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

Deewaana banaana hai to deewaana bana de

Posted on: February 15, 2013

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

When the techniques of song recording were first introduced in India by a few music record companies, there was some initial myths and superstitions associated with it. A few of the professional singers believed that song recordings reduced the life span of singers as the electric gadgets suck away the lung power. A few even went to the extent in saying that the microphone takes away all the good qualities of a singer’s voice. It is said that Kesarbai Kerkar, the classical singer did not record a single song for music companies during her life time. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, the doyen of Patiala Gharana initially evaded recordings on some pretext or other but the underlying factor seemed to be the fear of losing the quality of his voice.

Begum Akhtar, the mallika-e-ghazal (the queen of ghazals) was also caught in these recording myths. After the commercial success of her first recorded ghazal, Ustad Ata Khan, her music teacher and mentor disapproved further song recordings by Begum Akhtar and instilled fear in her mother’s mind of the ‘life threatening’ effect on her daughter. Having already lost one daughter, a mother’s anxiety was quite natural. But having already signed a 5-year contract with Meghaphone, the music record company, she was in a serious dilemma. So she took recourse to her spiritual guru – the Pir Saheb of Bareily by taking Begum Akhtar to him. Pir Saheb said to Akhtari Bai as she was then known to open pages of her note book of ghazals upon which he kept his hand on one of the pages randomly. That page contained a ghazal ‘deewaana banaanaa hai to deewaana banaa de’ written by Behzad Lucknawi. He said to her to go to the recording company immediately to record this song. Thereafter fame and fortune would follow her like a slave. She recorded this ghazal for Meghaphone Record Company during which Bade Ghulam Ali Khan played sarangi. The record was released in October 1925 during Durga Puja festival. The Pir Saheb’s prophecy turned out to be correct and the record cut a platinum disc. There was no looking back for Akhtari Bai who later became Begum Akhtar. [Based on ‘Ae Mohabbat ….Reminiscing Begum Akhtar’ by Rita Ganguly, 2008].

The point to be noted in this trivia is that it was Pir Saheb who looked to me to be more liberal in his attitude towards song recording than a few professional singers. But for his advice to Akhtari Bai, the new generation would have been deprived of listening to her numerous captivating ghazals and other classical renditions.

I have chosen the ghazal picked up by Pir Saheb – ‘deewaana banana hai to deewaana banaa de’ (1925) for discussion which was a turning point in making Begum Akhtar the Mallika-e-ghazal. As metioned earlier, the ghazal is written by Behzad Lucknawi. Being trained in khayal and thumri singing, one can feel the predominance of thumri form of singing in this ghazal. Those were the days when ghazals were sung in thumri form with short alaaps, pause and repetition of words to give emphasise on certain words in the lyrics. One can also observe the haste with which Begum Akhtar sang the last two couplets without short alaaps and repetition of lines probably to fit in the ghazal within 3 minutes for 78 RPM record. Rita Ganguly in her book says that this ghazal was composed by Begum Akhtar as was the case with all the ghazals of her earlier years. The tune of this ghazal reminds me of a ghazal “pehle jo muhabbat se inkaar kiyaa hotaa” sung by Kursheed Bano in Hindi film ‘Pardesi’ (1940).

It is a pleasure to listen to this captivating ghazal in thumri format – the style which has now become almost extinct.

Song-Deewaana banaana hai to deewaana banaa de (Begam Akhtar NFS)(1925) Singer-Begam Akhtar, Lyrics-Behzad Lucknowi, MD-Begam Akhtar


aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa

deewaanaa banaanaa hai to
deewaanaa banaa de
haan haan
deewaanaa banaanaa hai to
deewaanaa banaa de ae ae
varnaa kahin taqdeer eer
varnaa kahin taqdeer
tamaashaa na banaa de
haan haan
varnaa kahin taqdeer tamaashaa na banaa

ae dekhne ne ne ne waa
ae dekhnele
ae dekhne waalon mujhe hans hans ke naa dekho
o o o
o o o o
haan aan aan
tumko bhi mohabbat kahin
mujh saa na banaa de
tumko bhi mohabbat kahin mujh saa na banaa de ae ae

main dhoondh rahaa aa
aa aa aa
main dhoondh rahaa hoon
meri wo shamaa kahaan hai ae ae
ae ae
ae ae
main dhoondh rahaa hoon
meri wo shamaa kahaan hai
jo bazm ki har cheez ko o o
parwaanaa banaa de
haan haan
aa aa
jo bazm ki har cheez ko
parwaanaa banaa de ae ae ae ae

aakhir koi soorat bhi to ho khaanaa-e-dil ki ee ee
kabaa nahin bantaa hai to butkhaanaa banaa de
haan haan
kabaa nahin bantaa

Behzad har ek gaam pe ek sajdaa-e-masti ee ee
har zarre ko sang-e-dar-e-jaanaanaa banaa de
haan haan
har zarre ko sang-e-dar-e-jaanaanaa banaa de
ae ae

10 Responses to "Deewaana banaana hai to deewaana bana de"

This particular Gazal is mentioned by Sangeet-Martand Jasraj-ji in his video about his life. He describes the hypnotic effect of Akhtari Bai’s voice on him, in his younger days. He could not move away from the Hotel where this Gazal was repeatedly played by the requests of the hotel clients. He attributes his end of studies in school and the life-time persuasion of music to Begum Sahiba.


Many thanks to Atulji for this gem from the bygone era and to Sadanand for his excellent write-up.



Thanks for presenting the oldest recorded ghazal to feature in the blog. And more thanks for giving us a chance to listen and try to appreciate such a relic of bygone era.




I heard this ghazal for the first time today , it is really very nice away from deafening sounds of today’s songs. sadanand ji’s excellent write-up is also admirable.
while listening this song, i am guessing and thrilled, how were those days when this was recorded 20 years before my birth in 1945.


just now came to know about this site from a friend but can not hear the song it says “SSL protocol error” if any one can help me in this regard it will be highly apreciated.


On checking I am able to listen to the song. So it is difficult to say what could be the problem at your end.


simply superb in all aspects.


No mention of the controversey regarding this song. Begum is supposed to have born in 1914, this being her centenary year. She is supposed to have cut this disk in 1925. Does her voice resembles at all, a 11 yr. old girl while rendering this ghazal. Either of the date appears to be wrong. Either she was born at a later date or the disk was cut much after 1925. It needs further inquiry in this respect.


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