Sudhir Kumar plays a gifted blind boy with sensitivity and finesse in Dosti (1964).
Today we present the lyrics and English translation of “Janewalo Zara Mud Ke Dekho” from the poignant film Dosti (1964). A passionate plea to recognize the humanity in our neighbors and embrace others in our community, no matter their differences, “Janewalo Zara” seems like the perfect anthem for the new realities we all live in.
You may not know this, but Mr. ’55 and I are both doctors! We trained together in the same hospital after medical school and are both working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic this month. The coronavirus has hit us all in different ways, but it has not spared anyone–regardless of race, socioeconomic class, or religion. We truly hope all our fans are staying healthy and staying at home.
We know quarantine is far from easy. During tough times, take a moment to appreciate something you have despite the many losses we all feel. For everyone who is bored in their homes, there are people who have suddenly found themselves homeless during the shutdown. For everyone driving their spouse nuts (not speaking from personal experience, *obviously*), there are people who find themselves entirely alone and secluded all day long. For everyone who has lost their job, there are people who are scared to go to their jobs for fear of becoming infected (and I don’t just mean fellow healthcare workers, but custodians and food service workers and everyone else considered “essential”). For everyone grieving the loss of doing the things they loved, there are people grieving the loss of the people they loved, and maybe could not even visit in the hospital when ill.
Mohammed Rafi is the perfect soul stirring match to vocalize the song “Janewalo Zara” from the film Dosti (1964).
Dosti (1964) is a Bollywood bromance between two teenage boys, Ramu and Mohan, who form an unlikely friendship in a time of adversity. Ramu (Sushil Kumar) has a permanent leg injury from a childhood accident and Mohan (Sudhir Kumar) is blind. Together, they demonstrate that friendship and kindness should know no boundaries. This song, with music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and vocals by the inimitable Mohammed Rafi, is a reminder about coming together as a community and ensuring our most vulnerable are not abandoned.
On that note, we hope you appreciate our English translation of “Janewalo Zara” below! And if you are able, reach out to and help your neighbors who may be hurting more than you know (from a safe social distance, of course!). We would love to hear what inspires you during this difficult time, and which classic Bollywood songs and films are help you stay sane!
Janewalo Zara Mud Ke Dekho Lyrics & Translation:
Jaanewaalo zaraamuD ke dekho mujhe
Passerbys, turn around a little and look at me
Ek insaan huu.N, mai.N tumhaarii taraahI am a human being, I am just like you
Jisne sabko rachaa apne hii ruup se
He who created everything in his own beauty
Uskii pahchaan huu.N, mai.N tumhaarii taraah
I share his identity, I am just like you
Is anokhejagat kii mai.N taqdiir huu.N
I am the Fate of this strange world
Mai.N vidhaataa ke haatho.N kii tasviir huu.N, ek tasviir huu.N
I am the image sculpted by the Lord's own hands
Is jahaa.N ke liye, dhartii maa.N ke liye
For the sake of the world, for the sake of Mother Earth
Shiv ka vardaan huu.N, mai.N tumhaarii taraah
I am a boon from Shiva, I am just like you
Man ke andharchhipaaye milan kii laganYou have hidden the desire to meet in your mind
Apne suraj se huu.N ek bichhaDiikiran, ek bichhaDii kiran
I am a beam of sunlight separated from the sun
Phir rahaa huu.N bhaTaktaa mai.N yahaa.N se vahaa.N
I continue to wander, here and there
Aur pareshaan huu.N mai.N tumhaarii taraah
And I am worried, I am just like you
Mere paas aao, chhoDo yeh saara bharamCome near me, leave all these misapprehensions behind
Jo mera dukh vahii.N hai tumhaaraa bhii ghamMy sadness is the same as your sorrow
Dekhtaa huu.N tumhe, jaantaa huu.N tumhe
I see you, I know you
Laakh anjaan huu.N, mai.N tumhaarii taraah
I am an absolute stranger, but I am just like you
zaraa: a little; muDnaa: to turn around; insaan: human being; [kisi kii] taraah: like [someone]; rachnaa: to create; ruup: beauty; appearance; pahchaan: identity, recognition; anokhaa: strange, unique; jagat: world; taqdiir: Fate; vidhaataa: the Lord; haath: hands; tasviir: picture; jahaa.N: world; dhartii: earth; Shiv: Lord Shiva (Hindu); vardaan: boon, wish; man: mind; andhar: inside; chhipaanaa: to hide; milan: meeting; lagan: desire; suraj: sun; bichaDnaa: to become separated; kiran: ray of sunlight; bhaTaknaa: to wander; pareshaan: worry; chhoDnaa: to let go of; bharam: misapprehensions; dukh: sad; gham: sorrow; laakh: ten thousand; anjaan: stranger
Mr. ’55 and I enjoying sunlight and a post-call brunch after working overnight in the ICU. Note: this picture was taken before restaurants transitioned to take-out only and masks were recommended at all times in public 🙂
The top 30 greatest classic Bollywood films have been selected. Which films made the list of Bollywood’s best?
Mr. and Mrs. 55 – Classic Bollywood Revisited! at last present our definitive list of the Bollywood classics you absolutely must see before you die. Hundreds of films were scored and ranked across multiple dimensions of Bollywood cinema including: story, direction, performances, musical composition, as well as cultural impact and legacy. We included Hindi-language films made between the period of 1949-1979 on our list of the best classic Bollywood filmsever made. Some on the list are beloved favorites of the industry, while others may surprise you.
Among the winners are directors Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy and Raj Kapoor–names synonymous with masterpiece Indian cinema–each with multiple films among Bollywood’s all-time greatest. Always wondered why a couple of young Harvard students like us love old Indian films so passionately? No matter what you think you know about Bollywood, the movies on this list will change your understanding of Indian films like never before. From village epics that grapple with our national identity to the nostalgic poetry of sudden disillusionment, classic Bollywood films transport us from the enchanting glamour of Bombay nightlife to the majestic gardens of Kashmir. They carry our souls through hardship and loss and revive our spirits with redemption.
This is cinema the way it was meant to be. This is classic Bollywood.
The top 30 Films from 30 years of classic Hindi cinema (1949-1979):
Guru Dutt, 1957
Pyaasa, or “thirst,”is the story of one man’s search for compassion in the cold cynicism of post-independence Indian society. Vijay is an unpublished poet, dismissed by his own family and scorned by socialites and his colleagues. After befriending a prostitute who shelters him, Vijay is believed dead and his poetry “posthumously” lionized. He becomes an overnight sensation, mourned by fans across the country, and the true Vijay is labeled an imposter. India entered its golden age of filmmaking in the 1950s when its long-awaited freedom from England and the hopes of a new government created a social tinderbox of great expectations and disillusionment. Pioneering the technique of utilizing song lyrics as direct extensions of the film’s dialogue, Guru Dutt as the writer-producer-director-star paints a stirring portrait of the commodification of humanity.
Karimuddin Asif, 1961
At the turn of the 17th century, Prince Salim falls in love with the court dancer Anarkali and wages war against his own father, Emperor Akbar, in order to marry her. Director K. Asif’s enormous cast, opulent sets, intricately designed costumes and extravagantly staged battle scenes made the film the most expensive ever produced in India at the time. But despite of all the grandeur, the film has a warm heart, and the dangers of the romance between Salim and Anarkali are infused into each glance they share. Although the love story is the backbone of the film, it is Emperor Akbar, from whom the film derives its name (“the Great Mughal”), who takes center stage as he is torn between love for his only son and the unforgiving demands of the Mughal Empire. Every line of dialogue is written with the ornamentation of poetry, casting an elegance to Mughal-e Azam‘s thunderous power.
Kamal Amrohi, 1971
In the grandeur of Muslim Lucknow at the turn of the century, Pakeezah is a courtesan and dancer who dreams of leaving her life behind when a stranger falls in love with her in a train compartment, not knowing her true profession. With swirling romanticism and languid, dream-like cinematography, Pakeezah instantly became one of the most extraordinary musicals ever made. Perfectionist director Kamal Amrohi, who also wrote the script and some of the lyrics, effectively transports the viewer into a wistful age of bygone formality and luxury. Each of Pakeezah‘s popular semi-classical songs illustrates the duality of a courtesan’s poetry, at once glamorizing the elaborate rituals of love and destroying the institutions that upheld them.
4. Mother India
Mehboob Khan, 1957
With tragedy strikes her family, newlywed village belle Radha is determined to weather a crucible of social and personal adversities without compromising her honor. In doing so, she reinvents herself as a heavy-handed symbol of India’s own pride as an ancient culture and a new democracy. A defining film in the history of Bollywood, director Mehboob Khan’s iconic Mother India set the pattern for the more than 60 years of Bollywood film that followed it. A mythologization of traditional values and an homage to the beauty of Indian heritage, Mother India‘s unabashedly epic glorification of self-sacrifice and female empowerment was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1958.
Vijay Anand, 1965
A corrupt businessman is transformed into a spiritual guide after a misunderstanding that leads to his idolization by a village besieged by drought. Based on the R.K. Narayan novel of the same name and bolstered by a stunning soundtrack, Guide explores a fundamental Vedic transformation from materialism to a release from worldly attachments in an extremely unlikely hero. A scandalous love story settles into the background as director Vijay Anand boldly deconstructs social taboos, from adultery and non-traditional gender roles to religious fraud, in a film that stirringly evolves into a philosophical awakening greater than the circumstances it portrays–a brilliant reflection of the double entendre intended by its title.
A female lawyer is determined to prove her lover’s innocence in a murder attempt on the life of a respected judge. Structured in medias res, the film’s flashback reveals the injustice of her lover’s past when the very judge who condemns him proves to be his own father: a man who threw his wife onto the streets when he believed a criminal had raped her. Echoing the dark lessons of the ancient Ramayana, Awaara shatters the nature versus nurture debate with a showman’s flair and surrealist fantasy, including the film’s legendary dream sequence evoking a descent into Hell. Awaara launched Raj Kapoor’s famous Chaplin-esque hero for the first time, who resonated immensely across the Soviet Union and Communist China as the voice of a new generation.
8. Sahib, Bibi, Aur Ghulam
Guru Dutt/Abrar Alvi, 1962
Desperate to save her marriage, the younger daughter-in-law of a wealthy family sacrifices her moral boundaries to win over her alcoholic husband. A nostalgic glimpse into the decaying Bengali feudal system, Sahib, Bibi, Aur Ghulam unravels a dazzling murder mystery at the heart of its progressive view of societal redemption. Seen from the perspective of a young factory worker lured into a stately mansion as an ally of its young mistress, Sahib, Bibi, Aur Ghulam hauntingly opens the doors to the hollowness of exterior splendor. Spiraling against her will with the collapse of Calcutta’s landed aristocracy, Meena Kumari’s portrayal of the tormented wife is forever considered among the most magnificent on-screen performances of Bollywood history.
Shakti Samanta, 1971
When her lover dies at war, an unwed mother gives up her son up for adoption, vowing to watch over him in secrecy as he grows up in the house of another. Her poignant worship, or aradhana, of her dead fiancé and their son became immortalized in the Indian cinematic psyche as an audacious struggle of traditional society confronted by changing modern values. Boasting one of the all-time greatest soundtracks of Indian cinema, Aradhana epitomizes the versatility and creativity of the era’s leading music directors. From the youthful romance of “Kora Kaagaz Tha” to the grim Bardic undertones of “Safal Hogi Teri Aradhana” to the notoriously seductive “Roop Tera Mastana,” the film is as much remembered for its luminous performances as for exemplifying the golden age of Bollywood music.
10. Do Bigha Zameen
Bimal Roy, 1953
A farming family fights to save their ancestral land from a cunning mill owner. Do Bigha Zameen follows the father and son’s trip to Calcutta from their idyllic village to earn enough money to pay their debts–only to discover the miseries of urban poverty instead. Inspired by the work of Italian neorealism, Do Bigha Zameen pioneered early parallel cinema with a deliberate attention to the “everyday,” and the feeling of an invisible, unhurried camera whose shots and mis-en-scene are both carefully constructed and effortlessly fluid. Directed by Bengali auteur Bimal Roy, the film’s nationalistic electricity hit a broader audience, becoming the first Indian film to win the Prix Internationale at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival.
During the British Raj of the 1930s, a prison doctor falls in love with a convict who reveals the story of her tumultuous connection to a freedom fighter.
Bimal Roy, 1958
On a rainy night, a man enters an abandoned mansion where he is confronted by unfulfilled visions of his past life.
13. Shree 420
Raj Kapoor, 1955
A country boy travels to Bombay to make his fortune where he is lured from the path of virtue into a thrilling life of deceit.
Ramesh Sippy, 1975
After his family is murdered by a notorious bandit, a former police officer enlists the help of two outlaws to capture him.
Shyam Benegal, 1974
The social hierarchies of rural India are disrupted when a landowner begins an affair with a poor farmer’s wife.
16. Hum Dono
Amarjeet, Vijay Anand (1961)
After returning from war, a soldier begins to lead a double-life when his doppelgänger’s family welcomes him home.
17. Barsaat (1949)
Raj Kapoor, 1949
Two men with different ideals of love search for answers with the coming of the monsoons.
18. Amar Akbar Anthony
Manmohan Desai, 1977
Three brothers are separated in childhood and eventually unite after one is brought up a Christian, one a Hindu, and one a Muslim.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee, 1971
A doctor recounts the story of a terminally ill man who wishes to his live life to the fullest and spread happiness to those around him.
Chetan Anand, 1964
A platoon of Indian soldiers leave their homes and loved ones to encounter the harsh realities of battle in the Indo-China War of 1962.
Chandra Barot, 1978
A simpleton is trained to infiltrate the underworld by impersonating a criminal leader who has been killed in a police chase.
Kamal Amrohi, 1949
A young lawyer is haunted by a ghostly woman in his new house, where the builder and his fiancée died shortly after it was built.
Raj Kapoor, 1964
An Indian Air Force Officer leaves for the Kashmiri front, entrusting his wife to the care of his best friend who has secretly always loved her.
Satyen Bose, 1964
A penniless orphan makes the unexpected friendship of a blind boy who teaches him survival on the streets of Bombay.
Yash Chopra, 1965
Natural disaster separates the members of a close-knit family who re-connect in a series of dramatic entanglements years later.
Yash Chopra, 1975
A mother attempts to reunite her two estranged sons: one, a leading criminal of the underworld, and the other, an uprighteous policeman.
27. Kati Patang
Shakti Samanta, 1970
As a promise to raise the child of her dying friend, a young woman risks starting a new life under a false identity.
A powerful politician struggles to reconcile her position with secrets from her past.
29. Purab Aur Paschim
Manoj Kumar, 1970
East clashes with West when a traditional Indian student encounters swinging London society for the first time.
30. Bombai Ka Babu
Raj Khosla, 1960
A small-time thief is forced into a deadly web of deception when he gains the trust of his victim’s family.
There are few things cuter than a wholesome die-hard Indian bromance. In the past decade, the term “bromance” has become popularized by the American media and by high-grossing summer flicks that explore its comedic aspects—but its roots can be traced back to Hollywood first academy award for best picture Wings (1927). This silent heart-wrenching World War I love-fest between two men inspired dozens of commercial hits down the road from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) to Top Gun (1986). Say what you want about those films, however, Bollywood was unarguably where this concept blossomed to its colorful fullest.
Perhaps it’s cultural—I can remember visiting Simla when I was younger and seeing teenage boys holding hands as they walked down the street. It was just considered a normal expression of friendship. Things have changed plenty since my childhood, but regardless, the marketability of the bromance genre may also likely stem from what had (and has) been for a long time a male-dominated industry–from directors to screenwriters all the way down to the lowly production assistants. In fact, in the early pre-talkie years of Indian cinema, women were not even allowed to act in films, much less attend viewings. Y-chromosome melodrama sells, and sells big. The bonds of manly love have been a glorified subject of Bollywood expression since time immemorial and has inspired some of the best movies you’ll ever watch.
In this post, we’ll explore our top 5 “bromantic” songs of yesteryear films long before the days of Dostana (2008) and even Qurbani (1980). From declaring eternal devotion to sobbing over betrayal, each one has a special place in our hearts and cinematic history.
Amitabh Bachhan and Dharmendra sing out their love in Sholay (1975)
This song is the crowning jewel of Bollywood bromance. Set at the beginning of an all-time megahit, this song showcases two men (Amitabh Bachhan and Dharmendra) riding a single motorcycle and singing their love for each other. Chest-hair is just blowing in the wind as their friendship is put to the test at the film’s climax. Overdone slightly, but a timeless tear-jerker!
Raj Kapoor pours his heart into his sad song of betrayed trust in Sangam (1964)
Talk about tragedy. Raj Kapoor flies to war and saves his country, only to return and discover that his wife Vijayantimala is really in love with his own best friend Rajendra Kumar. This song of betrayal and lost friendship played morosely on the living room piano makes everyone in the room awkward. Please note that low-cut v-neck top. No, I’m not referring to Vijayantimala.
Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachhan being adorable in Namak Haraam (1978)
A Rajesh Khanna classic. Although best friends, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachhan come from two very different socio-economic statuses, ultimately leading to a huge public morally-charged battle of principles. Rajesh Khanna plays the good guy as usual, and his on-screen chemistry with Bachhan evokes the joy audiences loved in Anand! Did I mention the obligatory and visible fluffy chest hair?
Facing starvation and homelessness, two boys find friendship in Dosti (1964)
This film was unique in that it is entirely about two teenage boys (neither of whom were big stars then) and the sacrifices they make for each other. Did I mention the hero is blind and homeless? It makes it more endearing. This beautiful Mohammed Rafi song of tragedy is when the hero realizes his best friend is better off without him, and decides to get out of his way forever. These are kids, guys. It’s really, really cute.
Pran works to get a smile out of Amitabh Bachhan in Zanjeer (1973). This is a must-see–Pran is just such a beast in this movie.
Oh, Pran, you are a legend. This famous song celebrates the friendship between an Indian (Amitabh Bacchan) and an Afghani patthan (the inimitable Pran). He embodies this character so skillfully—look at how he twirls and gives that sly shake of the head, you’d think he had grown up in a mountainous outskirt of Kabul. See, Bollywood knows how to cross political boundaries too!
An extremely honorable mention goes to “Anhoni Ko Honi” from Amar Akbar Anthony (1979). Does it really count as a bromance if they’re actually supposed to be brothers?
Amitabh Bacchan, Vinod Khanna, and Rishi Kapoor are three brothers on a mission in Amar Akbar Anthony (1979)
Share with us your thoughts and additions to our list!