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

Humne tumne kiyaa thha jo aabaad

Posted on: July 3, 2013


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

It is generally believed that scriptwriters (I use this word to include story, screenplay and dialogue writers) in Hindi films gained recognition and their status enhanced thanks to Salim-Javed duo who reigned over Hindi film industry with their fast paced screen plays and dialogues during 70s and early 80s. In fact, those days during our family discussions, if someone gives a hard hitting response, we used to say “here comes Salim-Javed” which would help in bringing normalcy to the ongoing heated disussions. The duo became so popular that they used to decide who would be the lead actor in the films for which they wrote scripts. It is also believed that in addition to their fixed component of fees, they would also get a share of profits from the films for which they wrote. I have seen their names being printed in bold letters in film posters and newspapers advertisements signifying that along with lead actors, music director etc, the name of Salim-Javed also played a role in attracting cinegoers to the movie halls.

Salim-Javed duo were not the first scriptwriters o create an aura around them. I am aware of a few prominent scriptwriters before the duo, who had good hold over the Hindi film industry. Aghajani Kashmeri ( active years as writer being 1938 -1971) was one of the seniormost scriptwriters. I first became aware of his name during my college days in early 60s. But I came to know about his multi-talented personality only recently when I chanced upon to read his son’s blog ‘The Golden Pen’ and also the interview that Aghajani Kashmeri had given to MID DAY on March 8, 1991 on the eve of his migration to Canada. Most of the information about him in this article is based on these two sources.

Aghajani Kashmeri (16/10/1908 – 27/03/1998) was born as Syed Wazid Hussain Rizvi in Lucknow. His family belonged to Kashmir, hence the suffix ‘Kashmeri’ (in Urdu, it is prononced as such) to his name was adopted by him. His great grandfather was stated to have migrated with his family to Lucknow during the reign of Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula sometime in the 18th century. Aghajani could not complete his high school as most of the time, he was in the company of shaayars which itself was a kind of education for him as he became proficient in Urdu language. During this period, he became the disciple of Arzoo Lucknawi, the Urdu poet who later became a lyricist.

Being a tall and handsome man, Aghajani was approached in Lucknow by the producer of a film ‘Shan-e- Subhan’ (1933) to join films as an actor. Since he was interested in becoming an actor just like his first cousin Nawab Kashmiri, he ran away with the producer to Rangoon where the shooting was to take place, without the knowledge of his father. After completion of the film, he had no money to return to Lucknow. So he worked with a circus company in Rangoon for money and managed to reach Calcutta (Kolkatta). Here he acted in 3-4 movies like Ameena (1934), Zamindar (1934) and ‘Jawaani Ka Nasha’ (1935), the last two in the lead roles. His well wishers in Calcutta which included Akhtaribai Faizabadi (Begum Akhtar), his co-star in two films, impressed upon him that since he was well versed in Urdu literature, he was more suited for writing than acting in films. Taking their advice seriously, he left Calcutta for Bombay (Mumbai) around 1935 and joined Bombay Talkies. He learnt screen play and dialogue writing under the guidance of Himanshu Rai, the boss of Bombay Talkies.

Aghajani’s first film as a screenplay writer was Bombay Talkies’s ‘Vachan’ (1938) which became a box office hit. With this success, he became one of the most prolific scriptwriters of Hindi films for the next four decades. He left Bombay Talkies to join Mehboob Khan in around 1940. Some of the prominent films of Mehboob Khan for which he wrote in the 40s were ‘Najma’ (1943), ‘Taqdeer’ (1943), ‘Humayun’ (1945), ‘Anmol Ghadi’ (1946), ‘Anokhi Ada’ (1948) etc.

In 1949, he left Mehboob Khan to become a freelancer. In the 50s, he wrote for prominent films like ‘Aurat’ (1953), ‘Amar’ (1954), ‘Chori Chori’ (1956) etc. From 60 onwards, he started writing for typical formula films like ‘Love in Simla’ (1960), ‘Junglee’ (1961), ‘April Fool’ (1964), ‘Ziddi’ (1964), ‘ Love in Tokyo’ (1966), ‘Tumse Achha Kuan Hai’ (1969) etc while continuing to write for a few films away from formula films like ‘Ye Raasten Hain Pyaar Ke’ (1963), ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’ (1964), and ‘Khilona’ (1970). In 1971, he wrote for two films – ‘Parwaana’ (1971) and Naya Zamaana (1971) which probably was the last film of his writing career. I have noted that in most of the films in the 60s and early 70s, while Sachin Bhowmick, another prolific scriptwriters wrote story and screenplay, Aghajani Kashmeri wrote dialogues.

During his stint of over four decades with Bollywood, he wrote for about 40 films of which 22 films were silver jubilees and 9 films were golden jubilees. He is credited with training Nargis (in Taqdeer, 1943), Joy Mukherjee and Sadhana ( in ‘Love in Simla, 1960) and Saira Bano (in ‘Junglee’,1961) in dialogue delivery. Incidentally, it was only after Aghajani Kashmeri convinced Shashdhar Mukherjee that he agreed to cast his son Joy Mukherjee as a lead actor in ‘Love in Simla’ (1960).

In the 70s, with the emergence of Salim-Javed team and Sachin Bhowmick having strenghtened his position in Hindi film industry as scriptwriters, Aghajani’s writing assignments started coming down. By mid 70s, he virtually retired from the film industry. In 1991, he decided to migrate to Canada to be with his son Zuhair Kashmeri who had settled in Canada. He died at the age of 89 in Canada on March 27, 1998 after a brief illness. As per his wish, his tomb bears the inscription of the last she’r of the ghazal “”ahaan tak jafaa husn waalon ke sahte” from the film ‘Tohfaa’ (1947). The she’r is

Zamaanaa bade shauk se sun rahaa thha
Ham hi so gaye daastaan kahte kahte

In 1965, Aghajani Kashmeri wrote his autobiography ‘ Sahar Hone Tak’ in Urdu which he translated in Hindi with the title ‘Subah Hone Tak’. The prints are out of stock and his elder son Zuhair Kashmeri is translating the autobiography in English. As per his father’s wish, Zuhair Kashmeri has also produced an one hour documentary film on his father titled ‘The Golden Pen’ which was premiered in Toronto in April 2012.

During his entire filmy career, Aghajani Kashmeri directed only one film and wrote lyrics for two songs in that film. The film was TOHFAA (1947). I have selected a rare ghazal ‘humne tumne kiyaa thha jo aabaad’ written by Aghajani Kashmeri for discussion. The ghazal was rendered by Parul Ghosh and composed by M A Rauf Osmania.

Listening to this ghazal rendered in ‘slow motion’ with emphasis on radeef (refrain) ‘barbaad’, ‘naashaad’, ‘fariyaad’ and ‘yaad’, one gets a nostalgic feel of the ghazal singing style in the 40s.


Song-Humne tumne kiyaa thha jo aabaad (Tohfa)(1947) Singer-Parul Ghosh, Lyrics-Aghajani Kashmiri, MD-M A Rauf Osmania

Lyrics

humne tumne
kiyaa thha jo o o
o o o
aabaaaad
wo chaman aaj
ho gaya
barbaad
wo chaman aaj
ho gaya aa
barbaad

jaana ik din hai humko tere ??
?? de jaaye hum naashaad
?? de jaaye hum naashaad

maaf karnaa kyaa baat aake chali
dil ki ?? aaj aaye nahin fariyaad
dil ki ?? aaj aaye nahin fariyaad

tum kisi aur ke bane to bano o o o
humko saathi hai bas tumhaari yaaaaad

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