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Remembering Sahir Ludhianvi: What makes Rajkumar Hirani and Sanjay Leela Bhansali connect with the 'Poet of People'

March 9, 2016 3:46:50 PM IST
By Mansoor Khan, Glamsham Editorial
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“I share a strange similarity with Sahir Sahab” says Sanjay Leela Bhansali. In PK starring Aamir Khan, filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, instead of employing high voltage drama to convey the trauma of terror, incorporated Sahir Ludhianvi's popular song ‘Aasman pe hai khuda Aur Zameen Pe Hum' (PHIR SUBAH HOGI). What makes the ‘Poet of People' - Sahir Ludhianvi on his 95th birth anniversary, easily connect with the movie mavericks of today...


Main zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya (I moved on keeping abreast with life).. Har fikar ko dhein mein udata chala gaya (Every problem I blew away with rings of smoke)..

This inspirational song, since decades, has been solacing generations to confront despair and melancholy. Even today the song is so popular that it is being remixed and used as ringtones. Though the song is hit but the tragedy is few may know who has penned this masterpiece lyric!!

Well, he is none other but Bollywood's most popular and ‘highest' paid lyricists of the 60's and 70's - Sahir Ludhianvi. What made Sahir ‘Different' from the league of other lyricists of Bollywood was his ability to pen lyrics that were not just ‘filmy' but each of his songs contained ‘literary' element.

Be it simple love songs like ‘Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen' (WAQT) or a mere comical number like ‘Sar jo tera chakaraaye' (PYAASA), Sahir infused his trademark ‘literary element' in his each song thus maintaining the esteem of his poetry.

Sahir's greatest forte, of course, was his mastery in philosophical songs and hard-hitting attack on society like ‘Tu Hindu Banega Na Musalman Banega' (DHOOL KA PHOOL), ‘Jinhen naaz hai hind per who kahan hain' (PYAASA) etc.

His comment over qawali too was astounding and he holds the rare record of penning a 12 minute long marathon qawali ‘Na to karvan ki talash hai' (BARSAAT KI RAAT).

Another remarkable quality of Sahir was that though he was an Urdu poet yet his mastery over Hindi was equally commanding. His spiritual songs in chaste Hindi leaves the listeners dumbfounded. Remember ‘Aaj sajan mohe aang laga lo' (PYAASA), ‘Allah tero naam Ishwar tero naam' (HUM DONO), ‘Tora mann darpan kehlaye' (KAJAL).

In the 70's, despite the influx of western music Sahir did not lose out. Instead he changed with times but never comprised with his quality poetry. He gave many milestones like ‘Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata koi' (AA GALE LAG JAA), ‘Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aata hai' (KABHI KABHI).

What made Sahir famous and the ‘Poet of People' was his amazing command over language. He conveyed even the most complex notion easily through simple words.

The popularity of Sahir's poetry can be gauged from the fact that even in contemporary world his poetry holds true and has deep influence on young film makers of Bollywood.

Sahir's thought provoking words pierce viewer's heart like a bullet and put across the message more brilliantly than melodrama! That's the magic of Sahir Ludhianvi's poetry!

Besides Rajkumar Hirani, another top grade filmmaker obsessed by Sahir Ludhianvi is Sanjay Leela Bhansali. His obsession with the great poet is such that Bhansali is paying his ode to Sahir Sahab, by making a biopic on the legendary lyricist.

The film titled GUSTAKHIYAN featuring Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan (as Sahir) is being produced by Bhansali.

Speaking about the film, Bhansali says, “I share a strange similarity with Sahir Sahab. Like him I have been brought up by mother and seen many atrocities of the society in childhood. Like him I have been shattered in love. Hence most of my films like DEVDAAS, GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA, BAJIRAO MASTANI etc. depict the protagonist failing to secure love, just as Sahir Ludhianvi failed in his real life.”

“My film GUSTAKHIYAN will focus on his incomplete love with multiple ladies that came in his life, prominent being Amrita Pritam,” adds Bhansali.

Interestingly Sahir never had grudge about failure in love. In fact the ladies in his life served as an inspiration to pen some immortal songs like Chalo Ek Baar Phir Se Ajnabi Ban Jaye Hum Dono….(GUMRAH)..

Salute to Sahir Sahab for inspiring decades after decades.. and haunting us with such memorable gems… ‘Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare'.. pays homage to Sahir Ludhianvi on his 95th birth anniversary!

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