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

Zara muskura kar milaao nazar hi

Posted on: May 22, 2021

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 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.

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‘Bahurani’ (1940) was produced by Kishore Sahu under the banner of the then newly set up, India Artists Ltd. The star cast included Kishore Sahu and Rose in the lead roles with Anuradha, Mubarak, Pratima Devi, Masood, Nana Palsikar etc in the supporting role. The film had its mahurat shot taken in January 1940 under the direction of Mubarak. In February 1940, R S Junnarkar was assigned the direction of the film along with Mubarak. So, it was their joint directorial venture. For Mubarak, it was his maiden attempt as a director which happened to be his last film as a director. R S Junnarkar was a screen-play and dialogue writer for Huns Pictures of Master Vinayak. It was also his first Hindi film as a director.

The film was expected to be released in April 1940. However, it was finally released on June 20, 1940. The film’s premier was held in Excelsior theatre and Dada Saheb Phalke, the father of the Indian film industry was the guest of honour among many big wigs of Hindi film industry who attended the premier.

Kishore Sahu started his filmy career as a lead actor in Bombay Talkies ‘Jeevan Prabhat’ (1937) which was a box office success. Probably, his entrepreneurial ambition made him to leave Bombay Talkies and float a film production company. In his ambition, Seth Ramnath Daga, a Bikaner based multi-millionaire, supported him with the finance required for such a venture. It was the brain child of Seth Ramnath Daga to set up a film production company called ‘India Artists Ltd’ for which he appointed Kishore Sahu as the Managing Director. He was assisted by Seth Ramnath Daga’s educated son, Dwarkadas Daga.

‘Bahurani’ (1940) was the first film produced under India Artists Ltd. The vision of the banner was to make socially relevant films. During the making of the film, Kishore Sahu had creative differences with Seth Ramnath Daga, the main financial supporter of the banner. After the release of “Bahurani’ (1940), Kishore Sahu resigned from the company and returned to Bombay Talkies to take the lead role in the film ‘Punar Milan’ (1940) opposite Snehprabha Pradhan. It took another 4 years for Kishore Sahu to float his own film production banner, Hindustan Chitra under which he produced and directed ‘Sharaarat’ (1944) and many more films thereafter.

The story of ‘Bahurani’ (1940) was adapted from a Hindi novel ‘Mimansa’ (1937) written by Hindi laureate, Anuplal Mandal who is regarded as ‘Premchand of Bihar’. The screen-play and dialogues were written by another Hindi laureate, Amritlal Nagar. The film was reviewed in ‘Filmindia’ magazine and for a change, the reviewer had praised the film for its story, screen play/dialogues and the performances of the main actors viz, Kishore Sahu, Rose and Anuradha (real name: Khursheed). Based on the review of the film. I have summarized the story as under:

Vijay (Kishore Sahu), a young landlord meets Aruna (Anuradha), a poor village girl born out of wedlock, during a village wedding. He likes Aruna and visits in her house where her mother is seriously ill. She takes a promise from Vijay that he would take care of Aruna if she did not survive. The mother soon dies. As promised, Vijay brings Aruna to his house and is treated as a child of the family by Didi (Pratima Devi) the elder widowed sister of Vijay. Diwanji (Mubarak), the trusted servant of the family is aware of Aruna’s background. But he keeps quite about it.

Soon, Vijay goes to the city for completing his education. He meets Mallika Rai (Rose), a sophisticated girl in the college. Vijay finds her on the same wave length as his in his idealistic approach. After completion of his education, Vijay returns home and finds Aruna now grown up and charming. Vijay falls in love with her and proposes her for the marriage. After overcoming a minor resistance from the family, Vijay and Aruna get married. The couple respects each other and Didi loves Aruna like her own daughter. The life goes on very well. But behind her happiness, there is a lurking fear in Aruna’s mind as to what will happen if Vijay and Didi comes to know about her background of a girl born out of wedlock.

In the meanwhile, Didi leaves for few days to visit her relatives. Vijay is busy with his involvement in the village upliftment activities and to support his growing activities, he calls Mallika to join him. She is given accommodation in Vijay’s house. Both Mallika and Aruna likes each other, Mallika likes Aruna for her simplicity and Aruna likes Mallika for her woman supportive views. Most of the day, Vijay is in the company of Mallika in the village upliftment activities and in course of time, both become close to each other. Aruna is aware of their closeness but pretends to both as if she is not aware of their relationship.

Under these circumstances, Lallan (Masood), the younger brother of Vijay returns home after completing his education. He gets to know the stigma attached to Aruna and tries to blackmail her to satisfy his lust. The stress of ‘affair’ of her husband with Mallika and the blackmailing by Lallan affects her health and she becomes bedridden. How, Vijay and Aurna comes out of the difficult situations and find a solution to a happy ending for everyone is not revealed in the film review.

I was interested to know as to how the story end to the satisfaction of all the main characters. Fortunately, the novel ‘Mimansa’ is available to read on-line in Hindi. I read the entire novel (203 pages). It is really a moving story in a realistic setting. At the end, the main character in the story – Vijay, Aruna, Mallika, Didi will surely get sympathy from the readers. Incidentally, the film has used the same names for the characters as in the novel.

The film has followed more or less the same story as depicted in the novel up to the entry of Lallan who has been shown as a villain in the film. To some extent, Mallika has also some shade of villain, being the ‘other woman’ in the life of Vijay. However, in the novel, no character has been depicted as villain.

Both Aruna and Mallika have cordial relations though some mild arguments do take place between them. But the respect for each other overwhelms such ‘noise’ in their relationship. Again, Aruna and Lallan have good relations. The only villainous streak in him is that he reveals to Didi the background of Aruna which makes her, in turn, to reveal the secret to Vijay. The novel makes the society at large as the main villain for the likes of Aruna.

The end is somewhat dramatic to the relief of Aruna. Didi has already written a letter to Vijay about the background of Aruna which makes Aruna jittery. To add to her misery, Vijay has become close to Mallika. The intense stress in her life makes Aruna ill. Vijay arranges the best doctors and medicines. But she is not recovering from her illness. The servants tell Vijay that bahurani is not taking medicines and is not allowing doctors to check her. Both Vijay and Mallika think that Aruna has no will to survive from her illness.

Both Mallika and Vijay visit Aruna separately to make her understand to take medicines. During the conversations, Mallika realises that Aruna’s love for Vijay is undiminishing despite their affair. The greatness of Aruna is that she is not blaming either Mallika or Vijay for what is happening to her life. With a lot of deliberations, Mallika decides that it is better to detatch herself from Vijay. She leaves Vijay’s house without informing anyone and goes back to her city. Before leaving, she writes a letter address to Vijay to take care of Aruna and suggests him to take Aruna for a long outing for a change.

The story in the novel ends with Vijay and Aruna travelling to Puri. While in the train, Aruna hands over a letter written by Didi revealing the stigma attached to her. Vijay reads it and tears off the letter by telling Aruna that he was already made aware of her background by Diwanji when he proposed her for the marriage. It was his conscious decidion to marry her and he was capable of facing the repurcussion even now. But nothing will break their union.

The film had 9 songs written by J S Cashyap and Azad. However, individual credit to the songs is not available. All the songs were set to music by Rafique Ghaznavi. I am presenting the film’s first song, ‘zara muskura kar milaao nazar hi’ to appear on the Blog. HFGK mentions Zohra as the singer of the song. The voice in the song does not sound like that of Zohrabai Ambalewaali.

In the 1930s, there was an actor-singer called Miss Zohra Jaan who was a star in her own right. She had two sisters – Mushtari Bai who was also an actor-singer in early 1930s. Unfortunately, she died in her teenage in 1934. The other sister was Khursheed (known as Anuradha in Hindi films). Shri Arunkumar Deshmukh has painstakingly collated the rare information on ‘Zohra Sisters’ and has covered in an article, mere baba ne baat meri maan li.

Rafique Ghaznavi, the music director of the film was married to Zohra Jaan in the 30s. After divorcing her in early 1940s, he married her sister Khursheed (Anuradha). Since Anuradha is in the film under discussion, it further strengthens my belief that the singer of the song is Zohra Jaan.

The song is written in Ghazal style, fit for a mujra. Towards the end of the song, there is a long music suggestive of a mujra dance, It is quite possible that the song may have been picturised on Zohra Jaan herself who was also a good mujra dancer though her name does not appear in the credit. But there are cases where some of the actor-singers appeared in the films uncredited.

With this song, ‘Bahurani’ (1940) makes its debut on the Blog.

Audio Clip:

Song-Zara muskura kar milaao nazar hi(Bahurani)(1940) Singer-Zohra Jaan, MD-Rafiq Ghaznavi


haan aa aa
zara muskura kar milaao nazar hi
zara muskura kar milaao nazar hi
meri jaan ham bhi
aa aa aaa aa
aa aaa aa aa
meri jaan ham bhi khade hain idhar hi
meri jaan ham bhi khade hain idhar hi

na jaao jagaao o o aa aa
na phir phir ke dekho o o o
mujhe chhod do haan aan aan aan
mujhe chhod do bas mere haal par hi
mujhe chhod do bas mere haal par hi

sambhal kar meri jaan aa aa aa aaa aa
na khanjar uthhaana aa aa aa aa aa aa
kahin bal na khaa jaaye aa aa aa aa aa
kahin bal na khaa jaaye teri kamar hi
kahin bal na khaa jaaye teri kamar hi
shab-e-hijr kaa aa aa aa aaa
fasl ki chabri()?? ee ee ee ee ee
ke haan haan mein naa naa
haan aan aan aan aan
ke haan haan mein naa naa rahi raat bhar hi
ke haan haan mein naa naa rahi raat bhar hi

2 Responses to "Zara muskura kar milaao nazar hi"

Dear Sadanand ji,

Congrats, another nugget dug up by you! Pl keep digging!

One point of clarification required about RAFIQ GHAZNAVI.

Is it not true that between Zohra (mentioned as Zehra in some places) and
Khurshid Akhtar, he had also married the middle sister of the trio
Anwari Begum (maternal grandmother of Salma Agha)?

With warm regards


Liked by 1 person

Partha Chanda ji,

Anwari Bai (Begum) was a courtesan from Lahore. Rafique Ghaznavi and Anwari Bai acted in the first talky film in Punjabi ‘Heer Ranjha’ (1932) in the title roles. Both of them eloped to Karachi and got married. After the birth of their first child, a daughter, Zarina (Filmi name, Nasreen in ‘Shahjahan’ 1946) , he divorced Anwari and came to Calcutta and then to Bombay (MumbaI). In Mumbai, he married Zohra and then her sister Khursheed after divorcing Zohra.

After partition, Rafique Ghaznavi migrated to Pakistan with his wife, Khursheed where he divorced her to marry someone else.

Yes, Salma Agha was the grand daughter of Anwari Begum

If interested, you can read the chapter ‘Rafique Ghaznavi’ in Manto’s book ‘Stars from Another Sky’ (2014).

Liked by 1 person

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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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