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

Shama ka jalna hai yaa sozash e parwaanaa hai

Posted on: September 3, 2011


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

The year is probably 1932-33; and the location is Calcutta. Kidar Sharma, a very young and talented poet and writer from Amritsar, about 23 or 24 years of age, is eagerly trying to get a break into the world of cinema. The film Rajraani Meera is under production at New Theatres, and the star cast boasts of such luminaries as Prithviraj Kapoor, Durga Khote and KL Saigal. (Although these became household names a few years hence, in those fledgling years, all these stars were new and still trying to find their feet in the industry).Kidar Sharma writes in his memoirs about his first meeting with all three of them on a single fateful day, as he is trying for an introduction to the powers that be in New Theatres.

On the morning that day, Kidar Sharma first knocked on the doors of Prithviraj Kapoor, introduced himself, and requested for reference and help with meeting BN Sircar or DK Bose. Prithviraj ji politely turned down the request, saying that he is already trying to get a break for Trilok Kapoor, his cousin, and will not be able to push Kidar Sharma at the same time. But then, he suggested, that young Kidar should meet with KL Saigal who was a close neighbor. Kidar now came to the door of Saigal Saab, and was somewhat humorously surprised to see this person with the acclaimed golden voice, was exercising with dumbbells. He placed his request in front of Saigal Saab. And Saigal’s response was that he did not think he was in position to influence such decisions. Despite three films behind him, his comment was that DK Bose did not consider him more than a roadside show, and had just allowed him to sing some songs in the film ‘Pooran Bhagat’, with no role. But then, Saigal Saab offered to take Kidar to Durge Khote, the lead actress in the film Raajrani Meera, for he believed she could provide a better reference. Durga Khote had taken Saigal Saab to be her Guru and was learning music from him. Immediately the two of them went to meet the dimple-cheeked Durga Khote.

The process moved forward and the young poet from Amritsar was introduced to BN Sircar and DK Bose. Although in terms of a formal sizeable assignment, Kidar Sharma had still to wait out another year. On Saigal Saab’s insistent reference, Kidar was given the charge of screenplay and lyrics for the Hindi version of Devdas. The success of this venture, propelled Kidar Sharma into the frontline poets and writers for Hindi films in that era.

This ghazal is a masterpiece of poetry, by Kidar Sharma ‘Hasrat’, who was also a very close friend of Saigal Saab. This ghazal also deals with the emotional pinnacles of love, its forms and its consequences. That the destiny of love is an ordeal by fire. For some it is a slow but continuous consumption in the fires of love. For others, it is an obsessive rush to embrace that is a flash finale, once again in the fires of love.

shamaa ka jalna hai yaa sozash-e-parwaanaa hai
chand lafzon mein yahi ishq ka afsaana hai

The burning flame of the lamp, and the moth that comes to it to be consumed in its fire – that the story of love can be summed up in just these few expressions.

The poet alludes to the consumption and grief by burning, both of the lamp and of the moth that is attracted by it. The lamp burns with flames, and is consumed fully till there is oil (or wax) to burn; the moth, attracted by the glow, will come to the flame, not knowing what the flame can do, will try to embrace the glow, and then gets burnt in the process. One departs this life, a slow but continuous burning death; one tries to take the glow, and also departs this life in a flash of contact with the flame. That is the summary of the tale of passion and love.

This symbolism is narrated and dealt with, in poem after poem, by many poets. This imagery is the cornerstone of a large body of poetry, especially in Urdu.

shamaa = lamp, candle
ka = of
jalna = to burn
hai = is
yaa = or
sozash = the root word is soz, meaning burning or grief. Sozash is singed, (almost) burnt, consumed with grief
parwaanaa = moth
sozash-e-parwaanaa = a moth that is consumed with grief, close to death or dying on account of the encounter with the flame of the candle
chand = few, not many
lafzon = words, expressions
mein = in
yahi = this
ishq = love, passion
ka = of
afsaanaa = tale, story, narrative

ye junoon hai ke mera yahaan tak badh jaaye junoon
hans ke deewaangee keh de ke ye deewaanaa hai

There is an obsessive desire that my obsessions may reach those limits of madness, where even the (emotion of) obsession itself acknowledges – oh yes, here is one true obsessed being.

The desires, the obsessions of the one in love are beyond reason; the only redemption of this obsession is the unending upsurge of the obsession itself. This defines the vicious circle where in the obsession feeds on itself, surging upwards forever, till the contact happens with the flame, and the obsessions escalate beyond infinity.

In that one instant before the flash consumes the moth, everything in this universe, including the obsession itself, will marvel at the single minded tenacity of the moth to embrace the glow; and will speak out and acknowledge – here this one is the one truly and singularly obsessed.

ye = this
junoon = madness, lunacy, obsession
hai = is
ke = that
mera = mine
yahaan tak = till this limit
badh jaaye = increase
hans ke = with a smile
deewaangee = craze, obsession, fanaticism
keh de = say
ke = that
ye = this, him; in context, poet is referring to self
dewaanaa = fanatical, passionate

phir shikastaa liye baitthaa hai umangon ka wajood
ek tootey huye paymaane mein maikhaanaa hai

Although vanquished, but yet again, waiting in expectation, with a spirit full of waves of passion and enthusiasm, holding a broken goblet that holds the promise of a tavern.

No matter how many times, or how many lives the moth will expend on this disastrous endeavor, yet every time it gets a new life, its undertaking is spurred by the same waves of passion, to yet once again try to consummate the deathly embrace. This broken lifeline of many incarnations, holds the promise of salvation, forever.

phir= yet again
shikastaa = defeated, overwhelmed
liye = alongwith
baithhaa = literally means ‘sitting’; in context, implies ‘waiting, with expectations’
hai = is
umang = a wave of passion / enthusiasm / delight
ka = of
wajood = existence, reality, spirit, essence
ek = one
tootey = broken, damaged
paimaanaa = goblet, cup, chalice; generally used in the context of wine – a goblet of wine
mein = in
maikhaanaa = tavern, a place where drinkers of wine come together to drink

aabilaah dil ka tassallee ke liye hai ‘hasrat’
yehi saagar yehi sheeshaa yehi paymaanaa hai

The wounds of the heart are the solace of the desires in themselves. These wounds are the wine, the pouring jug, and the cup with which to drink it.

These wounds of the heart are everything for the lover, there is no greater consolation. For they are the antidote, the giver of the antidote, and the application of the antidote, all together.

aabilaah = blister, wound
dil = heart
ka = of
aabilaah dil ka = wounds of the heart
tassallee = consolation, comfort, solace
ke liye = for
hai = is
‘hasrat’ = literal meaning is desire; poet’s signature, takhallus
yehi = this; only this; this itelf
saagar = literally means ‘ocean’; poetic context is ‘wine’
sheeshaa = container with a thin curved neck; used for serving wine
paymaanaa = goblet or cup for drinking wine


Song-Shama ka jalna hai ya sozash e parwaanaa hai (Saigal NFS)(1940) Singer-K L Saigal,Lyrics-Kidar Sharma “Hasrat”

Lyrics

aaa aaa
shamaa ka jalna hai yaa sozash-e-parwaanaa hai
shamaa ka jalna hai yaa sozash-e-parwaanaa hai
chand lafzon mein yahi ishq ka afsaana hai
chand lafzon mein yahi ishq ka afsaana hai
shamaa ka jalna hai

ye junoon hai ke yahaan tak mera badh jaaye junoon
ye junoon hai ke mera yahaan tak badh jaaye junoon
hans ke deewaangee keh de ke ye deewaanaa hai
hans ke deewaangee keh de ke ye deewaanaa hai
shamaa ka jalna hai

phir shikastaa liye baithhaa hai umangon ka wajood
phir shikastaa liye baithhaa hai umangon ka wajood
ek tootey huye paymaane mein maikhaanaa hai
ek tootey huye paymaane mein maikhaanaa hai
shamaa ka jalna hai

aabilaah dil ka tassallee ke liye hai hasrat
aabilaah dil ka tassallee ke liye hai hasrat
yehi saagar yehi sheeshaa yehi paymaanaa hai
yehi saagar yehi sheeshaa yehi paymaanaa hai

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9 Responses to "Shama ka jalna hai yaa sozash e parwaanaa hai"

Sudhir ji,
The first part of the above write up,detailing the meeting of Kidar Sharma,with struggling Saigal and Prithvi raj kapoor made a very intersting reading.You have a natural talent to keep readers engrossed in your writtings as they flow smoothly with your narration.Indeed,it is a Gift !
The second part,ofcourse is a lesson in how to enjoy a Gazal.Thanks.
-AD

Arun ji,

Thanks again for your kind appreciation. I feel glad my efforts are seen as meaningful, by friends.

One more trivia to add to the description above. Not only that Kidar Sharma met with the three stalwarts of Hindi Cinema in a single day, he actually also met a future star of the industry that day. When he knocked on the door of Prithviraj Kapoor, the door was opened by a small child, Ranbir. This is the eldest son of Prithviraj, later on to become a stellar giant famous as Raj Kapoor.

Rgds
Sudhir

Sudhir ji,
When I was browsing thru my notes,I found lot of new information about Kidar Sharma,which I know will be of interest to you and many others.These bits are rather less known and hence more interesting.
KS had married the actress sister (kamala) of Sulochana chaterjee.While directing her in Ranjit’s films,he married her.unfortunately,she died shortly afterwards.Kamala used to look like Geeta Bali.KS called her Kammo.When he cast Geeta Bali in her debut film Suhag Raat,she was given the name Kammo in the film.Geeta Bali featured in 6 of KS’s films.The photo of Kamala kept in his office was almost that of Geeta Bali’s.
He did the roles of Hero in INQUILAB and NEKI AND BADI.
His voice was very thin and feminine.Once he had telephoned Motilal.His mother picked up the phone and she told Motilal,” koi Sharma naamki ladki bol rahi hai”.
As a lyricist,he wrote some classics like,Dukh ke ab din bitat naahi,Balam ayo baso mere man mein,Teri duniya me dil lagta nahin,Kabhi tanhaiyon me hamari yaad aayegi etc.
He made the careers of some actors and composers,like Raj kapoor,Madhubala(Neelkamal),Geeta Bali,Madhavi,Bambi(Maikhana),Zeb Rehman and Roshan,Snehal Bhatkar,Jamal Sen and Bhushan(Maikhana).The Heroine of stunts Mehtab was first featured by him in a social film Chitralekha.Geeta Bali did a Man’s role in entire picture “Rangeen Raten’ with 2 Heroines,Mala Sinha and Chand Usmani.
He inrtoduced Sapna Sarang in Pehla Kadam.She looked like Geeta Bali.
-AD

Arun ji,

Thanks once again, for the seeming ocean of information you share. The trivia and othe small pieces of information actually help to build a more complete picture of the person, or a film.

Thanks so much once again, 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

It is awesome information. Indeed, when one gets this kind of information, it helps us get a better idea about the person as well as about the movies he figured in.

Very interesting!
Love it.. as usual…

I myself know this ghazal it by heart. For me its a great solace to know that somebody has captured this master piece on net and hope this will survive…..when a poet creates using expressions and words of his times, he does not know whether the language and those expressions would make sense some 50 years down the line. They need to be nurtured as the past goes frail. I bow to your effort.

Thanks for words n meanings of d song. By d way, I’d like t draw ur attention: umangon ka ‘huzum’ is right (not wuzood )

Correct…. it is huzoom!

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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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