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

Janaab e Naaseh Samajhte Hain Hum

Posted on: August 23, 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 : 3688 Post No. : 14595

In the sphere of Parsi Theatres, there were many artists who had contributed in the growth of Indian theatres. But there were few personalities and artists associated with Parsi Theatres whose contributions led to its strong foundation. Some theatre scholars whose specialisation is in South Asian theatres, regard Agha Hashr Kashmiri (Writer-Director), Pandit Narayan Prasad ‘Betab’ (Writer-Director), Radheshyam Katha Vachak (Writer-Director), Master Fida Hussain (Actor-Singer) and Jaishankar Bhojak, popularly known as Jaishankar Sundari (Actor-Singer) as the pioneers in developing the Parsi Theatres.

I have already covered in our blog, the life sketches of Pandit Narayan Prasad ‘Betaab’ in the post, “Abroo Ki Kamaanon Mein”, of Agha Hashr Kashmiri in “Yaad Mein Teri Jahaan Ko Bhoolta Jaata Hoon Main”  and Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vachak in “Ye Suna Hai Maine Jaadu Hai”.  In this article, I am presenting a brief biography of the fourth artist, Master Fida Hussain, the actor-singer.

Before I embark upon covering Fida Hussain’s biography, I wish to share with the readers that his biography was an oral history of his association of 50 years with Parsi Theatres as told to Pratibha Agrawal, a theatre scholar and connected with the Natya Shodh Sansthan, Calcutta (Kolkata). The oral history she collected from Fida Hussain during their sitting of 15 days was published verbatim in Hindi in 1986 with comments from her. There is no sequencing of the events spread over 50 years of his theatre days.

The English translation of his biography ‘Parsi Theatre Main 50 Varsh’ (1986) was published as one of the chapters in a book ‘Stages of Life’ (2011) by Kathryn Hansen, a leading scholar of South Asian theatre history. What I have done is more like an abstract writing of the biography sourced from this book with my comments wherever necessary. There are many interesting trivia and anecdotes revealed by Fida Hussain during his oral submission which I have avoided in my write-up to make the presentation of the biography as short as possible.

Fida Hussain (11/03/1899 -1999) was born in Muradabad (UP) in an conservative family.  Right from childhood, Fida Hussain was fond of singing. It is quite likely that he got interested in singing because of the travelling theatres and nautanki groups that visited his town. Fida Hussain’s father and uncle did not like his interest in singing.  Almost every day, the young Fida Hussain used to get beatings from his uncle for singing, though his father despite the dislike for the singing and music, spared him from beating.

But the more beatings he got, his fondness for singing increased. He also started watching the free shows of nautanki (folk theatre) which culminated into his love for the acting as well. This enraged his married elder brother who instigated his wife to do something to affect his voice. One day, she served him paan with vermilion powder which resulted in loss of his voice for nearly six months. After getting his voice back thanks to a visiting Sadhu who gave him some prescriptions, Fida Hussain started attending nautanki shows with a greater vigour than before.

In 1917, Fida Hussain joined a local drama club and got training for six months before being given a female role in the drama ‘Shahi Faqeer’. In this way, the path toward theatre opened for him. Soon, with the recommendation of his local drama club’s President, he went on to join the New Alfred Theatrical Company which was touring around Delhi for staging ‘Veer Abhimanyu’. In January 1918, Fida Hussain ran away from his home in Muradabad for Delhi leaving his newly married wife at home.

The New Alfred company never employed female actors. Hence the female roles were performed by the male actors like Master Nissar. Fida Hussain also got mostly the female roles in New Alfred.

Once when New Alfred was staging a show in Meerut, one of the boys from his neighbourhood recognised Fida Hussain and promptly reported the matter to his father. His father-in-law promptly lodged a complaint with police and an arrest warrant was issued. This entire episode is too big to cover here. The conclusion of this episode was Fida Hussain got a reprieve from his father, who allowed him reluctantly to continue with his passion after getting assurances from him that he would never indulge in intoxication (of any form), gambling, always keep high morality and keep in touch with his family by visiting his home town.

With his domestic issues getting resolved amicably, Fida Hussain could now concentrate fully on theatres. His association with New Alfred continued until it closed down in 1930. His most popular dramas under New Alfred were ‘Parivartan’ (1922), ‘Veer Abhimanyu (c 1923), ‘Parambhakt Prahlad’ (c 1923), ‘Shri Krishna Avatar’ (1924-25), ‘Ishwar Bhakti’ (1928), ‘Laila Majnu’ (1930). Except for ‘Laila Majnu’, Fida Hussain played the female roles in all these plays.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Fida Hussain got associated with many theatre companies all over north, east and west India, the prominent being Alfred, Madan (pronounced as Maadon), Sahajahan, Narsi, Mohan  and finally taking up the reins of Moonlight Theatre owned by Marwadi brothers in Calcutta (now Kolkata). During this period, Fida Hussain worked in ‘Nal Damyanti’, ‘Yahudi Ki Ladki’, Khoobsoorat Balaa’, ‘Seeta Banvas’, ‘Chalta Purza’, ‘Bhakta Narsi Mehta’, ‘Bharat Milap’, ‘ Krishna Leela’ and many more.

In 1939, he donned the title role of Narsi Mehta in the play ‘Bhakt Narsi Mehta’. The play became a hugely popular hit and it played for over 1000 nights. Because of this, Fida Hussain was honoured with the title ‘Narsi’ which he proudly used as suffix to his name as  Fida Hussain ‘Narsi’.

With the advent of talkies, Fida Hussain, like many other artists from theatres, was associated with a few Hindi films during 1934-46 as an actor-singer. The first film he worked was ‘Ramayan’ (1934) followed by ‘Insaf Ki Tope’ (1934), ‘Kunwaari Ya Vidhwa’ (1935), ‘Diljaani’ (1935), ‘Dil Ki Pyaas’ (1935), ‘Daku Ka Ladka’ (1935), ‘Balidaan’ (1935), ‘Khudaai Kitmadgaar’ (1937), ‘Matwali Meera’ (1940), ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941), ‘Arabian Nights’ (1946) and ‘Toote Sapne’ (1946, Unreleased).

Except for ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) which was produced in Bombay (Mumbai), rest of films in which Fida Hussain worked were produced in Calcutta (Kolkata) where he was associated with Moonlight Theatres. I find that barring one or two films, he had small roles in rest of his films. It is quite possible that due to his immense popularity on stage as an actor-singer, the producers of the films may have taken him in their films to attract his large fans to watch the films. My guess is that Fida Hussain did not have much interest for working in films as his heart was with the theatre.

Fida Hussain continued his association with Moonlight Theatres, Calcutta (Kolkata) where he was the boss. The owners (4 Marwadi brothers) did not interfere in any aspects of the Moonlight Theatre so long as they earned profit from this venture. I am surprised as to how Fida Hussain could successfully compete with Hindi films and ran the Moonlight Theatres profitably in the 1950s and 60s. In 1968 when Fida Hussain completed 50 years in Parsi Theatre, he decided to retire from the theatre activities and spend rest of his life with his extended family in Muradabad. With his retirement, the Moonlight Theatre was closed and with this the glorious years of Parsi Theatre came to an end.

However, Fida Hussain remained busy during most of his post-retirement years. Being the only living legend of Parsi theatres, his knowledge about the old theatrical styles were utilised for those interested in theatre. He became a regular visiting faculty for the National School of Drama, New Delhi until 90s. He also conducted workshops for students who were pursuing their interest in the theatre. He was often one of the invitees on symposium and seminars on Indian theatres. In 1985, Fida Hussain received the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in recognition of his contributions to Indian theatres. In 1978,  he had received the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for acting.  Fida Hussain passed away in the year 1999.

Fida Hussain may be one of the few theatre personalities who commanded not only the respect but also kept his reputation high even during his poet-retirement years. He was also one of a few artists who judiciously used his earnings to create a bright future for his two sons and two daughters. At the time of his death, Fida Hussain was the owner of two brassware business firms in Muradabad which were run by his two sons.

During his theatre days, Fida Hussain recorded more than 200 songs with HMV. However, his filmy songs are few (may be less than 20) and it seems some of them were not issued on gramophone records. Very recently, I could get hold of his two songs from the film ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) which I have uploaded on the video sharing platform.

I am presenting here one of the songs. “Janaab e Naaseh Samajhte Hain Hum’ from ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) sung by Master Fida Hussain. There were 7 songs in the film, all written by Wahid Qureshi which were set to music by Madhulal Damodar Master.

‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) was produced under the banner of Wadia Moveitone and was directed by Homi Wadia. The star cast included Nadia, John Cawas, Radha Rani, Sardar Mansoor, Boman Shroff, Dalpat, Fatima, Minoo Cooper, Nazira, Mithu Miyan, Gunboat (Dog) etc. The story of the film in short is as under:

A village is being exploited by a capitalist racketeer. The villagers are being convinced to sell their land to the capitalist. Everything seems to be going smooth for the capitalist until Nadia (Bambaiwaali) who returns to her village after completing her education in Bombay (Mumbai). She opposes selling land to the capitalist for which the women folks of the village support Nadia. Now the conflict turns between the greedy men of the village and their women folks who love their land more than the money.

Nadia with her two henchmen, a dog and even a rickety motor car became the part of thrilling and sometime hilarious situations to catch the racketeers. Women are trained to use laathis for self-defence. With this, Nadia establishes that village women have equal say in decision making. Capitalist’s game plan is defeated. (Source: Filmindia, September 1941).

Anyway, there is a subtle message in the film story about women’s emancipation in the guise of a wholesale entertainment.

Master Fida Hussain had a very deep voice probably due to his loud singing on the stage in the absence of microphone those days.  This is reflected in his singing the filmy songs including the one under discussion. In this song, his singing style is a fusion of ghazal, qawwali and classic style of singing of 1930s.

With this song, ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) makes a debut in the Blog.

Translation by Sudhir

janaab e naaseh samahjte hain hum
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge

o learned advisors (please know)
that am aware they have hearts of stone
and will betray the trust in love
[naaseh = learned person, advisor;
sangdil = one with a heart of stone;
jafaa = betrayal of trust]

mithaa hi denge jahaan se hamko
aur iss se badkar wo kya karenge

they may destroy us
and banish us from this world of living
but alas, that is the utmost
that they can achieve

apni ye zulfen balaa karenge
apni ye zeben ada karenge
magar haseenon se ye to poochho
jo hum na honge to kya karenge

they may arrange their tresses
to afflict disaster on our hearts
they may present their graces and beauty
but hey, ask of these enchanting ladies
what use is this beauty and charm
if we are not there (to appreciate)
[balaa (बला) = calamity, adversity;
zeb (ज़ेब) = grace, beauty]

nazar alahda hai har bashar ki
khuda kasam hai apni
jo humko dete hain bad’duaaen
hum unke haq mein duaa karenge

every person has a different perspective
in the name of Allah, the Almighty
those who may curse us
we still will seek blessings for them
[alahda = different, separate;
bashar = person, individual;
duaa = blessing;
bad’duaa = curse]

Song – Janaabe Naaseh Samajhte Hain Hum (Bambaiwaali) (1941) Singer – Master Fida Hussain, Lyrics – Wahid Qureshi, MD – Madhulal Damodar Master


aaaa aa aa
aa aaaaa aaaaaaa
aaaa aaa aa aa

janaab e
samahjte hain hum
janaa..aab e
samahjte hain hum
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge
mitaa hi
jahaan se hamko
mitaa hi
jahaan se hamko
aur iss se badkar wo kya karenge
aur iss se badkar wo kya
wo kya karenge
wo kya karenge
aur iss se badkar wo kya

apni ye zulfen balaa..aa..aa karenge
apni ye zeben ada karenge
magar haseenon se ye to poochho
aaaa aa
magar haseenon se ye to poochho
jo hum na honge to kya karenge
jo hum na honge to kya karenge
aa aa aa aaa
nazar alahda
hai har bashar
nazar alahda
haan nazar alahda..aa
haan nazar alahda
haan nazar alahda
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa
nazar alahda hai har bashar
khuda aa aa aa
kasam hai apni
jo humko dete hain 
jo humko dete hain bad’duaaen
hum unke haq mein duaa karenge
hum unke haq mein duaa
janaab e naaseh samahjte hain hum
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge

Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

आsss आ आ
आ आssss आssssss
आsss आss आ आ

जनाब ए नासेह॰॰
समझते हैं हम
जना॰॰आब ए नासेह॰॰ए
समझते हैं हम
वो संगदिल हैं जफा करेंगे
वो संगदिल हैं जफा करेंगे
मिटा ही देंगे॰॰ए
जहां से हमको
मिटा ही देंगे॰॰ए
जहां से हमको
और इस से बढ़ कर वो क्या करेंगे
और इस से बढ़ कर वो क्या करेंगे॰॰ए
वो क्या करेंगे
वो क्या करेंगे
और इस से बढ़ कर वो क्या करेंगे॰॰ए

अपनी ये ज़ुल्फें बला॰॰आ॰॰आ करेंगे
अपनी ये ज़ेबें अदा करेंगे
मगर हसीनों से ये तो पूछो
आss आ
मगर हसीनों से ये तो पूछो
जो हम ना होंगें तो क्या करेंगे
जो हम ना होंगें तो क्या करेंगे

आ आ आ आss
नज़र अल्हैदा
है हर बशर की॰॰ई॰॰ई
नज़र अल्हैदा
हाँ नज़र अल्हैदा॰॰आ
हाँ नज़र अल्हैदा
हाँ नज़र अल्हैदा
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ
नज़र अल्हैदा है हर बशर की॰॰ई
कसम है अपनी
जो हमको देते हैं
जो हमको देते हैं बद्दुआयें
हम उनके हक़ में दुआ करेंगे
हम उनके हक़ में दुआ करेंगे॰॰ए

जनाब ए नासेह समझते हैं हम
वो संगदिल हैं जफा करेंगे
वो संगदिल हैं जफा करेंगे


3 Responses to "Janaab e Naaseh Samajhte Hain Hum"

Sudhir ji,

Thanks a lot for adding English translation of the lyrics with good interpretations.

Sadanand ji,

Thanks for one more informative article, this time on Fida Hussain.
I simply love your articles. They are an outcome of a studied effort, for which you do lot of hard work. This quality is rare these days. Also I find that every statement you make in your articles has a basis, with corroborative documents. This is what is called real work.
Thanks again.

Arun ji,

Thanks. I really appreciate the compliments coming from you.

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