This song is USP of film Umrao Jaan. She, Ameeran her real name, was abducted and brought up in a Kotha. There she is taught or trained to entertain men, patrons. Some time forcibly, sometime emotional black mailing.In such Kothas all tactics were used.
The dance, or so to say Mujra is organised to celebrate the deflowering, Nath Utarai, or missi of a young girl, Bismil the daughter of Khanam bi, the owner, or the supreme of that Kotha. Thus this was an opportune occasion to showcase the prima dona, or the ready to take off, gem of that Kotha.
Such occasions provided the much required publicity in those times when social media was absent.
Many of well known rich persons were lured also to such occasions, as was done by the role played by Naseeruddin Shah. He lured the Nawad Jada or Nawab sultan, played by Farukh sheikh.
Thus this Gem of Kotha was displayed at this mehfil by Khanam jaan effectively.
This dance was test or examination for training of so many years Umrao Jaan got, and Khanam invested money in hope of earning through this girl Ameeran which is renamed as Umrao.
But this girl portrays true longing, pain, she suffered all those years, after being abducted. Most often in such events of life those girls or women, onec came out of thier houses, villages, etc can never return to their families, just in name of saving the honour of family. Many women even if wanted to return could never do so. As was shown in this film also. When she sings Kya Jagah Hai dosto?
She remembers and recognises the place where she lived as a girl Ameeran, But when she returns to her home, meets her mother, the unsaid, emotions are conveyed through eyes. Whole storm Ocean comes out through eyes. Mother and daughter unite even for few moments.
Those moments were captured beutifully, and heart touching ways by Muzaffar Ali saheb. He is a true RAJA, Master of many crafts.
I think he might have been very close to his mother. He must have observed ladies of zenana. That's why he has shown authentic characteristics of each role in this film Umrao Jaan.
She sings just to catch attention of her patron.
Rekha ji had also done a song in Muqaddar ka sikander, and this dance became so famous that she was crowned as the queen of such dances.