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

Nukta-cheen Hai Gham e Dil, Us Ko Sunaaye Na Baney

Posted on: June 28, 2019

This article is written by Nahm, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3997 Post No. : 15093

Mohammed Rafi : The Incomparable (II) – Song No. 12

This particular ghazal, as some other Mirza Ghalib ghazals, has been sung by various singers.  Some of the famous renditions by KL Sehgal Sb, Suraiyya and also by Jaddanbai are already posted in the blog:      KL Sehgal (‘Yahudi Ki Ladki’, 1933)        Jaddanbai (Non-Film song, 1930)         Suraiyya  (‘Mirza Ghalib’, 1954)

Another rendition of the golden era is yet to find its way into the blog, so here is the Rafi Sahab rendition.  This is a very small simple ghazal with only the four sha’irs being rendered.

The starting word is ‘nuktaa cheen’, which means to be critical or criticism of something or someone.  The word ‘nuktaa’  in common urdu actually means ‘a point” or ‘a dot’.  In geometry it used to be ‘nukta alif’ to ‘nukta bey” as in point A to point B.

Nukta cheeni as being critical of someone or something, ably comes out in this sha’ir by Qateel Shifai :

wohi to sab se zyada hain nukta cheen mera
jo muskura ke hamesha gale lagaye mujhe 

Here the word is used in the sense of ‘being critical of someone”.  But Ghalib says “nuktaa cheen hai gham-e-dil”, he means to use the word in the other English meaning of the word i.e. cirtical, as in serious ill or a critical condition of health.  I have always felt like this about this sha’ir.  Did Ghalib have knowledge of the English word for ‘nukta-cheeni’ and also its another usage, i.e. critical ?  Who can say!  It is more likely that ‘nukta cheen’ is a Persian origin word meaning critical, as in health condition.

Actually this blog has quite a few anecdotes about Mirza Ghalib recorded in the write-ups and comments. Those who wish to know more can read the comments on this page :  including anecdote regarding this sha’ir :

banaa hai shah ka musaahib phire hai itraata
agarna shehar mein ghalib ki aabroo kya hai

 Also a few more things that I can recite from memory high lighting the legendary poets talent for ‘fil-ba-dih” replies  i.e. quid pro que replies, what we mean when we say tit-for-tat.

Once Ghalib was taking a walk in the garden with the Emperor (Bahadur Shah Zafar) a few days after the holy month of Ramazaan.  The Emperor asks him “Roze kitne rakkhe ?”.

Ghalib who is known for not observing the religious obligations, was ready with his reply “huzur, ek nahi rakkha”.  Perfect example of telling the truth yet not saying it.

Mirza Ghalib was said to be very fond of mangoes.  Once he was sitting down with friends and eating mangoes to the heart’s content.  They all kept eating the mangoes and throwing the peel (chhilka) to one side.  One among them who didn’t like mangoes was not eating.  Some donkeys happened by and they made towards the mango peels, but did not eat them.  The person who was not eating the mangoes, took the opportunity to ridicule the others including Ghalib, saying that “ke dekho aam to gadhe bhi nahin khaate”.  To this Ghalib had the last word saying “gadhe hi aam nahin khaate”.

It has now been a few years since I had any meaningful, at length discussion with my cousins, uncles or even friends in live discussions.  Since we grew up and became responsible persons in our lives, we all seem to meet on occasions, for a few short hours or days if we are lucky.  And since most of my cousins are staying abroad, and lone friend from my school days is staying in faraway place, I miss this type of discussions.

It’s really funny how some conceptions or misconceptions are formed in mind and are difficult to dislodge. There are a few such instances related to words, where I carried misconceptions that were later corrected.  One was about the Urdu word ‘habshi’ (meaning – a person belonging to the Habsh tribe of North Africa, a dark coloured person).  I read the word as ‘Jashi”, since both words have the same formation as written in Urdu, except for placement of the dot below the alphabets. the ‘hai in ‘habshi’ is the same in the word as ‘jeem’, except for the dot below ‘jeem’. Actually the dot below the next alphabet ‘be’ may have looked like it below ‘hai’ and I read it as ‘jeem’ and read the word as ‘jashi’ to begin with, and the first impression stuck.

It was as late as 1981, when the film ‘Razia Sultan’ was released, and I became aware of my mistake.  My elder sister had a hearty laugh at that time and she told the joke to her friends too. 🙂

Next such thing happened to me with the song “Mera Mann Tera Pyaasa” from Gambler (1971). In this song there is this stanza :


zindagi hai meri ik daao
tu hai haar jeet meri
aise waise jaise bhi tu khel ham se
jaisi marzi teri …..

This is one of my favourite Rafi/SDB song, but I thought the lines were:

zindagi hai meri ik daao
tu hai ‘haathhi’ meri

It must have been as late as 2003-04 when I was disabused of the fact that the word was ‘haar jeet’ and not ‘haathi’, by my friends in office.  I took pain to explain how I could have thought of a ‘haathi’ in this line, mainly that since there is daao in first line, it can be a chess game and hence the haathi !  The friends managed not to double over with mirth 🙂 .

Having come to this song, I can leave it without quoting the last stanza :

pataa nahin kaun hoon main
kyaa hoon aur kahaan mujhe jaanaa
apni wo kahaani jo ajaani
ho ke ban gayi, fasaanaa
jeewan kyaa hai, tamaashaa
meraa man tera. . .

Here is this non-film ghazal rendered by Mohammed Rafi Sahab, which is composed by Khayyaam. Each and every word is rising from the throat as rose petals, falling on water – so light and slow, floating in the air first and resting on the water to swim.

This voice – a gift from the Almighty and a favour for mankind. . .

[Ed Note: This recording is from the LP released by HMV in 1967 on the occasion of the birth centenary celebrations of Mirza Ghalib. This is a very special LP – music by Khayyaam, singing voices of Begum Akhtar and Rafi Sb, narration by Kaifi Azmi and sleeve notes prepared by Ali Sardar Jafri. In current times, this LP has become a collector’s item.]

Song – Nukta-cheen Hai Gham e Dil, Us Ko Sunaaye Na Baney (NFS – Mohammed Rafi) (1967) Singer – Mohammed Rafi, Lyrics – Ghalib (Traditional), MD – Khayyaam


nuktaa-cheen hai gham-e-dil
us ko sunaaye na baney ea ea
kya baney baat jahaan
baat banaaye na baney ea ea
nuktaa-cheen hai gham-e-dil

khel samjha hai kahin
chhod na de bhool na jaaye
kaash yoon bhi ho ke 
bin mere sataaye na baney ea ea
kaash yoon bhi ho ke

bojh wo sar se giraa hai ea
ke utthaaye na utthe ea ea
kaam wo aan padaa hai
ke banaaye na baney ea ea
kaam wo aan pada hai

ishq par zor nahi  
hai ye wo aatish ghaalib
ke lagaaye na lagey
aur bujhaaye na baney ea ea
ke lagaaye na lagey
aur bujhaaye na baney ea ea
nuktaa-cheen hai gham-e-dil

Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Nahm)

नुकता चीं है ग़म-ए-दिल
उस को सुनाये न बने ए ए
क्या बने बात जहां
बात बनाए न बने ए ए
नुक़ता चीं है ग़म-ए-दिल

खेल समझा है कहीं
छोड़ न दे भूल न जाए
काश यूँ भी हो के
बिन मेरे सताये न बने ए ए
काश यूँ भी हो के

बोझ वो सर से गिरा है ए
के उठाये न ऊठे ए ए
काम वो आन पड़ा है
के बनाए न बने ए ए
काम वो आन पड़ा है

इश्क़ पर ज़ोर नहीं
है ये वो आतिश ग़ालिब
के लगाए न लगे
और बुझाए न बने ए ए
के लगाए न लगे
और बुझाए न बने ए ए
नुकता चीं है ग़म-ए-दिल

6 Responses to "Nukta-cheen Hai Gham e Dil, Us Ko Sunaaye Na Baney"

Nahm ji, Nice post on one of my favourite ghazals. These dots are very confusing to me many times. I can empathise!

Liked by 1 person

Thanks for reading and appreciating. Good that there is someone here among the regulars who can read the urdu script.


Nahm ji,
There are at least half a dozen such instances in my life!
As a primary school boy, non Hindi speaking, but still very fond of Hindi movies and music,I interpreted the DEVI,1970 song Shaadi ke liye razamand kar li in a very native (!) and practical way. In Kannada raja/ raje is leave/ holiday/ vacation. So, I thought this guy must have been granted leave from his office for his own wedding! ( Our formal introduction to Hindi in school,was in the sixth standard. I was in class four in 1970!). It was much later, probably in my Medical College days that I understood he got the consent!
Nice anecdotes about Mirza Ghalib.


Thank you for reading and appreciating the posts.

The word raza/raje, in the context of holiday/leave is very prevalent in our region. In our dakkhani speaking family circle raza or raja is used for leave from work. Even in Marathi the word is used in the same context of leave. So your interpretation was not too off the mark.



Very nice 

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


Thank you.


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