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

Rahiye ab aisi jagah chal kar jahaan koi na ho

Posted on: May 5, 2023

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, 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.

Blog Day :

5404 Post No. : 17729

Today’s song is a famous Ghazal by Mirza Ghalib, from the film Qaidi-1940.

Film Qaidi-1940 was a Landmark movie. It was a Muslim social film. It was not the first film depicting the muslim culture in a hindi film, still it occupies a special place in this Genre for many reasons. Muslims have been a major and the biggest Minority in India for many centuries. Muslim kings who came from outside India ruled this country for many years too. Therefore it was but natural that films depicting Muslim culture were made in India from the early era onwards after Talkie films started.

Indian film history has many unsolved riddles yet. At the same time misconceptions and wrong information inputs have been misleading the Indian Film History students. Questions like
1. Who was the first Female MD ?
2. Which was the First MD Pair in Hindi films ?
3. Which was the First Hindi film shot abroad ?
4. Which is the First songless Hindi film ?

have either been not answered properly or the answers have become outdated with the new evidence becoming available now. Those readers who have the answers to these questions are requested to check with the Mythical answers and the actual true answers here.

1.Many people still believe that Usha khanna is the first female MD, But actually she is the 4rd female MD. The First female MD was Isharat Jehan aka Bibbo, who gave music to films Adl E Jahangir-1934 and Qazzack ki beti-1937. Jaddan bai was the second and Saraswati Devi was the third female MD.

2.The First MD Pair is generally considered as Husnlal-Bhagatram. However, the First MD Pair was Rewashankar Marwadi and Banne Khan, who gave music to 12 Hindi films from 1935 to 1937.

3. Generally it is believed that film Naaz-1954 is the First hindi film to be shot abroad. Even HFGK also mentions this. However, the truth is, the film ” India in Africa”-1939 was the First film to be shot in Africa with the Hero B.Nandrekar ( Ref: Maharashtra- The Birthplace of Indian Cinema, author Isak Mujawar).

4. Hindi film “Naujawan”-1937, made by the Wadia Brothers is considered as the First Songless film. However it is no longer true. Film ” Mamta”-1936 made by Bombay Talkies (and released along with film “Miya Bibi”) was the First songless film.

Like many other myths in the Hindi film industry, one myth is that Mehboob Khan was the pioneer in making Muslim social films in India. This probably originated because the first film of Mehboob’s own company Mehboob Productions was ” Najma”-43, a Muslim social film starring Ashok Kumar, Veena, Sitara, Kumar, Yaqub etc. But the fact is different.

The first Muslim social film was “Rashida”-35, made by Madon Theatres, Calcutta, featuring Kajjan, Effendi and others. It was directed by a Jew-Izra Mir. The name of the film indicated that it was about a Muslim girl. Somehow, I find a lot of Muslim social films made that had titles of girl’s names, Like Zeenat, Ameena, Najma, Shama, Heena, Zubeida, Salma, Ismat etc etc.

The beginning of serious Muslim social films was done by Fazli Brothers- Hasnain and Sibtain Fazli. They first made a Muslim social film Qaidi-1940, featuring Ramola,Mehtab, B.Nandrekar, Wasti etc. This was a period of struggle for Indian Independence. The fundamentalists in Muslims were active and due to the fear of their reaction, film makers were wary of producing such films.Even Fazli brothers were also afraid that there would be obstruction from these people to their film, so they decided to make the film in Calcutta. Their first Muslim Social film Qaidi-40 was very successful. Encouraged, they made 2 more such films (Masoom-41 and Chowringhee-42) in Calcutta. For film Chowringhee-42, the Fazli Brothers roped in famous Bangla poet (who later on became the National Poet of Bangladesh) Kazi Nazrul Islam- the creator of Nazrul geeti, as a Lyricist and MD for the film.

After 1942, Fazli Brothers shifted their activities to Bombay and made many Muslim social films like Fashion-43,Ismat-44, Dil-46 and Mehendi 47. So, in true sense, it is the Fazli Brothers who were the pioneers of Muslim Social films in India.

From the 40s to the 47, there was a line of Muslim social films lined with pride and confidence. Notable amongst them were Paak Daaman-40 by Rustom Modi, Masoom-41 by Fazli brothers, Muslim ka lal-41 by Mohan Pictures, Fashion -43 by Fazli Brothers, Najma-43 by Mehboob, Salma-43 by Nazir Ahmed, Ismat-44 by Fazli Brothers, Bade Nawab saab-44 by actor Kumar and Pramila, Bhaijaan-45 by United Films, Phool-45 by K.Asif, and Director Mazhar Khan’s Muslim social film “Pehli Nazar” in 1945. Amongst these, the film “Elan”-47 was a milestone film, produced by Mehboob. It dwelt upon the needs of improvements for Muslim community.

After 1947, India lost a very big market for its Muslim social films, when Pakistan-East and West- was formed. It does not mean that Muslim social films were not made after 1947 in India. Films like Kaneez-49, Nisbat-49, Parda-49, Hyderabad ki Nazneen-52,Darwaza-54, Chandni Chowk-54, Maalik-58, Maa ke aansoo-59, Pahli Raat-59 etc were all Muslim socials. They, however, were not successful, for whatever reasons. But the fun is films of muslim backgrounds but non social films like Anarkali,Mirza Ghalib,Hatimtai,Alibaba and forty thieves etc were good grossers and ran well. The first Hindi film to win the President’s Gold Medal (the first was Marathi film-Shyam chi aai ), was Mirza Ghalib-54. This indicated that there was no audience for Muslim social films now. Later on the conditions changed and Muslim social films like Chaudhavi ka chaand,Barsaat ki raat,Chhote Nawab,Bahu Begum, Mere huzoor, Pakeeza etc became quite successful. However,some opine that these films succeeded due to other reasons like Music, songs etc. One funny thing was that most Muslim social films-from the beginning- showed Lucknow as the background of the story ! (Film names being mentioned are only indicative and not exhaustive, so many names will be missing here.).

Film Qaidi-1940 star cast included Ramola, Mehtab, Madhuri, Monica Desai, B.Nandrekar, Wasti, Leela Mishra and many others. There were 8 songs in the film written by Arzoo lucknowi and Kidar Sharma, which were composed by Acharya bhishmadev Chaterjee – a highly respected name in the musical field of Bengal. Two Gazals by Mirza Galib were also used in this film. Today’s song is one of these gazals. We do not know the singer’s name. Name of ” Aziz ka gaana” is given on the record. Aziz was the name of the film’s Hero, enacted by Nandrekar. One peculiar point about this film was that the Hero, his mother and sister all die in this film. The name of Monica Desai in the star cast may be unfamiliar to many readers.

Monica Desai was a famous Indian actress during the 1930’s and 40’s. She was the daughter of Dr. Umedram Lalbhai Desai and Satyabhama Devi, a well-known musician of the early 20th Century. Her father was a Gujarati, and her mother hailed from Bihar. Her father who was a reputed Doctor of that period died in the year 1930.

Monica Desai first worked for Bangla movie ‘Nimai Sanyasi’ which was released in the year 1940. She was an actress who represented the era of upcoming character actresses like Leela Mishra, Ram Dulari, who made debut along with her and later ruled the Indian screen.

Monica Desai acted under the direction of Phani Majumdar and Kidar Nath Sharma. She did not concentrate much on acting as she got married to Phani Majumdar, a pioneering Indian film director, who worked in Hindi cinema. Phani Majumdar is known for Meena Kumari’s classic films ‘Aarti’ (1962) and ‘Oonche Log’ (1965). Monica Desai had a sister named Leela Desai, who was a renowned actress in Hindi and Bengali cinema. Leela Desai has even acted in the film ‘Kapal Kundala’ (1939) directed by Phani Majumdar. After completion of the venture, Phani Majumdar married Monica Desai.

Monica acted with Prithviraj Kapoor in her career, in the film Gauri. ‘Gauri’ was an Indian Bollywood film that was the seventh highest grossing Indian film of 1943 and this established Monica Desai as an actress. Later, she featured in a film ‘Devdasi’ as a heroine that was also among the top seven grossing films at the Indian box office in 1945. She appeared in the film ‘Chitralekha’ which was the second-highest grossing Indian film of 1941, in this movie, she portrayed the character of Yashodhara. She had also acted in 2 films with Saigal – Bhakta Surdas-1942 and Bhanwara-1944.

Monica worked in only 9 Hindi films- Qaidi-40, Chitralekha-41, Bhakta Surdas-42, Gauri-43, Bhanwara-44, Lakharani-45, Devdasi-45, Rangeen Zamana-48 and Vikram Shashikala-49.

Let us now listen to Galib’s ghazal. This same ghazal was later used in the film ‘Mirza Ghalib’-1954, in which Suraiya sang this ghazal beautifully.

Song- Rahiye ab aisi jagah chal kar jahaan koi na ho (Qaidi)(1940) Singer- Not known, Lyricist- Mirza Ghalib, MD- Bhishmadev Chatterjee


rahiye ab a a a
aisi jagah
chal kar jahaan koi na ho
rahiye ab a a a
aisi jagah
chal kar jahaan koi na ho
hamasukhan koi na ho o
aur hamazubaan koi na ho
rahiye ab a ab
aisi jagah

be-dar-o-deewaar kaa aa
ik ghar banaaya chaahiye
koi hamasaayaa na ho
aur paasabaan koi na ho
padiye gar beemaar to
koi na ho teemaaradaar
aur agar mar jaaiye
aur agar mar jaaiye
to nauhakhwaan koi na ho
rahiye ab aisi jagah


7 Responses to "Rahiye ab aisi jagah chal kar jahaan koi na ho"

Wow! Fantastic article full of new & interesting information!


Ashwin ji,
Thanks for your appreciation.


You have not mentioned about Saraswati Devi as female M.D.
Very important informations


Above may please be treated as withdrawn.
Apologies !


Rakesh ji,
You are actually right. There was a mistake about Saraswati Devi, which was immediately corrected as soon as it was detected.
Thanks for your comments.


I strongly feel that the music director, Vishmadev Chatterjee has rendered this ghazal. This is based on his Hindustani classical renditions which I have heard.


Sadanand Ji,
Thanks for your suggestion that the MD himself i.e. Bhishma dev Chatterjee, must have sung this Ghazal.


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