Ek geet Lakhnavi andaaz mein/A song in the Lakhnavi tradition

It has been a long time since I since I wrote something on Urdu and or Lucknow/Ek arsa ho gaya hai mujhe Urdu ya Lakhnau par kuch likhe huye. And what a coincidence that an idea – which came this morning as I was shaving – ensured that I could write on both the topics in one post/Aur kya haseen ittefaq tha ke ek khayal aaya – is subh aaya  jab mein hajamat main masroof tha –  ke jis se main dono mazun ko ek ‘post’ me anjaam se sakta tha.

 It was a song from a Hindustani film of my time – one which have heard several times and never failed to marvel at the lyrics- which I thought I would bring to your notice/Yeh ek geet tha mere zamane ki ek Hindustani film se – ek geet jo maine hazaaron bar suna hoga lekin har baar uske bol se hairan raha hua – jo maine socha aapke nazar pesh karun.

The film, the top hit of 1963, was called “Mere Mehboob” and had music by the incomparable Naushad Ali with his lyrics by his long-time associate Shakeel Badayuni/Yeh film, jo 1963 ki sabse kamyab thi, mein Naushad Ali ke lajawab mausiqi thi aur geet unke purane saathi Shakeel Badayuni ke jaanib se the.

I will not go into the tangled plot  – as is common in Bollywood – of the film, of the genre termed “Muslim social” – which generally meant shervani and burkha/gharara clad characters in splendid surroundings speaking chaste Urdu in proper diction. The films also had the most exquisite lyrics/Main is film ki pechida kahani – jaise Bollywood films ki aadat hoti hai – mein nahi jaunga, sirf itna hi ke yeh us dastan ki missal hain jinhe “Muslim social”  karaar diye jata tha aur unki khas baat aam taur par yeh thi ke shervani ya burkha/gharara libas pehne kirdar, alishan makaanon mein aur ek behtrareen qism ki Urdu sahi talaffuz mein istemaal karte hue dikhaye jaate the. Aur ghazlen/nazm/geet awwal darje ke hote the.

However to explain the context of the song, I must provide a little background/Lekin, is geet ko samjhane ke liye mujhe aapko thoda peshmanzar se waqif karvana padega.

The film’s hero Anwar (Rajendra Kumar), doing his graduation in Aligarh, collides with a burkha-clad girl (Sadhna) in the market and falls in love with her despite just seeing her eyes/Film ke ‘hero’ Anwar, jo Aligarh ke ek college mein apni degree ke liye padh rahe hote hain, bazaar mein ek din ek burkha-posh ladki (Sadhna) se takra jaate hai aur ek dam ishq ho jaata hai jab ke woh sirf uski aankh hi dekhte hai.

He confides in his friend, Ghayal (Johnny Walker) who advises him to write a song to her and recite it in the annual college competition/Woh apne dost Ghayal (Johnny Walker) se salah karet hai, jo unhe us ladki ke naam ek geet likhne aur college ke salaana mushairah ke padhne ko kehte hai.

This results in this/Iska anjaam yeh hota hai. (Sorry, I will not translate it into English/Mazrat chahunga, main iska tarjuma angrezi mein nahi kar sakta).

See the imagination, the imagery and the language in these words – a tradition of Lucknowi Urdu/In lafzon mein tassavur, bayan aur lafzat ka istemal – Lakhnavi Urdu ki buniyaadi rivayat – par tawaaju de…..

I now recite/Arz kiya hai…

To be continued/Jari rahega….

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