Saigal aur Dabistan-e-Lakhnau II

I was writing about the contribution of the “Dabistan-e-Lakhnau” in the music of the legendary K L Saigal and in the first post, cited a small ballad, mistakenly credited to Arzu Lakhnavi but actually the work of that free and blithe spirit, the much-maligned Wajid Ali Shah “Akhtar” himself….

However, Janaab Syed Anwar Hussain urf Manjhu Sahab Arzu Lakhnavi also contributed a lot of lyrics Saigal made famous in his inimitable voice. These include one of the first Saigal songs I heard. This was from the film “Dushman” of 1939.

Karun kya aas niraas bhayi
Karun kya aas niraas bhayi
Diya bujhe phir se jal jaaye
Raat andheri jaye din aye
Mitati aas hai jyot ankhiyan ki
Samajh gayi to gayi
Karun kya aas niraas….

Jab na kisi ne raah sujhai
Dil se ek awaaz ye aayi
Himmat baandh sambhal badh aage, rok nahin hai koi,
Karun kya aas niraas…

Karna hoga khoon ko paani
Deni hogi har qurbaani
Himmat hai to itna samajh le, aas bandhegi nai,
Karun kya aas niraas…

Another paean of pessimism was from the 1941 film “Lagan”

Ye kaisa anyay Daata ye kaisa anyay
Mera banta kaam bigadkar bigade kaam banaaye
Beda paar lagaaye Daata bedaa paar lagaaye

Dukh jhele jis sukh ke karan vah sukh bhi chhin jaaye
Jaise apne diye ki jyoti duuje ke ghar jaaye, Daata
Ye kaisa anyay Daata ye kaisa anyay

Main bhi yuun hi jama rahungaa kaisa hi toofaan aaye
Kaathaa ban kar hil nahin sakta laakh thapede khaaye

Kabhi to dukh ko sukh kar degaa anyay ka nyay
Andha to jab hi pathiyaaye jab do aankhen paaye
Daata…………

Never have I heard a lament more plaintive but at the same time, so dignified as Saigal portrays here, but the words of the Lakhanavi master wordscraftsman do also help.

Another was a genuine Arzu contribution to “Street Singer” (1938).  It is totally apt for the character, and displays the virtuosity of the Lakhnavi writer in crafting whatever is needed for the moment with the right idioms and analogies to fit the occasion or the mood … in this case, a ministrel who can be expected to use musical terms only even when speaking about himself or his moods….

Jeevan been madhur na baaje jhoothe padh gaye taar
Bigde kaath se kaam bane kya megh baje na malhaar
Pancham chhedo madhyam bole kharaj bane gandhaar
Been ke jhoothe padh gaye taar
Jeevan been madhur na baaje jhoothe padh gaye taar
Been ke jhoothe padh gaye taar

In taaro ko kholo in tarabho ko phenko phenko
Uttam taar nayi tarabhe ho, tab ho naya shringaar
Is tarabhe se jo sur bole goonj uthe sansar
Been ke jhoothe padh gaye taar
Jeevan been madhur na baaje jhoothe padh gaye taar
Been ke jhoothe padh gaye taar

Bajane ko hai goonj nagaadaa hona hai sabse chhutkaara
Apna jo hai use samajh lo wah bhi nahi hamaara

To be continued….

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