Day 13: Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri

Movie: Naya Daur (1957)
Song: Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri
Music Director: O. P. Nayyar
Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
Singers: Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosale
Actors (in the song): Dilip Kumar, Vyjayantimala.

The best example of how reel copies real life is by watching Indian movies of different decades. The movies of the 50s for example, had farmers and industrial revolution and tongawaalahs defeating buses! Sorry that was the suspense. You knew the underdog wins right?! 😛

Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri is an iconic number. It is in equal parts flirty, naughty, romantic and fun. However, what sets it apart for me is the choreography in the song that doesn’t make Dilip Kumar-the non-dancer much, but emphasises on Vyjayantimala and even the legs of the background dancers (see the part where you see only legs keeping the beat)!

There’s nothing I can say about Sahir Ludhianvi, I would only make a fool of myself. Ditto Nayyar. What I can say though, is that I enjoy this song now because I appreciate the lyrics and the setting of “Naya Daur” much more, when we’re on the brink of a new one in India.

I love the Vyjayantimala-Dilip Kumar combo,  I love them more in Gunga Jamuna where she croons and sways asking him to look for her kaan ka bala. The magic of this song is however in the way that the lyrics are shaped. Short conversations with suggestions and counter-suggestions. My favourite ones are:

Tujhe chand ke bahane dekhu,
Tu chhatt par aa ja goriye..
Abhi chedenge galli ke sab ladke,
Ki chand bairi chip jaane de..

(I’ll see you with the excuse that’ll I’ll look at the moon,
You come to the roof.
I will be teased by the boys who stay in the lane (if the moon is bright),
Let the moon -our enemy, hide away.)

This movie re-released as a coloured version a few years back. I saw it in black and white then, ya the irony! But I found the effect of the black and white more rustic and it appeals to me much more than the colours. So here is the video in the original (though the clarity is lower than the coloured one):


8 thoughts on “Day 13: Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri

  1. This is one of my all-time favourite songs. And yes, the choreography is very much important for the song. I hated the remixed version released a few years back with Kareena (although later on I warmed up to it a little).


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