Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966)

Like DG, I’m a die-hard Dharmendra fan. In my opinion, this was one actor who had it all: he looked splendid, and he could act (look at stuff like Satyakam and Anupama: sterling performances all the way). For me, Dharmendra by himself was enough reason to watch Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi. Add to that the vivacious Tanuja—one of my favourite actresses—and a madcap Johnny Walker, plus a great musical score, and this was one film I was sure I’d enjoy.
Post view reactions? Mixed. Read on.

Dharmendra and Tanuja in Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi

The film centres around a Calcutta-based newspaper called Jagriti. The Managing Director of Jagriti is Amita (Mala Sinha). She’s being pressured by the members of the Board of Directors, who own much of Jagriti, a result of their ill-gotten gains: they run hazardous mining concerns; they adulterate cement; and more. Amita’s only friend on the Board seems to be Mr Verma (Rehman), who—unknown to Amita—is actually in love with her.

Amita and Mr Verma at the Board meeting

Amita discovers that one of Jagriti’s reporters, Jitendra Gupta (Dharmendra) has gone behind the news editor’s back and published an exposé on the unsafe mines. Egged on by the Board, Amita summons Jitendra and demands an explanation. Both of them end up blowing their tops, and she fires him.

Amita fires Jitendra

Meanwhile, Amita’s younger sister Sunita, whose nickname is Baabli (Tanuja—very bubbly!), receives a phone call from Mr Verma’s younger brother Vikram (Deven Verma), a friend of hers. Vikram’s an irresponsible prankster, and fools Baabli into believing she’s flunked her university exams. Baabli’s so distraught, she decides to commit suicide by jumping off a moving train.

Baabli hears she's failed

That evening, Baabli gathers up her courage and tries to jump, but is `rescued’ by Jitendra. She sprains her ankle, and when the train stops, he ends up giving her a piggyback ride to the hut of a poor couple who live nearby. It’s raining hard, and Baabli and Jitendra take shelter in the spare room of the hut. It’s all very innocent, but by the time she wakes next morning, Baabli’s already half in love. She sneaks off after borrowing a rupee from the sleeping Jitendra’s jacket pocket. She also reads the name and address on the wallet: Chunnilal.

Baabli discovers her benefactor's name

Chunnilal (Johnny Walker) is actually Jitendra’s friend, a photographer at Jagriti. He’s devoted to alcohol, and lives with Jitendra, Jitendra’s widowed sister (Mumtaz Begum) and her daughter Sushma. Baabli arrives at their home while the men are away, and asks for Chunnilal. She quickly makes friends with both women, and Sushma wonders aloud why Baabli doesn’t mind Chunnilal drinking so much. Baabli admits she didn’t know he was a tippler, and says she thinks Chunnilal is a dumb name. Yup, I agree.

Baabli meets Jitendra's sister and niece

Anyway, Baabli leaves a note for Chunnilal asking him to meet her in Chowringhee. Sushma gives the note to Chunnilal when he arrives with Jitendra. Chunnilal is surprised but elated at being invited by an unknown girl. Jitendra, to whom he reads out the letter, is amused and decides he must keep the rendezvous.
So Jitendra and Baabli meet, and fess up.

Baabli and Jitendra meet

In the meantime, there’s been a fatal accident at the mines, and Amita feels Jitendra’s been vindicated. She therefore asks him to rejoin—this time as the news editor. He does, and as time passes, gets to know Amita better. She’s obviously attracted to him; so much, in fact, that when he comes to their home and sings the lovely Aapke haseen rukh pe aaj naya noor hai, she thinks he’s serenading her—never realising that it’s Baabli, sitting next to Amita, who’s charmed him.

Aapke haseen rukh pe aaj

This is all happening in 1962, and the Indo-China war’s just begun. Jitendra wants to become a war correspondent and go off to the front. Baabli tries to stop him, but doesn’t succeed. Amita, very distressed, reaches the airport just in time to see Baabli and Jitendra together. Crash goes her heart, but hey, that’s what love triangles are all about.

Amita tries to come to terms...

At the front, a bridge collapses, causing casualties among the Indian troops. Investigations prove that the bridge was made with substandard cement. And guess who’s to blame? The members of Jagriti’s Board. Jitendra sends off a dispatch to Calcutta. Amita publishes it, and gets into trouble with the Board, who are now ready to chuck her out of Jagriti.
As if things weren’t bad enough, Mr Verma realises Amita loves Jitendra. He confronts her with it, and she doesn’t deny it. Little does she know that Baabli, who’s standing in the next room, has heard it all.

Baabli discovers that Amita loves Jitendra

This is where the story starts careening madly out of control, with both sisters doing their best to sacrifice their love for the other. All against the backdrop of the deteriorating situation of the management of Jagriti. There seems no way everybody can be happy…

What I liked about this film:
Tanuja and Dharmendra: they’re adorable, especially in the fabulous scene where they first meet on the train. Very endearing! I wish there were more scenes like that in the film.
The music, by O P Nayyar. The title song, Badal jaaye agar maali…baharein phir bhi aayengi, is particularly good.
Johnny Walker! He’s such a delight, as always. And he has a song all to himself too: the peppy Suno suno Miss Chatterji mere dil ka matter ji.

Suno suno Miss Chatterjee

What I didn’t like:
Sadly, there’s lots to list here.
The first half of the film is cheerful and light-hearted; the second half descends into a morbidity that is hard to bear. Really. The last half hour was actually painful, with Baabli and Amita taking it in turns to screech and weep and be Martyr #1. Eesh. And why on earth don’t Amita or Baabli ask Jitendra whom he wants to marry? Surely the poor man should have a say.
The two themes of the film—the concept of corruption versus truth, and the love triangle—didn’t seem to mesh too well with each other. I’d have liked to see more of how Jagriti, and Jitendra’s own principles, affected his relationships with Baabli and Amita.
And yes, I have to admit: Mala Sinha, in the last few minutes, was very melodramatic. I usually like her, but the last couple of scenes made me wince.

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19 thoughts on “Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966)

  1. I like how you’ve added Jitendra to the cast :-)

    This film disappointed me too. It had SO MUCH potential to be really good—I loved the possibilities for the Mala-Rehman relationship, and Tanuja and Dharmendra were just too cute.

    But it just never really came together. And as you point out, became irritating. Too bad!

  2. Yes, well – his name was Jitendra after all :-). I wonder what it’ve been like if Jitendra was in the cast too… I do wish the writer had found a better way to solve the love triangle (what was the point of showing that Rehman loved her if nothing came of it?! A sheer waste).

  3. I have nice memories of this film – but I guess thats because I remember only the good parts! Filmi triangles somehow, rarely come to a satisfactory end and almost always waste nice side-heros. Anyhow, I’d still like to revisit – can watch pretty much any crap for Dharmendra+Tanuja and the lovely songs, plus, there is Rehman too (now how could I have forgotten that?).

  4. I made my way through Bollyviewer’s site. You’ve got me curious to check this out. There’s one song in particular I can’t get enough of (Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe), and since I’m known to succumb to music to guide my film-viewing, I’d might as well give this a shot :) You’ve got a fun blog going, dustedoff; I’ll be back!

  5. Was Baharein Phir Bhi aayengi a Guru Dutt production?”Koi keh keh de deevano se jaake” on lovely Tanuja is another very nice song

    • Yes, Guru Dutt was the producer of Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi.

      I’d forgotten about the song you mention, but have just clicked into a video of it on youtube. Remembered I liked it as soon as it appeared onscreen. :-) Lovely!

  6. I wanted to watch this film since a long time and finally got it on youtube. I was quite happy watching the first half with beautiful songs, good looking actors, Johnny Walker’s madcap scenes and a restrained Mala Sinha (she looked so lovely) but then suddenly god knows what struck her?! In the last 20-30 minutes, whenever she was on screen, I would just cringe watching her with those excruciating expressions (she is not demented, just heartbroken then why inflict those weird expressions on us?). The film ended so abruptly. It could have been a different and better ending. Amita-Verma and Amita-Jitendra angles were so thoroughly overlooked. On the whole, I liked the film but was disappointed by the way it ended.

    • Yes, truly an example of the ‘curse of the second half’ – lots of potential, then suddenly it all goes downhill. Mala Sinha looked gorgeous,didn’t she? But the melodrama after she discovered the hero was not in love with her – oh, just the memory of it makes me wince.

      And the film makers were thoroughly unfair on Rehman. Very sad. :-(

  7. I too was very excited to see this film and was so disappointed when I eventually watched it. But the songs! Aap Ke Haseen Rukh of course but also Woh Hanske Mile humse is one of my favourite Asha songs.

    I also just read your reviews of Pooja Ke Phool and Neela Akash – I agree, not good films! Jab Yaad Kisi Ki Aati Hai was bad too. But they all had great songs ;-)

    I like the 60′s Dharmendra a lot. And I generally like Mala too, but i agree with you that she was more fun in her feisty avatar. Tanuja is one of my favourites even though i’ve not seen a huge number of her movies.

    I’ve read so many of your posts now – each one is a pleasure :-)

    • Thank you so much! Glad you’re liking these posts.

      I must review another Tanuja film one of these days. I really love her – she lights up the screen. :-)

  8. The film was originally planned and started with Mala Sinha and Guru Dutt in the lead but because of Guru Dutt’s tragic end the project was taken over by his brother Atmaram and Dharmender was chosen in the lead and the film was completed in a haphazard way with all the unnecessary melodrama in the climax. and change of script etc There were huge financial problems facing the production house too.

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