Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Ae meri zohra zabeen

Posted on: January 23, 2009


“Waqt” (1965) was the movie that started the fad of lost and found movies which was so eagerly lapped up by Manmohan Desai one decade later. In this movie, there are three sons and the parents and they get separated from each other after an earthquake and reunite only in the last reel. So B R Chopra showed the way as far as lost and found movies were concerned.

“Waqt” was also the first multistarrer movie in Bollywood. The next multistarrer movie would not be made for another decade when “Sholay” came up and the trend of multistarrer movies was finally well and truly on.

“Waqt” was ahead of its times in many ways. I will not mention all those facts, but I will confine myself just to this song. And there is no doubt that this song was ahead of its time too, and in a way, this song started a silent social reform in Indian lifestyle.

Let me explain it in detail.

Indians have been brought up in such a way that showing love for the opposite sex in public is regarded as a strict no no. Even married couples are not supposed to show love for each other in public. And in case the married couple have children too,they are supposed to become even more “dignified” in their public conduct. They are expected to consider themselves as old people and old people were not supposed to show love for their spouses.

This song tries to break all those social barriers. The picturisation shows Balraj Sahni seated among other males in one room and his wife seated among women in another room, as was the tradition in Indian get togethers those days. Balraj Sahni starts singing this song displaying his love for his wife.

Now, this must have been scandalous in the Indian society of that time where an “old” man was describing his wife as haseen in public. But then Indian movies let people live their suppressed feelings vicariously, and this song must have struck a responsive chord with the audiences.

This song, sung by Manna Dey was not the most popular song of this movie. But by now, it has become one of the more popular songs from this movie, if not the most popular.

The song shows the wife (Achala Sachdev) so embarrassed that she hides her face and runs away inside the house at the conclusion of the song. And that was a natural reaction for an “old” wife those days.

But now thanks to the popularity of this song as a get together song, even middle age and old men can sing this song for their wives at family gatherings and the embarrassment felt by the wife is far less. They need to thank this song and its picturiusation that has gradually made it socially acceptable for men to sing in praise of their wives in public.

When the music director Ravi expressed reservations at the use of unfamiliar words like “Zohra zabeen” and felt that such words would prevent the song from becoming popular, the lyricist Sahir was certain that the song would become very popular and the word “Zohra zabeen” would catch up with public. And he was right !

This song is a masterpiece in Bollywood music history, in more ways than one, as I have explained above. And that makes it a very special song. Kudos to all those who created this gem.


Song-Ae meri zohra zabeen (Waqt) (1965) Singer-Manna Dey, Lyrics-Sahir Ludhianvi, MD-Ravi

Lyrics

o o o
oye oye oye
ai meri zohraa-zabeen
tujhe maaloom nahin
tu abhi tak hai haseen
aur main jawaan
tujhpe qurbaan meri jaan meri jaan
ai meri zohraa-zabeen
tujhe maaloom nahin
tu abhi tak hai haseen
aur main jawaan
tujhpe qurbaan meri jaan meri jaan

ye shokhiyaan ye baankaapan
jo tujh mein hai kahin nahin
ye shokhiyaan ye baankaapan
jo tujh mein hai kahin nahin
dilon ko jeetne kaa fan
jo tujh mein hai kahin nahin
main teri
main teri aankhon mein paa gayaa do jahaan
main teri
main teri aankhon mein paa gayaa do jahaan
ai meri zohraa-zabeen
tujhe maaloom nahin
tu abhi tak hai haseen
aur main jawaan
tujhpe qurbaan meri jaan meri jaan

tu meethe bol jaan-e-man
jo muskuraa ke bol de
tu meethe bol jaan-e-man
jo muskuraa ke bol de
to dhadkanon mein aaj bhi
sharaabi rang ghol de
o sanam
o sanam main teraa aashiq-e-jaabidaan
o sanam
o sanam main teraa aashiq-e-jaabidaan
ai meri zohraa-zabeen
tujhe maaloom nahin
tu abhi tak hai haseen
aur main jawaan
tujhpe qurbaan meri jaan meri jaan
ai meri zohraa-zabeen
tujhe maaloom nahin
tu abhi tak hai haseen
aur main jawaan
tujhpe qurbaan meri jaan meri jaan

7 Responses to "Ae meri zohra zabeen"

Fantastic Song!

And a Brilliant write up about it as well! Great Stuff Atul!

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Long time no see. Welcome back, Shalini.

Like

Thanks Atul 🙂

I have been around and keeping track of your blog but things are a bit crazy on the work front at the moment so…..

And you have really inspired me to work on my blog. Thank you for that.

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my favourite quawali :)..cu dany1 translate tis gem :D?

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My favourite

ACHALA JI is no more.
Unnke liye “Shraddhanjali”

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Its verry verry nice song,heart touching i m really fond of dis sng

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Hi Atul,

Brilliant write up.
Fantastic song and music. This is extra special as I have little understanding of Hindi, yet still appreciate the beautiful sound of the words. Just the sound is very heart touching.

Actually, thanks for the lyrics written in english, but I has also hoping to have the proper meaning of the words – as a formal translation.
Would you have such a translation ? Or be able to guide me to a website that has such transalations ?

Thanks,
J.

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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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