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

Mohabbat ke gul haa

Posted on: June 29, 2011


This article is written by Sudhir,a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie songs and a regular contributor to this blog.

It is said that illustrious poets and their marvelous, amazing poetry has existed and will continues to exist till the end of time. Alas, the divinity that was bestowed by the cadence of KL Saigal’s rendition, was reserved for a privileged few. Any piece of poetry that was fortunate enough to be sung by this singer, came to life in his voice, as nothing else ever before or after him. From the simple, to the truly inspired creations of famous poets, each rendering was as if the singer himself was living the very life that the verse manifested. There may be words to describe the voice and the tone of KL Saigal, but there is no words, no comparison to the vitality and the liveliness that his voice imparted to the words.

This simple and lovely ghazal from the movie Kurukshetra (1945), is one more stunning example of this phenomena. Simple words, simple expression of love, simple happiness of making a garland of flowers for his beloved, is infused with life and such profound depths. It is impossible to negate that the singer is not speaking from his own experience. That is the beauty of Saigal’s songs; one cannot but believe that he is living the emotion, here and now. No wonder, as they say, that he was a broken person both physically and mentally after recording a piece. He gave so much of himself to each song, that it would become difficult to revert the reality of existence, once the song was done. It is to be heard and believed when he sang ‘jab dil hi toot gaya’. The conviction is so strong in this expression of sorrow, that nothing else is meaningful, except for an end to life. And this conviction of performance, gave this world the most beautiful gems ever, but it also took away the genius, bit by bit. The excellence in living the performance itself became the tragedy that was the young and short life he had.

The ghazal is a labor of love, as the lover is making efforts to arrange the flowers and make a garland for his beloved. The amount of emotive depth that the poet has packed into the three verses, is only matched by the life that Saigal’s voice gives to each line and word.

mohabbat ke gul-haa e tar goonthh’taa hoon
tera haar rashq e qamar goonthh’taa hoon

I endeavor to assemble the freshest of the flowers of love for you, my beloved. The garland that I prepare for you would invoke jealousy in the mind of the moon, and put it to shame.

mohabbat = love, adoration, worship
gul-haa = plural for flower
tar = moist, indicating freshness
rashq = jealousy
qamar = moon
goontth = to string the flowers into a garland

ye naacheez kaliyaan nahin tere laayak
mein dil goonthhta hoon jigar goonthhtaa hoon

The humble and unprivileged flower buds that I have brought to make this garland, are not even worth your eminence and splendor. I use my heart and the core of my existence to make this garland.

nacheez = humble, unprivileged
kali, kaliyaan = flower bud / buds
laayak = worthy; nahin tere laayak = not worthy of you
dil = heart
jigar = (the literal translation is liver, but the popular use is the) inner place where one exists; the associated word is jigri = something extremely close to the self e.g. ‘jigri dost’ = an extremely close friend.

hain aansoon ki dhaaron mein tukde jigar ke
mein ye haar shaam o sehar goondhta hoon

The actual garlands that I prepare for you every day and every night is made from pieces of my existence which are strung on the flowing threads of my tears.

aannsoon = tears
dhaar = flow, stream
tukde = pieces
jigar = (as above)
haar = garland
shaam = evening, night
sehar = morning

mohabbat ki aankhon mein hai muskuraahat
tabassum bataur e nazar goonthtaa hoon

There is a smile of genuine happiness in the eyes of the beloved,
Here I include a smile as a talisman.

aankh = eye
muskuraahat = smile
tabassum = (also) smile
ba-taur e nazar = as a gift

The simple lyrics are by Jameel Mazhari, and the composition is by Pt. Ganpat. The film is Kurukshetra (1945), directed by Rameshwar Sharma. And the list of main players includes KL Saigal himself, Nawab Kashmiri, Shaamlee, Udwadia, Biman Bannerjee, Radha Rani, Ajit, Tara, Agha Mehmood Kashmiri etc. Click and listen to this wonderful and simple expression of love.


Song-Mohabbat ke gul haa e tar goonthhta hoon (Kurukshetra)(1945) Singer-K L Saigal, Lyrics-Jameel Mazhari, MD-Pt Ganpat Rao

Lyrics

mohabbat ke gul-haa
mohabbat ke gul-haa e tar goonthhtaa hoon
tera haar rashq e qamar goonthhtaa hoon
tera haar rashq e qamar goonthhtaa hoon
mohabbat ke gul-haa

ye naacheez kaliyaan nahin tere laayak
ye naacheez kaliyaan nahin tere laayak
main dil goonthta hoon jigar goonthhtaa hoon
mein dil goonthta hoon jigar goonthhtaa hoon
mohabbat ke gul-haa e tar goonthhtaa hoon

hain aansoon ki dhaaron mein tukde jigar ke
tukde jigar ke
main ye haar shaam o sehar goonthhta hoon
main ye haar shaam o sehar goonthhta hoon
mohabbat ke gul

mohabbat ki aankhon mein
hai muskuraahat
tabassum bataur e nazar goonthhtaa hoon
tabassum bataur e nazar goonthhtaa hoon
mohabbat ke gul-haa

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7 Responses to "Mohabbat ke gul haa"

What a lovely write-up!
This is the first time I’m actually hearing this song though I’ve vaguely heard of it before. What a superb song it is. And that is why this blog is so important – it helps to preserve the legacy of what is now surely a forgotten era. These gems are in serious danger of completely disappearing from anybody’s cognisance in another 20-30 years, if not earlier.

Thanks very much Sudhir ji from reviving this one. We need to revive more songs from the 1940s. That’s an era that is disappearing all too fast from people’s minds.

Sudhir Sir,

Thanks a lot for posting this ghazal. It is a divine rendition IMHO. I heard this for the first time today, afterwards read your essay. I am beginning to appreciate/understand why Sehgal is held in such high esteem by hindi film music fans.

About this ghazal what u have said is very true that the voice has a life of its own. I also feel that all the recorded songs of Sehgal, film or non film (Whenever possible) should be posted in this blog. Though this is a only film songs blog, I request, Atul ji to make an exception in this case.

Regards.

I am also coming round to the view that all Sehgal songs (filmy as well as non filmy) should be discussed here.

If i may add another interpretation :

‘tabassum bataur e nazar goonthtaa hoon’

‘bataur e nazar’ also means – As a Gift or a homage
‘Nazar’ could also mean “Chashm-e-baddoor “, as this is a concluding line of the Ghazal.

‘mohabbat ki aankhon mein
hai muskuraahat
tabassum bataur e nazar goonthhtaa hoon’

There is a smile of genuine happiness in the eyes of the beloved,
Here i include a smile as a talisman.

Nahm Bhai,

Yes, now I feel that ‘bataur e nazar’ – ‘as a gift’ is more appropriate in this verse.

Thanks for your addition to this write up. 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

Raja ji,
Thanks for your appreciation. And I agree; this blog is serving such an important objective, and we should preserve here as much as possible of this wonderful art form. As the decades are passing, more and more of these gems are fading from society’s memory. We must do what we can to sustain and preserve.

Atul ji,
Appreciate your idea that we should also include KL Saigal’s non filmi creations. There is such a wonderful khazaana of non filmi songs and ghazals, that will surely enrich this collection manifold.

Rgds
Sudhir

I have listened to this song umpteen times, but there were some words which were incomprehensible to me because of I have only a smattering of Urdu. But now that you have clarified what meaning each and every word of this ghazal conveys, my enjoyment of this song shall be doubled.
Saigal is a unique singer, whose songs continue to delight millions of people all over the Indian sub-continent and even abroad where Indians live.

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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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