Music Review: Mughal-E-Azam (1960)


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Directed by K. Asif
Produced by Shapoorji Pallonji
Written by Aman
Kamal Amrohi
K. Asif
Wajahat Mirza
Ehsan Rizvi
Starring Prithviraj Kapoor
Dilip Kumar
Madhubala
Durga Khote
Music by Naushad
Lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni
Release Date 05 August 1960

As I sit here and contemplate to write this music review of Mughal-E-Azam, I realise the mammoth task ahead of me. Not only do we have a soundtrack that has remained alive during the past fifty odd years, but we have a soundtrack that is rich in melody and substantially known across the world. It took a giant of a director with a vision of the stars to realise this dream; and almost 14 years to complete. What dedication to his art! With his vision at hand, K. Asif knew he required a music director who would support his movie wholeheartedly and provide such a score that it would embrace time itself. Music maestro Naushad Ali presented K. Asif with an assortment of gems, each unique in its texture and gleam. Not only were these presented to K. Asif, but they were given to humanity as reminder that beauty does exist in aural form! Released on 5th August 1960, the impact the movie and its soundtrack had on its audience still remains with us today. My grandmother enthusiastically recalls how Mughal-E-Azam was the first Indian film to make its way to South African shores, although shown independently (Not on the national circuit but through independent buyers at their private cinemas), the songs were on everybody’s lips and in everyone’s hearts. And that impact was surely nailed in with Lyricist Shakeel Badayuni; he proves that the pen is definitely mightier the sword. He wins our hearts with his soulful, energetic and expressive lyrics. As I unravel the majestic soundtrack of Mughal-E-Azam, I will try to add as much information as possible for each of the songs that I can possibly remember reading out.

I have listened to the songs on the Original Vinyl and Initial CD release (Mughal-E-Azam & Anarkali), then listened to the CD that was re-issued with the re-release of the coloured version of this movie. This edition had an enhanced surround sound effect, and while I am quite against this sort of bogus mixing, this soundtrack wasn’t badly mixed at all. Naushad, Uttam Singh and the rest of the crew did a good job with the enhancing. For the purpose of the review I will look at the Initial CD release for all the songs with the exception of ‘Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya’. The reason for this is that the new CD release has the full proper version of the song with the classical embellishments at the beginning of the track.

It is said that Naushad composed 20 tracks for the film, but only 12 songs makes the cut; also that K. Asif even picturised four other tracks, that were later cut. These are the tracks of Mughal-E-Azam:

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. “Mohe Panghat Pe” Lata Mangeshkar and chorus 4:02
2. “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya” Lata Mangeshkar and chorus 6:21
3. “Mohabbat Ki Jhooti” Lata Mangeshkar 2:40
4. “Humen Kash Tumse Mohabbat” Lata Mangeshkar 3:08
5. “Bekas Pe Karam Keejeye” Lata Mangeshkar 3:52
6. “Teri Mehfil Mein” Lata Mangeshkar, Shamshad Begum and chorus 5:05
7. “Ye Dil Ki Lagi” Lata Mangeshkar 3:50
8. “Ae Ishq Yeh Sab Duniyawale” Lata Mangeshkar 4:17
9. “Khuda Nigehbaan” Lata Mangeshkar 2:52
10. “Ae Mohabbat Zindabad” Mohammed Rafi and chorus 5:03
11. “Prem Jogan Ban Ke” Bade Ghulam Ali Khan 5:03
12. “Shubh Din Aayo Raj Dulara” Bade Ghulam Ali Khan 2:49
Total length: 49:02

One has to wonder in awe of having singer Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s name on the soundtrack; an artist of titan proportion, his vocal skill and range were up there with the greats. I am sure many will know this interesting story, but I will relate it again for those that have not heard about it. Naushad was always quite keen to work with Bade Ghulam sahib, but the latter despised the film industry music, thinking it to be a discredit to the art of music. Naushad had initially tried to get Bade Ghulam Sahib to sing for Baiju Bawra, but it never materialised. For the voice of Tansen in Baiju Bawra, he asked another masterful singer to do the necessary. Ustad Amir Khan’s memorable renditions of the classical portions for Tansen has gone down in history as some of the finest classical pieces in filmdom. However this did not tame Naushad’s desire to be able to compose for Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. He had suggested to K. Asif about his woes on wanting to get Bade Ghulam Sahib, but in case the same situation occurs, Ustad Amir Khan would suit the songs just as much. K. Asif, also a fan of Bade Ghulam Sahib was not happy. His insistence on the titan led to a meeting between the three men. Bade Ghulam Ali Khan did not change his stance and to ward K. Asif off from his pursuit asked that Naushad wait outside while he spoke to K. Asif. It was here that Bade Ghulam Sahib said that he would sing for the film at a price of Rs. 25000 per song. The normal rates at the time were between Rs. 300 – Rs. 500 per song. That is what Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar’s rates were. In a blinding moment K. Asif agreed to enormous fee and added “What more can we offer you Khan Sahib? Your music is more precious to us than any amount of money.” With this K. Asif had won the heart of Khan Sahib, and I am thankful to K. Asif for having given us these two masterpieces that are eternally beautiful.

“Shubh Din Aayo Raj Dulara, Sahib-E-Alam Jag Ujiyare” was recorded by the Titan and based on Raag Rageshri. As soon as the swarmandal’s strings are impressed upon, we hear this remarkable voice begin his alaap and unravel Raag Rageshri. Three musical instruments, one voice is what confluences Shubh Din Aayo; Swarmandal, taanpura and Tabla create a minimal effect whilst Bade Ghulam Sahib’s voice emanates as Mia Tansen, welcoming Prince Salim back to the fortress after a glorious victory. As Naushad mentioned: “With his Patiala-Kasur style, the Behram Khani elements of Dhrupad, the gyrations of Jaipur, and the embellishments of Gwalior, his flexible voice could effortlessly span three octaves and easily move in all tempi.” In addition, hear Bade Ghulam’s tarana and alaap renditions, he moves mellifluously through the meend of Raag Rageshri; singing the aarohana and avarohana with precise speed and dazzling accuracy! Just listening to his tarana segments in this track can take you on a journey to the Mughal Era.

Naushad had invited K. Asif to the recording of the second song by Ustad Bade Ghulam Khan, wherein he explained to Khan Sahib the scene and situation, and that he wanted a soft rendition of Raag Sohini. The scene was simple, Anarkali steals through the early morning and meets Prince Salim on the sly. All the while this is going on, the kingdom is silenced by Mia Tansen’s ‘Riyaaz’ session. K. Asif had mentioned to Khan Sahib that the scenes had been shot already; and that he could mould the bandish as he saw fit, to meet the Raag’s scales. On Khan Sahib’s insistence, K. Asif had the scene projected in the recording studio. Staring mesmerizingly at Madhubala, Khan Saheb tells his tabla player (who was next to him), “Aman Nizammuddin, Kitne Pyari Laundia (Daasi) Hai.” Absorbed by this thought he starts singing the bandish with his swaarmandal in hand. Khan Sahib requests this scene to be played over and over again, until the song was completely recorded; “Prem Jogan Ban Ke, Sundari Piya O Re Chhali” had been realised. Raag Sohini emotes the feel of longing, of passive sensuousness, it has five swaras (notes) in the arohana and six in the avarohana and is sung during very late night / pre-dawn hours, the last or eighth period of day, roughly between 3 am – 6am. Here too we see the intelligence and thought in K. Asif’s mind. The whole situation fits like a glove. Focus was given to Khan Sahib’s voice, so here again we hear just the swaarmandal, tanpura and tabla; all set to Deepchandi taal in Raag Sohini. We have Anarkali and Salim acting out their desire, and Mia Tansen lending his voice to their legendry romance. Khan Sahib creates a deep longing in his listeners hearts, they can feel Salim and Anarkali’s hearts pulsating through his gifted voice. Whilst Sohini is quite rigid in its structure, Khan Sahib embellishes the bandishes with delicate alaaps. We get to see Tansen here, practicing during the twilight hours. What a scene! What a voice! What an epic track! I don’t think there will ever come a time again where we will witness such majesty in a soundtrack.

The first colour sequence in this Black & White feature film was to be a feat that would reside in the mind of film makers and audiences alike for the years that passed after Mughal-E-Azam’s release. Many have tried to recreate the ambiance of the sheesh mahal sequence but have not managed it, the legendary Madhubala is no more, but she will be forever remembered for her spectacular dance and histrionics in the piece. She will forever remain the image of Anarkali. The sequence requires Anarkali to confess her undying love to Salim in the Court of Emperor Akbar; and for this Naushad and Shakeel Badyuni knew their task was great. Unable to come to a decision whether this song should be a geet or a ghazal, they remained all night deciphering the situation and composing the lyric. They had managed to write a catch phrase but none that had a long lasting impact, heaps of paper were scribbled out. Around midnight Naushad took out is harmonium and began humming an old folk tune that he remembered from his younger days in Lucknow. ‘Prem Kari Chori Kari Nai’ was the line that he hummed, Shakeel took his cue from this and the Mukhda was created:

Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya

Why Should We Be Afraid, If We Have Loved

Jab Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya

Why Should We Be Afraid, When We Have Loved

Pyaar Kiya Koi Chori Nahin Ki

We Have Just Loved And Haven’t Committed A Crime

Pyaar Kiya

We Have Loved

Pyaar Kiya Koi Chori Nahin Ki

We Have Just Loved And Haven’t Committed A Crime

Chhup Chhup Aahe Bharna Kya

Why Should We Hide And Then Sigh

The first two antaras were penned subsequently by Shakeel Badayuni, but yet again they got stuck at a crucial moment, the scene where Anarkali has to modestly tell Emperor Akbar that everyone is equal in the sight of God. After much deliberation Shakeel pens this antara:

Chhup Naa Sakega Ishq Hamara

Our Love Can’t Remain Hidden

Charo Taraf Hain Unka Nazara

His Scenery Is In All Four Directions

Parda Nahin Jab Koi Khuda Se

When There’s No Curtain (Veil) From God

Bando Se Pardaa Karnaa Kyaa

Then Why Hide Behind The Curtains From The People

K. Asif wanted a spectacular grandeur for this piece and it required an introduction for Anarkali’s entrance into the sheesh mahal. He wanted the grandeur of a Royal Court; for this he employed the assistance of a classical sitarist, sarangi player and a pakhawaj player. Naushad composed the Tarana piece set to Teentaal in Raag Darbari. Not just any musicians but Sitar Player Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan (Indore-Bande Ali Beenkar Gharana), Sarangi player Pt. Ram Narayan (Kirana Gharana) and Pakhawaj master Pt. Ramdasji (Banaras Gharana) were invited to perform this remarkable introduction. Ustad Hafeez Ahmed Khan, Niyaz Ahmed Khan and Faiyaz Ahmed Khan hailing from the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana were also invited to perform the vocal portion of the introduction. If I cannot call this an amazing feat, then I don’t know what is? What is even more special about this piece, is that these musicians were also preserved in time, on screen! The musicians we see in the video of this Tarana are the actual musicians! They had been keen to remain a part of the scene that required their involvement. The doyens of their respective gharanas came together to give a piece set to Raag Darbari in such a fashion, that we cannot part with this tarana when we think of “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya.” And who can forget Madhubala dancing to this incredible tarana in pure Kathak choreographed by the legendary Kathak exponent Pt. Lachchu Maharaj of the Lucknow Gharana? It remains to date as one the classiest dance pieces in the history of Bollywood.

Lata Mangeshkar introduces Pyar Kiya To Darna:

Insaan Kisi Se Duniyaa Me Ek Baar Mohabbat Karta Hai

If A Person Falls In Love With Someone Once In This World

Is Dard Ko Lekar Jeeta Hai, Is Dard Ko Lekar Marta Hai

He Lives With This Pain And He Dies With This Pain

This piece sets the tone for the rest of song lyrically. Naushad uses Raag Durga to enhance the pain filled love that Anarkali is going through. Lata sings the song in a very melancholic style, yet relays Shakeel’s message with power and vigour. Magic upon magic, Naushad and Shakeel reveal their composition and lyric to astound the listener. To enhance the effect of the sound reverberating through the mirrors in the Sheesh Mahal, Naushad recorded the lyric ‘Chhup Naa Sakega Ishq Hamara, Charo Taraf Hain Unka Nazara’ twice; first by Lataji solo and then with a chorus. This was then mixed later on. When the solo lyric is sung, our focus is on Anarkali, and when the chorus lyric appears immediately after we see Anarkali multiplied in the multitude of mirrors. As elementary as the studios were in those days, Naushad managed to record this song with great effort. The recordings were at the Rang Mahal Studio in Dadar. To make the hall acoustically reverb proof, several layers of thick blankets were hung from the ceiling and attached to the walls. Coconut waste and shells were laid to absorb the echo and reverb. A special ‘box’ was built for Lataji. Two microphones yielded the track; one for Lataji and the other for the orchestration! Quite unbelievable by any standards today especially after listening to the track.

We are treated to Raag Gara (commonly known as Pancham Se Gara) in the form of “Mohe Pangat Pe Nandlal Chedd Gayo Re.” The sequence of events that lead to this song in the movie are spectacular. Onscreen we get to see a ‘second’ introduction to Madhubala. It is Janmashtami, and celebrations are underway. Tabla and sitar flourishes introduces Lata’s alaap, we then hear a flute, the raag takes flight. The beautiful bansuri pieces are played by non-other than noted flautist Pt. Pannalal Ghosh; he ably lends the bansuri to this thumri. Lata exercises control over the raag and sings with utmost conviction. Shakeel Badyuni has penned the lyrics, and relates the interaction between the Gopis and Krishna beautifully. This thumri was first sung (Bandish: “Mohe Pangat Pe Nandlal Chedd Gayo Re”) in the court of Wajid Ali Shah by Kalka Bindadeen Maharaj, who is accredited with its composition. As chance would have it, Pt Lachuchu Maharaj, the choreographer for the film, is his nephew. Initially Naushad recorded this songs as a Lataji Solo; this was played to K. Asif who asked Nasuhad to re-record the song with a chorus. His argument was that there would have been many Gopi’s together fetching water. This thumri went unnoticed before Mughal-E-Azam released, but after, music hobbyists had come to find out about the Kalka Bindadeen Maharaj connection. By around 1935 this bandish had been recorded onto discs 3 times before with two versions’ lyrical content being credited as ‘Traditional’. The third version had been credited to a ‘Raghunath Brahmbhatta’. In 2004 when the coloured version released, the grandson of Raghunath: Mr Raj Brahmbhatta sought the courts for compensation as he lamented at Shakeel for ‘lifting’ his grandfather’s bandish. By 2004, most of the people associated with Mughal-E-Azam had passed on, even Raghunath Brahmbhatta, the matter got settled as it was argued that Shakeel had employed the ‘Doosron Ki Zameen Par Chalana’ method to write this Thumri. This method was common amongst Urdu / Hindi Shayars where they would take the first line of another couplet, but out of that create a completely new poem. This was not uncommon in filmdom also, look at these two song lyrics and the original couplet writer. In Mausam, Gulzar’s song begins with Ghalib’s ‘Dil Dhoondta hai, Phir Wohi’ and then Gulzar completes the lyrics with his poetry. Majrooh Sultanpuri employs this method in ‘Ek Nazar’, he begins with Mir Taqi Meer’s ‘Patta Patta Boota Bootam Haal Hamara Hai’ and then proceeds to complete the track with his own lyrical composition.

The lone Mohammed Rafi song ‘Ae Mohabbat Zindabad’ is sung by the sculptor, played by actor Kumaar in the movie. It comes at quite an epic scene in the movie, and Rafi carries the song brilliantly, his voice even suits the sculptor here. Shakeel’s lyrics intelligently expand the song emotionally.

Wafa Ki Raah Me Aashiq Ki Eid Hoti Hai

In The Path Of Faithfulness, The Lovers Celebrate Their Eid (Holy Festival Of The Muslims)

Khushi Manao Mohabbat Shahid Hoti Hai

Celebrate Happiness As Love Gets Sacrificed

Pyaar Ki Aandhi Ruk Na Sakegi Nafarat Ki Deewaron Se

The Breeze Of Love Shall Not Be Detained (Stopped) By The Walls Of Hatred

Khoon-E-Mohabbat Ho Na Sakega Khanjar Se Talavaro Se

The Blood Of Love Shall Not Be Spilled (Death Of Love Shall Not Occur)

With The Daggers And The Swords

Mar Jaate Hai Aashiq Zinda Rah Jaati Hai Yaad

Lovers Die But Their Memories Remain Alive

Zindabad! Zindabad!

Long Live!

Ae Mohabbat Zindabad!

Long Live Love!

Aa Aa Aa…

Ishq Bagaawat Kar Baithe To Duniya Ka Rukh Mod De

If Love Becomes A Rebel, Then It Can Change The Course Of The World

Aag Laga De Mahalo Mein Aur Takht-E-Shaahi Chhod De

It Burns The Palaces And Leaves Behind The Royal Thrones

Seena Taane Maut Se Khele Kuchh Na Kare Fariyaad

It Stands Boldly In Front Of Death And Doesn’t Complain

The song is heavily orchestrated by Naushad, with a 100+ chorus, another mighty feat achieved. This was to create a bigger impact as the soldiers are lined up watch the Father – Son spectacle. Rafi’s intonations give the song great repeat value and the fact that the antaras are composed very differently from each other. ‘Ae Mohabbat Zindabad!’

Mohabbat Ki Jhooti Kahani Pe Roye

Let Me Cry On The False Stories Of Love

Badi Chot Khai Javani Pe Roye, Javani Pe Roye

My Youthfullness Has Been Wounded, Let Me Cry On It

Mohabbat Ki Jhootii Kahani Pe Roye

Let Me Cry On The False Stories Of Love

Na Socha Na Samajha, Na Dekha Na Bhala

I Didn’t Think Nor Did I Understand Or I Considered

Teri Arzoo Ne, Hamein Maar Dala

Your Desire Is The One That Killed Me

Tere Pyar Ki Meharabani Pe Roye, Roye

Let Me Cry On The Gratefulness Of Your Love

Mohabbat Ki Jhootii Kahani Pe Roye

Let Me Cry On The False Stories Of Love

Raag Darbari Kanada adorns ‘Mohabbat Ki Jhoothi’ with tragically sweetened lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. The track begins with heavy western orchestration, which then goes to a Sarangi solo. Immediately the swaras of this Raag are identifiable; Lata croons with amazing ease and class as she lends her voice to Anarkali’s helpless situation. Madhubala insisted on using real chains for this scene to provide authenticity, however, she became quite ill, and had to nurse the bruises afterwards. P. Susheela sang the Tamil version of this song titled ‘Kanavu Kanda Kathal Kathai Kanneer Aache’, and is still quite popular today.

Lataji croons a ghazal picturised on Anarkali’s sister played by Sheila Dalaya. She is the ‘messenger’ between the two lovers delivering their love through letters and meeting requests. However, here, in this song she is also giving Salim and Durjan a sarcastic message about love. She poignantly puts the stance out there, Do lovers actually understand what it means to be in Love? Naushad creates a mesmerising ghazal with a lovely play on the sarcastic lyric by Shakeel Badayuni. The play on the lyric is also a portent on how we see Anarkali later on in the movie. Ponder this lyrics in context of Anarkali:

Ae Ishq Ye Sab Duniya Wale

Oh Love! All These People Of The World

Bekar Ki Baatein Karte Hai

Talk Nonsense (About Love)

Payal Ke Ghamo Ka Ilm Nahi

They Don’t Have Any Knowledge Of The Pain In The Ankle Bells

Jhankar Ki Batein Karte Hai

And Then They Talk About Its Jingling (Sarcasm)

Ae Ishq Ye Sab Duniya Wale

Oh Love! All These People Of The World

Haan…

Har Dil Me Chupa Hai Teer Koi

In Every Heart There Is A Hidden Arrow

Har Paao Me Hai Zanjeer Koi

In Every Leg There Is A Shackle

Haan… Aaaa…

Pooche Koi Unse Gham Ke Maze

May Someone Go And Ask Them The Joys Of Grief

Jo Pyar Ki Batein Karte Hai

All Those Who Talk About Love

Ae Ishq Ye Sab Duniya Wale

Oh Love! All These People Of The World

Ulfat Ke Naye Deewano Ko

The Ones Who Have Recently Fallen In Love

Kis Tarah Se Koi Samjhaye

How To Make Them Understand

Nazro Pe Lagi Hai Paabandi

Here, There Is A Restriction On Gazing

Deedar Ki Baatein Karte Hai

And They Are Talking About Getting A Glimpse

Ae Ishq Ye Sab Duniya Wale

Oh Love! All These People Of The World

Aaaaa…

Bhawre Hai Agar Madhosh To Kya

If The Bees Are Intoxicated, Then What

Parwane Bhi Hai Khamosh To Kya

If The Moths Are Silent, Then What

Aaaaa…

Sab Pyaar Ke Nagme Gaate Hai

All Of Them Sing Melodies Of Love

Sab Yaar Ki Baatein Karte Hai

All Of Them Talk About Their Beloved’s

Ae Ishq Ye Sab Duniya Wale

Oh Love! All These People Of The World

Bekar Ki Baatein Karte Hai

Talk Nonsense

Ae Ishq Ye Sab Duniya Wale

Oh Love! All These People Of The World

Naushad used the Tabla, Sitar and Shehnai to beatify this sarcastic message, showering the track with infectious hums and alaaps which Lataji uses to sweeten further. Lataji is a revelation in this track; her vocals are syrupy. To a person listening yet doesn’t grasp its message, this might seem a beautiful love song. Delve a bit deeper and you will understand the true message.

The next track ‘Hamein Kaash Tumse Mohabbat Na Hoti’ makes the above track even more worthwhile. Anarkali realises the torment that Love has brought into her life, and even though she is singing these lyrics, she knows she will never be able to stop her heart from beating. Naushad adorns this ghazal with minimal instruments highlighting Lataji’s vocals. The sitar, shehnai and violin in the interludes are almost crying with Anarkali as she imparts this ghazal to Salim. A light tabla beat is repeatedly played during the vocal portions which again assists in the lament of Anarkali’s woes.

Hamein Kaash Tumse Mohabbat Na Hoti

I Wish That I Was Never In Love With You

Kahaani Hamaari Haqeeqat Na Hoti

Then This Story Of Mine (Fictional) Wouldn’t Be The Truth

Hamen Kaash Tumse Mohabbat Na Hoti

I Wish That I Was Never In Love With You

Na Dil Tum Ko Dete Na Majboor Hote

Neither Would I Have Given My Heart To You Nor Would I Be Compelled

Na Duniya Na Duniya Ke Dastoor Hote

There Wouldn’t Be The Conventions Of The World

Qayamat Se Pahle Qayamat Na Hoti

There Wouldn’t Be This Disaster Before The Actual Disaster

Hamen Kaash Tumse Mohabbat Na Hoti

I Wish That I Was Never In Love With You

Hum Hi Badh Gaye Ishq Mein Hadd Se Aage

I Crossed The Lines In Love By My Own Will

Zamaane Ne Thokar Lagaayi To Jaage

When The World Crashed Into Me, Then I Awoke

Agar Mar Bhi Jaate To Hairat Naa Hoti

I Wouldn’t Have Been Surprised Even If I Would’ve Died

Hamen Kaash Tumse Mohabbat Na Hoti

I Wish That I Was Never In Love With You

Tumhi Phoonk Dete Nasheman Hamaare

You Would Yourself Destroy My Nest (Abode)

Mohabbat Pe Ehsaan Hota Tumhaara

Then Love Would Consider This As A Favor From You

Zamaane Se Koyi Shikaayat Na Hoti

There Wouldn’t Be Any Complaints From The World

Hamen Kaash Tumse Mohabbat Na Hoti

I Wish That I Was Never In Love With You

Kahaani Hamaari Haqeeqat Na Hoti

Then This Story Of Mine Wouldn’t Be The Truth

Hamen Kaash Tumse Mohabbat Na Hoti

I Wish That I Was Never In Love With You[/CENTER]

Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity; since the introduction of the character Bahar played by Nigar Sultana, we are reminded of her conquest of Prince Salim. Her eyes convey her feelings perfectly, oh and what beautiful eyes! When she realises that Salim loves Anarkali, she is in a constant state of wariness, be it in the statue revealing ceremony, the constant jabs she takes at maligning Anarkali, the underhanded situation she places towards the lovers and even spying on their meetings. She isn’t shy about it either. This ultimately comes together in the Mehfil-E-Qawalli muqabla track “Teri Mehfil Mein Kismat Aazmakar, Hum Bhi Dekhenger”. It’s a sight to behold watching these two beautiful women wrangle it out peacefully through poetry and sangeet. Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar ably lend their voices to Nigar Sultana and Madhubala respectively. Naushad highlights the vocals with a slight touch of the sarangi, while the interludes are flourished with tabla, clapping and Chorus. Both Shamshadji and Lataji render beautiful Alaaps throughout the track, Shakeel Badayuni pens the perfect lyric:

Teri Mehfil Mein Kismat Aazmakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

In Your Gathering, We’ll Test Our Luck And See The Consequences

Ghadi Palko Tere Nazdekh Aakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

For A Second We’ll Come Close To Your Eyelids And See

Haan Ji Haan Hum Bhi Dekhenge

Yes, Yes, We Shall Also See

Teri Mehfil Mein Kismat Aazmakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

In Your Gathering, We’ll Test Our Luck And See The Consequences

Tere Kadmon Peh Sir Apna Jhukakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

On Your Footsteps We’ll Bow Our Heads And See

Haan Ji Haan Hum Bhi Dekhenge

Yes, Yes, We Shall Also See

~Bahar~

Bahaare Aaj Paigam-E-Mohabbat Leke Aayi Hai

The Spring Season Today Has Brought With It A Message Of Love

Badi Muddat Main Umeedon Ki Kaliyan Muskurayi Hai

After A Large Amount Of Prayer, Flowers Of Expectation Are Smiling

Gham-E-Dil Se Zara Daaman Bachakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

We’ll Protect Ourselves From This Sadness Of The Heart And See

Haan Ji Haan Hum Bhi Dekhenge

Yes, Yes, We’ll Also Watch The Spectacle

~Anarkali~

Agar Dil Gham Si Khali Ho Toh Jeene Ka Mazaa Kya Hai

If The Heart Is Without Any Sadness, Then What’s The Joy Of Living Life

Na Ho Khuney Jigar Toh Ashk Peene Ka Maza Kiya Hai

If The Heart Isn’t Bleeding, Then What Is The Pleasure In Drinking Tears

Mohabbat Main Zara Aansoon Bahakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

We’ll Flow Some Tears For The Sake Of Love And See

Teri Mehfil Mein Kismat Aazmakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

In Your Gathering, We’ll Test Our Luck And See The Consequences

Haan Ji Haan Hum Bhi Dekhenge

Yes, Yes, We Shall Also See

~Bahar~

Mohabbat Karne Walon Ka Hai Bas Itna Hai Afsana

The Story Of Those Who Fall In Love Is Just This

Tadapna Chupke Chupke Aahan Bharna Ghut Ke Mar Jana

To Suffer With Yearning In Silence, Have Deep Sighs, Then Suffocate Oneself And Die

Tadapna Chupke Jihaan

To Suffer With Yearning In Silence, Yes Sir!

Tadapna Chupke Chupke Aahan Bharna

To Suffer With Yearning In Silence, Have Deep Sighs

Ghut Ke Mar Jana

Suffocate Oneself And Die

Kisi Din Yeh Tamasha Muskurakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

We’ll Witness This With A Smile On Our Faces And See

Haan Ji Haan Hum Bhi Dekhenge

Yes, Yes, We’ll Also Watch The Spectacle

Teri Mehfil Mein Kismat Aazmakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

In Your Gathering, We’ll Test Our Luck And See The Consequences

Haan Ji Haan Hum Bhi Dekhenge

Yes, Yes, We Shall Also See

~Anarkali~

Mohabbat Humne Maana Zindagi Barbaad Karti Hain

We Agree That Love Spoils One’s Life Completely

Yeh Kya Kam Hai Ke Mar Jaane Pe Duniya Yaad Karti Hain

Is It Less That After Your Death, The World Remembers You

Kisi Ke Ishq Mein Duniya Luta Kar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

For The Sake Of Love For Someone, I’ll Sacrifice The World And See

Tere Kadmon Peh Sar Apna Jhukakar

On Your Footsteps We’ll Bow Our Heads

Ghadi Palko Tere Nazdekh Aakar

For A Second We’ll Come Close To Your Eyelids

Teri Mehfil Mein Kismat Aazmakar Hum Bhi Dekhenge

In Your Gathering, We’ll Test Our Luck And See The Consequences

Haan Ji Haan Hum Bhi Dekhenge

Yes, Yes, We Shall Also See

“Bekas Pe Karam Kijiye, Sarkar-E-Madina” is an Islamic Naat based on Raag Kedar. Anarkali is put in the dungeons for defying Emperor Akbar. Shocked at her bearing, she cries out to the Almighty for help. Lata Mangeshkar’s incredible rendition of the track, Shakeel Badayuni’s lyrical dua and Naushad’s splendid tune are what contributes heavily to this Naat. Naushad is again terrific here, he allows for Raag Kedar to be rendered in its proper form, with Lataji singing all the swaras on key. The effect of this song brings calmness into the minds of the listeners. In his biography Naushad (Naushadnama: The Life and Music of Naushad) states that “Bekas Pe Karam Kijiye” was his most prized composition of Mughal-E-Azam. What more can I say about the Lyrics that would match Shakeel’s sheer poetry?

Ai Mere Mushkila-Kushaa, Fariyaad Hai, Fariyaad Hai

O My Solver Of All Problems (Referring To God), I Have A Complain

Aapke Hote Hue Duniya Meri Barabaad Hai

Despite You Being There, My World Is Destroyed

Bekas Pe Karam Keejiye, Sarkaar-E-Madeena

Show Compassion On The Needy One (Sufferer, Referring To Herself),

O Lord Of Medina (Referring To Allah (God), Medina Is One Of The Holiest Places For The Muslims)

Bekas Pe Karam Keejiye

Show Compassion On The Needy One

Gardish Mein Hai Taqadeer Bhanvar Mein Hai Safeena

My Fate Is Trapped Inside A Storm, My Boat Is In The Middle Of A Hurricane

Bekas Pe Karam Keejiye, Sarkaar-E-Madeena

Show Compassion On The Needy One, O Lord Of Medina

Bekas Pe Karam Keejiye

Show Compassion On The Needy One

Hai Waqt-E-Madad Aaiye Bigadi Ko Banaane

Come Please! O Time Of Help! Repair The Broken Things

Gosheeda Nahi Aapse Kuch Dil Ke Fasaane

There Is Nothing In The Heart That’s Hidden From You

Zakhmon Se Bhara Hai Kisi Majboor Ka Seena

A Compelled One’s Chest Is Full Of Wounds

Bekas Pe Karam Keejiye

Show Compassion On The Needy One

Chhaai Hai Museebat Ki Ghata Gesuon Vaale, Gesuon Vaale

The Cloud Of Problems Like Dense Hair Is Covered Over Me

Lillaah Meri Doobti Kashti Ko Bachaale

Allah, Please Save My Drowning Boat

Toofaan Ke Aasaar Hain, Dushvaar Hai Jeena

There Are Indications Of An Incoming Storm, Life Has Become Very Difficult

Bekas Pe Karam Keejiye

Show Compassion On The Needy One

The struggle between Anarkali and Bahar is finally over, Power has defeated love. There is pyrrhic triumph for both women; Anarkali is allowed to become queen for one night, not — as the Emperor Akbar taunts, because a laundi (slave girl) cannot relinquish the dream of a crown — but because, as Anarkali responds, she does not want a future Emperor of Hindustan to be remembered as a man who could not keep his word to a slave. In return, she must drug the prince to sleep while she is led away by guards to death (in the folklore) and forsaken freedom (in the film). Bahar in hindsight has won the night, but not the future, as she does not replace Anarkali in Salim’s affections. However, Bahar is allowed her final sneer! As the situation unfolds, Anarkali and Salim are seated on the throne while Bahar presents a qawalli in the Royal Court:

Ye Dil Ki Lagi Kam Kya Hogi

How Shall This Devotion (Attraction) Of The Heart Get Any Less

Ye Ishq Bhala Kam Kya Hoga

How Shall This Love Get Any Less

Jab Raat Hai Aisi Matavaali

When This Night Is So Free-Spirited

Phir Subah Ka Aalam Kya Hoga

Then What Shall Be The Atmosphere In The Morning

This distressing metaphor for power is presented in Raag Jaijaiwanti. To make the sting even worse, and the metaphor stronger, Bahar sings in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar. Raag Jaijaiwanti is sung during the first part of the night – from six to nine in the evening; its season of recitation is summer. There are many instances where Bahar alludes to the season as well. The passion of this word play lies in Anarkali’s expressions as she fulfils her part of the agreement in conjunction with Bahar’s twisted sneers. Lataji sings absolutely magnetically; her voice dances in this track. Naushad employs a huge classical soundstage for this track, mesmerizingly decorated with Sitar, Tabla, Pakhawaj, Jaltarang, Sarod, Sarangi and Shehnai. Bahar is dressed in black, Anarkali is dressed in white, and the assembly of dancers behind Bahar are drenched in colour; she is seated and eyes the couple while the dancers behind her are moving hypnotically. Shakeel’s lyrics are entrancing and give power to Bahar:

Nagamo Se Barasati Hai Masti

From The Melodies, There Is A Rainfall Of Jubilation

Chhalake Hai Khushi Ke Paimaane

The Glasses Of Happiness Are Spilling Over

Aaj Aisi Bahaare Aayi Hai

Such A Season Of Joy Has Come

Kal Jinke Banenge Afsaane

Whose Stories Shall Be Written Tomorrow

Ab Ise Zyada Aur Haseen Ye Pyaar Ka Mausam Kya Hoga

What Could Be More Beautiful Than This Season Of Love?

Jab Raat Hai Aisi Matavaali

When This Night Is So Free-Spirited

Phir Subah Ka Aalam Kya Hoga

Then What Shall Be The Atmosphere In The Morning

Ye Aaj Ka Rang Aur Ye Mehfil

This Gathering And The Colors Of Today

Dil Bhi Hai Yahaan, Dildaar Bhi Hai

Here The Hearts Are There, And Even The Lovers

Aankhon Me Qayaamat Ke Jalve

The Charisma Of Disaster In Their Eyes

Sine Me Tadapta Pyaar Bhi Hai

In Their Hearts, A Suffering Love Exists

Is Rang Me Koi Jee Le Agar Marne Ka Use Gham Kya Hoga

If Someone Lives Through This Color (Of The Night/Gathering)

Then That Person Shall Have No Sadness Even If Death Comes

Jab Raat Hai Aisi Matavaali

When This Night Is So Free-Spirited

Phir Subah Ka Aalam Kya Hoga

Then What Shall Be The Atmosphere In The Morning

Aaa…

Haalat Hai Ajab Divaano Ki

The Crazy Lovers Are In A Unique State Right Now

Ab Khair Nahi Parawano Ki

Even These Moths (Longing For Fire) Shall Not Be Spared

(Parwana Literally Means A Moth, But Here It Symbolizes A Person

Who Is Not Afraid And Ready To Burn Himself)

Anjaam-E-Mohabbat Kya Kahiye

What Should I Say About The End Result Of This Love

Laye Badhane Lagi Armaano Ki

The Rhythm (Pace) Of The Desires Has Started Increasing

Aise Me Jo Paayal Tut Gayi Phir Aye Mere Hamdam Kya Hoga

If In This Situation My Ankle Bells Break, Then Tell Me My Partner, What Shall Happen?

Jab Raat Hai Aisi Matavaali

When This Night Is So Free-Spirited

Phir Subah Ka Aalam Kya Hoga

Then What Shall Be The Atmosphere In The Morning

The track provides ample drama and the onscreen happenings match. As the song concludes, Naushad presents us with a hypnotic classical instrumental of Jaijiwanti in teentaal. During the same time, Salim is already delirious after smelling the intoxicant. As he begins understanding what is going on, we have dancer Gopi Krishna entering the Hall of mirrors and dances around the Sheesh Mahal in a dazzling display of Kathak. When the track concludes Salim passes out.

In continuation from that previous scene, a distraught Anarkali is being led away from Salim. He is unconscious and unable to help her or even say goodbye. The scene is utterly tragic; in this sadness, the only thought that encapsulates Anarkali is her devotion in the form of a prayer. She does so in Raag Yaman:

Woh Aayi Subha Ke Parde Se Maut Ki Awaaz

From The Curtain Of The Morning, The Call Of Death Has Come

Kisi Ne Tod Diya Jaise Zindagi Ka Saaz

It Seems As If Someone Broke The Tune (Melody) Of Life

Khuda Nigehbaan Ho Tumhara

May The Almighty God Keep Watch Over You (Protect You)

Dhadakte Dil Kaa Payaam Le Lo

This Is A Message From My Beating Heart

Tumhari Duniya Se Jaa Rahe Hai

I Am Going Away From Your World

Utho Hamara Salaam Le Lo

Get Up And Accept My Good-Bye (Salaam Actually Means Salute)

Shakeel’s lyrics also hint at the folklore of Anarkali, that she was led to her death. The movie’s climax however, suggests something different. The next antara:

Uthe Janaazaa Jo Kal Hamara

When The Procession Of My Death Begins Tomorrow

Kasam Hai Tumako, Na Denaa Kandha

Promise Me Not To Give It A Shoulder

Uthe Janaazaa Jo Kal Hamara

When The Procession Of My Death Begins Tomorrow

Kasam Hai Tumako, Na Denaa Kandha

Promise Me Not To Give It A Shoulder

Na Ho Mohabbat Hamaari Rusawaa

May Our Love Never Get Upset

Ye Aansuo Kaa Payaam Le Lo

This Is A Message From The Tears

Khuda Nigehbaan Ho Tumhara

May The Almighty God Keep Watch Over You (Protect You)

Dhadakte Dil Kaa Payaam Le Lo

This Is A Message From My Beating Heart

As we watch Anarkali being led through the doors of the Mahal, we notice them slowly disaapearing in the distance, and the big doors are closed once again. As Lataji glides through the swaras of Yaman, she embosses Anarkali’s pain in our hearts. Naushad in his genius, allows the vocals to take precedence. This remarkable track leaves a huge impact in your psyche.

I have managed to locate one of the deleted songs, that didn’t make it to the film or the soundtrack. This track below was apparently filmed in a boat race just after Salim arrives at the fort; Bahar organises the race. Sung with beauty by a trio that have probably never ever sung again together after this, they leave a splendid impact. Mubarak Begum, Shamshad Begum & Lata Mangeshkar make up this trio. With the news of Mubarak Begum’s demise earlier this year, these tracks surfaced and allowed me to experience some new ‘old music.’

The biggest travesty is that Naushad did not win any award for this magnificent soundtrack in 1960. He lost out to the much more popular Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai.

In all his glory and perseverance, K. Asif was ultimately rewarded for his 14 year long dream project.

Rating

mughle-azam-1960-hindi-movie

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