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

Seeta ke liye likkha hai yahi

Posted on: March 8, 2021


This article is written by Raja, 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 :

4616 Post No. : 16252

Today is the 8th of March.
A date that has an immediate connect with those who love Urdu poetry, and lyrics of Hindi films.

They celebrate it every year as the birth anniversary of one of the giants of 20th century Urdu poetry, and easily one of the most highly regarded lyricists the Hindi film industry has known.

I’m talking about Sahir Ludhianvi, of course.
He is right up there as one of the greatest – and I don’t think anyone disputes this.

It’s no secret to those who have read my previous posts here that I’m a massive fan of Sahir. I’ve written many posts on him here – on practically every birth and death anniversary of his. And even some in between.

And yet today is an extra extra special day.

For it’s not just another birth anniversary of his – it is his birth CENTENARY.

Yes, he was born on 8th March 1921 – in other words, exactly 100 years ago.

I need to take a deep breath here to take in this occasion.

What a momentous one it is!

I suppose a centenary is also an opportunity to take a step back and look at what the person’s influence has been over the period in question.

And that is what I hope to do a little bit of here in this post.

Sahir passed away in 1980 – he was only 59 at the time.

But what a life!

Like Lincoln supposedly said “It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years”.

Sahir lived a life that influenced not only people during his lifetime, but is also inspirational for people, like me and many others, 40 years after his death.

(I hope you can hear this from up there, Sahir saab!)

To understand the influence of Sahir, we need to look at him as more than just a poet.
There were poets before him – and there have been poets after him too.
In his own words, “mujhse pehle kitne shaayar aaye aur aakar chale gaye” and “kal aur aayenge naghmon ki khilti kaliyaan chunne waale”.
And it’s true.
And mind you, they have all, in their own ways, been fabulous too.
We should not demean any of their poetic abilities.

And yet where Sahir stands out, even while being exceptional as a poet, is in being exceptional in speaking out against power and oppression.

No one, NO ONE, did it as well as Sahir.
Or as frequently.

And for that, Sahir is in a league of one.

He exemplified the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword” better than any other poet I know, post-independence, with his poetry repeatedly exposing the hypocrisy in Indian society, and the ills prevalent across various sections of it. He railed against patriarchy and misogyny, against capitalists exploiting labour, against the government silencing dissent.

How can you NOT love such a person?

It all probably started early in Sahir’s life, when, having to choose between his rich father and his suffering mother, he chose the latter.

Maybe that was the trigger for him for the rest of his life, because he always spoke up for the poor, the underprivileged, the oppressed, the marginalized.

Of course there’s more to Sahir than just this.
He had amazing variety too.
Romantic songs. The songs of Hum Dono, Taj Mahal, Gumraah, Humraaz, Shagun and Waqt come immediately to my mind.
Philosophical songs. Main zindagi ka saath, aage bhi jaane na tu, mann ri tu kaahe na dheer dhare, kabhi khud pe…
Bhajans. Aan milo aan milo Shyam saanvre , Allah tero naam and tora mann darpan kehlaaye come to mind.
Qawwalis. Songs of Barsaat Ki Raat and Taj Mahal, for example.
Songs on mother-child relationship – Mujhe Jeene Do, Dhool Ka Phool and Trishul, among others.
Pure fun, zany songs. Sar jo tera chakraaye, aye meri topi palat ke aa.

Each one a gem.

And yet, as I look back on this centenary occasion, it is Sahir’s songs that speak of society, and speak TO society, that I would consider as his most significant and lasting influence.

Without them too, he would be a GREAT poet, no doubt.
But with them, he elevates himself from being just a great poet, to being a decent and conscious human being.

And that to me is far more important than anything else.

So let’s quickly run through some of his poetry where he talks about, or, to, society.
There are many songs of course, but I’ll just mention a few here.

Ye kooche ye neelaam ghar dilkashi ke – Pyaasa (1957)
Ye mehlon ye takhton – Pyaasa (1957)
Saathi haath badhaana – Naya Daur (1957)
Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko – Sadhna (1958)
Tu Hindu banega na Musalmaan banega – Dhool Ka Phool (1959)
Wo subah kabhi to aayegi – Phir Subah Hogi (1958)
Cheen-o-Arab hamaara – Phir Subah Hogi (1958)
Khuda-e-bartar – Taj Mahal (1963)
Na munh chhupa ke jiyo – Humraaz (1967)
Ponchh kar ashq apni aankhon se – Naya Raasta (1970)
Samaj ko badal daalo – Samaj Ko Badal Daalo (1970)

Sahir’s lyrics for such songs were piercing – they went straight to the heart.
It was as if he was pouring out his agony, venting his frustration at society. Showing it a mirror, exposing its hypocrisy.

For example, these seemingly innocuous lines (Sadhna-1958):

kaho jee tum kya kya khareedoge
yahaan to har cheez bikti hai

mohabbat bechti hoon main
sharaafat bechti hoon main
na ho ghairat to le jo
ki ghairat bechti hoon main

Powerful.

Of course, it was not always doom and gloom in his lyrics.
Even while he was critical of society and its ills, he also wrote uplifting lyrics, with hope in them.
Like na munh chhupa ke jiyo , ponchh kar ashq, wo subah kabhi to aayegi mentioned above.
So it’s a combination of frustration and hope – which is probably a pretty accurate representation of his own personality. 🙂
Sahir was himself known to be fairly moody – cheerful one moment, morose the next.

I can keep on and on about Sahir and his songs – I haven’t even scratched the surface.
I haven’t even talked about gems like “pyar par bas to nahin” – Sone Ki Chidiya (1958). But then, one really can’t do justice to Sahir in one post.

So I’m going to force myself to move on – and get to the song for this post.

Before I get to the song, one other thing.

Today, the 8th of March, is also celebrated as International Women’s Day.

It is such a coincidence that both Sahir’s birth date and this date are the same.

Or was it pre-ordained in a sense, because if there was one person who regularly spoke up for women, their rights, how they’ve been oppressed, it was Sahir.

Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko from Sadhna-1958 is of course one of Hindi cinema’s classics. I’ve heard this song many times – and every time it gives me a punch in the gut.

But there were other lesser-known songs too.

And this song which I’m posting today is in that category.

It is from Jiyo Aur Jeene Do (1982).

Since Sahir passed away in 1980, I’m presuming this was one of his last few songs.
Or maybe he had written this earlier, but it got used only later in this film.

Anyway, as usual, it is Avinashji who has helped me with this.
He sent me the lyrics – and, considering it is Sahir’s Day AND Woman’s Day today, it seems to be just the right song for the occasion.

I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t comment about the situation, but the words of the song are powerful – and typically Sahir.

As usual, he talks about exploitation of women in Indian society.
And he references often to Seeta to bring home his point.
How women even today have to go through Agni Pariksha like Seeta had to.
How every woman is expected to just accept oppression without protest.
How even Seeta, who accompanied Ram during his exile, had to listen to his admonition of her.
How a woman can be expected to save herself in a world that has been created for man.
How, when even Ram could be influenced against Seeta, what hope for mere mortals?
How it is the lot of women like Seeta to be born in every era only to bear the burdens of this world.

I must admit the lyrics are very depressing.
Possibly some of the most depressing I have ever come across.
And I’d really like to think the lyrics are also highly exaggerated, and this isn’t today’s reality anyway. After all these lyrics are from more than 40 years ago, and a lot has changed since.

Or has it?

Yes, on one level, it has.
Many more women are better off today than they were 40 years ago.
More educated, more independent.
And yet, most of these are probably from middle- or upper classes of society.
(And even amongst them, there are many horror stories that don’t come to light).
But beyond these, there are many millions of women in India for whom life is a daily struggle.
From the moment they wake up early in the morning, to the moment they finally go to sleep that night, it is a day of just work, work and work. Women are taken so much for granted that society expects nothing less from them.
A woman just relaxing or enjoying herself is a rare sight – it almost seems out of place.
And so many women (especially among the poor) have sadly internalized this lifestyle of struggle, so they think it’s the most normal thing to do.
And I haven’t even talked about women’s safety here – that’s another minefield of a topic where, thanks to men, women don’t feel safe at all anytime during the day, every single day of their lives.
As a man, enjoying freedom that I take for granted, I just cannot imagine how it must be to live like this. All one’s life.

So yes, LOTS to think about.
And LOTS of work to do.
And the ball is in the court of MEN, not WOMEN.
For the simple reason that the cause of the problem is MEN, not WOMEN.

So then I think, however depressing the lyrics of this Sahir song are, are they more depressing than the actual lives of many women in India?

Anyway, this is supposed to be a day of celebration – I do not want to spoil the mood.
And yet, I cannot pretend – so if you don’t mind, I’d like it to be treated as a day of reflection for men too. Sahir would’ve liked that.

Thank you, Sahir saab, for your searing poetry. And for always standing up for the oppressed, and raising awareness on the right issues.
It is entirely our failing as a society that we have failed to make the lyrics you wrote all those decades ago irrelevant.
They are just as relevant today as they were when they were written.

And on that extremely sobering note, let me now end this post.
Thank you for reading.

Video

Audio (Longer)

Song-Seeta ke liye likkhaa hai yahi (Jiyo Aur Jeene Do)(1982) Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-Sahir Ludhianvi, MD-Laxmikant Pyarelal
Chorus

Lyrics(Provided by Avinash Scrapwala)

Chup chup apni jaan pe sah jaa aa aa
Duniya ka anyaay
Koyi nahin is dharti par
Jo tera dard bataaye

Seeta ke liye likkha hai yahi
Har yug mein ae agnipareekshaa de
Seeta ke liye likkha hai yahi
Har yug mein ae agnipareekshaa de
Dukh sah ke bhi mukh se kuchh na kahe
Man ko dheeraj ki shikshaa de
Seeta ke liye likha hai yahi

Gairon ke kadwe bol sune
Apnon ka atyaachaar sahe
Gairon ke ae kadwe bol sune
Apnon ka atyaachaar sahe
Jis Raam ke sang ban ban bhatke
Us Raam ki bhi dutkaar sahe
Dharti mein samaane se pehle
Dharti mein samaane se pehle
Dharti ki tarah har bhaar sahe
Seeta ke liye likkha hai yahi

Purushon ki banaayi duniyaa mein
Kya ik naari ka maan bache
Purushon ki banaayi ee duniyaa mein
Kya ik naari ka maan bache
Jis zahar se Raam ka man na bachaa
Us zahar se kya insaan bache
Jo reet yugon se jaari hai
Jo reet yugon se jaari hai
Us reet se kaise jaan bache
Seeta ke liye likkha hai yahi

Aa aa aa
Aa aa aa aa aa
Aa aa aa aa aa
Aa aa aa aa aa aa aa

Is andhi bahri nagari mein
Jab jab Seeta ko aana hai
Is andhi bahri nagari mein
Jab jab Seeta ko aana hai
Jeete ji kasht uthhaana
Marne pe sati kahlaana hai
Marne ae pe sati kahlaana hai
Itihaas ke pannon ko sadiyon
Itihaas ke pannon ko sadiyon
Yoon hi ye katha dohraana hai
Seeta ke liye likkha hai yahi
Har yug mein ae agnipareekshaa de
Dukh sah ke bhi mukh se kuchh na kahe
Man ko dheeraj ki shikshaa de
Seeta ke liye likha hai yahi

————————————————–
Devnagri Script lyrics (Provided by Avinash Scrapwala)
—————————————————
चुप चुप अपनी जान पे सह जा आ
दुनिया का अन्याय
कोई नहीं इस धरती पर
जो तेरा दर्द बटाय

सीता के लिए लिखा है यही
हर युग में ए अग्निपरीक्षा दे
सीता के लिए लिखा है यही
हर युग में ए अग्निपरीक्षा दे
दुःख सह के भी मुख से कुछ न कहे
मन को धीरज की शिक्षा दे
सीता के लिए लिखा है यही

गैरों के कडवे बोल सुने
अपनों का अत्याचार सहे
गैरों के ए कडवे बोल सुने
अपनों का अत्याचार सहे ए
जिस राम के संग बन बन भटके
उस राम की भी दुत्कार सहे
धरती में समाने से पहले
धरती में समाने से पहले
धरती की तरह हर भार सहे
सीता के लिए लिखा है यही

पुरुषों की बनायी दुनिया में
क्या इक नारी का मान बचे
पुरुषों की बनायी ई दुनिया में
क्या इक नारी का मान बचे
जिस ज़हर से राम का मन न बचा
उस ज़हर से क्या इंसान बचे
जो रीत युगों से जारी है
जो रीत युगों से जारी है
उस रीत से कैसे जान बचे
सीता के लिए लिखा है यही

आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ आ आ आ

इस अंधी बहरी नगरी में
जब जब सीता को आना है
इस अंधी बहरी नगरी में
जब जब सीता को आना है
जीते जी कष्ट उठाना
मरने पे सती कहलाना है
मरने ए पे सती कहलाना है
इतिहास के पन्नो को सदियों
इतिहास के पन्नो को सदियों
यूँ ही ये कथा दोहराना है

सीता के लिए लिखा है यही
हर युग में ए अग्निपरीक्षा दे
दुःख सह के भी मुख से कुछ न कहे
मन को धीरज की शिक्षा दे
सीता के लिए लिखा है यही

2 Responses to "Seeta ke liye likkha hai yahi"

Hullo Rajaji/ Avinashji
Thank you for introducing this song to the blog. heard it first time here.
Indeed it is a depressing song. And rather strange that many associated with the song are no more with us:- Lalitha Pawar, Nutan, Kadar Khan (I think he is shown briefly), Bharat Kapoor, and Sahir saab, Rafi Saab and Laxmikant from the music department. They have gone but life is still the same for women.
Rajaji, you have hit the nail on the head:- “A woman just relaxing or enjoying herself is a rare sight – it almost seems out of place.
And so many women (especially among the poor) have sadly internalized this lifestyle of struggle, so they think it’s the most normal thing to do.”
I beg to differ here; not only women among the poor, women as a class.
And I have seen many ladies take pride in the fact that their work is never-ending and frown upon ladies who order out food, have their males working in the kitchen (I don’t like the word ‘helping’) with them or without them when the lady is enjoying a TV program, book or simply relaxing.
If the lady is a gainfully employed women then sone-pe-suhagaa; she is expected to be a cook, housekeeper, maintenance staff, nanny, parent who attends PTMs, take care of the children’s homework, and then make hot food for all meals. Concept of cooking same menu for lunch and dinner is unheard of. And then we are fed examples of our Naanis and Daadis who spent entire days in the kitchen. Some of us who like to call ourselves homemakers are looked down by these Nannis and daadis gang as also the gainfully employed lot as both feel superior to the homemakers of modern times,-Nannis and daadis look down because they feel the lady has free time because of the modern kitchen gadgets available and the employed ladies feel that they are contributing to the family’s finances which the homemaker doesn’t. The fact that the homemaker goes out to the PTMs, banks, is a nanny, housekeeper, maintenance and other activities which the males did in the 60s and 70s is easily overlooked.
Sometimes I feel the thought “aurat hi aurat ki dushman hai” is not wrong. Haven’t we seen enough ladies who pamper their sons and make their daughters work. Don’t we have the thinking that a male of the family should not even fetch a glass of water for himself, getting water for a female when she returns is unthinkable.
As Rajaji has said very very sad and depressing thoughts.

Like

Our tributes to Sahir Ludhianvi.
And Happy Women’s day to all.
Many many thanks Raja Saab for this great post. I am short of words to express how I feel after reading this post. The immediate thought comes to my mind is every citizen and I mean it every citizen of this country needs to read this post and understand Sahir, even I think of taking a hard copy of this article and fix it on a wall in a frame, not to forget there, but to read this everyday at least once.
This post as passionate as your earlier many posts is ‘very touching’.
Secondly on change – yes may be we as a society may have changed a little bit, but still we are miles to go for what Sahir dreamt of a ‘society’ we need to be.
Raja Saab, actually this post has so many ‘highlights’ and the flow of words … ah , I am totally lost in the ‘world of Sahir’..
Thanks again,
Regards,
PS: Congratulations as Sahir Saab’s songs tally stands at 700 on the blog now.

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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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