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

Caravan guzra kiya ham rahguzar dekha kiye

Posted on: July 29, 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 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.

Blog Day : 3663 Post No. : 14531

The poem, kaarwaan guzar gaya gubaar dekhte rahe and the poet Neeraj are inseparable. The poem was later adapted as a song in the film ‘Nai Umar Ki Nai Fasal’ (1965). But if I mention a verse from a ghazal, ‘kaarwaan guzra kiya raahguzar dekha kiya’ with more or less similar import, most of the readers of the Blog (barring those who have interest in the Urdu poetry) may not be aware as to who wrote this ghazal. The poet of this ghazal was Faani Badayuni. This name may not ring bell but the name will surely bring into the minds of most of us, another poet-lyricist from Badayun, Shakeel Badayuni.

I was not aware of Faani Badayuni until about 4 years back when I had started writing articles on some famous classical and modern Urdu poets for the Blog. In that, I had covered poets like Daagh Dehlvi, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Majaaz Lucknowi, Hasrat Mohoni, Sudarshan Faakir, Nida Fazli etc. I had also come across the name of Faani Badayuni in the context of Sahir Ludhinavi and Majaaz Lucknowi who were said to have been influenced by his poetry in their early writings. However, at that time, I did not make a serious attempt to know more about Faani Badayuni.

Recently, I heard the ghazal ‘misl-e-khayaal aaye thhe aakar chale gaye’ from the film ‘Aaina’ (1944). It is a tandem solo song sung by Kalyani Bai and Shama separately in the film. Pandit Phaani has been accredited as a song writer for this song in all the film songs websites. However, Kamalakar Pasupuleti’s book ‘Music and Arts in Hyderabad’ has mentioned that this ghazal was written by Faani Badayuni. I still have some doubt as to the authorship of this song. In my view, except for first she’r, the remaining 3 she’rs in the song appear more as filmy lyrics than the poetry. This issue created interest in me to know more about Faani Badayuni and his genre of poetry.

Shaukat Ali Khan ‘Faani’ Badayuni (13/09/1879 – 26/08/1941) was born in Islampur in Badayun district of the United Province (now Uttar Pradesh). Faani Badayuni’s great grandfather had come from Kabul during the reign of Mughal King, Shah Alam and had joined his darbaar. Later, he was made the Governor of Badayun and became the landlord in 144 villages. In the aftermath of the 1857 mutiny, the British confiscated most of his grandfather’s land as a punishment for supporting the 1857 rebellion. Faani’s father had to work as a sub-inspector in the Badayun police.

Faani Badayuni completed his high school in Badayun and did B.A. from Bareilly College in Bareilly. Faani was to get a job in the police but Faani’s father was keen that his son should enlist for LLB to become a lawyer to have an independent source of income. However, the young Faani was more interested in writing Urdu ghazals and attend mushairas than pursuing the vocation of a lawyer. It was the insistence from his father that forced him to take admission in a college in Allahabad for LLB and thereafter in Aligarh. After spending 6 years in these two colleges, Faani completed LLB in 1908.

Faani started law practices in Badayun, Bareilly, Agra and Lucknow but could not become a successful lawyer. With a poet in his heart, he had no interest in law practice. He had started writing ghazals from the age of 11. He used to spend much of his time in mushiaras. As a result, he did not devote sufficient time to study the court papers. His law practice failed and his father came to know that his son was devoting more time in writing Urdu poems than attending court. After his father’s reprimand, Faani stopped writing ghazals and participating in the mushiaras for few years.

In 1923, Faani came to Agra and started the law practice once again. But his practice did not flourish. During this time, he started an Urdu magazine ‘Tasneem’. But this venture also went into losses and had to be closed down in 1932. During these troubling times, Faani faced financial problems. It was during this period he had to sell his land at a pittance as a settlement of some land disputes.

Fortunately for Faani, in 1932, he got an invitation from Krishan Prasad ‘Shad’, the Diwan (Prime Minister) for the Nizam of Hyderabad to visit Hyderabad. Krishan Prasad was a poet himself beside a fan of Faani. He was provided with a furnished house in Hyderabad with free conveyance. He also got the monthly honorarium of Rs.350/- from Nizam.

In view of Faani’s educational qualification, the Diwan of Hyderabad was keen to make him a Magistrate in one of the courts of Hyderabad. However, due to some clever mechanisation of his competitors, Faani could not get any post worthy of his status. At last, he was appointed as a School Headmaster. After the death of Diwan Krishan Prasad in 1937, even his monthly honorarium was considerably reduced. During this period, Faani lost his young daughter and the wife within a span of one year. These incidences emotionally affected him.

Apart from attending to his job as a Headmaster, Faani was also required to attend the court of Nizam’s son. The music and poetry recitation sessions used to continue until the wee hours of the morning. As a result, Faani sometime could not attend to his school work or he would reach the school very late. As a punishment, Faani was transferred to a school in Nanded and later in Warangal. However, his heart was in Hyderabad for which he would often remain absent from the school. Due to this, Faani lost his job as Headmaster just few days before his death on August 26, 1941.

Faani had summed up his life as under. My guess is that he wrote this at the fag end of his life:

‘Faani’ ham to jeete ji wo maiyyat hai be-gor kafan
gurbat jisko raas na aayi aur watan bhi chooth gaya

[I am a living corpse without a tomb and the shroud (cloth on a dead body). Not wanted in a foreign (Hyderabad) land, I missed the home (Badayun)]

Faani published his poetry collections in two books – ‘Baqiyat-e-Faani’ and ‘Irfaniyat-e-Faani’. There is also a publication ‘Kuliyaat-e-Faani’ brought out after his death. In addition, there are some half a dozen published works done by some authors and editors on his poetry. All these publications are available on line in Urdu scripts only. Luckily , I could get a Hindi publication of Faani’s select poems (120 ghazals) in ‘Faani Badayuni Aur Unki Shaayari (1959) edited by Saraswati Saran ‘Kaif’ as e-book on rekhta.org.

Generally, traditional ghazals are written with a romantic theme of the poet’s unrequited love for his imagery beloved. The sequence of unrequited love poems starts with describing the husn (beauty) of the beloved. At this stae, everything looks good. Thereafter the poet feels that he has not been successful in wooing his beloved. Now his ghazals are full of pathos and melancholy. Lastly, the poet feels the pain of separation as the beloved is unresponsive.

However, almost all of Faani’s ghazals which I have read in the said publication, depict gloom, sorrow, despair, bitterness and pessimism. In his view, life is full of sorrow (gham) and only the death (maut) can relieve him from sorrow. In his ghazals, quite often words like ‘gham’, ‘maut’, ‘maiyyat’, ‘mataam’ will be found. Why Faani Badayuni’s ghazals are so gloomy?

The answer lies in the circumstances in which he had spent his life and the personal tragedies he faced. His father forced him to become a lawyer against his wishes. Even Faani’s small land holding was subject to dispute which he had to sell at a pittance. His friends left him when they were most needed at the times of his distress. In Hyderabad, his friends worked against him from getting a good job which he would have got it due to his educational qualification. After the death of his benefactor, Diwan Krishan Prasad in 1937, even his honorarium was considerably reduced. Within one year, he lost his young daughter and wife due to ill health as he had no money to spend on their medical expenses. All these events may have made him bitter about the life.

Some experts in the sphere of Urdu poetry say that Faani (means mortal, perishable) was influenced by the gloomy ghazals of Mir Taqi Mir and Mirza Ghalib. While this may be true, we have no way to know as to at what stage Faani started writing gloomy ghazals as his early works have said to be lost.

From a sample of the following she’rs of Faani, one can notice depressed he was from his day to day life. Words like ‘maut’, ‘maiyyat’, ‘maatam’ seems to be his favourite vocabulary:

ehsaas-e-mohabbat hi meri maut hai ‘Faani’
iss zindagi-e-dil ne mujhe jaan se maara

har nafs umr-e-guzashta ki hai maiyyat ‘Faani’
zindagi naam hai mar mar jiye jaane kaa

nafs=soul, spirit
umr-e-guzashta= previous age (life)

maut jis kaa hayaat ho ‘Faani’
iss shaheed-e-sitam kaa maatam kyaa

hayaat=life, existence
shaheed-e-sitam=martyr of tyranny

kisi ki gham ki kahaani hai zindagi ‘Faani’
zamaana ek fasaana hai marne waalon kaa

duniya meri balaa jaane, mehengi hai yaa sasti hai
muft miley to maut na loon, hasti ki kyaa hasti hai

It appears that over a period of time, Faani got so much used to face sorrows and pains that they had become a part of his life. In fact, he thinks that he gets relief by facing them:

‘Faani’ wo balaa-kash hoon gham bhi mujhe raahat hai
maine gham-e-hasti ki soorat bhi na pehchaani

balaa-kash= afflicted, distressed.
gham-e-hasti= life of sorrow

For me, reading Faani’s ghazals was like watching the film ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ (1959). Both are gloomy and depressing to my mind. But these are the classic works which no one with interests in classical Urdu poetry and films can ignore.

Unfortunately, Faani Badayuni’s ghazals have rarely been used in Hindi films. One of his famous ghazals ‘ ek muamma hai samjhne kaa na samjhaane kaa’ has been partly used in ‘Prem Nagar’ (1974). The song has already been covered in the Blog. So, I have selected one of Faani’s famous non-filmy ghazals, ‘kaarwaan guzra kiya hum rahguzar dekha kiye’ (1970). I have attempted English translation (rather transliteration) below. I will not be surprised if some different interpretations of this ghazal emerge as I feel that the ghazal has some shade of Sufiana poetry.

kaarawaan guzra kiya hum rahguzar dekha kiye
har kadam par naqsh-e-paa-e-raahbar dekha kiye

Travellers have left me and now I can only see the pathway.
At every step, I looked at the foot prints of my guide.

[The poet wished to reach his destination which is his beloved (God/Saint) but the travellers (pilgrims) have already left with the guide. Now he lacks guidance. it is said that to reach the God, one needs an intermediary in form of a saint and I think here the guide is the saint]

kaarwaan= A large group of travellers,
rahguzar= Pathway
naqsh-e-paa-e-Raahbar= Foot prints of the guide.

yaas jab chhaayi ummeeden haath mal kar rah gayin
dil ke nabzen chhut gayin aur chaaraagar dekha kiye

When the despair set in, all hopes got dashed.
My heart beats stopped and I looked for a healer to cure me.

[Again, the use of the word ‘chaaraagar’ (healer) is the typical of Sufiana poetry.
The poet is in pain and in despair as his all hopes of meeting his beloved dashed. Now he needs a healer to cure him from the pains and despair.]

yaas=despair, frustration
nabzen= pulses, beats
chaaraagar=one who cures, healer, doctor

rukh meri jaanib nigaah-e-lutf dushman ke taraf
youn udhar dekha kiye goyaa idhar dekha kiye

The beloved face is towards me but her love of glance is meant for my rival.
She is looking elsewhere but pretends as if she is glancing at me.

rukh= face
jaanib=direction, towards
nigaah-e-lutf=glance of love
goyaa= as if

dard mandaan-e-wafa ke haay re majbooriyan
dard-e-dil dekha na jaata thha magar dekha kiye

Oh! How many difficulties I have to face for the separation from my beloved. I cannot withstand the pain in my heart but I will have to bear it.

tu kahan thhi ae azal ae naa-muraadon ke muraad
marne waale raah teri umr bhar dekha kiye

O death, where were you. You were the wish of unfortunates.
Those who were desirous of death were waiting for you life long.

[It is interesting to note that Sahir Ludhianvi, in his famous qawwali in ‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ (1960), expressed somewhat similar thoughts but in a lighter vein:

‘mere naa-muraad ki junoon kaa hai ilaaj koi to maut hai’ ]

azal= death
naa-muraad=unfortunate, unlucky.

The last she’r of the ghazal not covered in the record

zeest thhi ‘Faani’ be-kadr-e-fursat-e-tamheed-e-shauq
umr bhar hum partav-e-noor-e-bashar dekha kiye

The life of Faani was limited to the extent of playing the role of the love.
Throughout the life, I remained in the shadow of the beauty of the human being.

zeest=Life
ba-kadr-e-fursat = to the extent-
tamheed-e-shauq= Role of love
partav-e-noor-e-bashar= In the shadow of the beauty of the human being.

The ghazal has been rendered by Asha Bhonsle under the music direction of Jaidev. The LP containing this ghazal was first released sometime in 1970.
—————————————————————————————————————————–

Notes:(1) For Faani Badayuni’s life profile, I have relied mostly on the Hindi book, ‘Faani Aur Unki Shaayari’ (1959): Editor, Saraswati Saran Kaif, which I gratefully acknowledge. Some additional inforamtion was drawn from interviews on Faani Badayuni in the video clips available on YT.

(2) I have selected the she’rs from the ghazals listed in the book referred to above as I felt that this was more autheticated source than those available on line.

Audio Clip:

Song-Caravan guzra kiya ham rahguzar dekha kiye(Asha Bhonsle NFS)(1971) Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Faani Badayuni, MD-Jaidev

Lyrics

aaa aaa aa aa aaa
aa aa aaa
aa aa aaa
kaarwaan guzra kiya
hum rahguzar dekha kiye
kaarwaan guzra kiya
hum rahguzar dekha kiye
har kadam par naqsh-e-paa-e-raahbar dekha kiye
kaarwaan guzra kiya

yaas jab chhaayi ee eee
yass jab chhaayi
ummeeden haath mal kar rah gayin
dil ke nabzen chhut gayin
aur chaaraagar dekha kiye
dil ke nabzen chhut gayin
aur chaaraagar dekha kiye
kaarwaan

rukh meri jaanib nigaah-e-lutf dushman ki taraf
rukh meri jaanib nigaah-e-lutf dushman ki taraf
youn udhar dekha kiye
goyaa idhar dekha kiye
youn udhar dekha kiye
goyaa idhar dekha kiye
kaarwaan guzra kiya

dard mandaan-e-wafa ki
dard mandaan-e-wafa ki
haay re majbooriyan
dard-e-dil dekha na jaata
thha magar dekha kiye
dard-e-dil dekha na jaata
thha magar dekha kiye
kaarwaan

tu kahaan thhi ae azal
tu kahaan thhi
tu kahaan thhi ae azal
ae naa-muraadon ki muraad
marne waale raah teri
umr bhar dekha kiye
marne waale raah teri
umr bhar dekha kiye
kaarwaan guzra kiya
hum rahguzar dekha kiye
hum rahguzar dekha kiye
hum rahguzar dekha kiye
hum rah…

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3 Responses to "Caravan guzra kiya ham rahguzar dekha kiye"

Sir, many thanks for this detailed article and this song.
When I saw the notification of this post in the morning I was sure this was something very special and as expected I got myself drowned in the article and in the poetry of Faani Badayuni. Reading the poetry was enchanting in despair and gloom…

yass jab chhaayi
ummeeden haath mal kar rah gayin
dil ke nabzen chhut gayin
aur chaaraagar dekha kiye
waah …

tu kahaan thhi ae azal
ae naa-muraadon ki muraad
marne waale raah teri
umr bhar dekha kiye ..

The composition by Jaidev ji and singing by Asha Bhonsle simply justify the classic in its true essence.

Thanks again …!!!

Excellent write-up, Kamath Saheb. Chand lafzon mein hi aapne Fani Budauni ki ghamgeen zindagi aur shayari ka khaka kheench kar hum sab ke saamne pesh kar diya. Bahut bahut shukriya. (You have succinctly summarised the pathos in the life and times and poetry of Fani Budauni. Thanks a lot.)
The choice of Fani’s ghazal is most appropriate. NFS by Asha tai is superbly rendered. Now with the context so kindly shared by you, we can relate to it more enhancing our enjoyment.
Once again thanks and regards,
Avadh Lal

Avinash ji and Avad Lal ji,

Your appreciations have more than compensated for the time I spent in writing this article.

Thanks.

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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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