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

Aah ko chaahiye ik umr asar hone tak

Posted on: February 23, 2011

Lyrics of this song have been provided by nahm, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular visitor of this blog

“Mirza Ghalib” (1954) is a movie based on the life of Mirza Ghalib, one of the foremost shayars of Urdu language who was long dead and gone by the time this movie (or for that matter Hindi movie industry itself) came into existence. This movie is one of the rare movies, where the lyrics were written by the person on whose life the movie was based, and lyrics were written almost one century before the movie was made.

I have already discussed as many as six songs from this movie, but there are obviously many more songs from this movie that need to be discussed. nahm, a regular visitor of this blog, pointed this ghazal from “Mirza Ghalib” (1954) that was not yet discussed here.

Here is this Ghazal, which is sung by Suraiyya and picturised on herself. This Ghalib creation, which is such a sweet and melodious song to listen to even today, is composed by Ghulam Mohammad.



Song-Aah ko chaahiye ik umr asar honey tak ( Mirza Ghalib) (1954) Singer-Suraiyya, Lyrics-Mirza Ghalib, MD-Ghulam Mohammad


Aah ko chahiye ik umr asar honey tak
aah ko chahiye ik umr asar honey tak
kaun jeeta hai teri zulf ke sar honey tak

aashiqui sabr talab aur tamanna betaab
aashiqui sabr talab aur tamanna betaab
dil ka kyaa rang karoon khoon-e-jigar honey tak
dil ka kya rang karoon khoon-e-jigar honey tak
khoon-e-jigar honey tak
khoon-e-jigar honey tak

hum ne maana ke tagaaful na karogey lekin
hum ne maana ke tagaaful na karogey lekin
khaaq ho jaayenge hum tumko khabhar hone tak
khaaq ho jaayenge hum tumko khabhar hone tak
tumko khabhar hone tak
tumko khabhar hone tak

gham-e-hasti ka asad kis se ho juz marg ilaaj
gham-e-hasti ka asad kis se ho juz marg ilaaj
shama har rang mein jalti hai sahar honey tak
shama har rang mein jalti hai sahar honey tak
aah ko chahiye ik umr asar honey tak
umr asar honey tak
umr asar honey tak

15 Responses to "Aah ko chaahiye ik umr asar hone tak"

The urdu shayari is always fascinating but most of us are not well coversant with heavy duty urdu words.Therefore the music directors of yore used to be very perticular to pronounce the words.(This was initially a stumbling block for young Lata,and she had to start a tuition for urdu diction,after a remark from Dilip Kumar that “iske gaane se dal bhat ki boo aati hai”).
The last stanza first line of the above song should be
“gam-e-hasti ka ‘asad’kis se ho juj (except)marg (death)-e-ilaj”


The word could possibly be “Juz marg” Juz means part/fraction.
“Ghame-e-hasti ka asad kis se ho juz marg ilaj”
Known/well Chronicled facts :

Mirza Asad-ullah Khan Ghalib. Used both “Asad” & Ghalib as Takkhallus (Pen name).
Wrote extensively urdu and persian poetry. It is said that his urdu peotry small part of his work. His output in persian is many times higher. He was employed in the court of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar (Himself an accomplished urdu poet- Used in some hindi films).
He was known for his quick wit, there are many anecdotes. The very first fight for independence from the British Rule “Ghadar” of 1957, witnessed by ghalib, influenced his poetry in the last years of his life. He died in utter penury.

For those who may be interested in knowing the facts.


Agree. It should be “juz”

gHam-e-hastee ka ‘Asad’ kis se ho juz marg ilaaz
shamma’a har rang mein jaltee hai sahar hone tak

hastee = life/existence
juz = other than
marg = death,
sahar = morning

One of the best from Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan, aka Ghalib.


Ghalib’s poetry borders on the divine. The constructions are full of complex emotions and meanings; each couplet packs punch that hits right at the core. The feelings that he is able to enclose within each couplet are immense, as is his poetic license; he does take care of the metre very beautifully but the arrangement of the words within each kaafia needs some analysis to string together the intended meaning. The flow of music, though, comes through almost as if a divine touch.

Take this verse itself.
“gham-e-hastee ka ‘Asad’ kis se ho juz marg ilaaz”
Is there any cure for the anguish and heartache of existence, other than death.

“shamma’a har rang mein jaltee hai sahar hone tak”
The candle burns all night in all colours (glory), and then when morning comes, it is extinguished. Burning is the anguish that the candle endures all night, as the flames slowly pass through each part of its existence (hastee), and when the darkness recedes, it’s life is snuffed out.

Another couplet from Ghalib is very dear to me. This from the ghazal “Yeh na thee hamaari kismat ke visaal-e-yaar hota”.
The couplet is
“Tere vaade pe jiye hum to ye jaan jhootth jaana
Ke khushi se mar na jaate agar aitbaar hota”
If you believe that my life lasted because I believed in your promise and waited, then know that to be untrue.
For I would have simply died with happiness, just knowing I could trust your word.

Ghalib’s acuity and his observation of the human emotions is simply inspired, and has no peer.
“Hain aur bhi duniya mein sukhanvar bahut achhe
Kehte hain ke Ghalib ka hai andaaz-e-bayaan aur”

Ghalib had many eminent contemporaries like Mir, Zauk and others whose peotry is no less profound and beautiful; yet there is something about Ghalib that no other poet has been able to scale.

Zafar, the emperor, was himself a poet of high calibre. Besides he was also a connoisseur and a patron of arts. But for the British rule and the contemporary politics, that period of India’s history probably was one of the most artistically enriching.



Here is a mushaira from “Mirza Ghalib” in which Zauk, Momin, Zafar and Ghalib, all are present. Please also note that Momin Khan Momin is reciting the famous shair :
” Tum mere paas hotey ho goya….
Jab koi doosr nahin hota…”

About this shair it is said that it contains such wealth of meanings, that Mirza ghalib offered to exchange his whole “Diwan-e-Ghalib” against this. Here is the link:


very well explained, request- find time to explain entire poetry sung in the serial Mirza Ghalib


Thank you for giving us insight into Ghalib’s poetry, especially for those of us who are not familar with urdu, although we love and enjoy the music and ghazals. Your contribution opens for us more windows of appreciation.
Sudhir Shaheb, I would much appreciate your insight into other ghazals by Ghalib,
Thanks, God bless you.


Abdulali Hansraj ji,

Thanks for your kind words.
And yes, there are more detailed translations of Urdu ghazals that I have posted on this blog. On the right hand side, there is a list of tags. In these tags, I would suggest you look for two or three tags. I have posted write ups on a number of ghazals rendered by KL Saigal Saab. For that, please look for the tags “KL Saigal Film Songs” and “KL Saigal Non-Film Songs”. Besides that, under the tag “Guest Posts”, please see the set of write ups by me under the sub-tag “Posts by Sudhir”. You can browse through these posts, and you can find some ghazals, and also qawwaalis that I have discussed in detail.
And I will continue to post more. 🙂



My God ! Sudhir ji,
Your comments and detailed musings on the urdu shayari are nothing short of ” Kabil-e-taareef “.
Indeed,very very enjoyable !


Thanks Arun ji,
For your kind words of appreciation.



Mr. Atul

The comments at No. 02 above took me to see yet other ghazal ” yeh na thi hamari qismat” but the page is not opening and showing error. Can the page be restored ? In case u have to post the whole page again, here’s a link to the ghazal sung by surraiya,

Also, the ghazal penned by Bahadur Shah Zafar is in the film “Lal Qila”


Here is the page

Ye na thi hamari qismat(Mirza Ghalib)



One more request. Please restore the page for “Tum jo mil gaye ho” – Hanste Zakhm . Thanx.


Dear Friends,

It is a pleasure indeed, to find this blog. Here are certain observations of mine – on Gaalib:

1) He was the first poet-philosopher of our times. Very egoistic but, still humble enough to recognize talent. Here is a couplet to prove that:
– Riqhtaa ke ek tum hi ustaad nahi ho ‘gaalib’
Kehete hai agle zamaane me koi ‘MIR’ bhi thaa
( You are not the only expert in poetry O gaalib, We hear about a certain MIR in past times.) There is perhaps a very subtle hint at the fact that like MIR, you too would pass away.
Gaalib faced a lot of trauma for two main reasons:
1) all of his 07 children died in infancy, none survived; and the one whom he adopted as his child, died too.
2) He forever lamented the fact that he was not selected to the royal throne as the royal poet (instead of ‘Zauq’), though he considered himself to be a better poet than him. There is an interesting anecdote to this:
Once, Gaalib was on a drinking spree in a bar, and when finished, he was standing outside the bar talking to someone when ‘Zauq’ happened to pass in his ‘baggi’. The friend called gaalib’s attention to Zauq, to which gaalib contemptuously (out of jealousy) uttered:
” Huvaa hai ‘Shah’ ka musaahib, phire hai itaraata..’
(having become an associate of Bahadur Shah – the Emperor, he moves around in pride). In a few moments he realises what a grave mistake he commited. For on a complaint from ‘Zauq’, he was sure to be summoned for an insult to the royal poet. Surely that happened immediately and the emperor demanded an explanation for using these words for Zauq. Gaalib skilfully explained that there was no intention for any derogatory words for Zauq sahab, whom he revered but, these were words uttered for himself, from a gazal which he was composing. He was asked to recite them, to which he said:
Huvaa hai ‘Shah’ ka musaahib, phire hai itaraata,
Wagarna sheher me ‘Gaalib’ ki aabroo kya hai?

( It is only because of his association with the emperor that he walks in pride, Otherwise what respect could Gaalib have in the town?)
That was the famous ‘GAALIB’


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