Haye Mera Dil (1968)

This was an unexpected treat, a breezy comedy starring Kishore Kumar, Kum Kum, IS Johar, Prem Chopra—in a not-villainous role!—and my would-be bahen Laxmi Chhaya. Greedy bad guys, plenty of disguises, goofball antics and a fine sense of the just plain silly are its hallmarks, along with one of my new favorite Laxmi songs. Actually, all the songs by Usha Khanna are fabulous and worth watching. Kum Kum is an excellent dancer too and plays one in this (as well as her long-lost mother) so she has plenty of scope for showing off her talents as well. The storyline is contrived and conveniently glib, but all in all it’s a very fun watch if you feel like shutting off your brain for some simple but satisfying entertainment.

A man named Banwarilal (Raj Mehra) escapes from jail, where he was sent (I think) by his employer Mohandas after embezzling money from him. He breaks into Mohandas’ house at night and discovers from Mohandas’ wife Kamla Devi (Kum Kum) that there is nothing for him to rob there as all of the family jewelry is kept in a bank safe-deposit vault.

Banwarilal now takes what seems to me an unnecessarily convoluted approach to getting his hands on Mohandas’ wealth, and kidnaps little Geeta after shooting Mohandas dead, leaving poor Kamla Devi devastated. She is told the next day by the police that both Banwarilal and Geeta seem to have died in a car accident: they have retrieved Banwarilal’s car from the sea, although they have found no bodies. She sensibly refuses to give up (unlike the police) and vows to find her daughter.

Sixteen years and the credits roll by, and Banwarilal has become the respectable and wheelchair-bound Biharilal. He lives with Geeta whom he has renamed Sangeeta; she is now a well-known dancer working in a theater owned by Pyarelal (Madan Puri) and has grown up to look exactly like her mother (since they are both Kum Kum). Bihari has confided his impractical and endlessly patient plan to relieve Sangeeta of her inheritance to Pyarelal: the details of this plan are glossed over but involve items which have somehow found their way into his hands.

I am reminded of the South Park Underpants Gnomes and their business plan:

  • Step 1: “Collect underpants!”
  • Step 2: *confused silence*
  • Step 3: “Profit!”

only Bihari’s is:

  • Step 1: “Collect personal items!”
  • Step 2: *evil laughter*
  • Step 3: “Get jewels!”

Bihari has further promised Pyarelal that he can marry Sangeeta, although of course nobody has asked her permission!

Elsewhere in town, she unwittingly has another devoted admirer in the form of Deepak (Kishore Kumar), a lazy sort of fellow with a vivid Walter Mitty type of imagination; this benefits us greatly with the song “Jaaneman Jaaneman”—now my favorite Kum Kum song of all time. She is gorgeous! (And interestingly this plus another song in this film picturized on Kishore are actually sung by Manna Dey.)

Deepak’s older brother Anand (Prem Chopra) wants him to get a job, already! although his mother (Praveen Paul) is much more indulgent. But Deepak is constantly sidetracked by his fantasies of Sangeeta.

Meanwhile, Kamla Devi—now old and gray—is still looking for her Geeta, and she hires a detective by the name of Sokhanlal (IS Johar) and his sidekick Makhanlal (Majnu?) to find her. IS Johar always makes me giggle, even when his antics are stupid. Kamla gives him the same photograph of herself and Geeta which Bihari has, and tells him further that Geeta has a birthmark on her back (Sokhanlal turns the picture over to look).

I also love how Hindi movie detectives look at everything with a magnifying glass, even large 8×10 close-ups!

That evening Deepak goes to see Sangeeta’s dance performance (another Kum Kum treat, “Machhal Gaya Haye Mera Dil”).

Detectives Sokhanlal and Makhanlal are there too, and they recognize Sangeeta as Geeta instantly! After the performance, Deepak hangs around outside the theater waiting for Sangeeta to come out in the hopes of meeting her.

Inside, she is complaining to her friend Bela (Laxmi Chhaya) that she is tired of working so hard and of all the attention, and she needs a break. Bela hits on a temporary solution to give her a moment of respite anyway, and we get the first of many disguises in this story.

Posing (may I say unusually convincingly as well—Kum Kum changes her tone of voice and her body language in a way most actors disguised as the opposite gender don’t bother with) as her own servant “Pinto,” she runs into Deepak outside, who cultivates a friendship with her in order to meet “Madam”. As he waxes rhetorically about his adoration of her, Sangeeta is touched by his obvious devotion:

even when he goes on a little too long, in my opinion if not hers.

She rewards him the next morning by telling him that she was Pinto and giving him her autograph, and he rightly understands that she likes him now too. He returns home in a blissful daze to his anxious mother (he’s been gone all night) and exasperated brother, neither of whom believe that he’s actually met her.

And now Sokhanlal also disguises himself as the Prince of Lakhanpur and visits Bihari to offer a huge sum of money if Sangeeta will embark on a world entertainment tour for him. Thrilled, Bihari invites him and “secretary” Makhanlal to stay at his home while they make all the arrangements.

IS Johar really just makes me laugh, and the film is peppered with this sort of witty dialogue.

So now Sangeeta is embarking on romance with Deepak, thrilled at the idea she can stop working at a job she dislikes to support a father she only feels pity for (the wheelchair)—although how a husband with no job is going to help her kind of escapes me. She has no intention of doing a tour for this Prince and no idea that he is really trying to get her reunited with her mother; and Bihari and Pyarelal are proceeding apace in their undefined plan to separate Sangeeta from the jewelry she doesn’t even know she has (and get her married to Pyarelal).

Will they succeed? Or will Sokhanlal and Makhanlal—and  Deepak—manage to extract her from their clutches? Does it even matter when we’re having so much fun along the way? Especially if you are a fan of the main performers, this one is well worth watching. It’s a bit choppy here and there (Samrat dvd) but pretty good otherwise (although who knows how many songs might be missing, which would be a pity because they are each one a gem!).

Bela covers for an absent Sangeeta one evening, and she and I.S. Johar perform this wonderful song mocking Bihari. It is LAXMI FAB, and you really can’t praise with greater praise than that. And a big thanks to Tom for uploading my favorite songs so I could put them in here!

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50 Comments to “Haye Mera Dil (1968)”

  1. Lovely review.
    I would watch this for Laxmi alone. :-)
    And then we have IS Johar, Kishore, Kum Kum and a young Prem Chopra! With this cast, we can surely make an allowance for the storyline. ;-)

    Btw, in Lalkaar also, Kumkum had this role where she dresses up as a young man for a part of the movie. I have not seen many Kumkum movies – makes me wonder whether she was a female version of Mehmood. :-) Any other movies that anybody knows of where she does this?

    Going to check out the songs of this movie. The Laxmi one is of course fab – am going to check out the Kumkum ones rightaway. :-)

    • Kum Kum is wonderful (and looks beautiful) in this, and it’s so much fun to see her dosti with Laxmi too. Nice to see a close female friendship for once! And also so much fun to see Prem Chopra in a benign role—exasperated! but he loves the ditzy Kishore too.

  2. Gosh memsaab, once again credit goes to you for bringing this movie to my attention. Never heard of this movie before! I am now going to include it in my “list of movies to be bought” on my next visit home! I kept on repeating “i wanna watch this movie” on reading every line of ur post! Kum Kum looks fab in this movie. Others have also told me that she was a fab dancer. I must have seen her only in minor roles before

  3. Waah waah, you have sold me on this movie. I think you do a far better job of selling old movies that anyone else. These movie makers should actually pay you for writing such fabulous reviews. It goes without saying that I have become fans of B grade movies as well as the actors working in them because of you.

    Kishore Kumar of course has been a childhood idol, and who will not fall for the charms of Kumkum. It is obvious that this movie is a satisfying watch if one can gives ones brain a day off.

    Let me see if this movie is there lying with me somewhere or I need to procure it.

  4. Sounds fab. I think it’s time I start buying films online. I can never get my hands on the films you watch in the shops here. :)

    I used to like I S johar so much as a kid. I thought he was funny, too. He used to do a column in a magazine, I forget which one, I think it was ‘Filmfare’ which was hilarious too. A mock Q&A thing, with outrageous answers.

    • Induna is very reliable and reasonably priced, esp. if you live in India. Shipping charges are high for the US, but if you put a large enough order in it’s worth it.

      Doesn’t Shatrughan Sinha do a tongue in cheek Q&A too? I would probably prefer IS Johar’s though :)

    • Now that you mention it, I remember too. I think it was Filmfare too. I really miss those old mags. Madhuri and Filmfare were my favorites.

    • I remember that IS Johar column. Used to be fun. The guy was fun, a rebel and used to love to take potshots at the establishment. :-)

      Greta, Madhuri was a Hindi film magazine, sort of Filmfare equivalent. Pretty popular amongst Hindi readers.

  5. A breezy entertainer all the way, and KK AND KK, thats Kishoreda and Kum Kum tai at their usual best, and ofcors the rest of the crew.

    Off hand I can think they came together in-

    Mr X In Bombay 1964,
    Ganga Ki Lahren (1964)
    Duniya Nachegi (1967)
    Shreeman Funtoosh (1965)
    Baghi Shehzada (1964)…… a totally different Kishoreda and Kum Kum here along with our good ol veterans like Maruti ( who also Directed this and his contribution is immense in the Industry, again a forgotten man) Anwar Hussain, Bela Bose, Shyam Kumar.

    In this movie as far as I remember Rafi Saheb also sang one track for Kishoreda.

    I used to have a VHS which unfort is lost because of humidity, some places have this title available now.

    And a coincidence the Director is Ved and Madan duo, whom I admire as just got 2 of his Neeli Aankhen (1962) and Kala Aadmi (1960) .


    • Baghi Shehzada sounds like fun! I have never been able to get through Mr. X In Bombay…it gets boring and really dumb in the middle. But I will look for the others (think I have Shreeman Funtoosh, come to think of it…) :)

  6. This sounds so utterly delightful. :-) And I S Johar and Laxmi Chhaya are by themselves enough reason for me to want to see a film!

  7. Buying films online sounds like a great idea Banno. That way we can see these nice old films. Thank you Memsaab for the post :)

  8. kum kum was really beautiful! I haven’t seen this film but the song’s are cute – i might buy it soon.
    Kishore had got a little chubs though!!

  9. KumKum is my favourite dancer. Oh so graceful. My favourite KumKum dance number is ‘Madhuban Mein Radhika Naache Re’ from Kohinoor. I.S.Johar is also my favourite comedian, he did the comedy scenes so effortlessly. He was excellent in the Rajesh Khanna- Sharmila Tagore starrer Safar.

    • I’ve still got to see Kohinoor…IS Johar’s humor is CLEVER, that’s what I like so much about him. It is intelligent. He was really good in Safar, I agree :) He had great chemistry with Rajesh!

      • Fell over laughing at the South Park analogy!

        Love IS Johar too. And agree on Safar :-) Which is why I need to rewatch ‘Raaz’ (1967) to see why they screwed it up as bad as they did given the great ingredients that went in the making (don’t like Babita though). By the way, have you seen Johar’s ‘5 Rifles’. Would love to know what you think of it–some of the stills look unbelievably risque for the mid 70s! And it has that wonderful qawaali ‘Jhoom barabar jhoom sharabi’ that all of us love.

  10. Yup Shilpi we really fancied Kum Kum, still do and also IS, one of its kind, he was actually a genius and how many of us know that Yash Chopra started his film career as an assistant director with him .)

    IS was a man of all seasons, he made whatever he believed in, and he took on Late PM Indira Gandhi by His film Nasbandi (trans. Vasectomy) a spoof on Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s failed policy of population control by coerced vasectomies during the period of Emergency – and was “banned” when it was first released.

    Shilpi some series of SS coming up soon here of Dada from Ummeed, esp the fatal scene where he is almost strangled by Joy, and by jove a close look at these SS and he really under went some scary moments.

    I am sure readers will love to see the SS first and foremost of his role as a baddie in this movie. He is Dada Monis Manager and up to ‘mischief’, if I may be allowed to say that. Like we said another g8 actor- a man of all seasons .)


  11. Looks like this movie had a delayed release since it’s a B/W which is a rarity even in 1968. Also Kishore Kumar looks like how he was in Ganga Ki Lehren (1964). And also, watch Kumkum in Aankhen (1968) and she’s so much different.

    A good review as usual, Greta.

  12. I couldn’t recognize Kumkum in the first picture. I’ve never seen her dressed like this. Since I have always really loved her (because of her dance numbers in Kohinoor) I want to see this :-)… and of course Laxmi Chaaya….and of course the songs…and of course this review!! :-)

  13. Thanks for yet another great review and for enlightening me!

  14. Folks

    just started to see ISJ’s Mera Naam Johar (1968) or My Name Is Johar,
    am half way thru and what joy to see 007 and 008 tactics by him and his Assistant, the veteran Dhumal Bhau, just his mere presence yu are in splits.
    This has –

    I.S. Johar
    Sonia Sahni
    Ramayan Tiwari
    Aruna Irani
    Gajanan Jagirdar
    Paul Sharma
    Sudarshan Sharma
    Sadhana Khote
    Bihari Singh
    Bhagwan Sinha
    Harbans Darshan M. Arora

    It is Lara Label.

    Cheers .)

  15. Oops must mention the lilting Music by none other than Usha Khanna Ji.
    One number which comes to the mind immy is- saare chiraag gul kar do by Ashatai. The superb use of music instruments is something which we do not hear much of these days.


  16. Does anyone remember Picture Post, a mini 4 x 6 inches ? mag with full of info ???

    • I have a couple of those!!! From the early 70s I think…

      • Someday perhaps yu can share this, a PDF format…G, that wud be great. Thx a lot.


        Kum Kum Koming up soon on the other side, in AAYEGA AANE WALA 1967 with Sanjeev Kumar, who else but blazing BELA also has a dance number, Agha the g8, Khairati, Rajan Haksar, Ram Mohan, Sabita Chatterjee, Chaman Puri, Uma Khosla, Shobha,… BUT it looks like a VHSrip,

        Video is ok, audio could have been better, but the second half is very interesting, yu can say it is same caliber as Kohraa, Woh Kaun Thi, Bin Badal Barasaat, Bees Saal Baad, mean the style of making !

        Movie buff I am, I am always happy with the options I get .)


        P.S. Indeed Shilpi, Kum Kum did a fab job in dancing in this classic number from Kohinoor ‘ madhuban mein raadhika naache re giridhar ki muraliya baaje re’, Rafi Saheb at his best with Mestro Naushad Saheb with his magic baton and lyrics, who else but another Master Shakeel Badayuni Saheb.

  17. Dont forget Shagird with Joy, ISJ as Prof. Brij Mohan Agnihotri ‘Birju’ was just out of this world, he sailed thru this role so smoothly, it is just amazing.

    His daughter Ambika if she comes on this Blog cud have given a lot of valuable insight to the facets of this g8ly talented guy.

    Hello Ambika where are yu .)


    Rem this super hit gaana and it’s pictureisation ( is there such a word ??) -“Bare Miyan Deewaane aise na bano ???

  18. Oooh, thanks for incuding the dance clips Memsaab. I can never get enough of Kum Kum’s dancing. She is so cute and, as you know, one of my all time favorite actresses!

  19. Yesterday, i spent half the day listening to ‘Main rehti hoon bechain’ in a loop :)

  20. And if yu wanna kalicious delicious Kum Kum in a Western dance,then see this just u/l track from Aayega Aanewala 1967, in fact I have u/l all tracks from this phillum- (on the Blazing Bela Post there is one on her also, double treat kya ?)

    le le haath se chala bada chulbula hai dil- Asha Bhonsle.flv

    Pls note it is a VHSrip so……..

    Cheer .)

  21. such a great movie.
    nice songs composed by usha khanna and sung by kishore kumar.
    i just loved the film, its screenplay.
    a nice review too

  22. Janeman Janeman Tum Din Raat this song is sung by manna day and usha(not mangeshkar)

  23. I’m glad you liked the film, Shrikant.

    • http://picasaweb.google.com/aslijati/RajeshAmitabhMovieMagInterview?authkey=Gv1sRgCPzugv6cn82nMQ&feat=email#5404153567904608850

      by the way go through this interview page by page..i wonder y no one is publishing this online so that more comfortably v can read this.

      1969 Aradhana Nominated for the 1970 Filmfare Award for Best Actor solo lead
      1969 Ittefaq Nominated for the 1970 Filmfare Award for Best Actor solo lead
      1970 Sachaa Jhutha Won the 1971 Filmfare Award for Best Actor solo lead
      1971 Kati Patang Nominated for the 1972 Filmfare Award for Best Actor solo lead
      1971 Anand Won the 1972 Filmfare Award for Best Actor and the 1972 BFJA Awards for Best Actor solo lead
      1972 Dushman Nominated for the 1973 Filmfare Award for Best Actor solo lead
      1972 Amar Prem Nominated for the 1973 Filmfare Award for Best Actorand Nominated for the 1973 BFJA Awards for Best Actor solo lead

      1972 Bawarchi Won the 1973 BFJA Awards for Best Actor solo lead
      1973 Daag: A Poem of Love Nominated for the 1974 Filmfare Award for Best Actor solo lead
      1973 Namak Haraam Won the 1974 BFJA Awards for Best Actor solo lead
      1974 Avishkaar Won the 1975 Filmfare Award for Best Actor solo lead
      1974 Prem Nagar Nominated for the 1975 Filmfare Award for Best Actor solo lead
      1975 Prem Kahani Nominated for the 1976 BFJA Awards for Best Actor solo lead

      1979 Amar Deep Nominated for the 1980 Filmfare Award for Best Actorand Nominated for the 1980 BFJA Awards for Best Actor

      1980 Thodisi Bewafaii Nominated for the 1981 Filmfare Award for Best Actorand Nominated for the 1981 BFJA Awards for Best Actor

      1981 Kudrat Nominated for the 1982 BFJA Awards for Best Actor

      1981 Dhanwan Nominated for the 1982 BFJA Awards for Best Actor
      1981 Dard kk Nominated for the 1982 Filmfare Award for Best Actorand Won the Lion’s Club Award for Best Actor in 1982 in Delhi

      1983 Avtaar Nominated for the 1984 Filmfare Award for Best Actorand Nominated for the 1984 BFJA Awards for Best Actor

      1984 Awaaz Nominated for the 1985 BFJA Awards for Best Actor
      1984 Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar Won All-India Critics Association (AICA) Best Actor Award in 1985 at Calcutta and Nominated for the 1985BFJA Awards for Best Actor

      1985 Aakhir Kyon? Nominated for the 1986 BFJA Awards for Best Actor

      1985 Babu Nominated for the 1986 BFJA Awards for Best Actor

      1986 Amrit Won the 1987 BFJA Awards for Best Actor

      1994 Khudai Won the Best Actor Award at Russian Film Festival, Ujvegistan

  24. loved the laxmi chhaya dance here…)))..she has a peppy number with sudhir in” raaste ka patthar””…wonder why she lost out to less gifted dancers??

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