Friday, 17 July 2009

yeh 'ishq naheeN aasaaN, faTaak!

Gulzar has never made a secret of the high esteem in which he holds Ghalib. Time and again he has chosen to use entire verses of Ghalib's, with and without modification, in his film as well as non-film poetry. But this time he's spun a yarn around a couplet by one of Urdu poetry's other famous masters: Jigar Moradabadi.

yeh 'ishq nahii.n aasaa.N, bas itnaa samajh leeje
ik aag kaa daryaa hai, aur Doob ke jaanaa hai


Here's what Gulzar has done with (or should we say "done to"?) this couplet in Kaminey (2009) --

yeh 'ishq nahii.n aasaa.N, ajii AIDS kaa Khatraa hai
patwaar pahan jaanaa, yeh aag kaa daryaa hai


Of course, Gulzar is not pretending to do serious poetry here. Rather, he has set out to write "nonsense verse" using the highly popular Jigar couplet as basis, and I must say he has passed with flying colours! ;-) The 'lateral thinking' reference to AIDS is funny enough, but don't ignore the use of patwaar (rudder) to convey ... ruBBer (nirodh)! The tune by Vishal Bhardwaj, and the very apt vocals by Sukhwinder Singh and Kailash Kher are no less successful.

chaahe lag jaayen hathkadiyaan

I was listening to the rollicking Rafi-Asha duet 'nazroN ke teer maare kas-kas-kas' from the film Do Ustaad (1959) recently, when I noticed the following lyrics by Qamar Jalalabadi (listen to Rafi's second stanza, starting about 3:00 into the clip):

jaan-e-jahaa.N! bolo chalii ho kahaa.N leke naino.n me.n ye phuljha.Diyaa.N
tum pe maroo.Nga gorii, pyaar mai.n karoo.Nga gorii, chaahe lage.n hathka.Diyaa.N




Whattasong, na'eeN? Rafi and Asha sound like they're having the time of their life singing this song -- as much fun, if not more, than Madhubala and Raj Kapoor are portaying on screen! Those were the days *sigh*!

Anyway ... the phrase "chaahe lage.n hathka.Diyaa.N" sounded way too familiar, like I had heard it somewhere else, but I just couldn't place it. I coincidentally happened to be chatting online with Asad at the same time, so I asked him if he could recall any song with that phrase in it. He immediately replied, "yes, 'ab chaahe maaN rooThe yaa baabaa'", written by Sahir Ludhiyanvi for the film Daag (1973). Sure enough, at the end of the first stanza, these words appear:

ab chaahe kaa.NTe mile.n yaa kaliyaa.N, yaaraa mai.nne to haa.N kar lii
ab chaahe lag jaaye.n hath-ka.Diyaa.N, mai.nne terii baa.Nh paka.D lii
mai.nne tujh pe neeyat dhar lii, maine ha.Nskar haamii bhar lii
ho yaarii chhooTe naa, TooTe naa, haa.N kar lii so kar lii
ab chaahe maa.N rooThe yaa baabaa ...


"What a terrible way to reinterpret Qamar's phrase," I thought, "Sahir has really hit the dumps here!"


But that wasn't it, I felt; this wasn't the song I was thinking of. I could visualize "my" song having nok-jho.nk (playful teasing amongst lovers)-type lyrics, with the girl saying, "meraa peechha chho.Do" and the guy teasing her with "no way! (chaahe lag jaaye.n hath-ka.Diyaa.N)" ...

And then I remembered it! Sahir himself had used this phrase previously, in Naya Daur (1957), coincidentally a duet again, composed by OP Nayyar again, with one of the singers being Asha again: reshmi salwar kurta jaali kaa has these words at the beginning of the first stanza:

jab jab tujh ko dekhuu.N, mere dil me.n chhuTe.n phul-jha.Diyaa.N
karuu.Ngaa teraa piichhaa chaahe lag jaaye.n hath-ka.Diyaa.N


Now look again at Qamar's lyrics from Do Ustad, and the similarity is unmistakable. The phrase is repeated almost in its entirety, right down to the rhyming words!

And then compare Sahir to himself and see what a crappy job he did of reusing his own words in 1973. What a difference 15 years can make! *sigh*

Thursday, 16 July 2009

'ishq par zor nahii.n, satrangi re!

It should come as no surprise that in our blog's unscientific ranking, Mirza Ghalib is the poet who has "inspired" the most number of film lyricists.

We recently posted about a film song that was inspired by the Ghalib Ghazal:

nukta.cheeN hai, Gham-e-dil us ko sunaaye na bane
kyaa bane baat jahaaN baat banaaye na bane


The same Ghazal also contains this famous couplet:

'ishq par zor naheeN, hai yeh woh aatish 'Ghalib'
ke lagaaye na lage aur bujhaaye na bane


Fans and fanatics of A R Rahman's music, Gulzar's lyrics and Sonu Nigam's singing will recognize this couplet as having been used as-is in the film Dil Se (1998):



We have also previously noted that the lyrics of another song also refer to the same couplet.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

phir tumhaarii yaad aa_ii, ai sanam

Hakim Momin Khan 'Momin' has created a timeless classic of a Ghazal which goes like this:

asar usko zara naheeN hotaa
ranj raahat.fazaa naheeN hotaa
... ... ...
... ... ...
haal-e-dil yaar ko likhooN kyoN.kar
haath dil se judaa naheeN hotaa


kyoN.kar means 'how', 'in what manner', etc. In other words, kaise. Qamar Jalalabadi, writing what I consider to be The Finest multi-singer song ever composed for a Hindi film, used this sh'er almost as-is, but for the trivial changing of kyoN.kar to kaise. Look for the couplet in this superlative Sajjad Hussain song from Rustom Sohrab (1963) sung by Mohammed Rafi, Manna Dey aur saathi --



Note that this 'Momin' Ghazal is the same one which contains the following incredibly beautiful couplet which 'Ghalib' reportedly said he would be willing to exchange his entire deewaan for.

tum mere paas hote ho goya
jab koi doosra naheeN hotaa


Regular readers of this blog will recall that we have covered this song previously in another post.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

yuuN na rah-rahkar hameN tarsaaiye

Master Madan is known as a child prodigy of astonishing skill who possessed Ghazal-singing abilities. He sang this Saghar Nizami Ghazal in 1935:

yuu.N na rah-rahkar hame.n tarsaaiye
aaiye, bas aaiye, aa jaaiye




Bollywood lyricist Sameer copied Saghar Nizami's words verbatim for this "item song" from film Lajja (2001) sung by Anuradha Sriram and tuned by Anu Malik. What a shocking interpretation of a serious-minded couplet!

rafta rafta woh meri hasti ka saamaaN ho gaye

Some times songs have to take many incarnations before the original version gets due credit! Here's an example of one such song.

One of Mehdi Hassan's most famous Ghazals is this one:

rafta rafta woh meri hasti kaa saamaaN ho gaye
pehle jaaN, phir jaan-e-jaaN, phir jaan-e-janaaN ho gaye




Quite a few are aware that this was originally a film song written by Tasleem Fazli for the Pakistani film Zeenat (1975). The tune was composed by Nashaad.


Fazli's lyrics are quite good for a film song --

rafta rafta woh meri hasti kaa saamaaN ho gaye
pahle jaaN, phir jaan-e-jaaN, phir jaan-e-jaanaaN ho gaye

din-ba-din ba.Dhti gayeeN us husn ki ra'anaaiyaaN
pahle gul, phir gulbadan, phir gul-ba-damaaN ho gaye

aap to nazdeek se nazdeek-tar aate gaye
pahle dil, phir dilrubaa, phir dil ke mehmaaN ho gaye

pyaar jab hadd se ba.Dhaa saare takalluf miT gaye
aap se phir tum hue phir tuu kaa unwaaN ho gaye


A full two decades after Tasleem Fazli's song came out, during which Mehdi Hassan had sung it in many live concerts and recordings, Bollywood lyricist Sameer came up with a song for the film Baazi (1995) with shockingly similar and grossly sub-par lyrics. The music was by Anu Malik for the voices of Udit Narayan and Sadhana Sargam:

dheere dheere aap mere dil ke mehmaaN ho gaye


The less said about these words, the better. Fortunately, the Sameer song renewed buzz around Mehdi Hassan's Ghazal and the latter became popular once again. Good for the "original" version, right?

WRONG! Because Tasleem Fazli's version isn't the original version. Almost a whole decade before that, Qamar Jalalabadi wrote a Ghazal with almost the same words for a(n Indian) movie titled Ham Kahan Ja Rahe Hain (1966), with music by Basant Prakash. Compare this Ghazal to Tasleem Fazli's (above). Do you think we can chalk the similarity down to mere coincidence? :)

rafta rafta woh hamaare dil ke armaaN ho gaye
pahle jaaN, phir jaan-e-jaaN, phir jaan-e-jaanaaN ho gaye

rafta rafta woh meri taskeeN kaa saamaaN ho gaye
pahle dil, phir dilrubaa, phir dil ke mehmaaN ho gaye

rafta rafta unki aaNkhoN kaa nasha ba.Dhne lagaa
pahle mai, phir mai-kada, phir mai kaa toofaaN ho gaye

rafta rafta husn nikharaa aur nikhartaa hi gayaa
pahle gul, phir gulbadan, phir gul-ba-daamaaN ho gaye


This song was sung by Mahendra Kapoor and Asha.


Oh, by the way, Taslim Fazli's last couplet is also similar to a sh'er of Dagh Dehlavi's:

ranj ki jab guftaguu hone lagi
aap se tum, tum se tuu hone lagi


In spite of being the original, the Qamar Jalalabadi song continues to be very rare and practically unknown. isko kahte haiN qismat!

We hope at least now we can give credit where it is due.

ashko.n ne jo bha.Dakaaii / saawan jo agan lagaae


Remember this song?



Of course you do. 'chi.ngaarii koii bha.Dake' is considered one of Anand Bakshi's best writings and is often cited as a profound piece of poetry. Profound probably it is. Original it is not.

Back in 1957, Qamar Jalalabadi wrote 'jab raat nahii.n kaTatii' for Hansraj Behl's 'Changez Khan'. Fourteen years later, Anand Bakshi borrowed one specific thought from this song and more generally the pattern (x causes y, then z helps; but if z causes it, who does) and came up with the famous 'Amar Prem' song.

Here are the specific lines:

Qamar says:
jo aag lagii dil me.n, ashko.n ne bujhaaii hai,
ashko.n ne jo bha.Dakaaii aag, wo kaise bujhegii


Anand Bakshi wrote:
chi.ngaarii koii bha.Dake, to saavan use bujhaaye
saavan jo agan lagaaye, use kaun bujhaaye


'jab raat nahii.n kaTatii's video can be seen at YouTube (embedding is disabled). It was composed by Hansraj Behl and sung ever so hauntingly by Lata M. Go on, listen to it. It's every bit worth the extra click.

[Thanks Asad for inviting me to be a part of this blog. It is one of my favorites and I hope I will be able to add to this unique documentation of HFM's lyrical influences.]

rasm-e-ulfat kisii suurat se nibhaaye na bane

The following Ghazal of Mirza Ghalib's is wildly popular and has been sung by many singers --

nuktacheeN hai, Gham-e-dil usko sunaaye na bane
kyaa bane baat jahaaN baat banaaye na bane

maiN bulaataa to hooN usko magar ay jazba-e-dil
us pe ban jaaye kuchh aisi ke bin aaye na bane
... ... ... ...
'ishq par zor naheeN hai yeh woh aatish 'Ghalib'
ke lagaaye na lage aur bujhaaye na bane

Jigar Moradabadi also has a Ghazal that follows the same metric structure (a.k.a behr), but has a slightly different rhyming pattern (a.k.a radeef-qaafiya). This Ghazal has been sung, among others, by Jagjit Singh. The matl'a of this Ghazal is --

daastaan-e-Gham-e-dil unko sunaayi na gayi
baat big.Di thi kuchh aisi ke banaayi na gayi
... ... ...
'ishq par kuchh na chalaa deeda-e-tar kaa jaaduu
is ne woh aag lagaayi ke bujhaayi na gayi

Lyricists Shams Lucknowi and Anjum Pilibhiti appear to have married the second line of Jigar's matl'a with Ghalib's radeef-qaafiya pattern and come up with the words of this lovely Shamshad Begum song from the film Humayun (1945), tuned by the master tunesmith Ghulam Haider.

rasm-e-ulfat kisi soorat se nibhaaye na bane
baat kuchh big.Di hai aisi ke banaaye na bane

husn majboor idhar 'ishq pareeshaan udhar
aisaa kuchh uljhaa hai daaman ke chhu.Daaye na bane

meraa ghar jal gayaa majboor haiN dunyaa waale
hai yeh woh aag jo paani se bujhaaye na bane

kyaa karooN, kyaa na karooN, donoN tarah mushkil hai
aap jaaye na bane, unko bulaaye na bane

Observe how Shams and Anjum have used Ghalib's "bulaana aur na jaanaa" imagery in the final couplet. Note also the familiar metaphor of "aag lagnaa aur bujhaa na paanaa" that is used in all three Ghazals.




As a bonus, here's a rendition of the Jigar Moradabadi Ghazal by an unknown artiste we found on YouTube. The lad had a very pleasant voice, whoever he is. If you know his name, be sure and let us know, please!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

o kaalii Topii waale zaraa/o laal dupaTTe waalii teraa

Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote "o kaalii Topii waale zaraa naam to bataa" in Kali Topi Lal Rumal(1959)


Indivar copied the phrase but managed to massacre the grammar in "o laal dupaTTe waalii teraa naam to bataa" in Aankhen(1993)