Monday, August 1, 2022

Shakeel Badayuni: A Lyricist Who Never Diluted His Poetry

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 1 August 2022 I'm not at all disdainful of the level of poetry in lyrics, esp. about the songs of Hindi film's golden era that ended with the demise of the great Rafi and redoubtable Sahir in 1980. But, there cannot be two views about the slightly compromised standard of poetry in film lyrics to cater to the hoi polloi. Yet, there have been great poet-lyricists like Majrooh, Shakeel, Kaifi, Sahir, Shailendra, Rajinder Krishna Duggal, among others. Comparisons are not just odious, they are often exasperating. But if you allow me to compare, I shall put Shakeel Badayuni on the highest pedestal among all his great coevals. You've every right to call it my act of partiality. Born on August 3, 1916, the AMU-educated Shakeel Badayuni carved a niche for himself at that time, when film music was at its sublime best. Predominantly an Urdu poet, Shakeel won many awards and accolades during his student days at AMU. Pakistani film critic Rahil Hasan wrote in 1972 that “Shakeel’s poetry, even during his younger days, didn't solely dwell upon Husn and Ishq, but other concerns of life also figured in his poetic works.” It was 28-yr-old Shakeel who wrote, " Jahaan-E-Rang-O-Boo Mein Kyon Talaash-E-Husn Ho Mujh Ko/Hazaron Jalwe Rakhshanda Hain Mere Dil Ke Parde Mein " (Why should I search for beauty in the mundane world?/ When thousands of pulchritude are effulgent in my heart) or " Apni Hasti Ka Bhi Insaan Ko Irfaan Na Hua/ Khaak Phir Khhak Thi, Auqaat Se Aage Na Gayee " (Man hasn't yet been able to realize his hidden potential/ After all, the dust cannot transcend its own humble limits). The profound philosophical depth of these two couplets cannot be denied. The same Shakeel wrote, " Mera Azm Itna Buland Hai Ke Paraye Sholon Ka Dar Nahin/ Mujhe Khauf Aatish-E-Gul Se Hai, Ye Kahin Chaman Ko Jala Na De " (I'm least bothered about the fireballs coming from outside as I'm firm on my principle/ I'm apprehensive of the fire of the flower that may incinerate the garden). When Shakeel began to write for films, he wrote some of the most memorable numbers that still enthrall the connoisseurs of film music. Can one ever forget all the songs of film Baiju Bawra (1952)? ‘Man Tadpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj' or ' O Duniya Ke Rakhvale...' (both sung by the inimitable Rafi), ' Chaudhvin Ka Chaand Ho...’, ' Jaane-Bahaar Husn Tera Bemisaal Hai (Film: Pyaar kiya toh darna kya, 1963), ' Zara Sun Haseena-E-Naazneen..' (Film: Kaun apna, kaun paraya, 1963) or that absolute gem of a song: Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Akele Thay Hum (Film: Nartaki, 1963), all the numbers of the film 'Mere Mahboob' (1963), ' Zindagi Ke Mod Pe Jo Koi Raasta Mila Teri Gali Se Jaa Mila' (Film: Bedaagh, 1965, Music: Roshan, singer: Rafi), ' Dill Mein Ek Jaane-Tamanna Ne Jagah Paayee Hai...' (Film: Benazir, 1964, S D Burman)? “Dill Lagakar Hum Ye Samjhe." (Film: Zindagi aur Maut, 1965/ C Ramachandran).The list is simply endless. It's like, Kahan Se Chhedun Fasana Kahan Tamaam Karoon?- A classical dilemma of-Where to begin from and where to end at? Died at the age of 53 on April 20, 1970, Shakeel vindicated Daniel Dafoe's famous lines: The best of men cannot suspend their fate/ The good die early and the bad die late. It's worthwhile to mention that when Shakeel Badayuni was diagnosed with tuberculosis, he was put up in a sanatorium in Panchgani for treatment. Naushad knowing that his financial condition was not well, took 3 films to him, getting the lyrics written in the sanatorium, and got him a payment of nearly 10 times more than his normal fees. This is friendship. Shakeel will always be remembered for his soulful poetry and lyrics. Today is Rafi's 42nd death anniversary and on August 3 is the 106th birth anniversary of Shakeel Badayuni. Shakeel penned this exquisite number and Rafi sang it so soulfully. The film was ' Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya ' (1963). Shakeel already wrote this number with a few changes while studying at AMU. It was meant for an elegant girl whose name he never disclosed. Once a sadist friend of mine took me to a concert where one of the worst singers on the planet earth, Sonu Nigam, sang this song and pronounced MaZaal (actually, MaJaal: Meem, Jeem, Alif, Laam) instead of Majaal. I cursed my friend and Sonu Nigam and immediately left the auditorium lest I should die of further shock. I was about to die but somehow survived. That day I seriously decided to sue Sonu but then changed my mind. Those who don't know how to read and write Urdu, will always use Z for J and Qaaf for Kaaf. This gets my goat. Listen to this immortal number. The heroine was B Sarojadevi. Rekha's mother Pushpavalli also acted in this movie. Ravi Shankar Sharma composed the music. --- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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