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

Ae duniya ke maalik tu bata

Posted on: December 10, 2013

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in sites like and etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

The 7th song in the series “Gems from obscure films’ is from the film-Baghdad ka Chor-1955-a story lifted from Arabian Nights. It is sung by Mukesh under the baton of composer B.N.Bali.

First of all, let us know who this B N Bali is. There was yet another composer Bali in the early days of Hindi films. H.C.Bali or Harishchandra Bali (20-3-1906 to 24-6-1976). The expert classical singer who changed into a successful composer is credited with discovering K L Saigal in the early 30s. H C Bali gave music in his last film Janata (1947). ( Vijaya Das, who later married Satyajit Ray had acted in this movie). He died on 24-6-1976, almost 30 years after his retirement from movies.

B N Bali or Baldev Nath Bali too was a good singer and was a composer who remained confined mostly to religious or low budget films. He gave music from Bedard-1949 up to Do Dilwale-1973 adding up to a total of 24 films, including one unreleased film-Bahut Door (40s). He also gave music in a Haryanvi film in 1973. Though there was variety in his compositions, somehow he lacked what it takes to make it to the Big league. B N Bali is in fact known for blatantly copying the popular tunes of other composers.

‘Jab un ka khayal aata hai’-sung by Rafi in Pahla pehla pyar was a copy of Rafi’s ‘Jin raaton mein neend ud jaati hai’ by Hansraj Behl.
‘Sapne me sainyaan tu aaya na karo’-Asha/Manna Dey song was a true copy of O P Nayyar’s ‘ Ek pardesi mera dil le gaya’
‘Tu us ka kar bhala’ sung by Rafi in Raja Vikram had the same tune as the Rafi song ” O duniya ke rakhwaale’ etc. etc.

Two songs of B N Bali’s are absolute Gems.
1.- Mujh ko sanam tere pyar ne’-Asha/manna Dey in Flying Ranee and

2.- today’s song by Mukesh-‘ ae duniya ke maalik ye bataa’.

The film Baghdad ka Chor was based on a story from Arabian Nights. This story has attracted film producers so much that several films were made with this or similar titles, viz. Baghdad ka chor-1934/46/53, Baghdad ka jaadu-56, Baghdad ki raaten-62/67. Then Thief of Baghdad was made in 1934/68/77 and Thief of Iraq in 1934.

The first ever film on this story was made in 1924 in Britain. It was remade in 1940 and became a huge success. The role of the Thief in this film,was done by SABU- an India born actor. Younger generation movie lovers may not have even heard the name SABU.

SABU- real name Selar Shaikh Sabu- was born in Mysore on 27-1-1924. he was the son of a Mahout, so he knew how to handle Elephants and other animals. In 1937, when he was just 13 year old,he was taken in a film for the main role-“Elephant Boy”. Impressedwith his skill, he was taken to England and later to Hollywood, USA, for acting in films. Sabu acted in 24 films,all in main leads from 1937 to 1964. His best known film was The Thief of Baghdad-1940. Another good film was “Jungle Book”-1942. He also acted as Mowgli in this film. Yet another of his film was ” The man eaters of Kumaun” based on the book by Jim Corbett. During his times he was a popular actor. His brother Sabu Dastgir used to look after his business. His son and daughter both became actors later. After he converted to Christianity, he was known as Sabu Frances. He died on 2-12-1963.

Stories of Arabian Nights or 1001 Nights are so interesting that for many generations they have been a popular source of entertainment. Alibaba, Allauddin and Sindbad are perenniel favourites of people. Arabian Night stories evolved through a story which took place in Persia. King Shahriyar became a woman hater after he found that his wife was unfaithful to him. He not only killed her, but he started marrying a new girl every day and on the second day of Marriage the wife would be killed to pre-empt her unfaithfulness.

The legend says that a beautiful young daughter of the Vazier- named Scheherazade decided to marry the king Shahriyar, against the wishes of her family. On the first night of marriage, she started telling him a story which she left unfinished. Curious to know the story’s end, the king postponed her killing. On every night Scheherazade employed the same technique-keeping the story unfinished. Thus she continued 1001 stories on 1001 nights. Finally the king changed his views about women and pardoned his wife.

These stories included Historical stories, love tales, tragedies, comedies, poems, eroticas, stories of Jinn, ghosts and apes, Sorcerers, magicians etc etc. Places like Basra, Istambul, Baghdad etc were frequently mentioned in these stories.

The thief of Baghdad or Baghdad ka chor was also from the stables of Arabian Nights and it has been a popular story. It involves evil wicked Vizier, the flying wooden mechanical horse, the flying carpet etc.

During the decade of 1950, such stories were made into C grade low budget films. The major expenses for such films were for the sets, costumes and trick scenes. As the audience came to see dances, damsels, songs and magic scenes and did not bother about histrionics, so makers of such movies saved money by hiring B or C grade artistes.

Most producers wanted good songs. To compensate for lesser known composers, A grade singers were called upon to sing. Their collaboration would sometimes inadvertently result in musical gems. In this series, our attempt is to bring such Gems to light.

Today’s song is a sad song sung by Mukesh. Usually Mukesh was not a choice for B or C grade action/costume films. Recently I had said that I liked the sad songs by Kishore Kumar. Next to him I like the sad songs of Mukesh. In his early years, Mukesh sang more sad songs than Romantic songs. In fact, his first few songs were sad songs only. As per the site , Mukesh sang 195 sad songs in his career (306-Romantic, 15-Patriotic, 73-Classical based, 109- NFS etc). The maximum number of sad songs sung by Mukesh, according to this site, was in 1948-16 sad songs followed by 1961-15 sad songs, 1950-12 sad songs,in 1949 and 1951-10 sad songs each etc.

There is an interesting story about Mukesh. Once Mukesh was leaving the music room of Kalyanji (of K-A duo) after doing rehearsals, when a well known, honourable, famous classical singer entered, for making a social call. Looking at the exiting Mukesh, the classical singer said to Kalyanji- ” see the Luck. This filmi fellow travels in a Mercedes and I-a famous classical maestro, travel in a Bus ! “. Kalyanji only smiled. After the customary talk and tea etc, Kalyanji asked the singer to sing the song “Chandan sa badan” from Saraswatichandra. The singer started with many Taans and Aalaaps etc. Even after 10 attempts, he could not sing the song like Mukesh ! Kalyanji told him, ‘Now you know why HE travels in Mercedes !!! “.

Let us now enjoy this Gem by Mukesh.

Song-Ae duniya ke maalik tu bata ab jaayen to jaayen kahaan (Baghdad Ka Chor)(1955) Singer-Mukesh, Lyrics-Sartaj, MD-B N Bali


ae duniya ke maalik tu bata
ab jaayen to jaayen kahaan
barbaad huyi dil ki duniya
ab jaayen to jaayen kahaan

hansna bhi hai rone jaisa
gaana bhi hai fariyad ho
gaana hai fariyaad
haaye mohbbat ka ye aalam
aaye kisi ki yaad ho
aaye kisi ki yaad
ek zaalim ne dil tod diya
ab jaayen to jaayen kahaan
ae duniya ke maalik tu bata
ab jaayen to jaayen kahaan

apna banaakar hamko usne
pher lin nazren haaye
pher lin nazren haaye
dil hai magar diwana uska
kaun ise samjhaaye ho
kaun ise samjhaaye
duniya se mita hai naam e wafa
ab jaayen to jaayen kahaan
ae duniya ke maalik tu bata
ab jaayen to jaayen kahaan
barbaad huyi dil ki duniya
ab jaayen to jaayen kahaan

2 Responses to "Ae duniya ke maalik tu bata"

Yes! This may be called ‘labour of love’. I appreciate your dedication, enthusiasm and effort in presenting such articles and look forward for your next post.




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