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

Posts Tagged ‘Lakshmi


This article is written by Avinash Scrapwala, 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 :

4362 Post No. : 15686 Movie Count :

4322

#the Decade of Seventies – 1971 – 1980 #
————————————————————
# Bhoole-Bisre Geet # 92 # R.D. Burman – Year 1977
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It is another important day today for all of us today (27 june 2020). Remembering the ‘genius’ Music Director Rahul Dev Burman – ‘Pancham’ on his eighty-first birth anniversary today.

As a tribute to him I am presenting a song composed by him from the movie ‘Jeewan Mukt-1977’.

I do not know how many of our readers are aware of this movie and its’ songs. There may be many, and surely most Pancham fans are aware of the movie and its songs.

However, I became aware of this movie only six years ago when I got my copy of HFGK Vol-V (1971-1980). Since then, I was longing to share the songs from this movie. But somehow it didn’t work out, mainly because I was unable to locate the songs of this movie.

I had never listened to the songs of this movie earlier. For that matter I had never even heard the name of this movie. This movie must have sunk badly at the box office and as a result it must have ended up becoming an obscure movie of its time.

The movie had some beautiful songs in it that were created by none other than the genius music director Rahul Dev Burman.

When I listened to the songs of this movie during the preparation of this post, I liked them very much. And I hope that our readers too will find the song enjoyable.

This is a movie of 1977. 1977 is also an important year in the history of India (socio-politically). However here on the blog we will only discuss the movies and music (of Pancham) of that year.

Some of us will readily recall the blockbuster musical hit of that year i.e. ‘Ham Kisise Kam Nahin’, which also had music by R D Burman.

Then there were other movies like ‘Kinaara’, ‘Mukti’, ‘Kitaab’, ‘Karm’ etc where the music was composed by R.D. Burman.
Then there were movies like ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, ‘Dharam Veer’, ‘Aap Ki Khaatir’, ‘Yehi Hai Zindagi’, ‘Doosra Aadmi’, ‘Apnaapan’, ‘Dulhan Wahi Jo Piyaa Man Bhaaye’, ‘Khoon Pasinaa’, ‘Swami’, ‘Anurodh’, etc etc… where the other music directors composed the music and the music of these movies too were very popular.

The song that ranked at number one of that year’s annual ‘Binaca Geetmala’ list was from the previous years’ ‘Laila Majnu’, and in 1978 it was from ‘Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se’. The song ‘Kyaa huaa tera waadaa’ from ‘Ham Kisise Kam Nahin’ ranked at number three in the annual list of ‘Binaca Geetmala’ of 1978.

None of the songs from today’s movie ‘Jeewan Mukt’ featured in the annual list of ‘Binaca Geetmala-1977’. (or 1978).

In 1977 there were as many as ten movies where R D Burman sas the music director. Details of the representation of these movies in the blog is show here :-

Sno. Title Year Passed by Censor Board Lyricist Represented on the Blog
1 Chaandi Sonaa 1977 25.03.1977 Majrooh Sultanpuri Yes
2 Chalaa Muraari Hero Banane 1977 08.11.1977 Yogesh Yes
3 Chaltaa Purzaa 1977 16.06.1977 Anand Bakshi Yes
4 Darling Darling 1977 11.05.1977 Anand Bakshi Yes
5 Ham Kisise Kam Nahin 1977 19.08.1977 Majrooh Sultanpuri Yes
6 Jeewan Mukt 1977 08.08.1977 Yogesh NO
7 Karm 1977 27.04.1977 Bharat Vyas, Rajkavi Tulsi Yes/Yippeeee’ed
8 Kinaaraa 1977 21.03.1977 Gulzar Yes/Yippeeee’ed
9 Kitaab 1977 31.12.1977 Gulzar Yes/Yippeeee’ed
10 Mukti 1977 14.02.1977 Anand Bakshi Yes/Yippeeee’ed

‘Jeewan Mukt-1977’ was directed by Sudhendu Roy for S.R. Productions, Bombay. It had Lakshmi, Parikshit Sahni, Girish Karnad, Mala Jaggi, Sudha Shivpuri, Pawan Dutt, Meena Rai, Master Gautam, Ashok Razdan, Dhanna, Asha Lata, Suresh Oberoi, Dinshaw Dazi, Shrimati Mistri and others.

As per HFGK Vol-V (1971-1980) this movie had total four songs, all were solo songs sung by Asha Bhonsle. (however, on internet I came across a song sung by Kishore Kumar and it is uploaded as an ‘unreleased song from this movie- ‘Jeewan Mukt’, which needs to be checked and confirmed. HFGK doesn’t mention this song).

Lyricist Yogesh wrote the songs for this movie and music was composed by R.D. Burman.

This movie was passed by Censor Board on 08.08.1977.

Today’s song is sung by Asha Bhonsle and it is lip synced on screen by Lakshmi. Master Gautam (I guess) is the kid seen with her. Some other artists including two playing a village cuple are also seen in the picturisation.

Let us enjoy today’s song which is said to be inspired from a ‘western song’ (guesses?).

The book ‘R.D. Burman- The Man, The Music’ also mentions one other song from this movie ‘Jeewan Mukt’ where Pancham Da had taken inspiration from the music composed by a famous ‘western group’, but then that is the ‘inspiration’ for another post. Till then let us all enjoy this song and pay our tributes to our beloved Pancham Da.

With this song ‘Jeewan Mukt-1977’ makes its debut on the blog. With this song, all released movies of 1977 that had music by R D Burman find representation on the blog. 🙂

Video (Full)

Audio (curtailed)

Song-Lehra ke dagar chali jaati hai kidhar (Jeewan Mukt)(1977) singer-Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Yogesh, MD-R D Burman

Lyrics (Based on Video link)

lehraa ke dagar
chali jaati hai kidhar
kuchh tumko pataa hai
kuchh tumhen hai khabar
lehraa ke dagar
chali jaati hai kidhar
kuchh tumko pataa hai
kuchh tumhen hai khabar
door kahin pe
sone ki zameen pe
pyaara pyaara hai
bahaaron ka nagar
lehraa ke dagar chali jaati hai kidhar
kuchh tumko pataa hai
kuchh tumhen hai khabar

aa aa aa aa aa

ye khiley khiley
manchale saje
mausam ki qasam
rukte nahin kahin mere qadam
ye khiley khiley
manchale saje
mausam ki qasam
rukte nahin kahin mere qadam
lagtaa hai man ko
jaise gagan ko
pankh binaa main
chhoo rahin hoon ud kar
lehraa ke dagar
chali jaati hai kidhar
kuchh tumko pataa hai
kuchh tumhen hai khabar
lehraa ke dagar
chali jaati hai kidhar
kuchh tumko pataa hai
kuchh tumhen hai khabar

aa aa aa aa

yahaan kiran kiran
jab chaman chaman ko chhoo le ae
dil mera sab kuchh bhoole ae
yahaan kiran kiran
jab chaman chaman ko chhoo le ae
dil mera sab kuchh bhoole ae
lachke jo daali koi phoolonwaali
ho jaaye mujh par jaadu ka asar
lehraa ke dagar
chali jaati hai kidhar
kuchh tumko pataa hai
kuchh tumhen hai khabar
lehraa ke dagar
chali jaati hai kidhar
kuchh tumko pataa hai
kuchh tumhe hai khabar

jab dheere dheere nadiyaa ke teere ae
din jo dhale ae
mehendi rachaa kar shaam chale ae
jab dheere dheere nadiyaa ke teere ae
din jo dhale ae
mehendi rachaa kar shaam chale ae
dhake dabe paaon se
rangon bhare gaaon se
aayi ho rangeeli koyi gori saj kar
lehraa ke dagar
chali jaati hai kidhar
kuchh tumko pataa hai
kuchh tumhen hai khabar
door kahin pe
sone ki zameen pe
pyaara pyaara hai
bahaaron ka nagar
lehraa ke dagar
chali jaati hai kidhar
kuchh tumko pataa hai
kuchh tumhen hai khabar

laa laa laa aa
laa ra la la la laa
la la la la laa laa
laa laa laa laa aa
laa laa laa laa
laa ra la la la laa

—————————–
Devnagri Script lyrics (Provided by Avinash Scrapwala)
——————————
लहरा के डगर
चली जाती है किधर
कुछ तुमको पता है
कुछ तुम्हे है खबर
लहरा के डगर
चली जाती है किधर
कुछ तुमको पता है
कुछ तुम्हे है खबर
दूर कहीं पे
सोने की ज़मीन पे
प्यारा प्यारा है
बहारों का नगर
लहरा के डगर
चली जाती है किधर
कुछ तुमको पता है
कुछ तुम्हे है खबर

आ आ आ आ

ये खिले खिले
मनचले सजे
मौसम की क़सम
रुकते नहीं कहीं मेरे क़दम
ये खिले खिले
मनचले सजे
मौसम की क़सम
रुकते नहीं कहीं मेरे क़दम
लगता है मन को
जैसे गगन को
पंख बिना मैं
छू रहीं हूँ उड़कर
लहरा के डगर
चली जाती है किधर
कुछ तुमको पता है
कुछ तुम्हे है खबर
लहरा के डगर
चली जाती है किधर
कुछ तुमको पता है
कुछ तुम्हे है खबर

आ आ आ आ आ

यहाँ किरण किरण
जब चमन चमन को छू ले ए
दिल मेरा सब कुछ भूले ए
यहाँ किरण किरण
जब चमन चमन को छू ले ए
दिल मेरा सब कुछ भूले ए
लचके जो डाली
कोई फूलोंवाली
हो जाए मुझपर जादू का असर
लहरा के डगर
चली जाती है किधर
कुछ तुमको पता है
कुछ तुम्हे है खबर
लहरा के डगर
चली जाती है किधर
कुछ तुमको पता है
कुछ तुम्हे है खबर

जब धीरे धीरे नदिया के तीरे ए
दिन जो ढले ए
मेहँदी रचा कर शाम चले ए
जब धीरे धीरे नदिया के तीरे ए
दिन जो ढले ए
मेहँदी रचा कर शाम चले ए
ढके दबे पाँव से
रंगों भरे गाँव से
आई हो रंगीली कोई गोरी सज कर
लहरा के डगर
चली जाती है किधर
कुछ तुमको पता है
कुछ तुम्हे है खबर
दूर कहीं पे
सोने की ज़मीन पे
प्यारा प्यारा है
बहारों का नगर
लहरा के डगर
चली जाती है किधर
कुछ तुमको पता है
कुछ तुम्हे है खबर
ला ला ला ला आ
ला र ल ल ल ला
ला ला ला ला आ
ला ला ला आ
ला र ल ल ल ला


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusaist 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 :

4355 Post No. : 15676 Movie Count :

4319

In Hindi film industry, there are very  few producer-directors who make the films out of their passion for bringing to the notice of the public at large,  the social issues which they consider to be important. The mainstream film makers would generally avoid in their films such subjects as they are not money spinners at the box office unless they add ‘spices’ to those social issues to make it the box office success.  I had earlier discussed such producers/directors like Nagesh Kukunoor and Sai Paranjpye. I guess, the main driving point for them in making socially relevant films is the creative satisfaction and probably the international recognition they may get. Showmanship in terms of top star actors, music directors, lyricists, costly sets and costumes and the marketing blitz before the release of the films do not fit into their budget.

‘Lakshmi’ (2014) was one socially relevant film based on a true story of child trafficking and prostitution. How did Nagesh Kukunoor got the idea of making ‘Lakshmi’ (2014)?

As revealed by Nagesh Kukunoor in a couple of interviews for the magazines, he was on a visit to a rescue shelter for child prostitutes run by a NGO, where he heard several stories of exploitation – both physical and emotional which were of very disturbing nature. But there was a story of one minor girl, Lakshmi who was kidnapped by a child trafficker and sold to a brothel. Despite all odds, she fought bravely, took the traffickers to the court and came out triumphant. All the rescued girls had only one wish list that such exploitation should not happen to other girls.  Nagesh Kukunoor found the experience very moving and decided to make a film on it.

The biggest problem for Nagesh Kukunoor was that though he got the start and the end of Lakshmi’s real story, he was almost blank as to what happened in-between the start and end of the story. He felt that it was not proper to make the girl to relive the trauma she faced in the brothel. So, he relied on the inputs from NGOs as to how the girls were treated in the brothels and his own imagination to fill the gaps in the story. Hence, he calls his film ‘Lakshmi’ (2014) as ‘a fictional account of a true story’.

There was a problem in selecting the actor for the main role of Lakshmi who should be around 14 years of age. But it would be awkward for the director to discussed with a minor actor or with her parents, the scenes involving her activities in the brothel. So, Nagesh Kukunoor dropped the idea of making the film.

In a filmy party, Nagesh Kukunoor met the playback singer, Monali Thakur who was 21, but looked much younger because of her lean figure and small face. He thought that with proper costumes and hairstyles, she could be made to look like a 14-year girl. Fortunately for Negesh Kukunoor, Monali Thakur agreed to do the role of Lakshmi in the film though she had never acted earlier. So, the main actors for the film – Monali Thakur, Satish Kaushik, Shefali Shah besides Nagesh Kukunoor in the role of a pimp was finalised. Ram Kapoor acted in the role of an advocate for Lakshmi. The film was completed in 22 days of shootings which took place in around Hyderabad. The film faced some hurdles in the Censor Board but eventually got the certification for adult viewing.

I had watched the film on a video sharing platform a few years back but had left it half way as some of the scenes involving the crime and violence were very disturbing. Recently, I watched the film once again skipping disturbing scenes in-between but up to the end involving court-room scenes. The gist of the story of the film is as under:

Lakshmi (Monali Thakur), a minor girl, is sold to Reddy Garu (Satish Kaushik) by her father.  Reddy is a child trafficker who runs a brothel in Hyderabad in the guise of a girls’ hostel as a ‘shelter for orphaned girls. He is assisted by Chinna (Nagesh Kukunoor) who is his front man for his brothel activities. But the kingpin for the immoral activities is a city corporator, Radha (Gulfam Khan). Initially, Reddy keeps Lakshmi in his house, giving her estrogen injections by his personal doctor in the name of injections for her weakness. After 3 weeks, she is sent to the brothel under the custody of Madam Jyothi (Shefali Shah) who is a tough both with her girls and clients but kind-hearted. Jyothi has a daughter who is studying engineering but she is not aware of her mother’s nature of job. Chinna often abuses Jyothi, both verbally and physically for not doing her job properly.

One day, Lakshmi runs away from the brothel and tries to register an FIR in the police station against the illegal activities going in the so called girls’ hostel. But instead of acting on her tip, the news is leaked out to Reddy who through Chinna catches her while on the run. He assaults her with his wooden club stubbed with nails. (did Chinese get the idea from this film!) so that she would not dare try to run away again. But she tells him that she would surely flee from brothel one day.

Since Reddy and Chinna get free every time there is a raid on the brothel, a social worker, Mohan (Ramkrishna Shenoy) sets a trap by becoming a bogus customer and record the activities in a room with a hidden camera with marked currency notes etc. A police raid on the brothel leads to the arrest of Reddy and Chinna along with Jyothi and girls. Girls are sent to the shelters run by Mohan for child prostitute. Both Reddy and Chinna get bail and the brothel is again opened.

Girls  are not happy in the shelter house as neither the work interests them nor their parents and the society honourably accept them. So, one by all girls are back to the brothel except Lakshmi who says to Mohan that she would fight the battle in the court. Encouraged by her stand, Mohan and another lady social worker take her to an advocate, Avinash (Ram Kapoor) who had stopped his practice some years back due to nervous breakdown which in turn was because of the unethical activities of his fellow advocates who could be bought by the interested parties and the manipulation of witnesses.

After listening to the case, Avinash, refuses to take up the case on behalf of Lakshmi as during his practice on Prevetion of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) cases, the complainers did not stand up to the uncomfortable questions put forward by the defense advocates and key witnesses became hostile. Thus, all the cases were dismissed. He further states that not a single case under PITA has gone in favour of the aggrieved parties since the introduction of the Act because of this reason as well as aggrieved parties taking back their complained either due to threat or with money power. Lakshmi says with conviction that she will not change her statement. Her firm commitment makes Advocate Avinash  to agree to fight the case on behalf of Lakshmi.

In the court, the defense lawyer asks Lakshmi very uncomfortable personal questions relating to her activities in the brothel so that she avoids answering which will make the case weak against the accused. The video footage of marked currency notes changing hands at the brothel did not carry weight as the defense lawyer says that the video could have been doctored. Also, being the girls hostel, the money could be changing hands due to legitimate activities of the hostel. in the absence of FIR and the medical report for rapes in the brothel at the material time, Advocate Avinash has no other proof to substantiate the charges made by Lakshmi.

The only proof which Mohan had with him was a long video footage of the room in which Lakshmi was raped in the brothel by 7 clients in the whole night which was recorded in a concealed close-circuit video camera which Mohan had installed with the connivance of Madam Jyothi. But the video footage is too personal to be displayed in the court room. But the urge in Lakshmi to punish Reddy and Chinna was so great that she agreed for the display of the video footage in the court. Also, the witness statement from the personal doctor of Reddy favouring Lakshmi’s contention and the video footage turned the court’s decision in favour of Lakshmi. Reddy, Chinna and Corporator Radha were found guilty under PITA and IPC and they were sentenced 10 years of imprisonment. Lakshmi’s father was also jailed for abatement of the crime.

Monali Thakur made a debut as an actor in the film and she has acted brilliantly though she could have been better trained in her dialogue delivery in Hyderabadi Hindi. She had displayed a very innocence face through out the film so much so that even after her bold decision to fight the case in the court, one never find aggressiveness in her face or in voice. She has played the role in a subtle way. Satish Kaushik in the role of Reddy has acted well but his dialogues with north Indian accents have let him down. On the other hand, Nagesh Kukunoor as Chinna the pimp, has excelled in his dialogues in Hyderabadi Hindi but was somewhat weak in his acting. Ram Kapoor as an advocate for Lakshmi has done excellent performance as an advocate.

As mentioned earlier, the film has some very disturbing scenes. The dialogues are raunchy. But these are expected in the film with the brothel having the central place in the story. Probably, on this background, Nagesh Kukunoor as a producer was not keen on releasing the film widely. The film was release in some select theatres all over India and mostly in the morning slots. However, the film was shown in International film festivals. In Palm Spring Film Festival, 2014, the film won the audience award for the best film among 191 films screened. The film was also shown free to many social organisations all over India.

‘Lakshmi’ has four songs – all as background songs. I am presenting the first song “Sun Ri Baawli Tu Apne Liye Khud Hi Maang Le Duaa” sung by Papon (real name: Angarag Mahanta). The song is written by an upcoming lyricist, Manoj Yadav which is set to music by Tapas Relia, also an upcoming music director from Gujarat.

I find the use of the words in lyrics interesting. The lyrics sounds like that 1960s and 1970s songs. A search in the internet gives me a profile of Manoj Yadav as the son of a mill worker of Mumbai who has spent his major life in Mumbai with summer holidays being spent in Gorakhpur, his native place. He says in one of the interviews that Gulzar’s jingles “Jungle Jungle Pata Chala Hai” which he had watched in his childhood influenced him to write poems. He started his career as a jingle writer for advertising films where Tapas Relia was one of the music directors. Then he gradually moved into Hindi films as song writer. So far, he has written lyrics for about 60 songs in 36 films since 2012.

The song under discussion is used as a background song in parts in 4 different situations in the film. Probably for this reason, the video clip of the song is not available. However, Tips, the owner of the music rights of the songs in the film has made a video clip of the song remixing some scenes from the film with the playback singer Papon while keeping intact the original sound track of the song in the video. The audio clip contains the elongated song.

Remixed Video

Audio

Song – Sun Ri Baawli Tu Apne Liye Khud Hi Maang Le Duaa (Lakshmi) (2014) Singer – Papon (aka Angarag Mahanta), Lyrics – Manoj Yadav, MD – Tapas Relia

Lyrics

ae aa aa ae aaa
o o o o o
uu uu uu uu
ha aa aa aa
re re re re re
la ra aa ra aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
bejaar saa nazar aaye jo
tere saamne tera masihaa
wo tera na hona
tan kaa kamra man ki kothi
saanson kaa khel khilona aa aa
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
 
ho o o
toothe taare uthaa le…
unse chanda bana le….ae..
toothe taare uthaa le
unse chanda bana le
thaam aanchal ka kona
usse tu aasmaan bana le
dhoop hai doli chhaavn hai dulhan
khud se preet chhodna
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona aa aa
 
ho o o
ud jaana jab
udne ka man ho.. ho…o o o
ud jaana jab 
udne ka man ho
bharose raai ke lena??
tu hi tera hausla ho
likhne de jo bhi likhta hai lamha
uske haath rok na aa
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
bejaar saa nazar aaye jo
tere saamne tera masihaa
wo tera na hona
tan ka kamra man ki kothi
saanson kaa khel khilona aa
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona…
sun ri baawli ae ae ae
sun ri baa…wli ee ee
sun ri baawli ee ee
sun ri baawli  ae ae ae ae


This article is written by Raja, 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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3751 Post No. : 14716

The Hindi film industry has seen many legends in its 100+ years of existence. Giants in their chosen field, revered by not just their generation but by generations that followed. They have a very fond place in the hearts of film lovers, who are eternally thankful for their immense contribution to cinema. They all recognise the the world of cinema would be much the poorer without this contribution.

One such legend, and one who probably elevates the worth of the term “legend”, is, without doubt, yesteryear poet and lyricist, Sahir Ludhianvi.

Today (25 october 2018)happens to be his death anniversary – and, as we’ve done on previous occasions, we pay our humble tribute to him today.

Among various artistes that I’ve written about on this blog, Sahir has probably featured the most, alongside Rafisaab. I’ve written many times about him, on his birth and death anniversaries.

And yet, I’m never bored while discussing Sahir. Yes, readers of my posts might get bored 🙂 – but I’m not.

Whenever I write about him, I feel a rush of energy in my body. The content might be repetitive, but the huge regard I have for him overcomes everything else.

Sahir’s status as poet and lyricist extraordinaire is established beyond debate. He might not have been the most popular person around (and that’s the understatement of the millennium!) but even his most ardent critics would have to grudgingly acknowledge the sheer magic of his poetry.

Such is the richness of the treasure trove that he has left us that no post can do justice to it. In previous posts on him, I have often listed some of his songs – the sheer power of many of them transports you to a different world. Yes, there’s much more to a song than just its lyrics – but with Sahir, you could be assured that the lyrics never missed your attention.

Sahir’s lyrics were a direct reflection of his personality. He had strong views on various aspects of life and society, on relationships, on politics – and never hesitated to let the world know of them. It was as if he was waiting for an opportunity to use his poetry and lyrics to convey the message that Sahir, the person, wanted to get across to the world.

Thus, when you listened to “zindagi bheekh mein nahin milti, zindagi badh ke chheeni jaati hai”, you felt it was Sahir exhorting you to demand your rights in life.

Or even, later in life, when he was disillusioned with the way things were going in his life, “main pal do pal ka shaayar hoon”.

Sahir had a very strong sense of justice and injustice in society. Early in life, when called upon to choose between his mother and his far wealthier father, he chose his mother. Till her very end, he was totally devoted to her. Many of his songs reflect the loving relationship between a mother and child.

Throughout his life, Sahir spoke out against injustice and tyranny. He spoke for the underprivileged, the marginalized, the labour class. He tried to show society a mirror, however ugly it looked. He was trenchant in his criticism of the state of affairs – “Samaj ko badal daalo” was one of his lines.

Sahir’s lament about the pathetic state of living for the poor in India is well illustrated in the poignant songs of Pyaasa (1957). “Yahaan par to jeewan se hai maut sasti” he wrote, following it up with “ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai”. “Jinhe naaz hai Hind par wo kahaan hain”, he said.

Continuing in this refrain, he went satirical, writing “Cheen-o-Arab hamara, Hindustan hamara, rehne ko ghar nahin hai, saara jahaan hamaara” for Phir Subah Hogi (1958).

Each line, one could feel, coming straight from the heart.

There were other aspects also that Sahir was concerned about and discussed in his lyrics. Hindu-Muslim unity for example. Always a sensitive topic, and even more so in the years following independence. But Sahir was never one to shy away from a topic – his lines “tu Hindu banega na Musalmaan banega” are some of the greatest lines of Hindi cinema.

The other thing that bothered Sahir greatly was the treatment of women in Indian society. He was deeply disturbed by the lack of respect accorded to women, thanks to a patriarchal society that privileged men over women. Sahir minced no words while lamenting this – his “aurat ne janam diya mardon ko” is a classic in Hindi cinema, with its entire theme revolving around women and how they have been treated by men in India.

It is therefore only fitting that on his death anniversary, the song picked for the blog reflects his thoughts on this topic. The song is “Seeta bhi jahaan sukh paa na saki” from Lakshmi (1982). The film was released after Sahir’s death – in fact, the film starts with a tribute to Sahir.

This song was one of several songs proposed to me for this write-up by Avinashji. As usual, he has been kind enough to prepare the lyrics for this song.

Though this song is not all that well-known, certainly not as well known as “aurat ne janam diya mardon ko”, its words are trademark Sahir. Typical of him, in this song too, he laments the way women have been treated in Indian society. But this time he uses Seeta as his example, saying even she could not find happiness on this earth. He says women have forever suffered, and in today’s world, there isn’t even a Valmiki to give a Seeta refuge in time of need. She has to fend for herself all alone, and constantly seek to avoid the predatory eye of men around her.

Talking of the predatory eye, I cannot help talking about one of the hottest topics right now in India – at least in urban India and on social media. And that is the #MeToo movement. I’m sure Sahir would have had something to say about it, had he been around. So I’m taking the liberty of sharing my thoughts on the subject.

The #MeToo movement, in my opinion, is primarily about those who have been sexually abused and harassed, coming out with their story. While these are mostly women, it is not necessarily limited to women alone. There have been a few cases of men too coming out with their horrific stories. At the moment, it is largely focussed on workplace harassment, but there’s no reason it couldn’t go way beyond that.

It is a fact that, mainly thanks to our patriarchal society, there is a huge power imbalance between men and women in India. This actually exists around the world, but the patriarchy makes it much worse in India.

Power, as we all know, is a hugely corrupting and intoxicating drug. So it is not at all surprising that those in power, mostly men, would tend to exploit those they have power over, mostly women. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.

What makes it worse, as if to add insult to injury, Indian society is also unforgiving towards women in this respect. Instead of being supportive, it tends to blame the victim. Even the woman’s own family make her feel guilty for what is essentially a man’s wrongdoing. She is often gaslighted into thinking that it is somehow her fault, that she invited it. She is encouraged to just be quiet about it, since “the honour of the family” might be at stake.

If she is a working woman, she might even be encouraged to stop working. Many women have fallen out of the workforce in India for this reason alone.

Then again, thanks to the power imbalance, she is up against it if she even chooses to seek justice through the justice system. To even make a complaint to the police, to get an FIR registered is a huge challenge. When you’re complaining about a more powerful party, the system will bend towards that party. The police will either discourage you from giving your complaint, or will mock you, or will flatly refuse to write an FIR.

If you do get past the police hurdle, you still have the rest of the justice system to deal with. Courts which will insist on evidence – which in most cases of this sort is just not available.

Besides, the other party being much more powerful, he can ensure your life is made miserable.

So justice through the normal justice system (which is often referred to as “due process”) is almost always a pipedream.

To help matters, at least in the workplace, new legislation was brought in in 2013, replacing the earlier Vishakha guidelines which laid out steps to be taken at a workplace to deal with sexual harassment complaints. An employer is supposed to set up an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) and so on.

I won’t go into all the details, but the reality is that many employers have not even set this up. And even where this is theoretically in place, women who have complained have failed to get justice. On the contrary, it has boomeranged on them – they’ve been marked as “trouble-makers” in the organisation. Remember, they are complaining about someone who is almost invariably in a higher power position in the company.

With this being the stark reality, whether we like it or not, is it surprising that many women have just kept their pain buried within themselves? They have tolerated harassment but not brought it out in the open. Maybe they didn’t want to jeopardize their careers – after all, it is the woman who tends to bear the brunt of any negative fallout in these matters.

But now we have #MeToo.

Some women at least have decided enough is enough. It is not their shame to bear, so why should they? So they have decided to come out with their story. It is cathartic for them – it must be so hard to keep this buried within you for years.

Some of them have disclosed their identity, some have not. Some have disclosed the identity of the predator, some have chosen not to specifically name him (although there are usually enough hints in their story). It’s upto each person to decide what level of comfort she has – no one can demand she behave in a particular way.

One complaint about #MeToo is that many of these stories are coming out after many years. Ten years, even twenty years. Why didn’t they come out earlier? How can we possibly believe something that might or might not have happened a decade ago?

I feel this is unreasonable. I’ve already explained how the odds are stacked against the woman – the situation was even worse a decade ago. Besides, when women have been constantly shamed, why would they invite further ridicule by complaining, especially when they have no hope of justice?

It is only now, that thanks to the #MeToo movement, they are coming out with their story – hoping to get closure if nothing else. If they get justice, great – if not, at least they’re hoping for closure.

Many have complained that outing men on social media is not the right way to go about this. That women should follow due process – that is, go through the justice sytem of police and courts, or through the workplace structures for this purpose.

And that has worked, right? After trying all that, and hitting their heads against a wall, women have finally chosen social media as their hope for getting their message across. And who can blame them? It’s not like they didn’t want due process – it is that “due process” failed them completely.

Another criticism of #MeToo is that it is often just accusation, without evidence. And no court can possibly accept that. There’s a chance that an innocent person is maligned out of malice or whatever other reason, and his reputation totally destroyed by a #MeToo accusation.

Yes, this is possible. In the spate of accusations, it is possible that some are fake too. Which is why every accusation needs to be attempted to be vetted to the extent possible. Having said that, it is also very unreasonable and unrealistic to expect evidence in cases of sexual harassment, because of its very nature. It tends to happen behind closed doors. So there will be many cases where such evidence is just not available.

Yet another criticism is that #MeToo is about the urban elite and about sometimes seemingly trivial harassment, while women in rural India suffer far worse.

I think this is unfair. Yes, rural women suffer harassment too – possibly much more. Does that mean urban women should be silent? What sort of logic is that? Rather, we should hope the movement spreads to rural India too. Most movements anyway start with those who have relatively more agency – and then spread.

All in all, I think #MeToo in India was long overdue. It started in the US almost exactly a year ago, and exposed many well-known Hollywood personalities like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. Around that time, an Indian in the US, Raya Sarkar, prepared a list of predators in academia – but she was unfortunately criticized and the movement did not pick up steam then in India.

Now it has.

No one knows how it will go from here. Will it evolve further? Or will it fizzle out?

I’m sincerely hoping it evolves further. I’d like to see it grow – go beyond urban India, go beyond the few sectors it has so far been largely restricted to (films, media, advertising). There must be many more cases in politics, in government and corporate India, where power is most prone to abuse. Maybe those stories are slow in coming because the women involved are less comfortable coming out with their stories.

And that’s only fair. Each person has to decide for herself – she has to weigh the consequences of her actions. We need to respect that.

One huge positive impact of #MeToo has been that men themselves seem to be re-assessing their behaviour. Not just in the past but also in the present. They seem to be becoming more sensitized and aware of boundaries and space. And about consent. At least I hope so.

Hopefully films too will become more sensitized to gender from now on. I think it is already happening. Films in the past have been hugely misogynistic, often presenting stalking as romantic! And considering how much of an influence films/TV have on society, they might have playe thei role too in moulding society into what it is today.

But then, they were a function of their times – I don’t want to dwell on the past. We can’t change that anyway.

What we can change is the present and the future. And hopefully from now on at least, we will see better-behaved men, whether triggered by #MeToo or not.

Of course, we need much more to happen. Until we dismantle patriarchy there is always going to be victim-blaming and shaming. We all know that men are the root cause of the problem, yet we will continue to blame the women and expect them to “behave themselves”.

So much more needs to happen. We can all do our bit – by calling out patriarchy when we see it, even if it happens without our close circles. By bringing up the next generation with a better understanding of gender equality so that boys don’t grow up with a sense of entitlement. This is what manifests itself in most undesirable behaviour when the boy becomes a man.

Clearly we haven’t done enough in the last 60 years, since Sahir wrote “aurat ne janam diya” in 1958. It’s a sad reflection of our society that it feels relevant even in 2018.

I’d like a future generation to listen to it and say “Oh, how horrible things were for women in those days! Thank God things are so much better today, and women don’t go through all that!”

I know I’m dreaming – but you know what they say. Ummeed pe duniya kaayam hai.

Let’s do our bit to make it happen?

Thanks for listening.


Song-Seeta bhi jahaan sukh paa na saki (Lakshmi)(1982) Singer-Mahendra Kapoor, Lyrics-Sahir Ludhianvi, MD-Usha Khanna

Lyrics (Provided by Avinash Scrapwala)

Naa tera durbhaagya nayaa hai
Naa jag ka vyavhaar nayaa aa
Naa raahon ke shool naye ae
Naa patthar dil sansaar nayaa

Seeta bhi jahaan sukh paa naa saki
Tu us dharti ki naari hai
Seeta bhi jahaan sukh paa naa saki
Tu us dharti ki naari hai
Jo zulm teri taqdeer banaa
Jo zulm teri taqdeer banaa
Wo zulm yugon se zaari hai
Seeta bhi jahaan sukh paa naa saki
Tu us dharti ki naari hai

Wo kanyaa ho ya garbhwati
Naari ko sadaa apmaan milaa
Wo kanyaa ho ya garbhwati
Naari ko sadaa apmaan milaa
Avtaaron ki nasl badhaa kar bhi
Patitaaon mein sthaan mila
Sadiyon se yahaan har ablaa ne
Sadiyon se yahaan har ablaa ne
Ro ro kar umar guzaari hai
Seeta bhi jahaan sukh paa naa saki
Tu us dharti ki naari hai

Kehne ko to devi kehlaayee
Par naar yahaan daasi hi rahi
Kehne ko to devi kehlaayee
Par naar yahaan daasi hi rahi
Do pyaar ke meethhe bolon ki
Martey dam tak pyaasi hi rahi
Jo zehar miley wo peeti jaa
Jo zehar miley wo peeti jaa
Tu kaun si Janak dulaari hai
Seeta bhi jahaan sukh paa naa saki
Tu us dharti ki naari hai

Maikaa chhoota sasuraal chhoota
Jaayegi magar jaayegi kahaan
Maikaa chhoota sasuraal chhoota
Jaayegi magar jaayegi kahaan
Ab Valmiki saa koyi rishi
Is dharti par paayegi kahaan
Ab tu ik bhatki hirni hain
Ab tu ik bhatki hirni hain
Aur mard ki aankh shikaari hai
Seeta bhi jahaan sukh paa naa saki
Tu us dharti ki naari hai
Seeta bhi jahaan sukh paa naa saki
Tu us dharti ki naari hai

——————————————
Devnagri Script lyrics (Provided by Avinash Scrapwala)
——————————————
ना तेरा दुर्भाग्य नया है
ना जग का व्यवहार नया आ
ना राहों के शूल नए ए
ना पत्थर दिल संसार नया

सीता भी जहां सुख पा ना सकी
तू उस धरती की नारी है
सीता भी जहां सुख पा ना सकी
तू उस धरती की नारी है
जो ज़ुल्म तेरी तकदीर बना
जो ज़ुल्म तेरी तकदीर बना
वो ज़ुल्म युगों से जारी है
सीता भी जहां सुख पा ना सकी
तू उस धरती की नारी है

वो कन्या हो या गर्भवती
नारी को सदा अपमान मिला
वो कन्या हो या गर्भवती
नारी को सदा अपमान मिला
अवतारों की नस्ल बढ़ाकर भी
पतिताओं में स्थान मिला
सदियों से यहाँ हर अबला ने
सदियों से यहाँ हर अबला ने
रो रो कर उम्र गुजारी है
सीता भी जहां सुख पा ना सकी
तू उस धरती की नारी है

कहने को तो देवी कहलाई
पर नार यहाँ दासी ही रही
कहने को तो देवी कहलायी
पर नार यहाँ दासी ही रही
दो प्यार के मीठे बोलों की
मरते दम तक प्यासी ही रही
जो ज़हर मिले वो पीती जा
जो ज़हर मिले वो पीती जा
तू कौनसी जनक दुलारी है
सीता भी जहां सुख पा ना सकी
तू उस धरती की नारी है

मैका छूटा ससुराल छूटा
जायेगी मगर जायेगी कहाँ
मैका छूटा ससुराल छूटा
जायेगी मगर जायेगी कहाँ
अब वाल्मीकी सा कोई ऋषि
इस धरती पर पाएगी कहाँ
अब तू इक भटकी हिरनी है
अब तू इक भटकी हिरनी है
और मर्द की आँख शिकारी है
सीता भी जहां सुख पा ना सकी
तू उस धरती की नारी है
सीता भी जहां सुख पा ना सकी
तू उस धरती की नारी है


This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

“Lakshmi” (1957) was produced by Chimanlal Trivedi and directed by G P Pawar for Chitrabharati, Bombay. The movie had Baby Nada, Chandrashekhar, Maruti, Roopmala, Kamal Kapur, Moni Chatterji, S Azeem, Satyanarayan, Parshuram, Indira, Tiwari etc in it.
Read more on this topic…


“Lakshmi” (1957) was a Chitra Bharti production movie. It was directed by G P Pawar. The movie had Roopmala, Nanda, Maruti, Indira, Kamal Kapoor, Chandrashekhar, Tiwari etc in it.
Read more on this topic…


“Lakshmi” (1982) was produced by Raja Desai and directed by B S Thapa. The movie had Reena Roy, Raj Babbar, Ranjeet, Danny, Nadira, etc in it, with Jeetendra and Sulakshana Pandit in guest roles.
Read more on this topic…


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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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