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10 Great Shakeel Songs

When one talks of lyricist Shakeel Badayuni, one immediately thinks of music director Naushad, writes Narendra Kusnur. To mark his 51st death anniversary on April 20, we choose 10 great songs he wrote for composers other than Naushad.

When one talks of lyricist Shakeel Badayuni, one immediately thinks of music director Naushad. From the late 1940s till the 1960s, the two have combined on numerous gems like ‘Man Tadapat’ (in Baiju Bawra), ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ (Mughal-e-Azam) and ‘Madhuban Mein Radhika’ (Kohinoor), among many others.

Though Shakeel worked less with other music directors, he had some great songs with some of them. His partnership with composer Ravi was specially fruitful, mainly in the films Chaudhvin Ka Chand, Gharana and Do Badan. To mark his 51st death anniversary on April 20, we choose 10 songs he wrote for composers other than Naushad.

The first eight songs are from films, and have been listed chronologically. The other two are well-known ghazals.

1. Shikayat Kya Karoon – Kundan (1955)

Music director Ghulam Mohammed created this gem sung by Lata Mangeshkar, with Nimmi in the frame. Shakeel wrote, “Shikayat kya karoon, dono taraf gham ka fasana hai, mere aage mohabbat hai, tere aage zamaana hai”. The film also starred Sohrab Modi and Sunil Dutt.

2. Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho – Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960)

One of the most romantic songs ever written, this reflected Shakeel at his most expressive. Ravi provided the music, and Mohammed Rafi’s singing was magical. The lines “Chaudhvin ka chand ho ya aftaab ho, jo bhi ho tum khuda ki kasam, lajawab ho” became memorable, with Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rahman on screen.

3. Husnwale Tera Jawaab Nahin – Gharana (1961)

Continuing in the romantic vein of ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho’, Shakeel wrote, “Husnwale tera jawaab nahin, koi tujhsa nahin hazaaron mein”. Picturised on Rajendra Kumar and Asha Parekh, the song was composed by Ravi and rendered by Rafi. The film also had the Asha Bhosle-Kamal Barot hit ‘Dadi Amma Dadi Amma Maan Ja’.

4. Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil – Bees Saal Baad (1962)

One of Lata’s ultimate classics, this was composed by Hemant Kumar in the Biswajeet-Waheeda Rahman film. Shakeel wrote the opening lines, “Kahin deep jale kahin dil, zara dekh lo aa kar parwane, teri kaun si hai manzil”. The song had a haunting feel, and the shots in a field at night added to the effect.

5. Na Jaaon Saiyyan – Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)

Geeta Dutt’s voice went perfectly with Meena Kumari’s expressions on this song, which also featured Guru Dutt. Music was composed by Hemant Kumar, with Shakeel writing, “Na jao saiyyan chhuda ke baiyyan, kasam tumhari main ro padoongi, ro padoongi”.

6. Husn Ki Bahare Liye – Benazir (1964)

Music director S.D. Burman teamed up with Shakeel on very few films, but this song from Benazir was admired for Lata’s rendition and Meena Kumari’s screen presence. The words were, “Husn ki bahare liye, aaye the sanam, kaisi badnaseebi hui, mil sake na hum”. The simple melody worked.

7. Dil Lagakar Hum Yeh Samjhe – Zindagi Aur Maut (1965)

This was a beautiful ghazal with Shakeel’s lines “Dil lagakar hum yeh samjhe zindagi kya cheez hai, ishq kehte hain kise aur aashiqui kya cheez hai”. Composed by the brilliant C. Ramchandra, it was sung by Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhosle, and filmed on Pradeep Kumar and debutant Faryal.

8. Raha Gardishon Mein Hardam – Do Badan (1966)

In the film Do Badan, Ravi and Shakeel combined on big hits like Lata’s ‘Lo Aa Gayee Unki Yaad’ and Asha’s ‘Jab Chali Thandi Hawa’. Rafi sang the classic “Raha gardishon mein har dam mere ishq ka sitara, kabhi dhagmagaayi kashti, kabhi kho gaya kinara” filmed on Manoj Kumar, Asha Parekh, Simi and Pran.

9. Ae Mohabbat Tere Anjaam Pe – non-film ghazal

This song was popularised by the legendary ghazal singer Begum Akhtar, with Khayyam providing the music. Shakeel penned the unforgettable lines, “Ae mohabbat tere anjaam pe rona aaya, jaane kya baat hai tere naam pe rona aaya”.

10. Mere Humnafas Mere Humnawa – non-film ghazal

Shakeel wrote some of his most immortal lines here – “Mera azm itna baland hai ke paraaye sholon ka dar nahin, mujhe khauff aatish-e-gul se hai, yeh kahin chaman ko jala na de”. The ghazal was first made famous by Begum Akhtar and later by Farida Khanum.

A huge chunk of Shakeel’s repertoire was, of course, set to tune by Naushad. They used to sit for hours, most often at the composer’s bungalow in Bandra, Mumbai, and work on the songs together. “We didn’t have a set formula. Sometimes he wrote the words first. Sometimes I created the tune and he wrote accordingly. Sometimes we did both together,” Naushad had told this writer in an interview. Needless to say, they were considered one of the best musical combinations in Hindi films.

Narendra Kusnur
Narendra Kusnur is one of India’s best known music journalists. Born with a musical spoon, so to speak, Naren, who dubs himself Kaansen, is a late bloomer in music criticism. He was (is!) an aficionado first, and then strayed into writing on music. But in the last two decades, he has made up for most of what he didn’t do earlier.

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