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Chanda Ka Dil: Of Broken Hearts and Dreams


One can’t really put a finger on what it is about songs that talk of heart break. When you hear it normally, you think “oh, what a sad song“. But then when you go through heart break, you start actually listening to the song and understanding the deeper meaning in it. It’s like there is another level to the song, one which you never realized existed and now that you have found it, you know how true every word is.

Khoj is a very old film that was released in 1953. It is a Durga Films production and it was made by Balwant Bhatt. It is a murder mystery that revolves around a whole bunch of characters. Needles to say, there is love, betrayal and accusations too abound liberally. It was quite a run of the mill movie starring Shammi Kapoor, Habib, Kesari, Lalita Kumari and Mahipal. Most of these names won’t even ring a bell with today’s audience, let alone the film, which did not do that well.

Where the film failed, the songs did not. One song in particular-“Chanda ka dil toot gaya hai rone lage hai sitare…” is a heart squeezing song that speaks the language of a scorned lover. Cheated of his love, he is devastated and vents out his frustrations through this song.

The legendary music director, Nisar Bazmi

The music director for the film is Nisar Bazmi and when in India , he was literally unacknowledged for his mastery. This film too did not do justice to his talent and it is a shame that India lost him to Pakistan, where he went on to become one of the most famous music directors. From his short career in Hindi films, he still remembers the song in question as it is one his favorites. The music for the song is beautifully done, it communicates the anguish and anger of the hero with the right amount of emotion and it compliments to situation really well. Conventional, with a few trademark touches every now and then, it is a good composition.

The lyrics have been created by Raja Mehdi and they are completely fabulous. It is true that only a broken heart can understand the true meaning of these words. Not only does he put the hurt man’s anger in words, but he taps into something a lot more subtle-his hurt at being so betrayed and his obvious love that still lingers in the hurt. Through the reproaches in the song, Mehdi gives a voice to a sad soul with nothing left within it. Beautifully written, it really is one of his best works.

The song is taken to another dimension by Mohd. Rafi, the voice behind this creation. Legend has it that the music director had approached Rafi Saab with a meager amount of Rs. 50 for this song and that the magnanimous singer did it for a token of one rupee. He lent his talent to a struggling composer and you can feel the pain, such is the mastery in Rafi’s voice. A truly amazing singer – he has done what comes naturally to him.

When you feel the need to tell your feelings to someone, but simply can’t find the words to bare your broken heart, this song will help you break out and cry – it sure helps to open up when you hear those words, makes you feel comforted.

Download: Chanda Ka Dil
Film: Khoj [1953]
Lyrics: Raja Mehdi
Music: Nisar Bazmi.

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40 Blog Comments to “Chanda Ka Dil: Of Broken Hearts and Dreams”

  1. Hans says:

    yes mr. dogra ‘khoj’ was produced by one c.r. dogra under the banner dogra films and balwant bhatt was the director of the film.

  2. dogra says:

    who is the producer of the file khoj 1953…

    i think not durga he was dogra

  3. Jehan Zeb says:

    yaar koi mujhe nisar bazmi ka compose kia hua rafi ka gana de sakta hay ?

  4. Kersi N. Mistry says:

    His genius not withstanding, Sajjad Husain was an arrogant composer who prefaced discussions of his compositions along with those of Naushad Ali, by saying with rancour, “yeh Naushad Saheb ki bandish nahin hai….” To him he himself was the only great compser in films. Even Naushad Saheb was ‘kachra’. No wonder he was a frustrated and broken man for the last 35 years of his life. My heart skips a beat even at this age, when I listen to songs from his repertoire of 13 odd films, but then I think of his arrogance and I pity him. He had no respect for his contemporaries: Lata and Noorjehan were all that mattered to him. A sad commentary indeed on a misguided genius.

  5. akmal jangvi says:

    dear haldar
    can u give me u email adress?

  6. javifazl says:

    nice article, thanks

  7. rafians74 says:

    thanks to

  8. P. Haldar says:

    dear mr. jangvi,

    I don’t have the clip for “chanda ka dil toot gaya”. I’m sure someone else on this forum would be able to provide you with the clip. By the way, I found Sajjad’s comment on Talat interesting. I was listening to that gem of a song Talat delivered for Sajjad in Sangdil, “yeh hawa yeh raat yeh chandni”, and was wondering what “galti” he could have done. Sajjad was definitely not amused when Madan Mohan used that tune in Rafi’s “Tujhe kya sunawoon main dilruba”.

    I have access to Noorjehan’s songs and I listened to a couple of them composed by Firoze Nizami in the 50s. I think it’s better not to get into the Lata vs Noorjehan comparison because it is not appropriate for this forum and also because it is going to be an unfair comparison. Who knows what would have happened if Sahir and O. P. Nayyar stayed back in Lahore, Ghulam Haider and Noorjehan stayed back in Bombay, Geeta Roy (Dutt) stayed back in dhaka, and Mehdi hassan stayed back in Rajasthan? We can keep speculating but it will take us nowhere.

    But we rafians are eternally grateful to our beloved singer for announcing “yeh hai bambai meri jaan” and enthralling his fans for the last 60 years. Will there be anyone like him?

  9. akmal jangvi says:

    dear haldar
    sajjad was father of music.he has very deep knowledge of classical one can match him.unfortunately, he was very moody person.once he said kishore is shoor kumar and talat as ghalat mahmood.
    he also said after lata no purpose for asha in music.
    he told naushad that suhani raat dhal chuki can come to my compositions.

  10. akmal jangvi says:

    dear haldar
    thanks.can u send me song ‘chanda ka dil toot giya’
    also give me u email adress?i will send u noor jehan songs.

  11. P. Haldar says:

    A little background on “Chanda ka dil”:

    Raju Bharatan in the Illustrated Weekly of India writes:

    Could you believe that end-July signalled full 13 luckless years
    without the charismatic voice of Mohd. Rafi? I, for one, couldn’t
    believe it, if only because I discerned that it was during these
    very 13 tuneless years that Rafi had grown more dominant in our
    vocal imaginations. Whether it be TV or radio, his vocals have
    been even more vibrant in the years he has been away from us.
    Shabbir KUmar, Anwar, Mohd. Aziz, their performing stature dimin-
    ishes with every year that passes without Rafi.

    So unique is Rafi’s vocal mystique that he is always throwing up
    new areas, for example, not one anniversary article on Rafi
    touched on how this big-hearted tenor *made* small-time com-
    posers. It is this lacuna we now seek to fill in a resonant reply
    of some Rafi’s all-time hits for the lesser-known music direc-
    tors. The idea is to spotlight Rafi’s role in keeping the
    small-time composer professionally alive.

    Remember an obscure 1953 C-grade film called “Khoj” for which
    music was scored by Nissar Baazmi, the man who later went to Pak-
    istan and became such a big composer there that even Noorjehan
    and Mehdi Hassan considered it an honour to sing for him. Yet so
    long as Nissar Baazmi was in India, he somehow remained a C-grade
    composer. And at the time he did “Khoj”, he was literally a no-

    This was when Baazmi approached Rafi to sing for the maximum Rs
    50 that his producer could afford for the rendition of a composi-
    tion on which he prided himself. And Rafi charged Baazmi just the
    token Re 1 to produce for him, in Khoj, the memorable Radio
    Ceylon hit, “Chanda ka dil toot gaya roney lage hain sitaare”.
    This Raja Mehdi Ali Khan lyric began with the cry: “Mohabbat aur
    wafaa kis tarah tauheen ki tu ne”. What a compelling sense of
    expression Rafi brought to this tune of a struggling composer!

  12. P. Haldar says:

    In the “dil toot gaya” category, I would add SD’s “Kya se kya ho gaya” (Guide), Salil’s “Toote huwe khwabo ne” (Madhumati), Sapan Jagmohan’s “Phir woh bhuli si yaad” (Begaana), and OP’s “Tukde hain mere dilke” (Mere Sanam).

  13. P. Haldar says:

    I just found out that Adnan Sami was born and raised in Britain, not Pakistan. Sorry about the faux pas. Shows how much I know about the current generation of singers. Let’s get back to our topic: the one and only RAFI !!!

  14. P. Haldar says:

    Mr. Hussein Sheikh:

    I haven’t heard Adnan Sami’s songs but he seems to be very popular (I read somewhere that he performs with Asha Bhosle). Is he that bad?

  15. Hussein Sheikh says:

    A short but nice article, the song “Chanda Ka Dil….” is a must for every rafians. So nicely sung by the legend.

  16. Hussein Sheikh says:

    When one love Rafi Saheb’s voice, he/she cannot tolerate a voice like Adnan Sami, whom I consider one of the worst singers.

  17. P. Haldar says:

    I forgot to include Adnan Sami, who seems to be also quite popular nowadays.

  18. P. Haldar says:

    Dear Mr. Jangvi,

    Thanks for the link on Firoze Nizami. Interesting to know that he too was trained under Abdul Waheed Khan, one of Rafi’s gurus. Rafi was also trained under Ghulam Ali Khan and Jiwanlal Mattoo in the kirana gharana.

    In one of my previous posts, I forgot to mention the name of another great composer, Sajjad Hussain. Sajjad once remarked, “If Lata sneezes, the film industry stops.” To this day, Lata includes Sajjad as one of her four top favourite commposers.

  19. akmal jangvi says:

    dear friends
    can any one send me rafi gem
    chand ka dil toot gaya from khoj

  20. P. Haldar says:

    Mr. Jangvi,

    Thanks for the update on Noorjehan. I must confess that my limited knowledge of Noorjehan is confined to the pre-1947 years. She was also a singing star and that would have been definitely to her advantage. I am aware of the fact that in the early days, Lata was influenced by Noorjehan’s style; so were Kishore and Mukesh by Saigal. That is not the point I was trying to make. In terms of female playback singing, Lata is considered to be numero uno by most neutral composers and listeners in the subcontinent. But you are definitely entitled to your opinion and, as I’ve said before, my knowledge of Pakistani singers is limited, and I don’t to make any judgment. But the truth remains that the four playback singers I had mentioned in my post are the most popular — that’s a fact and you cannot change that. The three Pakistani singers who made a real splash in India are Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; though they might have sung for films, they cannot be classified as typical playback singers.

  21. akmal jangvi says:

    dear haldar
    for firoze nizami look

  22. akmal jangvi says:

    dear friends
    soory for long reply.
    there is funny thing i want to share.

    once noor jehan said.
    her duet with m rafi composed by feroz nizami.she told that m.rafi was sweating and bit nervoust.i told him to cool down.
    and time came when other co singers start sweating with m.rafi

  23. akmal jangvi says:

    dear haldar
    thank first of all.
    if u do not know about noor jehan then u can say that.noor jehan was much better than lata especially in classical singing.
    secondly, lata admit it also.
    early starts of lata was in noor jehan style proves noor jehan dominance.
    during her visit to mumbai in 80s she sang ‘”awaz day kahan hai ; from anmol gadi in alaap. and after completing it she sang the song.
    it was just an incident so i am telling u.She received early training in classical singing under Ustad Ghulam Mohammed who instructed her in classical music and voice production within the framework of classical forms of thumri, dhrupad, and khayal. She was only nine years old when the great Punjabi musician, G. A. Chisti introduced her to the stage in Lahore. He composed some ghazals, naats and some folksongs for her and she got 7 1/2 annas for each song. She also received some classical music lessons under Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.
    The year 1945 was a turning point for Noor Jehan. In Master Vinayak’s Badi Maa (1945), she played lead with “Baby Lata Mangeshkar” and “Baby Asha Mangeshkar” in supporting roles. During breaks in shooting, she would ask the then unknown Lata to join in, in impromptu singing sessions. Once at leisure, after having Lata sing a song she had immortalised, Mere Liya Jahan Me from Khandaan (1942), Noor Jahaan said to Master Vinayak, the director of the film, Meri baat note kar leejiye. Iss ki yeh alag tarike ki aawaz ek din poori duniya se apna loha manvaayegi. Noor Jahaan’s influence on the early songs of Lata are still discernible. Lata has always respected Noor Jahaan and considers her one of her favourite singers. In fact, Lata (Noor Jehan’s dearest “Latto”)’s early singing was inspired by Noor Jahaan, though the latter’s weighty vocals were far car from Lata’s sweeter and lighter voice. The year 1945 also brought Noor Jahaan her first superhit in Bombay, Zeenat (1945). It was her inimitable rendition of the music that gained her the title Mallika-e-Tarranum or Queen of Melody. She dethroned reigning singing star Khursheed and rendered the obsolete nautch girl style of Zohrabai Ambalewali and Amirbai Karnataki. She also achieved another milestone, when she sung a Qawwali with Zohrabai Ambalewali and Amirbai Karnataki which was “Aahen Na Bhareen Shikave Na Kiye” – the first ever Qawwali recorded in female voices in subcontinent films.Noor Jahaan sang 127 songs in Indian films and the number of talking films she made from 1932 to 1947 was 69. The number of silents was 12. Fifty-five of her films were made in Bombay, eight in Calcutta, five in Lahore and one in Rangoon, Burma.

  24. Sayed Zaka says:

    dear rafians plz visit

  25. unknow1 says:

    As I think it is not important who has been more paid MD,as i think that Naushad was king in 1950’s SJ was in 1960’s and LP in 1970′ s.
    Naushand music was mostly hit.As I think SJ is only MD who gave hit songs with all singers.I don’t think(as I think)that RD was a good MD only but the media and Asha Ji made him superstar.who say that RD was at the top in 1970’s plz give me one film name was hit as music by RD as Laila Majnu was by Madan Mohan.
    Naushand was one we can’t compare him with any MD.I like SJ as the best MD(as I think only)

  26. prakash shah says:

    Not only Shankar taikishan were highest paid music direcor but also they were highest royalty earner from grmophone company between 1950 to 1970.

  27. binus2000 says:

    On Composers :

    The second highest paid composer was o.p.nayyar… rs. one lac or

    o.p. nayyars name on the film credits – meant a silver jubilee run
    for the film.

    He became the first individual to buy a Mercedes in the late
    fifties…. the second being Suraiya……..

    binu nair

  28. P. Haldar says:

    Mr. Jangvi,

    I’d be also interested in knowing your views on Runa Laila. She is Bengali but before 1971, she sang a lot of songs in Urdu, Punjabi and Sindhi. She had such a beautiful voice and she was definitely perceived as a threat by the Mangeshkar sisters in the mid 70s. Jaidev and OP gave her some very good songs, but for whatever reasons (??), she packed her bags and returned to Bangladesh for good. Among the current generation of Indian female singers, is there anyone who comes close to her?

  29. P. Haldar says:

    Mr. Jangvi:

    I don’t know a whole lot about the Pakistani singers, but if you consider playback singing, I am not sure that they can compete with the four top Indian playback singers: Rafi, Lata, Kishore and Asha. I’ve heard Noorjehan and if she had stayed back in India, I think her career would have flourished much more, given the wealth of music directors India had then (Naushad, S. D. Burman, Husanlal Bhagatram, C. Ramchandra, Shankar-Jaikishan, O. P. Nayyar,… ). But I don’t think she would have been to arrest the rise of Lata and Asha. If I have to name one singer from Pakistan, who is in a league of his own, it is Mehdi Hassan. I haven’t heard all his songs, but from whatever I’ve heard, he seems to be the greatest ghazal singer. In an interview, Rafi had mentioned that he used to listen to Mehdi Hassan during his leisure time. Lata also admires him a lot. Among the more recent singers, Nusrat was definitely the best and you can see his sufi influence on the new generation of Indian singers.

    I would be also interested in knowing what happened to Firoz Nizami (who composed that famous Rafi-Noorjehan duet in Jugnu) after he moved to Pakistan. Was he a successful composer there too?

  30. binus2000 says:

    Dear Akmal Jangvi:

    The costliest composers were Shankar Jaikishan team..

    Rs. 6 lacs was charged by Jaikishan for film Aarzoo it is

    Rs.,25000 was paid to shankar by jaikishan for composing a
    quawali in the film as shankar had the expertise on such songs..

    I think it was sung by Mubarak Begum and Asha bhosle …
    a very soothing song……

    These are from my very reliable sources and I look forward
    for any corrections – if any…..

    binu nair…

  31. P. Haldar says:

    I think unknown1 is right about SJ being the highest paid composer, at least in the 1960s. Although the music for Arzoo is credited to Shankar-Jaikishan, it was Jai who composed all the songs, excecpt for one. The producer approached Shankar for only one song (the qawaali) for which he charged Rs. 1 lakh separately (and this was in 1965). So you can imagine how much Jai charged for the film. It’s possible that in the 50s, Naushad or OP was the highest paid composer, but overall, I think SJ were the highest paid (if you consider the time value of money). In the 70s, I’m quite certain that RD had the highest rate, followed by LP and KA. Although S. D. Burman was very picky about the films he worked on and never lost his appeal, his rate was very moderate. In the early 70s, I had read somewhere that he was charging around Rs. 75,000 per film!

  32. akmal jangvi says:

    nisar bazmy was very talented no doubt about that.i am from paksitan and i think that in music we have
    lata equal to noor jehan(noor jehan was much better regarding classical singing than lata)
    naushad equal to khursheed anwar
    kishore equal to ahmed rushdi
    MOH RAFI NO MATCH ……………..

  33. akmal jangvi says:

    dear unknown
    how was that money for sj in arzoo?which was the most expensive musician throug out its career?i think naushad?
    what u think?

  34. binus2000 says:

    Dearest Rafians :

    Please see post 95 king of Melodyo and give your details to
    Mr.Narayan of bangalore….

    binu nair…

  35. unknow1 says:

    Dear Akmal,
    If I am not wrong highest paid was SJ in 1960’s for Flim Arzoo….

  36. akmal jangvi says:

    dear friends
    can any one tell me that which music director fee for the films from 40 to 80 remain highest?I THINK NAUSHAD?

  37. prakash shah says:

    I would like to add 1 more song of s.mukherjis saaz aur aawaz a title song by rafiji and written bu kumarbara banki and composed by naushad a song to be kept in library.

  38. mohamed parvez says:

    well said sayed saab it is one of the wonderful song by my rafisaab title song of kaun apna kaun paraya

  39. Sayed Zaka says:

    There is also a great title song for film Kaun Apna Kaun Praya which is sung by our beloved Rafi Saab. How energetic song it is. I have heard his more than 4500 songs several times which i have in my library. Lekin koi bhi aisa gana nahi sun jisko rafi sabab ne itni taqat se gaya ho, no one can imitate this song too

  40. mohamed parvez says:

    dear rafi saab fans i would like to add wonderful song from film poonam ki raat written by shailendre ji music by salilda song is di tadpe tadpaye jin ke milan ko tarse woh to na aye mausam aye jaye and it sang by my rafi saab

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