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

Nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan

Posted on: November 19, 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 :

3776 Post No. : 14754 Movie Count :


Muzzafar Ali, the producer-director of some of the parallel films has been very proud of the Awadhi culture. His father was the raja of Kotwara which is located in Lakhimpur Kheri district, a part of Awadh region. Moreover, he had completed his schooling in Lucknow, the centre of Awadhi culture. His sensibility towards Awadhi culture can be judged from his films, Gaman’ (1978), ‘Umrao Jaan’ (1981), Aagaman’ (1984), ‘Anjuman’ (1986) and the last one, “Jaanisaar’ (2015) with Awadh as background. “More than a ‘royal’, I am ‘loyal’ to my root – Awadh” says Muzzafar Ali.

In ‘Gaman’ (1978), the young Ghulam Hasan goes to Mumbai from Lucknow in search of employment opportunity and ultimately become a taxi driver living in a slum. His wife and the ailing mother live in Lucknow eagerly waiting for his return. But he has no saving after working as a taxi driver for months to visit his native place. True to his love for Awadh, Muzzafar Ali chose the location in Kotwara for shooting a part of the film covering the scenes of Ghulam Hasan’s wife and his ailing mother. The dialogues during the scenes in the film in the native village between Ghulam Hasan, his wife and mother were in Awadhi.

Muzzafar Ali was so much into Awadh that for ‘Gaman’ (1978), he had first approached Amitabh Bachchan who is also from the Awadh region, for the role of Ghulam Hasan (The reason could be that there were many dialogues in the film in Awadhi). Amitabh Bachchan had first agreed to do the role in principle. However, later he felt that his ‘angry young man’ image would be affected by doing the role in the film. So he declined the offer. The role went to Farooque Shaikh. (This was revealed by Mazzafar Ali in a documentary video film).

In ‘Umrao Jaan’ (1981), Muzaffar Ali takes us to the heartland of Awadhi culture – Lucknow-Faizabad belt in the film. The film depicts the nawabi Lucknow with its all grandeur – the language, the costumes, the sets etc. Probably, after his first experience of film production with ‘Gaman’ (1978), Muzzafar Ali became wiser. So he built into this film, some elements of commercial films like selecting Rekha for the role of Umrao Jaan. On a second thought, Asha Bhonsle was selected to sing songs for Rekha. He also selected the well-known theatre actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Shaukat Azmi, Deena Pathak, Gajanan Jagirdar to give the film a strong acting prowess in subsidiary roles. The mixing this ‘parallel’ film with commercial elements paid a rich dividend to Muzzafar Ali in that even after 37 years, this film has remained in the bloodstream of cinema fans.

‘Aagaman’ (1984) was Muzaffar Ali’s 3rd film, making it a part of the trilogy of films with the commonality of Awadhi culture. The film was produced by Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane Seed and Development Corporation under the banner of Integrated Films and was directed by Muzzafar Ali. The star cast included Suresh Oberoi, Bharat Bhushan, Saeed Jaffrey, Anupam Kher (his debut film), Dilip Dhawan, Deepa (her debut film), Sudhir Pandey, Yunus Parvez, Raj Bisaria, Javed Khan, Anjaan Srivastav etc.

It was the idea of Muzzaffar Ali to Vishwanath Pratap Singh, the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh to commission a feature film highlighting the plights of sugarcane growers in Lakhimpur Kheri, which is called the ‘sugar bowl of Uttar Pradesh’. Most of the shooting of the film had taken place in Kotwar and around.

It is surprising that ‘Aagaman’ (1984) is not available for watching online. It appears that the DVD of the film is also not available for sale. I remember that in one of the programmes on Doordarhsan, Muzzafar Ali had mentioned that the sound negatives of both ‘Aagaman’ (1984) and ‘Anjuman’ (1986) were lost/destroyed. That means that the only chance to see the film is from the private collectors. I find that video clips of most of the songs of ‘Aagaman’ (1984) are available online.

Anyway, the broad story line of the film as I understand from some online sources is that a sugar mill owner of a village has been exploiting the sugarcane growers by not paying them remunerative prices. As a result, sugarcane growers remained poor and debtors. A young man from the village after completion of his education from Lucknow takes up the issue of sugarcane growers with the sugar mill owner. But his efforts do not bear fruit as there are vested interests in the village. Ultimately, with great persuasion, he makes reasons to sugarcane growers to set up a cooperative sugar mill. Now they not only get the fair price for the sugarcane but being the members of the cooperative sugar mill, they also share the profits from the mill.

The film has 8 songs out of which as many as 7 songs were composed on the published nazms of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. The remaining one song was written by Hasrat Jaipuri. All the songs were set to music by Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. It was his first film as a music director.

I am presenting the first song ‘nisaar mein teri galiyon ke ae watan ke jahaan’ from the film which is a nazm written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. He wrote this nazm in the backdrop of the establishment of Pakistan’s first military government in 1958 when many repressive measures were taken. Dissents were not tolerated. There was censorship on the newspapers. Political leaders and intellectuals were arrested and imprisoned. The song is rendered by Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.

Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan (born 03/03/1931) is the doyen of Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana and is highly respected among the new generation of Hindustani classical singers. He has a large number of his disciples/trainees which include Asha Bhonsle, Geeta Dutt, Manna Dey, Kamal Barot, Suresh Wadkar, Hariharan, A R Rahman, Alisha Chinoy, Sonu Nigam, Shaan etc. I propose to write a detailed article on him sometime later.

The song in the video clip is somewhat shorter than the record version of the song due to a few lines repeated in the latter version. Furthermore, the order in which antara parts of the song is recorded in record version is different than the order in the sound track.

With this song, ‘Aagaman’ (1983) makes its debut in the Blog. The singer-composer also makes his debut in the blog.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan (Aagaman)(1983) Singer-Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Lyrics-Faiz Ahmad Faiz, MD-Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan

Lyrics (based on video clip)

nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan ke jahaan
chali hai rasm ke koi na sar uthha ke chale ae
nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan ke jahaan
jo koi chaahne waala tawaaf ko nikle
nazar churaa ke chale jism-o-jaan bachaa ke chale
nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan ke jahaan

bahut hain zulm ke dast-e-bahaana joo ke liye
jo chand ahl-e-junoon tere naam leva hain
bane hain ahl-e-hawas muddai bhi munsif bhi
kise vakil karen kis se munsafi chaahen
magar guzaarne waalon ke din guzarte hain
tere firaaq mein hi subah-o-shaam karten hain
nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan ke jahaan

yoon hi hamesha ulajhti rahi hai zulm se khalq
na unki rasm nayi hai na apni reet nayi
yoon hi hamesha khilaayen hain hamne aag mein phool
na unki haar nayi hai na apni jeet nayi
isi sabab se falak ka gila nahin karte
tere firaaq mein hum dil bura nahin karte
nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan ke jahaan

gar aaj tujhse juda hain to kal baham honge
ye raat bhar ki judaai to koi baat nahin
gar aaj auj pe hain taala-e-raqib to kya
ye chaar din ki khudaai to koi baat nahin
jo tujhse ahd-e-wafa ustawaar rakhte hain
ilaaj-e-gardish-e-lail-o-nihaar rakhte hain
nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan ke jahaan

bujha jo rauzan-e-zindaan to dil ye samjha hai
ke teri maang sitaaron se bhar gayi hogi
chamak uthhe hain salaasal to hamne jaana
ke ab sahar tere rukh par bhi kar gayi hogi
garaz-e-tasawwur-e-shaam-o-sahar mein jeete hain
giraft-e-saaya-e-deewaar-o-dar mein jeete hain
nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan ke jahaan

Translation (Provided by Sadanand Kamath)
nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan ke jahaan
chali hai rasam ke koi na sar utha ke chale
jo koi chaahne waala tawaaf ko nikle
nazar churaaake chale jism-o-jaan bachaake chale

O my country! I bow to your streets.
They have decreed a custom that none shall walk holding his head high.
If any one wishes to take a round of walk,
walk sneakily, walk with a bend body (to avoid detection).

bahut hai zulm ke dast-e-bahaana-joo ke liye
jo chand ahl–e-junoon tera naam leva hain
bane hain ahl-e-hawas mudaai bhi munsif bhi
kise vakil kare kis se munsafi chaahen
magar gujaarne waalon ke din gujarten hain
tere firaaq mein hi subah-o-shaam karten hain

There are many excuses to continue the oppression
for some crazy people in the guise of your name.
With power of lust, they are both the plaintiff and the judge,
Whom to appoint lawyer and from whom does get justice?
But one has to persist with these hard times for days.
In separation from you, they spend time from dawn to dusk.

yoon hi hamesha uljhati rahi hai zulm se khalq
na unki rasm nayi hai na apni reet nayi
yoon hi humesha khilaayen hain humne aag mein phool
na unki haar nayi hai na apni jeet nayi
isi sabab se falak ka gila nahi karte
tere firaaq mein hum dil bura nahi karte

As always, we reel under oppression.
Neither their rituals nor our traditions is new
As always we have made flowers to bloom in fire
Neither their defeat, nor our victory is new
We do not blame the sky
Nor we feel bad in our hearts for separation from you.

gar aaj tujhse juda hai to kal baham honge
ye raat bhar ki judaai to koi baat nahin
gar aaj auj pe hai taale-e-raqib to kya
ye chaar din ki khudaai to koi baat nahin
jo tujhse ahd-e-wafa ustuvaar rakhte hain
ilaaj-e-gardish-e-lail-o-nahaar rakhte hain

Though separated today, tomorrow we shall be re-united.
Separation is only for the night it does not matter.
If today our rivals are at the peak of powers, so what?
These four days of divinity do not matter.
Those who love you keep a firm belief in you.
We keep the remedy of revolution day and night.

bujha jo rauzan-e-zindaan to dil ye samjha hai
ke teri maang sitaaron se bhar gayi hogi
chamak uthi hai salasil to hamne jaana hai
ke ab sahar tere rukh par bhikar gayi hogi
garaz-e-tasawwur-e-shaam-o-sahar mein jeete hain
giraft-e-saya-o-deewaar-o-dar mein jeete hain

When lights in the prison dim, my heart has felt
that your forehead has been lighted with stars.
When my chains have sparkled, I have known
that the dawn must have straggled upon your face.
We live by imagining the dawn and dusk
We live in the shadows of the high prison walls

1 Response to "Nisaar main teri galiyon pe ae watan"

Aise rare aur achchhe gaane deke sada aanand dete raho, Sadanandji.
Umrao Jaan was originaly contracted with Jaidevji for music. When Jaidevji wanted songs to be sung bu Madhurani-ji, there was conflict with Muzaffar Ali. When denied Jaidevji tore-off the contract and I have a video of Madhurani-ji talking about that. I will publish that small video as soon as I find it from enormous Khajana.


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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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