Published On: Fri, Mar 11th, 2016

Best of legend music director Madan Mohan: Mera Saaya


maxresdefault (1)

It’s 60 years since one of Indian cinema’s timeless classics ‘Mera Saaya’ was made.

We salute Madan Mohan’s classical and soulful musical scores in this film that remain evergreen even today.

This suspense family drama is directed by Raj Khosla and has in the lead Sadhana and Sunil Dutt. The songs composed by Madan Mohan are infused with melody and laced with meaningful lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan.

After the astounding success of his black-and-white blood-curdler, Woh Kaun Thi (1964), Raj Khosla followed with ‘Mera Saaya’ and ‘Anita’, making probably the only big-budget suspense trilogy in Hindi films. All three mystery films starred the enigmatic Sadhana in multiple roles.

Mera Saaya boasts of Sadhana’s career-best performance and a memorable score by Madan Mohan.

Famous songs from Mera Saaya:

Tu jahan jahan chalega: Lata Mangeshkar (in raga ‘Nand’)

Nainon mein badra chhaye: Lata Mangeshkar (in raga “Bhimpalasi’)

Nainonwali ne haaye mera dil: Lata Mangeshkar

Aap ke pehloo mein aakar: Mohammed Rafi

Jhumka gira re: Asha Bhosle


* In the film’s credit titles, when Sunil Dutt turns the pages of his wedding album, some of the photographs shown are from the real-life marriage of Sadhana and her director husband R K Nayyar. Sadhana had just married long-time love Nayyar on March 7, 1966.

* Sadhana was no great shakes as a dancer but Saroj, assistant to dance director Sohanlal in those days, encouraged Sadhana to put her best foot forward. They later became great friends.

* This was the second Sunil Dutt-Sadhana hit coming on the heels of Waqt (1965). Strangely, the only films they worked in together thereafter was the long-delayed Gaban in the 1960s and Geeta Mera Naam in the 1970s. In the latter, the one-time hit pair played brother and sister!

The Music

* Raj Khosla was making a film “Saaya” after “Woh Kaun Thi”, this film also needed a haunting song, like ‘Naina barse’. When Madan Mohan composed the title song (Mera Saaya Saat Hoga), the word “Saaya” could not stand alone, he needed another word with it. So he added the word “mera”. When the song was recorded, it was much appreciated by all the musicians and the unit, and on repeated hearing the haunting refrain ‘Mera saaya’ was on everybody’s lips. It was then decided to title the film “Mera Saaya” instead!

* Madan Mohan and Lata Mangeshkar’s mutual admiration society is well-known; and in Mera Saaya too, they chiselled three scintillatingly tuned and sung songs. The music of the film was a major hit.

* In 1966 , a year when after a close contest with his Mera Saaya, the film Suraj won the Filmfare award for Best Music, Madan Mohan was extremely disappointed as the award had eluded him for the third time, despite him being the favourite among nominees .

* In his next production, Anita, Raj Khosla surprised every one by signing on reigning duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal for the music. Anita’s music, though reasonably popular, was unable to match Madan Mohan compositions.

* Excited crowds pelted the screen with coins in Asha Bhosle’s sprightly song, “Jhumka gira re”.


About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology