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

Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon

Posted on: July 23, 2016


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.

The ghazal ‘na kisi ki aankh kaa noor hoon’ has been embroiled in a debate about its authorship. This ghazal became popular and well known when Mohammed Rafi sang it for the film ‘Laal Qila’ (1960). The ghazal was credited to Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor. In fact, this ghazal was picturised on Bahadur Shah Zafar, this role played by M Kumar. The sentiment expressed in the ghazal fitted very well with the status of Bahadur Shah Zafar as the last Mughal king whose writ did not work beyond the walled city of Delhi. It was this that probably led many to believe that the ghazal was the expression of his inner feelings of sorrow and self-pity.

However, there were some Urdu laureates who believed that the ghazal was written by Muztar Khairabadi (1865-1927). But there was no credible evidence to prove the authorship of this ghazal. It was believed that the house in which Muztar’s collections of poems and other works were kept was burned down by hooligans during the communal riots in Delhi in 1947. With this, much of his literary works was destroyed. Both Jaan Nisar Akhtar and Javed Akhtar, the son and grandson respectively of Muztar Khairabadi kept mum on the issue of the authorship of the ghazal. This gave credence to the belief that they did not possess any evidence (at that time) to prove that the ghazal was written by Murtaza Khairabadi.

It is said that Muztar Khairabadi was the magistrate for the states of Tonk (now in Rajasthan) and Gwalior (now in Madhya Pradesh). He was known for his unbiased judgements which were often delivered in extemporaneous verses. He was famous for his judgement on Nathumal’s case which came for hearing to him. The Maharaja of Gwalior had sent instructions to Muztar Khairabadi to deliver the judgement against Nathumal. But he set him free. Having displeased his royal patron, he left his judicial service and fled to Bhopal. It is also said that some of his literary works and other belongings were kept with one of his friends to be collected later. However, that day never came. Later, the friend handed over his belongings to his son, Jaan Nisar Akhtar. He was in the process of publishing his father’s poems when he died in 1976.

During the shifting of his flat, the bundles of Muztar Khairabadi’s works came to Javed Akhtar. He has explained as to how he stumbled upon the unpublished poems, in his chat with ‘The Indian Express’ which was published in December 5, 2015 issue. Excerpts below:

“I found a cardboard box filled with odds and ends among my grandfather’s things. Not knowing what to do with it, I kept it in storage and promptly forgot about it,” he said. It was much later that he found letters from Muztar’s friends, literary luminaries and manuscripts of Khairabadi’s collection of unpublished poetry in his own handwriting.

Akhtar further added that the collection then appeared ready for printing, for it had a title, ‘Khirman,’ appended by his grandfather. The contents of the collection have now transformed into a handsomely produced five-volume compendium. He said while none of Muztar Khairabadi’s poems were published during his lifetime, he was nevertheless a bit of an urban legend.

Akhtar said: “A very famous ghazal of Muztar, ‘Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon, na kisi ke dil ka qaraar hoon, jo kisi ke kaam na aa sakey main woh ek musht-e-ghubaar hoon’ (I am the light of no one’s eyes, the throb of no one’s heart, I am that fistful of dust that can be of no use to anyone) has been wrongly ascribed to Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor.

Having found the manuscript of the ghazal in Muztar’s own handwriting, it has now been proved beyond doubt that the ghazal ‘na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon’ was indeed written by Muztar Khairabadi. Another evidence of the authorship of the ghazal is that the maqta she’r of the ghazal contains nom de plume ‘Muztar’. The full ghazal is here.

It is interesting to note that ‘Laal Qila’ (1960) was not the first film in which the ghazal ‘na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon’ was used. Before that, this ghazal was sung by Rajkumari Dubey in the film TOOTE TAARE (1948) under the music direction of Shaukat Ali (Naashaad). Obviously, in this film also, the ghazal was credited to Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Toote Taare (1948) had 8 songs and two of them have been covered in the Blog. I am presenting the 3rd song from the film, a rare one as mentioned earlier. I could not locate the video of this ghazal on YT. Hence, I have made the video from the mp3 clip which I got it from Dr Surjit Singh’s Website and uploaded the same on YT.

S N Tripathi composed the ghazal for ‘Laal Qila’ (1960) keeping in view the state of mind in which Bahadur Shah Zafar was going through after his empire was collapsing and it was confined to only a part of Delhi. But Naashaad has given a different treatment in his composition. Probably, sentiments in the ghazal reflected the state of mind of the heroine in line with the story of the film.


Song-Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon (Toote Taare)(1948) Singer-Rajkumari, Lyrics-Muztar Khairabadi, MD-Nashaad

Lyrics

aa aa aa
aa aa aa

na kisi ki aankh kaa noor hoon
na kisi ke dil kaa qaraar hoon
jo kisi ke kaam naa aa sakey
main wo ek musht-e- ghubaar hoon
na kisi ki aankh kaa noor hoon

meraa rang roop bigad gaya aa aa aaa
mera rang roop bigad gaya aa aa aaa
meraa yaar mujhse bichhad gaya
meraa yaar mujhse bichhad gaya aa
jo chaman khizaan se ujad gaya
jo chaman khizaan se ujad gaya
main ussi ki fasl-e-bahaar hoon
main ussi ki fasl-e-bahaar hoon
na kisi ki aankh kaa noor hoon
na kisi ke dil kaa qaraar hoon
na kisi ki aankh kaa noor hoon

main nahin hoon naghma-e-jaan fiza aa aa
mujhe sun ke koi karega kyaa
mujhe sun ke koi karega kyaa aa
main bade birog ki hoon sadaa
main bade birog ki hoon sadaa
kisi dil jale ki pukaar hoon
kisi dil jale ki pukaar hoon
naa kisi ki aankh kaa noor hoon
na kisi ke dil kaa qaraar hoon
jo kisi ke kaam naa aa sakey
main wo ek musht-e- ghubar hoon
naa kisi ki aankh kaa noor hoon

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5 Responses to "Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon"

Thanks for the reminder of this ghazal and rekhta.com link. The best among the links there is still Rafi Sahab’s rendition though the Mehdi Hasan’s is also very impressive. Not having heard much of Mehdi Hasan, I think his individual style is the reason.

In the version posted, the line is :
kisi “dil jale” ki pukaar hoon

Thanks for the missing word and the resultant correction.

Wah. I call this is a real ‘research’. You have QEDed with the proof. Even though I had never worn a hat, in my life, ‘hats off to yo Sadanandli’. You justify your name by giving pleasures to people like me.

Dear Sadanand ji,
Many thanks for yet another excellent write-up as usual.
Rekhta is one of the most reputed sites whose word is taken as authentic. Their support lends credence to the claim of Muztar Khairabadi for the authorship of the famous ghazal. Notwithstanding this, most people assume and ascribe it to be penned by the Last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar.
Most people know Habib Wali Mohammad as the original singer of “Aaj jane ki zid na karo” from Pakistani film ‘Badal Aur Bijli’ ,which later became an iconic ghazal sung by Farida Khanam and many others. What is less common knowledge is that Habib Wali Mohd. first came into prominence as a ghazal singer. I quote Wikipaedia:
“In 1941, Habib Wali was awarded first prize in a Bombay music competition with 1200 contestants, including the singer Mukesh Chand Mathur. His winning performance was singing the ghazal of the last Moghul Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, Lagta Nahin Hai Jee Mera Ujray Diyar Mein.”
I once read (cannot vouch for it) that S.N. Tripathi had first recorded this ghazal in the voice of Habib Wali Mohammad who was already a celebrated singer of Bahadur Shah Zafar’s ghazals, but for some reasons best known to him it was later recorded in Mohd. Rafi’s voice.
Whether true or not, one may enjoy his version as follows:

Once again thanks and regards,
Avadh Lal

Avadh Lal ji,

Thanks for your appreciation.

‘Lagta nahin hai dil mera’ sung by Habib Wali Mohammed was composed by Saraswati Devi who was one of the judges in the music competition in which he participated. The record of this gahzal was issued sometime in early 50s (HMV, Record No. N.88048). The flip side of the record has another ghazal ‘ye na thhi hamaari kismat’ also sung by him.

By the way, once upon a time, S N Tripathi was an assistant to Saraswati Devi. I will not be surprised if he assisted Saraswati Devi also in composing the above-mentioned ghazals.

I have no reliable source to confirm that S N Tripathi first recorded ‘na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon’ in Habib Wali Mohammed’s voice for the film ‘Laal Qila’ (1960).It is quite likely that he may have sung this ghazal as a NFS. It may be noted that Habib Wali Mohammed and his family migrated to Karachi, Pakistan some time in the late 50s.

You may like to go through my article on https://atulsongaday.me/2012/12/11/lagta-nahin-hai-jee-mera-ujde-dayaar-mein/

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