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

Shaguftagi ka lataafat ka

Posted on: June 8, 2014

This article is written by Sudhir, 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.

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Rare Performances – Things Unique and Unexpected #7
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The series is moving very slow, and you must be thinking that I may have forgotten about it. Rest assured, I have not. These songs and recordings are one of a kind, and I will most certainly post the complete set of ten such surprising items that have been hidden away from the minds and memory of the listeners, for decades.

A quick recap of the list of songs so far discussed in this series. First we had the surprise song created by Prayaag Raj, a gentleman known more for being a film director than a songwriter and music director. Film is ‘Shakespeare Wallah’ (1965) and the song is a rendition by Mubarak Begum –“Dil Dhadke Chunariya Sarke” .

The second item in the series is the surprising on screen qawwali performance by character actor CS Dubey from the film ‘Ramu Dada’ (1961) – “Zinda Hai Zinda Hum Se Wafaa Ka Naam”.

The next song in the series is the totally unexpected playback singing in true Hindustani classical mould by character actor Premnath, in the film ‘Raja Kaka’ (1973) – “Dagar Chalat Dekho Shyam Kar Gahiyaan”.

The fourth song is a very unique one – poet Shakeel Badayuni singing one of his own ghazals as part of an on screen mushaira in the film ‘Paak Daaman’ (1957) – “Hangaama e Gham Se Tang Aa Kar”.

The fifth in the series is a zestful dance song performed on screen by none other than character actor Kanhaiyalal in the film ‘Biraadari’ (1966), accompanying Shashi Kapoor and Mehmood – “Tum Jo Ho So Ho, Lekin Khuda To Nahin”.

And the sixth post is another unique and unexpected performance – a very typical bhangra dance by character artist Utpal Dutt, playing the role of a disabled Sikh soldier in the film ‘Imaan Dharam’ (1977) – “O Jattaa Aayee Vaisaakhi”.

And so, coming to the seventh edition today. Another very unique, very unexpected, a once in a lifetime, once in a career performance, and a very endearing performance at that. It is Nimmi, singing live, for herself. The film is ‘Shama’ (1961). Although this item is listed in the Geet Kosh, the listing clearly indicates that no record was created for this ‘nazm’ and the name of the singer is blank. Some years back, when I had purchased the VCD of the film ‘Shama’, and revisited the movie that I had seen on Doordarshan, long back as a child, I was taken aback by the on screen rendering of this poem by Nimmi. Two reasons. One is clearly that it is probably the only song or piece of poetry that is rendered by Nimmi in her own voice for the Hindi screen. And secondly, as I heard this carefully, I realized that possibly this is a live performance on screen, and not a lip sync on a playback.

Ah, Nimmi, Nimmi – the thing that immediately comes to mind are the half shut dreamy eyes, enclosed within the arches of near perfect eyebrows, a flicker of teeth shining through half open lips, a face of comely beauty that is oh so inviting, and yet at the same time, so steeped in melancholy that when on rare occasions, the lips curled for a smile, it is a bonus for a lifetime.

About a decade and a half of active career, a bouquet of 45 on screen roles – 32 is not an age to retire. But retire she did, never to return to the silver screen, after her last performance as the mute wife of Ashok Kumar in the film ‘Akaashdeep’ (1965). The decision did surprise many an industry people as well as her fans. An actress whose early demise in the storyline of the film ‘Aan’ (1952) created such anxiety and discomfort amongst the distributors when they were shown the pre release version of the film, that Mehboob Khan was forced to add a dream sequence to the film, just so as to expand her presence in the film.

Maybe it was the manner in which she would pick and choose the roles to perform on screen. In most cases, one finds that she would pick the roles in which she found promise of performance more than just being the leading lady. As journalists and commentators have written, some of these choices went against her expectations and she was, in a sense, the loser of the popularity game. The lead role of ‘Sadhna’ (1958) was offered first to her by BR Chopra, but she declined, paving way for Vijayantimala to bag a box office grosser. Then, the lead role of ‘Woh Kaun Thi’ (1963) came her way. Again she declined, for the benefit of Sadhna. The last straw probably was ‘Mere Mehboob’ (1963). HS Rawail gave her the first choice, for being the leading lady opposite to Rajendra Kumar, but she preferred to take on the supporting role of the sister, once again leaving the leading role to Sadhna. The rest, as they say, is a history of lost opportunities. May be the course of history may have been different, had she taken the offer by Cecil B De Mille to cast her in his films, after seeing her performance in ‘Aan’. Alas, such a success story was not hers to be.

Born in 1933 (18th Feb), she was just sixteen when she made her debut in the tragic role of Neela in Raj Kapoor’s ‘Barsaat’ (1949). An untrained new face made a spectacular entry into the industry, and within three years she had such a repertoire of successful films – both in terms of box office and performances that won all round approval – Sazaa (1951), Deedar (1951), Buzdil (1951), ‘Daag’ (1952), ‘Aaandhiyaan’ (1952) and ‘Aan’ (1952). This was a dream launch and rise into the popular cinema, that many others just think about.

In 1986, she appeared once again on the silver screen, in the long overdue film that was delayed more than two decades – ‘Mohabbat Aur Khuda’, the swan song of K Asif, a film that he could not complete himself. The edited and pieced together version of the film was finally released by Asif Sb’s wife, Akhtar Asif. By the time of this release, Nimmi was already into retirement for almost two decades. A face that was a treasury of emotional expressions, and a persona that ensconced within a powerful histrionics capital and a career that will always remain an enigma of possibilities – always prompting the question ‘Yun Hota to Kya Hota?’.

‘Shama’ (1961) is a social drama based on the eternal triangle of love. Produced under the banner of Tasveeristan, the film is directed by Lekhraj Bhakri. The cast actors is led by Suraiyya and Nimmi, and includes Vijay Dutt, Tarun Bose, Mumtaz Begum, Tun Tun, Kammo, Kumar, Chandbala, Leela Mishra, Indiara Bansal etc. The film is a treasure house of wonderful and memorable songs, all written by Kaifi Azmi, and tuned to absolutely endearing melodies by Ghulam Mohammed.

Parvez (Vijay Dutt) and Shama (Nimmi) belong to different families, but have grown up in the same household. Everyone treats them as siblings, and so does Parvez. On the other hand, Shama, coming of age in due time, falls in love with Parvez, but keeps it a secret. Parvez and Roshan Ara (Suraiyya) both being interested in shaayari, meet each other through their poetry and mushairas, and fall in love. At the family level, the elders agree for the alliance between them. Coming to know of it, Shama withdraws and buries her secret love for Parvez even deeper in her heart. However, misunderstandings do crop up in the family, and Parvez’s father (role played by Kumar) suspects that something is afoot between his son and his childhood playmate. On the other hand, Shama, in a mould of sacrifice, tries to bring Parvez and Roshan Ara closer to each other. During one such episode, she goes to Roshan Ara’s home to meet her and give her a message, purportedly sent by Parvez. This nazm is that message. Actually, this nazm is originally written by Shama herself, for Parvez, but now she presents this to Roshan Ara as coming from Parvez. She sings this nazm, in person, and that is the video clip with this post.

During this episode, Dilawar (role played by Tarun Bose), brother of Roshan Ara and a friend of Parvez, happens to lay eyes on Shama by chance, and he falls for her. Being a person of not so good qualities, his approach to woo Shama is crude and un-gentlemanly. When he finds no response to his overtures, he decides to kidnap Shama and have her by force. By a quirk of events, Roshan Ara becomes aware of this conspiracy. In an effort to save the honor of Shama, who is now a dear friend, she plans it such that the persons whom her brother has sent for kidnapping Shama, pick up Roshan Ara instead. Tied in a sheet, they take her to a place of ill repute where Dilawar is eagerly awaiting his catch. Predictably, everyone is shocked on seeing Dilawar’s sister emerge from the tied up sheet. There is a vicious monologue that Roshan Ara delivers to her brother. At the end of this monologue, saying that she has now been seen without ‘purdaah’ in a place of ill repute, her life is not worth anything anymore, least of all for her upcoming matrimony with Parvez. And with these words, she rushes to a window and jumps out, ending her life. The film closes with a scene, where Parvez and Shama meet at the burial place of Roshan Ara. Parvez acknowledges that now he is aware Shama’s feelings towards him, and the two walk away together, now for life.

So listen to this one of its type rendition by Nimmi. A very wonderful nazm, that expresses the lover’s emotions for his beloved. Very exquisitely written and composed.

shaguftagi ka, lataafat ka shaahkaar ho tum
faqat bahaar nahin haasil e bahaar ho tum

The epitome of elegance, you are
The essence of flourishing blossoms, you are’
It would be unfair to compare
The spring to you
For you are much more than just spring
You are the accomplishment of spring
The embodiment of its beauty and pleasures

lataafaton ki tamanna, nazaakaton ki muraad
guroor kaliyon ka, phoolon ka intisaar ho tum

You are the grace
That even elegance desires to be
You are the refinement, the poise
That even daintiness longs for
You are the pride, the dignity
Of the beauty of the buds
You the victory, the triumph
Of the flourish of blossoming flowers

tumhaare jism mein aabeeda hain hazaaron raag
nigaah chhedti hai jisko wo sitaar ho tum

Your being abounds
With the melodies of a thousand arias
You are the sitar, the instrument
That is to be strummed by a glance

jise uthha na sakey just’ju wo moti ho
jise na goonth sakey aarzoo wo haar ho tum

A pearl you are
Beyond the capacity of desires to hold
A garland of flowers you are
Beyond the competence of longings to
Craft and assemble

jise na boojh sakey ishq wo paheli ho
qaraar chheen liyaa jisne wo qaraar ho tum

An enigma you are
That can’t be unraveled by love
And that solace you are
That has stolen
All the peace and comfort from the heart

(NOTE: A short note about the songs in this film. The Geek Kosh lists 11 songs for this film. 10 songs are already posted on this blog. With this post, we should be completing the songs of this film. But are we? No, I think not. There is still a surprise from this film awaiting to be revealed. Shortly. 🙂 )

Song-Shaguftagi ka lataafat ka shaahkaar ho tum (Shama)(1961) Singer-Nimmi, Lyrics-Kaifi Azmi, MD-Ghulam Mohammad


shaguftagi ka
shaguftagi ka
lataafat ka shaahkaar ho tum
faqat bahaar nahin
haasil e bahaar ho tum

lataafaton ki tamanna
nazaakaton ki muraad
guroor kaliyon ka
guroor kaliyon ka
phoolon ka intisaar ho tum

tumhaare jism mein aabeeda hain
hazaaron raag
nigaah chhedti hai jisko
wo sitaar ho tum

jise uthha na sakey just’ju
wo moti ho
jise na goonth sakey aarzoo
wo haar ho tum
jise na boojh sakey ishq
wo paheli ho
qaraar chheen liyaa
qaraar chheen liyaa jisne
wo qaraar ho tum

Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

शगुफ्तगी का
शगुफ्तगी का
लताफ़त का शाहकार हो तुम
फ़क़त बहार नहीं
हासिल ए बहार हो तुम

लताफ़तों की तमन्ना
नजाकतों की मुराद
गुरूर कलियों का
गुरूर कलियों का
फूलों का इन्तिसार हो तुम

तुम्हारे जिस्म में आबीदा हैं हजारों राग
निगाह छेड़ती है जिसको
वो सितार हो तुम

जिसे उठा न सके जुस्तजू
वो मोती हो
जिसे न गूँथ सके आरज़ू
वो हार हो तुम

जिसे न बूझ सके इश्क़
वो पहेली हो
करार छीन लिया
करार छीन लिया
जिसने वो करार हो तुम

5 Responses to "Shaguftagi ka lataafat ka"

This article is written by Sudhir ji …


Highly over rated. Suited only for tragedies. While watching Daal Me Kaala with Kishore Kumar, I couldnt figure out if she was crying or smiling, almost making her look like retarded. If she was indeed offered and rejected Mere Mehboob, I’m glad she couldnt ruin that movie. My opinion. Apologies to her diehard fans. Thanks for the article though.


Thanks for taking us through the memory lane. yaadein taaza ho gayi.
To change the subject I received today in my inbox following:

Great collection :
=========================================================THIS IS AN EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT BY SOME HINDI SONG LOVER
Few songs may not displayed due to copyrights.
(This site with over 4700 Songs, lyrics, related comments and in most cases, video.. I do not know this person, but his collection is remarkable and a very big gift to any old Hindi song lovers. )
List also view by movie wise or music director wise (view option).

Comment: This proves that the world is a merry go round



Thanks for the nice song and the translation without which I could not have enjoyed the song. But it is no surprise that she could sing so well. Being the daughter of Waheedan Bai, It is surprising that she did not sing in any other film. Did She?


This is one of Kaifi Azmi’s most famous nazms that also inspired the title of Khayyam’;s non-film album of Kaifi’s poetry – Shaguftagi… There was one change that was made for the film version. The original line was

halaavaton ki tamaana, malaahaton ki muraad…

A few corrections in the lyrics:

intisaar – inkisaar
abeeda – khwaabeeda


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