FATHER DEAR FATHER

By

Sharada Iyer

Cinema is said to reflect society and there are no two opinions about the fact that our society has always been male-dominated and patriarchal. The ‘Father’ figure in our society has always been the self-appointed head, who commands and sets the rules and diktats in the household which nobody dare disobey as he does not take too kindly to people opposing him in any way.

With this societal structure entrenched in the psyche of our people since hundreds of years, it is not surprising that the ‘Father’ figure in Hindi cinema has also, fortunately or unfortunately, for the most part been portrayed as a villain who is feared more than he is loved. More often than not, he is shown to force his son/daughter to follow the principles set by him and to walk the path chosen by him thus becoming the main obstacle in their professional life and more specifically in their love-life.…

If the father is wealthy he threatens to disinherit, if he is powerful he does not hesitate to plot evil plans with his henchmen to reiterate his stand and if he is poor he resorts to emotional blackmail under the guise of family honour and reputation. If the son rebels, he is thrown out of the house and if the daughter revolts she is dragged and locked inside the house with orders not to give her any food or water. As is evident, most of the time the ‘reel-life’ father ends up being shown in a poor light.

father's day 2

But all is not lost. Fortunately, there have been some films in which our actors have got to play loving, wonderful and even sacrificing fathers. This is especially true when our heroes are shown playing young fathers as against the older character artistes who have grey shades associated with them.

At times, these young fathers have taken over the mother’s role in the lives of their children and such roles have been very touching and emotional. In these roles, they have surprisingly got to sing beautiful ‘loris’ (lullabies) which have definitely struck a chord with the audience. When a father is shown singing and putting a child to sleep, the scene gets special significance because that is something generally associated with the mother and consequently helps to show the deep bond shared between the father and his child.

Today, on Father’s Day, here is a musical blog with some heartfelt lullabies picturized on some of our greatest actors and sung by our super singers who have added so much dignity and meaning to the on-screen characters thus contributing to these songs in their own peerless way. Some songs are not lullabies but they have been included to show the loving relationship between the father or father-figure and the child…

SHAMMI KAPOOR- Brahmachari (1968)

This award-winning song sung by Mohammed Rafi is easily one of the most melodious lullabies composed in Hindi cinema. And added to that is the dashing charisma of Shammi Kapoor who in a slightly mellowed role of a bachelor adopting many orphan children gives one of his career-best performances in this film. For an actor always associated with romance and exuberance, he convincingly portrays the role of a loving father to all the children. When I watched this song as a child for the first time, there was something so cosy and exciting about those bunk beds that to this day this song situation remains unique and memorable in my mind…

SUNIL DUTT- Khandan (1965)

In this family drama, Sunil Dutt plays a disabled character as his right hand gets paralysed due to an electric shock. Both he and Nutan are overjoyed when a normal son is born to them. This lullaby beautifully brings out a father’s love and his inner feelings expressing his inability to even hold his son with both his hands…

SANJEEV KUMAR – Nauker (1979)

Here Sanjeev Kumar plays a rich widower who is a loving and doting dad to his daughter and sings this lovely ‘lori’ to put her to sleep every night. This song appears more than once in the film.

SUNIL DUTT- Dard Ka Rishta (1980)

When Sunil Dutt lost Nargis to the dreaded ‘cancer’ in real life, he decided to make this emotionally charged film where he plays a doctor and his child played by Baby Khusboo (who later went on to become a very successful star in Tamil cinema) is shown to be afflicted with cancer. His wife Reena Roy dies at childbirth and he is left alone to bring up his daughter and this lullaby sung lovingly and emotionally in Kishore Kumar’s voice seems so apt for the situation…

SHASHI KAPOOR- Mukti (1979)

In the film Shashi Kapoor is a happy family man and his daughter is very attached to him. The song attains significance because a few scenes later the happy family is suddenly thrown asunder by a quirk of fate and Shashi gets to meet his daughter after many years after she is grown up and hence misses out on her childhood entirely. A lullaby in Mukesh’s voice is indeed a rare feature and he does full justice to it…

MEHMOOD – Kunwara Baap (1974)  

Directed and acted by Mehmood himself, the film deals with the serious issue of polio vaccination. Mehmood plays a very poorand illiterate chap staying in a slum and one day comes across an abandoned male child. He gets no help from the police or the temple priest or the useless neighbours in searching the biological parents of the child. Instead they start accusing him of being the father of this illegitimate child. Fed up of allegations made by them, he ends up adopting the child who unfortunately gets afflicted with polio due to neglect. Here he is singing a lovely lullaby composed by Rajesh Roshan who incidentally makes his debut with this film…

SANJEEV KUMAR – Rivaaj (1974 )

This is quite a senseless melodrama directed by T Prakash Rao where Sanjeev Kumar is forced to abandon his lover and marry a girl of his widowed mother’s choice (!). The daughter born to them is very attached to her dad which proves to be fortunate for the child as her mother dies after a few scenes. Sanjeev Kumar gets to sing a lovely lullaby for us to enjoy…

MEHMOOD- Lakhon Mein Ek (1971)

This family drama has Mehmood playing an orphan living and staying in a multi-tenement housing arrangement where everybody tries to take advantage of his simplicity and helpful nature. The film gives ample scope for Mehmood to display his histrionics and he wins our heart. This song shows him putting to sleep one of the babies in the society and is fortunate as he also gets to lip-sync to this outstanding lullaby in Kishore Kumar’s resonating voice…

OM SHIVPURI -Koshish (1972)

Who could have imagined Om Shivpuri –the man who has played many a villainous character in films to sing a lullaby? But writer-director Gulzar spins this unique magical story of a deaf and mute couple played by Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri in which Om Shivpuri plays their friend and ironically he is blind. This film remains a milestone in the history of Hindi films for the superb direction and brilliant performances. This lullaby is sung by the blind friend who can hear the child crying  and knows that the deaf-mute parents are helpless to console the child. This touching scene is bound to bring tears to our eyes…

BALRAJ SAHNI-Ek Phool Do Maali (1969)

Balraj Sahni, a childless widower, decides to marry Sadhna and adopt her child born out of wedlock with Sanjay Khan as he is assumed dead in an avalanche. They lead a happy life till one day Sanjay Khan unexpectedly turns up at their doorstep and the drama begins. But for now in this song, Balraj is overjoyed to be a doting father to his adopted son. Manna Dey brings the perfect emotions of yearning, love and pride to Balraj Sahni’s character as he sings this remarkable song. Though not a lullaby, one can feel the flow of emotions from the father to the child in the song…

KISHORE KUMAR– Bandi (1957)

This film has Kishore Kumar playing a village simpleton who brings up his elder brother Ashok Kumar’s infant daughter. The child’s mother Shyama dies and Ashok Kumar abandons his child and is later jailed for killing someone over a feud. Kishore Kumar sings this soft lullaby lamenting at the irony of the little one’s strange destiny as she is now left in his care…

MEHMOOD-Mastana (1970)

The film is remembered for the terrific performances from the duo of Mehmood and ‘wonder-child Bobby’. Bobby’s rich and high-society parents have no time for her and she is left at the mercy of her wicked governess Manorama. Under the circumstance, she becomes very attached to the poor but loving Mehmood and develops a very emotional bond with him. Kishore Kumar comes up with this delightful lullaby in his typical sonorous voice and the child finds much joy in it…

RAJESH KHANNA-Humshakal (1974)

Rajesh Khanna plays a double role- one poor worker and one rich businessman. In the beginning of the film itself, circumstances lead to the poor man impersonating as the rich man for some time albeit at the behest of the rich Rajesh Khanna himself. The rich man’s daughter is very attached to her father and needs him to sing her a lullaby every night. Here is a soft masterpiece from Kishore Kumar where the poor man first puts the other’s daughter to sleep and then goes home to his wife and child…

SHAMMI KAPOOR-Andaz (1971)

Director Ramesh Sippy’s debut film had a unique story-line wherein a widow and widower with children are shown to fall in love and get married. Shammi Kapoor’s wife Simi dies at childbirth and Shammi Kapoor is a very loving father attached to his baby girl. In this scene she is angry with him for something and he tries his best to get her to smile and become friends. The bond that comes across is nice to see…

Aamir Khan-Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995)

Two aspiring singers-Aamir Khan and Manisha Koirala meet during their struggling days, fall in love and get married. Soon they have a son but Manisha starts feeling repressed and her hunger to pursue her career makes her abandon her husband and small son and leave her home. Aamir Khan then takes over as the loving father and they develop a strong bond with each other. This song has Udit Narayan’s son Aditya also singing with his father…

 

AJAY DEVGN-Shivaay (2016)

This song is different from the others as this is from the child’s viewpoint. Mountaineer Ajay Devgn during one of his expeditions ends up getting intimate with a foreign tourist and the mother leaves the child behind with Ajay as she decides to go back to her country. Ajay gets to play the loving and protective father and the song here reflects their loving bond…

SHASHI KAPOOR- Aa Gale Lag Ja (1973)

Shashi Kapoor gets intimate with Sharmila Tagore to save her life on a freezing snowy day and he never gets to know of her pregnancy till one day she comes to deliver the baby secretly in a private sanatorium where he is working. Her father lies to her that she had a still-born child and gives Shashi the permission to take the child away. The scriptwriter sure had some imagination but as with other Manmohan Desai films, this too was a big hit! Shashi Kapoor in the bargain gets to be a super dad to his son. Kishore Kumar is joined by Sushma Shreshta in this song…

NASEERUDDIN SHAH- Masoom (1983)

When happily married Naseeruddin gets a letter one day informing him of the existence of his illegitimate child he is shocked but as the dying mother has left the child in his custody, he decides to adopt him and bring him home. But not before he spends quality time with his son and gets to bond with him. The song brings out hidden emotions in the father’s heart as he tries to understand life’s game wherein the innocent child is a victim of unforeseen circumstances and will have to face challenges starting from Naseer’s own family and Naseer vows to stand by his son…

MANMOHAN KRISHNA- Dhool Ka Phool (1959)

A bold theme for its time, the film dealt with pre-marital sex and illegitimate children. When college students Rajender Kumar and Mala Sinha decide to disown and abandon their illegitimate child for fear of facing society’s wrath, Manmohan Krishna who finds the crying infant adopts it. Only Sahir could have come up with such powerful words which sound magical in Rafi’s voice and Manmohan Krishna’s superb character is one of all-encompassing love and honesty. The song is part-lullaby and also shows how he brings up the child instilling great values in him…

ASHOK KUMAR– Aashirwad(1968)

I end the blog with this beautiful composition from the film Aashirwad written by Gulzar and set to raag ‘Thodi’ by music director Vasant Desai. Lata Mangeshkar’s soulful rendition raises the song to a divine level.

This film directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee had Ashok Kumar giving an outstanding performance which rightfully fetched him the National award for Best Actor. He plays an honest and loving ‘zamindar’ (landowner) married to the villainous Veena. Circumstances force him to leave the house and his loving little daughter behind and he gets to meet her only at the fag-end of his life. Meanwhile Sumita Sanyal who plays the grown-up daughter keeps reminiscing her childhood days spent with her father. Such is the beauty and poignancy of this song that it is bound to touch our heart and transport us to our own childhood days…

 

 

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14 thoughts on “FATHER DEAR FATHER

  1. Lovely post full of nostalgia. Next to a housewife, I think a father ranks second in doing a brilliant job so thanklessly. Brahmachari is of course my all time favourite. In recent years, dil chahta hai and lakshya portray very endearing equations between father and son. Especially the father son scene of lakshya is one of the best ever. Great post …Wonderful tribute….Paid in your inimitable loving way.,👍👍👍👍👍

    Liked by 3 people

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