O mazi re apana kinara nadiya ki dhara hai ….

oh mazi re1The feel of this song is unmatched. It seems when this song was being recorded, R. D. Burman was crying profusely and beating his hand on the wall praising Kishore Kumar’s versatility for singing this song so soulfully. On screen, you see Jitendra simply dressed, with spectacles standing on the boat and rendering this great number; there is no romancing, no glamour, no heroine in the scene (except twice Sari-clad simply dressed Hema Malini is shown separately in different shots) the song is just shot on a boat, rowed by a boatman(mazi).

River has a magical beauty, and it lends itself to a variety of metaphors. Its timeless flow denotes jeevan ki dhara. The river plays an important role in the country side. The rivers mark boundaries of villages; and are usually meeting place of lovers. Rivers play a significant role in our life. We therefore see many songs with river themes. Also, river water can inspire, soothe, cuddle and calm a person. I think river water has a musical feel which great composers like S.D.Burman, Salil Chowdhary, Hemant Kumar, R.D.Burman, Kalyanji Anandaji and Bhupen Hazarika have captured in their songs.

This song is from film Kushboo, based on the Bengali novel “Panditmashai” by Sharat Chadra Chattopadhyay. The film was released in 1975, produced by Prasan Kapoor and directed by Gulzarsab. The film’s music was composed by the great R.D.Burman.

oh mazi re2The genre of the song is “Bhatiyali folk song.” Bengal has a vast coastal land with long rivers and sea. Hence you will see many Bhatiyali songs sung by boatmen. S.D Burman used to say that Bhatiyali has its roots in earth, flowers, sky, and river. The notations of Bhatiyali songs, its words, and its pathos have an enchanting interpretation reminding the listeners of the river, and the journey by river. Bhatiyali’s mood and its passion are immersed in philosophies of life.

‘O mazi re’ song is written by Gulzar Sab. The song is about life’s unstoppable journey without a shore and an anchor. The river has eroded many shores which are now flowing with the river. Life is like a paper boat which flows directionless and it can’t reach any shore. The lyrics are awesome describing the solitude and yearning of the protagonist of the film Jitendra (Dr. Brindavan) who is separated from his childhood love Hema Malini (Kusum). He is married but loses his wife and is lonely.

The song is sung by Kishore Kumar and is has a magical hollow effect on the listeners.  It seems when this song was being recorded the people present for recording were so much moved by Kishore Kumar’s singing that most of them burst into tears like R.D.Burman did. Kishore Kumar’s voice full of twinge and pathos had that magic effect on them. R.D always said that though Kishore was an untrained singer, he was like a volcano of talent, who could improvise any song incredibly and he would provide vocal insights and expression beyond the composer’s imagination.

Watch this soulfully magical song and enjoy few stirring moments.



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  1. I am spellbound to hear the song o mazhi re apna kinara nadia kidhra hai through your good article of same genrr .Though it is set in meloncholic tones it seem that rd burman put his heart init I earnestly thank you mam for refreshing my sweet memories of by gone eras