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

Chal chal re musaafir chal

Posted on: March 16, 2013

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

‘Pooja’ (1954) is a social drama in a village setting. The film is produced under the banner of Verma Films, Bombay, and is produced and directed by Bhagwandas Verma. The main cast of actors includes Bharat Bhushan, Purnima, Om Prakash, Badri Prasad, Ulhas, Shakuntala, Heeralal, Raj Mehra, S Nazir and Jankidas etc. The film has nine songs in all, and the lyrics are shared by Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. This particular song is from the pen of Shailendra. The music is composed by Shankar Jaikishan.

One song from this film is already posted on this blog. The storyline of this film is given below. It is adapted from the write up by Sadanand ji Kamath, who posted the earlier song from this film “Jo Ik Baar Keh De Tum Ho Hamaare”, and the additional comments to this song by Arun ji Deshmukh, our dear in house encyclopedia of Hindi films and film songs.

The story revolves around a village temple. Om Prakash plays the role of the temple priest and Badri Prasad plays the role of Keshav Das, the resident bhajan singer at the temple. Keshav Das has a young daughter, Kala, role played by Purnima, who is a baal vidhwaa (child widow). One day, Keshav Das is not well, and Kala goes to the temple in his place, to sing the bhajans. Om Prakash likes her singing, and Kala starts going to the temple regularly. Along with her singing, she also performs the pooja of Tulsi plant at the temple. However, soon the priest is made aware of her status as a baal vidhwaa. Summarily, he forbids Kala from entering the temple, signing bhajans and worshipping the Tulsi plant. Keshav Das takes this thing to heart, and vows never to visit the temple again.

Now the temple is without a bhajan singer, and Om Prakash is in search for someone to take this role. The priest meets with the village mukhiyaa (village head, role played by Heeralal) and other elders of the village and it is decided to invited Raja Ram, a bhajan singer in a neighboring village, to come to this temple. A messenger is sent to the other village, only to find out that Raja Ram has passed away some years back. However, his son, Deepak (role played by Bharat Bhushan) is following in his father’s footstep, and is a bhajan singer of repute. So, the messenger invites Deepak to come to this village. As Deepak arrives in the village, he has a chance encounter with Bimmo, the daughter of the village head (role played by Shakuntala). Bimmo is enamored by Deepak. She teases him, and even runs away with his sitar. Deepak arrives at the temple, but does not have his sitar with him. On suggestions from others, he goes to Keshav Das’ home to borrow his sitar. Deepak starts singing at the temple. Keshav Das is impressed with his talent, and he takes him under his wing to teach him
further. But the two young hearts being so close to each other, cannot resist the emotions, and Deepak falls in love with Kala. He does not yet know that she is a baal vidhwaa, and initially Kala does not respond to his overtures, although she is also secretly in love with him now.

Bimmo gets an inkling of what is developing between Deepak and Kala. She complains to her father, who then calls a panchaayat. The village folk get together, and inform Deepak about Kala’s marital status. And more, the panchaayat decides to break all social interactions with Keshav Das and his daughter, and informs Deepak that Kala does not have a right to remarry. (In rural India, such a casting away has serious consequences. The entire community stops interactions with the condemned family, treating them as outcasts, to the extent that they are not entertained at the shops in the market place, or given any help by friends and extended family. The family suffers for even basic needs like water and food, and in most cases, they are forced to leave their home and move away to some other place, and even take on new identities.) The panchaayat also warns Deepak against continuing his interactions with Keshav Das and Kala, lest he may also be
set away as an outcast from the village.

Things deteriorate very soon for Keshav Das and Kala, as their food supplies are depleted and the specter of starvation looms large in front of them. Deepak is angered, and he stops singing at the temple. Then Ramlal, a friend in the village (role played by Jankidas) advises Deepak to leave the village and go to the nearby town, taking Keshav Das and Kala with him, to restart their lives afresh. Deepak takes this advice. But before leaving, he expresses his emotions to the villagers in a speech wherein he condemns their regressive thinking and the prevalent bad social practices. Then he leaves the village with Keshav Das and Kala.

It cannot be denied that there have been and still continue to be faulty social practices prevalent in India, that have created many social issues in the society. The conventions set by tradition generally start off as well meaning and well intentioned guidelines by the wise elders of the society, to address certain social needs. But along the way and over centuries, vested interests and dogmas twist these conventions and wisdom for manipulating such guidelines for personal gains. From my readings and my awareness about the social practices and values in our society, my understanding is that firstly, any such conventions were set up for the purpose of address some then current social needs, and secondly, these conventions are more in the nature of guidelines, and exceptions for
problematic circumstances are to be considered. I believe so, because my understanding of our social practices is that it is pragmatic and not dogmatic. However, in the hands of some ill intentioned and unscrupulous people, the very same conventions that were intended for positive impact, have been manipulated over centuries for personal gains, exhibition of power and arrogance or simply vendetta. The knife that is a critical instrument in the hands of the mother for preparation of food in the kitchen for the family, is the same knife that turns into an instrument of fatal injuries in the hands of an ill intentioned and criminal minded person.

Widow remarriage may have been advised against, in certain circumstances. If there was an appropriate family structure to support the widowed lady, and there are children that need to be looked after, then the consideration for a continued and sustained upbringing of the children may have been a rationale to discourage widow remarriage. The values that are attached with selflessness and motherhood are given more importance in our society, than simply being driven by basic financial and physical needs. Our history carries many examples where the widowed ladies forsook their personal interests for the reasons of family and children. And on the other hand, the history also carries many examples wherein the widowed ladies entered newer acceptable alliances, and continued their lives afresh. The ideas around widowhood being inauspicious are dogmas that got manufactured over the ages, for various reasons. And admittedly, it is such dogmas that have brought disrepute to the social values and social conventions.

It may sound counterintuitive, but some of these ‘bad’ social conventions actually came into being with the good intention of protecting and saving the honor of the ladies in the society. It is a well recorded matter in our history, that our land has been under constant invasion, since the 4th century BC, when Alexander steered his armies across Central Asia, drawn by the stories of India’s riches and the wisdom of this society. For centuries together, the invaders have followed that path to this land and have ravaged it. A highly unfortunate part of such invasions is that the ladies of the society bear the ignominy of being part of the booty of the plundering army. A careful analysis of what we see as social evils today, will show that these started off as well meaning conventions and practices to protect the ladies themselves. Ah, but this discussion is long and varied, and I will defer it for now. 🙂

The song presented in this post is in the voice of Mohammed Rafi. I have not been able to locate a video clip for this, but by all good intentioned guesswork, one can surmise that this song is performed by Bharat Bhushan on screen. I would request Arun ji, to please confirm this statement.

The song itself is an encouragement of moving forward to the new and changed circumstances. A careful listening to the words, shows that the singer wants to rise and go beyond the current circumstances, to where a current unhappy situation should be remedied. Hidden in the verses is the clear message about respecting the emotions and feelings of a young lady, who has been wrongly ostracized and cannot be what she is. Quite a thought provoking set of ideas. Enjoy.

chal chal re musaafir chal, tu us duniya mein chal
jahaan dil ka ek ishaara ho aur duniya jaaye badal

O traveler
(give up this dismay, this dejection)
Come travel to a new world
A world where
The aspirations of the heart
Have the power to change circumstances

masti bhari hawaayen, jis gali se jaayen phool khilaayen
ye madhosh nigaahen, jis pe tik jaayen apna banaayen
jahaan pyaar ka rastaa koi na roke, koi na kahe sambhal

Ah this carefree breeze (of change)
Making the flowers bloom
Wherever it passes
And the charming glances
That just touch you
And win you over
(Come travel to a new world)
A world where
None would hamper the path of love
And none would say, “don’t”

roop ki pyaasi aankhen, dil mein armaan sau toofaan
aakhir kabhi to hogi tum se pehchaan, o anjaan
kabhi to rim jhim barsenge ye rang bhare baadal

These eyes
That yearn for a view
Of the beloved
With a hundred storms raging within
O stranger
Someday we will be close
Someday, the clouds of color
Will bring
The pitter patter rain of happiness

yahaan ki reet niraali, jo mausam jaaye jaa ke na aaye
dam bhar ki ujiyaali, jab din dhal jaaye dil ghabraaye
jahaan ujde na singaar kisi ka, phailey na kaajal

Strange are the ways
Of this world here
When the spring goes away
It never returns
The sunshine is momentary
And when it is gone
The heart is afraid
(Come travel to a new world)
A world where
The beauty is not besmirched
And the eyes
Are not made to weep

(NOTE: The epithets and metaphors used in these verses are lovely and meaningful. The going away of spring once for all, and the disappearance of sunshine forever, allude to the stern deterrence against someone (a widow) being allowed to rebuild their life. And in the last line the allusion to the smearing of ‘kaajal’ (kohl) in the eyes, is a metaphor for making someone cry.)

Song-Chal chal re musaafir chal (Pooja)(1954) Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-Shailendra, MD-Shankar Jaikishan


chal chal re musaafir chal
tu us duniya mein chal
chal chal re musaafir chal
tu us duniya mein chal
jahaan dil ka ek ishaara ho
aur duniya jaaye badal
chal chal re musaafir chal
tu us duniya mein chal

masti bhari hawaayen
jis gali se jaayen
phool khilaayen
ye madhosh nigaahen
jis pe tik jaayen
apna banaayen
ye madhosh nigaahen
jahaan pyaar ka rastaa koi na roke
koi na kahe sambhal
chal chal re musaafir chal
tu us duniya mein chal

roop ki pyaasi aankhen
dil mein armaan
sau toofaan
aakhir kabhi to hogi
tum se pehchaan
o anjaan
aakhir kabhi to hogi
kabhi to rim jhim barsenge
ye rang bhare baadal
chal chal re musaafir chal
tu us duniya mein chal

yahaan ki reet niraali
jo mausam jaaye
jaa ke na aaye
dam bhar ki ujiyaali
jab din dhal jaaye
dil ghabraaye
dam bhar ki ujiyaali
jahaan ujde na singaar kisi ka
phailey na kaajal
chal chal re musaafir chal
tu us duniya mein chal

Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

चल चल रे मुसाफिर
तू उस दुनिया में चल
चल चल रे मुसाफिर
तू उस दुनिया में चल
जहां दिल का एक इशारा हो
और दुनिया जाये बादल
चल चल रे मुसाफिर
तू उस दुनिया में चल

मस्ती भरी हवाएँ
जिस गली से जाएँ
फूल खिलाएँ
ये मदहोश निगाहें
जिस पे टिक जाएँ
अपना बनाएँ
ये मदहोश निगाहें
जहां प्यार का रास्ता कोई न रोके
कोई ना कहे संभल
चल चल रे मुसाफिर
तू उस दुनिया में चल

रूप की प्यासी आँखें
दिल में अरमान
सौ तूफान
आखिर कभी तो होगी
तुम से पहचान
ओ अंजान
आखिर कभी तो होगी
कभी तो रिम झिम बरसेंगे
ये रंग भरे बादल
चल चल रे मुसाफिर
तू उस दुनिया में चल

यहाँ की रीत निराली
जो मौसम जाये
जा के ना आए
दम भर की उजियाली
जब दिन ढल जाये
दिल घबराए
दम भर की उजियाली
जहां उजड़े ना सिंगार किसी का
फैले न काजल
चल चल रे मुसाफिर
तू उस दुनिया में चल


4 Responses to "Chal chal re musaafir chal"

Nice song with full of philosophy,words are easy to remember ,tune is fast ,
which opens the doors that everyone likes the song on first hearing.some time it resembles with O door ke musafir..frm udan khatola.


I remember you have discussed very recently LATJI song frm same movie ,..bata de ae dil dil lagan na raas aaye….this is Third song AND NOT SECOND SONG as you have mentioned above.


Thank nice song (nostalgie).


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