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Chaudvin ka Chand ho

by: H.A.K. Walijah

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

This title song “Chaudvin ka Chand ho ya Aftab ho” clearly signifies the first landmark victory in playback singing as such Rafi Saab was awarded his first coveted Filmfare Award for this majestic and mass loving song. This title song became much famous song of Mohammad Rafi Sahab and Lyricist Shakeel Badayuni so that they both got the Filmfare award for this beautiful track. This gem song was the collective efforts of three major musical giants in Indian cinema namely – Rafi Sahab, Ravi and Shakeel Badayuni who will be remembered many years to come for their ageless and ceaseless songs. Moreover the trio churned out so many memorable songs later that could be written with golden letters in the history Hindi cinema. When we come to the side of Rafi Sahab’s vocals, whoever listens this song must accept that this is nothing but heavenly voice of the singer who immortalize it through his brilliant rendition, masterful conviction and perfect technical ethos. This title song by Rafi Sahab deserves all the acclaim it received. It was really the incomparable Rafi Sahab’s film, from the mesmerizingly sung soft Technicolor Chaudvin Ka Chand to the heartbroken B&W Mili Khak Mein Mohabbat in atmospheric & melancholic moods. Johnny Walker was here too providing a bit of light relief as usual (Mera yaar bana hai dulha, Yeh dunia gol hai) – so what more could anyone want! To our surprise we could hear almost five solo melodies of Rafi Sahab in this lovely movie.

One specially praise this song for its sheer poetical beauty of the lyrics and musical compositon of Ravi, I am sure that such song cannot be recreated even though having been equipped with latest technology and a train of talented singers available today. Once this song plays on, the heart and imagination like to soar high and high in ecstatic heights.  It is a pure melodious voice of Rafi Sahab that enthralls the listener and the most beautiful words that create tingling feeling in the heart.  I heard its impact also from most of my friends, but I am not sure how far it was true in olden days that the newly wedded couple had a fascination for this song as groom wanted to express his love to his bride on wedding night supposedly singing only this song to impress her. This song has almost sailed fifty magical years journey entertaining the music lovers but still its shimmering luster spearhead with bubbling joy and mirth.

It is a romantic song of the film Chaudvin Ka Chand, Urdu Muslim Social Color & B/W released in the year 1960 Guru Dutt’s most successful commercial film based on the Luckhnavi traditions are captured beautifully by yesteryears cinematographer VK Murthy. This impeccable song elevates the pristine beauty of Waheeda Rahman to dizzy heights of popularity.  We can consider the lyrical content of this song is purely poetic in nature, particularly in this song with the same title from the movie created waves among masses.

Now let’s take a look at the lines in the song below. Here are the lyrics in both Hindi and English. Naturally, part of the beauty in the original lyrics will most likely be lost in translation.


Chaudvin Ka Chand Ho, Ya Aaftaab Ho
Jo Bhi Ho Tum Khuda Ki Kasam, Lajawab Ho

Zulfein Hain Jaise Kaandhe Pe Baadal Jhuke Hue
Aankhen Hain Jaise Maey Ke Pyaale Bhare Hue
Masti Hai Jisme Pyaar Ki Tum, Woh Sharaab Ho

Chaudvin Ka Chand Ho…

Chehra Hai Jaise Jheel Mein Khilta Hua Kanwal
Ya Zindagi Ke Saaz Pe Chhedi Hui Ghazal
Jaane Bahaar Tum Kisi Shaayar Ka Khwaab Ho

Chaudvin Ka Chand Ho…

Hothon Pe Khelti Hain Tabassum Ki Bijliyaan
Sajde Tumhari Raah Mein Karti Hain Kaikashaan
Duniya-E-Husno-Ishq Ka Tum Hi Shabaab Ho

Chaudvin Ka Chand Ho…


Are you the moon on its fourteenth night, or are you the sun?
Whatever you are, I swear to God, you are incomparable!
Your locks of hair fall like clouds over your shoulders
And your eyes are like glasses of overflowing wine.
Are you the full moon or the sun?

Are you the full moon or the sun?
Your face is like a lotus blooming in the lake
Or like an ode that has been plucked on the instrument of life
My dear, you are a poet’s dream.
Are you the full moon or the sun?

The lightnings of your smile are blooming on your lips.
The Milky Way, full of stars, bow before you in anticipation
Whatever you are, I swear you are incomparable.

Chaudvin Ka Chand is a Bollywood film produced by the legendary director Guru Dutt. The movie is about a classic love triangle where two best friends having unknowingly fallen in love with the same woman.  “Chaudhvin Ka Chand” is a potpourri of beautiful music, festive episodes, and a whole lot of heartache and poetry.   Guru Dutt and Mohammed Sadiq’s classic Hindi film about the then-Muslim city of Lucknow, “Chaudhvin Ka Chand,” is full of poetic depictions of that ultimate love in a man’s life, but more poignantly it teaches us how to give up that great love when following one’s own convictions. The beauty of  Waheeda Ji is so truly dazzling that she has been metaphorically denoted as “Chaudhvin ka chand” (the moon before the full moon night) throughout the film.

Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rahmanv

Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rahman

This song was picturised on Aslam (Guru Dutt) is admiring Jameela (Waheeda Rahman) as she sleeps and looks sensuous, talented, photogenic and ethereal, particularly wonderful is the film’s one color sequence, where Aslam sings his new wife’s praises on their wedding night. Waheeda ji, one of the cinema’s great beauties, may never have looked better in the rest of her films. Guru Dutt’s skillful manipulation of this scene is pure poetry, just like the poetry that he is singing.

As for as the picturisation of this song I must say that Guru Dutt’s masterful understanding of the cinema as a mode of expression is captured in the song he sings to Waheeda ji in the moon song “Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho”.  In it, the camera follows Aslam as he slowly approaches his subject, his new bride.  Just as he sings of her hair being like clouds “bent over your shoulders”, the screen captures the skies and the heroine’s shoulders as she cowers over the balcony.  Just as Dutt sings of her eyes like “the containers of liquor are full”, we get the first close up of Rehman and sense her dashing beauty.  Like many sections of the film, especially during the singing, the audience looks at the protagonist through camouflage like shadows, bamboos, or opened tiles, as if we are merely glimpsing into the form of beauty without actually experiencing it.  We are reminded of the ever-present moon as Dutt skillfully pans towards Waheeda ji, and again when the camera sinks below the building to show just how her face is like the lotus in the lake.  Guru Dutt shows us how to handle a theme of love that could have only a tragic ending.  Waheeda  Rahman looks most beautiful and this was a seminal Indian film from their Golden Age,  with the musical poetry taking up nearly a quarter of its total running time but leaving you wishing it could have been even more.

There are many interesting anecdotes related with this song as well as the movie..

  • Guru Dutt reshot the title song Chaudhvin ka Chand Ho in colour with VK Murthy. The shot breakdown was exactly like the black and white version except that it was shot in colour. However, the lights used caused redness to Waheeda’s eyes that the censor board members had a problem with as according to them, it looked like she was giving Guru Dutt ‘the look.’
  • Initially there was no place for the Balam se Milan Hoga song. Music Director Ravi was quite upset that for the first time in a Guru Dutt film, there was no song by Geeta Dutt. So he suggested having back to back songs at Aslam’s Wedding – A happy one at the boy’s side (Mera Yaar Bana Hai Dulha) and a more serious one on the girl’s side as she leaves for her new home. Guru Dutt liked the suggestion and that’s how Geeta Dutt rendered the song.
  • Guru Dutt chose Mohammed Sadiq to direct the film because he thought a Muslim director should deal with a Muslim subject. The Muslim practice of purdah forbids women to show their face to men who aren’t part of their immediate family. The film uses this practice to its advantage as disguises and misunderstandings that add to the comedy and confusion of the film.
  • After a disastrous box-office performance of Kaagaz Ke Phool, this was a highly commercially successful and comeback movie for Guru Dutt. The movie saved Guru Dutt’s home production studio from ruins. According the interview by V.K. Murthy the movie made profits of then what a hundred movies were to have made.
  • Lata Mangeshkar sings for the first and last time for Guru Dutt Film Produtions.
  • This movie is also remembered for its title song and a few other songs which are still remembered for their lyrics and music. The touch of Dadra and Thumri to every musical composition of the movie has given its music a semi-classical touch. The slow rhythm and romantic notes of the songs give a trance experience to the audiences.

Three major reasons force us to watch this wonderful song – the first, Guru Dutt one of the masters of Hindi cinema’s golden age unsurpassed in the art of song picturization, the second Mohd. Rafi Sahab’s mesmerizing honey-soaked vocals and finally Waheeda Rahman’s unblemished innocent sleeping beauty. This song remains a cinematic phenomena and a visual treat for all those people who love Hindi Music & Movies and precisely who want to remember bygone days more often that will certainly put them all in awe for many days after watching it.

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52 Blog Comments to “Chaudvin ka Chand ho”

  1. mohamedali says:

    haji mohamedrafi saheb inke jaisa ghane wala ab is dhuniyame nehi my hamesha inke yaad karthahum is songs o jaane wale kabhi vaapas nehi aatha jane walekki yaad aatheehe bhilkul sehi o vapas nehi ayeka lakin unka yaad khabee ne martha

  2. Hashmat Alvi says:

    The song is almost fifty years old and in modern time nobody have such patience to write a review for old songs. Hats off to Janab Walijah Sahab to take charge and delivering the review with masterful craftmanship. This song can be a collector’s gem and need to listen one time daily. But times have been completely changed now, and the youngsters feel proud to satisfy themselves with SMS language. This song and other songs of Rafi Sahab is the legacy through which we can see the glory of the past of hindi cinema.

    Very nice write-up. Once again I congratulate Jannab Waijah Sahab for writing such a powerful write up.


    Hashmat Alvi

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