Sahir in Jammu Jottings

This is with reference to the article about the famous Urdu poet and lyricist Sahir Ludhianavi and poet’s depiction of the sacrifices of women published in your Daily under Jammu Jottings on 17th of instant.It has been very nicely narrated that the women have made huge sacrifices for mankind but got exploitation, spurns and slights in return. It has been well said that being woman means being self-sacrificing. Perhaps no other poet except Sahir could narrate this misfortune of women in such a picturesque way as he has done in the film Sadhna number, Aurat ne Janam diya Mardon ko. Equally eloquently had Sahir dealt with the subject through the prism of exploitation of women in red light basti in the Payasa number, Jinhen naaz hai Hind pe woh kahaan hain at almost the same time. One gets moved on hearing the words, ‘Madad chahati hai ye Hauwa ki beti :: Yashoda ki hamjinas Radha ki beti’ in this song. The socialist in Sahir was at his best in the same song when he caught hold of the leaders of the nation for the plight of the poor and exploded “Zara mulk ke Rehbron ko bulao:: Ye kucche ye galiyan ye manzar dikhao”. Political authorities including Pt Nehru were obviously alarmed and annoyed and got the song banned for a number of years. Sahir was, no doubt, apart from being a poet of rare sensitivities and subtleties, a person of enormous courage and boldness. The author has drawn a vivid sketch of the life of this great poet.
It may however be interesting to state that it was a nice coincidence that he lined up with SD Burman after his flight from Pakistan immediately after partition. This rare combination of the two stalwarts of their respective fields worked wonders in 18 films, from 1951, Naujawan through Bazi,Taxi Driver, Munimji , Devdas etc culminating in Payasa in 1957. The Payasa song, referred to above brings reminisces of Guru Dutt’s masterpiece. Payasa’s songs remain matchless in the history of Hindi films. The other number “Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai” is a sad reflection on the greedy and selfish aspects of man’s nature. “Hum aapki aankhon mein iss dil ko basaa dein toh..” is a classic romantic duet full of Nokjok between two lovers. And as already stated what a revolutionary song, Jinhe Naaz hai hind par was. Unfortunately Sahir started to show off and brag that it was because of his prodigious lyrics that such unparalleled success had been achieved by Payasa. Burman, the Tripura prince got so much dismayed and annoyed with the utterances of Sahir that he bade good bye to Sahir for ever and never worked with him after Payasa. It was a great loss to the film world because both of them had developed such an intense and intimate chemistry between themselves and produced some unmatchable and marvelous gems. Both of them were a boon to the film world. It was needless and unwarranted on the part of Sahir to try to grab whole of the credit and acclaim. Joint effort is key to success and fame. Contributions of others including that of Johnny Walker’s Tel Maalish number, not to speak of Burman’s matchless music rendition, played key role in the grand success of the film Payasa. But what was destined to happen did happen.
It may not be out of place to mention that the narration of the article doesn’t come under the purview of Jammu Jottings by any stretch of imagination. Linking up of observance of the women day with celebration of Sahir’s birthday by an organisation of Jammu and spelling out Sahir’s narrative about the plight of women don’t fall strictly within the confines of Jammu Jottings. Even considering for the sake of argument, tracing the roots of Sahir’s mother to Jammu and Kashmir, not even to Jammu or naming of a hall by a Jammu based organisation after Sahir didn’t help to bring the article within the domain which is usually reserved for Jammu Jottings. It doesn’t, however, lessen the significance of the write-up. The article was a superlative piece of writing. It would have always remained a marvelous piece even if it had not been tied up with Jammu Jottings.
B D Sharma
Channi Himmat, Jammu