Friday, 17 July 2009

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*


mishq00 said...

Thanks UVR. "nazroN ke teer maare kas-kas-kas" is an absolute gem. I am surprised that I am consciously hearing this song for the first time, and I love it.

Vinay said...

I have a feeling that the phrase "chaahe lag jaae.N/lage.n hathaka.Diyaa.N" can be traced back to some Punjabi folk.

Vinay said...

And I disagree with you about Sahir doing a crappy job in the Daag song. Besides I don't see what qualitative difference is there between "pyaar mai.n karuu.Ngaa gorii, chaahe lage.n hathaka.Diyaa.N" and "ab chaahe lag jaae.N hathaka.Diyaa.N mai.nne terii baa.Nh paka.D lii". For my money, the latter (Sahir's Daag version) usage is wittier and better (with the baa.Nh paka.Danaa context).

Ritu said...

I think so too... this could be Panju folk. I also don't think Sahir screwed up that big time. The usage is far more flamboyant in 'Daag', but that is not necessarily bad!