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

Dil se teri nigaah jigar tak utar gayi

Posted on: August 8, 2011

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

Everything that Saigal Saab has rendered, is special. And then, whatever one is listening, in the moment, always seems more special than the others. That is the magic of this voice, no matter how many times one may have heard that particular song or ghazal before. Many ghazal singers have come after Saigal Saab, but somehow, when one listens to a ghazal rendered by him, there does not seem to be anything better, anything to compare in the world.

This ghazal is originally written by Ghalib, and is included as one of the songs in the 1935 film Kaarwaan-e-Hayaat. A New Theatres production, the film is directed by Premkumar Athorty. The star cast includes KL Saigal, Pahadi Sanyal, Rajkumari, Miss Molina, Shyama Zutshi, Gul Hamid, M Nawaab etc. The movie is a romantic costume adventure, about a rebellious prince Pervez (played by KL Saigal), who escapes from the palace and joins a band of gypsies, because he is not happy with the proposed marriage with a princess of another state (played by Rajkumari). The storyline follows the adventures of prince Pervez, and how he eventually gets romantically involved with the very same lady, from whom he was (unknowingly) trying to escape. A little more detailed synopsis of the plot can be read in the write up for the song ‘Koi Preet Ki Reet Bataa De’ also published on this blog. The music composition for this movie is shared by two music directors, Timir Baran and Mihir Kiran Bhattachaarya. This ghazal is composed by Mihir Kiran.

At the hands of Ghalib, the profundity conjured up by the words is immense, beautiful and very satisfying. And the added sublimity is the voice of Saigal Saab, the combination is simply and out of world experience.

The ghazal is a romantic expression by the lover, of adoration and passion for his beloved. And the flow of this passion is interspersed with regrets – of getting old and losing one’s youth and vitality. The husn, the beauty of the beloved always remains a bewitching and desirable fascination in the mind and heart of the romantic, but alas the time and age waste away the physical drive, leaving much to regret.

In the first, third and fourth verse, the poet is regaling himself in the fascinating qualities of the beloved. And in the second and sixth verse, there is an expression of regret that his time of youth is coming to an end.

dil se teri nigaah jigar tak utar gayee
donon ko ik adaa mein razaamand kar gayee

A glance from you went through my heart, and descended into my soul. In a single affectation, it satiated and made happy, both the heart and the soul.

dil = heart
teri = your
nigaah = glance
jigar = literally means liver; in this context it refers to the inner self or the soul
tak = up to
utar gayee = descended
donon ko = both of them
ik = one
adaa = mannerism, specialty of behavior, affectation
mein = with, within
razaamand = agreeable, satisfied, happy
kar gayee = did

wo baadaa-e-shabaanaa ki sarmastiyaan kahaan
utthiye bas ab ki lazzat-e-khwaab-e-sehar gayee

The delightful indulgence in the intoxication of the wine of night remains no more. It is time to wake up now – the ecstasy of the early morning dreams is now done with. (It is said that the dreams that visit at dawn are the most delightful, with a promise of being true).

wo = that
baadaa = wine
shab = night
badaa-e-shabaanaa = wine of the night
ki = of
sarmastiyaan = excessive pleasures of intoxication. The root word here is masti, which means the state of drunkenness; mastiyaan is the plural for masti; the addition of prefix ‘sar-‘ heightens the intent, the meaning of the word by many degrees.
kahaan = where. In this context, it means – remains no more (and thus one asks ‘where?’)
uthhiye = get up, awaken
bas = end, stop
ab = now
utthiye bas ab = awaken now, at last
lazzat = delightful taste, feeling of elation, enchantment; related to word lazeez meaning delicious, tasty
khwaab = dream
sehr = dawn
lazzat-e-khwaab-sehr = the enchantment of the delightful dreams of early morning
gayee = gone, finished, done with

dekho to dil farebi-e-andaaz-e-naqsho-paa
mauj-e-khiraam-e-yaar bhi kya gul katar gayee

Behold my beloved’s charming, fascinating grace and elegance of making footprints (i.e. walking). The agitation created by the sensuous gait of my beloved, has laid waste (or put to shame) the flowers in the garden.

dekho = see, behold
dil-fareb = fascinating, enchanting
andaaz = mannerism, style
naqsho-paa = footprints
mauj = wave, agitation
khiraam = walk, gait, style of walking
yaar = beloved
kya = what, wow
gul = flowers
katar = cut, destroy, lay to waste
kya gul katar gayee = wow, laid to waste all the flowers in the garden. The context of the word kya is as used in ‘Kya baat hai’ – wow, what a thing.

nazzaare ne bhi kaam kiyaa wa naqaab ka
masti se har nigaah tere rukh par bikhar gayee

Even the appearance itself worked as a veil. No one’s eyes could withhold the dazzling beauty of my beloved’s face; all the glances in her direction would simply be deflected and crumble in a drunken stupor. In other words, the beauty of my beloved is so dazzling that none can withhold a direct glance to her face, and thus the appearance of the face itself works as a veil, a curtain.

nazzaaraa = view, appearance, spectacle
ne bhi = also did
kaam kiyaa = worked like
naqaab = veil, curtain
wa naqaab ka = like a veil
masti = stupor
har = every
nigaah = glance
tere = your; refers to the beloved
rukh = face, appearance
bikhar = deflected, fall apart, crumbled

maaraa zamaane ne ‘asadullah khan’ tumhen
wo walvaleh kahaan wo jawaani kidhar gayee

The time, this world has defeated me. That youth and its bubbling vitality and its passions have faded away.

maaraa =inflict defeat, inflict a beating
zamaanaa = time, world
asadulla khan = poet’s signature; Ghalib full name is Asadullah Khan Ghalib
wo = that
walvaleh = ardour, passion, enthusiasm
kahaan = where; in this context – ‘are gone’
jawaani = youth
kidhar gayee = where it went; where did it disappear

Song-Dil se teri nigaah jigar tak utar gayi (Kaarwaan e Hayaat) (1935) Singer-K L Saigal,Lyrics-Ghalib,MD-Mihir Kiran Bhattachaarya


dil se teri nigaah aaaaa
jigar tak utar gayee
dil se teri nigaah jigar tak utar gayee
donon ko ik adaa mein razaamand kar gayee
donon ko ik adaa mein razaamand kar gayee

wo baadaa-e-shabaanaa ki sarmastiyaan kahaan
uthhiye bas ab ki lazzat-e-khwaab-e-sehar gayee
uthhiye bas ab ki lazzat-e-khwaab-e-sehar gayee
dekho to dil farebi-e-andaaz-e-naqsho-paa
dekho to dil farebi-e-andaaz-e-naqsho-paa
mauj-e-khiraam-e-yaar bhi kya gul katar gayee
mauj-e-khiraam-e-yaar bhi kya gul katar gayee

nazzaare ne bhi kaam kiyaa, haaaay,
wa naqaab ka, haaaay
nazzaare ne bhi kaam kiyaa wa naqaab ka
masti se har nigaah tere rukh par bikhar gayee
masti se har nigaah tere rukh par bikhar gayee

maaraa zamaane ne
heyyyy aaa haa
maaraa zamaane ne ‘asadullah khan’ tumhen
maaraa zamaane ne ‘asadullah khan’ tumhen
wo valvaleh wo
wo walvaleh kahaan wo jawaani kidhar gayee
wo walvaleh kahaan wo jawaani kidhar gayee

7 Responses to "Dil se teri nigaah jigar tak utar gayi"

excellent write up giving meanings of Urdu words and phrases in context.


These are very true and real voices asserts we have and I hope our next generations will also love it as well as lyrics too.


When Saigal sang ghazals, he was in his true element. In fact, ghazal-singing was his forte. It is in his ghazals that we find him reaching sublime heights of his art. In ‘Dil se teri nigha…’, his voice mesmerizes the listeners. Note when he sings, ‘nazzaare ne bhi kaam kiya, ba naqab ka…’. Can any other singer sing like that? I have great respect for singers who followed Saigal. Some of them had, no doubt, far greater range of voice than Saigal, but still one feels that Saigal is greater than all of them.


Very true. I am only 14 years of age yet believe that Mister Kundan Lal Saigal has the most unique singing style as I listen to many of his 78RPM records mostly released on Hindusthan Record. THank you very much for this beautiful post and comment by yourself.


The best of Ghalb – Sagal, in my opinion, is ” Main unhe cherhoon aur kuchh na Kahen, – chal nikalte jo mai piye hote “.


For the line:
nazzaare ne bhi kaam kiyaa wa naqaab ka
masti se har nigaah tere rukh par bikhar gayee

I think the literal meaning is more true. It is thus:

Perhaps when Ghalib looked at his beloved, she got embarassed.
So even though she was without what they call, “parda” her expression acted as a veil against Ghalib’s glance.

And when she got embarassed, she started looking here and there as we would normally do, when we get conscious. But at the same time, she liked that attention from Ghalib, so he uses the word, “masti se”

Ghalib captures this one instant thus:

So when the Beloved noticed Ghalib looking at her, she got flushed (masti se) and in embarassment her eyes started wandering (teri har nigaah rukh par bikhar gayi) — its as if her eyes were all over her face — bikhar gayi… 🙂


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