I posted this first song, from Dilruba (1950), a while back and it was also one of the songs that influenced me, on the spur of the moment, to call my YouTube site “LifeIsaTrain.” Then, more recently, I was reminded of this wonderful song at Atul’s Bollywood Song A Day. Musically, this is one of my favorite Geeta Roy/Dutt songs (composed by Gyan Dutt, whose music I’d like to hear a lot more). But I love this song not only for the music but also the visuals… I’m grateful to this song for introducing me to Rehana.
That, however, was not her first train song. Her breakthrough film was Shehnai (1947). The song below also features the first duet between Geeta Roy and Lata Mangeshkar (and was also, so I’ve read, Lata’s first song for C. Ramchandra):
Speaking of famous duets, this must be one of the sweetest-sounding duets of all. It is Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mahmood in “Mohabbat Mein Aise” from Sagai (1951), and there’s Rehana again:
And she got to dance to a nice 1949 duet sung by Shamshad Begum and Mukesh. (And by the way, I read somewhere that the actor in this film was just not as famous as Rehana at the time…)
Here she is in a great scene from another movie I’m going to have to watch sometime, Sargam (1950):
Unfortunately, Rehana kind of peaked in the early ’50s, and by 1955, she wasn’t doing so well, so she decided to try her luck in Pakistan. But there, she got to be in only a couple of real hit movies. Here she is in one of them, Aulad (1960):
As far as I know, the last film she appeared in was Dil ne Tujhe Maan Liya (1963). She supposedly had seen much better days by now, but I am very fond of the dance that I found from this one! (Unfortunately, the only clip I could call up has embedding disabled. But you know what to do – just click the window…)
There is a very informative post at Uppserstall (from where I shamelessly took her picture). Appaerntly, Rehana was quite a sensation for a while. She was not konwn as a very good actress but as a good dancer, often of a somewhat scandalous bent. (Some stuffy elitists even claimed she was vulgar. Compared to some of the stuff in my last post… Well, I find that hard to imagine!) She also is known as the first “Jhatka queen” (any good definitions appreciated).
When Rehana’s glory days ended, she ended up living a quiet life, and now she lives in seclusion. That’s a familiar story, but it doesn’t have to be a bad one. (Often when I read about stars who end up as recluses, I feel envious. If only I could afford to become a real recluse some day! I got into that sort of conversation with someone recently when talking about Shyama.)