - Chand sitaare phool aur khushboo from Kaho na pyaar hai

  41. I like both Chand mera dil and Chand tare tod laaoon... the last one I don't like at all, but yes, all three fit the theme.


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