Lala Kedar Nath Is in the seventh heaven. It is his kids’ birth day. All the three of them share the same day of the month and the same month of the year as their birth day. His wife is a simple woman , but evidently some of his shrewd business sense has rubbed itself off, on to her.
He is beside himself with joy for still another reason. He is expanding his flourishing business of selling carpets and dry fruits and other assorted merchandise. The cushy horse carriage that has been serving him for quite a few years now, is going to give way to a motor car.
It was a very long way up to the top for him, from the days of his childhood when he toiled as as a stevedore. Yes, he has come up the hard way. There is no other way but up, for one who was born into penury, and who has seen how demeaning poverty could be. He never believed in Dame Luck. Fortune favors not just the brave, but the hardworking and the sensible. One made ones destiny. The lines on your palm do not matter anything.The strength of your shoulders and how you put them to intelligent use, did.
Kedar Nath has ambitiously, renamed his business as Lala Kedar Nath & Sons. He has great plans for his sons. His eldest, is ten years of age today. He hopes to make him a barrister-at-law, he had enough trouble with litigant suppliers and customers.The second one, five years of age takes after his father, he will have to look after the family business.The infant, his dear youngest, will be an engineer. He will settle abroad and diversify the business and expand it globally.Great and baffling technological developments, you see, have been taking place every day,changing the face of earth, Unless the business keeps pace with them as well, it will get obsolete and the business will stagnate and dwindle.
The big, new sign board is hauled up the to the top of facade of his expanded premises and secured there.
Some one reminds him that the auspicious time for havan, ( invoking the God of Fire to convey the sacrificial offerings of grain, ghee flowers and fruit of the devotees to the variousc divine primeval forces that control this world), has approached. Kedar Nath brashly says, it would not pass before he completes the work at hand, don’t worry, he would be there in a moment.
The ceremonies over, he sits down with his friends and relatives.Refreshments and cool drinks are passed around liberally .The house is festooned with balloons, buntings and confetti.All the chandeliers are lit up. Young girls are running around .Some of them are swirling around holding each others crossed and outstretched hands The women folk sitting in a hall set-aside for them, are singing. The hostess herself is playing the Dholak. There is much small talk and bantering all around. Kedar Nath asks the portly friend sitting beside him how his literary pursuits were going. The gentleman replies that it was an ongoing affair. He, in turn, asks the host to sing a song.The host politely declines saying that he was a bit older for that sort of thing.The friend calls out to the hostess and tells her that her husband was getting old, it was her duty to perk him up. The lady blushes and then smiles, they do not know in full about her husband.. Her husband relents saying that his youth was restored to him, by just looking at her happy countenance.
He begins to sing feistily,
” Oh, my love, with that glittering brow.
You do not realize. You are as beautiful as ever even today.
And me, I am still in my youth.
I will lay down my whole life just for you.
You are indeed, my life.
These captivating graces, this childlike innocence which I see in you,
I find them in none other..
And your uncanny skill of winning over every one’s heart,
I find them in none other.
I have got this earth and the heaven even,
Just in your two eyes.
When you smile and utter those sweet words of you.
My heart begins to race as though intoxicated, even today.
My dear, I love you, now and forever.
The graceful lady is overjoyed at the lavish but deserved praise that her strong and worthy hubby heaped on her, tries to feign mock embarrassment and outrage at his public expression of his affection, but can not contain the spilling over of her cup of pleasure. Her cheeks turn red. The smile becomes a laugh . She begins to beat time on the Dholak in sync with his fast rhythm and the ardent melody. .
The children have already gone asleep, exhausted. The party goes on.
The happy family is oblivious to the cataclysm, cruel fate (waqt), has in store for them within a short while. It would tear the blissful family asunder, for a long long time to come landing each of them in misery, and more misery.
This beautiful lyric by Sahir Ludhianwi, set to music in Pilu, by Ravi and sung with great gusto and panache by Manna Dey, for the 1965 star-studded blockbuster,Waqt. was enacted greatly by the lead couple Balraj Sahni, and Achla Sachdev, under the suave direction of Yash Chopra.
Achla Sachdev starting as a matinee idol during the late 1930s and forties, grew gracefully in to the screen-mother of Bollywood, doing supporting roles in scores of hindi movies until a few years ago.
The brashness of Sahni, and the charming coyness of Sachdev make this song extremely memorable.
Achla, 92 years of age now, i understand is unwell since the past few months having broken her femur in a fall and I believe, is still in a hospital in Pune, with subsequent complications. I ardently wish and hope that she will recover soon.
The original lyric Sahirji is copied below
Aye meree zohra jabee tujhe maaloom nahee
Aye meree zohra jabee tujhe maaloom nahee
Tuu abhii tak hai hasee aur main jawaa
Tujh pe qurbaan merii jaan, meree jaan
Ye shokhiyaa ye baakpan jo tujh me hai kahee nahee
Dilon ko jeetne kaa fan jo tujh me hai kahee nahee.
Mai teree aankhon me paa gayaa do jahaa
Tuu meethe bol jaan-e-man jo muskuraa ke bol de
to dhaDakanon me aajbhee sharaabee rang khol de
Oh, sanam mai teraa aashiq-e-jaanvidaa