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Mujhe Le Chalo: An Ode to the Lost World by Rajinder Krishan

June 6, 2019 | By

Rajinder Krishan could pen songs for all seasons, his repertoire was huge and varied. Born on 6th June 1919, he was not only a song writer but also a successful story and screenplay writer and dialogue writer. In a tribute to one of the greatest lyricists in Hindi film songs, I pick one song that has stayed nearest to my heart forever.

Dev Anand in Sharabi

Dev Anand in Sharabi

Mujhe le chalo aaj phir uss gali mein,
jahan pehle pehle yeh dil ladkhadaya,
Woh duniya woh meri mohabbat ki duniya,
jahan se main betabiyaan leke aaya.
Mujhe le chalo…

Jahan so rahi hai meri zindagaani,
jahan chhod aaya main apni jawani,
Wahan aaj bhi ek chaukhat pe taazaa,
mohabbat ke sajdon ki hogi nishani,
Mujhe le chalo…

Woh duniya jahan usske naqsh-e-kadam hai,
wahin meri khushiyan wahin mere gham hain,
Main le aaoonga khak uss reh guzar ki,
ke uss reh guzar ke to zarre sanam hain,
Mujhe le chalo…

Wahan ek rangeen chilman ke peechhe,
chamkata huwa usska rukhsaar hoga,
Basaa loonga ankhon mein woh roshani main,
Yunhi kuchh ilaaj-e-dil-e-zaar hoga,

Mujhe le chalo, aaj phir uss gali mein,
jahan pehle pehle yeh dil ladkhadaya,
Woh duniya, woh meri mohabbat ki duniya,
jahan se main betabiyaan leke aaya,
Mujhe le chalo…

Mujhe le chalo aaj phir uss gali mein (Sharabi, 1964) Madan Mohan / Rajinder Krishan / Rafi

This is from Sharabi (1964) in Rafi’s immortal voice and set to tune by Madan Mohan. Rajinder Krishan, in my opinion, had his best combination with Madan Mohan and C Ramchandra.

I am sure we all relate to it this nostalgic visit to one’ first love in our own individual ways – jahan pehle pehle yeh dil ladkhadayajahan se main betaabiyaan leke aaya.

It is not only that one needs to have been in love to understand this nazm, but rather one needs to be seeped in love to really have a feel of the beauty of this nazm. Closest simile that comes to mind is a rassogolla. It is seeped in sugar syrup, from inside and from outside at the same time. After all, Rajinder Krishan in 1953 (Anarkali) had stated; Mohabbat aisi dhadkan hai jo samjhaai nahin jaati. It is a matter of experience, as integral to the being as heartbeat and cannot be just explained.

Jahan chhod aaya main apni jawani – for all those who moved out of that gali or mohalla where one spent the growing up in mohabbat years, it represents that nostalgic memory attached with that one significant person on whose chaukhat (doorstep, literally or symbolically) there is still that nishani (sign) of the sajda (prostration) full of unparalleled silent mohabbat.

The world that has the foot impressions of my lover, where I had experienced immense joy and sorrow in love; where the dust, the feel, the aura in every particle is dear to me (zarre sanam), for they are the grains of my first love. No world can match that world.

Yet it is here that I will find the balm to my tormented soul, behind that colourful chilman (curtain), the roshan rukhsaar (glowing face). That light would softly heal my heart as I would absorb it with my eyes and wipe away this darkness and gloom.

Rajinder Krishan and Madan Mohan

Rajinder Krishan and Madan Mohan

Composed as a slow ghazal which is more of a recitation than a usual song by the King of Ghazals Madan Mohan, Mujhe le chalo is picturised on a sloshed Dev Anand ruing his lost love, and the world he has left behind. A beautifully philosophical song, without any beats of a set structure, it brings to fore the pathos of a drunkard who roams the streets aimlessly. Who else but Mohammad Rafi could sing it so soulfully, expressing the mood of the Sharabi with emotion, subtlety and pathos. Such was their team, creating nothing less than excellence when they came together.

Consulting Editor Learning and Creativity and Silhouette Magazine. To talk of a few passions of Peeyush, one must start with music. He is known to be a collector of music and information pertaining to Indian cinema (majorly Hindi) spanning a period from early 1930s to 1980s. He has a large collection of Bengali and Punjabi music and material as well. He also boasts of a huge library of related material. Peeyush has delivered talks and lectures on music appreciation, contributed write ups in numerous news papers and magazines. He has co-authored a tribute publication on Anil Biswas. He has co-hosted radio talk shows on music and met and interviewed a number of personalities. Occasionally, he delivers talks even now. Peeyush has been the founder secretary of the prestigious, Vintage Hindi Music Lovers Association in Bangalore that honored Anil Biswas in 1985. He is known as a storehouse of old Hindi music and information regarding music and movies. Peeyush is well read in Vedic culture and literature and is invited in various centers to deliver enlightening lectures on Vedic values. His range spans from four Vedas to Upanishads and Darshans as well as Bhagvad Gita. He has delivered talks on Yog Darshan in Yoga schools and large gatherings. He currently lives in Oshawa, Ontario in Canada.
All Posts of Peeyush Sharma

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