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Mehfil-e-Sahir | Celebrating 100 years of Sahir Ludhianvi: Varun Grover reads ‘Aaj Sajan Mohe Ang Lagalo’ – Art-and-culture News , Firstpost

For his delivery centennial, we’re presenting Sahir Ludhianvi’s phrases within the voice of latest lyricists. Here, Varun Grover discusses why this tune from Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa is a sworn statement to Sahir’s songwriting acumen.

सखी री बिरहा के दुखड़े सह सह कर जब राधे बेसुध हो ली
Sakhi ri birha ke dukhde sah sah kar jab raadhe besudh ho li

तो इक दिन अपने मनमोहन से जा कर यूँ बोली
To ik din apne manmohan se jaa kar yoon boli

आज सजन मोहे अंग लगालो, जनम सफ़ल हो जाये
Aaj sajan mohe ang laga lo, janam safal ho jaaye

हृदय की पीड़ा देह की अग्नि, सब शीतल हो जाये
Hriday ki peeda deh ki agni, sab sheetal ho jaaye

*

करूं लाख जतन मोरे मन की तपन, मोरे तन की जलन नहीं जाये
Karoon laakh jatan morey man ki tapan, morey tan ki jalan nahi jaaye

कैसी लागी ये लगन कैसी जागी ये अगन, जिया धीर धरन नहीं पाये
Kaisi laagi ye lagan kaisi jaagi ye agan, jiya dheer dharan nahi paaye

प्रेम सुधा… मोरे साँवरिया, प्रेम सुधा इतनी बरसा दो जग जल थल हो जाये
Prem sudha… morey saanwariya, prem sudha itni barsa do jag jal thal ho jaaye

आज सजन…
Aaj sajan…

*

मोहे अपना बनालो मोरी बाँह पकड़, मैं हूँ जनम जनम की दासी
Mohe apna banalo mori baah pakad, foremost hoon janam janam ki daasi

मेरी प्यास बुझा दो मनहर गिरिधर, प्यास बुझा दो, मैं हूँ अन्तर्घट तक प्यासी
Mori pyaas bujha do manahar giridhar, pyaas bujha do, foremost hoon antarghat tak pyaasi

प्रेम सुधा… मोरे साँवरिया, प्रेम सुधा इतनी बरसा दो जग जल थल हो जाये
Prem sudha… morey saanwariya, prem sudha itni barsa do jag jal thal ho jaaye

आज सजन…
Aaj sajan…

***

“What is the secret behind Sahir Ludhianvi’s everlasting appeal?” Surinder Deol asks in an essay for Firstpost, inspecting the poet-lyricist’s life and legacy within the 12 months of his 100th delivery anniversary.

Mehfil-e-Sahir is Firstpost‘s ode to Ludhianvi, a set of video tributes by seven main Hindi movie lyricists — from Varun Grover to Kausar Munir, Irshad Kamil, Shellee, Raj Shekhar, Mayur Puri and Hussain Haidry.

Each of those lyricists has picked the verses that talk most to them, explaining why Sahir’s phrases resonate even three many years after his dying.

Sahir Ludhianvi was born on 8 March 1921, in Ludhiana. His poetry and movie lyrics from the 1940s onwards made him wildly in style, and earned him titles akin to “the folks’s poet” and “bard of the underdog”.

“Today we are witnessing new threats to democracy and secularism… In this context, Sahir’s voice is essential,” Deol notes in his Firstpost essay. “The values he championed are here to stay for the better part of this century.”

View the entire Mehfil-e-Sahir collection right here.

***

Varun Grover reads: ‘Aaj Sajan Mohe Ang Lagalo’ (Pyaasa, 1957)

This tune from Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa is a sworn statement to Ludhianvi’s songwriting acumen, the place he may summarise the complete essence of a movie in a tune. With Sachin Dev Burman’s music and Geeta Dutt’s mellifluous voice, Ludhianvi penned a love tune which is deeply rooted within the Vaishnava traditions. Pictured as a kirtan sung by a gaggle of wandering Baul minstrels, the tune depicts the craving and love of the prostitute Gulabo (performed by Waheeda Rehman) for the poet Vijay (Guru Dutt).

“Desire, give up, love — all of that is in only one tune, and that too in a bhakti tune,” factors out Grover whereas speaking about this gem from Ludianvi’s repertoire. “These are two outcast folks — the poet and the prostitute — and the lyrics go: ‘मेरी प्यास बुझा दो मनहर गिरिधर, मैं हूँ अन्तर्घट तक प्यासी | Mori pyaas bujha do manahar giridhar, foremost hu antarghat tak pyaasi‘,” says Grover, speaking about how this foreshadows the movie’s ending the place each these characters go away this world of hypocrisy and begin a brand new life collectively.

“Sahir saab has so masterfully used the narrative of the movie to lend these traces to the characters on-screen.”

Editorial help, textual content and coordination by Suryasarathi Bhattacharya | Video edited by Akshay Jadhav | Art by Satwik Gade

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