The 1975 Hindi film Do Jasoos had Raj Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar playing middle-aged detectives. It was an odd attempt and understandably did middling business too. One element that has easily outlived the film’s success, or the lack of it, is the music. In particular, the song, ‘Dariya Cha Raaja Deva Oh Deva’, or, more popularly referred to as, ‘Purvaiyya leke chali meri naiyya’.
It is a lovely song, firmly layered in Marathi Koli geet, with music by Ravindra Jain and lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri. It even stars the male singer of the song – Shailendra Singh (who sings it along with Lata Mangeshkar)! Shailendra Singh made his playback debut when he sang for Rishi Kapoor in Bobby, in 1973. Here he not only sings but also stars, along with the film’s female lead, Bhavana Bhatt.
Even if you are not familiar with this song, it is a lovely song to listen to. If you are familiar with the song, it’d surely bring back a strong whiff of nostalgia. Listen to ‘Purvaiyya leke chali meri naiyya’, Do Jasoos (1975):
Now, listen to this song!
That was the title song of Osibisa’s second album, called Woyaya. Woyaya was released in 1971.
Osibisa, for the uninitiated, was a massively popular African band from London. The band toured the world, playing to large audiences in Japan, Australia and Africa, all through the 70s. They even came to India in 1981, in a hugely promoted concert sponsored by Campa Cola, and played their music in Hotel Ashok and the India Gate lawns in Delhi.
The entire mukhda of Ravindra Jain’s Do Jasoos song is an unabashed imitation of Osibisa’s Woyaya!
In the Hindi song, the entire part,
“Purwaiyya leke chali meri naiyaa
Jaane kahaan re
Jaane kahaan re”
…is the same as Osibisa’s
“We are going, heaven knows where we are going,
We’ll know we’re there.”
That Ravindra Jain blends this non-Indian tune so beautifully within a Marathi Koli template says a lot about his vibrant imagination, though seeking permission and doing it legitimately would have given his creativity a lot more respectability.
Osibisa’s song was so popular that Art Garfunkel, of Simon and Garfunkel fame, officially covered the song in his debut album Angel Clare, in 1973.
Listen to Woyaya, by Art Garfunkel (1973).
Two years later, Ravindra Jain created his uncredited version in Hindi!