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

Gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin kaanton se bhi zeenat hoti hai

Posted on: February 8, 2014


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

Today, February 8th 2014 is the 73rd birth anniversary of Jagjit Singh ( 08/02/1941 – 10/10/2011) who is regarded as a catalyst in reviving ghazals as a form of singing not only in India but across the world. He transformed ghazal singing into an easier and acceptable form to suit the taste of masses. And what a coincidence! When Malika e ghazal, Begum Akhtar passed away in October 1974, Jagjit Singh was on the way up of becoming a popular ghazal singer when his first LP disc ‘The Unforgettable’ (1976) became commercially successful. So there was a sort of change of guard and handing over the baton of sorts in that Jagjit Singh took over the mantle of ghazal singing after the demise of Begum Akhtar.

While his seniors like Begum Akhtar and Mehdi Hasan sang ghazals in semi-classical style, Jagjit Singh developed his own style as a package which attracted all the segment of the public at large. The use of western musical instruments in conjunction with traditional Indian musical instruments like sitar, and santoor in his compositions ensured that expectations of the younger lots were met. He chose only such ghazals which could be understood by general masses and which could be identified with by his target audience. He had once said that for him the lyrics of the ghazal was more important than the singer and composition. But as Gulzar had often said, Jagjit Singh’s voice gave a new dimension to the lyrics.

At a time when ghazal as a genre of music was losing its place thanks to the influence of western music on Hindi film industry, Jagjit Singh chose this genre as his main form of singing. Creating a niche for himself in his chosen genre of singing was a challenge in itself. There were singers like Chandan Dass, Rajkumar Rizvi, Talat Aziz who were also trying to establish themselves in ghazal singing. Then there were ghazal singers from across the border like Mehdi Hasan and Ghulam Ali who had already been popular not only in their own country but also in India. But as it turned out, Jagjit Singh successfully rode through his musical journey and created a place for himself in the history of ghazal singing.

I became aware of Jagjit Singh sometime in 1976 when I heard for the first time one of his ghazals ‘sarakti jaaye hai rukh se naqaab aahista aahista’. From that time onward, I have been an admirer of Jagjit Singh. The runaway success of the non-filmy ghazal albums of Jagjit Singh revived an interest in the genre of ghazal songs in Hindi films in the 80s. Interestingly, Jagjit Singh’s tryst with Hindi films started with a pop song ‘hulle hullare’, a duet with Asha Bhonsle in the film ‘Ek Thhi Reeta’ (1971). His next song was a duet with his wife Chitra Singh ‘baabul mora naihar chhooto hi jaaye’ in the film ‘Aavishkar’ (1973). But his real filmy journey started with the popularity of his song honthhon se chhoo lo tum mera geet amar kar do in ‘Prem Geet’ (1981) in which he was also the music director. This song was the precursor for his long but occasional association with Hindi films. The year 1982 was a landmark year in his musical career with his film ‘Arth’ (1982) and his non-filmy album ‘The Latest’ (1982) becoming super hit. The ghazal tum itna jo muskura rahe ho and the nazm ‘wo kaagaz ki kashti wo baarish ka paani’ became very popular. He was also actively involved as a singer and music director of Ali Sardar Jafri’s Television serial ‘Kahkashan’ (1991) based on the life of six Urdu poets of 20th century. Earlier he also sang and composed music for another television serial Gulzar’s ‘Mirza Ghalib’ (1988).

During his musical career spanning over four decades, Jagjit Singh cut over 60 non-filmy albums and provided music direction to 13 Hindi films. He was also the playback singer for over 70 songs in Hindi films. He was awarded Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 2007. Even though he left this world over two years back, whenever I listen to his ghazals, nazms and bhajans, I momentarily forget that he is no more with us.

On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Jagjit Singh, I am presenting one of my favourite but the lesser known non-filmy ghazals ‘gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin kaanton se bhi zeenat hoti hai’ (1989) composed and sung by Jagjit Singh. The ghazal is written by Saba Afghani. I was familiar with the name of Saba Afghani as a lyricist who wrote mostly for ‘B’ grade films during 50s and 60s but never knew that he was an Urdu poet of repute. I was deeply touched by this ghazal especially the heart-felt maqta of the ghazal:

jo aake rooke daaman pe ‘Saba’ wo ashk nahin hai paani hai
jo ashk na chalke aankhon se uss ashk ki keemat hoti hai

(O Saba, tears that come and stop on the lap are not tears but water.
Tears that do not spill from the eyes are tears of value).

This ghazal is a top class poetry and Jagjit Singh’s soothing voice enhances the depth of the ghazal.


Song-Gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin kaanton se bhi zeenat hoti hai (Jagjit Singh NFS)(1989) Singer-Jagjit Singh, Lyrics-Saba Afghani, MD-Jagjit Singh

Lyrics

gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin
kaanton se bhi zeenat hoti hai
gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin
kaanton se bhi zeenat hoti hai
jeene ke liye iss duniyaa mein
gham ki bhi zaroorat hoti hai

ae waaiz-e-naadaan kartaa hai
tu ek qayaamat kaa charchaa
ae waaiz-e-naadaan kartaa hai
tu ek qayaamat kaa charchaa
yahaan roz nigaahen milti hain
yahaan roz qayaamat hoti hai
yahaan roz nigaahen milti hain
yahaan roz qayaamat hoti hai

wo pursish-e-gham ko aaye hain
kuchh keh na sakoon chup reh na sakoon
wo pursish-e-gham ko aaye hain
kuchh keh na sakoon chup reh na sakoon
khaamosh rahoon to mushkil hai
keh doon to shikaayat hoti hai
khaamosh rahoon to mushkil hai
keh doon to shikaayat hoti hai

karnaa hi padegaa zabt-e-alam
peene hi padenge yeh aansoo
karnaa hi padegaa zabt-e-alam
peene hi padenge yeh aansoo
fariyaad-o-fughaan se ae naadaan
tauheen-e-mohabbat hoti hai
fariyaad-o-fughaan se ae naadaan
tauheen-e-mohabbat hoti hai

jo aake ruke daaman pe ‘Saba’
wo ashq nahin hai paani hai
jo aake ruke daaman pe ‘Saba’
wo ashq nahin hai paani hai
jo ashq na chhalke aankhon se
uss ashq ki keemat hoti hai
gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin
kaanton se bhi zeenat hoti hai
jeene ke liye iss duniyaa mein
gham ki bhi zaroorat hoti hai

————————————————–
Meanings of some Urdu words used in this ghazal

faqat = only, solely
zeenat = beauty, decoration
waaiz e naadaan = naive preacher, naive learned man
purshish e gham = showing concern or to inquire about woes
zabt e alam = to control anguish, to control pain
fariyaad o fughaan = plea of distress, lamentation
tauheen = disgrace, insult

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6 Responses to "Gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin kaanton se bhi zeenat hoti hai"

Great tribute to the legendary Jagjit Singh Saab !!!
He has given us many ‘unforgettables’ and he will always be there in our hearts as long as this ours journey of ‘soul’ continues…
I had glance the anniversary page (on our blog) yesterday and noted Jagjit Saab’s anniversary, so today i was waiting for a tribute to him on our blog, and what an excellent selection of song ( ;a top class poetry’ as rightly said) .., Sir, from which album is this from?
Many many thanks for this rare treat this evening , and as Anup Jalota has said in one the programme on tribute to Jagjit Saab … ‘ Jagjit amar kar do ‘… reading this post, i feel you have bring him alive around us …
thanks …

Like

Thanks for appreciating the ghazal and the post.

The ghazal is from the album ‘Desire’ (1989).
And again thanks for asking this query as I came to know that I have wrongly indicated the year ‘1994’ in my write-up.

Atul,

Sorry for the mistake. Please correct the year to ‘1989’.
.

Like

A traditional classical ghazal(for that matter even the bhajan) should be shorn of gimmicks (for commercializing) like sargam and alaps which singers like Anup Jalota made it norm rather than exception. Talat and others never employed such ploys. Imagine any real pujari singing bhajans with sargams an alaps. Its not done. It does not gel. Thankfully JS hardly used such ruse.

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Nitin ji,

I had once read in an article – the writer had compared the rendering style of Anup Jalota as akin to playing kabaddi. He simply does not let go of the alaap till the audience starts clapping. A cheap gimmick, I agree. Worse are the audience who applaud.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

Anup Jalota’s bhajan and ghazal singing is like TV dance reality shows – there are more acrobatics than the dances.

Like

Sadanand ji,

Thanks for posting this, hearing this lovely ghazal after a long time. The rendering in the voice of Jagjit is mesmerizing, as always.

A little out of place is the accompany beat and rhythm; somehow does not jell very well with the mood of the ghazal.

A lovely remembrance nonetheless.

Rgds
Sudhir

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