Saturday, May 18, 2013

Whose line is it anyway?

निगाह नीची किये सर झुकाए बैठे हैं
यही तो हैं जो मेरा दिल चुराए बैठे हैं 

If you are fond of listening to old Hindi film songs, chances are that you would’ve across the above lines at some time or the other. After all, this line has found its way into many songs right from the 50s to the 80s.

The oldest song where I encountered this line was from Lal Pari (1954). Composed by Hansraj Bahl, the song was sung by Shamshad Begum and the lyrics were credited to Asad Bhopali. The above couplet with a minor change was used as an opening line before the mukhda of the song started.

निगाह नीची किये सर झुकाए बैठे हैं
यही हैं वो जो मेरा दिल चुराए बैठे हैं 

सामने बैठ के जब दिल को चुराए कोई
ऐसी चोरी का पता ख़ाक लगाये कोई

Nigaah Neechi Kiye … Saamne Baith Ke - Lal Pari (1954) - Shamshad Begum - Hansraj Bahl - Asad Bhopali

In the very same year, this couplet found a place in another song. The film was Darwaza (1954), and the lyricist this time was Majrooh Sultanpuri. Nashad was the composer and Shamshad Begum the singer once again. Here again, the mukhda was worded differently, but the opening couplet was the same.

निगाह नीची किये सर झुकाए बैठे हैं
यही तो हैं जो मेरा दिल चुराए बैठे हैं

तुम्हें क्या है बहाने करो निस दिन के
कोई रतियाँ गुज़ारे तारे गिन गिन के

Nigaah Neechi Kiye … Tumhe Kya Hai - Darwaza (1954) - Shamshad Begum - Nashad - Majrooh Sultanpuri

Two years on, the line appears once again, this time in with a slight grammatical variation. Shamshad Begum, once again, sang this song for Vasant Desai in Toofan Aur Diya (1956). Hasrat Jaipuri was the lyricist here.

निगाह नीची किये सर झुकाए बैठे हो
तुम्ही तो हो जो मेरा दिल चुराए बैठे हो 

दिल तुमने लिया है मेरी जान मेरा दिल तुमने लिया
दिल ले के बनो न अनजान मेरा दिल तुमने लिया

Nigaah Neechi Kiye … Dil Tume Liya Hai Meri Jaan - Toofan Aur Diya (1956) - Shamshad Begum - Vasant Desai - Hasrat Jaipuri

Just when you thought that this couplet had become Shamshad Begum’s closely guarded preserve, we heard Asha Bhosle mouthing the same line in Patal Pari (1957). And this time, the writing credit went to Sarshar Sailani. S. Mohinder was the composer.

निगाह नीची किये सर झुकाए बैठे हैं
यही तो हैं जो मेरा दिल चुराए बैठे हैं

घर कर के मेरे दिल में घर लूटा है घर वाले
तुम कितने सितमगर हो पत्थर के जिगर वाले

Nigaah Neechi Kiye … Ghar Kar Ke - Patal Pari (1956) - Asha Bhosle - S. Mohinder - Sarshar Sailani

It doesn’t end here, Pakistani film music was also not untouched by this immensely popular couplet. In the film Chaand Suraj (1970), Nashad created a tandem for the two bigwigs of Pakistani music - Noor Jehan and Mehdi Hasan. Unlike the other examples where it was used as an opening couplet before the mukhda, this couplet itself was the mukhda of the Pakistani song and another couplet was used as the opening. The lyricist this time - Shevan Rizvi.

उन्हीं को ढूँढ़ (देख) रही है निगाह-ए-शौक़ मेरी 
जो बन के अजनबी महफ़िल में आये बैठे हैं 

निगाहें नीची किये सर झुकाए बैठे हैं
यही तो हैं जो मेरा दिल चुराए बैठे हैं

Unhi Ko Dhoondh Rahi … Nigaah Neechi Kiye - Chaand Suraj (1970, Pak) - Mehdi Hassan - Nashad - Shevan Rizvi
Unhi Ko Dekh Rahi … Nigaah Neechi Kiye - Chaand Suraj (1970, Pak) - Noor Jehan - Nashad - Shevan Rizvi

Five songs already and it isn’t over yet. Let’s now turn back homewards. Year - 1974, Jaan Nisar Akhtar uses it again as an opening couplet in a song sung by Mohd. Rafi in Humraahi. Kalyanji Anandji compose this song with a longish mukhda.

निगाहें नीची किये सर झुकाए बैठे हैं
यही तो हैं जो मेरा दिल चुराए बैठे हैं

चुप चुप चुप क्यूँ बैठी हो
मैं भी अकेला और तुम भी अकेली हो
तुम सा हसीं देखा नहीं
मुझ सा जवान होगा कहाँ
ख़तरे बड़े है इन राहों में
आजा आजा ओ मेरी बाहों में

Nigaah Neechi Kiye … Chup Chup Chup Kyun Baithi Ho - Humraahi (1974) - Mohd. Rafi - Kalyanji Anandji - Jaan Nisar Akhtar

A jump of 15 years now. And it is Indeevar this time. The song in question is from Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni (1989), sung by Mohd. Aziz and Sadhana Sargam, and composed by Rajesh Roshan

Negaah Neechi Kiye … Mehe Hue Tere - Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni (1989) - Mohd. Aziz & Sadhana Sargam - Rajesh Roshan - Indeevar

Asad Bhopali, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Hasrat Jaipuri, Sarshar Sailani, Shevan Rizvi, Jaan Nisar Akhtar.Indeevar …

So, whose line is it anyway?

To me it appears that it is by some unknown poet, and the lines simply caught the fancy of the sub-continental film industry. I tried, but could not find out who is the original writer of this couplet.

What irony! Such a ‘popular’ couplet, yet the creator is unknown!!

P.S. Hindi Film Geet Kosh reveals that there may be at least two more songs with the same lines. One is a Talat-Asha duet in Sipahsalar (1956) and another a Lata solo in Satta Bazaar (1959). The versions that I have heard of these songs do not include these initial lines, though.

P.P.S - Deepak Jeswal has pointed out another song with the same line. In this song this couplet is used at the opening once again. The film is Laila (1984) and the lyrics are by Sawan Kumar Tak. Usha Khanna is composer, while Lata Mangeshkar is the singer.

Nigaahein Neechi Kiye … Aaj Sar-e-Mehfil - Laila (1984) - Lata Mangeshkar - Usha Khanna - Sawan Kumar Tak