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

Bane aisa samaaj

Posted on: October 25, 2016


This article is written by Raja, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a 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 25th of October is a date that is etched in the minds of some HFM lovers. Especially those with an appreciation for lyrics and poetry.

For it is the death anniversary of one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, poet-cum-lyricists that Hindi cinema has known.

I am talking about Sahir Ludhianvi, of course.

I remember that date in 1980 – when Sahir’s death was reported in the newspaper and magazines. To be very honest, at that time, I had no clue about how great a poet/lyricist he had been. I had heard his name many times, of course, on Vividh Bharati, as the song lyricist. While watching films, I had seen his name flashed on the screen as lyricist.

Yet the extent of his contribution to Hindi cinema, the emotional depth of his writing had completely escaped me. I was just a teenager at the time, enjoying music more for its catchiness than getting too caught up in the lyrics. That too, Sahir-type lyrics.

And of course, I knew NOTHING about his background.

Readers of today might be surprised at the ignorance of people like me. They might think “how it is even possible to know so little of something that should be commonplace information?” The answer is two-fold: the internet, and non-metro India.

Much of our awareness today is possible only due to the availability of the internet. It has not only spawned a number of online repositories of knowledge (not all reliable, I must add), it has also enabled the distribution of information across the world. Those cricket statistics that I used to hunt for and cherish, noting each detail down on sheets of paper, in my schooldays are now so easily available on the net, that there’s no need to hunt anymore.

The other aspect is metro / non-metro availability of information. Even in pre-internet days, those living in metros like Bombay and Delhi were much more aware, and had much more access to, sources of information, libraries, music shops and so on. They had TV and various newspapers and lots of magazines they could count on.

I had none of these. Where I grew up, the nearest metro, Calcutta, was over 400 km away. That I managed to see films at all (one a week) was something I was thrilled about. We used to get The Statesman newspaper (2 days’ old news), and a few magazines – that was it. Whatever I knew, was due to voracious reading of whatever material I could lay my hands on. My dad, thankfully was a voracious reader himself (though not of film magazines) – so there was plenty to read at home.

So yes, I was ignorant of many details then. And no, I’m not ashamed to admit it. 🙂

Coming back to Sahir.

It was only when I read his obituary in the Illustrated Weekly on his death, that I began to get a sense of the giant that he had been in the world of poetry and lyrics. That obituary (probably written by Raju Bharatan, I’m not sure), described his career – listing his songs along the way.

And I was caught with gaping mouth.

The songs! I hadn’t heard them all before – but there were so many that I had not just heard, but which were absolutely memorable, evergreen songs. I remember going through the list and saying to myself “Wow! This one also?”

Each one of them has stood the test of time even today. Most of them are over 50 years old, but even today when you listen to a Sahir song, it hits you with its power of language, beautifully crafted and deliberately meant to shake you up. For Sahir, clearly the aspect of lyrics of a song was not to be taken lightly – it was as important, if not more important, than the music itself.

Maybe that’s why he insisted on getting the lyricist being part of the announcement on All India Radio during their song programmes. Today this is the norm – but there was a time when it was all about the composer and the singers. How unfair was that! Am very glad Sahir set that right!

Maybe that’s also why Sahir insisted he wouldn’t fit his lyrics into a composition, as was the practice at the time. He wrote his lyrics – usually poetry – from his heart and would not want to compromise them to fit a tune. According to him, it was the composer’s job to take Sahir’s lyrics and give it a musical shape.

This fierce pride and belief in his writing, unfortunately did not always go down very well with composers, especially the big-name ones. He had problems with SD Burman after Pyaasa, with OP Nayyar after Naya Daur. In fact, after one song for Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) – the title song – he was replaced by Majrooh.

Undeterred, Sahir chose to work with the relatively less-famous composers. With them, not only could he have a less troublesome relationship, his lyrics could also shine more.

And they did.

A quick look at some of these.

With Khayyam, he partnered for Phir Subah Hogi, Kabhi Kabhi and Trishul. Songs like “wo subah kabhi to aayegi”, “cheen-o-arab hamara”, “main pal do pal ka shaayar hoon”.

With N.Datta, Sahir had a very fruitful partnership writing lyrics for at least 10 films of this composer. (Milap, Marine Drive, Chandrakant, Sadhna, Light House, Didi, Dhool Ka Phool, Dharamputra, Chandi ki Deewar, Naya Raasta). Songs like “aurat ne janam diya mardon ko”, “tu Hindu banega na Musalmaan banega”, “ponchh kar ashq apni aankhon se”.

With Jaidev, he partnered in Hum Dono, Mujhe Jeene Do, and for Laila Majnu (after Madan Mohan passed away before all the songs of the film could be composed). Songs like “abhi na jao chhod kar”, “main zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya”, “raat bhi hai kuchh bheegi bheegi”.

With Roshan, Sahir’s lyrics took Roshan’s music to a new height with lyrics of songs of Barsaat Ki Raat, Taj Mahal, Chitralekha, Bahu Begum being much-appreciated. The wonderful qawwalis of Barsaat Ki Raat are unforgettable as are songs like “paanv chhoo lene do”, “khuda e bartar” and “jurm e ulfat” from Taj Mahal. Then they had “mann ri tu kaahe na dheer dhare”, “sansaar se bhaage phirte ho” and “kaahe tarsaaye” for Chitralekha and “hum intezaar karenge” and “duniya kare sawaal” for Bahu Begum. An embarrassment of riches.

With Ravi, then still considered to be a few notches lower than the Naushad/S-J/ SD/OP lot, Sahir wrote some of the masterpieces of his career. Including the songs of Gumraah and Humraaz. The Sahir-Ravi partnership was extremely successful, and a big reason for the success of the BR/Yash Chopra banner.

What struck me most about Sahir’s lyrics is not just his clever construction of words and his Urdu, but the sheer passion that was an integral part of his poetry and writing. Anything when done with passion, takes it to a different level – and writing, more than most.

When Sahir wrote lyrics, you could identify completely with them. That’s because you could breathe the fire and passion in the words – and there was usually a lot of meaning in them.

When he wrote cynical lyrics (“ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai”, “Cheen-o-Arab hamara”) you felt angry at the state of affairs.

When he wrote hopeful lyrics (“wo subah kabhi to aayegi”), you felt hopeful too, however desperate the situation.

When he talked about communal amity instead of divisiveness (“tu Hindu banega na Musalmaan banega”), you felt a sense of togetherness with all communities.

When he talked about fighting injustice and standing up for yourself (“ponchh kar ashq apni aankhon se” or “na munh chhupa ke jiyo”), you felt like doing the same.

And, in a totally different vein, when he talked about wooing and romance (“tum agar saath dene ka waada karo”, “ye parbaton ke daayre”), you could just so easily fall in love.

Sahir had a strong communist bent of mind – which was not uncommon at all in the time. The Progressive Writers’ Association, formed in the 1930s, was primarily anti-imperialism, anti-establishment, with many leading poets and writers of the time (Saadat Hasan Manto, Ismat Chughtai, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Kaifi Azmi and many more) part of it.

As a result, Sahir’s writing often spoke for the oppressed, the labour class, the deprived. In fact it was his anti-establishment thinking that got him into trouble early on his life – in fact, in college itself.

I must say, those were different times. Poets and writers used to speak out against oppression. Nowadays, one can’t help feeling that, as India has got more “aspirational” – and Indians have got more “aspirational” , even our films and writing has got more “aspirational”. After all, films and writing reflect society.

It is no longer fashionable, or even possibly commercially viable, to talk about society’s grassroot problems. Of poverty, discrimination, injustice. All of these still exist in India – just as they did in Sahir’s time.

Yes, the scale of poverty might be less now (as you’d expect), but I’m not sure there is any more justice today than there was in Sahir’s time. Even today, despite our wonderful Constitution, might is often right. Undertrials spend years in jail, without even so much as a trial. If you have money or influence (and let’s face it, one begets the other), you can still get away with anything.

But since everyone’s aspirational today, talking about these issues is almost infra-dig. How often does the media actually report from the ground in rural India? Their excuse probably is, who cares? And maybe, just maybe, they have a point. We’ve reached a stage of callousness, where the worst of atrocities can happen – and unless it happens to “one of us” (i.e somebody like us), we look the other way, or don’t bat an eyelid. Or, at the most, pay some lip-sympathy. Have we become so self-obsessed? Or is everyone just too busy to care about problems that don’t directly affect me, myself and I?

What would a Sahir write if he were alive today and writing about today’s society? Would he be any less scathing of it than he was, all those years ago?

Do we have a Sahir in our midst today? Ok, I don’t mean a poet or lyricist necessarily of Sahir’s calibre of writing, but somebody who shows a mirror to society, somebody who routinely and fearlessly calls it out on its injustice and oppression.

Or am I exaggerating? Is there really not as much injustice as I am painting. I’d really like to be wrong – but I’m not sure I am.

All these thoughts come to me, on Sahir’s death anniversary.

He might be gone, but his spirit of challenging the system, of calling out its failings, of not being afraid to call a spade a spade, needs to live on.

We need this, so that society continues to evolve. We know we are far from perfect – and there is absolutely no shame in admitting it. Who are we fooling anyway?

One last thing, before I get misunderstood. This isn’t about a particular political party or government in power. It’s about a society and its failings. Even Sahir’s anti-establishment rants were not because the party in power was the Congress Party at the time. He would have been just as scathing if it had been any other party in power. It’s about society. So let’s get this partisan mindset out of the way.

In fact, I think the best tribute we could give Sahir is to continue to work on those issues that he held close to his heart. For, he was more than just a poet or a lyricist. So being a fan of his poetry alone, is missing a big part of who Sahir was.

Sahir’s fight was not without reason. He yearned for an egalitarian society, without communal violence, without religious, class and caste discrimination, where people lived in peace with each other.

On his death anniversary today, this is what the song for this post is all about. It might seem a bit idealistic, but if you at least have dreams and hope for something, there’s some chance of working towards it. But you have to have a dream.

The lyrics for this post were sent to me by Avinash Scrapwalla. He is also a big Sahir fan – and wanted me to write this post on this occasion, using this song.

The song is from the film Bahurani (1963).

I hope you like the song. Please do listen to every line carefully. Isn’t it vintage Sahir? But this time a song of hope, not cynicism.

Audio

Video

Song-Bane aisa samaaj (Bahuraani)(1963) Singers-Asha Bhonsle, Lata, Manna Dey, Lyrics-Sahir Ludhianvi, MD-C Ramchandra
Lata+ Asha Bhonsle
Chorus

Lyrics(Provided by Avinash Scrapwala)

Ho o o o ae

Bane aisa samaaj
Kaisa aa
Mile sabko anaaj
Waah waah
Bane aisa samaaj
Milo sabko anaaj
Na ho loot

Na ho phoot
Na ho jhoot to ji
Kaisa ho

Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Jaage sabka naseeb
Na ho koyi gareeb
Mite rog
Bhoole sog
Sabhi log
To ji kaisa ho
Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Na ho mehnat se dhan ka ijaara
Na ho mehnat se dhan ka ijaara
Sab karen apne bal par guzaara
Sab karen apne bal par guzaara
Bhed aur bhaav mit jaaye saara
Bhed aur bhaav mit jaaye saara
Aadmi aadmi ko ho pyaara
Aadmi aadmi ko ho pyaara

Aadmi aadmi ko ho pyaara
Koyi oonch aur neech
Na ho duniya ke beech
Na ho jaat
Na ho paat
Rahe saath
To ji kaisa ho
Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Kaisa ho o o
Kaisa ho

Deen aur dharm
Maange na chande

Ho ho ho ho
Ek ho jaayen dharti ke bande
Ho ho ho ho
Toot jaaye riwaazon ke phande
Ho ho ho ho
Band ho jaaye chori ke dhandhe
Band ho jaaye chori ke dhandhe

Band ho jaaye chori ke dhandhe
Mite kaala bazaar
Pade jhoothe ko maar
Khule pol
Phate dhol
Ghate mol
To ji kaisa ho
Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Saare jag mein ho
Sukh ka saweraa

Saare jag mein ho
Sukh ka saweraa

Jaaye jug jug ka bojhal andheraa
Jaaye jug jug ka bojhal andheraa
Koi jhagdaa na ho tera mera
Koi jhagdaa na ho tera mera
Lehar le shaanti ka pharera
Lehar le shaanti ka pharera

Lehar le shaanti ka pharera
Na ho deshon mein jung
Rahe sab ek sang
Bujhe aag
Mite raag (?)
Chhide raag to ji
Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

Bane aisa samaaj
Mile sabko anaaj
Na ho loot
Na ho phoot
Na ho jhoot to ji
Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho o o
Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho
Kaisa ho

————————————————-
Devnagri script Lyrics(Provided by Avinash Scrapwala)
————————————————–

हो ओ ओ ओ ए

बने ऐसा समाज
कैसा आ
मिले सबको अनाज
वाह वाह
बने ऐसा समाज
मिले सबको अनाज
ना हो लूट

ना हो फूट
ना हो झूठ तो जी
कैसा हो

कैसा हो
कैसा हो

कैसा हो
कैसा हो

जागे सबका नसीब
न हो कोई गरीब
मिटे रोग
भूले सोग
तो जी कैसा हो
कैसा हो
कैसा हो

कैसा हो
कैसा हो

ना हो मेहनत से धन का इजारा
ना हो मेहनत से धन का इजारा
सब करे अपने बल पर गुज़ारा
सब करे अपने बल पर गुज़ारा
भेद और भाव मिट जाए सारा
भेद और भाव मिट जाए सारा
आदमी आदमी को हो प्यारा
आदमी आदमी को हो प्यारा

आदमी आदमी को हो प्यारा
कोई उंच और नीच
ना हो दुनिया के बीच
ना हो जात
ना हो पात
रहे साथ
तो जी कैसा हो
कैसा हो
कैसा हो

कैसा हो ओ ओ
कैसा हो

दिन और धर्म
मांगे न चंदे

हो हो हो हो
एक हो जाए धरती के बन्दे
हो हो हो हो
टूट जाए रिवाजों के फंदे
हो हो हो हो
बंद हो जाए चोरी के धंदे
बंद हो जाए चोरी के धंदे

बंद हो जाए चोरी के धंदे
मिटे काला बाज़ार
पड़े झूठे को मार
खुले पोल
फटे ढोल
घटे मोल
तो जी कैसा हो
कैसा हो
कैसा हो

कैसा हो
कैसा हो

सारे जग में हो
सुख का सवेरा

सारे जग में हो
सुख का सवेरा

जाए जूग जूग का बोझल अन्धेरा
जाए जूग जूग का बोझल अन्धेरा
कोई झगडा ना हो तेरा मेरा
कोई झगडा ना हो तेरा मेरा
लहर ले शान्ति का फरेरा
लहर ले शान्ति का फरेरा

लहर ले शान्ति का फरेरा
ना हो देशों में जंग
रहे सब एक संग
बुझे आग
मिटे राग (?)
छिड़े राग तो जी
कैसा हो
कैसा हो

कैसा हो
कैसा हो

कैसा हो
कैसा हो

बने ऐसा समाज
मिले सबको अनाज
ना हो लूट
ना हो फूट
ना हो झूठ तो जी
कैसा हो
कैसा हो ओ ओ
कैसा हो
कैसा हो
कैसा हो

6 Responses to "Bane aisa samaaj"

Raja Saab,
First of all , I would like to thank you for doing the post with this song of Sahir Ludhianvi.
About the post – its simply great !!
I could not explain in words how I feel reading this post. You have said it all which I think about Sahir, his times and the socio-political scenario after his death to the current times.
Thank you very much !!

Like

Glad you liked it, Avinashji! 🙂 Thanks for the appreciation.

Like

Raja ji,
This is an excellent tribute to Sahir Ludhianvi.

‘What would a Sahir write if he were alive today and writing about today’s society?’
Probably. he would have written the current social and political situations with the same zeal and without fear as he had written
https://atulsongaday.me/2009/10/26/ye-duniya-agar-mil-bhi-jaaye-to-kyaa-hai/ about six decades ago.

In my view, we have two poets among others after Sahir who ‘showed mirror to the society’ – Neeraj and Nida Fazli. But they were subtle in their views on social and political matters. Their views were expressed more as satires as against the ‘no-holds-barred’ types of views of Sahir Ludhianvi.

While on Sahir Ludhianvi, I came to know only yesterday that one of the places where he found a congenial atmosphere to write his lyrics for the film songs was Bharat Bhushan’s house. In an article ‘Bharat Bhushan As I Know Him’ written by Sahir Ludhianvi in 1961, he wrote:

“Most film producers who engage me to write their songs are generally eager and anxious to give me all possible comforts and aids to good writing—a solitary, cool, well-furnish­ed room, good food and so forth. But I wish I had a rupee to give myself for every song I have conceived and written in the solitude of Bharat Bhushan’s house—the one haven of and written in the solitude of Bharat Bhushan’s house—the one haven of peace and calm I most love to retire to, for work or pleasure. And the greatest single factor that contributes most largely to this peace and quiet, this blessed, ennobling, invigorating, activating silence is Bharat Bhushan himself!

Wherever he is, he becomes an island of Silence and it is in this island that I most yearn to take my poet’s refuge.”

The full article can be read at
http://cineplot.com/bharat-bhushan-as-i-know-him/

Like

Thanks, Sadanandji. Yes, Neeraj and Nida Fazli are also poets who expressed views about society. Am wondering whether there are any amongst today’s younger bunch of poets/lyricists. Prasoon Joshi? But I’m not sure I see the fire in his belly that one can sense in Sahir’s poetry. Or mayb I’m just biased. 🙂

Didn’t know this about Bharat Bhushan. Thanks for this additional nugget of information.

Like

artistes featured in the song:Details in this regard was with me:
Dancers:Gopi Krishan,Kala & Mala(Madras Sisters)
Choreography:Gopi Krishan

Like

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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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