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

Archive for the ‘Meera Shiraz Songs’ Category


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 atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

5178 Post No. : 17154

Today’s song is from the costume/stunt film ‘Jungle King’ (1959). The film was made by Artists United, Bombay (the name reminds me of the famous Hollywood company ‘United Artists’). It was produced by a group calling itself ‘Four X’ (for reasons best known to them) composed of Morris, Akbar, Asghar and Haider. The director was Masood and the music was by the pair of Bipin-Babul. The cast was very interesting. It consisted of Shaaga, Haaydu (what strange names! Never heard them !!), Sheila Ramani, Anwar, Majnu, Kamal Mehra, Heera Sawant, Tun Tun, Kabban Mirza, Dambe, Doud, Badshah, Rampuri Mehmood, Elephant Laxmi and many others.

I have never heard such strange names of actors in any film. Shaaga, Haaydu, Dambe, Rampuri Mehmood ? Where did they get these people with such names ? That way, earlier also I have come across some queer names in stunt films, like Bajarbattoo, Chemist, Dhondu, Babu Fatty, Gareeb Nawab etc. Few years back, Dr. Surjit Singh ji had downloaded 7,000 names of actors who acted in Hindi films from 1931 to 2000, from an internet site, which is extinct now. He had put it on the RMIM forum from where I downloaded the list. But in the intervening times, with me changing my Laptop several times till today, the list was lost in transit from one Laptop to the next one. The point is there were many funnier names of actors in that list.

Old time artistes had no means of publicity like today. With TV, Social Media, WA, Fb, newspapers, glossy magazines etc, publicity is easier for modern actors. Old time actors were forgotten as soon as they stopped appearing in films. Today’s film ‘Jungle King’ (1959) is a special film because in its cast are 2 old time actors who were forgotten totally with the times. One was a heroine of the then leading heroes, who fell on bad times and accepted whatever films came her way. But wisely she got married and spent a rich and comfortable retired life. The other one was an occasional singer, who held an honorable post in All India Radio and his songs became a choice of critics in those days. Let us know more about them.

One was actress Sheila Ramani,  a forgotten name today, but most of us will remember her in Navketan’s ‘Taxi Driver’ (1954) where she was cast as Anglo-Indian club dancer – Sylvie. I also remember her as the leading lady in ‘Funtoosh’ (1956), also from the banner of Navketan. Sheila was born on 2-4-1931, in Karachi. She was selected as Miss Mussoorie in 1948 and judged ‘Miss Simla’ in 1950. She made her debut as Champa, the femme fatale of ‘Badnam’ (1952), and revealed herself as a danseuse of charm in ‘Anand Math’ (1952). She was one of the few Sindhi actresses besides Sadhana, who made it big in Bollywood. She was mostly seen as an upper class mod girl in the 50s, a role she enacted to perfection all through that swinging era in films like V Shantaram’s ‘Teen Batti Char Raasta’ (1953), Sheikh Mukhtar’s ‘Mangu’ (1954), ‘Meenar’ (1954), ‘Railway Platform’ (1955), and ‘Funtoosh’ (1956).

Her uncle Sheikh Latif alias Lachchu was a famous Pakistani producer who produced films like ‘Pathan’ (1955), ‘Khizan Kai Baad’ (1955), ‘Darbar-e-Habib’ (1956) etc. Sheila visited Karachi – Pakistan on the request of her uncle, to play the lead role in Pakistani film ‘Anokhi’ (1956). The film was based on Hollywood’s ‘Fabulous Senorita’ (1952). “Gari Ko Chalana Babu, Zara Halkey Halkey Halkey, Zara Dil Ka Jaam Na Chhalkey” sung by Zubeda Khanum was the popular song from the film which did modestly good business in Pakistan. The movie’s great music was composed jointly by Timir Baran (a Bengali who came from India for this purpose) and Hassan Latif. Sheila went back to India and remained as a middle-of-the-range performer in Bombay films. In the later part of her career, she was reduced to obscure films with titles that sounded like ‘Jungle King’ (1959), and ‘The Return of Superman’ (1960) – one of the last films composed by Anil Biswas. In all, she acted in 24 films. Her last film was ‘Awaara Ladki’ (1967).

Sheila was very fond of sports, especially football and swimming. Ballroom dancing was a virtual addiction for her and she used to go out dancing as often as she could. Sheila was 5 feet four inches tall, and was so fastidious that any dress she would wear won’t be repeated for six months to come at least.

According to her son Rahul Cowasji, she retired from acting in 1962 and married  Jal Edi Cowasji on 31st March 1963. Part of her family that remained in Pakistan converted to Islam. She was a Hindu. She used to live in Mumbai with her husband Jal Cowasji (President of Bombay Dyeing) till 1981. They moved to Khartoum for 3 years and then to Sri Lanka for 3 years. After her husband’s death in 1984 she migrated to Australia on her own in the late 80’s and lived in Sydney and Surfers Paradise until health problems required her to return to India in the new millennium.  She used to live in her husband’s ancestral home in Mhow, near Indore (MP). She was frail and bed ridden for a few years before her death on 15-7- 2015.

Her favorite Hindi film of her career was ‘Taxi Driver’ (1954). Sheila was also the leading lady of India’s first Sindhi film after partition – ‘Abana’ (1958), in which young Baby Sadhna played her younger sister’s role.  [Thanks to Cineplot for some of the information in this Biosketch].

The other one was an  AIR announcer and an anchor. He was also a singer and an actor for a few films. His name was Kabban Mirza. Kabban Mirza’s name is known to very few people. He is one of those people who appeared like a comet and disappeared like a lightning. In his short stint with Hindi films, he acted in 2 films – ‘Jungle King’ (1959) (he was also the Assistant Director for this film) and ‘Murad’ (1961). He sang 1 song in the film ‘Captain Azad’ (1964) and 2 songs in the film ‘Razia Sultan’ (1983). He claimed to have sung a song “Is Pyar Ki Basti Mein” in a film called ‘Sheeba’,  without getting credited. No film with the name ‘Sheeba’ is traceable, but a song with the same mukhda is found in the film ‘Jungle King’ (1959), credited to Suman Kalyanpur and Babul with chorus. We don’t find a third voice in this song. It is possible that the film ‘Sheeba’ was left incomplete and the same song was used in the film ‘Jungle King’ (1959) with Babul as the male singer.

The question is why Kabban Mirza is remembered with such a meager contribution to film acting and singing ? The answer is because of his deep voice. Mirza who briefly flirted with the film world, left a lasting impression with his songs for producer-director Kamal Amrohi’s epic, ‘Razia Sultan’.

The songs — “Aayee Zanzeer Ki Jhankar Khuda Khair Kare” and “Tera Hijr Mera Naseeb Hai” — rendered in Mirza’s deep voice, were filmed on the slave-warrior character of Yaqut played by Dharmendra in the film.

Mirza was picked out after Amrohi auditioned dozens of singers in his search for a unique voice to suit the character of the slave-warrior. The film’s music director, Khayyam, reminisces: ‘‘Kamal Saab was a perfectionist. He called over 50 singers for a voice test, but remained unconvinced. Then someone suggested Kabban Mirza who was also a popular nauhaa khan (one who sings elegy for Imam Hussain’s martyrdom during Muharram). Kamal Saab’s search ended with Mirza.’’

Overnight his popularity soared. Mirza got a few more singing offers, including for BR Chopra’s ‘Nikaah’ (1982), but his preoccupation with radio came in the way. ‘‘His voice had a unique bass, unheard of in the industry,’’ says poet-lyricist Nida Fazli who penned a song for Razia Sultan.

Kabban Mirza was born in 1937 in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh. He belonged to the  Siddi community. This is a community that migrated from Central Asia/North Africa, during the time when India was ruled by Muslim dynasties. These people were brought in as slaves in the courts of the rulers of Delhi, Lucknow and other kingdoms in North India. They are also known as ‘Habshi’. It is curiously incidental that Yaqut, the slave in the court of Razia Sultan, also belonged to this ‘Habsh’ community. It sounds almost providentially ordained that the two people, separated by more than seven centuries – the original persona, and the singer who would sing for that historical character in a film, belong to the same original ethnic community. (Another very well known personality of Indian cinema belongs to this community – His real name was SYED HASSAN ALI ZAIDI. His family used to call him MIJJAN Miyan and screen name was Kumar, the actor who played the role of the sculptor in the film ‘Mughal e Azam’ (1960)).

The child in Kabban took to music and singing very early. He was drawn to the ‘nauhaa’ style of singing – the traditional ‘marsiaa’ and ‘taaziadaari’ singing on the solemn occasion of Muharram. It is noted that the child Kabban used to practice his singing with his head inserted inside a ‘matka’ (earthen pot).

As he grew up, he was recognized as a very impressive and inspiring ‘nauha-rubaan’ – a singer of traditional Muharram renderings. His voice caught the attention, and he got his break with All India Radio, in the music department. This phase of his life is not well documented, no details are available about his training in classical music and who his teachers were. But his depth of knowledge about the detailed nuances of classical ragas is well acknowledged in his presentations of the radio program ‘Sangeet Sarita’. He anchored this program for many years. He would play select film songs based on Hindustani classical music, and then described in great detail the classical basis, the raag and its variations, the sur, the taal, and their interplay. He garnered a good measure of fan following for this program.

He had joined AIR in Lucknow, but he was soon transferred to Bombay station, where he would take on the anchor role for such noteworthy programs as ‘Hawa Mahal’, ‘Sangeet Sarita’ and ‘Chhaaya Geet’, for many years. There is some mention that he was approached to sing for music director Ravi in BR Chopra’s ‘Nikaah’ (1982), but apparently his association with AIR and his popularity as the anchor of mainline radio programs, came in the way of his further association with the world of films.

The two songs of ‘Razia Sultan’ became very popular in their time – the record sales were impressive. But as destiny would have it, this rise in popularity was accompanied by the most unfortunate health news for Kabban Mirza. He was detected with cancer of the larynx. This was a stroke of extreme bad luck from which he could never recover. His voice and his throat were his vital and essential assets. And that is where fate struck its most unkind blow. He went into prolonged treatment, but eventually he had to be operated upon. The year was 1993. He recovered from surgery and returned home. Thankfully, the malady seemed to be in remission, but then never got to use his voice for any serious and significant assignments.

Mirza, who was admitted to Jaslok Hospital on May 9 after he complained of cough and neck pain, came back home minus his once-famous voice. The tracheotomy tube inserted in his windpipe allows him to breathe, not speak. ‘‘He was diagnosed with throat cancer and treated 10 years ago also. But its relapse has shattered us. He won his bread and our happiness through his voice. Now he has lost that very voice,’’ bemoans Rifat, Mirza’s daughter.

The respite from the physical predicament lasted for a decade. The problem reared its painful head once again, and in May/June 2003, he had to undergo another surgery that resulted in the removal of a significant part of his larynx, leaving him practically with no sound in his throat. His vocal communications were reduced to very limited rasping utterances at the best. This regrettable fate for someone who had once been honored with the Golden Voice Award by the AIR. He reportedly died in June 2006.

[Based on information collated from the articles by Mohd. Wajihuddin in Indian Express dt. 24-6-2003, Ganesh Vancheeswaran in scroll.in, and Sudhir ji in Blog ASAD,  muVyz, HFGK and my notes, with thanks to all.]

Song- Dil Thaame Huye Baithe Hain Bechain Nazar Hai (Jungle King) (1959) Singers – Babul, Uma Devi, Meera Shiraz, Lyricist – Anjum Jaipuri, MD- Bipin Babul
Babul + Khurshid Bawra
All Chorus

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

dil tha..aame huye. . .
baithe hain. . .
haaye
bechain nazar hai

dil thaame huye
dil thaame huye baithe hain
bechain nazar hai
kehte hain muhabbat jise
kuchh tumko khabar hai
dil thaame huye baithe hain
bechain nazar hai

dil thaamne ke laakh sabab hote hain nadaan
ey ey ey hey
beemar hai
eeekhiy
beemar hai khud
haan
beemar hai khud
ya hai koi dost pareshan
ya phir kisi mehmaan ke aane ki khabar hai
ya phir kisi mehmaan ke aane ki khabar hai
ey ey ey
dil thaame huye baithe hain
bechain nazar hai
kehte hain muhabbat jise
kuchh tumko khabar hai

aati hain muhabbat mein kabhi aisi bhi raaten
neend aati nahin hoti hain taaron hi se baaten
ae ji taaron hi se baaten
ho ji taaron hi se baaten
jis dil mein mohabbat ho ye usko hi khabar hai
jis dil mein mohabbat ho ye usko hi khabar hai
dil thaame huye baithe hain
bechain nazar hai
kehte hain muhabbat jise
kuchh tumko khabar hai

ho (??) pe insaan to kabhi neend naa aaye
kaanton pe bhi so jaaye jo maa lori sunaaye
hmmm hmmm hmmm
maa baap ke kadmon mein muhabbat ka nagar hai
maa baap ke kadmon mein muhabbat ka nagar hai
dil thaame huye baithe hain
bechain nazar hai
kehte hain muhabbat jise
kuchh tumko khabar hai

raste hain alag pyaar ki manzil hai magar ek
laakhon hain tamannaayen to kya khush hai magar ek
laakhon hain tamannaayen to kya khush hai magar ek
hanste huye chalna ye muhabbat ka safar hai
hanste huye chalna ye muhabbat ka safar hai

dil thaame huye baithe hain
bechain nazar hai
kehte hain muhabbat jise
hum sab ko khabar hai
dil thaame huye baithe hain
bechain nazar hai

————————————————
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir Kapur)
————————————————

दिल थामे हुये
बैठे हैं
हाए
बेचैन नज़र है

दिल थामे हुये
दिल थामे हुये बैठे हैं
बेचैन नज़र है
कहते हैं मोहब्बत जिसे
कुछ तुमको खबर है
दिल थामे हुये बैठे हैं
बेचैन नज़र है

दिल थामने के लाख सबब होते हैं नादां
ए ए हे
बीमार है
ईखी॰ ॰ ॰
बीमार है खुद
हाँ
बीमार है खुद
या है कोई दोस्त परेशां
या फिर किसी मेहमान के आने की खबर है
या फिर किसी मेहमान के आने की खबर है
ए ए ए
दिल थामे हुये बैठे हैं
बेचैन नज़र है
कहते हैं मोहब्बत जिसे
कुछ तुमको खबर है

आती हैं मोहब्बत में कभी ऐसी भी रातें
नींद आती नहीं होती हैं तारों ही से बातें
ए जी तारों ही से बातें
हो जी तारों ही से बातें
जिस दिल में मोहब्बत हो
ये उसको ही खबर है
जिस दिल में मोहब्बत हो
ये उसको ही खबर है
दिल थामे हुये बैठे हैं
बेचैन नज़र है
कहते हैं मोहब्बत जिसे
कुछ तुमको खबर है

हो (??) पे इनसां तो कभी नींद ना आए
काँटों पे भी सो जाये जो माँ लोरी सुनाये
हम्मम हम्मम हम्मम
माँ बाप के कदमों में मोहब्बत का नगर है
माँ बाप के कदमों में मोहब्बत का नगर है
दिल थामे हुये बैठे हैं
बेचैन नज़र है
कहते हैं मोहब्बत जिसे
कुछ तुमको खबर है

रस्ते हैं अलग प्यार की मंज़िल है मगर एक
लाखों हैं तमन्नायेँ तो क्या खुश है मगर एक
लाखों हैं तमन्नायेँ तो क्या खुश है मगर एक
हँसते हुये चलना ये मोहब्बत का सफर है
हँसते हुये चलना ये मोहब्बत का सफर है

दिल थामे हुये बैठे हैं
बेचैन नज़र है
कहते हैं मोहब्बत जिसे
हम सब को खबर है
दिल थामे हुये बैठे हैं
बेचैन नज़र है


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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.

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over FOURTEEN years. This blog has over 17100 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 5000 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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