Saturday, 11 July 2009

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.


Sunil Varma said...

I was fortunate enough to download that song (Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor version) from youtube, as MP3, before it was removed. How can I send the mp3 to you?

Neeta Raina said...

The song was first sung by Asha Bhonsle and Mahendra Kapoor for the 1966 Indian movie "Hum Kahana ja rahein hain" starring Abhi Bhattacharya and Nadira with Leela Mishra. The music was by Vasant Prakash.

Subhashini Swar said...

I am the daughter of Qamar Jalalabadi,living in Mumbai.My Dad wrote this ghazal originally and it was used in Hum Kahan Jaa Rahe Hain.many singers have used the first few lines and the tune and sung this Ghazal in their own voice with different words.Aisa ho jaata hai...but the original is amazing...and I always add this song in my annual Tribute program to my Dad.

Neeta Raina said...

This song was huge huge hit in India when the movie 'Hum Kahan Ja Rahein Hain' was released in, yes, 1966. Sixty Six.

Unknown said...

Original is always original. Rests are additions or modifications easily done. My tribute to original

Unknown said...

Qamar saheb' scomposition is simply superb.Although the film didn't do well at box office, all songs were of different genres. I always wonder how he could tune himself to different composers...Some very famous and some soon went into oblivia.Undortunately, he did not get recognition due to him unlike his other contemporaries.

Unknown said...

A great research. I got what I wanted to know. Every lyricist is worth appreciating. In fact having got insipred by the populaity of original song other tries to encash it not copying, I but inspiration. All 3 are good composition but composition wise mehandiji gazal dominates other 2 ie annus and vasant prakashji's,.I m happy that we have /had lyricist who though being hindu had very good grip on urdu lie kqamar jalalaabadi.Anyway artists are adorable, I appreciable and lovable irrespective of their cast, religion and their origin.