This post explores those songs of the golden era that are dedicated to the lover, who is a charmer par excellence – almost like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. He is a jaadugar – a magician of sorts – who can cast a spell and mesmerize his beloved. There are so many songs dedicated to the charmer that I was really spoilt for choice. I have thus limited myself to the songs which specifically mention jaadugar in the mukhda. Songs that speak of jaadugarni, jaadugari and only jaadu would perhaps be reserved for a sequel and have therefore been excluded.
Before I put in place my playlist of the charmer’s songs, it would not be out of place to mention here a bit of trivia about the real magician of Indian cinema – Dada Saheb Phalke. Dada Saheb Phalke, the ‘Father of Indian Cinema’, while pursuing his dreams at Sir J.J. School of Art, Bombay in 1885, acquired a variety of interests which included magic. Phalke also met the German magician Carl Hertz who was on a tour in Baroda at that time; Hertz was employed by the Lumiere Brothers, who produced short films. This helped Phalke use trick photography in his filmmaking. At the end of 1901, Phalke began to hold public performances of magic using the name Professor Kelpha with letters of his last name in reverse order.
Here are my ten favourite songs dedicated to the jaadugar which include some quaint ones too. They all belong to the golden era. I have chosen songs picturized in black and white only.
1) Jaadugar Saawariya (Dhaake Ki Malmal, 1956) Lyricist Jan Nisaar Akhtar, Music Director O.P.Nayyar, Playback Singer Asha Bhosle. This beautiful melody from the movie Dhaake Ki Malmal sums up the mesmerizing influence of the music of the charmer on his beloved in Asha’s voice which is filled with youth and vivacity.
Jaadugar saawariya aisi taan sunai toone main to ho gayi baawariya
Unfortunately, the video is not available to put this song in perspective. The movie as its title suggests is about the world renowned muslin of Dhaka. This was the first movie that had Madhubala and Kishore Kumar appearing together in lead roles.
2) Jaadugar Saiyyan (Nagin, 1954) Lyricist Rajinder Krishan, Music Director Hemant Kumar, Playback Singer Lata Mangeshkar. Nagin is a film that perhaps reaffirmed the belief that India was a land of snake charmers! It is said that when Nagin was released, snake charmers entertained the crowd outside the cinema halls during the interval. In Nagin, you have the charmer and the snake charmer doubling up.
The music of Nagin is heavenly and this song in particular is my favourite. The music of Hemant Kumar, Lata’s rendition and Vyjayantimala’s graceful dance – all of them make this a very memorable song. There is the charmer who is mesmerizing the beloved who desperately needs to return home, as it’s midnight.
Jaadugar sainyaa chhodo mori bainyaa ho gayi aadhi raat ab ghar jaane do
3) Ta Thaiya Karte Aana Oye Jaadugar More Saiyyan ( Panchayat, 1958) Lyricist Shakeel Nomani, Music Director Iqbal Qureshi, Playback Singers Geeta Dutt and Lata Mangeshkar. This is a melodious dance duet by Shyama and Jabeen Jalil. Jabeen acted in very few movies but was very talented; she has some unforgettable melodies like Yeh Raat Yeh Fizayen (Batwara, 1962) and Door Kahin Tu Chal (Bedard Zamaana Kya Jaane, 1959) to her credit; she won a National Award too in 1962 for the Punjabi film Chaudhary Karnail Singh. This song of my playlist is special because it is one of the few Lata – Geeta duets. The lyricist – Shakeel Nomani – is not to be confused with Shakeel Badayuni. Nomani was not prolific but did write songs for a few films in the 1950s and 1960s. Iqbal Qureshi – an unsung music director – has composed beautifully. The song is addressed to the bewitching lover, requesting him to meet at the earliest. It is interesting to note that the lover is also asked to come dancing (ta thaiyya karte).
Ta thaiya karte aana Oye jaadugar more sainyya mere dil ki lagi bujhana oye jaadugar more sainyya
4) Na Dekho Hume Ghurke Jaadugar (Gharana, 1961) Lyricist Shakeel Badayuni, Music Director Ravi, Playback Singers Asha Bhosle and Md.Rafi. This is a fun Asha – Rafi duet from the family drama Gharana which had lovely songs. This song is picturized on Shubha Khote and Agha. There is Shubha Khote breaking into this song as she stares at a framed portrait/picture of her husband, Agha. This is why she asks her charmer not to stare at her, as she feels unsettled by his gaze. Agha suddenly emerges from behind the portrait and joins the fun. The song has some western music with Bharatnatyam steps to give it a twist. The music is so catchy that the entire household breaks into a jig; this includes the tyrannical matriarch- Lalita Pawar – who looks adorable in the song.
Na dekho hume ghur ke jaadugar sainyya machle hamara jiya leke angadaiya
5) Ja Re Jaadugar Dekhi Teri Jaadugari (Bhabhi, 1957) Lyricist Rajinder Krishan, Music Director Chitragupt, Playback Singer Lata Mangeshkar. Unfortunately, this song is not very well known as this movie has many other musical gems like Chal Ud Jaa Re Panchhi. This particular song that I mention here is in the nectar like voice of Lata who sings to Chitragupt’s lilting music. This is a song where there is an attempt to complain, just for the heck of it. Shyama is at her mischievous best. The charmer (Jawahar Kaul) is being cajoled and chided at the same time.
Jaa re jaadugar dekhi teri jaadugari mere dil se haule haule jaane nain tere kya bole tere naino ne dil me bandha li nagri
6) Jaadugar Saiyyan Dekho Kar Gaya Jaadu (Madan Manjari, 1961) Lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri, Music Director Sardar Malik, Playback Singer Lata Mangeshkar. This semi-classical song is a rare gem that I was fortunate to find while researching for this post. The video of the song is not available. It shows the prowess of Sardar Malik as a composer. Unfortunately, he did not get his due. Lata as always is impeccable in her rendition.
Jaadugar sainyya dekho kar gaya jaadu lakh manaun dil ko rahen nahin kaabu
7) Jaadugar Baalma (Naghma, 1953) Lyricist Nakhshab, Music Director Nashad, Playback Singer Shamshad Begum/Amirbai. This is another forgotten melody rendered by both Shamshad Begum and Amir Bai (the links of both are provided below). I enjoyed the former’s version better. There is the familiar reference, as in all songs of this post, to the beloved as the charmer who has made the the lady oblivious of her own self.
Kaahe jaadu kiya mujhko itna bata jaadugar baalma mujhko apni khabar hain na dil ka pata, jaadugar baalma
There is an interesting bit of trivia associated with the movie Naghma. Nakshab Jarachavi, the lyricist of Naghma’s songs was also its producer and director. He changed Shaukat Ali Dehlvi’s name to Nashad, which Shaukat retained for the rest of his life. Nashad is often confused with Naushad. This confusion was created deliberately!! Nakshab initially approached Naushad Ali for composing the music for his film. When Naushad Ali refused, the irate director Nakshab changed Shaukat Ali’s name to Nashad, to make it sound like Naushad. Nashad composed music for the film.
8) Dil Lootnewale Jaadugar (Madari, 1959) Lyricist Farooq Qaisar, Music Director Kalyanji Anandji, Playback Singers Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh. This Lata – Mukesh duet from the movie Madari is pure magic. Picturized on the lesser known Chitra and Ranjan, this has the return of the popular been music that was first used in Nagin. The jury is still out about who should be credited for creating the been music of Nagin. Kalyanji has long been considered to have a major role in its creation as he was an assistant of Hemant Kumar, the music director of Nagin. Here the same is again put to very good use. The rhythm and effect created by the clavioline makes one want to shake a leg. The lyrics of the song also are very meaningful and speak of defiance.
Dil lootne vaale jaadugar ab maine tujhe pehechaana hain
9) O Jaadugar Pyaar Ke (Ek Dil Sau Afsaane, 1963) Lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri, Music Director Shankar Jaikishan, Playback Singer Lata Mangeshkar. This song, from a movie with a pathetic retrograde plot, has lovely songs. This song is difficult to make sense of. Neither the choreography nor the settings help to put it in perspective. Nevertheless, the tune is hauntingly melodious and Lata does a stupendous job. The theme of the lover as the charmer is recurrent in the song.
O jaadugar pyaar ke ye bata dil mera kyun tera ho gaya
10) Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar (CID, 1956) Lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri, Music Director Shankar Jaikishan, Playback Singers Shamshad Begum, Md.Rafi and Asha Bhosle. I would call this saving the best for the last. According to me, this song is perhaps the best song in my playlist in terms of lyrics, music, dance, cinematography and rendition. Two junior actors Sheila Vaz (who is essentially a dancer) and Shyam Kapoor (who plays the harmonium) are the ones for whom Rafi and Shamshad Begum are singing. The lead actors – Dev Anand and Shakeela – are in the frame but do not lip sync. The song flaunts the splendour of Marine Drive in an understated but effective manner. It is so elegantly shot that one does not take offence to the fact that what is actually happening on screen is stalking! There is a lot of praise heaped on the piya jaadugar who is all ready to cast a magical spell to floor the lady. Zohra Sehgal’s choreography is spot on. There is a second version of the song – the sad one – where Asha sings (for Shakeela) along with Shamshad Begum and Rafi.
It would not be out of place to mention here that Shyam Kapoor who plays the harmonium in this song was a close associate of Guru Dutt. He even appeared on screen as his friend in the film Pyaasa. He worked as his assistant in some of Guru Dutt’s films as well.
Leke pehla pehla pyaar bharke aankhon mein khumaar jaadu nagri se aayaa hain koi jaadugar
This brings me to the end of a magical playlist! Let me say here that the real jaadugars or magicians are the cast and crew of each movie who work relentlessly both in front of and behind the screen. It is because of their creativity and hard work that the on screen jaadugar appears so charming and breathtaking. Like I said at the beginning of my post, there are several songs on the jaadugar but I chose the ten above trying to accommodate some very well known songs and some which are gems but did not get the recognition that they deserved. I am sure lovers of golden era music who happen to read my post will add the rest!
P.S. May I also add here that there are quite a few songs of the golden era which show the magician performing his/her tricks. However, these were not enough for an entire post. I have just listed them here and have not elaborated upon them. Sadly, only the audio of some of these songs is available.
1) Naam Hain Mr.Jhatpat Main Jaadugar Bangaal Ka (Dushman, 1957)
2) Main Hun Jaadugar (Night Club, 1958)
3) Main Jaadugar Hun Kaarigar Hun (Oot Pataang, 1954)(only audio)
4) Main Jaadugar Matwala (Bhakta Raj, 1960)(only audio)
5) Jaadugarni Cheen Ki Khala Alladeen ki (Hum Bhi Kuch Kam Nahin, 1958) (only audio)
6) Jaadu Nagri Se Jaana Na Ho Rasiya (Maya Machindrra, 1960)