"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

When Ranu Mondal and Himesh's real life instance followed a Dev Anand film released four decades back - By Bobby Sing

03 Sep, 2019 | Articles on Cinema

A poor girl singing in the daily passenger local gets spotted by a music director, accidentally travelling by train. Noticing her raw but melodious voice having an amazing tonal quality, he decides to give her a chance and takes her to the studio to record a song. He gives her a surprising make-over, encourages her to sing the fresh lyrics, and gets the recording done, resulting in a hit track. The clip of her video singing in the studio, under the expert guidance of the renowned music director, gets viral, and she becomes the talk of the town.
Reading the above, you might recall the much-publicized incident in news a couple of years back when the video of Ranu Mondal–a lady singing on a railway platform had gone viral. She was later given a dream chance of recording a Hindi film song by the famous Himesh Reshamiya. The man who was once laughed upon for saying “Mujhe inkey ghar mein roti chahiye” on a TV reality show proved his words, giving an unbelievable twist to the lady’s struggle in life. As a result, Ranu again became viral, but this time wearing a new shining saree and headphones standing in front of mike, having a big smile on her face.
However, revealing the truth related to the description narrated above, I was not talking about Ranu, Himesh, or their recorded film song. The instance of discovering a singing sensation while travelling in a local train was stated, recalling Dev Anand and Tina Munim’s musical Man Pasand released in 1980.
One might call it coincidence, a matter of luck, or the case of real-life following the reel life, the fact remains that whatever happened with Ranu and Himesh in 2019, the same was right there in the film released four decades back, written and directed by Basu Chatterjee.
In Man Pasand  too, Dev Anand and Girish Karnad accidentally discover the sweet voice of a poor girl selling Datun (Neem branches) in a local train played by Tina Munim. The two friends have a bet and Dev decides to give her a chance, transforming her entire persona of a rude, outspoken girl into a graceful, talented singer in only a few months. 
Ethically revealing its source of inspiration, Man Pasand  begins with a slide saying “Dedicated to the genius of George Bernard Shaw” as it was based on his famous play Pygmalion (1913). In reality, it was more of an adaptation of the English musical classic My Fair Lady (1964) derived from the same play. The Hindi version beautifully Indianised the entire proceedings, converting the flowers-selling girl into a girl selling Datun on the local train. The same later got followed by real-life, becoming a rare case of its kind.
Produced by Amit Khanna (who also wrote the exceptional lyrics), Man Pasand had a melodious soundtrack composed by Rajesh Roshan (including a few inspired songs from the English original). But the most interesting fact related to the play and Dev Anand is that the icon also acted in another film based on the subject three decades before Man Pasand .
The film released in 1950 was called Nili featuring Suraiya in the title role of a poor street-girl groomed into an impressive social lady/princess by the sculptor Dev. A Ranjeet Movietone film, it was directed by Ratibhai Punatar, with music by S. Mohinder and lyrics by Surjit Sethi. R. S. Chaudhary wrote the film's story and dialogues. Not available in any format at the present, Nili reportedly didn’t do any wonders at the box office but was appreciated for its music and lead performances.  
Perhaps Dev had an intense liking for the play, going for its second adaptation after three decades of Nili as Man Pasand . Pygmalion inspired quite a few Hindi films such as Hum Tere Aashiq Hain (1979). Its traces were also there in Amitabh Bachchan’s Yaarana (1981). But among all the adaptations, it was only Basu Chatterjee’s vision that surprisingly resulted in a beautiful real-life imitation in the new millennium.
Summing up, we always assume that authors and filmmakers adapt instances taken from their personal experiences in life. But here, Ranu and Himesh’s episode was exactly like real-life adapting a film scene and that too after a long gap of almost four decades.
Bobby Sing
NOTE : The article got also published in THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 7th October 2021.
Note : The write-up is a chapter shared from my upcoming book releasing soon. So any additions, rectifications suggested by friends are welcome to make it better.
Did You Know By Bobby SingFor more such interesting articles on lesser known facts on Hindi Cinema, do try DID YOU KNOW Series by Bobby Sing available in both Book and E-book form.

Also available 
at Notionpress and Flipkart stores (in India)
The book is now also available in Hindi titled ITNA TO YAAD HAI MUJHE published by Prabhat Prakashan

Available at all leading portals online.


Tags : Ranu Mondal Himesh Reshamiya real life instance in a Dev Anand film By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Articles on Music Poetry and Life by Bobby Sing, Real Life follows Reel Life.
03 Sep 2019 / Comment ( 0 )
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