Mehfil-e-Sahir | Celebrating 100 years of Sahir Ludhianvi: Shellee reads 'Jinhen Naaz Hai Hind Par'

For his birth centennial, we're presenting Sahir Ludhianvi's words in the voice of contemporary lyricists. Here, Shellee discusses how SD Burman and Ludhianvi's stellar combination made the Pyaasa soundtrack immortal in every respect.

FP Staff January 01, 2021 10:54:57 IST
Mehfil-e-Sahir | Celebrating 100 years of Sahir Ludhianvi: Shellee reads 'Jinhen Naaz Hai Hind Par'

ये कूचे, ये नीलामघर दिलकशी के

Ye kooche, ye neelamghar dilkashi ke

ये लुटते हुए कारवाँ ज़िन्दगी के

Ye lutte huye karwaan zindagi ke

कहाँ हैं, कहाँ है, मुहाफ़िज़ ख़ुदी के

Kahaan hai, kahaan hai, mehfiz khudi ke

जिन्हें नाज़ है हिन्द पर वो कहाँ हैं

Jinhen naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hain

*

ये पुरपेच गलियाँ, ये बदनाम बाज़ार

Ye purpech galiyaan, ye badnaam baazaar

ये ग़ुमनाम राही, ये सिक्कों की झन्कार

Ye gumnaam raahi, ye sikko ki jhankar

ये इस्मत के सौदे, ये सौदों पे तकरार

Ye ismat ke saude, ye saudon pe takrar

जिन्हें नाज़ है हिन्द पर वो कहाँ हैं

Jinhen naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hain

*

ये सदियों से बेख्वाब, सहमी सी गलियाँ

Ye sadiyon ke bekhwaab, sehmi si galiyaan

ये मसली हुई अधखिली ज़र्द कलियाँ

Ye masli huyi adhkhili zard kaliyaan

ये बिकती हुई खोखली रंग-रलियाँ

Ye bikti huyi khokhli rang-raliyaan

जिन्हें नाज़ है हिन्द पर वो कहाँ हैं

Jinhen naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hain

*

वो उजले दरीचों में पायल की छन-छन

Woh ujle darichon mein paayal ki chhan-chhan

थकी-हारी साँसों पे तबले की धन-धन

Thaki-haari saanson pe tabley ki dhan-dhan

ये बेरूह कमरों में खाँसी की ठन-ठन

Ye berooh kamron me khaansi ki than-than

जिन्हें नाज़ है हिन्द पर वो कहाँ हैं

Jinhen naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hain

*

ये फूलों के गजरे, ये पीकों के छींटे

Ye phoolon ke gajre, ue peekon ke chhinte

ये बेबाक नज़रें, ये गुस्ताख फ़िकरे

Ye bebaak nazrein, ye gustakh phikre

ये ढलके बदन और ये बीमार चेहरे

Ye dhalke badan aur ye beemar chehre

जिन्हें नाज़ है हिन्द पर वो कहाँ हैं

Jinhen naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hain

*

यहाँ पीर भी आ चुके हैं, जवाँ भी

Yahaan peer bhi aa chuke hain, jawaan bhi

तनोमंद बेटे भी, अब्बा, मियाँ भी

Tan-o-mand bete bhi, abba, miyaan bhi

ये बीवी भी है और बहन भी है, माँ भी

Ye biwi bhi hai aur behen bhi hai, maa bhi

जिन्हें नाज़ है हिन्द पर वो कहाँ हैं

Jinhen naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hain

*

मदद चाहती है ये हौवा की बेटी

Madad chahti hai ye hauwa ki beti

यशोदा की हमजिंस, राधा की बेटी

Yashoda ki humzins, radha ki beti

पयम्बर की उम्मत, ज़ुलयखां की बेटी

Payambar ki ummat, zulaikhan ki beti

जिन्हें नाज़ है हिन्द पर वो कहाँ हैं

Jinhen naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hain

*

ज़रा मुल्क के रहबरों को बुलाओ

Zara mulk ke rehbaron ko bulao

ये कूचे, ये गलियाँ, ये मंजर दिखाओ

Ye kooche, ye galiyaan, ye manzar dikhao

जिन्हें नाज़ है हिन्द पर उनको लाओ

Jinhen naaz hai hind par unko laao

जिन्हें नाज़ है हिन्द पर वो कहाँ हैं

Jinhen naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hain

***

“What is the secret behind Sahir Ludhianvi’s everlasting appeal?” Surinder Deol asks in an essay for Firstpost, examining the poet-lyricist’s life and legacy in the year of his 100th birth anniversary.

Mehfil-e-Sahir is Firstpost's ode to Ludhianvi, a collection of video tributes by seven leading Hindi film lyricists — from Varun Grover to Kausar Munir, Irshad Kamil, Shellee, Raj Shekhar, Mayur Puri and Hussain Haidry.

Each of these lyricists has picked the verses that speak most to them, explaining why Sahir's words resonate even three decades after his death.

Sahir Ludhianvi was born on 8 March 1921, in Ludhiana. His poetry and film lyrics from the 1940s onwards made him wildly popular, and earned him titles such as "the people’s poet” and “bard of the underdog”.

“Today we are witnessing new threats to democracy and secularism... In this context, Sahir's voice is essential,” Deol notes in his Firstpost essay. “The values he championed are here to stay for the better part of this century.”

View the complete Mehfil-e-Sahir series here.

***

Shellee reads: 'Jinhen Naaz Hai Hind Par' (Pyaasa, 1957)

It is no wonder that Guru Dutt's 1957 magnum opus Pyaasa is considered one of the most defining films of all time. Not just the narrative, but each and every song in the film is a masterpiece in itself. SD Burman and Ludhianvi's stellar combination made Pyaasa immortal in every respect. 'Jinhen Naaz Hai Hind Par' is one of those songs where Ludhianvi makes a soul-stirring commentary on the deplorable conditions in which women of the marginalised communities — especially courtesans and prostitutes — live in our country. Macroscopically, he highlights upon the social injustices plaguing the very fabric of Indian society at large.

Ludhianvi, through Guru Dutt's character in the film, questions the upholders of society and justice and brings to the fore their misplaced pride in being an Indian. At the Jashn-e-Rekhta festival 2019, Javed Akhtar had said, "People feel elated to say that these writings on the social-political situation of the country are still relevant today. Saadat Hasan Manto, Ismat Chughtai and Sahir Ludhianvi wrote about social injustice, and it is sad that these themes are still relevant. Yeh koi khushi ki baat nahi hai, yeh bahut dukh ki baat hai. It only means that all those sufferings, suppression and social issues are still present in our society."

The song 'Jinhen Naaz Hai Hind Par' is a recreated version of one of Ludhianvi's poems/nazms titled Chakle. "The only difference between the nazm and the song from Pyaasa is the line 'jinhen naaz hai hind par woh kahaan hain'. In the original nazm, the line reads: 'sanaa-ḳhvaan-e-taqdees-e-mashriq kahaan hain'," mentions Shellee. He talks about how Guru Dutt was so impressed by this nazm from Chakle that he decided to use it in Pyaasa and in fact also created a whole situation to weave it into the film's narrative. However, he felt the recurring phrase of the original nazm was way too complicated for the layman and hence asked Ludhianvi to rephrase it into something easy and catchy.

"Sahir was as much a progressive poet as a romantic one, and his words, just like the meaning of his name, cast a magical spell on the readers/listeners," Shellee says.

Editorial support, text and coordination by Suryasarathi Bhattacharya | Video edited by Akshay Jadhav | Art by Satwik Gade

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