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

Ik shab ke musaafir hain ham to

Posted on: January 20, 2013


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

Among the film producers and directors of early days of talky films, Kidar Sharma was one among a few producer-directors who evoked my interest in knowing him. My information about him was limited to what I had known from print media and interviews on Doordarshan in 70s and 80s. He was known for introducing new faces like Raj Kapoor, Madhubala, Geeta Bali in the Hindi film industry who subsequently attained the star status. He also introduced Snehal Bhatkar and Roshan as music directors. Kidar Sharma was a multifaceted personality – painter, photographer, story/screen play/dialogue writer, poet, lyricist, actor, director and producer as I came to know much later when I read his autobiography ‘ The One and Lonely Kidar Sharma’ (2002).

Kidar Sharma (10/04/1910 – 29/04/1999) was born in a middle class family in Narowal village of western Punjab (now in Pakistan). Despite financial difficulties, his father ensured that his son got a good education. After completing his high school from Amritsar, his father borrowed money to put him in a college in Amritsr for higher studies. But Kidar Sharma had other plans. He was so much fascinated by cinema as a new art form that with the money meant for college admission, he ran away to Bombay (Mumbai) to become ‘a dream merchant’. But having failed to get any opening, he returned to his village empty handed. Thereafter, he again joined the college and completed Master’s degree in English literature. But his passion for cinema remained intact. The film ‘Puran Bhagat’ (1933) directed by Debaki Bose inspired him to be in show business. Despite a strong opposition from his father who wanted him to become a professor or principal of a college, he left Amritsar for Calcutta some time in 1933 with a sole aim of joining the film industry.

After struggling for a couple of months, Kidar Sharma with the help of Durga Khote, got a job in New Theatres as a still photographer. After a year or so he rose to become a lyricist and screenplay/dialogue writer. He even acted in bit roles in films. In New Theatres, he came into contact with Prithviraj Kapoor and K L Saigal who became his mentors and remained his close friends till their death. Some misunderstanding between Debaki Bose while shooting for ‘Vidyapati’ (1937) led him to quit New Theatres. Despite being unemployed, he was now determined to work as a freelancer in the capacity of director only. Soon, he got his first chance to write and direct the film ‘Aulad’(c 1940) followed by ‘Chitralekhs’(1941). But after each of these successful ventures, he was unemployed.

On advice from Prithviraj Kapoor who had shifted his base to Bombay, Kidar Sharma left Calcutta to join Chandulal Shah’s Ranjit Movietone in 1942 as writer and director. He did ‘Armaan’ (1942), his first film for Ranjit Movietone. After directing some more films for the company, he turned producer-director with ‘Neel Kamal’ (1947). In this film, he introduced Raj Kapoor and Madhubala as lead actors and Snehal Bhatkar as Music Director. This was not liked by Chandulal Shah, the financier of the film who wanted him to take the established actors and music director. Kidar Sharma stuck to his decision which made Chandulal Shah to withdraw from the project. Luckily, a Good Samaritan lady helped him in financing the film. The film was successful at the box office and thus a new chapter in Kidar Sharma’s filmy career was added. He directed the film ‘Jogan’ (1950) for Ranjit Movietone and completed the film in a record time of 29 days with Dilip Kumar and Nargis as lead actors. The film was a hit thus reviving the fortune of Ranjit Movietone which was then in a dire financial crunch.

Subsequently, he produced and directed ‘Baawre Nain’ (1950) which became a hit paving the way for Roshan’s successful career as the music director. He directed many films during 1950 through 1970, the prominent being ‘Gunah’ (1953), ‘Chhora Chhori’ (1954), ‘Hamaari Yaad Aayegi’ (1961) in which he launched his younger son Ashok Sharma as a lead actor and ‘Fariyad’ (1964) in which he introduced Zeb Rehman as lead actress. But in the changing taste of the cinemagoers from the purpose-oriented movies to the mass entertainment movies, the near collapse of studio system replaced by star systems made things difficult for making commercial films within the bound of financial and ethical parameters for those who still believed in these maxims. Kidar Sharma was no exception and his output of film production dwindled from the second half of 50s onwards. He continued to adhere to the promise he gave to his mother while joining New Theatres in 1933 that he would be associated with making only such films which could be seen by a mother in the company of her daughters. In this kind of a milieu, in late 50s, on the advice of Pandit Nehru, he concentrated in making films for Children’s Film Society. His first children’s film ‘Jaldeep’ won him an award as a director at the Cannes Film Festival.

The autobiography is a story of Kidar Sharma’s struggle – from his childhood days to his ‘baptism’ in to the film industry. It was never a smooth sailing for him as his life alternated between happiness and sadness in regular intervals. At one time, he was so much in need of money to sustain his family that he requested K L Saigal to use songs written by him for his private gramophone recordings which he was kind enough to recommend to Hindustan Record Company. He got Rs.5/- per song/ghazal. panchhi kaahe hot udaas, shama ka jalna hai yaa sozash-e-parwaana hai, suno suno hey krishn kaalaa written by Kidar Sharma and sung by K L Saigal became popular.

Kidar Sharma was a master of converting the adverse, pathetic and sometime humiliating situations faced by him into the hilarious anecdotes which are plenty in his autobiography. I get an impression that he would not have been comfortable in a smooth sailing life as he thrived on struggles. Perhaps this was the secret of his longevity. He left for the heavenly abode on April 29. 1999 at a ripe age of 90.

I always wondered as to how Kidar Sharma continued to produce and direct films in 50s and 60s with majority of them failing at the box office. Somehow he arranged finances for his films probably based on his goodwill. His films of 60s were made within tight budget. Hence, he could not have afforded the popular actors in lead roles nor the top music directors and playback singers. I guess, making films was his passion more than earning money for a living. Even during his 80 plus age, he had script and dialogues ready for a film awaiting finance. He remained a dream merchant till his last.

In the long list of his unsuccessful films of the 50s and 60s, there was a film titled ‘MAIKHANA’ (1967). I do not remember to have heard the name of this film in my younger days but I had certainly heard on Vivid Bharati one song from this film ‘ek shab ke musaafir hai hum to’. The film was produced under the banner of Show People and directed by Kidar Sharma. The star cast included Shailesh Kumar, Bambi, Zeb Rehman, Johny Whiskey, Madhuri etc. The song was written by Kidar Sharma and composed by Bhushan. Most of the songs from this film are beautifully composed. But as has been often happening in the Hindi films industry, the beautiful songs from this film too became the casualty once the film failed at the box office.

The sublime song was sung by Mahesh Chander, son of Master Chander, a legeandry Sindhi musician. Mahesh Chander was a popular ghazal singer of 60s and 70s. Later he shifted his attention to Sindhi songs and ghazals. Besides singing, he is also a poet and a music director.

I am surprised as to why a husky and velvety voice of Mahesh Chander was very rarely used in Hindi film songs.


Song-Ik shab ke musaafir hain ham to (Maikhana)(1967) Singer-Mahesh Chandar, Lyrics-Kidar Sharma, MD-Bhushan

Lyrics

ik shab ke musaafir hain hum to
ye duniya musaafir khaana hai
ik shab ke musaafir hain (hic) hum to
ye duniya musaafir khaana hai
na apni koi kahaani hai
na apnaa koi afsaana hai
ik shab ke musaafir hain hum to

saaqi se shikaayat hai hamko
saaqi se shikaayat hai hamko
jiska ye jahaan maikhaana hai
unko to pilaaye khum ke khum
(hic)
ha ha ha
khali meraa paimaana hai
ik shab ke musaafir hain hum to

betaab tere jalwon ke liye
betaab tere jalwon ke liye
wo aur koi musa hoga
tere jalwe dhoondhenge jise
wo meraa dil e diwaana hai
ik shab ke musaafir hain hum to
ye duniya musaafir khaana hai
na apni koi kahaani hai
na apnaa koi afsaana hai
ik shab ke musaafir hai hum to

—————————————–
Hindi script Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
—————————————–

इक शब के मुसाफिर हैं हम तो
ये दुनिया मुसाफिरखाना है
इक शब के मुसाफिर हैं (हुक) हम तो
ये दुनिया मुसाफिरखाना है
ना अपनी कोई कहानी है
ना अपना कोई फसाना है
इक शब के मुसाफिर हैं हम तो

साक़ी से शिकायत है हमको
साक़ी से शिकायत है हमको
जिसका ये जहां मयखाना है
उनको तो पिलाये ख़ुम के ख़ुम
(हुक)
हा हा हा
खाली मेरा पैमाना है
इक शब के मुसाफिर हैं हम तो

बेताब तेरे जलवों के लिए
बेताब तेरे जलवों के लिए
वो और कोई मूसा होगा
तेरे जलवे ढूँढेंगे जिसे
वो मेरा दिल-ए-दीवाना है
इक शब के मुसाफिर हैं हम तो
ना अपनी कोई कहानी है
ना अपना कोई फसाना है
इक शब के मुसाफिर हैं हम तो

——————————————
Translation (Provided by Sudhir)
——————————————
ik shab ke musaafir hain hum to
ye duniya musaafir khaana hai
na apni koi kahaani hai
na apnaa koi afsaana hai

A passing stranger in the night
Is what I am
And this world is but a way station
No tales, no memories
Are there for me
Unknown, unsung
Is what I am

saaqi se shikaayat hai hamko
jiska ye jahaan maikhaana hai
unko to pilaaye khum ke khum
khali meraa paimaana hai

A nagging grouse I have
For the server of this wine
Who owns this tavern of the world
My cup remained unfilled
While others got kegs and kegs of drink

(NOTE: Very interesting comparison – the word ‘saaqi’ here refers to God. ‘Jiska Ye Jahaan Maikhaana Hai’ – the one who owns this entire world. And the complaint is that others have better fortunes than the poet.)

betaab tere jalwon ke liye
wo aur koi musa hoga
tere jalwe dhoondhenge jise
wo meraa dil e diwaana hai

Might it have been Moses
Eager to get a glimpse of your splendor
But my zany passion filled heart
Is what even your splendors would be seeking

(NOTE: ‘Musa’ is the Arabic name for Moses, the prophet, who is revered by Jews, Christians and Moslems alike. He was a staunch believer in God. The history records that God appeared to him on Mount Sinai, and bestowed upon him the Ten Commandments. On return to his people, he described the appearance of God as a burning bush. The use of the word ‘jalwaa’ in this verse is in part, a reference to this description by Moses himself.)

7 Responses to "Ik shab ke musaafir hain ham to"

Beautiful song. I suppose when one drinks he becomes a philosopher!!

Like

My goodness! I’ve heard this ghazal many times on Vividh Bharati but I took it for granted it was sung by Bhupinder!

Like

One of the artiste in this movie Maikhana :”Bambi”
Whether BAMBI is the real life daughter of popular character artiste Late Urmila Bhatt ???.
(Mother and daughter both acted in a award winning movie called
PHIR BHI(1971-music by Raghunath Seth)

Like

No, Bambi was not related to Urmilaji.

Like

http://www.apnaorg.com/research-papers/satish-3/
The above link is about Music Director Roshan. But it speaks volumes of the human side of a genius and a multi-talented personality called Kidar Sharma. We would have probably never had the magic of Roshan, had it not been for the support of Kidar Sharma in early fifties.

Like

‘Maikhana’ was a good film, though it flopped very badly. It ran for just one week at Mumbai’s Alankar cinema. It had 3 good songs. Rafi’s ‘Baithe baithe…’ & Suman Kalyanpur’s ‘Lo Gham ka Mara..’ were 2 other songs.

Like

Very rightly said by author of this article ,
Mahesh chander’s voice was not used ,though his voice
was good,I ,think that was time when many singers were
in singing que,so his voice was not recognised by Music
directors.Though he has sung his father’s [late master
chander’s ]sindhi songs very perfectlly.I m sure if he
would have given the chanceby hindi music directors ,he would have done it successfully.
successfully .

Like

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