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Ek baat paron se halki…

This article is written by Mr. Anwar-ul-Haque.

Tum se kahoon ek baat paron se halki
Raat meri hai chhawon tumhare hi aanchel ki

Tumse Kahoon Ek Baat

Tumse Kahoon Ek Baat

When I first listened to this splendid song of film Dastak (1970), I just stunned. It amazed me a lot. I never thought that such an artistic work could be part of a film. The amazingly awesome lyrics, brilliant composition and gorgeous rendering made this song the greatest ever of its genre.  

It is very fortunate for us that many well-known literary poets remained attach with film industries of our sub-continent. There were many poets who were equally acknowledged by critics and masses both in literature and films. The golden era of music in our film industries was also the golden era of lyrics due to these legendary poets. They were Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakil Bedayuni, Kaifi Aazmi and others from Indian film industry and Qateel Shifai, Himayet Ali Shaair, Saif-uddin Saif and others from Pakistan film industry. These are just few names mentioned here; actually both the lists contain far more names. It is the power of their written words that we are still uttering them and they are still haunting us very much despite the passage of long time.

Majrooh Sultanpuri was also one of these poets who equally recognized and got esteem from literature and films. Majrooh (actual name Hakeem Asraar Hasan Khan) started his poetic career by writing Urdu ghazals and got fame right from the start. In 1945, A. R. Kardar requested him to write lyrics of film Shah Jahan which is accepted by Majrooh and then a very long film career is started which finished on May 2000 after his demise. He wrote lyrics of more than 2500 songs for Bollywood and many immortal ghazals in Urdu literature.

Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote the lyrics of the immortal song mentioned above. The situation of this song is nothing exceptional, in fact many films of our sub-continent holds this situation; A romantic song during meeting night of two lovers which is called Shab-e-wisl or Milan Raat. So there is nothing unique in situation, but Majrooh made it something really unique and exclusive. He crafted a distinctive imagery of meeting night. He skillfully blended the components of a rainy night with feelings of a lover towards his loved-one.


Listen to Tumse Kahoon Ek Baat

Just listen the lyrics and you will be amazed how well Majrooh related different aspects of night with the beloved of lover. The silent streets mimic the sleepy beloved, the dim night mimics the meeting bed, the appearing and disappearing of moon due to clouds mimics the opening and hiding of beloved’s face due to her ghunget or aanchel, the branches of trees mimic hands of lover and the wet blue bird mimics the wet body of beloved. These are just glimpses; hear the lyrics carefully and you will find end-less emotions and feelings in it.

Also the usage of words by Majrooh is awesome in this song. The lyrics contain many words and phrases which not only enhanced the feelings of lyrics but also sweet for ears. The phrases like baanh pesaare, aankhen meeche, neel bhera penchhi are just tremendous and the words saij, khaat, dhalki dhalki are so classic. These are just perfect for the situation and ideally fit in the lyrics.

To match the lyrics, the composition is equally brilliant. Madan Mohan is one composer who is known to be the best when composing ghazals and romantics. He composed many immortal soft tunes for films. By composing this song, he again proved that he is the best for this genre.

First he picked the word halki (light) from the first line of lyrics along with the main theme and composed the song in extreme light and soft mode. To assist with the composition, the orchestra is also very light but equally effective. Madan Mohan used different sets of instruments with little difference of tunes in three different locations of song. First location is after the mukhda and next two locations are between three stanzas of antra. He also experienced to play music after first line of each stanza of antra; this music directly related with the theme of that first line. For example, after first line of first stanza, the sound of walking horse on street impersonates the idea of Soeen galyan (slept streets).

Madan Mohan used the word halki extensively during the song making the composition more effective. The word halki is uttered five times consecutively after mukhda and each antra. Also after each line of antra, he arranged “hmmm hmmm” to give the effect of slowness. All his techniques and experiments made the composition wonderfully suited to the lyrics of song.

And his last (but not the least definitely) technique was to give the song to someone really extra ordinary. There was one and only Muhammad Rafi who can sing this song according to its merit. In fact it is the voice of Rafi Sahab who actually filled the colors in this song making it immortal.

Rafi Sahab enhanced the light mode of composition using his unique ability to sing in very low notes. Also the ability of Rafi Sahab to utter the words emotionally made the song lively. Listen how he sang Raat from second line of mukhda and how he uttered the word Bistar second time in first line of second stanza. These are just awesome and treat to listen.

Mohd Rafi and Madan Mohan

Mohd Rafi and Madan Mohan

Rafi Sahab sang five consecutive halki superbly with amazing variations of voice. At some locations, he uttered halki with lowest possible sound. And last but not least, even the “hmmm hmmm” of Rafi Sahab are so sweet and melodious that one can listen those whole day without getting bore.

This song could not be sing better than Rafi Sahab sang it. In my opinion, no any other singer of our sub-continent could sing this song as Rafi Sahab sang it.

So it is the genius of three giants (3 Ms) Majrooh, Madan and Muhammad Rafi which made the song immortal and raised the level of this master piece from a mere film song to an intellectual art work.

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19 Blog Comments to “Ek baat paron se halki…”

  1. Chandrahas says:

    Dear Anwar-ul-Haque Saab.. Seems you are immersed in the sea of rafi Saab’s eternal songs.. Please keep on bringing such beatifull gems .. Though I knwe this songs, it was hidden somewhere behind daily “kachra” FM songs .. Soothing silky voice ..really no one is fit to even comment on divine voice of Rafi saab…only can enjoy… Thanks God to give us the joy of rafi saab ‘s songs

  2. Imran Rustam says:

    It is really a unique song sung by Rafi Sb. HE sang it with expression which made this song immortal. Rafi Sb has special quality to sing soft songs like this.
    Great article by Mr. Anwar-ul-Haque on this special song.


  3. Azam Khan says:

    Anwar sahab,

    You have written this article beautifully. I share the same sentiments as many others that I never thought of the song the way you described, before. I have heard it many times and used to sing it a lot.

    Please continue to write such articles. I would love to read your analysis on Naushad Ji’s composition, “Nain Lad Jai Hain…” from movie Ganga Jamuna! I plan to prepare it for Rafi sahab’s anniversary at the end of the month.

  4. Siva says:

    Nice article. I had listened to this song earlier but after reading this article, I was able to appreciate it much better. One more aspect I noticed about Madan mohan’s mastery in composition. The orchestration in the three stanzas are mainly with classical indian instruments. First interlude has a poignant sarangi, the second one santoor and the third one jalatarang.
    What great music!!
    Will there ever be musicians like MM or compositions like these????

  5. Vinod Kapoor says:

    Dear Anwar,

    Indeed a memorable song with lusty rendering of an equally sensuous wording deftly composed by the great Madan Mohan…..Do you know something, you have done more than justice in putting the entire thing so beautifully crafted with your glossary. Your sense of poetry and music, I admire both. Sad, we dont find such analysis anymore.

    Keep it up.

    Vinod Kapoor

  6. SANJAY ARORA says:

    ref mail 11,dear gurumurthy sahab i will be mailing you the required one and also from the same film another rafi -asha duet `yeh na humse poochiye`.
    incidently the md was `Bhushan ` and had only two hfm in hiscarrer,the
    other being `mehfil`

  7. P. Haldar says:

    This is one of the best songs of the 70s. Madan Mohan bowls a beauty in the form of a low-pitch delivery and rafi hooks(!) it for a six. What voice control, breath control and enunciation — has there been anyone like him?

  8. Anwar-ul-Haque says:

    Dear All Rafi lovers,
    Many thanks for appreciating my article and increasing my zest to write more. Actually it is the greatness of Muhammad Rafi Sahab that we are able to write these types of articles.
    You all have encouraged me and I will try to write more articles.
    Please pray for me as I need the same.
    Once again many thanks to all of you.

  9. Dear Rafi Fans,

    Anybody having the Rafi solo song “Ae Jaane Bahara Roohe Chaman” from Purani Pehchaan (1971) starring Sanjeev Kumar and Tanuja? If so can you please mail to me at

  10. Mohammed Zia says:

    Dear Anwar Sahab,

    The article which you have written is the one of the best I read, I want to mention one more song which is sung Mohammed Rafi Sahab at low notes and composed Madan Mohan from the movie Heer Ranjha which is written by Kaifi Azmi and sung by Rafi Sahab and Lata Mangeshkar.

    This song “meri duniya mein tum aaien kya kya apne saath liye” is a sheer romantic duet where rafi sahab makes the lyrics more melodious and sensuas when rafi sahab sings “Dil mein kitni kaliyan mehki kaise kaise phool khile, nazuk nazuk meethe meethe hothon ki khairat liye”.

    Mohammed Zia
    I never thought before that “khairat” can be said so romantically and the line “nazuk nazuk meethe meethe hothon ki khairat” one of best romantic line sung by any singer and only rafi sahab can do such kind of magic.

  11. m.a.piroe says:

    Mr. Madan Mohan is the real Gazal King of India. I’ve always liked his way of creating music….He is realy great..I don’t have no words for this genius.
    And Rafi Saheb is the only one who could sing these songs for him.
    Just like “mai yeh sooch kar uske dar se’
    Mr. A.Piroe

  12. Anil Cherian says:

    Nice piece, Anwarji. This song never ceases to amaze me, too. Sadly, I can’t appreciate the poetry the way the luckier ones (Hindi/Urdu speaking ones) do. And whole-heartedly agree with many here that this song was created only because there was a Rafisahab who could sing it the way it was meant to be sung.

  13. Shahbaz says:

    Aslamo Alaikum Janab Anwaar ul Haq Sahib!

    I have read whole article, nevertheless i was so busy. You have done a great job. You have also done a very creative work on this song sung by The True Mastero Muhammad Rafi Sahib. Main Sochta hoon agar Muhammad Rafi sahaib Indian Film Industry mein na hote to shayad, Indian Film Industry, aisa music hargiz na bana pati.

  14. dr abbas sadik masanvi says:

    dear anwar sahab,
    thanks for this artical,aap ne bohat accha likha.rafi sahab ke aur bhi bohat se geet hain jin ke bare main abhi likhna baqi hai.umeed hai aap is bare main meri rai ko zaroor shamal karen ge.rafi sahab ke tamam fans ko mera salam.

  15. jasbir singh zando says:

    wondeful,richly literary n deeply expressed writing by janab anwar-ul_haque saab…that is the reason we call the greatest singer on this earth…is MOHD RAFISAAB….. he is real anmol rattan of the music world….in the whole world…giving genuine justice to each n every song he rendered…poetically,emotionally n wat not….can not be explained…..wah wah rafisaab…..bringing happiness to billions of his fans……

  16. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Nice article, this song was made for Rafi Saheb only.

  17. A S MURTY says:

    Anwar-ul-haque sahab bohat bohat mubarakbaad. You have described the entire song in a very poetic way and such extensive coverage of words, phrases, stanzas, antaras, mukhada, interludes, humming, and the picturization. Your article is just apt for such a romantic and soulful song and kudos for your style of expression. I too have heard this song many thousands of times, but could never describe in such a depth as you have done through your article. Just great listening to this amazing song and just as great reading your thoughts. Kudos.

  18. sudhir dwivedi says:

    really i am very surprised that a so beautiful naration of a song incuding with discription of a particular word can be done .i have listen this song many times but thes type of things did not came into my mind as you dicussed it.i hope that thes types of discription of a particular song wil be seen many a many times.jai! rafi saheb

  19. Dr.Khaja Aliuddin says:

    ASA, Janab Anwar-ul-Haque Saheb,
    Splendid and very interesting article. Your description is praiseable and very deep.
    With regards to all rafi lovers,
    Long live rafi sahab,
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

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