Saigal aur Dabistan-e-Lakhnau III

I will continue about the contribution of the Dabistan-e-Lakhnau in ensuring the enduring fame of the melodious and mellifluous voice of K L Saigal.

As I mentioned,  Janaab Syed Anwar Hussain urf Manjhu Sahab Arzu Lakhnavi, who wrote lyrics for Calcutta’s New Theatres for which Saigal worked in the 1930s, had a major part. I had provided some examples of Arzu‘s lyrics in the previous post but I don’t know if you noticed how that despite being a renowned Urdu poet, he used a lot of simple Hindustani and even Hindi words and phrases in his compositions. (It is strange but I have noticed that a lot of Urdu poets … no I shall not dwell on this aspect here lest I go at a tangent and digress from my theme. I will raise this point elsewhere).

But back to Arzu. Have a look at some more of his lyrics for Saigal with this focus I provided:   

This is from the film Lagan (1941).

Hat gayi lo kaali ghata
Chhitak rahe taare
Hat gayi lo kaali ghata
Chhitak rahe taare

Man ki umang taraj khadi akhiyan ki jyot badhi
Prem lagan se lau uthi
Bujhe diye baare
Hat gayi lo kaali ghata
Chhitak rahe taare

Doobi aas phir se phiri jal mein jaise jal ki pari
Soti jyot jaag gayi, jaag gayi
Soti jyot jaag gayi
Din phire hamaare
Hat gayi lo kaali ghata
Chhitak rahe taare

Aaja aaja aaja mere paas
Tan-man-dhan sab ki aas
Dagar paar paat-paat karti kyon ishaare
Hat gayi lo kaali ghata
Chhitak rahe taare

And this one too…. It is from the same film, and it appears Arzu left Lucknow briefly and picked up the dialect of the Awadh countryside for this song…. Saigal’s magical voice did the rest.

Kaahe ko raad machaai
Chhodo bhi yah nithuraai
Kaahe ko raad machaai

Man ke bair ko moh se badlo dukh bhi sukh ban jaayi
Isi moh mein apna paraya dono ki hai bhalaai
Kaahe ko raad machaai

Har pal nai bahaar dekho jagat shringaar
Khili kali murjha ke bikti bandh kaii muskaai
Preet ki reet
Preet ki reet nibhana seekho bigda kaam banaana seekho
Jaake daar lipat kar jhuumi
karke prem sagaai
Kaahe ko raad machaai

And take this from the film Zindagi (1940).

Jeevan aasha ye hai meri
Jeevan aasha ye hai
Jitne sahaare chhuut chuke hain
Sabka sahaara ye hai
Meri jeevan aasha ye hai

Yehii hai meri saari puunji yehi sab yahi sab sarmaya hai
Aankhon ki thandak man ki dhaadhas
Aur annadaataa yeh hai
Meri jeevan aasha ye hai

Ye hi
Yehi hai mujhko heera-panaa yehi hai moti-munga
Naam hai jiskaa ek duvannii saara khazaana yeh hai
Yeh jo gayi to gaya khazaana aas gayi
Aas gayi aur jaan gayi
Saare sahaare
Saare sahaare too na jaayen
Dil ko dhadaas ye hai
Jeevan aasha…..

But all the lyrics I have cited should not be taken to mean that Arzu had forsaken his basic skills while writing for films. As I have noted, he was one of the highest regarded Urdu poets during the first few decades of the 20th century and a standard-bearer of the Lucknow School. Sooner or later, this was certain to resurface as in this lovely ghazal for Street Singer.  

Sukoon dil ko mayassar gul-o-samar mein nahi
Jo aashiyaan mein hai apne vah bagh bhar men nahi

Jahaan hai raah-e-guzar kah rahi hai chalti saans
Sukoon ki aur umeed umar bhar bhi nahi

Na aasra ho jise doosron ka e hamdam
Vah aisa dil hai ki jaise chiraag ghar mein nahi

Paraye dukh ko dukh apnaa samajh le aur de saath
Bashar nah jo yeh baat ‘Arzu’ bashar mein nahi

However, the association of Dabistan-e-Lakhnau with Saigal was not confined to Arzu. But of that, the next time.

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