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

Mujrim hoon mohabbat ka jo chaahe sazaa denaa

Posted on: July 20, 2021

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4750 Post No. : 16485

The tale of two brothers – Hafiz Khan and Aziz Khan, sons of the Ustad Waheed Khan of Etawaha Gharana is not only saddening but also contrasting in the end. After a promising start in Hindi films as a playback singer and the music director in the 1940s, Hafiz Khan died in 1972 in extreme poverty. Aziz Khan, on the other hand, after a brief stint with Hindi film industry as a music director, reverted to playing Sitar and trained his son, Ustad Parvez Khan who is now an internationally well-known Sitar player.

Etawaha Gharana popularised the Sitar and Surbahar and Ustad Waheed Khan was a famous exponent of both these musical instruments. He appeared in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Jalsaagar (1958) in which he can be seen playing Raag Bihaag on Surbahar in one of the scenes of the film. Ustad Waheed Khan was a court musician at the court of Holkar of Indore for 18 years, in the court of Maharaja of Patiala for 3 years and later in the court of Nizam of Hyderabad until 1948. Naturally, he wanted his two sons to continue the Gharana tradition of playing Sitar and Surbahar. With this aim in mind, Ustad Waheed Khan gave extensive training in Sitar, Surbahar and vocal music to his two sons. At the age of around 12 , Hafiz Khan was sent to Kolkata to receive further training in Sitar and Surbahar from his uncle, Ustad Inayat Khan (father of sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan) who found Hafiz Khan to be a promising student of Sitar and Surbahar. He used to accompany his uncle in his sitar/surbahar concerts.

In Kolkata, Hafiz Khan got mesmerised with the songs of K L Saigal and Pankaj Mullick. He was now more interested in becoming a singer in Hindi films than learning Sitar and Surbahar. On a visit to Hyderabad to spend some time with his father who had then become a court musician in the court of Nizam, Hafiz Khan got a chance to sing songs on Hyderabad Radio. Knowing fully well of his father’s strong aversion to film songs, he had to sing on the radio without revealing his name. He got some money for his singing on the radio.

Knowing that his father would never allow him to sing for Hindi films, one day Hafiz Khan ran away from Hyderabad with his money earned from radio singing to Mumbai some time in 1934. After doing some odd jobs in the film studio including small roles as actor, producer Chandrarao Kadam, who was producing ‘Bahadur Kisaan’(1938) for which Mir Sahab was entrusted with the music direction, gave him a chance to sing a solo song ‘baalam gaye pardes ri sajni’ which became his debut playback song in a film. With this song, Hafiz Khan became known as a singer. Since he wanted to hide his name associated with film songs from his father, Mir Sahab gave him a new name ‘Khan Mastana’ keeping in view his jolly nature.

After the release of ‘Bahadur Kissan’ (1938), Mir Sahab joined Minerva Movietone as the music director. He also took Khan Mastana to Minerva Movietone where he was taken as a playback singer on a 3-year contract. During this period, he sang songs in ‘Jailor’ (1938), ‘Talaaq’ (1938), ‘Pukaar’ (1939) ‘Main Haari’ (1940), etc. His songs from these films raised his popularity graph. During the last year of the contract with Minerva Movietone, Sohrab Modi wanted him to play sitar in addition to his contract as playback singer. Khan Mastana refused to play sitar as he did not wish to become a musician. He left Minerva Movietone. By that time, he had also got an offer from a film producer to work as a music director (probably for ‘Virginia’, 1940). Since Sohrab Modi did not want to lose Khan Mastana, he gave him a chance as a music director in his film ‘Vasiyat’ (1940) which he accepted as a free-lancer.

In around 1945, Khan Mastana’s younger brother, Aziz Khan had also joined Bombay film industry as a music director. To conceal his identity for his association with films, he had also changed his name to ‘Aziz Hindi’. By 1947, Khan Mastana had become a top male playback singer next only to G M Durrani and had given music direction to as many as 23 films. Everything was going very fine in his filmy career. He had money, fame and the luxury of staying in any one of his 5 flats in Mumbai. But his misfortune started when he paid a visit to Hyderabad sometime in 1947. His father who was a court musician at that time with Nizam, did not allow him to return to Mumbai. Instead, he pressurized Khan Mastana to learn classical music and sing in front of him rather than in the films. This continued for almost a year which led to delay in films for which he was committed to complete the recording of the songs as playback singer and as a music director. The producers of such films had to engage some other music directors to complete their films. Khan Mastana’s unprofessional attitude resulted in losing some prospective films as the music director.

In early 1948, Khan Mastana once again ran away from Hyderabad for Mumbai. One year of the absence from the film industry is sufficient for a film artist to be forgotten. Khan Mastana managed to get some playback singing assignments to re-establish himself in the film industry. One of the songs in which he sang with Mohammed Rafi was ‘watan ki raah pe watan ke naujawaan shahid ho’ from ‘Shaheed’ (1948) which became very popular. When Khan Mastana has just settled down in the film industry mainly as a playback singer in his second innings, his father came to Mumbai and forcibly took him ( also his brother, Aziz Khan) back to Hyderabad. This time, he was trapped in Hyderabad for about 2 years.

When Khan Mastana returned to Mumbai after 2 years – probably in 1951, he had not only faced the wrath of producers and music directors for his unprofessional behaviour, he had to face stiff competition of emerging playback singers like Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Talat Mehmood and Manna Dey. Some new music directors had also emerged during his absence who were happy with the emerging playback singers. Khan Mastana realised that his days as playback singer and the music director were over. In his third inning in film industry, he could get only a handful of songs to sing. He sang his last song as a playback singer, zindagi hai yaa koi toofaan hai in ‘Zindagi Yaa Toofaan’ (1958) which became his swan song.

From the mid 1950s up to his death in March 1972, Khan Mastana lived a life of extreme poverty. During his heydays, he lavishly spent money on his friends who also made him addicted to some vices including drinking. So, he had not saved money for the future. He was staying with his family in a small room mocated in a lane adjunct to Mahim Dargah. He had got afflicted with paralysis in 1966. His only son got similar affliction at the age of 14.

Khan Mastana who had sung nearly 150 songs, composed music in around 30 films besides acting in around 10 films died unsung in abject poverty in March 1972.

What a sad end of a lineage from the Etawah Gharana. His nephew, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan (son of his brother, Aziz Khan) who is an accomplished sitar player of international repute is of the view that going by the recordings of his uncle’s Hindustani classical renditions and sitar/surbahar recitals available with the family’s archive, Khan Mastana would have become one of the leading exponents of Hindustani classical music if he had concentrated on playing Sitar/Surbahar and as a classical vocalist rather than in the Hindi film industry.

‘Muqabala’ (1942) was one of the films of Khan Mastana’s heydays for which he was not only the music director, he also sang for himself in the film and also provided playback singing for other actors. This film seems to have been produced at a time when Wadia Movietone was in the verge of a split between Wadia Brothers. The film was made under the banner of J B H Wadia Productions but it was a Homi Wadia presentation. The film was jointly directed by Batuk Bhatt (Nanabhai Bhatt) and Babubhai Mistry. The star cast included Nadia and Yaqub in the lead role supported by Srinivas, Rajni, Dalpat, Nazira, Agha, Jal Khambata, M K Hasan, Baby Madhuri etc.

The film had 9 songs of which 3 songs have been covred in the Blog. All the songs were written by A Karim. I am presenting the film’s 4th song, ‘mujrim hoon mohabbat ka jo chaahe saza dena’ which is picturised on Yaqub. Agha is also seen in the song picturization.

Almost all on-line resources mention Yaqub as the singer. But it is apparent that the voice in the song is that of Khan Mastana.


Acknowledgement: Sometime last year, one of my friends sent me a photocopy of an article written by Madhup Sharma which was published in Hindi magazine, ‘Madhuri’ in 1969. This article was based on the interview the author had taken with Khan Mastana in his house. Much of the information about Khan Mastana in my article is based on this source with some updates.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Mujrim hoon mohabbat ka jo chaahe sazaa dena (Muqaabla)(1942) Singer-Khan Mastana, Lyrics-A Karim, MD-Khan Mastana


aa aa aa
haaa haaa
aaaa aaaaa
mujrim hoon mohabbat ka
jo chaahe saza dena
mujrim hoon mohabbat ka
jo chaahe saza dena

mujrim hoon mohabbat ka aa aa
haan aan
jo chaahe saza dena aa aa
par yaad rahe itna
dil se na bhula dena
par yaad rahe itna
dil se na bhula dena

main dil tumhen deta..aa hoon
lekin kahe deta hoo..n
main dil tumhen deta hoon
lekin kahe deta hoon
mujhko to mitaaya hai
isko na mita dena
mujhko to mitaaya hai
dil ko na mita dena

aaraam na hai din ko….o o o o
aur neend na raaton ko…o o o o
aaraam na hai din ko
aur neend na raaton ko..o o o
beemaar kiya tumne
ab tum hi dawa dena
beemaar kiya tumne
ab tum hi dawa dena

wo guzri huyi baaten
raaton ki mulaakaaten
wo guzri huyi baaten
raaton ki mulaakaat..en
bhoole se jo yaad aaye
do aansoo baha dena
bhoole se jo yaad aaye
do aansoo baha dena
mujrim hoon mohabbat ka
jo chaahe saza dena
par yaad rahe itna
dil se na bhula dena

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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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