Haan Jee Haan..Maine Sharaab Pee Hai

Song: Haan Jee Haan..Maine Sharaab Pee Hai

Film: Seeta Aur Geeta (1972)

Producer: G. P. Sippy

Director: Ramesh Sippy

Lyricist: Aanand Bakshi

Singer:  Lata Mangeshkar


Seeta aur Geeta was quite a successful film..by the Sippys ..with quite a multi-starrer cast by the then standards ..Sanjeev Kumar , Dharmendra and Double treat Hema and the usual successful character actors, the panoramic Manorama included.

Pancham came up with the excellent score once again..with two brilliant duets “Hawa ke saath saath” and “koi ladka” catching the fancy of everyone’s eyes and ears and that includes me too. In recent years ,however, I “stumbled” on this two lesser talked soloes.. a Manna dey brilliance in “abhi to haath mein” and this one “Haan jee haan..maine sharaab pee hai”.

Now I am just addicted to these two like anything and so planned a lot to pay tribute to this Pancham-Lata-Hema-Sippy marvel. Getting the chance here ..Of course its not only for that sensual treat Hema offers ..Ramesh Sippy serves it with the bitter pathos of hers all along its duration. The visual treat is for that amazing co-ordination the director and cinematographer manage and some superbly rocking performance by Hema.

So lets get on with this rhythmic ..swinging ride …fasten your seat belts if you are not amused / entertained /marveled like Sanjeev K..and dont if you dont want to miss the swing alongwith Lata/ Hema.

A dramatic entry on the staircase landing by Hema in her stunning outfit well complemented by the violin phrases and the camera and the melody too shifts along the curious / bewildered/ stunned faces of the party mob and characters only to rest and linger on Sanjeev K’s face who is visibly annoyed.

Thereafter comes a superbly composed prelude cascading down the long stair starting with first cycle of rhythm beats beautifully synchronised to Hema’s movements. Again superior detailing with a firm beat for the front foot and subtle for the hind.A cycle of the bewildering phrase repeats and the foot tapping takes a new pattern this time accelerating slightly to finally stumble along those ravishing Rabab phrases ( remember the interlude of “sharaabi mera naam??). Assisted by Sanjeev, Hema then again swings on the violins to finally collapse and camera finally rests on her beautiful face and there enters Lata for that musical confession.

The bossa nova comes handy and fits perfectly to this stumbling pattern. That bossa nova in Pancham’s song is not only the responsibility of the rhythm..every instrument ..the meter ..of instruments and lyrics ..performs in its own novel way. After all its our own Novel Boss. It just allows Lata to float along “Haan jee haan” and picking the beat ai “Maine” oddly but amazingly to give that rich sound effect of “jhung..jhung..jhung” thereafter.

While the bossa nova rhythm is inconsistently consistent ..nearly everything else is consistently inconsistent. The meter of words lengthened and compressed in a random manner but sounding amazing. You wud love the forward movement along “haan jee haan” and the instantly retracting “naa jee na” .

The first interlude is beautifully picked up by the sensuous sax countered by the violins and synths ..and wow.. that ravishing Arabic Rabab re-enters ..this time with an additional sensual kick in its strums sounding “Wwrrrrrang tang tang” ..and Lata follows the suit with her “Uffff Tauba(ah)” but how subtly the mood changes in the following antara lines to bring out her helplessness and pathos.

Comes the second interlude and the its the turn of the synths to lead the show with the revolving motion around the party hall with the tinge of sadness and again ending with the rababs ..but not sensuous this time ..for Lata’s “maaf kijiye meri gustaakhi” ..if you have got used to the rocking movement of first two lines ..then you have a fumbling but pleasant surprise along Lata’s “paas aaa..aaa..naa naheen” something the Mangeshkars can do with their superb control and you are left with no option but exclaim “Ufff Taubaa”

The third interlude changes the pattern again ..the rababs do the start and for once Pancham goes traditional ..for its a wedding ceremony ..with the associated high pitched sound of shehnai ..Dukhi daa (most probably) doing a superb job in maneuvering the tune back to the tune of “cheez maine badee hee kharaab pee hai” and again a wonderful pickup by the bossa-novaic guitar rhythm to land on the antara.

Ramesh S does a masterly act to shoot this interlude in splendid manner matching every frame to every note ..Hema’s distressed face .. the camera panning to the wedding instruments ..back to her ..and she slowly lifting herself along the rhythm back to confession.. for us to be moved by this “wipe-your-tear-back-to-the-beer” sequence.

The song then ends with the dramatic although late entry of Dadi maa (just like the police in climax) on wheel chair assisted by Ramu kaka ..and now Sanjeev has to get into the act fast ..after all 3 antaras are over.. and ends the show with a slap on Hema’s face. Cant thank them enough for not intervening prematurely in this great audio-visual show.


Sudhir Kulkarni