Saturday, September 22, 2012

One Phrase, Many Songs: Chhoone Na Doongi….

Some days back on the Facebook music group Sangeet Ke Sitare, we were exploring phrases that have been used in multiple songs over the years. The two-day exploration brought to the fore many such instances - some quite obvious, some not so. I was quite taken up by this ‘theme’ and it continued to consume me for a few more days. And it led to an accidental discovery…

One day while exploring lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri’s filmography, I came across a song he had written for Muzaffar Ali’s Aagaman in the 80s. It was a first time hear for me, but it struck me that I had heard more songs with similar lines. As I dug deeper into my mp3 collection, I realized that there was not one, not two, but at least four other similar songs used in Hindi films from 1947 to 1992.
The lines in question were:
Chhoone na doongi shareer
najariya se jee bhar doongi
1. The very first instance of these lines that I came across was from a 1947 film called Pehla Pyar. Written by Pt. Balam (?) and composed by Premnath, this song was sung by Shamshad Begum and it went…
Choone na doongi shareer balam ji, haan haan balamji
najariyon se jee bhar doongi

2. Next came an Asha Bhosle song from an obscure 1960 film, Captain India. I don’t know who wrote this song, but the composer was Hemant Kedar (Ramakrishna Shinde). The lines were modified very slightly in this song.
Choone na doongi shareer
najariya se jee bhar lo
sapnon ki hoon main tasveer
najariya se jee bhar lo

3. In 1964 appeared the most famous variation of these lines. Hasrat Jaipuri wrote a mujra number composed by Shankar Jaikishan for the film Zindagi. Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle sang these lines:
Chhoone na doongi main haath re
najariyon se jee bhar doongi
baithi rahoongi saari raat re
najariyon se jee bhar doongi

4. Almost two decade later in 1983, came this song that had sent me on this exploration trail. Hasrat Jaipuri again used the same words in what sounds like another mujra number. The song composed by Ghulam Mustafa Khan was for Muzaffar Ali’s Aagaman, and sung by Anuradha Paudwal
Chhoone na doongi sareer
najariyon se dil bhar doongi
tan tan ke maroongi teer
najariyon se dil bhar doongi

5. If you thought, quite logically so, that these lines would be the exclusive preserve of female singers, you couldn’t be more wrong. For Naushad got Hariharan to croon these lines as a thumri in the 1992 film Teri Payal Mere Geet. This time it was Hasan Kamaal who borrowed these words.
Chhoone nahin doongi shareer
najariyon se dil bhar doongi

Given the fact that the exact lines have been used so many time by different lyricists, I am inclined to believe that this could be some traditional thumri. However, I have so far drawn a blank trying to trace that.