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

Jaago musaafir jaago

Posted on: April 15, 2014

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 VIBRANT 40s (Episode No. 5)
” Haazir so Vazir ” and ” Out of sight is out of mind ” are two well known proverbs which describe the Hindi film industry. Those who are in the limelight- for whatever reasons- are the talk of the town. Those who are not heard about, seen or spoken about are not remembered, whatever their contribution to the industry. This is the experience of of almost every film personality who retired and spent time away from the industry till their end.

Examples are many- Shamshad Begum, Mubarak Begum, Begum Para, Rajesh Khanna, Sitara Devi, Nimmi, Nanda, Waheeda, Asha Parekh, G M Durrani, Sajjad Hussain, K. Datta, Jagmohan Sursagar, Manna Dey, Kavi Pradeep….so on and so forth.

One more name is that of Talat Mehmood. When he was in full form and sang hit songs, people would jostle to have his glimpse, but after he retired ( or was ignored ) from film singing, he was not only forgotten, but many rumours of how he was living in poverty were making rounds. Of course that was NOT the truth.

Shri Rajnikumar Pandya ji,a senior writer on film personalities and author of several books, who has won Sahitya Academy awards FIVE times, had gone to interview Talat Mehmood in the late 90s.

After finishing the interview, he was coming out of the posh 7 storied ” Sunbeam” apartments, when he met one of his younger friends. He asked, “Came to meet Rati Agnihotri ? ”

Pandya ji was shocked. He had never dreamt anything like this. He simply said, ” No No, I came to meet a great personality. ”

” What,some other great person also stays here ? Who ? ”

“Talat Mehmood “.

Even after hearing the name, the friend’s face showed no signs of recognition.

Disgusted, Pandya ji said, ” Look here. Some time ago this was a beautiful Bungalow Sunbeam, belonging to Talat Mehmood. It was sold and this tower has come up. Rati stays in one of the flats, but Talat owns the Pent House on the 7th floor. ”

The friend said,” but does he stay here ? I had heard that he is forced to do some small service somewhere.”

Irritatedly, Pandya ji said, ” Do you see this big car ? It is Talat’s car. He stays in his Pent House. Every month he has 2-3 stage shows, plus Radio and HMV Royalties come every month. His income every month is in Thousands. These are great people. Look at Rafi’s bungalow there. Now it has become a shopping centre,. Do you think they are on roads ? ”

Friend said, “But I had read somewhere that Rafi’s wife does Tailoring jobs for survival. ”

Just imagine Pandya ji’s condition. With great restraint, he said coolly, “This is how rumours spread. Rafi family’s income must be more than Talat Mehmood’s income. Rafi’s children are in USA. Why will Rafi’s wife do menial jobs ? They are very well off. ”

But then it is not the fault of this one man alone. It is true that most actors and singers of the first generation of HFM died in penury and poverty, but the subsequent generations became more money savvy. They knew that film line life is for few years only and they made provisions for their retired life. These days career periods have shortened even further, due to heavy output of actors and singers. These days artistes last for a few years only and they wisely make provisions for their lives and are secure enough.

Talat Mehmood was born on 24-2-1924. His father owned an Electrical goods shop. BY the age of 15 , he was halfway into his school and music education. he entered A.I.R. and on 8-12-1939,h is first song was aired on Radio,for which he got sixteen rupees eight annas as fees. He continued singing on Radio ,till the ” Talent Search Team ” of HMV identified him, took him to Calcutta and he cut two records. The first song was, “Sab din ek samaan” and the second was ” Tasveer teri dil mera behla na sakegi “. This song became popular all over Inbdia. This was in 1941.

He came back to Lucknow. Here he met Madan Mohan a young man working on A.I.R. Madan Mohan was Raibahadur Chunilal’s son. Raibahadur Chunilal was the chief of Filmistan in Bombay. Both together started ” Amateur music Club” in Lucknow. In 1944, Talat went back to Calcutta. He worked in 3 Hindi films- Rajlaxmi-1945, Tum aur main-47 and Samapti-49. He had also done one Bangla film under the name of Tapan kumar Sinha.

In 1949, Talat came down to Bombay. He sang his first Hindi song- teri gali se-in film Raakhi-1949, under Husnalal Bhagatram. Then came the big break. Anil Biswas gave him a song from Arzoo-1950 “Ae dil mujhe”. This became a hit song and Talat got a firm foothold in Bombay.

Mukesh and Talat were great friends. When Mukesh was not getting work, it was Talat who pleaded with Salil Chaudhari and got Mukesh a song in Madhumati-58. This changed the life of Mukesh. Around 58-60, many rumours about Talat’s arrogant behaviour, his spat with Naushad etc were circulating. Not everything was true, however. He lost songs of Yahudi, but the Sujata song came his way, only due to Asha Bhonsle’s insistence with Burman da. Actually rumours and misunderstandings are a part of an artiste’s career.

It is to the credit of Anil Biswas that he gave Talat’s self confidence about his own special Voice feature, (the tremor in his voice) and that proved to be his strength and USP too. The ‘ Vibrato ‘ or the ” LARGISH “- technical name for the vibrations in Talat’s voice ( Kampan-yukt ), actually became Talat’s treasure.

After Film songs stopped coming his way, Talat continued cutting private Albums and making stage shows in India and foreign countries.

Today we will have the pleasure of listening to a song of Talat from his debut Hindi Film- Rajlaxmi-1945. The lead pair of this film was Kanan Devi and Chhabi Vishwas. Talat was given the role of a Sadhu who sings ” Jago Musafir jago “. There were just 7 songs in the film, composed by Robin Chatterjee and Dhiren Mitra. There was only ONE song of Talat in this film. There is mention of one more Talat Mehmood song, viz. ” Tu sun le matwale”, in the HFGK and elsewhere but this information is NOT TRUE. It was a private song of Talat. This misunderstanding developed just because this song is on the reverse side of the record of ‘jago Musafir'( Record No- N-16688 ). This error was found out after HFGK was published.
(Ref.- Dhananjay Naniwadekar in RMIM ).

This Talat song is a song of historical value because it is his DEBUT song in Hindi films.

(MY sincere thanks to shri Rajnikumar Pandya ji,for some of the information used here.)


Song-Jaago musaafir jaago (Raaj Laxmi)(1945) Singer-Talat Mehmood, Lyrics-Suresh Chaudhary, MD-Robin Chatterji-Dhiren Mitra


jaago musaafir jaago
jaago musaafir jaago
kholo man kaa dwaa..aar
jaago musaafir jaago
jaag uthhaa hai aalam saaraa
jaag uthhaa hai aalam saaraa
prem ki aayi pukaa…aar
jaago musaafir jaago

aaye saathi unhen bulaa lo
dil se dil ko aaj milaa lo
aaye saathi unhen bulaa lo
dil se dil ko aaj milaa lo
aaye saathi aaye
saudaa kar lo hansi khushi kaa
jag se kar lo pyaa…aar
jaago musaafir jaago

mil ke yahaan pe bichhad jo jaayen
koi koi to phir mil jaayen
mil ke yahaan pe bichhad jo jaayen
koi koi to phir mil jaayen
jeevan ki is raah pe koi
jeevan ki is raah pe koi
aataa ek hi baar
aataa ek hi baar
jaag uthhaa hai aalam saaraa
prem ki aayi pukaar aar
jaago musaafir jaago

ajab tamaashaa wo dikhlaataa
ajab tamaashaa
ajab tamaashaa wo dikhlaataa
jod kisi se kisi kaa naataa
jod kisi se kisi kaa naataa
koi na jaane kaun taar mein wo
koi na jaane kaun taar mein wo
baandhe kaun saa taa..aar
jaago musaafir jaago
kholo man kaa dwaa…aar
jaago musaafir jaago

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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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