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

Beedi jalaile

Posted on: March 20, 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 Play – 2: ‘Omkara’ (2006)

In this article, I am exploring the second film of Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespeare trilogy, ‘Omkara’ (2006) which is based on ‘Othello’ (1603).

There is a trivia which was narrated by Vishal Bhardwaj in a TV interview about a couple of years back. At Goa International Film Festival, he met Naseeruddin Shah who enquired as to what he was currently doing. Vishal Bhardwaj said that he had just completed a script based on Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’. Naseeruddin Shah retorted that ‘Othello’ was the weakest character in Shakespeare’s play and it will not work in Indian context. Vishal Bhardwaj gave him a copy of the script to read. Next day morning, Naseeruddin Shah came to Vishal Bhardwaj and said that he had read the script in the night and he would do the character of Bhaisaheb in the film. This shows the power of screenplay writing which makes a so-called weak Shakespeare play strong.

For ‘Maqbool’ (2004), Vishal Bhardwaj had to wait for nearly two years to get a producer/financier after the script was ready. But it was a smooth sailing for him in ‘Omkara’ (2006). He not only got a producer, he also got all the main actors as per his requirements. In ‘Omkara’ (2006), Vishal Bhardwaj has blended his artistic approach with commercial elements to avoid the repeat of the box office failure of ‘Maqbool’ (2004). His strategy worked and ‘Omkara’ (2006) fared very well on the box office front.

‘Omkara’ (2006) was produced by Kumar Mangat Pathak (Ajay Devgan’s Manager and the executive producer of most of Ajay Devgan Films) and was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. The cast included Ajay Devgan and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles supported by Saif Ali Khan, Konkana Sen Sharma, Vivek Oberoi, Bipasha Basu (special appearance), Naseeruddin Shah, Deepak Dobriyal, Pankaj Tripathi, Kamal Tiwari etc. The Censor Board certified the film for Adult viewing (A).

In ‘Omkara’ (2006), Vilash Bhardwaj molded the story of ‘Othello’ (1603) with the rural backdrop of Uttar Pradesh where ‘Bahubalis’ played prominent role in the politics. A comparison of main characters in ‘Othello’ with that in the film, ‘Omkara’ (2006) is presented in a tabular format below:

In Othello In Omkara Remarks
Othello is a dark-skinned Commander of the Venetian army in Venice. Omi Shukla or Omkara (Ajay Devgan), the head of a criminal gang is the son of a Brahmin father and low-caste mother. In both ‘Othello’ and ‘Omkara’, the race/caste is not the main reason for tragedy. It is the jealousy and revenge for which race/caste is discreetly used for instigation against Othello/Omkara.
Iago, a soldier, and Othello’s trusted adviser. Ishwar ‘Langda’ Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan), a henchman of Omkara. In ‘Othello’ Iago kills his wife, Emilia while in ‘Omkara’ Indu kills her husband, Langda.
Desdemona, the white-skinned wife of Othello who abducted her. Dolly Mishra (Kareena Kapoor), the high caste fair-skin wife of Omkara who was abducted by him from the wedding venue.
Cassio, Othello’s white-skinned lieutenant in the army. Keshav ‘Kesu Firangi’ Upadhayay (Vivek Oberoi), the trusted and a fair-skinned handsome aid of Omkara. The reason for appointing Cassio as lieutenant is because of his courage while Kesu’s promotion as Bahubali is mainly because of his charming nature and vote drawing ability from the younger generation.
Emilia, wife of Iago and Attendant to Desdemona. Indu Tyagi (Konkana Sen Sharma), wife of Langda and so-called sister of Omkara is a close companion of Dolly Mishra. By making Indu, the so-called sister of Omkara, her character is more powerful in ‘Omkara’ than Emilia in ‘Othello’.
Roderigo, the lover of Desdemona. Rajju (Deepak Dobriyal), the bridegroom who was to marry Dolly. Rajju thinks that Langda will help him get back Dolly. But Langda is actually using him in his plan to take revenge against both Omkara and Kesu.
Brabantio, a senator of Venice and the father of Desdemona. Raghunath Mishra (Kamal Tiwari), a lawyer and the father of Dolly.
Duke of Venice, the Administrator of Venice Bhaisaheb (Naseeruddin Shah), a politician.
Bianca, a courtesan in Venice. Billo (Bipasha Basu), a dancer and the mistress of Kesu.
Language used in the play is poetic. Language used in the film is local dialect of Western UP. In keeping with the setting of the story in rural UP.

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

Omkara (Ajay Devgan) is the head of a criminal gang operating under the patronage of Bhaisahab (Naseeruddin Shah), a local politician. Langda Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan) and Kesu (Vivek Oberoi) are the close confidants of Omkara. The film opens with Langda attacking a marriage procession (baaraat). Dolly (Kareena Kapoor), the bride is kidnapped by Omkara before bridegroom, Rajju (Deepak Dobriyal) reaches the marriage venue.

Raghunath Mishra (Kamal Tiwari), Dolly’s father and a lawyer with his men rushes to Omkara’s house and asks him to handover his daughter. Omkara, however, claims that Dolly chose him rather than Rajju. The matter goes to Bhaisahab where Dolly tell her father that she willingly eloped with Omkara. Raghunath Mishra feels betrayed by his daughter and leaves by telling Omkara that a daughter who betrays her father can betray him also. Dolly stays with Omkara.

In an election, Bhaisahab is a candidate. Omkara’s gang arranges a video of a sex scandal of Bhaisaheb’s political opponent resulting in his reputation getting tarnished. Bhaisaheb wins the election. In token of his appreciation, Bhaisaheb selects Omkara as a candidate for a local election. In order to canvas for his election, Omkara makes Kesu as his Bahubali over the claim of Langda who is senior to him. This sows the seeds of anger and jealousy in Langda who secretly plans to get revenge on both Omkara and Kesu.

The gang celebrates the election victory with a nautanki performance by Billo (Bipasha Basu), the dancer who is the mistress of Kesu. Seeing this opportunity, Langda pressurises Kesu to drink and a drunk Kesu gets instigated by the cigarette smoke emanating from Rajju’s mouth affecting Billo. A brawl between Kesu and Rajju takes place injuring Kesu. The matter goes to Omkara who is enraged by Kesu’s behaviour. Omkara punishes Kesu by sidelining him from important assignments.

To restore his position in the gang, Kesu approaches Langda for a way out. He suggests to Kesu to approach Dolly who can plead with Omkara to pardon him. Dolly agrees to put a word to Omkara provided he teaches her an English song. Kesu starts visiting Dolly and spends time with her for rehearsing an English song. Once, Omkara sees Kesu coming out of Dolly’s room and asks Langda about this. Langda, using this opportunity create suspicion in the mind of Omkara suggesting an affair between Kesu and Dolly. As a proof, a ‘kamarbandh’ jewellery gifted by Omkara to Dolly is found with Billo which was given to her by Kesu. In fact this was clandestinely managed by Langda through Indu. Suspicion overtakes rationale in the minds of Omkara. He assigns Langda to kill Kesu.

On the first night of his marriage, Omkara confronts Dolly of her ‘infidelity.’ In uncontrolled anger, he kills Dolly by suffocating her with a pillow. Indu enters the room and see the dead body of Dolly when she finds kamarbandh jewellery. She admits that she has taken it from Dolly’s room and handed it over to Langda. A realization comes to their minds that Langda has given it to Kesu to create the suspicion in the mind of Omkara. Angered by Langda’s conspiracy, Indu slashes Langda’s throat with a sickle resulting in his death. A seriously injured Kesu returns when he watches Omkara killing himself with his revolver out of guilt.

The film had 5 songs written by Gulzar and set to music by Vishal Bhardwaj. I present the first song ‘beedi jalaile jigar se piya’ to appear on the Blog. The song is picturised on Bipasha Basu, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, and Deepak Dobriyal with a large crowd. It is a nautanki song in celebration of the election win. The song is choreographed by Ganesh Acharya. The song starts with a prelude of scat (wordless vocables) singing by Sunidhi Chauhan and Sukhwinder Singh.

I have watched the video clip of the songs many times since the release of the film. I thought the song to be an item number. When I watched the full film, I realised that this song was an essential part of the film. Gulzar saab’s lyrics are raunchy which is understandable as it is for a nautanki song.

Gulzar Saab, at the launch of the music album of the film, had said that his lyrics of the song reflected the feudal system that prevailed in UP. When I started interpreting the song with Gulzar Saab’s statement, the line, ‘dhuaan na nikaari o lab se piya ye duniya badi jhaag hai’ I felt as if a serf (or a peasant) telling his other colleagues to keep their mouth shut in front of a powerful feudal lord. Similarly, the line in the song ‘na kasoor, na fatoor bina zuram ke hazoor mar gaye’ apart from the raunchiness, also give the impression of a powerful feudal lord sitting in front of a pleading serf. Likewise, the line in the song, ‘aisa kaate ke daant kaa nisaan chhod de’ though sounds erotic, it can also be visualised with a feudal lord sitting with his German Shepherd dog who let loose his dog to bite a serf as a part of the punishment. Such thing used to happen under zamindari system.

I do not know whether Gulzar had considered in his lyrics feelings of Langda after he was overlooked by Omkara for promotion as Bahubali in favour of Kesu. But at some places in the song, lyrics give such an impression. For instance, the line ‘naa kasoor naa fatoor bina zuram ke hazoor mar gaye’ gives an inner feeling of Langda that he has been denied promotion by huzoor (in this case, Omkara) without his fault.

As per the audio album, the song under discussion is rendered by Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Nachiketa Chakraborty and Clinton Carejo. However, I did not find the voice of Clinton Carejo in the song. Probably, he may have rendered some occasional chants in the background of the song and also a line or two in the prelude. The chanting by the crowd in western concerts is mainly by the fans of the performers. Vishal Bhardwaj has added this element in this nautanki song to give such a feel.

The raunchy lyrics with Urdu and local dialects, the bawdy dances, the elements of folk music in orchestration, the chants in the background from the crowd and the lighting effects give a feel of a real nautanki performance in a rural setting in modern India.

This song also represents as to how far the nautanki folk music has progressed from the harmonium, sarangi/clarinet, dholak with sitting crowd under petromax light as in paan khaaye sainyya hamaaro in ‘Teesri Kasam’ (1966) to the digital music with chanting by the standing crowd under electric lights.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Beedi jalaile (Omkara)(2006) Singers-Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Nachiketa Chakraborty, Lyrics-Gulzar, MD-Vishal Bhardwaj
Sunidhi and Sukhwinder, Male Chorus, Unknown voices

Lyrics (Based on Audio Clip):

[scat singing]

[scat singing]

ae ae ae ae ae ae ae

naa gil..aaf
naa lih..aaf
naa gilaaf naa lihaaf
thandi hawa bhi khilaaf
naa gilaaf naa lihaaf
thandi hawa bhi khilaaf

o itni sardi hai kisi kaa lihaaf
o jaa padosi ke chulhe se aag
o jaa padosi ke chulhe se aag
haan beedi jalaile….e
jigar se piya..aa
jigar ma badi aag hai
[scat singing]
beedi jalaile jigar se piya
jigar ma badi aag hai
[scat singing]
dhuaan na nikaari o lab se piya aa aaaa

(scat singing)
dhuaan na nikaari o lab se piya
ye duniya badi ghaaghh hai
o beedi jalaile jigar se piya
jigar ma badi aag hai

naa gilaaf naa lihaaf
thandi hawa bhi khilaaf
o itni sardi hai kisi ka lihaaf laile
o jaa padosi ke chulhe se aag laile

jaa padosi ke chulhe se aag laile
ae ae ae
(ai ai ai ai

naa kasoo….r
naa fatoo…..r
naa kasoor naa fatoor
bina zuram ke hazoor
mar gaye
o mar gaye
(o aise ik din dupehri bulaayi liyo re
baandh ghoongroo kachehri lagaayi liyo re
bulaayi liyo re
bulaayi liyo re dupehri

(lagaayi liyo re
lagaayai liyo re kachehri

jigar se piya
jigar ma badi aag hai
(ai ai ai ai ai)
beedi jalaile jigar se piya
jigar ma badi aag hai…ai

(ai ai ai ai)

o o o o
naa to chakkuon ki dh..aar
ho naa daraanti naa kat..aar
naa to chakkuon ki dhaar
naa daraanti naa kataar

aisa kaate ke daant kaa nisaan chhod de
ke kataayi to koi bhi kisaan chhod de
o aise
zaalim kaa chhod de
makaan chhod de re billo
zaalim kaa chhod de
makaan chhod de re
aise zaalim kaa
o aise zaalim kaa
aise zaalim kaa chhod de
makaan chhod de
naa bulaaya..aa
naa bataaya..aa
naa bulaaya naa bataaya
maa ne neend se jagaaya haay re…ae
aise chaunkele haath mein naseeb aa gaya..aa aa aa
wo elaaichi khilaai ke kareeb aa gaya..aa aa aaa

(scat singing)
koyla jalaayile
jigar se piya..aa
jigar ma
aag hai


itni sardi hai kisika lihaaf
o jaa padosi
o jaa padosi
jaa jaa padosi
o jaa padosi ke chulhe se aag laile

Meaning of some words used in the lyrics

Gilaaf=Protective cover, Jacket

Lihaaf=Blanket, Quilt

Fatoor (Fitoor)= Obsession


Chaunkele=Startled, Coward, Timid

3 Responses to "Beedi jalaile"

Informative,thanks one of my favourite film,song ….


Beedi jalaile or jailaile???




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