There have been several memorable rain songs in Hindi movies. One such song is Saawan Ke Jhoole Pade, Tum Chale Aao (the swings in the month of Saawan have been installed, you come please). This beautiful song sung by Lata Mangeshkar in the classical Raag Pahaadi, is in Hindi movie Jurmaana (1979).
The nucleus of the story of Jurmaana (fine) is a simple small town girl
Ramaa (Raakhee) who lives with her widower father - Dayashankar
Sharma (Dr. Shreeraam Laagoo) who is a retired teacher and now facing health problems with his eyesight getting dim day-by-day. They are financially weak but believe in simple living and high thinking, following the Indian ideals of life. Prakaash (Vinod Mehra) is a simple youth like them only who silently loves Ramaa. He keeps on visiting them regularly and taking care of Dayashankar. Their peaceful lives get disturbed just like the stirring in the silent water of a lake by the dropping of a stone in the same. This is because of the entry of Inder (Amitabh Bachchan) who has been a student of Dayashankar years back (or at least he claims so) and is an old buddy of Prakaash. Inder is now a rich businessman and due to some bitter experience with a girl in the past, looks upon every girl as a sex-object only. Whenever he comes into contact with some girl, he immediately starts wooing her only to take her to his bed. He has come to their town because of a construction project of him and as soon as he sees Ramaa, he falls for her and starts his evil designs to bring her to his bedroom. Prakaash who not only loves Ramaa in his heart but also knows her piety and idealistic way of living very well, enters into a bet with Inder that his bad intentions will not succeed with Ramaa. He also cautions Ramaa and her father in this regard. However Ramaa who is too impressed by Inder, gets trapped by him. However before any undesirable thing could happen, Dayashankar and Prakaash reach Inder's house where Ramaa has visited by lying to her father. Completely shocked Dayashankar is not able to tolerate his daughter's act and her lying to him and he asserts that he will never be able to forgive her because she has broken his trust as well as his heart.
Now, heartbroken Ramaa who is not able to convince her father that she has not done anything against his teachings and the morals of life they have always believed in, leaves for some unknown destination. She is robbed in the train and by losing her money, becomes completely helpless. A kind-hearted station master (Asraani) gives shelter to her, treating her as his sister. The train in which she was travelling meets an accident and it is known to all that she has died in that accident. Now she starts singing on radio under the fake name of Sudha. On the other side, Dayashankar and Prakaash keep stones on their hearts, accepting the fact of Ramaa's death but Inder who had unknowingly fallen in love with her and is now genuinely repenting for ruining the happy home of her and her father, is not ready to accept it. He starts searching for her under a firm belief that she is alive. Due to this emotional shock, Dayashankar has completely lost his eyesight and has become blind. Inder asks Prakaash to take him to a house owned by him at another place and arrange his treatment. This fact is kept hidden from Dayashankar that this arrangement has been made by Inder only. Prakaash lives with Dayashankar and takes care of him whereas Inder keeps on searching for Ramaa. Finally he finds her. All the four principal characters of this story alongwith a close friend of Ramaa - Laila (Farida Jalaal) re-assemble at that place. Prakaash convinces Dayashankar to forgive Ramaa and arrange her marriage with Inder whom she loves. However Laila who has always been aware of Prakaash's feelings towards Ramaa, conveys this fact to Inder. After some emotional tension and drama involving the threesome, the story reaches its expected conclusion.
Let me assert it frankly that this movie is much below the standard of director Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It is because of the weak script. Though Hrishi Da has directed the movie pretty well, it could not become a memorable one. The climax and the pre-climax events appear to have been executed in somewhat haste. Some more footage to the emotional quotient of the relationship among Ramaa, Inder and Prakaash would have made the movie a more appealing one. The characters of Prakaash and Dayashankar are well-developed but the character of Ramaa has not been given proper scope to develop fully and that of Inder is a bit sketchy.
R.D. Burman's music is admirable. In addition to Saawan Ke Jhoole Pade, Chhoti Si Ek Kali Khili Thi and Aye Sakhi Raadhike Baawari Ho Gayi are also very good and spread the fragrance of Indian soil and Indian classical music. Anand Bakshi has written the beautiful lyrics of these songs.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee has always been able to extract the best out of the actor Amitabh Bachchan. Despite the half-baked role, AB has done well. Ditto for Raakhee whose character (around which the story revolves in the true sense) has not been given ample footage and scope. Dr. Shreeraam Laagoo, Asraani, Farida Jalaal, A.K. Hangal, Keshto Mukherjee, Manju Asraani etc. have done complete justice to the assigned roles. The best performer, in my view, is Vinod Mehra.
Summing up, Jurmaana is not an excellent movie but it is definitely a decent watch. Considering the music appeal as well as the star appeal (AB and Raakhee), the movie buffs liking emotional dramas will definitely find this simple movie as their cup of tea.
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