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

Baazeecha e atfaal hai duniya mere aage

Posted on: May 12, 2015

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a 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.

Troika of Blog’s latest century singers – Mukesh, Rafi and Kishore Kumar : 2. Mohammed Rafi
With the completion of Rafi’s 2400th song , this Blog has covered nearly 50 per cent of the Hindi songs rendered by Mohammed Rafi during his active career (1948-1980). There is still a long way to go before this blog covers almost all the songs sung by him.

There was a time in the 60s when Mohammed Rafi felt the need to sing non-filmy bhajans and ghazals to have varieties in his singing style. The idea stemmed from his belief that his renditions in the filmy songs had become more or less stagnated. It was a good decision on his part to have a self-assessment of his playback singing. My guess is that it was Rafi’s way of riding on a learning curve notwithstanding the fact that he was still on top of his playback singing career.

But a singer requires some spare time to rehearse and record non-filmy songs. He would also require the services of reputed music directors (not necessarily in terms of box office successes but in terms of musical knowledge) who should also be available to coach the singer. Fortunately for Rafi, he could get the services of music directors like Khaiyyam, Taj Ahmed Khan, Iqbal Qureshi, Shyam Sagar etc. It was in the 60s that Mohammed Rafi carved a niche for himself in the genre of non-filmy songs.

I am presenting a non-filmy ghazal ‘baazeecha-e-atfaal hai duniya mere aage’ (1965) written by Mirza Ghalib and sung by Mohammed Rafi under the music direction of Khaiyyam. The composition seems to be based on a classical raag. I am not familiar with the technicalities of main classical raagas but having known the song ‘man tarpat hari darshan ko aaj’ also sung by Mohammed Rafi based on raag Malkauns, I felt that this ghazal’s composition was a variant of raag Malkauns. A google search reveals that raag Chandrakauns is one of the variants of raag Malkauns. Having heard “san sanan jaare pawan” from the film ‘Sampoorna Ramayan’ (1961) which is based on raag Chandrakauns, I presume that Khaiyyam has composed this ghazal based on the same raag.

The full ghazal has 14 she’rs of which only 5 she’rs have been used in this composition. Note a beautiful she’r :

go haath jumbish to nahin aankhon mein to dam hai
rahne do abhi saaghar-o-meena mere aage

(Though my hands have no strength and are trembling, my eyes are still vibrant.
So, for the time being, let the goblet and the wine glass be in front of me.)

Waah Waah ! What a thought process!

And pathos in Rafi’s voice.


Song-Baazeecha-e-atfaal hai duniya mere aage (Rafi NFS)(1965) Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-Ghalib, MD-Khayyam


baazeecha-e-atfaal hai
duniya mere aage ae
baazeecha-e-atfaal hai duniya mere aage ae
hota hai shab-o-roz tamaasha mere aage ae

ik khel hai aurang-e-sulemaan mere nazdeek
ik baat hai ejaaz-e-maseeha mere aage ae
ik baat hai ejaaz-e-maseeha mere aage ae

hota hai nihaan gard mein sahraa mere hote
ghistaa hai jabeen khaaq pe dariya mere aage ae
ghistaa hai jabeen khaak pe dariya mere aage ae

imaan mujhe roke hai jo khenche hain mujhe kufr
kaaba mere peechhe hai kaleesa mere aage ae
kaaba mere peechhe hai kaleesa mere aage ae

go haath ko jumbish nahin aankhon mein to dam hai
go haath ko jumbish nahin aankhon mein to dam hai
rehne do abhi saaghar-o-meena mere aage ae
rehne do abhi saaghar-o-meena mere aage ae


Meaning of some Urdu words used in the ghazal

baazeecha-e-atfaal=children’s playground
shab-o-roz= day and night, all the time.
aurang-e-Sulemaan= Sulemaan’s throne. Thakt-e-Sulemasn is a legendry throne. So Ghalib may have used this legend in this ghazal to mean a sort of illusion.
ejaaz-e-maseeha=miracles of Christ/angel. In Urdu poetry, ‘masheeha’ is also used for the ‘beloved’ who can perform ‘miracles’ on his ‘lover’. I think, Ghalib has used this in the context of the ‘beloved’.
imaan= conviction, belief
kaleesa=church, cathedral
jumbish=movement, strength
saaghar-o-meena=goblet and wine glass

9 Responses to "Baazeecha e atfaal hai duniya mere aage"

Thanks for Rafi NFS. It was soothing to the frayed nerves.

Another translation>>

The world is my play ground,
I see the game all around.

The deserts ruined in heaps of sand,
Before me the oceans drown’d.

Never think for you I’ll fade,
Just see by me your shade.

The world is my play ground…..

Always ripped are two halves of myself
Goblin pulls me and bars me the Elf.

The world is my play ground…..

Limbs are numb but rem is not,
Don’t let the gush of tipple drought

The world is my play ground…..


Sadanand ji,

Many Thanks for the treat of Rafi saab NFS. Awaiting some statistics of KK NFS as I suppose not much are in the offering.


They are few. You may not need all your fingers.


I love NFS and ghazals by Rafi. If I want to showcase the true voice of Rafi not drowned by music, I post an NFS. His voice is at its most sublime in them.

Khayyam also outdid himself composing these gair filmi geet.

Thank you for posting this.


In context, the poet (Ghalib) is continuing the theme of the opening lines (This world is but a playground before me).

ik khel hai aurang-e-sulemaan mere nazdeek
ik baat hai ejaaz-e-maseeha mere aage

The (fabled) Throne of Suleiman is but a game for me
The miracles of the Messiah are mere talk in my presence.

hota hai nihaan gard mein sahraa mere hote
ghistaa hai jabeen khaaq pe dariya mere aage

The desert itself is hidden in the dust beneath me
The river bows (touches forehead to the ground) before me


Wah!! Kya kamaal hai. Rafi Saab at his best with Khayyam Saab as his mentor. The write-up is excellent with meanings of difficult words


Sadanandji, I was wondering if you could do a write up of the wonderful Saaqi ki har nigah pe bal khaa ke pee gaya by Rafi. You would be able to do true justice to the wonderful ghazal.


Sure. But I can take it up only after a month or so as I will be traveling.

Liked by 1 person

Thank you so much. Please take your time.


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