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

Zihaal e miskin makun tagaaful

Posted on: December 14, 2020


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 other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4533 Post No. : 16095 Movie Count :

4394

Today, December 14, 2020 is the 86th birthday of Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner and Padma Bhushan Shyam Benegal who was born on December 14, 1934 in Hyderabad. He set a bench-mark for Hindi film industry by successfully making parallel films. His films became inspirations for some Hindi film producer-directors to venture into the ‘middle of the road’ films (a cross between mainstream and parallel films).

From the childhood, Shyam Benegal was familiar with a movie camera as his father owned a 16mm movie camera to shoot some family events. Besides, he was also exposed to English, Hindi and South Indian films which he used to watch in a theatre in an army cantonment in Secundrabad where his father worked as a professional photographer. In one of his many interviews, he had admitted that in his childhood, he was a film junkie and would watch any type of films.

At the age of 12, Shyam Benegal made his first amateur film of about 10 minutes duration from his father’s movie camera covering the visits of his family friends and relatives in summer vacations and going with them for picnics etc. As he grew up, he had already made up his mind to become a film maker. The success of ‘Baazi’ (1951) made by his cousin, Guru Dutt inspired him to the extent that ‘if Guru Dutt could do it why not me’? But those days, there was not much opportunity to pursue film-making in Hyderabad.

In 1955, Shyam Benegal visited Kolkata and met his uncle who knew that he was interested in film-making. He advised him to first watch a Bangla film made by an unknown person who was a commercial artist and let him know his reaction. The film he watched was Satyajit Ray’s maiden film ‘Pather Panchali’ (1955). For the first time, Shyam Benegal felt that this film was quite different from what he had so far seen in the theatre which included films from Prabhat, New Theatres,Bombay Talkies, Mehboob Khan and even some English films. He took a decision that if at all he became a film maker, he would make films which would be different from the mainstream films and would have his stamp of film-making.

In 1959, after completion of M.A. in Economics from Osmania University, Shyam Benegal came to Mumbai in his pursuit to become a film maker. Much earlier, Guru Dutt had invited him to join him as Assistant Director. But he had declined the offer as he did not want to take that route to become a film-maker. After remaining unemployed for about 6 months, he got a job in an advertising agency as a copyrighter. Within a short period, he became its creative head. During his stints in advertising companies in 1959-66, he made over 900 advertising and documentary films.

The working in advertising and documentary films gave Shyam Benegal the ‘hands on’ experience of all the major departments of film-making. During 1966-73, Shyam Benegal taught at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune.

During college days, Shyam Benegal had written a script based on what he had witnessed during Telangana Peasants Movement (1946-51). Having gain the experience of film making, he had decided to make a full-length feature film based on his script. For such type of a film, it was difficult to get a financier and more difficult to get a distributor even if the film was made. After many attempts, at last, he got a financier, Mohan Bijlani of Blaze Films for his first film. Blaze Films had distributed many of Shyam Benegal’s advertising films. The title of the film ‘Ankur’ (1974) was suggested by Anant Nag for whom it was his maiden Hindi film.

The success of ‘Ankur’ (1974) resulted in Shyam Bengal’s partnership with Blaze Films in some of his subsequent films like ‘Nishaant’ (1975), ‘Bhumika’ (1977) and ‘Mandi’ (1983). During 1979-81, Shyam Benegal got the opportunity to make ‘Junoon’ (1979) and ‘Kalyug’ (1981) with Shashi Kapoor who not only produced these films but also acted in them.

By 1983, Shyam Benegal had proved his credential as a successful parallel film maker. Almost all his feature films not only recovered the cost of production, but also made money in some films. Despite this, Shyam Benegal had somewhat lean period after “Mandi’ (1983). During this time, Shyam Benegal kept himself busy with directing TV serials – a 15-part ‘Yatra’ (1982) for Indian Railways and a 53-episode ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) for Doordarshan which are regarded as Shyam Benegal’s classic T V serials.

Shyam Benegal was back to the films with his Muslim trilogy, ‘Mammo’ (1994), ‘Sardari Begum’ (1996) and ‘Zubeida’ (2001). He continues to make films of his choice which are different not only from the mainstream cinemas but also from his earlier films.

I had become aware of Shyam Benegal from his very first film ‘Ankur’ (1974) which I saw in the theatre after its release. Afterwards, I had no opportunity to see any of his subsequent films until I watched some of them in the digital era during the last 5-6 years. So, subsequent to ‘Ankur’ (1974), I always related his name with the Doordarshan serial, ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) which I had watched almost all the episodes during its first telecast.

Before ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’, I had watched other serials shown on Doordarshan like, ‘Hum Log’ (1984), G P Sippy’s ‘Buniyaad’ (1986), Kundan Shah’s ‘Nukkad’ (1986). Ramanand Sagar’ ‘Ramayan’ (1987) etc. But, in my view, none of these could match ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) in terms of grandeurs, technical excellence, performances of the actors, music and above all the brilliant filming of each episode by the director, Shyam Benegal. It was a monumental series encompassing the period from Indus Valley Civilisation to India’s independence. And this vast history and culture of India was to be covered in 53 episodes. I regard ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) as the top classic Doordarshan serial of an epic proportion which is yet to be qualitatively matched by any of the subsequent T.V. serials.

Shyam Benegal had said after many years that it was his sheer madness that made him to undertake such a mammoth work as it involved a lot of research, coordination with the actors and crew members especially when some of them were also working in the films. Furthermore, it was a risky venture involving religious, political and social commentaries over a period of 5000 years of history. Fortunately for him, there was no interferences from Doordarshan, political parties, religious and social organisations during the making as well as during its telecast. After the completion of the shootings, he was glad that he took upon himself this project giving him a great satisfaction and an experience of life time.

The genesis of making ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ for Doordarshan as revealed by Shyam Benegal in a Doordarshan interview goes back to the year 1985 when Doordarshan had already commissioned the serials ‘Ramayan’ (1987) and ‘Mahabharat’ (1988). Once these two religious serials were ready for telecast, they wanted to commission another serial on India’s history and culture for which Shyam Benegal was invited for discussion. He was already in the making of a serial ‘Yatra’ (1986) for Indian Railways to be telecast on Doordarshan.

During the school days, one of the relatives of Shyam Benegal had gifted him a book ‘Discovery of India’ (1944), written by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru while he was in Ahmednagar jail during 1942-46 following his participation in ‘Quit India’ movement in 1942. Shyam Benegal had read this book many times as he grew from boy into his adulthood. He was enamored by the history and diverse culture of India as enumerated in the book. He discussed this subject with the Doordarshan authorities and they approved the subject.

By early 1986, Shayam Benegal started the preliminary work on the T.V. serial for writing the script of ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ with a team of 10 writers which included himself, Shama Zaidi, Vasant Deo, Ashok Mishra among others and 22 eminent historians, each with their specialised fields. Simultaneously, he sent his Art Director and the Production Designer with a team of assistants to Archaeological Survey of India’s Office at New Delhi to research on the relevant periods of artifacts, costumes etc. After spending about 8 months in Delhi and other places all over India, they submitted their works.

After the script, screen-play and dialogues were completed, the shooting started in early 1988 which continued for the next 18 months. A major part of the shooting of all the 53 episodes was done at the Film City, Goregaon where as many as 144 sets were erected during the period of 18 months. Some shootings were also done at few historical locations in some parts of India and the shooting in the open ground and forests in the Western Ghats. Over 500 actors mostly drawn from FTII. National School of Drama and other film training institutes were involved in the shooting. Some of the prominent actors included Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, K K Raina, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Pallavi Joshi, Aloknath, Pankaj Berry, Ila Arun, Irfan Khan, Vijay Kashyap, Anjaan Srivastav, Mita Vashisht, Tom Alter, Jalal Agha, Urmila Bhatt, Surendra Pal and many more. Some of them had done multiples roles in the serial.

I have given all these details of the serial just to get the readers the enormity of the project which was a herculean task for Shyam Benegal to manage. The end result was that ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ was as popular in terms of viewership as ‘Buniyaad’ and ‘Mahabharat’ according to Doordarshan. Another end result of this serial as Vanraj Bhatia said in a lighter vein was that after the end of 18 months of shooting, Shyam Benegal looked much older than his age.

On the occasion of Shyam Benegal’s 86th birthday, we wish him a happy birth day and pray for his good health and an active life as a film-maker. He has said in an interview a couple of years ago that film-making will remain his passion at any age as long as he is active.

On the occasion of Shyam Benegal’s 86th birthday, I felt that I should select one of many songs from his extravagant T.V. serial, ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) which he considers to be the toughest assignment he had undertaken so far. Only a couple of songs from this serial have been uploaded on a video sharing platform of which I have selected a Sufi ghazal, ‘zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful’ in Episode-27. This Amir Khusrou’s ghazal is sung in qawwali stayle by Murlidhar who is a singer-actor in Nepali film industry. He is one of the deciples of Pandit Jasraj. I have seen him in an interview on one of the Nepali T.V. Channels and I feel that qawwali may have been picturised on him as well. Vanraj Bhatia is the music director assisted by Kersi Lord and Ashok Patki.

In the serial, the qawwali is preceded by a devotional song of Sant Tukaram. Both the song and the qawwali are reflections of the influences of thoughts and culture of Hindus on Muslims and vice versa during the start of the Bhakti Movement in North India.

One of the main features of the ghazal is that the lines in the first couplet is written half in Persian and other half in Brij Bhasha. Thereafter in rest of the two couplets, the first line is in Persian and the second line in Brij Bhasha.

The actual ghazal has been written as under:

zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
ki taab-e-hijraan nadaaram-e-jaan na lehu kaaye lagaaye chatiyaan

shabaan-e-hijraan daraaz choon zulf wa rooz-e-waslat choo umr kotah
sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhoon to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan

ba-haqq-e-aan mah ki roz-e-mahshar ba-daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
sapit mann ke duraaye rakhoon jo jaaye paaun piya ki khatiyaan

The English translation of the ghazal is on the video clip.

There are two more she’rs in the ghazal which have not been included in the qawwali. The omitted two she’rs are as under:

yakayak az dil do chashm jaadoo ba-sad-farebam ba-burd taskeen
kise padi hai jo jaa sunaave piyaare pee ko hamaari batiyaan

choon sham-e-sozaan choon zarra hairaan mehr-e-aan-mah bagashtam aakhir
na neend nainaan na ang chainaan na aap aave na bheje patiyaan

Acknowledgement: Some of the information for the article is taken from the following sources:

1. ‘Yaadon Ke Saaye’ – An interview of Shyam Benegal by Irfaan on Rajya Sabha TV.

2. ‘Dil Se’ – An interview of Shyam Benegal on a TV Channel.

3. The making of ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ – An interview of Shyam Benegal conducted on Doordarshan.

Video Clip:

Song-Zihaal e miskin makun tagaaful ( Bharat Ek Khoj)(1988) Singer-Murlidhar, Lyrics-Amir Khusro, MD-Vanraj Bhatia
Chorus

Lyrics

aa aa aaaaaaaa
aa aa aaaaaaa aa aaaa
aa aa aaaaaa aa aa
aaaaaaaaa
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan

zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan

ki taab-e-hijraan nadaaram-e-jaan
na lehu kaaye lagaaye chhatiyaan
ki taab-e-hijraan nadaaram-e-jaan
na lehu kaaye lagaaye chatiyaan

ki taab-e-hijraan
nadaaram-e-jaan
na lehu kaahe lagaaye chatiyaan
lagaaye chatiyaan
lagaaye chatiyaan
lagaaye chhatiyaan
na lehu kaaye lagaaye chatiyaan
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan

shabaan-e-hijraan daraaz choon zulf
wa roz-e-waslat choo umr kotah
wa roz-e-waslat choo umr kotah
wa roz-e-waslat choo umr kotah

sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhoon
to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan
sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhoon
to kaise kaatoon
to kaise kaatoon
to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan
to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan
sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhoon
to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan

ba haqq-e-aan mah ki roz-e-mahshar
ba daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
ba daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
ba daad maara
ba daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
ba daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
jo jaaye paaun piya ke khatiyaan
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
ha aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
ha aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
ha aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
jo jaaye paaun piya ke khatiyaan
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan

6 Responses to "Zihaal e miskin makun tagaaful"

Excellent post for an excellent song.
“Bharat Ek Khoj” had “shrishti se pehle sat nahi tha” alongwith some sanskrit shlok. sadly I can’t reproduce the sanskrit part, but the opening sequence has remained ingrained forever

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Thanks, Peevesie’s Mom.

There are multiple Sanskrit hymns, folk and classical songs. My guess is that the songs may be around 60 in numbers ranging from less than 2 minutes to some over 4 minutes.

In Episode 28, you may like to watch a Bharatnatyam dance by Lata Menon. The accompnying song ‘ Ae Krishnadevraya bhupati…..’ is composed in pure Carnatic classical music with Hindi lyrics.

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Sadanand Ji, Thanks and Pleased to read another detailed piece. This time on one of my most admired directors of Hindi films. I have watched almost all of his films. Though I liked most of the watched films, I would list Ankur , Manthan & Nishant high up in my list. Partly because they impacted me most making me addicted to his films. I confess I have not watched Bharat ek khoj with as much keenness ( being a serial ). I have watched some episodes including first one. I remember till date the vedic hymns sung in there. I liked the qawali of this post. Your write up highlighted the enormity of effort spent on the serial. With a rekindled interest, I intend start watching missed episodes. Thanks Nalini ji for the youtube link to first episode.

Liked by 2 people

Satish ji,

Thanks.
I had to cut short more on the making of ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ because the article had become long. But I take the opportunity to add some additional facts about the serial.

1. Although it is called a ‘TV Serial’, in reality, it was a ‘Film Serial’ telecast on TV. The serial was shot in 35 mm which required shooting and other post -shooting works involved in the film making.

2. Each episode was of a duration ranging from 60 minutes to 90 minutes depending upon the subject as each episode had a sub-title. It was telecast on every Sunday at 11,00 AM. So, two episodes was almost equivalent to a full length feature film to be shot in 14 days.

3. To save time in shooting, actors were given long dialogues so that instead of many shots , the dialogues were covered in one shot. For this to happen, all the main actors were required to memorise the dialogues in the previous night so that the scenes are okayed in one or two takes. One can understand the pressure on the actors.

4. Just note in the qawwali under discussion. There were only 5 ‘cuts’ in the song of the duration of 4:26. Fiirst, the camera on trolley taking a 180 degree shots, second the front scene of the singers, third, the camera shooting the singers from the top of the shooting floor and 4th/5th, the camera shooting from the back side of the qawwali singers. Compare the the number of cuts in the songs of any films of that time. I am sure trhere would be at least 20-25 cuts.

4. The shooting schedule was 9.00 AM to 9.00 PM. The main actors had little time to memorise the dialogues for the next day. Fortunately, most of them were from the theatres who were expert in memorising the dialogues in short time.

Like

Sadananda Ji, Thanks once again. Very interesting information. This highlights the testing times a thoroughly professional and passionate group go thru in handling a project of this kind.

Liked by 1 person

Satish ji,
You got the right word that I should have got while writing the article and comments – ‘Passionate’.
Yes, the project was successful because all those involved in it felt passionate about the subject.

Like

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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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