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03 December 2013

Intoxicating Dev Anand

Kal koi mujhko yaad kare
Kyun koi mujhko yaad kare
Mazroof zamana mere liye
Kyun waqt apna barbaad kare...

Knowing of Dev Anand's philosophy of living in the moment, I can only imagine that, if asked how he should be remembered after his death, he would probably have quoted Sahir's lines. He had no use for living on past glory while he lived; I doubt he would care much that he was remembered after his death. 

But his legacy lives on - in the man he was when he lived, in his body of work that stands testimony to an age, and in the memories of the people who loved him. The generation before us sees him as one of their own. We, who grew up watching Dev Anand's (earlier) films even though the golden period of his creativity was over by the time our generation came along, will remember him fondly for introducing us to a different age. Perhaps the generation after us who only saw him as a man who made bad film after bad film (though with topical plots; unfortunately, there was many a slip between idea and execution), will only remember this Dev Anand through our  memories of a man whose movies were ahead of his time, whose ear for music gave us songs that have withstood the test of time, and who took on roles shaded with grey without needing to be heroic. 

Today, on the second anniversary of his death, I remember a man who was one of the heroes of my childhood, who remained forever enshrined in my memory in his black and white avatar on screen. And then I met, and liked, the colourful person whose joie de vivre remained whole even as his cinematic world collapsed around him. They were two different personalities, yet he was the same man. He had more energy and more courage than most men half his age; his optimism, misplaced (in our opinion) perhaps, shone undimmed; his grace and charm remained undiminished. He was a gentleman, and he remained one because he did not know of any other way to be. Man and actor - I liked both, and yet, I remember both differently.

I have written about him before - my favourite songs from his films, his best roles (in my opinion); his heroines and the different ways in which he romanced them; about his never-say-die spirit... he's even made quite a few appearances in many of my song lists. I could have reviewed a film of his, but I haven't seen any this weekend. Then, as I was looking through my lists, I came across this: 'Dev Anand inebriated songs'. (I swear that was the title of that list!)

After a minute's hesitation, I thought, why not? After all, they were songs I liked very much, and the list came about when I was researching Main Nashe Mein Hoon and discovered a wealth of songs where Dev Anand was either drunk or pretend drunk, or at least holding a glass... What better way to raise a metaphorical toast to an actor and a gentleman than to list some beautiful songs that he lip-synched on screen? (Other than filling a glass with some excellent wine and raising a real toast to him, that is.)

1. Chheda mere dil ne tarana tere pyar ka (Asli Naqli/1962) Mohammed Rafi/Shankar-Jaikishen/Hasrat Jaipuri
There is pain behind the clowning, a pain that is evident in every word he sings. The situation is rather piquant. Anand and his beloved have just parted ways, bowing to his grandfather's diktat. What is different here is that his love (Sadhana) knows why he has to leave. Back home, his grandfather has thrown a magnificent party at the return of the prodigal, and has plans to get him married off to someone of their economic and social status. Only, what the grandfather doesn't know is that he may have forced his grandson to leave his beloved, but he is not going to be able to force him to marry another. Anand loves Renu, and he will have her, or no other. Mere geeton mein tumhi tum ho...

2. Hum bekhudi mein (Kala Pani/1958) Mohammed Rafi/SD Burman/Majrooh Sultanpuri
One of my favourite songs, and not just because it's picturised on Dev. I like everything about it. Mohammed Rafi's vocals that slur just the right amount, the romantic lyrics that are underlined with cynicism, the picturisation that moves between darkness and light shading everyone grey, the seemingly hardened tawaif, the desperate son who needs to unlock a secret in order to save his father... Unlike most kotha songs, this one is very quiet, very gentle on the ears, the music just there, but not quite, depending mainly on Mohammed Rafi’s golden voice to provide the poignancy. 

3. Tere ghar ke saamne (Tere Ghar Ke Saamne/1963) Mohammed Rafi-Lata Mangeshkar/SD Burman/Hasrat Jaipuri
This is a happy song, even though he is frustrated by two inimical clients, one of them his own father. (They have both chosen the same design for their house, which is to be built on adjoining plots.) And his beloved is the daughter of his father's enemy. When the besotted lover begins to 'see' his love everywhere, including inside his whiskey glass, he voices his frustrations to her.

He will build his house in front of hers, he says, even if the world will come to an end. She sounds a note of caution. Ghar ko banana koi aasaan kaam nahin... but he will have none of it. He loves her, and there is strength in that love. She tries once again - Kaanton bhare hain lekin chaahat ke raaste and ends with a challenge:  Tum kya karoge dekhen ulfat ke vaaste... Ha! His confidence is supreme...
Ulfat mein taj chhoote ye bhi tumhe yaad hoga, 
Ulfat mein taj bane ye bhi tumhe yaad hoga
Main bhi kuch banaaoonga tere ghar ke saamne....

4. Din dhal jaaye (Guide/1965) Mohammed Rafi/SD Burman/Shailendra
There is anguish here, the grief of being emotionally bereft from his beloved, even though they still live in the same house. What is more, it is his actions that have created the emotional impasse, though he does not seem to see it that way. One of Dev's finest performances, the song expresses his conflicted emotions perfectly - there is regret for love lost, sadness for what will never be again, bitterness over what he sees as betrayal, and over and above it all, there is heartbreak - Tu toh na aaye teri yaad sataaye... Add the picturisation, which cleverly uses the balustrade of the staircase to emphasise the emotional barrier between Rosie and Raju, and the sadness and desperation on Waheeda's face as she listens to his evident distress, and you have a timeless classic on your hands.
5. Kabhi khud pe kabhi haalaat pe (Hum Dono/1961) Mohammed Rafi/Jaidev/Sahir Ludhianvi
The rejected suitor who has just joined the army (the profession of choice, it seems for dejected lovers) to make something of himself, he finds that even liquor cannot help him leave his past behind. Oh, and you get two Dev Anands for the price of one - the grieving hero, this one here, and his lookalike superior, who is rather bemused by the younger man's obvious sadness, but offers him some silent understanding.

6. Ye aankhen uff yumma (Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai/1961) Mohammed Rafi-Lata Mangeshkar/Shankar-Jaikishen/Hasrat Jaipuri
Mohammed Rafi at his playful best, Dev Anand at his goofiest, and Asha Parekh. Add some bhang-laced laddoos and what do you get? Ye aankhen uff yumma. Funnily enough, Sunder soon realises in the midst of eating the laddoos that they have been tampered with, but he continues to eat them rather ruminatively. After managing to steal the truck from the perpetrators, he (obviously) crashes the truck. The truck driver and his friend are following them, and the two, Sunder and Nisha, run away until they can run no more. Nisha is dizzy, she says. He is doubly intoxicated, claims Sunder, by the bhang and her intoxicating eyes. Uff yumma!

In an interview after Dev Anand's death, Asha Parekh reminisced about shooting this song from one of her earliest films - "We were supposed to act like we were a little drunk. So in the middle of the song, he took off his gloves and started hitting me with it. I was perplexed and didn't know how to react. Then I started hitting him back. It was the most fun I have ever had during a shoot."

7. Yaad aa gayi nasheeli nigahein (Manzil/1960) Hemant Kumar/SD Burman/Majrooh Sultanpuri
In Manzil, Dev is a successful but disillusioned and embittered music composer, who has lost his lady love through an unfortunate twist of circumstances. We have an unusual voice here, for Dev - Hemant Kumar,  and this is an amazing song. I love the way his voice ebbs and flows over the slurred words (in sur, of course!). 
8. Hai hai hai ye nigahein (Paying Guest/1957) Kishore Kumar/SD Burman/Majrooh Sultanpuri 
Having chosen money over love, and discovering it is cold comfort, Chanchal (Shubha Khote) is attracted to Ramesh (Dev Anand) only to find out that he is in love with Shanti (Nutan). Used to getting her own way, Chanchal imposes on Ramesh, her husband's employee, to take her to a party; only, she drugs his drink before they leave. By the time they reach the venue, Ramesh is happy, happy, happy. Even if it is not exactly what Chanchal intended.

9.  Mujhe le chalo aaj phir us gali mein (Sharabi/1963) Mohammed Rafi/Madan Mohan/Rajinder Krishen
The story of an alcoholic's descent into his own private hell, Sharabi was one of Dev's better performances, but the film failed at the box office. Saawan ke maheene mein is the better known song from this film, but this is an unusual number, and I rather liked the languid way in which Rafi sings this song.

10. Suno bhai humne pi li hai thhodi (Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja/1961) Talat Mahmood/Shankar-Jaikishen/Hasrat Jaipuri
One of Talat's rare sharaabi songs, this happy-go-lucky number is right up Dev's alley. He is an unapologetic drunk - Sun lo bhai humne pil li hai thodi, Duniya ki baaton ki parwaah chhodi. For some odd reason, the video clipping seems to have changed the lyrics to Suno bhai humne paa li hai thhodi (which makes no sense at all). But it has Talat's silken voice, and Dev Anand acting silly on screen, and together, that is a potent combination! 
It is said that those we love never really die as long as we remember them. Long may Dev Anand live on then, enshrined forever in our collective consciousness, and in that of those who come after us, and even those who are yet unborn. He lived every moment of every day until he died, and now perhaps he will live on forever in his films and his songs, in the memories of those who loved him, and in the written records of his legacy scattered here and there, for another generation to find. And love.


  1. A worthy tribute to a legend who was the shining example of optimism and vivacity! Almost all the songs are my favorites(though I haven't heard #10 before). After reading your post,I find my eyes moistened a little. He shall always be alive in our memories...............

  2. Excellent post Anu. Dev Anand is one actor who is remembered most through his songs. You have hit the nail on the head - it was his ability to live in the present moment that helped the viewer/listener identify completely with him. Song 10 is new for me. Thanks for this discovery.

  3. Thank you, Subodh. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and the songs.

  4. I noticed this yesterday when I visited your blog, Anu, but I scrolled on down first to read the comments on the plagiarism post - and, in the process, forgot to read this! I'm getting senile.:-(

    Anyway, better late than never, I guess. This was such a lovely little post (and, I must admit, I'd forgotten it was Dev Anand's death anniversary). I really liked the songs you've chosen - they're all great, but my personal favourite is Hum bekhudi mein... for me, that's absolutely sublime. Love it! #10 was new for me - but I liked it (and was amused to hear Dev Anand speaking Bangla)!

    Another song (though also from Sharaabi) is this one, Saawan ke mahine mein, which I think is quite good: the happy drunk.


  5. I'm getting senile.:-(

    :) Join the club, Madhu. Yes, the last song is a funny one, and to hear Talat as the voice was even funnier. (For some reason, I associate him with deep, philosophical numbers or ghazals.)

    No worries about plugging Saawan ke maheene mein... I like it too. There is a slower version of this (I won't say 'sadder' because Dev is not sad.) that is there in the clip I linked to.

  6. Other than filling a glass with some excelent wines and raising a real toast to him

    --- Could not agree with you more.

    And, of what use would an oenophile-Dev-fan be if he did not suggest the exact wine to

    be paired with each song :)

    1) Chheda mere dil ne tarana tere pyar ka --- Any good white Burgundy, such a Puligny

    Montrachet. Not bubbly enough for a champagne, not deep enough for a red bordeaux, has

    just the right amount of mineral tones.

    2) Hum Bekhudi Mein Tumko Pukare Chale Gaye/Din Dhal Jaye/Kabhi Khud Pe --- A

    Bordeaux from the Margaux wine region. The quintessential Rafi-Bordeaux pairing,

    Complex, Multi-Layered, improves with age.

    3) Tere ghar ke samne --- Champagne, an excellent example of hum a Rafi-Lata duet end

    up as bubbly frothy song.

    4) Yeh ankhen uff yu ma --- Romantic Rafi = an Italian Barolo.

    5) Yaad A Gayi Woh Nashili Nighaein --- Cognac, Hemant Kumar in a blue mood instead of


    5) Hai Hai Hai Yeh Nighayen --- A red burgundy, a quintessential Kishore Kumar

    pairing, romantic but with significant depth.

    Great post, as you may have surmised, I loved it.

    And, if you showed up here; you would have got some of these --- ask Sudha & Raghu:)

  7. Samir, long time no see! I should have known you would come up with wine pairings. After all, the post almost demanded this! And you are mean! Now, you come here (with all those bottles in tow, please!) and I'll provide you with musical entertainment in the form of Aaroh, the only New England band that also has a live orchestra. :)

  8. I thought you only drank Sauternes, now you want me to bring all of the above, and a Sauternes :)

  9. My dear Samir, a good Sauterne is worth its weight in gold, but since I cannot afford it all the time, I will endure having to drink the other wines. :) :)

  10. What a fantastic tribute this is, really. Loved all the songs. My favourite is Hum Bekhudi Mein, with Tere Ghar Ke Saamne coming a close second. Yes, as you said, Dev Anand will live on forever in his films and songs and I for one am glad to have them to keep going back to.

  11. Thank you, Aparna. I'm glad you enjoyed the songs. Yeah, if you forced me to pick my favourite Dev Anand song (from this list), it would be Hum bekhudi mein as well.

  12. I love Devanand, no not the actor but the star. You have chosen some of the best songs, but tell you what I can add a whole list of my own. But I will just post these

    koi sone ka dilwala



    main zindagi ka saath nibhaata


  13. Wah Samir. Trust you to land up where Dev is being feted. :) Excellent add-ons!

  14. I love Dev Anand, and only Dev Anand. Thanks for bringing a new song to my notice. The Manzil one. Chheda mere dil ne is such a beautiful song. Not that the others are any less. They are all amazing songs. Beautiful post.

  15. Shilpi, I stuck to only the songs where he is drunk/drugged/... As I mentioned in my post, I have made three or four other lists of his songs that I like. :)

    I love both the songs you posted. In fact, Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya is one of my all-time favourite songs.

  16. I think he just wanted an opportunity to show off his knowledge of wines, Ava. *grin*

  17. Thank you, Ava. It is great to discover 'new' songs, no? I came across the song from Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja only last year.

  18. A drunken Dev, how can I be far behind :)

  19. If you have it, flaunt it :)

  20. Anu,

    Having been a victim myself, and having received blatant denial from the offenders, I can see how sick you must be feeling about all this. You mentioned that the offenders are two different blogs apparently by a common person. I remember Atul had faced exactly the same thing. I do not know if the culprits are the same. Here is Atul's article:


    In his case it appeared as if it was some automated programme copying his posts as soon as they appeared, so much so that one of the sites even posted the one which carried the report about their offence. (It still carries that plagiarised article which talks about their plagiarism!) Where do we go from here? As long as it was a human being, one thought either he/she had the sense to admit and apologise, or public naming and shaming was adequate punishment. But what if it is a machine? Or a thick-skinned human who is beyond shame?

    I had closed my article for further comments to forget and move on. But with renewed instances at the sites of blogger friends whom I admire, I am reopening my post (http://www.songsofyore.com/caught-stealing-from-songs-of-yore-two-harvard-students/) with a comment of my own on this instance, because one thing we the genuine bloggers can do and must do to is show solidarity with each other and learn if there are technical tools to prevent such offences.
    (Notes: 1. You have mentioned my site in your opening sentence, but probably the hyperlink is not correct. 2. There is something with BlogSpot - I am not getting email alerts of your posts as a subscriber. I had mentioned this earlier too.)

  21. It is horrible, AK. I spent more time worrying about which of my posts have been copied where, than in writing a new post! I'm pretty sure that my posts were also trawled by automated bots. I have made a formal complaint to Google; let's see what happens. I know it will take time.

    Thanks for letting me know that the link was not correct. I was so upset that day that I did not bother to check as I usually do. :(

    Blogger does seem to be having issues. Your comment was emailed to me as a new comment under Intoxicating Dev Anand. instead of this post. :( I will see if I can remove the Email subscription link and reinstall it. You may have to subscribe to it again, though, in that case. This may have occurred when I changed the format of my blog. (It shouldn't, but that is the only thing I can think of, at the moment.)

    Thanks for the support.

  22. How did I miss this post of yours, Anu? I was browsing through the songs and saw this and wondered how I hadn't seen it before, but now I know - I was in India at the time, and probably didn't go on the computer that day. But you have posted all my favorite songs, especially Hum bekhudi mein ... and Chheda mere dil ne ... and Ek ghar banaoonga ... and ... and ..., all except the last one, which I hadn't heard until today. Such lovely songs! And then there is Dev to look at ... what more could I ask for? Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the very bottom of my heart!


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