Friday, August 12, 2022

10 Songs That Reflect Nutan’s Engaging Persona

To mark her 30th death anniversary on February 21, we choose 10 fabulous songs, rounding off at the end of the 1960s.

One of the biggest actresses from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, Nutan was known for her innocent looks and charming stage presence. Many hits were picturised on her, and though a large chunk was sung by Lata Mangeshkar, there were some great songs by Asha Bhosle too.

Nutan continued to act till the late 1980s, in films like Meri Jung and Karma, and the teleserial Mujrim Hazir. To mark her 30th death anniversary on February 21, we choose 10 fabulous songs, rounding off at the end of the 1960s. The order is chronological.

1 Chand Phir Nikla – Paying Guest (1957)

Many films in the 1950s had one great solo by Lata, and this was an absolute gem filmed on Nutan. Composed in raag Shudh Kalyan, this had minimal orchestration by S.D. Burman. The brilliant Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote, “Chand phir nikla, magar tum na aaye, jala phir mera dil, karoon kya mein haaye”.

2 Yeh Raatein Yeh Mausam/ Dilli Ka Thug (1958)

Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle combined magnificently as Shailendra wrote, “Yeh raatein yeh mausam nadi ka kinara yeh chanchal hawa, kaha do dilon ne ke milkar kabhi hum na honge juda”. It was composed by Ravi using raag Kirwani in a waltz style and filmed on Kishore and Nutan.


3 Tera Jaana – Anari (1959)

Another pathos-filled beauty by Lata, this was composed by Shankar-Jaikishen in raag Bhairavi. While the music directors used marvellous piano and strings, assistant Dattaram created a captivating rhythm. Shailendra wrote, “Tera jaana, dil ke armaanon ka lut jaana, koi dekhe banke taqdeeron ka mit jaana”.


4 Kaali Ghata Chaaye/ Sujata (1959)

This was beautifully sung by Asha Bhosle, whose vocal nuances went perfectly with Nutan’s expressions. S.D. Burman used raag Piloo, and Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote, “Kaali ghata chaaye mora jiya tarsaye, aise mein kahin koi mil jaaye, bolo kisi ka kya jaaye re, kya jaaye re, kya jaaye”.



5 Dil Ka Bhanwar – Tere Ghar Ke Saamne (1963)

Beautifully picturised on the steps of New Delhi’s Qutab Minar, this featured Dev Anand and Nutan at their best. Sung by Mohammed Rafi, it was composed by S.D. Burman, with Hasrat Jaipuri writing, “Dil ka bhanwar kare pukar, pyaar ka raag suno, pyaar ka raag suno re”. The film’s title song used camera tricks efficiently, showing Nutan’s image in a glass.


6 Mora Gora Ang Lai Le/ Bandini (1963)

Also known for being Gulzar’s debut as a lyricist, this was sung by Lata, with S.D. Burman providing the music. The folk-inspired lyrics went, “Mora gora ang lai le, mohe shaam rang dai de, chhup jaaongi raat hi mein, mohe pee ka sang dai de”.


7 Nigahein Milane Ko – Dil Hi To Hai (1963)

Music director Roshan took raag Yaman and put it in a qawwali style, with Asha singing immaculately. The song was set as a group dance. Sahir Ludhianvi wrote, “Nigahe milane ko jee chahta hai, dil-o-jaan lutane ko jee chahta hai”.


8 Tumhi Mere Mandir – Khandaan (1965)

Another wonderful song from Lata, this was picturised on Nutan and Sunil Dutt. Ravi composed the music, and lyricist Rajendra Krishan wrote, “Tumhi mere mandir, tumhi meri pooja, tumhi devta ho, tumhi devta ho”. It talked of a woman’s attachment to her husband.


9 Saawan Ka Mahina – Milan (1967)

This song was regularly played on Doordarshan at one point. Sunil Dutt and Nutan appeared on screen, and Anand Bakshi’s lyrics “Saawan ka mahina pawan kare sor, jiyara re jhoome aise jaise ban ma naache mor” became famous. Music was by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.


10 Chandan Sa Badan – Saraswatichandra (1968)

The song appeared in two versions by Mukesh and Lata. Kalyanji-Anandji composed the tune in raag Yaman, with Indeevar writing, “Chandan sa badan, chanchal chitwan, dheere se tera yeh muskana, mujhe dosh na dena jagwalon, ho jaaon agar main deewana”. Nutan’s co-star was Manish.


All these songs went perfectly with Nutan’s roles and looks. Till today, they are hummed.

Narendra Kusnur
Narendra Kusnur is one of India’s best known music journalists. Born with a musical spoon, so to speak, Naren, who dubs himself Kaansen, is a late bloomer in music criticism. He was (is!) an aficionado first, and then strayed into writing on music. But in the last two decades, he has made up for most of what he didn’t do earlier.

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