32 comments on “Dancing Up A Storm While the Bride Suffers At Her Unwanted Wedding

  1. Thanks, Harvey. That’s a nice scene, though it doesn’t fit the theme exactly… (Considering how particular you are with your themes sometimes, I figured you won’t mind my telling you this. :-) ) And, by the way, I did have to do some research on this one… First I found Tom’s version of the song so that I could read the English subtitles. Then I found Memsaab’s review, and since I hadn’t seen the film, only then did I really know what was going on.

    In the three scenes that I picked for this post, as you also noted, the bride is presently suffering, and she is actually at her wedding or on the way to it or returning from it. I wasn’t exactly clear in the Nooran scene, but the bride here (a very weepy Noor Jehan) is obviously wearing her wedding getup, which looks ultra-traditional. So, it’s not as though it’s in some hotel the night after the wedding. :)

    I had known about the Chori Chori and Kohnioor scenes for years already, but it was only after I watched that scene from the Punjabi Pakistani film Nooran that I realized I could do something around this very particular theme. (I guess it’s fair to say that three songs make a theme, right?) But, no, I haven’t found any other clips to fit it yet. But if anyone else could come up with another dance or two that would fit here, that would be interesting.

  2. I love the Manbhavan ke ghar jaye gori song. Its lovely.

    Here is my contribution, a qawwali from Bahu Begam. Here the bride has run away from her home in search of her beloved, can’t imagine a bride more unwilling to say ‘Kubool’.


  3. but maybe this satisfies your criterion at least partly. Meena Kumari’s marriag is going on somewhere with Ashok Kumar and she goes to search for Pradeep Kumar and lands in the kotha, But don’t worry, like every chaste heroine, her honour remains intact!

  4. Harvey, actually from what I can tell, your clip from the film appeared first because Ava’s comment was held for approval and since she also put brackets around the URL (which blocks a link from converting to video in the comments), I had to fix that in order for the clip to appear. I was going to do that very soon…when your contribution then appeared. :)

    Both are fine songs.

    Ava, since I have been enjoying the songs from Sadhna again this past week or two (see the comments thread under the Devdas song), your contribution reminded me a little (especially near the beginning) of Aaj Kyon Humse Parda Hai. I like this qawwali, but since the theme is “Dancing …” and not “Singing or Dancing,..,” Harvey’s would be the better one for this list. :)

    Hmm, I will have to pick up Bahu Begum sometime. So it’s got Meena Kumari, Pradeep Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Helen all in the same movie. I think there were a few films made in the ’60s with that whole combination, weren’t there?

  5. This is really interesting. A lot of scenes of an unwilling bride are running through my head. I hope I’ll come up with one.
    I had thought of the qwwali khwaja mere khwaja from jodha akbar, but you don’t want qwwalis .

    The first clip – are you sure Richard that it’s not just a bride crying ( a normal thing)?
    The chori chori and Kohinoor clips are good ones for this subject :)

  6. Pacifist,, no, the bride in the Nooran clip is definitely crying because she’s miserable. :) I had typed a longer explanation about this earlier, but now I have found something even better to post – the song right before that first song above. (You can even see that mujra starting at the end)…

    Regarding that qawwali you were thinking of(?)… I am always happy to see/hear qawwalis, but my idea was about people dancing, not people singing. Of course, we can expand that to singing, too, if there are enough of those scenes coming in. :-)

  7. “Harvey, actually from what I can tell, your clip from the film appeared first because Ava’s comment was held for approval and since she also put brackets around the URL”

    Thanks for that, Richard! I was really thinking I’m going blind or at least not paying attention properly! You made my day.

    Meena-Pradeep-Ashok combo was to be seen in Chitralekha (with good songs and dances), Bahu Begum (ditto) and Bheegi Raat. Maybe there are more.

    And the three songs DO make a theme! :-) a nice one at that!

  8. Pacifist, thanks for the link. It doesn’t seem to be working right now (“server error”?), but I have seen that before. Of all the accounts of Noor Jehan’s life/personality that I have seen, Manto’s was the most unflattering by far. :) He certainly carried on about her promiscuity in the early days, but he also did the same thing when he wrote about Sitara Devi! From the few excerpts I have read from his book on ’40s film stars, it appears to be a very well written scandal-filled gossip sheet. But it does also appear to have tons of good information about my favorite era of Hindi films, so I wish I could find a copy of the whole book. (The New York library said they could order it, but apparently, the copy disappeared because someone else had stolen it. )

    One thing Manto did say in agreement with other people who wrote more positive articles about Noor Jehan is that she did have a great singing voice. And that is the first reason why everyone should love her :-) , though I think there are other reasons as well (which I have talked about enough before :-) )…

  9. Harvey, I am sorry that my blog caused such a moment of confusion for you. :-)

    Regarding the Meena-Pradeep-Ashok combo, maybe your list covers it. I was thinking Helen, too… But I think that in my mind I was mixing up two movies that I had remembered because of combos involving Padmini: Ashok-Pradeep-Padmini-Helen (no Meena) in Afsana (1968) and Meena-Padmini-Helen (no Ashok, no Pradeep) in Kaajal. (Of course, Kaajal also includes Dharmendra and Raaj Kumar, which brings it into a category with a lot of other combos that included Meena :-).)

  10. Ah, the great Roshan…who also did the music for Taj Mahal… Could it be that almost every film Roshan scored in the ’60s included Pradeep Kumar, Helen, and/or Minoo Mumtaz? (Though my favorite Roshan soundtrack comes from a 1950 film that has a Raj Kapoor-Geeta Bali-Vijayalaxmi-Cuckoo combo…)

  11. And now everybody should know that while I was looking through my archives tonight, I found a post I had completely forgotten about, from the beginning of August 2010, which I called Unwanted Weddings… In that post, I included a different copy of the scene from Nooran that I’ve posted for Pacifist in the comments here, and the post was followed by comments from Pacifist! (Curiously, we also had a conversation about why I hadn’t seen the 1955 Devdas yet – and I feel a bit foolish about that now.) The post doesn’t include the scene from Nooran that I included in the actual post here, but it does include a different copy of the scene from Chori Chori. It also includes scenes from Ratan and Mela and a screen cap from Anmol Ghadi.

    Actually, although the post is labeled “Unwanted Weddings” in the URL, the full title is “Unwanted Weddings (Installment #1?),” because I thought that I might do an Installment #2, which I never did…until now. But I am glad I narrowed down the theme a little this time around!

  12. Richard, interesting theme! I absolutely love the song from Kohinoor, Dhal chuki shaam-e-gham. Everything is just perfect – Dilip Kumar ‘playing’ the sitar, Rafi’s voice, Naushad’s music, Kumkum’s dance and Meena Kumari getting married to Jeevan! There cannot be a more unhappy bride at a more unwanted wedding.

    You were looking for more songs (as a matter of fact, dances). Here are two of my favourites. Though they may be too new for you (as also for me), but there is something eternal about them and they absolutely fit your theme.

    Chale aao saiyan rangeele main waari re from Bazaar

    Sada chidiya da Chamba vai from Kabhi Kabhi

  13. I like Bahu Begam a lot. It has a nice story and lots of lovely songs. Helen is there for just this dance. In fact the songs Harvey and I have posted don’t really qualify. Mine because of the lack of dance, as you mentioned, and Harvey’s because the song/dance is not happening at the wedding, but at some other event.

    It is the last two songs posted by AK that suit the theme.

    I liked Chitralekha and Bahu Begam, but Bheegi Raat not so much. Bazaar is something else, Richard, definately worth a watch. At the time it was topical too, as a lot of poor girls were given away as brides to gulf-rich older men.

  14. AK, thanks for the clips. Yes, they seem a little too new, somehow, but at least the music is by Khayyam. I like the Kabhie Khabhie one more (and it is a little older). Those are some odd closeups, though; sometimes they seem to warrant a “Mind your cleavage” alert.

    But Ava, you say that Bazaar is definitely worth a watch… Well, I’ll look into it.

    Regarding whether the dance has to be at the wedding… The Nooran dance is similar to Harvey’s post because it also is obviously a mujra in the kotha. But it is happening at the same time as the wedding and is referring to it. So that’s why I thought “Dancing Up A Storm While the Bride Suffers At Her Unwanted Wedding” – the dancing doesn’t have to be happening at the wedding. On the other hand, the bride should be suffering at the wedding. (So, unless the dancing was already going on at a time when the bride was still at the wedding, then if she is nowhere near the wedding at some point in the scene, that’s when it can’t apply.) (And by the way, I had to edit this comment, because the interpretation that I wrote here last night wasn’t quite right, either. :-) )

    To both Ava and AK, please, in the future, if you want a video clip to be embedded in comments, post only the URL, no brackets, no formatting. That’s what WordPress converts. And AK, sometimes, WordPress doesn’t convert a video link if you put more than one in the same post (though it is totally inconsistent and unpredictable when this will happen), so you can be more sure of the links being converted if you put them in different posts.

    Of course, if I see a link that hasn’t converted while everything else has, I will attempt to fix it, but it may cause delays and confusion ;-).

  15. pacifist:
    In the Nooran clip, Noor Jehan is definitely not normal weepy bride (she seems to be crying her hear out). But the lyrics leave us no doubt as to what is going on, although the wedding audience do not seem to find them odd…
    2:02
    The one like me,
    whose love has not come to fruition
    whose destiny has cried defeat
    but she has not accepted defeat
    whose wedding music is playing
    no one listens to her laments
    the one who has been widowed
    but people call her the bride (or married)

    Pretty graphic description!

  16. Thanks, Bawa. You are right that those lyrics give a pretty graphic description (and I’m thankful that we were provided with English subtitles here). But I don’t think that audience is a wedding audience; I assumed that they were men watching a mujra (in a kotha?), while the wedding was going on somewhere else. Also, from other clips that I have seen (such as the one preceding, which I posted previously and also here in comments), the bride’s lost lover is actually attending the wedding with his face covered…which leads me to believe that he is presumed dead but isn’t really, unless the “widowed” part is entirely metaphorical.

    I’m assuming you haven’t seen the film, but I’ll welcome any further thoughts on these clips here. :-)

  17. I would have to watch the film again to work that out, saw it donkey’s years ago. It was subtitled but I made some changes. In fact it is quite shocking to hear the word “randi” sung in the lyrics. It does mean widow, but is used as a foul swear word in Punjabi (I know!) much like you would say b*****

    The story is basically Romeo/Juliet, sort of. (although I seem to remember a happy ending but I could be wrong) and Noor Jehan is being married to the one she does not love.

  18. Bawa, the film has just been put up on YouTube in its entirety, so you have a chance to watch it again. And since it has English subtitles, I have been fully able to watch it also!


    http://youtube.com/watch?v=pRLzJBX2kEc

    But I would not say it has a happy ending … The final scenes are pretty close to Mirza Sahiban (with similarities in the last moments to a much later, Bollywood film that I saw recently, Razia Sultan)… And it reminds me of at least a couple of Suraiya films… And the last moments also remind me of Ratan. Yes, it’s the usual… But it’s got some nice quirks along the way, moments of good comedy (as most of these tragedies have), and good performances, and the music is often great. Noor Jehan is also at her most gorgeous in this film, IMHO, and her singing is, of course, heavenly.

  19. This one surely fulfills the criteria of a suffering bride in an unwanted marriage and it is funny as well.
    The nice thing is that rescue is in sight!
    ge ge geli zara timbaktu from Jhumroo

  20. Here is one possibility that I do not think has been mentioned and one possible stretching/morphing of the theme.

    In the film Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya, Nutan is abducted by her fiancee’s evil step-brother who wants to marry her for her step brother’s property. A dance up a storm trio of lovelies is performing before the wedding ceremony. Her fiancee cleverly disguised as a henchman of the evil stepbrother bridegroom shows up and performs a dance and after finally getting her attention rescues her. (Doesn’t get better for her because even though she gets away with her fiancee, after much musical dawdling and getting caught by the bad guys again and again they escape to a train which falls off a bridge and she is killed … there is more but …)

    For a new category perhaps.
    In the film Saraswatichandra, Nutan’s beloved fiancee has written a letter breaking the engagement because of his evil stepmother and he is on the way to explain matters when he is shipwrecked. Nutan is married off to a wastral rich guy. Her fiancee washes up at the doorstep of her in laws home and is present when she has to sing and dance an elaborate ‘o I am so happy at my in laws home with my wonderful husband’ performance (doesn’t get any better – even though the evil husband dies a dog’s death she marries off her sister to her beloved so they can go do social work together and she can raise her father in laws infant son after her mother in law has died.)

  21. Ann, sorry I took so long to answer your last comment here… But I’m trying to figure out what, exactly, the new category would be. It is getting a bit complicated now, isn’t it?

    Maybe the new category should be “Doesn’t get better.” LOL

  22. you might know the old expression ‘with tears i’m laughing’. but, there is not really a new category – only examples of in one case eternal love that goes beyond the immediate death and self sacrifice for the greater good.

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