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Kismat Phuti Hui Thi: Khul Ja Sim-Sim

This article is written by Mr. Rajesh Singh

Mohd RafiMore than 90% of the people who are reading this know that this has something to do with Alibaba and the 40 thieves. But more than “Open Sesame”, what do today’s people know about this story? Think and see…it seems strangely blurred up, does it not? Well, that is nothing out of the ordinary and here is a chance for you to refresh your memory. This fantastic tale from the Arabian Nights is about a young man named Alibaba. Upon his father’s death, he and his elder brother Kasim were left with little. While his brother went on and married a rich woman, Alibaba became a woodcutter.

One day, he saw an extraordinary thing – he saw 40 robbers headed towards a rock and once there, their leader shouted “open sesame” and the rock slid open. After a while, they came out and the leader shouted “close sesame” and the rock came back to its original position. Once they left, the young man did the same thing and took away 3 bags of gold. He shared his good fortune with his brother. But being greedy by nature, the latter went to the cave to get a lot more. Alas, once in, he forgot the magic words and was discovered by the robbers. The dacoits realized that someone was privy to their secret and finally managed to figure out who it was. Obviously, they wanted to kill him just like his brother. The only reason that their numerous attempts failed was because of his extremely loyal and intelligent servant who saved his life each and every single time.

Mohd Rafi

Listen to this wonderful track, and look at the photo above.

This extremely colorful tale has been translated many times over on our silver screen. One of these was made way back in 1954 and was titled Alibaba Aur Chaalis Chor. It has a wonderful, quaint Arabic feel to it and to top it all, has a memorable sound track too. “Phati Hui Kismat….” Is one of the best. The lyrics by Raja Mehandi are unique and have a subtle sarcastic twinge to them. He speaks of the horrors men do and how they are revered; not because of their virtues, but by the size of their pockets. The metaphors used are simply mind blowing and make you think about the selfishness that comes as second nature to most of us.

The music to accompany these rare jewels of lyrics is given by S.N. Tripathi. One has to admit, as it starts, you feel that it is going to be a slow, dragging song. But then the pace picks up, taking you by surprise. The music too is reminiscent of Arabic roots and gets you in the mood for that period of magical djinns and lamps. The use of the Tanpura is very original and refreshing. The music totally compliments the lyrics.

Mohammad Rafi has, as usual, done full justice to the song. It is amazing how he morphs into various voices with such ease. No different with this tune, his voice rings of the irony in life and flows with the song.

For all those of you who think old music is for the old only, maybe you should hear this. You are bound to change your mind.

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12 Blog Comments to “Kismat Phuti Hui Thi: Khul Ja Sim-Sim”

  1. Binu Nair says:

    Rafi-fans, Rafi Lovers seem appropriate than rafians which sounds inappropriate and discordant. this is not to direct anyone but a request to use rafi-fans or rafi lovers as does not sound of a false note.

    rafi means exalted, oonchaa and indeed the person was such. he is the mount everest of music and has the maximum following. through the rafi foundation we will show what a following rafi saaheb has.

    meantime, the rafi foundation is one year old and we are celebrating it on june 14th at the naushad hall at sion in mumbai with l & p songs and roshan songs.

    and, on friday june 13th hindustan times mumbai is doing a story on r.f. and readers pls do not miss it on page no. 6 , main paper under the metro section.

    i thank all our r.f. supporters for standing by us and taking the rafi magic -forward. a full report will also appear in sargam magazine, july issue.

    the rafi magic continues.

    binu nair. rafi foundation,////(r.f) mumbai,////////

  2. Anmol Singh says:

    Thanks Imtiyaz Sahab and Rafifan Ji.

  3. rafifan says:

    Anmol Singhji:

    Just a little expansion of what Imtiaz sahab has explained:

    Nargis = Name of a flower (Dafodils). This is used as a mataphor for eyes because of their resemblence.
    sabaa = morning breeze.

  4. Imtiyaz A. Sharif says:

    Chaman = Baagh (Garden)
    Suroor = Happiness (Nasha)
    Nargis = Name of a flower
    Ghata = Cloud
    Shama = Candle
    Shabaab = Jawani (youth/adultness)
    Sabaa = Morning

  5. Anmol Singh says:

    To all the Rafians

    I need a small help from all of you, would like to know the meaning of a few words in Urdu.


  6. Great article rajeshji. Really different article, but the songs are really good. keep it up.

  7. Dr. Khaja Aliuddin says:

    Janab Hussein Sheikh Saheb, ASA,
    Some how I never get through your e-mail site.
    Please respond me at your covinience.
    My e-mail address is:
    An ardent fan of Rafi Saheb,
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin,

  8. Binuji,

    I have called u many times in phone but no reply, but also from mail no reply for the photos. when u will be available. I have uploaded many photos of great rafisahab in and published also. if u wanted pl reply me.


  9. Anwar-ul-Haque says:

    Dear Rajesh Singh ji,
    Nice article and very great song. Thanks for sharing the same with us!!!

  10. neeraj says:

    good article rajesh singh sir but on this website you have to write more on rafi. thanks for the song. we (me, my dad) loved it.

  11. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Nice article and the song mentioned is so nice and is a must for all Rafi Saheb fans. I believe we should spread Rafi Saheb’s songs all over. The more we read articles on Rafi Saheb, the more we enjoy. Anybody need this song can mail me.

  12. A S MURTY says:


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