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Jhin min jhini

Posted on: March 16, 2023

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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Vishal Bhardwaj’s Trilogy of Shakespeare plays – 1: ‘Maqbool’ (2004).

Williams Shakespeare’s plays have been very popular with the Indian theatres since the theatre movement started sometime in the later 18th century. It was in the late 19th century that some of the famous Shakespeare’s plays were adapted in the Indian theatres in Hindi, Urdu and other prominent regional languages like Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil etc. The plays were molded into Indian socio-economic and political background. With the advent of silent films in India in 1913 and later the sound films from 1931, the film producers also adapted some of the popular Shakespeare’s plays for their films.

The earliest Hindi sound film based on Shakespeare play was ‘Hathili Dulhan’ (1932) which was adapted from a comedy play ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. Some other Hindi sound films adapted from Shakespeare plays (mentioned in the brackets) included ‘Kaafir-e-Ishq’, 1936 (Anthony and Cleopatra), ‘Jwala’. 1938 (Macbeth), ‘Pak Daman’, 1940 (Measure for Measure), ‘Aan’, 1952 (Taming of the Shrew), ‘Hamlet’. 1954 (Hamlet), ‘Do Dooni Chaar’, 1968 (The Comedy of Errors), ‘Angoor’, 1982 (The Comedy of Errors), ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, 1988 (Romeo & Juliet) and many more. About 40 Hindi films released between 1932 and 2014, based on Shakespeare plays have been listed here. This list is not exhaustive.

Shakespeare’s plays were also adapted into some Hindi films made in the 2000s. Of these, Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespeare trilogy, ‘Maqbool’ 2004 (Macbeth), ‘Omkara’ 2006 (Othello) and ‘Haider’ 2014 (Hamlet) are regarded as the best adaptation. These three films have received high critical acclaim. There are many published research papers on his trilogy on national and international forums, besides a PhD thesis on his trilogy by Dr Fatimah Javed. The uniqueness in Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptations is that he has brought out the relevance of Shakespeare’s plays in the contemporary Indian socio-political background.

I intend to write one article each for these three films listed above. In this article, I will take up ‘Maqbool’ (2004), the first film in Vishal Bhardwaj’s trilogy of Shakespeare’s tragedy plays. The film was produced jointly by Vishal Bhardwaj and Bobby Bedi and was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. The film has a strong cast which includes Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Piyush Mishra, Deepak Dobriyal, Ankur Vikal, Ajay Gehi, Vivek Mushran, Rakesh Pandit, Shammi Narang, Masumeh Makhija, Mohini Mathur, Shweta Menon etc. Vishal Bhardwaj shifts the centre of struggle for power from the court of King Duncan of Scotland in ‘Macbeth’ to Mumbai’s Mafia Don, Jahangir (Abba) Khan’s house.

Probably, it may be for first time in the history of Hindi films that the screenplay of a film was published with English translation in a book form – ‘Maqbool: The Original Screenplay (with English Translation) by Vishal Bhardwaj and Abbas Tyrewala (2014)’. In this book, the rationale for some changes in the main characters of ‘Macbeth’ in ‘Maqbool’ (2004) have been spelt out. I thought, it was better to present these changes in a tabular form for easy understanding:

In ‘Macbeth’ In ‘Maqbool’ Remarks
King Duncan of Scotland Mafia Don Abbaji (Pankaj Kapur) of Mumbai underworld.
Macbeth, the General, who is the distant cousin of King Duncan Maqbool (Irrfan Khan), the foster son and the right-hand man of Abbaji.
Lady Macbeth (wife of Macbeth) Nimmi (Tabu) the mistress of Abbaji who is in illicit relationship with Maqbool. There is a marked departure from the original characters just to give one more reason for Nimmi to instigate Maqbool to kill Abbaji, so that she becomes the legitimate wife of Maqbool. For him also, this becomes an additional motive to kill Abbaji, apart from becoming a mafia don.
Three Witches Purohit (Naseeruddin Shah) and ‘Pandit (Om Puri) are cops who predict the rise of Maqbool as a Don as per the horoscope drawn by Pandit. It was felt that after about 500 years from the staging of ‘Macbeth’, the witches with their prophecies and supernatural powers may not be believable for the current generation. In mafia world, cops fit well in place of witches. Additionally, one of the cops was shown as an astrologer who also makes predictions.
Braquo, the close friend of Macbeth Kaka (Piyush Mishra), a close friend of Maqbool.
Fleance, Banquo’s son who is projected by witches to be the future king of Scotland Guddu (Ajay Gehi), the son of Kaka. From the end scene of the film, it can be inferred from the action of Guddu and his wife Sameera who takes the custody of Nimmi’s son that he may become the future Mafia Don of Mumbai.

The gist of the story of the film is as under:

After the killing of the Lalji, right-hand man of mafia don Abbaji (Pankaj Kapur), by a rival gang, Maqbool (Irrfan Khan), the foster son of Abbaji becomes the de facto his right-hand man. He is also made in-charge of the Abbaji’s connection with Bollywood films. Abbaji has absolute faith in Maqbool and this is demonstrated in the film on a number of occasions. Nimmi (Tabu), the mistress of Abbaji who is half his age is not happy with her status. She and Maqbool are passionate about each other and are in illicit relationship.

Purohit (Naseeruddin Shah) and Pandit (Om Puri) are the corrupt cops who are on the payroll of Abbaji. Pandit is also an astrologer who had predicted the death of Abbaji’s right-hand man. Now, he predicts that Maqbool would be the future mafia don of Mumbai. His oft repeated dialogue in the film is that there should be balance of power in the universe. Fire should be afraid of water.

Nimmi sees a possibility of both of being sidelined after the marriage of Sameera (Mausami Makhija), daughter of Abbaji with Guddu (Ajay Gehi), the son of Kaka (Piyush Mishra), the close associate of both Abbaji and Maqbool. She instigates Maqbool by saying that he would remain like a loyal dog in the don’s hierarchy, if he does not kill Abbaji and grab the power to be a mafia don. Maqbool is caught between his loyalty to Abbaji and his love for Nimmi. Finally, his love for Nimmi wins over the loyalty to Abbaji. Maqbool kills Abbaji in his bedroom in sleep.

Maqbool thinks that with Abbaji out of his way, the next man has to be his close friend, Kakaji who suspects Maqbool in killing Abbaji. To whom the power will pass – Guddu, the son-in-law or Maqbool, the foster son. So, Kakaji becomes his number one enemy in his succession. Maqbool gets him killed while his son, Guddu narrowly escapes death. With almost whole gang turning against him now, Maqbool has to handle his enemies, within and outside his gang single handedly. He has no help from Nimmi as she, beside her pregnancy, has lost her balance of mind.

After the killing of Abbaji, Maqbool suffers from guilt conscious which has affected him in taking a balanced view of his problem. He starts thinking that all are his enemies, and they need to be eliminated. His guilt consciousness makes him devote more time to saving the baby in Nimmi’s womb than his safety. He takes Nimmi to hospital for delivery. With the arrival of cops surrounding the hospital, Maqbool runs away. He comes back to hospital the next day to meet Nimmi and the newly born son when he sees Guddu in the hospital. Maqbool takes out his gun to shoot him. But before that he finds the newly born son has been handed over to Guddu and his wife Sameera by the hospital authority. He comes to know from a hospital staff that Nimmi has died, and Guddu and his wife has taken the custody of the newly born son. His grim face turns into a happy one as he sees that there is someone to look after the newly born son. Maqbool throws his gun and walks out of the hospital in a happy state of mind only to be shot dead by Boti (Ankur Vikal), a member of a rival gang who has recently joined Abbaji’s gang.

I watched this movie for the first time before writing this article and regretted not having watched this film on the big screen. It is a fantastic film, more of human relation story than the underworld. I do not think that any one among the actors can replace Pankaj Kapur in the role of Mumbai’s mafia don, Abbaji. Irrfan Khan in the role of Maqbool has portrayed his character in such a way that at the end of the film, despite his wrongdoings, the audience would feel sorry for him. Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri in the comparatively smaller role of corrupt cops are very good in their satirical punches. All other actors, some with minor roles, performed very well. This film also proves that cinema is the director’s medium.

As per Box Office report, despite the high critical acclaim, the film was not commercially successful. Probably the use of techniques like imagery, expressions, and body language in the film was beyond the understanding of the general cine audience. There is nothing for the front benchers and the film lovers from the mofussil region of India, like titillating dances they would expect in a mafia den. Even six murders are shown in the film in a subtle way without much of fight scenes. I think, Vishal Bhardwaj knew beforehand that the film was meant for the niche audience. He did not charge any fee as a screenplay writer, director and the music director for the film (as per the preface of the book referred to above).

There are 5 songs in the film, all written by Gulzar and set to music by Vishal Bhardwaj. I have found only 3 songs which appeared in the film. However, ‘excluded’ songs are available on audio albums. I am presenting the first song from the film ‘jhin min jhin min jhini’ to appear on the Blog. The song is sung by Sadhana Sargam, Anuradha Sriram, Ustad Sultan Khan, Rakesh Pandit and chorus.

The background of the song is that Ajay Gehi (Guddu), son of Kaka (Piyush Mishra) who is a close associate of Abbaji (Pankaj Kapur) is to get married to Sameera (Mausami Makhija), daughter of Abbaji. The song is played on the eve of the engagement ceremony. The song is prominently picturised on Tabu and Mausami Makhija as a part of sangeet ceremony for females.

In the soundtrack of the film, the prelude of the song is a couplet (doha) of Amir Khusro recited by a dancer (Shwetha Menon) which is not included in the song on the audio album. The song is interspersed by Sufi Qawwali which is again picturised on Shwetha Menon as a part of her mujra dance for the males during which Pankaj Kapur, Irrfan Khan, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Piyush Mishra, Shammi Narang etc can also be seen.

While the song is being played, the camera captures some other details such as conversation between Irrfan Khan and Om Puri, the conversation between Tabu and Irrfan Khan and Tabu’s expression on the dance between Pankaj Kapur and Shwetha Menon whom Tabu thinks as the potential mistress of Abbaji.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song- Jhin min jhini (Maqbool)(2004) Singers-Sadhana Sargam, Anuradha Sriram, Ustad Sultan Khan, Rakesh Pandit, Lyrics-Gulzar, MD-Vishal Bhardwaj
Female Chorus,
Male Chorus,
Sadhana Sargam and Anuradha Sriram,
Ustad Sultan Khan and Rakesh Pandit

Lyrics:(The opening doha from Video Clip)

aa aa aa aa aaa
Khusro rain suhaag ki
jaagi pi ke sang
tan mero mann piu ko
dono bhaye ek rang

[Tabla Theka]

jhin min jhini
jhin min jhini
jhin min jhin min jhini
jhin min jhini
jhin min jhini
jhin min jhin min jhini

seedhi saadhi baaten
baaten bholi bhaali
billo meri aankhon ki kamini
jhin min jhini
jhin min jhini
jhin min jhin min jhini

na jaaun
jaaun na jaaun piya ki gali
range paaon pakdi gayi jo

chikne chikne aangan hain
sainyaan ke ghar ke
main chalna bhool gayi re
sainyaan se dar ke
pagli kar dini

jhin min jhini
jhin min jhini
jhin min jhin min jhini
seedhi saadhi baaten
baaten bholi bhaali
billo meri aankhon ki kamini

na jaaun jaaun piya ki gali

range paaon pakdi gayi jo

aaj rang hai
aye maa rang hai re…ae…ae
(ae ae ae ae ae ae)
aaj rang hai
aye maa rang hai re…ae…ae
mere mehboobi ke ghar

rang hai re …ee
desi bidesi mein dhoondhe phiri hoon ho to
jab dekhu more sang hai ri

aaj rang hai
aaj rang hai…ai…ai
aaj rang hai

(rang hai)

aye maa rangi hai
mere mehboob ke ghar rang hai ri

jhin min jhini
jhin min jhini
jhin min jhin min jhini
seedhi saadhi baaten
baaten bholi bhaali
billo meri aankhno ki kamini

henna mein chhupa ke
jiya rakh diya..aa
hatheli pe jal tu diya rakh diya
roshan roshan pairon se
khud hi sharmaaun
main iss pag uss pag doloon
jaaun na jaaun
pagli kar dini

jhin min jhini
jhin min jhini
jhin min jhin min jhini
seedhi saadhi baaten
baaten bholi bhaali
billo meri aankhon ki kamini

na jaaun piya ki gali
range paaon pakadi gayi jo chali

chikne chikne aangan hai
saiyaan ke ghar ke
main chalna bhool gayi re
saiyaan se dar ke
pagli kar dini

o o o o o o…
aa aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa aaa ae piri paayo
(piri paayo) ae piri paayo
nizamuddin auliya
qutubuddin auliya
karimuddin auliya
allahuddin auliya
naseeruddin auliya

aa aa aa aa aaa
Allah ka pyaara wo to
jag ujiyaara wo to
jag ujiyaara
aaj rang hai
aye maa rang hai
mere mahboob ke ghar rang hai ri


5 Responses to "Jhin min jhini"

Sadanand ji,

The meticulous way in which you cover all aspects of the film/song under question is praiseworthy.

Filmi, NFS, Bengali, new songs etc. from your pen, all have the hallmarks of sincere and deep involvement involving lot of time, patience, interest and perseverance.

Thanks and kudos to all your efforts.



Mahesh ji,

Thank you for your kind appreciation.

It is a part of my hobby to research on the subject like Hindi films and music, travels, photography etc. For a retired person, there is a plenty of time to indulge in such activities.

Insofar as Hindi films and music are concerned, I convert some of my such activities into articles when I feel that the topic is interesting and I should share with the readers of the Blog.


One of My favourite film,(I do have a fascination for Vishal Bhardwaj Films always…..) (But while watching this film always I get depressed in someway, I don`t know why)
Anyways, Thanks Sadanand ji for reminding me the song……
(Omkara ke gaanon ke baare mein agar sochaa hai to maine aaj ek email(jo mere paas barson se blog mein aane ke intezaar mein hai….)aapko bheja hai)



Prakashchandra ji,

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespeare trilogy is based on tragedy plays. So, getting depressed after watching these films is understandable. One would get depressed when only the story of the film is in focus. Try to divert the mind to other aspects of the films like song picturisations, the performances of the actors in terms of dialogue deliveries, expressions, body languages, the use of imageries by the the film’s director etc.


sorry Thanks for the detailed,informative post, Thanks again for that…..


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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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