Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai

by Dr. Mandar V. Bichu

Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai
Film: Guide 1966
Year: 1966

Composer: S.D.Burman

Rosy: (Giggling) Kuchh Bologe Bhi? Kaise Guide Ho?

Raju Guide: Meri Samajh Mein Nahi Aaya. Kal Tak Aap Lagti Thii Ek Chaalis Saal Ki Boodhi Aurat Jo Zindagi Ki Har Khushi, Har Ummeed, Har Umang Kahin Beech Raste Mein Chhod Aayi Hai. Aur Aaj Lagti Ho Solah Saal Ki Bachchii. Bholi, Nadaan, Bachpan Ki Shararat Se Bharpur.
Rosy: Jaante Ho Kyuun?
Remember this scene from Guide? A deliriously happy Waheeda bubbling with joy and enthusiasm and a bewildered Dev Anand wondering about this sudden transformation in this till- then- forever- forlorn lady. This dialogue has become as immortal as the song that follows- a delightful Lata- classic :
O-o-o-o Kaanton Se Kheench Ke Yeh Aanchal, Todke Bandhan Baandhii Paayal/
Koi Na Roko Dil Ki Udaan Ko/ Dil Woh Chala/
Aa—aa-aa-aa Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai/ Aaj Phir Marne Ka Iraada Hai!
See how accurately and artistically Shailendra pens the emotions of a woman breaking through the shackles, coming into her own and rediscovering her identity after suppressing her desires for so long in an unhappy marriage. Gay abandon, optimistic outlook, newfound freedom and unabashed rebellion- all her feelings come flowing through the song and picturised through director Vijay Anand’s legendary song-sense, Waheeda then literally lives it on screen. Breaking clay-pots, riding in a straw-ridden truck and then dancing merrily on the Udaipur fort-walls, she looks every bit a woman recharged with love, laughter and life.
Before the song- picturisation, composer Sachin Dev Burman was unwell and even the tune was not ready.  But still he told the Anand- brothers and the film-unit to proceed to the location. “You will get your song on time”- that’s the only thing he promised! And what a tune it turned out to be! The pace and rhythm variations are two most remarkable features in this composition.
But it is Lata who really makes this song an all time classic with a rendition that is so pure, lovely and spirited. From her breathtaking breezy opening to the delectable closing note, every nuance of the musical and lyrical expression gets that exquisite Lataian touch and the song gets a life of its own! The heady state of suspended disbelief in ‘Main Hoon Gubaar YaaTufaan Hoon/ Koi Bataaye Main Kahan Hoon’ or the amazement at seeing a new brighter side of life in 'Kal Ke Andheron Se Nikalke/ Dekha Hai Aankhen Malte Malte’  Lata expresses those feelings in such sublime fashion!
“Even today when I think of that song, I feel young all over, ready to sing and dance! Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai, Aaj Phir Marne Ka Iraada Hai!” That’s what Waheeda feels about this song- it’s a feeling representing sentiments of countless music-lovers! It’s a song that makes you live all over again!
About the author
Dr. Mandar V. Bichu

Lata Online’s editor-webmaster-curator Dr. Mandar V. Bichu is a pediatrician based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, who is also a prolific writer-journalist. His fascination for Lata Mangeshkar’s music has resulted in two books-Gaaye Lata Gaaye Lata and Lata-Voice of the golden era, and many published articles.