‘Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte’ is a song from the 2008 Hindi film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (A Match Made By God). The song’s title means We Are Travelling The Love Lane (according to the subtitles). There Shahrukh Khan encompasses different movie stars of the decades with an ever-changing second-lead in the song to accompany him as the other half of the star pair of that particular decade.
Heads Up! I am making my own post by following the one from Wikipedia about the song, which sadly doesn’t add the songs there so I thought I would do this where I add the songs and tell my own opinion at the same time! It has probably been done before, but I want to make my own.
The segment is set in to two parts as Shahrukh portrays two heroes of that era with two heroines there as well. I’ll tell them all separately, since they are separate in terms of movies, heroines and style.
1960s was the middle transition period between Hindi Cinema’s ‘Golden Age’ (1941-1960) and the full-blown Masala of the 1970s.
Our first star is Dev Anand, the first man of the 1960s that Shahrukh emulates with his hat and good-natured face. He was the ‘Romantic Hero’ of the era. He mostly did black and white pictures until Guide (1965), his most important movie to date. Getting his first big break just by hanging around in the studios before being picked up by the producer, actor and director Ashok Kumar for his film Ziddi (1948) for Bombay Talkies. He has been compared to Gregory Peck in terms of stardom, though he himself wasn’t pleased of it. Saying:
“When you are at an impressionable age you make idols, but when you grow out of the phase, you develop your own persona. I don’t want to be known as India’s Gregory Peck, I am Dev Anand”
He actually met Peck four to five times in his life, with the two of them becoming acquaintances and seeing each other in both Europe and Mumbai. In his life Dev produced 35 films and directed 19. Critically he is said to have been ahead of his time.
(Dev Anand with his hat)
(One of the most important movies in Hindi Cinema history. An American-Indian co-production done both in Hindi and English. His character is a guide in many ways and the film explores it. It is based on the book The Guide by R. K. Narayan)
Then there is Sadhana portrayed by Bipasha Basu. She was the highest paid actress from the early 1960s to the late 1970s and her nickname was ‘The Mystery Girl‘. Wanting to act since she was a child her father got her first role in Shree 420 (1955), after it she had roles as sisters and the like. Her big breakthrough as well as official Hindi film debut/launch was in Love in Simla (1960), a lighthearted comedy with slapstick and musical interludes. The movie’s director R. K. Nayyar began a romance with Sadhana and the two later married in 1966. He died in 1995 from asthma, after being married for nearly 30 years with no children. She stayed unmarried until her death in 2015.
A fashion icon in her day, the famous ‘Sadhana cut’ presented in the film is from Love in Simla. The cut itself is inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s own fringe and Sadhana adopted it, making it her own with her long hair as opposed to Hepburn’s short. The look became extremely popular in the 1960s. She also popularized the churidar-kurta in the Yash Chopra film Waqt (1965), making the otherwise loose kurta tight-fitting to fit her form. The churidar-kurta became a hit and lasted well on to the 1970s. Bipasha Basu emulates Sadhana by wearing her famous haircut as well as the tight white kurta as an homage to her.
(Sadhana with her famous haircut)
(Sadhana with her famous churidar-kurta)
(Love in Simla both in the movie and behind the scenes as well)
The first segment is emulating black and white movies in its colouring. The bikes and hats are all an homage to Dev Anand. The melody is from the film Johny Mera Naam (1970) where Dev Anand pops through the windows of Hema Malini‘s house in the song ‘Pal Bhar Ke Liye Koi Hume‘. The framed windows are an homage to the colour movie later in the decade, while the aesthetic is that of the early period.
It’s all quite innocent along with the lyrics, which are taken from the names of songs from the movies where Dev Anand starred. Every line is a reference to a movie title or a song from it where the line is sung. The songs presented are all originally sung by the star singer of the decade Mohammad Rafi who dominated the decade by singing the heroes parts and is beloved today. His songs are a big part of this section as well as the other half of the 1960s. I’m saying it here because really typing “hit songs of the 1960s Bollywood/Hindi” or the like will result in a flood of Mohammad Rafi songs.
So, lyrics. A few at the beginning are from the movie is Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), then a few more from Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961) and then the ‘Pal Bhar Ke Liye Koi Hume’ is from Johny Mera Naam (1970).
Lyrics from This site:
Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare, Kare Pukar,
(The whirlpool of heart beckons)
Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai,
(When someone falls in love)
Jiya Oh Jiya Kuch Bol Do,
(Oh sweetheart say something)
Ab Dard Sa Dil Mein Hota Hai,
(Nowhere is a pain in my heart)
Ho Tere Ghar Ke Saamne Ghar Banaoonga,
(In front of your house, I will build mine)
Toota Hi Sahi
(Even if a broken one)
Pal Bhar Ke Liye Koi Pyar Kar Le
(Somebody love me even for a moment)
Jhootha Hi Sahi x2
(Even if it’s a lie)
Haaye Jhootha Hi Sahi
(Oh, even if it’s a lie)
(The first line of the segment is from this starring of course Dev and his heroine in the film Nutan)
(And few of the lines are from this where Dev serenaded to Asha Parekh)
(‘Pal Bhar Ke Liye Koi Hume’ with the windows and melody. The song is sung by Kishore Kumar)
And to the next part! This time with Shahrukh as Shammi Kapoor! Shammi was one of the most entertaining actors of the decade (I mean my reaction if there is a Shammi Kapoor song or a movie recommended to me then I immediately know what I’m going to get. He is nicely consistent that way). He is nicknamed the ‘Elvis Presley of India’ and with his jazz-like songs, head shaking choreography and look its hard not to see why the resemblance was made. Though like Dev, he was clearly a star in his own right.
Helen, the ‘Item Girl’ of the 60s and the 70s whom Lara Dutta emulates in the segment. Having diverse parts in different movies, but still best known for her dancing ability. Burmese-born Indian (her mother being Burmese and her father Anglo-Indian) she got her big break at 19 in the movie Howrah Bridge (1958) signing the song ‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu‘ that was a hit.
(This is from Sholay (1975) , it says something when what as to become one of the most important movies of that decades has you as an ‘Item Girl’ then you’ve made it on to the history books)
(Shammi and Helen having a fun time giving the old razzle-dazzle!)
The homage section is full of colour, hip and cool for the times portrayed. Everything is a little bit more than before. MORE light-hearted, MORE fun, MORE orchestrations, MORE Mohammad Rafi, MORE dancing and MORE colours. This time we have moved to films of colour with black and white movies well behind. It’s hard to believe, but this was merely the beginning of the way Hindi cinema was to be presented for the oncoming decades. Like a drip in to a very large, expanding lake.
The lyrics are more dazzling as well, more flirtatious and explicit in their meaning than the innocence of the segments before. The melody underneath is from ‘O Haseena Zulfon Wale‘ from Teesri Manzil (1966) as well as the first line. Then it changes to the song ‘Aaja Aaja Hoon Tera‘ from the same movie. Then the song ‘Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe‘ is mentioned from the movie Junglee (1961) before the song ‘Badan Pe Sitare‘ from the movie Prince (1969) takes over for the rest of the song.
Lyrics from the same site as above:
Oh Haseena Zulfonwaali Jaane Jahan,
(Oh my beauty with the gorgeous tresses)
Chaahe Mujhko Junglee Kehde Saara Jahan,
(The whole world may call me wild)
Oh Mehfil Mehfil Tu Phire,
(You flit from place to place)
Yahoo Yahoo Dil Kare,
(And my heart shout Yahoooo!)
Badan Pe Sitaaren Lapete Hue,
((Seeing your) beautiful body wraped by stars)
(Almost everything in the segment is an homage to this, as well as most of the aesthetic)
(This is what the melody changes to)
(YAAAAHOOOOO! from the beginning and homages back towards the end)
(Last is from this, with Shammi and Vyjayanthimala)
So, that’s the 1960s done. Next time we are on to the 1970s (one of my favourite decades in Indian film) with the full-blown Masala and Hindi film coming to its own, making masterpieces after masterpieces. All the while pulling plots that are HIGHLY unrealistic, but somehow work with the acting and aesthetics given and of course my favourite actresses from the era Sharmila Tagore!
Most of my information is from This blog (click Hindi 101 for Indian film history) which I read daily. Half of the things I know about Indian Cinema is because of this and it deserves a mention, because without it I wouldn’t have found a community as deep in the rabbit hole that is Indian Cinema. Highly recommend!
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