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

Naghma o sher ki saugaat kise pesh karoon

Posted on: July 14, 2012

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

July 14th is the 37th death anniversary of the great maestro Madan Mohan ( 25/06/1924 – 14/07/1975). An artillery man in the army during the second world war, he aspired to become an actor in the Hindi film industry. After the end of second world war, he quit army and came to Bombay (Mumbai). He did act in a few films like ‘Shaheed’ (1948) but the almighty seemed to have already decided him to be a music director. His father, Rai Bahadur Chunnilal Kohli was a big name in the Hindi film industry ( being partner in Bombay Talkies and later Filmistan) in the 40s. But he was against his son joining the film industry. As a result, Madan Mohan had to struggle a lot to get an entry into Hindi film industry of his own efforts. He started his career as an assistant to music directors Shyam Sundar and S D Burman sometime in the late 40s.

His first break as an independent music director was in the film ‘Aankhen’ (1950). His first film to attain the box office success was ‘Bhai Bhai’ (1956). From the film ‘Madhosh’(1951) onwards, the fruitful association of Madan-Lata started and it lasted till his death. It is said that Madan Mohan brought the best out of Lata Mangeshkar. Even 30 years after his death, Lata Mangeshkar sang songs on the tunes composed by him in ‘Veer Zaara’ (2004). During his career, he did music direction for 95 films. Most of his films failed at the box office but they had fabulous songs. It was sad that he was not there to join the happy moments when two of his films, ‘Mausam’ (1975) and ‘Laila Majnu’ (1976), released after his death, became box office successes. These successes would have meant a lot to him especially at a time when the Hindi film music was in the grip of western rhythms.

Even after joining the film industry, Madan Mohan had to struggle in his career which spread over 25 years. One can imagine how he must have gone through those days especially when the songs were extra-ordinarily good but lost out thanks to the the box office failures of most of his films. As a result, today, the connoisseurs of Hindi film music may not remember most of his films but would certainly remember most of the songs composed by him. Despite many memorable compositions, he did not get any recognition by way of prestigious awards. His songs too did not get listed on the top of the charts except ‘koi pathhar se na maaro mere diwaane ko’ from ‘Laila Majnu’ (1976). With this background, being an emotional person, his state of mind was reflected in his music compositions which were mostly full of pathos and soul touching. I guess that his struggling days made him more determined to churn out outstanding compositions.

Madan Mohan finally got recognition in the form of the National Film Award for the best music direction for ‘Dastak’ (1970). According to his son, Sanjeev Kohli, his biggest awards were when Naushad offered him all his compositions in exchange for two ghazals from ‘Anapadh’ (1962)and secondly when a joint commissioner of police along with his entourage followed his car on a highway with loud blowing of siren, stopped his car just to praise him for his ghazal compositions in ‘Adalat’(1958). When Lata Mangeshkar expressed her ‘afsos’ (feeling bad) for not getting the Filmfare Award for his song compositions in ‘Wo Kaun Thhi’ (1964), Madan Mohan said that her ‘afsos’ was an award for him.

In early 70s, Madan Mohan was depressed by the way the then top music directors would corner the bookings of all the four recording studios available at that time depriving other music directors from using the studios. This situation forced him to cut down his assignments as he was the last person to beg to those top music directors to release dates for him for recording the songs. According to his son, this situation drove him to alcoholism and on July 14, 1975, he succumbed to cirrhosis of liver. Madan Mohan did not get much recognition during his life time but after his death , he was regarded as a music director extraordinaire. This reminds me of a song from ‘Baaghi’ (1953) penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri and set to music by the ghazal king himself:

hamaare baad ab mehfil mein afsaane bayaan honge
bahaare humko dhoondengi na jaane hum kahan honge

On the occasion of the death anniversary of Madan Mohan, I have selected a ghazal ‘naghma-o-sher ki suagat kise pesh karoon’ from the film GHAZAL (1964) sung by his rakhi sister Lata Mangeshkar as our tribute befitting the ghazal king. The ghazal is penned by another doyen of urdu poetry Sahir Ludhianvi. Though the film ‘Ghazal’ failed at the box office, the ghazals and naghmas from this film have attained immortality.

There is another version of this ghazal sung by Mohammed Rafi and picturised on Sunil Dutt with different couplets except the last one. The ghazal is ‘ishk ki garmiye jazbaat kise pesh karoon’ which is an implicit reply to the ghazal under discussion sung by Meena Kumari on the screen.



Song-Naghma o sher ki saugaat kise pesh karoon (Ghazal)(1964) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Sahir Ludhianvi, MD-Madan Mohan


mm hmm hmm
hmm hmm
hmm hmm
ho ho ho
kishe pesh karoon
naghma-o-sher ki saugaat kise pesh karoon
naghma-o-sher ki saugaat kise pesh karoon
ye chhalakte huye jazbaat kise pesh karoon
ye chhalakte huye jazbaat kise pesh karoon
naghma-o-sher ki

shokh aankhon ke ujaalon ko lutaaoon kis par
shokh aankhon ke ujaalon ko lutaaoon kis par
mast zulfon ki siyah raat kise pesh karoon
mast zulfon ki siyah raat kise pesh karron
naghma-o-sher ki

garm saanson mein chhupe raaz bataaoon kisko
garm saanson mein chhupe raaz bataaoon kisko
narm honthon mein dabi baat kise pesh karoon
narm honthon mein dabi baat kise pesh karoon
naghma-o-sher ki

koi hamraaz to paaoon koi hamdam to miley
koi hamraaz to paaoon koi hamdam to miley
dil ki dhadkan ke ishaaraat kise pesh karoon
dil ki dhadkan ke ishaaraat kise pesh karoon
naghma-o-sher ki saugaat kise pesh karoon
ye chhalakte huye jazbaat kise pesh karoon

14 Responses to "Naghma o sher ki saugaat kise pesh karoon"

Whenever I think of Madan Mohan, the first emotion is always deep sorrow. I still so sorry for this genius who never got due recognition in his lifetime, while less talented mediocre music directors rode to the peaks of popularity due to their ‘connections’ in the right places!


One time while driving in the car, he got angry at his kids because they were singing popular songs of other top musicians. That has to be one of the most heart-breaking moments for this creative genius who wasnt appreciated when he was alive. Thanks for the writeup.


Madan Mohan’s elder son, Sanjeev Kohli either in one of his articles or in a TV interview, had revealed that while going to picnics in his father’s car, they used to sing some popular film songs of that time composed by other music directors. His father would say ‘ tum bhi?’ ( you also?). The his children would say that his songs did not come to their mind naturally as they were difficult to render.

With this incident, Madan Mohan should have got the hint that his songs were meant for classes and not for masses.


This has been documented by Ambarish Mishra in his book! As it is suggested Madan Mohan did not get angry per say but was saddened by fact that even his own kids are listening to songs by SJ!


Thanks for the write up. Whenever someone says same as you have mentioned that all his films failed at the box office, my point/argument to all those is same that because of his music, people are still aware of the existence of that movie. I can listen to any of his songs at any time. Madanji ke gaane sun ne se sab thakaan chali jaati hai. My husband loves his music too, specially “Mausam”.


With reference to ‘Mausam’ (1975), MM had composed 6-8 tunes for ‘dil dhoondata hai phir wohi fursat ke raat din’ and he had recorded in all these tunes in his own voice on his grunding tape recorder. Finally, only two tunes were selected for the song’s two versions in the film. Luckily, one more version of this song sung by MM was still intact in his tape. You can listen to this from 7:30 onwards of the link :

Later, this tune was used for ‘tere bagair’.


That’s right. Yesterday only I did mention in my comment for the song dil hai hamaara phool….., tribute to Dara Singh by Sudhirji that the second CD of Veer Zaara has MM’s unused tunes in his own voice used for all VZ songs. Here is the link. The first tune is one version of Dil dhoondhta hai….used for Tere liye hum hai…..of VZ. Just amazing! This legend will be missed by all music lovers.


Superb choice !
We salute him for his genius compositions.
I am a big fan of his music.


Sadanand ji,

This is a wonderful write up about the Meastro Madan Mohan. I believe that his compositions are his triumph, and his awards and all the successes put together.

Regarding Lata Mangeshkar, it was Madan Mohan who got her to express real pain while singing perfectly, whereas other more commercially successful MD’s had failed.

Madan Mohan has also teamed with various poets to create his master pieces, like Kaifi Azmi, Majrooh, Saahir, Rajendra Krishan & Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, and also Gulzar.


Sadnand ji

Thanks for the memories and the wonderful ghazal. Lovely reminiscences.

Arun ji is indisposed and away from his computer, and so I take the liberty of borrowing the epithet that he has used many times to describe the career of Madan Mohan. The industry journalists and historians often refer to him as ‘shaapit gandharv’ (‘shaapit’ = cursed; ‘gandharva’ = master of music). Yes, it is unfortunate that he was considered ‘not good’ for the box office, although his creations are fabulous and memorable.



What a fantastic write-up, Sadanandji. And a wonderful tribute to Madan Mohan. It is a pity that in his lifetime he was not accorded the appreciated he so deserved. That Majrooh couplet you’ve mentioned – from Baaghi (1953) – summarises it very well. All I can say is “Madan Mohan saab, duniya ne aapko shaayad wo darja nahin diya jiske aap poori tarah se haqdaar the…par aap jahaan bhi hain, ye jaan kar khush rahen ki aapne karodon logon ke dil mein hamesha hamesha ke liye jagah bana rakha hai”.


You rightly said it.


This song reminded me of a different song which I couldnt recall immediately. But then, at the end of songs, in the suggested songs listing, I could identify it. “Rang aur noor ki baaraat kise pesh karoon”. It is sad version of the 2 songs mentioned above. What fantastic songs MM composed, wow!!


This is a wonderful write up Sadanandji. I got goosebumps reading the line “Hamare baad ab mehfil me afsane bayan honge”

As long as music lives in this world, the name of Madan Mohan will not die away, I hope.


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