Abhi Na Jao Chhod Kar
This song review is written by Ms. Utthara Kumari B
What a romantic song! Sigh! One of the greatest romantic duets to have ever been written, ever been composed, ever been sung and ever been enacted.. A dashing Dev Anand imploring a fragile beauty Sadhana not to leave him as his heart is not yet filled with joy. The song Abhi na jao chodkar has several layers. On the surface it seems like a soft romantic song. But look beyond, you will find it is like a precursor to the twists and turns that unfold in the story. No wonder the hero is apprehensive that if the heroine leaves him, then their paths may not meet again. As it happens, the two part, face many tribulations and meet in the end.
This is an evergreen number on everyone’s lips and in everyone’s heart. You don’t get tired listening to it. You feel you can’t get enough of it. And invariably this comes as the last song in every programme.
I was in school then. One cool breezy evening this soft song wafted from a neighbour’s house. I listened to it mesmerised. Since then there has never been a day when I hadn’t hummed this song. And Vividh Bharati obliged by playing this song frequently. When the song got over, I used to wish there was a replay button and I could press hard on it. Because I couldn’t get enough of the song…Ke dil abhi bhara nahi. The soft tune, the soft romantic lyrics, the soft singing by the incomparable Rafi and Asha and the enchanting couple on screen have you asking for more and more.
Nearly 20 years after its release, I saw the movie Hum Dono. As the curtains were up, I waited impatiently for my most favourite romantic duet to light up the screen. I was not disappointed. The movie in fact begins with this lovely song Abhi na jao chodkar. I didn’t need Dev’s or Rafi’s pleading. I watched the song unblinkingly. I couldn’t get enough of it.. ke dil abhi bhara nahi. I was all set to watch the movie and the song again and again.
Watch the video of Abhi Na Jao Chhod Kar. Courtesy: ShemarooEnt @ youtbe
The song is sung by a much-in-love Mahesh Anand (Dev Anand) to the love-of-his-life Mita (Sadhana). Mahesh is supposed to meet Mita’s wealthy father (Jagirdar) the next day to ask for Mita’s hand in marriage. But he is nervous.
And that is why he sings
Zindagi ki raah mein jawan dilonki chah mein
Kayi maqaam aayenge jo humko aazmayenge
In the path of life, we may have to face many tests
And with reason. Mahesh is unemployed and lives in a small dwelling with his mother (Leela Chitnis). When she learns he is going to meet Mita’s father, she reminds him of the rich-poor divide. As cinema luck would have it, though Mita’s father reluctantly agrees for the alliance, a miffed Anand joins Army. There he meets his look-alike Major Verma.
When the Major goes missing in action during World War II, and believed dead during the battle, Mahesh is asked to convey this news to his family. Upon arrival, he is mistaken for Major Verma. He meets Verma’s mother and his ailing wife Ruma (Nanda) . Unable to break the news of Verma’s death and shatter their fragile world, he continues the charade. This creates complications in Mahesh’s life as his love, Mita, thinks that he no longer loves her. After several cinematic twists, the movie ends on a happy note with the two couples beaming Abhi na jao…
From Dev Anand himself to Shankar Mahadevan to my humble self everyone considers it the all-time best romantic number.
This duet glides over you like smooth silk. The song is simple but has meaningful lyrics, is hummable but difficult to sing. Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle make it all seem so easy though it is a song which goes high and low. The on-screen jodi the debonair Dev and the beautiful Sadhana make a delightful pair adding the sparkle.
Jaidev, the unsung music director, has gifted us unforgettable songs in this film Main zindagi ka saath, Kabhi khud pe, Jahan mein aisa kaun hai (a take-off on Abhi na jao), Allah tero naam. Sahir Ludhianvi, the romantic rebel who couldn’t marry the love of his life, has given us a song which is the last word in love and romanticism.
Sahir was basically a romantic poet. Since he failed in love many times, his poetry hints about separation. Abhi na jao too is cast in this mould. His poetry was an amazing canvas of romantic shades.
His style was simple, straight, and direct. To him goes the credit of writing simple words which are effective in conveying the romantic theme. The poetry is conversational.
Jaidev complements Sahir’s lyrical romanticism with unobtrusive yet enchanting score. There is no other way to compose it besides the way it was composed. It is unfortunate that despite his expertise in classical and folk music, Jaidev had only Hum Dono and Mujhe Jeene Do as commercial successes.
Rafi and Asha entrance listeners with their vocal magic.
Rafi, the singing God, is matchless. His whispering tones and high-pitched range are a class apart. His adaas and andaz are unique he captures every mood and every nuance of songs. In this song too, he breathes romance, love, fear of separation, a little philosophy, a little cajoling… He had this unique talent of varying his voice to suit the persona of the star he was singing for. In Abhi na jao, he paints a picture of Dev Anand through his singing. While listening to this song, you can visualise Dev Anand’s drawl, his style and his mannerisms. This was the mastery of Rafi.
Would any girl want to go away?
Listen to the way Rafi says `abhi abhi toh‘. Can anyone infuse more romance than him in that one line? Telling in that unique way that his whole world revolves round her.
Hawa zara mehak to le nazar zara behak to le
Ye sham dhal toh le zara ye dil sambhal toh le zara
Main thodi der jee toh lun nashe ke ghunt pee toh lun
Listening to Rafi sing as if drunk the line `nashe ke ghunt’, you will definitely get a high.
Abhi to kuchh kaha nahin abhi to kuchh suna nahin
Abhi na jao chhod kar ke dil abhi bhara nahin
Would any heroine want to go when Rafi cajoles in that beautiful manner?
Bas ab na mujhko tokna
na badhke rah rokna
Agar main ruk gayi abhi to ja na paungi kabhi
Yahi kahoge tum sada ke dil abhi nahin bhara
Jo khatm ho kisi jagah ye aisa silsila nahin
Listen to the way she sings the above lines – expressing the wish to stay as well as leave – in that mesmerising way.
Adhuri aas chhodke adhuri pyaas chhodke
Jo roz yunhi jaogi to kis tarah nibhaogi
Ke zindagi ki raah men jawaan dilon ki chah men
Kayii maqam aayenge jo ham ko azamaayenge
Bura na mano baat ka ye pyaar hai gila nahin
Haan yahi kahoge tum sada ke dil abhi bhara nahin
Haan dil abhi bhara nahin
Nahin nahin nahin nahin
Yes, it is truly an unquenched yearning and unquenched thirst…. for this song
I would love to tell Rafi saab… abhi na jao chodkar ke dil abhi bhara nahi…
* Abhi na jao is based on raag Yaman Kalyan
* Allah Tero Naam. When Dev Anand’s Navketan banner decided to give Hum Dono to S.D. Burman’s assistant Jaidev, it was on condition that Lata sang for the film. Lata immediately set aside her differences with Jaidev to sing one of the tallest devotional numbers ever. And this was the first song recorded for the film. Classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj remembers waking up from sleep with tears streaming down his cheeks after hearing this bhajan.
Asha Bhonsle says her favourite Lata song is Allah tero naam.
* Recently, in a tribute to the evergreen Dev Anand and his film production Navketan which completed 60 years, , the Information and Broadcasting Ministry screened Hum Dono in colour. This is the third film to go colourful after Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur.