Chal ri sajani ab kya soche is synonymous with the bidaai, the heart-breaking moment of departure when the bride steps across the threshold into an unknown world. Shirish Waghmode revisits this classic created by the SD Burman-Majrooh-Mukesh team and emoted in perfect sync by Suchitra Sen and Dev Anand along with Nasir Hussain (the father) and Achala Sachdev (the mother) for Raj Khosla’s Bombai Ka Babu.
Marriages are made in heaven, they say, but are solemnised, for obvious reasons on earth, and what a sea-change marriage ceremonies have undergone. From the ghunghat-laden bahu walking with leaden feet, to the foot tapping bride not afraid to flaunt her jewellery and her figure — it’s been a jaw dropping and clothes shedding journey alright!
But in Indian marriages it all freezes in slow motion at the culminating moment — the bidaai. The realization that the moment has come to cut the familial cord and step into a new life causes an avalanche of emotions in the parents’ hearts and a tsunami of tears for the daughter of the house, who is about to step over the threshold! It is here that many comforting hands pat her back, and urge her to move on to her new destiny. Poet Majrooh’s words give that touch of reassurance, urging her towards a new life. Gently the words flow —
चल री सजनी अब क्या सोचे,
कजरा ना बह जाये रोते रोते
In a creative touch, the director Raj Khosla put this song in the background of the bidaai ceremony. It gave him the leeway to allow the singer play the observer, to unravel the storms that rage in the hearts of all present, and still remain detached. Since his eyes are not full of tears, the observer can see and feel the pain, the longing, and the pangs of separation. His eye first catches the father of the bride –
बाबुल पछताए हाथों को मल के,
काहे दिया परदेस टुकड़े को दिल के
This is the moment he had prayed for and yet today he is gutted when his daughter is set to leave the house, the daughter who has been an integral part of his existence. “Why did I give my daughter away”, he screams silently — आँसू लिये, सोच रहा, दूर खड़ा रे
The tears take over, drowning the turmoil as he stands alone. He accepts what has come to pass, with a helpless surrender to Fate. He had prayed for the inevitable and the inevitable has now come to pass!
The mother, is not bound by any such self-restraint. She is a woman and a mother. Seeing her daughter step out of her life, she breaks down in a flood of tears and alongside, a deluge of memories rush through her mind —
ममता का आँगन,
गुड़ियों का कंगना
छोटी बड़ी सखियाँ,
घर गली अंगना
The growing up years — as an infant glued to her mother; as a child exchanging dolls and their ornaments with friends who stay with each other through the difficult growing years. The courtyard had resonated with their voices, the secrets exchanged in hushed whispers. The lane reverberated with their laughter, the house watched them grow —
छूट गया, छूट गया, छूट गया रे
It’s like a cinema reel snapping. The lights come on. It’s all over!
And now he glances at the bride — a lonely figure at the crossroads of life — on an island of her own. She looks back and finds a family with which she has to severe all bonds — wipe out her identity as their offspring and make a clean break. On the other side is a destiny which beckons, a future that awaits, without any revelation of its true colours. For a moment she is frozen like a suspended particle, torn between two worlds, all her near ones strewn around, so near and yet so far —
दुल्हन बनके गोरी खड़ी है
कोई नही अपना कैसी घड़ी है
कोई यहाँ, कोई वहाँ, कोई कहाँ रे
चल री सजनी अब क्या सोचे
If watching this song moved you to tears I can assure you, you are not alone. When so many creative people plot and conspire, to reduce you to tears, it is best to surrender. We have the usual suspects — Mukesh, SD Burman and Majrooh Sultanpuri, armed with the Bengali Missile — the wondrous Suchitra Sen to demolish all resistance! Dev Anand’s understated performance speaks for us — he is a mute, helpless spectator to her lonesome journey, trying hard to control his suppressed emotions.
Majrooh is a mind-reader in the disguise of a poet. How else does he empty the secret cupboards of peoples’ hidden memories and put them in verse? Every father and mother can vouch that these are the very thoughts they harboured during the bidaai. And that’s what makes him an everyone’s poet! SD Burman in his minimalistic style, lets the song flow tunefully and then leaves an imprint with his masterly use of the chorus. It’s just magnificent! Mukesh’s voice is at his emotional, heart wrenching best. His voice is of a man in control advocating for courage — but when he utters the words,
कोई यहाँ, कोई वहाँ, कोई कहाँ रे
The listener, the singer and the world go to pieces. But in this turbulence a light shines — the angelic visage of Suchitra Sen! The Porcelain Beauty who communicates with her eyes, the quiver of her lips and the pain writ large over her flawless face!
The Lord may have made everyone in His own image, but some like Suchitra Sen have reaped more, much more, than others!
Film: Bombai Ka Babu (1960)
Music: SD Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Cast: Suchitra Sen, Dev Anand, Nasir Hussain, Achala Sachdev
Director: Raj Khosla
More to read
Whether you are new or veteran, you are important. Please contribute with your articles on cinema, we are looking forward for an association. Send your writings to email@example.com
We are editorially independent, not funded, supported or influenced by investors or agencies. We try to keep our content easily readable in an undisturbed interface, not swamped by advertisements and pop-ups. Our mission is to provide a platform you can call your own creative outlet and everyone from renowned authors and critics to budding bloggers, artists, teen writers and kids love to build their own space here and share with the world.
When readers like you contribute, big or small, it goes directly into funding our initiative. Your support helps us to keep striving towards making our content better. And yes, we need to build on this year after year. Support LnC-Silhouette with a little amount – and it only takes a minute. Thank you
Silhouette Magazine publishes articles, reviews, critiques and interviews and other cinema-related works, artworks, photographs and other publishable material contributed by writers and critics as a friendly gesture. The opinions shared by the writers and critics are their personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Silhouette Magazine. Images on Silhouette Magazine are posted for the sole purpose of academic interest and to illuminate the text. The images and screen shots are the copyright of their original owners. Silhouette Magazine strives to provide attribution wherever possible. Images used in the posts have been procured from the contributors themselves, public forums, social networking sites, publicity releases, YouTube, Pixabay and Creative Commons. Please inform us if any of the images used here are copyrighted, we will pull those images down.