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

Ujdi huyi hai ishq ki duniya tere baghair

Posted on: October 31, 2016

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.

The runaway success of musical films like ‘Khazaanchi’ (1941), ‘Basant’ (1942), ‘Kismet’ (1943), ‘Tansen’ (1943) and ‘Rattan’ (1944) seem to have attracted, many new music directors to join the Hindi film industry in the 1940s. But only a few of them could climb the ladder of success to reach among the top music directors and elongate their successful musical carrier in the 1950s and beyond. Most of new music directors vanished into thin air after composing songs for very few films.

There were another category of music directors who started their carrier in Hindi film industry in Bombay (Mumbai) during 1940s. Their output in terms of the number of films for which they composed the songs was small compared to the span of their carriers in Hindi film industry. But they are still in our memory because of the quality of their compositions. The first such name that comes to my mind in this category is Sajjad Hussain. During his active carrier spanning about 20 years, he composed songs for only 18 films. Anil Biswas called him ‘the only original music director’ of Hindi films. There were other names like Hari Prasanna Das, Ninu Mazumdar,  Ram Ganguly, Lachhiram Tamar, K Datta etc to quote a few.  One among them was Ajit Merchant.

Ajit Merchant (15/08/1922 – 18/03/2011) was born in Bombay, in the family of Katchchhi Bhatia which belonged to Bhed Dwarka (‘Bhed’ in Gujarati means ‘Island’). His father, Ratanshi Merchant was a criminal lawyer who was an ardent and knowledgeable admirer of Hindustani classical music. Naturally, he was keen that his son should also be exposed to Hindustani classical music. Ajit Merchant learnt music from a German lady, Emy Marks.  Side by side, Ajit Merchant used to accompany his father to Hindustani classical music concerts of the like of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and also Marathi musical plays. With these kinds of exposures, no doubt, Ajit Merchant was attracted towards becoming a musician.

Ajit Merchant started his filmy music carrier by assisting Ashok Ghosh who himself was once the assistant to Anil Biswas. His first film as an independent music director was ‘Refugee’ (1948). The film failed at the box office and with this, its songs were forgotten. His carrier as a music director in Hindi films came to a pause. He diverted his attention to Gujarati films.

In 1948, Ajit Merchant composed songs for the Sagar Movietone’s Gujarati film, ‘Kariawaar’ (1948) followed by ‘Deewadaandi’ (1950) which he himself produced. But these films did not help him much in his musical carrier. He again went back to Hindi film industry and was music director for ‘B’ grade and mythological films like ‘Rajkumari’ (1955), ‘Indraleela’ (1956), ‘Chandi Pooja’ (1957), ‘Ram Bhakt Hanuman’ (1958), ‘Sapera’ (1961) etc. During his carrier as music director, Ajit Merchant was the music directors for 8 Hindi films. None of these films could help him in furthering his carrier as music director. He was also the music director for 8 Gujarati films.

In 1957, Ajit Merchant joined All-India Radio as Music Producer. He worked in that capacity for about 10 years. But his experience in working with Government organisation was not good. In frustration, he resigned from AIR and become a free-lancer once again. During the remaining period of his active musical carrier, he was involved with composing music for 220 plays in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati and 80 documentary films. He also composed jingles for advertising films including for some of those by Shyam Benegal.

It is worth noting the contribution of Ajit Merchant in giving a start to the singing carrier of the ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh.  His first recorded song  Laagi Ram Bhajan Ni Lagni was under the music direction of Ajit Merchant for the Gujarati film ‘Bahuroopi’ (1969). Jagjit Singh did not forget Ajit Merchant in giving him a start of his singing career. At the time of release of his ghazal album ‘Muntazir’ (2004), Jagjit Singh invited Ajit Merchant on the stage and introduced him to the audience of his role in giving a push to his singing carrier. As a mark of gratitude, Jagjit Singh had included in the album a ghazal ‘Raat Khaamosh Hai’ sung by him and composed by Ajit Merchant. He was also the first music director to introduce Mukesh, Meena Kapoor and Asha Bhonsle to Gujarati films as playback singers.

No discussion on Ajit Merchant will be complete unless we discuss the Gujarati film ‘Deewadaandi (1950) produced by him for which he was also the music director.  A song written in the form of a ghazal in this film Taari Aankh No Afini Taara Bol No Bandhaani   composed by him became so famous that today this ghazal has made Ajit Merchant immortal. Unfortunately, the film was destroyed by a fire in the Famous Cine Laboratories and we are deprived of watching the picturisation of the song. It is said that due to immense popularity of the song, the royalties received by Ajit Merchant was sufficient to run his household.

There is an interesting trivia about creation of this song for the film. As a producer, Ajit Merchant was already exceeded the budget and he was short of funds. Originally, he had planned for only 4 songs which got increased to 6 songs. Balwant Bhatt, the director of the film wanted to include one more song for a situation in which the heroine is deliberately flirting with the villain to make the hero jealous of him. Ajit Merchant was reluctant to include this song as he did not want the flow of story in the film to be affected by the song. Also there was budget constraint. At the same time, he did not wish to antagonise Balwant Bhatt.

A solution was suggested by his friend, Barkat Virani ‘Befaam’, the dialogue writer and Kamalkant, the hero of the film under which the song would be recorded and if necessary, the song can be deleted in the final print of the film. The song in the ghazal format was written by Venibhai Purohit retaining the one-line dialogue originally written by Barkat Virani as a refrain. It was written in such a way that it could be  picturised either on the hero or the villain.  The song was to be recorded in the voice of Dilip Dholakia. When the rehearsal of the song was going on in the studio, Raj Kapoor came there for some work on his film ‘Barsaat’ (1949). Raj Kapoor was present when the song was recorded in one take. After the completion of the recording, Raj Kapoor heard the song and told Ajit Merchant that this song would become immortal.

Raj Kapoor was so much impressed with the tune that later he used the mukhda tune of the song for Mera Joota Hai Japani in ‘Shri 420’ (1955). Chitragupt used the tune of the song for Chandaa Loriyaan Sunaaye in ‘Naya Sansaar’ (1959). Laxmikant-Pyaarelal used the tune for Mera Naam Hai Chameli in ‘Raja Aur Rank’ (1968). Ajit Merchant himself used this tune for his Hindi song Raat Ne Gesu Bikaraaye in ‘Sapera’ (1961).

So the song which Ajit Merchant, as a producer of ‘Deewadaandi’ (1950) was reluctant to add in the film, composed the song painstakingly as a music director. So, in this process, Ajit Merchant as a music director won over Ajit Merchant as a producer.

Ajit Merchant left this world on March 18, 2011 at a ripe age of 89. The definitive histories of Gujarati film music will not be complete without the mention of ‘ Taari Aankh No Afini’. And with this, the song as well as Ajit Merchant has become immortal.

I am presenting a very rare song composed by Ajit Merchant from his first film ‘Refugee’ (1948). The song written in a ghazal format is ‘Ujdi Huyi Hai Ishq Ki Duniya Tere Bagair’ sung by Sulochana Kadam. The song is penned by Pandit Faani. It is one of the rare occasions for her to sing a ghazal in the film.  Even though she was in the early stage of her playback singing carrier, her pronunciation in the ghazal is fairly good.

‘Refugee’ was produced under the banner of Harishchandra pictures which was directed by Harish. The star cast included Urmila, Harishchandra Rao, Majnu, Dalpat, Hamid (Ajit), Kesri, Bibim, Mohammed Sandow etc.  There were six songs in the film, all written by Pandit Faani.

With this song, the film ‘Refugee’ (1948) makes a debut in the Blog.



I am grateful to Shri Harish Raghuwanshi for promptly sending me with the necessary information on Ajit Merchant. In particular, I am thankful to him for providing me with the soft copies of the the following articles in Gujarati:

  1. ‘Thodi Filmo Ghanu Kaam – Sangeetkar Ajit Merchant’ written by Shri Harish Raghuwanshi
    2. ‘Taari Aankh No Afini – Sarjan Ni Safar’ written  by Shri Biren Kothari.


Song – Ujdi Hui Hai Ishq Ki Duniya Tere Bagair (Refugee) (1948) Singers – Sulochana Kadam, Lyrics – Pt Faani, MD – Ajit Merchant


ujadi huyi hai ishq ki duniya tere baghair
kitna kathhin hai haaye ye jeeena tere baghair
ujadi huyi hai ishq ki duniya tere baghair

din bhi wahi aur raat wahi
par main kya karoon
din bhi wahi aur raat wahi
par main kya karoon
apna hi dil nahin raha waisa tere baghair
ujadi huyi hai ishq ki duniya tere baghair

jaaun kidhar ko main ke ab kuchh soojhta nahin
jaaun kidhar ko main ke ab kuchh soojhta nahin
dega to kaun dega sahaara tere baghair
ujadi huyi hai ishq ki duniya tere baghair

jeene ko yun to jeete hain tere baghair bhi ee
jeene ko yun to jeete hain tere baghair bhi
jeene mein kuchh  mazaa nahi aata tere baghair
jeene mein kuchh  mazaa nahi aata tere baghair

jaaun kidhar ko main ke ab kuchh soojhta nahin
jaaun kidhar ko main ke ab kuchh soojhta nahin
dega to kaun dega sahaara tere baghair
ujadi huyi hai ishq ki duniya tere baghair

Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

उजड़ी हुई है इश्क़ की दुनिया तेरे बगैर
कितना कठिन है हाय ये जीना तेरे बगैर
उजड़ी हुई है इश्क़ की दुनिया तेरे बगैर

दिन भी वही और रात वही
पर मैं क्या करूँ
दिन भी वही और रात वही
पर मैं क्या करूँ
अपना ही दिल नहीं रहा वैसा तेरे बगैर
उजड़ी हुई है इश्क़ की दुनिया तेरे बगैर

जाऊँ किधर को मैं के अब कुछ सूझता नहीं
जाऊँ किधर को मैं के अब कुछ सूझता नहीं
देगा तो कौन देगा सहारा तेरे बगैर
उजड़ी हुई है इश्क़ की दुनिया तेरे बगैर

जीने को यूं तो जीते हैं
तेरे बगैर भी
जीने को यूं तो जीते हैं
तेरे बगैर भी
जीने में कुछ मज़ा नहीं आता तेरे बगैर

जाऊँ किधर को मैं के अब कुछ सूझता नहीं
जाऊँ किधर को मैं के अब कुछ सूझता नहीं
देगा तो कौन देगा सहारा तेरे बगैर
उजड़ी हुई है इश्क़ की दुनिया तेरे बगैर


5 Responses to "Ujdi huyi hai ishq ki duniya tere baghair"

To me, (??) sounds “haay” and fits in the lyrics as well.

Ajit Merchant
Raj Kumari (1955)
Indra Leela (1956)
Chandi Pooja(1957)
Ram Bhakt Vibhishan (1958)
Sapera (1961)
Challenge (1964)
Lady Killer (1969)
Classics Collection (Jagjit Singh)(2001)
Muntazir (Album)(2004)

Pandit Phani
Manthan (1941)
Darshan (1941)
Tulsi (1941)
Sajjan (1941)
Nari (1942)
Kirti (1942)
Ashirwad (1943)
Meena (1944)
Aaina (1944)
Rahat (1945)
Amar Raj (1946)
Beete Din (1947)
Zanjeer (1947)
Rupye Ki Kahani(1948)
Rangeen Zamana(1948)
Bhagwan Shri Krishna (1950)
Hamari Beti (1950)
Sati Narmada(1950)
Apni Izzat (1952)
Nanhe Munne(1952)
Bansari Bala(1957)

He was staying at Shivaji Park, Mumbai.

I still hum his roop tumhara aankho se pee lu from Sapera

Fascinating read, Sadanandji.
I learn so much from this blog everyday, thanks to people like you. 🙂
I had very vaguely heard of Ajit Merchant – now I feel I know so much more about him.

Interesting anecdote about the song that he was unsure of including in the film – and how popular the tune became later. 🙂

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