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Songs that Shun Love

और भी दुख हैं ज़माने में मोहब्बत के सिवा

There are innumerable love songs of Golden era Hindi film music which profess and eulogize love hyperbolically. However, there are perhaps only a handful of songs which question love and even swear to stay away from it. There are also some songs where love is not viewed as the top most priority. There is a reference to various sufferings of the world which need to be attended to first. Here is a post that tries to list ten songs – largely of the golden era – that capture this sentiment.

The theme of this blog post is borrowed from Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s famous Nazm:

और भी दुख हैं ज़माने में मोहब्बत के सिवा
(There are other pains in life than that of love,) 
राहतें और भी हैं वस्ल की राहत के सिवा 
(There are other joys too, besides the joy of union)
मुझ से पहली सी मोहब्बत मेरे महबूब न मांग
(My Beloved, please do not expect the same love from me now)

1) Tum Mujhe Bhool Bhi Jao To Yeh Haq (Didi, 1959) Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi; Music Director: Sudha Malhotra; Playback Singers: Sudha Malhotra and Mukesh. This is a lovely song not just sung by Sudha Malhotra (along with Mukesh) but also composed by her. She composed the music for this song as N.Datta, the music director of the film, was indisposed and she was asked to step into his shoes. This also happened to be the last song that she recorded before taking a long break from playback singing. The lines sung by Sudha speak of unrequited love. Mukesh however sings the lines that resonate with the theme of this post. It is said that the lyrics of this song were perhaps the outpourings of Sahir’s heart – a song he dedicated to his own failed relationship. As we celebrate Sahir’s birth centenary this month, this song would surely count as one of his best.

Zindagi sirf mohabbat nahin kuchh aur bhi hain
zulf-o-rukasar ki jannat nahin kuchh aur bhi hain
bhukh aur pyas ki mari hui is duniya mein
ishq hi ek haqiqat nahin kuchh aur bhi hain
tum agar aankh churao to ye haq hain tumko
maine tumse hi nahin sabse mohabbat ki hain

2) Chhod De Saari Duniya Kisike Liye (Saraswati Chandra, 1968) Lyricist: Indeevar; Music Directors: Kalyanji Anandji; Playback Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. The movie is about how a man regrets his decision of refusing to marry the woman he loves. The film was based on Saraswatichandra, a Gujarati novel, by Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi. The lyrics of the song reflect such pragmatic thinking! Sung beautifully by Lata Mangeshkar and picturized on Nutan, this is one of the best songs that Kalyanji Anandji composed and Indeevar wrote. Interestingly, almost the whole song is sung on stairs! I missed this song in my earlier post on Songs of Stairs.

Chhod de saari duniya kisi ke liye
ye munaasib nahin aadmi ke liye
pyaar se bhi zaroori kayi kaam hain
pyaar sab kuchh nahin zindagi ke liye

3) Yeh Dil Tum Bin Kahin Lagta Nahin (Izzat, 1968) Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi; Music Directors: Laxmikant Pyarelal; Playback Singers: Lata Mangeshkar and Md.Rafi. This is a duet where the lady tries to woo her lover. But the lover is unfazed. The lyrics of the song sound very similar to the song from Didi posted above. Sahir is the lyricist of this one as well. He turns out to be an expert at penning songs of heartbreak clubbed with pragmatism. This movie is special because it was South Indian actress Jayalalithaa‘s first and only Hindi film in a full-fledged role, and second Hindi film overall, following a three-minute appearance in Man-Mauji (1962).

Mohabbat kar to le lekin, mohabbat raas aaye bhi
dilon ko bojh lagte hain kabhi zulfon ke saye bhi
hazaaron gam hain is duniya mein apne bhi paraye bhi
mohabbat hi ka gam tanha nahin, ham kya kare

4) Tum Poochte Ho Ishq Balaa Hain Ki Nahin (Naqli Nawab, 1962) Lyricist: Kaifi Azmi; Music Director: Babul ; Playback Singer: Md.Rafi. This song from Naqli Nawab is composed by Babul of the Bipin-Babul duo. Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics are laden with meaning. I love the play on the word bala (बला or calamity). Bhala (भला or good) also is suitable here. Manoj Kumar sings this Nazm on stage as a repartee. The shayar before Manoj Kumar (K.N.Singh) has bad mouthed ‘love’ (Ishq) and called it bala (बला or calamity). This is Manoj Kumar’s impromptu response. It is only the first line of the nazm that resonates with the post of this song but the song was worth including in this post.

Tum puchhte ho ishq bala hain ki nahin hain
kya jane tumhe khauf-e-khuda hain ke nahin hain

5) Jis Pyaar Mein Yeh Haal Ho (Phir Subah Hogi, 1958) Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi; Music Director: Khayyam; Playback Singers : Md.Rafi and Mukesh. This fun filled duet from a rather serious movie presents two diametrically opposite views on love. Mukesh sings for Raj Kapoor whereas Rafi sings for Rehmaan – who plays Raj Kapoor’s friend in the movie. Rehmaan is deriding and running away from love saying ( Pyaar Se Tauba Tauba). Raj Kapoor on the other hand is extolling the virtues of love. This song is again from Sahir’s pen.

Phirte the jo bade hi, Sikandar bane hue
baithe hain unke dar pe, kabutar bane hue
jis pyaar mein ye haal ho
us pyaar se tauba tauba

6) Mujhe Dard-e-dil Ka Pataa Na Tha (Akashdeep, 1965) Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Music Director: Chitragupt; Playback Singer : Md.Rafi. This is a pensive song on love which speaks of class difference and hence a derision for love. Majrooh’s lyrics have been poignantly rendered by Rafi. Chitragupt’s music is spellbinding. The movie, however, is avoidable.

Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha
mujhe aap kis liye mil gaye
main akele yun hi maze mein tha
mujhe aap kis liye mil gaye

7) Din Hain Bahaar Ke Tere Mere (Waqt, 1965) Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi; Music Director: Ravi; Playback Singers : Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor with chorus. This is a mellifluous duet composed by Ravi and the lyricist yet again is Sahir. This song also presents two divergent perspectives on love – the spontaneous and the guarded. Asha sings for Sharmila who is the carefree lover; Mahendra Kapoor sings for Shashi Kapoor who is bogged down by worldly cares and existential issues. It has been beautifully picturized on a sail boat on Naini lake as a picnic song. Waqt was a blockbuster and all its songs were chart toppers.

Din hain bahaar ke tere mere iqraar ke
dil ke sahare aaja pyaar kare

dushman hain pyaar ke jab lakhon gam sansaar ke
dil ke sahare kaise pyaar kare

8) Jis Path Pe Chala (Yadgaar, 1970) Lyricist: Indeevar; Music Directors: Kalyanji Anandji; Playback Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. The entire ensemble is the same as in the song from Saraswati ChandraChhod De Saari Duniya – barring the hero. This time the protagonist is Manoj Kumar. The theme of this movie too bears a resemblance to Saraswati Chandra. In this movie, Manoj Kumar plays an idealist and sets out to reform the country. This is the kind of role that is quintessentially associated with Manoj Kumar. There is Nutan appealing to Manoj Kumar – who shuns love to achieve loftier goals – to take her along. The song does end on a positive note.

Jis path pe chala us path pe mujhe
aanchal to bichhane de
saathi na samajh koyi baat nahin
 mujhe saath to aane de

9) Mohabbat Bade Kaam Ki Cheez Hain (Trishul, 1978) Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi; Music Director: Khayyam; Playback Singers : Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar and Yesudas. Here is another of Sahir’s songs presenting dual perspectives on love. Lata and Kishore sing for Hema Malini and Shashi Kapoor respectively. They are gung-ho about their relationship and serenade the virtues of love. On the other hand, Amitabh Bachchan detests love (!) because of his mother’s trials and tribulations. Thus, Yesudas singing for him opines :-

Kitaabon mein chhapte hain,
chaahat ke kisse
haqeeqat ki duniyaa mein
chaahat nahin hain
zamaane ke baazaar mein ye woh sheh hain
ki jiski kisi ko zaroorat nahin hain
ye bekaar bedaam ki cheez hain...

10) Main Akela Apni Dhun Mein Kahin (Manpasand, 1980) Lyricist: Amit Khanna; Music Director: Rajesh Roshan; Playback Singer: Kishore Kumar. I am ending this post with a song which shows the young at heart Dev Anand. How can any blog post on love songs (even if they are songs about shunning love!) not have a Dev Anand melody? Even though Dev Anand was 53 years old (young!!) when this film was released, his charm does not seem to have waned in any way. The song speaks of how it was when he was alone and had not found love; how he was enjoying life all alone and then walked in Tina Munim. Life changed but did it really, he wonders? The movie ends with this song as Tina Munim returns. This movie was based on ‘My Fair Lady’.

Main akela apni dhun mein magan
zindagi kaa mazaa liye jaa rahaa tha

ke tum mil gaye
tumhara muskurana khilkhilana
tumhara tunaknaa tumhara tilmilana
tumhare kadmon ki aahat
tumhari aankhon ki masti
tumhare baalon ki khushboo
in se mujhe kyaa hain haasil
phir bhi……….
ye hain meri aadat mein shaamil

This brings me to the end of my post inspired by the lines of Faiz Ahmad Faiz. I would like to add here that in all the songs listed above, love is being shunned not because of betrayal/disloyalty (or bewafai, which is a very common theme in film songs). There is no negative feeling towards the state of being in love. In some of the songs above, there is a strange sense of responsibility towards society and the need to reform it first before focusing on one’s own personal life. In others, the thrust is on class difference because of which it does not seem to be practical to pursue one’s love interest.

As I end this post on songs that shun love, I pleasantly realize that five out of ten songs have been penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. This was completely unintended. Sahir’s poetry juxtaposes diametrically opposite dimensions of love. Since it comes straight from the heart, the impact that it leaves is unparalleled. This is the best tribute that I could have paid to a poet like Sahir, who is par excellence, as we celebrate his birth centenary this year.

Disclaimer, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube/ other platforms only to make the post audiovisual. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.

5 thoughts on “Songs that Shun Love

  1. You come up with the most interesting themes! This one’s a good one, and you’ve picked some nice songs. Here are two others that occurred to me. From Aar Paar, Mohabbat kar lo ji bhar lo:

    And, from Chhaaya, Itna na mujhse tu pyaar badha:


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