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

Hum chaahen ya na chaahen

Posted on: June 17, 2013


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

Remembering Hemant Kumar, on the 93rd anniversary of his birth (16th June, 2013).

An active career that lasted more than five and a half decades, Hemant Da is a voice that has left behind a luminous legacy of musical treasures to cherish. Starting his musical journey very early in his teens, it was 1933 when he first sang and recorded for All India Radio in Calcutta (then known as Indian State Broadcasting Service). He received his training in classical music at feet of Ustad Faiyaaz Khan, and was mentored in Rabindra Sangeet by two very close friends, both well known musicians themselves –Subhas Mukhopadhyay and Sailesh Duttagupta.

In his formative years, his father’s desire was for him to become an engineer. He even joined the Bengal Technical Institute at Jadavpur, but his passion for literature and music pulled him away from engineering in a very short time. In 1937, the Gramophone Company of India (GCI), contracted him, and that year he recorded his first non-film songs in Bengali. His non-film recordings became an annual feature with GCI, and continued till 1984. In 1940, he recorded his first Hindi non-film song – “Kitna Dukh Bhulaaya Tumne”. Gaining popularity with his non-film renderings, it was but natural that he started singing for films. The debut in Bengali films came in 1941, and in Hindi films, it was 1944 with the film ‘Iraada’ under the music direction of Pt. Amarnath.

In the mid 1940s, he joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), and thence began a very strong friendship with the music director Salil Chaudhry. In the backdrop of Bengal famine of 1943, IPTA was active and a lot creative output came from this group based on this man made calamity that ravished Bengal. Salil Da wrote and composed a song “Gyaner Badhu”(‘The Rural Bride’), that told about the tribulations of an idyllic and caring rural housewife, whose entire world is ravaged by the scourge of the famine. This six minutes song was recorded in the voice of Hemant Da. The composition lacks the traditional Bengali romanticism and sweetness, and the song is built of sections of varying pace. The unexpected and unforeseen popularity of this song went on to establish Hemant Da as the leading male singer in Bengal.

His career as a music director is significantly impressive, and in the Hindi film world, he has composed music for 57 films. In Bengali cinema, his record is even more impressive – he scored the music for about 140 films. On the Hindi screen, his music has embellished many a wonderful films starting with ‘Anand Matth’ (1952), and on with ‘Shart’ (1954), ‘Jaagriti’(1954), ‘Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam’ (1962), ‘Kohraa’ (1964), ‘Bees Saal Baad’(1962), ‘Sannaata’ (1966), ‘Khamoshi’ (1969), ‘Anupama’ (1966), ‘Bin Badal Barsat’ (1963), ‘Faraar’ (1965), ‘Ek Jhalak’ (1957), ‘Do Dooni Chaar’(1968), ‘Miss Mary’ (1957), and many more.

The song I present here today is a wonderful memory from the 1971 film ‘Phir Bhi’, directed by Shivendra Sinha. The philosophical content of this song appealed strongly to the impressionable mind of the student that I was then. The thoughtful lyrics are from the pen of Pt. Narendra Sharma, and the mesh of music is woven by Raghunath Seth.

The words tell about the journey of life that is so much away from our control. We may fancy ourselves to be free spirits, yet the we are so bound by the passages of this life, of the decisive determinism of birth and death. Eventually, the impermanence of our smug arrogance and the futility of our flights of fancy, talks back to us in the face of the ultimate destiny that will eventually visit us all. And bounden we are, to travel this path, and meet our destination.

Things to think about.

Audio

Video

Song-Hum chaahen ya na chaahen (Phir Bhi)(1971) Singer-Hemant Kumar, Lyrics-Pt Narendra Sharma, MD-Raghunath Seth

Lyrics

hum chaahen
ya na chaahen
humraahi banaa leti hain
hum ko jeevan ki raahen
hum chaahen
ya na chaahen

ye raahen kahaan se aati
ye raahen kahaan le jaati
ye raahen kahaan se aati
ye raahen kahaan le jaati
raahen dharti ke tan par
aakaash ki faili baahen
hum chaahen
ya na chaahen
humraahi banaa leti hain
hum ko jeevan ki raahen
hum chaahen
ya na chaahen

utraa aakaash dharaa par
tan mann kar diya nichhaawar
utraa aakaash dharaa par
tan mann kar diya nichhaawar
jo phool khilaana chaahen
hans hans kar saath nibaahen
hum chaahen
ya na chaahen
humraahi banaa leti hain
hum ko jeevan ki raahen
hum chaahen
ya na chaahen

————————————————-
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
————————————————-
हम चाहें
या ना चाहें
हमराही बना लेती हैं
हमको जीवन की राहें
हम चाहें
या ना चाहें

ये राहें कहाँ से आतीं
ये राहें कहाँ ले जाती
ये राहें कहाँ से आतीं
ये राहें कहाँ ले जाती
राहें धरती के तन पर
आकाश की फैली बाहें
हम चाहें
या ना चाहें
हमराही बना लेती हैं
हमको जीवन की राहें
हम चाहें
या ना चाहें

उतरा आकाश धरा पर
तन मन कर दिया न्योछावर
उतरा आकाश धरा पर
तन मन कर दिया न्योछावर
जो फूल खिलाना चाहें
हंस हंस कर साथ निबाहें
हम चाहें
या ना चाहें
हमराही बना लेती हैं
हमको जीवन की राहें
हम चाहें
या ना चाहें

6 Responses to "Hum chaahen ya na chaahen"

Thanks for this beautiful post Sudhir ji. Its simply great, and the song – i am listening it first time and loved it, its from my favorite category.
Sir, i have one request , i had sent you an email, please check ..

Like

A very haunting number from Hemantda

Like

Beautiful song Sudhir ji! Thanks a lot!

Like

Like

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