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

Aurat ne janam diyaa mardon ko

Posted on: March 8, 2011


This article is written by Raja, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor of write ups to this blog.

Ninety years ago, this day, the 8th of March, saw the birth of a certain Abdul Hayee in Ludhiana, Punjab.

It may seem like a routine event. After all, aren’t people born every day?

Yes, they are. But not every one goes on in life to pull at the heart strings of millions through the sheer magic of his words and poetry.

Abdul Hayee? Nah, doesn’t ring a bell, does it?

How about Sahir Ludhianvi? Sounds more familiar?

Ah, I see the eyes light up! “Sahir? You should have said that rightaway!”

(If the name isn’t familiar OR the eyes don’t light up, please don’t go around telling people that you are an old Hindi songs buff. That would be lying!)

Ok, coming to the point, today is the 90th birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi (born as Abdul Hayee), one of the greatest Indian poets of the 20th century and certainly one of the best lyricists ever of Hindi cinema.

Sahir’s life is well-documented and a lot of information about him can be found on the internet. I will therefore not repeat what is already available, except to say that Sahir had a huge rebellious streak in him – one that he was well-known for, all his life.

And, in hindsight, thank God for that!

Writers and poets often excel at romantic poetry. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, they sing couplets to each other professing undying love.

Oh, Sahir could do this too. He was brilliant at romantic poetry, make no mistake. After all, he was the one who penned “kabhi kabhi mere dil mein, khayaal aata hai”, “abhi na jaao chhod kar” , “chhoo lene do naazuk honthon ko” and “paanw chhoo lene do”.

But Sahir’s real fiery forte was to be seen in his “angry young man” poetry. Long before Amitabh Bachchan took on this tag, there was Sahir and his anti-establishment poetry and rants.

Yes, Sahir was entirely in a class of his own when it came to expressing emotions of anger, hurt, disillusionment, frustration and all such emotions that he had personally experienced regularly throughout his life. That he chose to channelize his energy into poetry and expressed these emotions through the power of his pen is one of the greatest gifts and blessings for the Hindi and Urdu poetry lover.

It is also one of India’s greatest good fortunes that Sahir fled from Lahore to India in 1949. He had been publishing several poems, right from his college days, in magazines but his writings were often inflammatory, anti-establishment and somewhat communist in nature. As a result, he had to flee Lahore and ended up in Delhi. Later he made his way to Bombay and started writing songs for Hindi films.

If I start talking about, or even listing, Sahir’s great songs, I will be talking all day and still be nowhere close to the end. For he has written so many wonderful songs that they are best left uncatalogued and just enjoyed. Just listen to a great song with wonderful lyrics, check out the lyricist – there’s a good chance it will be Sahir. Especially if it is a song about wrong-doing in society.

Yes, Sahir had a strong sense of disillusionment with society of his time and he lost no opportunity to express his opinion. Film-makers who understood Sahir’s nature and his fiery pen made the most of this skill of his.

Thus Sahir produced some of the best lyrics ever in Hindi cinema for Guru Dutt in Pyaasa. And, for BR Chopra, a like-minded director and also a person who wanted to show society a mirror, Sahir produced (for the BR Chopra/Yash Chopra combine) lyrics for films like Naya Daur, Sadhna, Dhool Ka Phool, Dharam Putra, Gumraah, Waqt, Humraaz, Daag, Kabhi Kabhi, Trishul, Kaala Patthar and many more.

On this occasion of his birth anniversary, I was therefore totally spoilt for choice in picking one out his huge guldasta (bouquet) of gems.

I then also realized that the 8th of March is not just Sahir’s birth anniversary, it is also International Women’s Day.

Brilliant! So I decided to pick, what I consider to be THE defining song that celebrates both Sahir’s birth anniversary AND Women’s Day.

This is a song that is extremely close to my heart. It has tremendous depth in it, it is one of the most hard-hitting songs ever in Hindi cinema, comparable only with Sahir’s own “ye mehlon ye takhton”.

Everytime I listen to Lata Mangeshkar’s voice singing this song, my eyes go moist – because, unfortunately, 53 years after this song was written, every word in it is still the bitter truth. Even today, inspite of tremendous economic progress in the country, women in India still, by and large, live in an unequal society, dominated and abused by men. And this, though they are the mothers, theirs are the hands that rock the cradle in which these very men have grown up.

Yes, you guessed right – I am talking about “aurat ne janam diya mardon ko” from Sadhna (1958).

Even by his own very high standards, I consider this one of Sahir’s very best. This is vintage Sahir, showing society a mirror about itself, its hypocrisy, its double standards.

On this joint Sahir-Woman’s Day occasion, I cannot think of a better song to put up on this blog.

I usually request my readers to enjoy the songs I post here. This time I would request them not so much to enjoy this song, but to reflect on its lyrics and to see what each one of us can do to change the situation. Like they say “if you want change, BE the change agent”.

THAT would be the most fitting tribute to Sahir saab on his anniversary and on this Woman’s Day.


Song-Aurat ne janm diya mardon ko (Sadhana) (1958) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Sahir Ludhianvi, MD-N Datta

Lyrics

Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko
mardon ne usey baazaar diya
jab jee chaaha masla kuchla
jab jee chaaha dhutkaar diya
aurat ne janam diya mardon ko

tultee hai kaheen deenaaron mein
bikti hai kaheen baazaaron mein
nangee nachwaayee jaati hai
aiyaashon ke darbaaron mein
ye wo be-izzat cheez hai jo
bant jaati hai izzatdaaron mein
aurat ne janam diya mardon ko

mardon ke liye har zulm rawaan
aurat ke liye ronaa bhi khataa
mardon ke liye laakhon sejein
aurat ke liye bas ek chitaa
mardon ke liye har aish ka haq
aurat ke liye jeena bhi sazaa
aurat ne janam diya mardon ko

jin honthon ne inko pyaar kiya
un honthon ka vyopaar kiya
jis kokh mein inka jism dhalaa
us kokh ka kaarobaar kiya
jis tan se ugey konpal ban kar
us tan ko jaleelo khaar kiya
aurat ne janam diya mardon ko

mardon ne banaayeen jo rasmein
unko haq ka farmaan kahaa
aurat ke zinda jalne ko
qurbaani aur balidaan kahaa
ismat ke badley roti di
aur usko bhi ehsaan kahaa
aurat ne janam diya mardon ko

sansaar ki har ek besharmi
gurbat ki god mein palti hai
chaklon hi mein aakar rukti hai
phaakon se jo raah nikalti hai
mardon ki hawas hai jo aksar
aurat ke paap mein dhalti hai
aurat ne janam diya mardon ko

aurat sansaar ki kismat hai
phir bhi taqdeer ki heti hai
awtaar payambar janti hai
phir bhi shaitaan ki beti hai
ye wo badkismat maa hai jo
beton ki sej pe leti hai
aurat ne janam diya mardon ko
mardon ne usey baazaar diya
jab jee chaaha masla kuchla
jab jee chaaha dhutkaar diya
aurat ne janam diya mardon ko

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28 Responses to "Aurat ne janam diyaa mardon ko"

Well written Raja. And I am one of those who called myself a old hindi songs buff, but no more 🙂

My favorite lines by him as a girl and still are:

naari ko is desh ne devi kah kar daasii jaanaa hai
jisko kuchh adhikaar na ho vo ghar kii raanii maanaa hai
tum aisaa aadar mat lenaa, aaR ho jo apmaan ki

bachchon tum takdeer ho..

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Raja, it is a sensational write up ! I have read several tributes to Sahir Ludhianvi, but your write up is quite something. You have described the career of Sahir Ludhianvi so succinctly, and at the same time so accurately, while at the same time incorporating lots and lots of information about him.

If one wants to read about Sahir Ludhianvi and he has the option to read just one article, then this is the atricle he must read.

The fact that Sahir Ludhianvi chose to be born on the day that is also celebrated as the womens’ day is quite appropriate.

Thanks a lot for this write up.

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And another interesting little tidbit- this song is Lata’s 1200 th song in the blog.

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Very true. The impact of Sahir’s poetry on hindi film songs is tremendous. For some reason since last two days i was looking into the songs of pyaasa and Aankhien. Years ago i had a small book of sahir’s ‘Parchaiyan’ . Today on reading the tribute by you and Atul i remembered again to look it up on the net. I found the following site with recitation of the poem :

http://wn.com/sahir_ludhianvi__parchaiyan_2

Also here is you tube link for “Kahin Dur jab din dhal jaaye”
from Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand

I think the book which Rajesh Khanna is reading is “Parchaiyan”
(@ 2.00)

Regards.

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Thanks.
It was a real pleasure writing about Sahir saab and about this song. One of my favourite lyricists and one of my favourite songs.

Atul, I see that you’ve also posted “Jo baat tujh mein hai” (Taj Mahal) today.

Now THAT is one of my all-time favorites, with the perfect combo. Roshan saab ki mauseeki, Sahir saab ke nazm, Rafi saab ki awaaz. Subhan-Allah!

The words in that song just blow me away. I think when Sahir saab left us in Oct 1980, soon after Rafi saab left us, it was because he was in a hurry to join Roshan saab and Rafi saab up there in heaven, setting up their own mehfil there. 🙂

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Raja, wonderful post. Thank you! I had heard (and appreciated) Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko many times before, but really listened to the lyrics only the other day, when I was transcribing them and translating them for the Sahir post on my blog. You’re so right, this is a song whose words merit very careful listening. Simply superb.

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Raja ji,
I am terribly overwhelmed by your writings on Sahir.Simply wonderful.
Sahir’s shayari always suggested,hined and insinuated the frustrations,disappointments and ultimately helplessnesses,about the world he lived in and what he saw.He tried to put all his emotions in his poetry,with probably a hope that someday,somebody will find a solution to all this;that is why despite all his seemingly pessimistic lines he still felt ‘Woh subah kabhie to aayegi “.
He often described himself in these lines:
” ashkon (tears) me jo paaya hai
voh geeton me diya hai,
iss par bhi suna hai
ki jamaane ko gila (complaint) hai.”

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Wah wah!

Sahir was a complex character, no doubt. I’ve read various articles on him and get different images of the man. There was a piece I read recently about his relationship with Javed Akhtar which gave me yet another side to his personality. He was very close to Javed and considered him like his son. Javed had major problems with his own famous poet-father Jan Nisar Akhtar and used to often come to Sahir’s place for comfort/support.

Btw, I just love that song “wo subah kabhi to aayegi”. One of my favourites.

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This is one of your nicest writeups Raja! I don’t think I like the song very much though or the lyrics. Can’t relate in the least. Some of us just don’t give an eff about men you see.
I like Sahir’s lyrics in general — just not this one.

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The way I see it, even if the subject-matter is about women, this song is Sahir’s scathing attack on men and is totally directed at them. And yes, some of the lyrics (towards the end especially) are shocking but that’s for effect IMO. One also needs to see the context and era in which this song was written/sung. I think in today’s era, some may consider it patronising or whatever. Personally, I consider it still relevant in today’s times.

But hey, everybody has his/her own likes and dislikes and that’s what makes discussions so interesting, right? To each his/her own, right?

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Great post, thank you so much! Thank you too, for pointing me to atul’s blog – a filmi song a day, what a treat! Yesterday was the first time I’d heard aurat ne janama diyaa mardon ko and it totally reinforced my admiration of Sahir sahib’s poetic genius. His gift allowed him to tell the truth in songs like this one, a way that made sure it would be heard, if not acted on. I’m pleased that I when introduced a young dilliwali friend to this song last night her response was “they were so good back then in creating songs with socially relevant messages”

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So true! In a country obsessed with Hindi movies and songs, a social message in a song can make quite an impact IMO. Another very famous Sahir song with a message is “tu Hindu banega na musalmaan banega”. Great song with a great message! Also a BR Chopra production, though directed by Yash Chopra (his debut directorial effort), Dhool Ka Phool.

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Thanks, Raja, for a great write up about one of my favorite songs, as well as about one of my favorite lyricists. Sahir Ludhianvi was brilliant in his songs, and I read somewhere that he antagonized some music directors so they stopped using his lyrics, and I know that theirs was the loss in doing so. I also read that he was disillusioned in love, and much of his poetry was born of that disillusionment, and his bitterness was born out of the shabby treatment meted out to him by some of the reigning greats in film music of those days. All I can say is that he was brilliant, and will be remembered forever by lovers of good poetry in Hindi film music.

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I have read about his tiff with SD Burman but not about any other MDs. Having said that, I am not aware of even a single song that he’s written for Shankar-Jaikishen so maybe there’s something there too.

What I find amazing is that often when you get quantity of any creative product, it is at the cost of quality. In Sahir’s case, he was able to come up, time and time again, with gems. So he has left us with a treasure trove of quantity and quality.

It is a pity song-writers/poets are not as well-known in Hindi films as music directors. Otherwise Sahir would definitely have been a household name.

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Raja ji,

What an absorbing write up, and a wonderful song that compels a person to contemplate. Apart from the personal likes/dislikes, just the poetry itself is superbly crafted, full of historical references and provocative assertions. Yet none of it appears even an iota out of place, and flows like a bittersweet stream. Sahir was just Sahir, incomparable in his own times and beyond.

You so rightly state that most of the time, lyricist is a hidden face in the background, whereas his creations is no less important than that of the composer. The words are the manifest expressions and the message, and music is the subtle and delicate soul. They can exist without each other, but the beauty comes out only when they are together.

There was time when the radio programs always presented details of a song played, in terms of name of movie, lyricist, composer, singer and even the type of song, as they introduced each item in the program before it was played. There still are many programs for old songs on the radio, albeit the format has changed; they no longer provide the details. In those days, people were still better informed and aware of the names behind these songs. Some of the names like Sahir, Majrooh, Shailendra, Hasrat, Roshan, Madan Mohan, OP Nayyar etc. were very well known amongst that geneation. Now, that thing has changed for ever.

I recall an incident from almost two decades ago. I was at the VT station in Bombay, it was past midnight, and I was waiting for an overnight train to Poona, which was late. I was just sitting on a bench and humming to myself, a song from the movie Parasmani. A couple of minutes later, the gentleman sitting next me on the bench suddenly remarked, ‘Asad Bhopali saab ka hai’. The remark started a conversation about film songs, that lasted till the train came. The gentleman did not appear to be any exceptional person. No judgment here, just an observation that ordinary people were familiar with these names.

Rgds
Sudhir

PS – Note for Raja ji, and Lalitha ji.
I am in travel for some days, and am just catching up on the posts on this blog today. Are you located in US? Please write to me at skapur@bol.net.in, I would like to connect up.
Thanks
Sudhir

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Kudos to Mr. Raja on encapsulating Mr. Sahir, so beautifully. I also endorse Mr. Sudhir Kapoor in the fact that most of the time, lyricist is a hidden face in the background, whereas his creations is no less important than that of the composer. The words are the manifest expressions and the message, and music is the subtle and delicate soul. They can exist without each other, but the beauty comes out only when they are together.

The lyrics of the song are so powerful, and so apt even in todays times. Not an inch less..and that is the power of his observation, depth of his thoughts and feelings…

Mr. Atul one change in the lyrics. according to me the word kismet is actually ismat(meaning izzat)
kismat ke badley roti di xxx
ismat ke badle roti di aur usko bhi ehsaan kaha. i stand to be corrected.
maya

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True, ismat makes perfect sense here.

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Atul ji,
Maya is absolutely right.The word IS ismat(as per the published version in ‘Gaata jaaye Banjaara’,by Sahir).

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Atul ji,
This must be one of the very few songs which attracted so many comments from so many people.
Having discussed the serious aspects of Sahir,I will provide some interesting trivia about him.
After Partition,Sahir used to shuttle between India and Pakistan where he was active in rebellious writings in Papers.The Pakistan Govt.issued an arrest warrant for him in 1949 and Sahir fled to India to avoid arrest,landing straight in Bombay!
His first forray in film songs was for Azadi ki raah par(badal rahi hai zindgi).
He was the FIRST to get Royalty from Music Companies for songs.
He was very fond of Javed Akhtar,son of Jaan Nissar Akhtar whom Sahir considered as Guru rather than a friend.
Sahir was in love with Amrita Pritam and Sudha Malhotra(at different times,ofcourse).
He died a Bachelor.
On 25-10-1982,when Sahir was playing cards with friends,he suffered a massive Heart attack and died on the spot.(One of his friends later said that Sahir had Queen of Hearts in his hand when death struck !).

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Excuse me,that unfortunate night was 25/10/1980. Every 25th day of October is a black day for me and hundreds of Sahir-fans.

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Yes! (and needs to be corrected as 25.10.1980). thanks for pointing it.

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Just came across this a couple of days ago about Sahir saab while reading his wikipedia entry.
“It was on Sahir’s insistence that All India Radio started crediting lyricists along with singers and music composers for songs it aired.”

This is new to me! I thought the singer/lyricist/MD combo had always been part of the credits for song.

If this is true (I must admit I am cautious while quoting wiki), then I am thankful to Sahir saab for this too. To me, a lyricist is as much a part of the song-creation team as the singer or MD and fully deserves to get credit. Thanks to this initiative, we’ve got to hear the names of many more lyricists over the years.

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Thanks for the song. It might have been due to his long association with Students Federation, PWA, and the Communist Party of India or his complete identification with his mother Sardar Begum, an extra ordinary woman by any standards I, an humble student of Hindi-Urdu literature, cannot find any poet in India who is so passionately devoted to the cause of Indian women as Sahir. He is head and shoulders above others and is unsparing in the criticism of a society so one sided, unjust and unfair to fair sex. His attention is focused on the prostitute who is a product of this society and who gets no sympathy from the high and mighty of the society. He calls her a daughter of Radha and Zulekha and only he had the guts to do so. He also draws attention to the plight of an unwed mother, like Dhool ka Phool where she had to take all the sufferings and atrocities for no fault of hers. It is laudable Raja to remember Sahir, the valiant soldier for womens cause, on Women’s day;.

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औरत ने जन्म दिया मर्दों को, मर्दों ने उसे बाज़ार दिया
जब जी चाहा मसला कुचला, जब जी चाहा दुत्कार दिया

तुलती है कहीं दीनारों में, बिकती है कहीं बाज़ारों में
नंगी नचवाई जाती है, ऐय्याशों के दरबारों में
ये वो बेइज़्ज़त चीज़ है जो, बंट जाती है इज़्ज़तदारों में
औरत ने जन्म दिया मर्दों को…

मर्दों के लिये हर ज़ुल्म रवाँ, औरत के लिये रोना भी खता
मर्दों के लिये लाखों सेजें, औरत के लिये बस एक चिता
मर्दों के लिये हर ऐश का हक़, औरत के लिये जीना भी सज़ा
औरत ने जन्म दिया मर्दों को…

जिन होठों ने इनको प्यार किया, उन होठों का व्योपार किया
जिस कोख में इनका जिस्म ढला, उस कोख का कारोबार किया
जिस तन से उगे कोपल बन कर, उस तन को ज़लील-ओ-खार किया
औरत ने जन्म दिया मर्दों को…

मर्दों ने बनायी जो रस्में, उनको हक़ का फ़रमान कहा
औरत के ज़िन्दा जलने को, कुर्बानी और बलिदान कहा
इस्मत के बदले रोटी दी, और उसको भी एहसान कहा
औरत ने जन्म दिया मर्दों को…

संसार की हर एक बेशर्मी, गुर्बत की गोद में पलती है
चकलों ही में आ के रुकती है, फ़ाकों से जो राह निकलती है
मर्दों की हवस है जो अक्सर, औरत के पाप में ढलती है
औरत ने जन्म दिया मर्दों को…

औरत संसार की क़िस्मत है, फ़िर भी तक़दीर की हेटी है
अवतार पयम्बर जनती है, फिर भी शैतान की बेटी है
ये वो बदक़िस्मत माँ है जो, बेटों की सेज़ पे लेटी है
औरत ने जन्म दिया मर्दों को…

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# Sahir Ludhianvi #
“cannot find any poet in India who is so passionately devoted to the cause of Indian women as Sahir. He is head and shoulders above others and is unsparing in the criticism of a society so one sided, unjust and unfair to fair sex”
Very rightly said Kantimohan Sharma ji !!

“This time I would request them not so much to enjoy this song, but to reflect on its lyrics and to see what each one of us can do to change the situation. Like they say “if you want change, BE the change agent”.
– Yes, Raja Saab, let’s hope, wo subah kabhi to .. hameen se aayegi !!
Great Post !!!

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What is this blog all about

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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over ELEVEN years. This blog has over 15200 song posts by now.

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