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

Hum Jab Chalen To Ye Jahaan Jhoome

Posted on: March 8, 2018

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.

Blog Day : 3520 Post No. : 14137

Today, March 8th is the 97th birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi, one of my favourite poet-lyricists. Before him, there were other eminent Urdu poets such as Arzoo Lucknowi, Safdar Aah Sitapuri, Behzad Lucknowi, Josh Malihabadi etc who had been associated with the Hindi film industry sometime or the other. But it was Sahir Ludhianvi who clicked with the Hindi film industry as a poet and raised the status of the lyricists.  Eventually, he created such a status for himself in the Hindi film industry that some of the established producers/directors first took him on board before finalising the music directors for their films.

The traumatic childhood and the failed love affairs coupled with his leftist ideological leanings, are reflected in his ghazals and nazms published in the book ‘Talkhiyaan‘ (‘Bitternesses’) in 1945. However, it was his association with the Hindi film industry which gave him the opportunity to write film songs in the poetic form covering almost all the facets of human life. Some samples below:

Romantic songs

Kashti Ka Khamosh Safar Hai
isi Patthar Ki Moorat Se Muhabbat Ka Iraada Hai

‘Togetherness in Love’ songs

Tum Apna Ranj o Gham Apni Pareshaani Mujhe De Do
Dukh Aur Sukh Ke Raaste Baney Hain Sab Ke Waaste

Songs on Women’s plights

Aurat Ne Janam Diya Mardon Ko
Aurat Ko Faqat Jism Samajh Lete Hain

Songs of Hypocrisy

Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai
Kyaa Miliye Aise Logon Se Jinki Fitrat Chhupi Rahe

Satirical songs

Cheen o Arab Hamaara Hindustaan Hamaara
Aasmaan Pe Hai Khuda Aur Zameen Pe Hum

Fun songs

Dil Ye Kya Cheez Hai
Chaahe Koi Khush Ho Chaahe Gaaliyaan Hazaar De

Teasing Love songs

Hum Aapki Aankhon Mein Is Dil Ko Basaa Den To
Uden Jab Jab Zulfen Teri

Khushnuma (feel good) songs

Thandi Hawaayen Lehraa Ke Aayen
Phaili Huyi Hain Sapnon Ki Baahen

Motivational/Inspirational Songs

Raat Ke Raahi Thhak Mat Jaana
Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya

Mother-Child songs

Tu Mere Pyaar Ka Phool Hai
Tere Bachpan Ko Jawaani Ki Dua Deti Hoon

In addition, Sahir Sahab also wrote other genres such as qawwali,  patriotic songs, devotional songs etc. A question is raised as to what is so unique about  Sahir Sahab’s songs? His contemporary Urdu poets like Shakeel Badayuni, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Kaifi Azmi also wrote many genres of songs for the films. In my view, the main difference was that Sahir Sahab’s songs were  an extension of his literary poetry (adabi shaayari) while the others wrote mostly lyrics for the songs. While Majrooh Sultanpuri and Kaifi Azmi rarely mixed the PWA ideology in their film songs, Sahir Sahab’s songs covered such thoughts even in some fun songs in films like  ‘Taxi Driver’ (1954), ‘Funtoosh’ (1956) and  ‘Pyaasa’ (1957).

We  should be thankful to Sahir Sahab for joining the Hindi film industry. Had he remained away from Hindi film industry and concentrated only on the literary Urdu poetry, we would have certainly missed the range of his poetry in the Hindi film songs. Surely, he would have joined the list of the Urdu poets of pains, bitterness and sorrows like Mir Taqi Mir,  Faani Badayuni, Majaaz Lucknowi,  Sudarshan Faakir etc. But in this process, he would have missed ‘the poet of mass appeal’ tag.

Again, I would say that Sahir Sahab’s  association with Hindi film industry perforce made him to look for the brighter side of the life. Note how he starts one of the songs in ‘Shagoon’ (1964) in a pessimistic note and ends with optimism:

zindagi zulm sahi zabr sahi gham hi sahi
dil ki fariyaad sahi rooh kaa maatam hi sahi

going on to

ham hain maayoos magar itne bhi maayoos nahin. . .
ek na ek din to yah ashkon ki ladi tootegi
ek na ek din to chhatenge ye ghamon ke baadal
ek na ek din to ujaale ki kiran phootegi

Sahir Sahab first came to Bombay (now Mumbai) in January 1946. He began his filmy career in the same year with an assignment to write songs for the film ‘Aazaadi Ki Raah Par’ under the baton of music director GD Kapoor. He wrote 3 songs for this film. (The film’s release was delayed and it got released only in 1948). After this assignment, there is a gap of about 3 years in his filmy career. When partition happened he returned to Lahore in September 1947 to search for and bring back his mother. Sometime in the middle of 1948, he had to hurriedly leave Lahore. After returning, he first came to Delhi, where he occupied himself editing an Urdu periodical for about a year. In May 1949, he came to Bombay with a resolve to become a song writer for the films.

The greatest handicap for Sahir Sahab in pursuing his career in film industry was that he was already a popular Urdu poet with his published work ‘Talkhiyaan’ (1945). The film industry is generally wary of poets’ capabilities of writing lyrics for the songs for given situations in the films. After struggling for about 2 years, he got the opportunity to write songs for the film ‘Naujawaan’ (1951) under SD Burman. The box office success of ‘Baazi’ (1951) in the same year with its hit songs gave a boost to his career in the film industry. During 1951-57, Sahir Sahab majorly worked with SD Burman (138 songs out of 218).

Sahir Ludhianvi’s ‘obsession’ to place his song writings above the contributions of  singers and music directors seems to have come into open sometime in mid 1950s when he had arguments with Lata Mangeshkar on this issue. It is a moot point whether it was Lata Mangeshkar who refused to sing his songs or other way round. But the end result was that Sahir lost 9 out of 11 films because producers/directors will have Lata Mangeshkar rather than Sahir Ludhianvi [Source: Javed Akhtar on TV programme ‘Classic Legends’]. Two films which remained with him were ‘Pyaasa’ (1957) and ‘Naya Daur’ (1957) in which Lata Mangeshkar had no songs. But it was these two films which gave him the status as a song writer par excellence. Here Sahir Sahab proved his point that his songs could still become popular without Lata Mangeshkar.

However, the success of these two films also resulted in the termination of Sahir Sahab’s  association with two top music directors at that time – SD Burman and OP Nayyar due to clash of egos. Again, the issue raised was that it was his songs more than the music that these two films became hits. In support of his claims, he started quoting his fees for song writings in a film one rupee above the amount agreed to be paid to the music director of that film. With his tiffs with the top playback singer and two top music directors of that time, many in the Hindi film industry must have felt at that time that Sahir Sahab committed a hara-kiri and his filmy career was doomed.

While Sahir Sahab eventually made up with Lata Mangeshkar, now it was the time for him to prove that his songs can still become popular in the films without the services of the commercially top rated music directors of that time. He roped in music director Khayyam for ‘Phir Subah Hogi’ (1958),  N Dutta for  ‘Dhool Ka Phool’ (1959) and Roshan for ‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ (1960). While the first film did not fare well at the box office, its songs became very popular. The other two films were super hits on the box office.  In this process, Sahir Sahab not only retained his eminent position in the film industry as a song writer, he became instrumental in giving boost the sagging careers of music directors, Khayyam, Roshan and later  Ravi (‘Gumraah’, 1963).

In the 1960s, he worked mainly with the second line music directors but had super hit films like ‘Hum Dono’ (1961), ‘Dil Hi To Hai’ (1963), ‘Gumraah’ (1963), ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’ (1963), ‘Taj Mahal’ (1963), ‘Kaajal’ (1965), ‘Waqt’ (1965), ‘Hamraaz’ (1967), ‘Aankhen’ (1968). Some of the films which  did not fare well at the box office but their songs are remembered even today were ‘Aaj Aur Kal’ (1963), ‘Chitralekha’ (1964), ‘Ghazal’ (1964), ‘Shagoon’ (1964) and ‘Bahu Begum’ (1967).

There is no denying the fact that there is something magical in Sahir Sahab’s song writings. Most of his songs struck a chord with the audience and the listeners. My own experiences in listening to some of his songs are that his lyrics are the characteristic that first registered in my mind, for most of his songs.

There is a quote in the fashion world – the dress must follow the body and not the body following the shape of the dress. If this quote is extended to film songs, one can say that a beautiful body (lyrics) brings out the best in the dress (music). Sahir Sahab believed that it is the beautiful poetry which brings best of the music composition. He became more forthcoming in keeping his song writings ahead of the music director after the success of ‘Pyaasa’ (1957). In  my view, he was not off the mark, particularly for his popular songs.

In my younger days, when I had listened to “Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai” and “Jinhen Naaz Hai Hind Par Wo Kahaan Hain”, the lyrics came to my attention first because they were soulful, momentarily forgetting the contributions of playback singer and the music director. The reason was that the first verse itself created interest in me to listen to the full lyrics. That SD Burman composed the orchestration with bare minimum musical instruments and Rafi sang in a soft voice are the recognition of the importance of the lyrics of these two songs. Probably, this was also the intention of Guru Dutt as a director.

“Jaane Kya Tu Ne Kahi Jaane Kya Maine Suni”  brought the singer  (Geeta Dutt) to the fore in my mind because of her seductive rendition. Yet, he is successful in bringing the words also in the forefront despite the fact that he had written the song on a pre-set tune. The reason is that this song has been written in short verses – mostly within 4 words. In the context of today’s world, one can say the song has been written in Whatsapp language – short yet effective to convey the message.

Even the dream sequence song, “Hum Aapki Aankhon Mein Is Dil Ko Basaa Den To” which was said to be added in the film on the insistence of film distributor/financier, the imageries used  in the song for teasing are unique and remain in the mind of the listeners. This was basically a ‘relief’ song for the audience in the midst of sad and depressing theme of the film. Generally, such type of ‘addition’ of the song goes out of mind quickly but this song became unforgettable.

I will stop analysing the remaining songs of ‘Pyaasa’ at this stage. Sahir Sahab’s list of beautiful film songs is endless. In fact, one can attempt to write a separate article on each of Sahir Sahab’s  films about his songs especially of his films like ‘Phir Subah Hogi’ (1958), ‘Dhool Kaa Phool’ (1959), ‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ (1960), ‘Taj Mahal’ (1963), ‘Dil Hi To Hai’ (1963), ‘Ghazal’ (1964), ‘Chitralekha’ (1964), ‘Waqt’ (1965) etc

In the 70s, Sahir Sahab continued to be in demand but his charisma in his song writings seems to have somewhat waned. This could be because of two main reasons. First, he was basically a romantic poet and the romantic theme in the films had given way for action-oriented themes with angry man image.  It appears he had a premonition about this when he first wrote the nazm “Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shaayar Hoon“.

Secondly, after the death of his mother in 1976,  he seems to have lost interest in song writing. Also,  his PWA friends were advising him to concentrate more on writing literary poetry. It is said that he had almost decided to reduce his commitments for song writing and concentrate more on literary poetry. However, before he could complete his films’ commitments, a massive heart attack took him away from us on October 25, 1980 at the age of 59.

Sahir Sahab’s life can be summed up in one verse of his  nazm Faraar published in ‘Talkhiyaan’ (1945):

ishq naakaam sahi zindagi naakaam nahin 

Sahir Sahab’s love affairs failed but he lived his life at his own terms and immensely contributed to the making of the golden era of Hindi film music. During the three decades of his association with Hindi film industry, he wrote 732 songs in 114 films worked with 30 music directors. Details are given in the table below:

Music Director No. of films Total songs
S D Burman 18 138
Ravi 19 131
N Dutta 17 109
Roshan 07 59
Khayyam 06 42
Laxmikant-Pyarelal 07 36
R D Burman 04 24
O P Nayyar 05 23
Madan Mohan 03 20
Jaidev 03 16*
Chitragupt 02 13
Sapan Chakravarty 02 11
Ravindra Jain 02 10
Kalyanji-Anandji 02 09
Anil Biswas 02 07
Usha Khanna 02 03
Other Music Directors (14) 14 81
TOTAL (30) 114 732

*Note: Includes 3 songs of ‘Laila Majnu’ (1976).

[Source: List of film songs of Sahir Ludhianvi as appendix to ‘Sahir Ludhianvi – People’s Poet’ – Akshay Manwani (2013).]

It can be observed that out of 732 songs Sahir Ludhianvi wrote during his filmy career, as many as 479 songs (65%) were written for just 5 music director – S D Burman (138), Ravi (131), N Dutta (109), Roshan (59) and  Khayyam (42). He had no occasion to write songs for big names like Naushad and Shankar-Jaikishan and the second line music directors like Salil Chaudhury, SN Tripathi etc.

On the occasion of 97th birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi, I have chosen the song “Hum Jab Chalen To Ye Jahaan Jhoome”, the only song he wrote for the film ‘Hum Hindustani’ (1960). This is a motivational song for the youngsters and is aptly sung by Mohammed Rafi under the baton of Usha Khanna.



Song – Hum Jab Chalen To Ye Jahaan Jhoome (Hum Hindustani) (1960) Singer – Mohammed Rafi, Lyrics – Sahir Ludhinavi , MD – Usha Khanna


hum jab chalen to
ye jahaan jhoome
aarzoo hamaari
aasmaan ko choome
o ho ho ho
hum jab chalen to
ye jahaan jhoome
aarzoo hamaari
aasmaan ko choome
o ho ho ho
hum jab chalen to. . .
hum naye jahaan ke .. paasbaan
hum nayi bahaar ke .. raazdaan
hum hanse to hans pade .. har kali
hum chalen to chal pade .. zindagi
saare nazaaron mein
phoolon mein taaron mein
hamne hi jaadu bhara
hum jab chalen to
ye jahaan jhoome
aarzoo hamaari
aasmaan ko choome
o ho ho ho
hum jab chalen to. . .
hamse hai fizaaon mein .. rang-o-boo
hum hai is zameen ki .. aabroo
nadiyon ki raagini .. hamse hai
har taraf ye taazgi .. hamse hai
saare nazaaron mein
phoolon mein taaron mein
hamne hai jaadu bhara. . .
hum jab chalen to. . .
door ho gayin sabhi .. mushkilen
khinch ke paas aa gayin .. manzilen
dekh ke shabaab ke .. hausle
khud-ba-khud simat gaye .. faasle
saare nazaaron mein
phoolon mein taaron mein
hamne hi jaadu bhara. . .
hum jab chale to
ye jahaan jhoome
aarzoo hamaari
aasmaan ko choome
o ho ho ho
hum jab chalen to. . .

Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
हम जब चलें तो
ये जहान् झूमे
आरज़ू हमारी
आसमान को चूमे
ओ हो हो हो
हम जब चलें तो
ये जहान् झूमे
आरज़ू हमारी
आसमान को चूमे
ओ हो हो हो
हम जब चलें तो॰॰॰

हम नए जहान् के ॰॰ पासबाँ
हम नई बहार के ॰॰ राज़दाँ
हम हँसें तो हंस पड़े ॰॰ हर कली
हम चलें तो चल पड़े ॰॰ ज़िंदगी
सारे नज़ारों में
फूलों में तारों में
हमने है जादू भरा
हम जब चलें तो
ये जहान् झूमे
आरज़ू हमारी
आसमान को चूमे
ओ हो हो हो
हम जब चलें तो॰॰॰

हमसे है फिज़ाओं में ॰॰ रंग ओ बू
हम हैं इस ज़मीन की ॰॰ आबरू
नदियों की रागिनी ॰॰ हमसे है
हर तरफ ये ताजगी ॰॰ हमसे है
सारे नज़ारों में
फूलों में तारों में
हमने है जादू भरा
हम जब चलें तो॰॰॰

दूर हो गईं सभी ॰॰ मुश्किलें
खिंच के पास आ गईं ॰॰ मंज़िलें
देख के शबाब के ॰॰ हौसले
खुद ब खुद सिमट गए ॰॰ फासले
सारे नज़ारों में
फूलों में तारों में
हमने है जादू भरा
हम जब चलें तो
ये जहान् झूमे
आरज़ू हमारी
आसमान को चूमे
ओ हो हो हो
हम जब चलें तो॰॰॰

12 Responses to "Hum Jab Chalen To Ye Jahaan Jhoome"

Wonderful read Sadanand ji
How many songs did he write for composer Vinod?
He also wrote songs for punjabi movie Baalo (1951) which also marked debut of composer N Datta
Remember at least one Rafi non film too


Gajendra ji,

Thanks for the appreciation.

Sahir did not write any song for music director Vinod in Hindi films. The other music directors for which he wrote songs (one film each for Hindi films) were:
C Ramchandra.
C Arjun
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
Hemant Kumar,
Robin Bannerjee
Shyam Sundar
Hridaynath Mangeshkar
G D Kapoor
Rajesh Roshan
S D Batish


Excellent write-up, Sadanandji.
Without doubt, Sahir’s words, whether as poetry or as song lyrics, touch our hearts. There’s depth of feeling and passion, whatever be the mood, happy or sad.
Like you say, we are lucky that he wrote lyrics for Hindi films and did not limit himself to just the literary poetry world. Otherwise, while he would still have been popular in that world, his writing would not have reached the masses.
I’ve been singing Sahir songs all day today. And yesterday too, actually. For me, the celebrations start a day early. 🙂
Thanks once again for this wonderful post.


Raja ji,

Thanks for the appreciation.

If in the case of playback singers ‘meri aawaaz hi pehchaan hai’,
In case of Sahir Ludhianvi, it is ‘mere bol hi pehchaan hai’. This is the reason I believe when Sahir said his songs are ahead of tarranum (melody). There may be some elements of brazenness the way he puts his point of view.

If I remember correctly, one of the publishing houses ( Delhi or Lahore) had claimed that Sahir’s ‘Talkhiyaan’ (1945) had many editions and also had been translated in some regional and international languages. In terms of sales, ‘Talkhiyaan’ has the highest selling next only to Ghalib’s Diwan. If it is true, it is a kind of testimony of his stand that his poems sells without the music.


Sadanand Kamath ji,
Sahir and Rajesh Roshan have worked together in Kaala Pathar…Yash Chopra.
Ek raastha hai zindagi,jo tham gayee toh kuch nahin and Bahon mein tere masthi ke ghere ( Kishore Kumar,Latha and chorus; Rafi,Latha).


Kashmir ke baare mein kisi shaayar ne kaha tha ki “Agar swarg jamin pe hai to Yahin Hai…. Yahin hai”
Likewise ‘main shaayar to nahin hun….’ lekin keh sakta hun ki “Agar Sahir ke baare mein jaanana chahte ho to Yahin Hai…. Yahin hai”


Thanks for your compliments.
Lekin Kashmir ke waadiyon ki sargarmi ke saamne meri ye likhaai kuchh pheeki hai


sargarmi se thanda-dil kahin behtar hai.


Sadanan Ji, Dil bhar Aya , padke. A great tribute from the bottom of the heart. Thanks. Looking forward to your next. 🙂


Satish ji,
Thanks for your appreciation.


Kal aur aayenge nagmon ke khilltee kaliyan chunnewale,
Tum se behathar sunnewale,
Mujh se behathar kehenewale,
Kal koyee mujhko yaad kare,
Kyon koyee mujhko yaad kare?….. asked Sahir almost 45 years ago. But, the music lovers still remember him and will continue to do so for many more years. That’s the power of poetry and lyrics!
Tum mujhe bhool bhi jaao,
Toh ye haque hai tum ko,
Meri baat aur hai,
Humne toh mohabbat kee hai!




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