Mehbooba (1976 film)

Mehbooba is a 1976 Hindi film produced by Mushir-Riaz and directed by Shakti Samanta. The film stars Rajesh Khanna, Hema Malini and Prem Chopra. The story is based on the reincarnation theme. The music is composed by Rahul Dev Burman. The film is noted for an impressive performance by the lead pair and for its haunting melodies such as the solo song "Mere Naina Sawan Bhadon", sung by both Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar, "Chalo Ri" by Lata and the duet song "Parbat Ke Peeche". The plot is based on Gulshan Nanda's novel Sisakate Saaz, and Nanda also wrote the screenplay himself. Upon its release, the film was big flop. This film has gained a cult following over the years and appreciation from audiences in its screening on television.[1][2][3]

Directed byShakti Samanta
Produced byMushir-Riaz
Written byGulshan Nanda
StarringRajesh Khanna
Hema Malini
Prem Chopra
Nazir Hussain
Music byRahul Dev Burman
Anand Bakshi (lyrics)
CinematographyAloke Dasgupta
Edited byBijoy Chowdhury
Release date
19 July 1976


Singer Suraj (Rajesh Khanna) was presented with a veena (stringed musical instrument) by his fiancée. Thereafter, he often listens to a haunting song at nights and observes that its name was "Ratna". One day, while going for a stage show, he gets stuck in heavy rain in an unknown place and goes to stay in a small motel, where he meets a woman named Ratna. During the night, he observes that Ratna, singing the same song he often hears at night, is going to a distant mahal (grand house of olden times). He follows her reflexively and enters the abandoned mahal. He tries to call out for Ratna, but learns from old keeper of the mahal that Ratna died more than a hundred years ago and people feel that she still haunts that mahal.

Later, a portrait of Ratna makes him remember their previous life. In the previous life he was Prakash, chief singer of royal court. He was in love with Ratna, a beautiful and talented court dancer. They fell in love, but both had problems to marry as Prakash was already promised to Jamuna in his childhood and Ratna couldn't marry as she was to become a royal courtesan, At last, they decided to run away, but were killed on their way, promising each other that they would meet again.

Suraj, after coming to his senses, feels lonely and confused. Shortly thereafter, he meets a gypsy, Jhumri (also Malini), who looks exactly like Ratna. Soon he makes Jhumri remember her past life and her love for Prakash. This angers Rita Malhotra (Asha Sachdev), fiancée of Suraj and Appa (Prem Chopra), who wants to marry Jhumri. Appa steals the portrait, and sets the gypsies against Suraj, ensuring a fight between Suraj and gypsies. But Suraj and Jhumri manage to overcome all the obstacles and stay together in this life.


Initially, R.D. Burman had made a draft song version of the song "Mere Naina Sawan Bhadho" and sent the recording tape to Kishore. R.D. Burman had informed him that there is female version of the song too to be picturised. Kishore thought he would not be able to do justice to the song. He asked R.D. Burman to give him the tape with Lata's version on it. R. D. Burman agreed. He listened to the song for 7 days before recording. Kishore Kumar had his version recorded only after this. Till date, his version is more famous than Lata Mangeshkar's. Lata Mangeshkar's version has a long alaap, which comes thrice in the song, in the beginning, after the first antara and in the end. Kishore's version has humming instead of this. There are some more alaaps and one more version of the song by Lata Mangeshkar, which comes in the movie. This song is based on "Raga Shivranjani". This song played an important role in the sequence continuity of the film.

Another song, "Gori Tori Painjaniya" is the most complicated one in the album. By this time, Kishore Kumar had established himself as the voice of Rajesh Khanna. However, Khanna decided that the previous birth in the film would have Manna Dey and the current birth would have Kishore.


Rajesh Khanna Prakash/Suraj
Hema Malini Ratna/Jhumri
Prem Chopra Appa
Asrani Sinha
Asha Sachdev Rita Malhotra
Harindranath Chattopadhyay Rita's father
Sujit Kumar Dr. Vinod
Manmohan Krishna Bandhe Ali Khan as Manmohan Krishan
Madan Puri Sardar
Meena T. Gauri
Nazir Hussain Guruji as Nazir Hussain
Leela Mishra Jhumri's mother as Leela Misra
Alankar Joshi Buntu as Master Alankar
Chandrashekhar Thakur Himmat Singh
Yogeeta Bali Jamuna Singh Guest Appearance



The music of this movie was composed by R. D. Burman. The songs "Mere Naina Sawan Bhadon", "Mehbooba" (title track) and "Parbat Ke Peechhe" too, were popular numbers.

Song TitleSingersTime
"Mere Naina Sawan Bhadon" Lata Mangeshkar 6:20
"Mere Naina Sawan Bhadon" Kishore Kumar 5:25
"Gori Tori Paijaniya" Manna Dey 6:00
"Parbat Ke Peechhe" Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar 3:55
"Mehbooba Title Song Jiski Jheel Si Aankhen" Kishore Kumar 3:55
"Jamuna Kinare Aa Ja" Lata Mangeshkar 5:05
"Chalo Ri Chalo Ri" Lata Mangeshkar 4:00
"Aapke Shahar Mein Aai Hoon" Lata Mangeshkar 5:00


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