My Favourites by Shakeel Badayuni

I was reading about the Filmfare Awards last week, when I came across interesting information about the Hat-tricks in Filmfare Awards. That made me think of Shakeel Badayuni and his 102nd birthday in August. He was the only lyricist from that era to achieve a Hat-trick at the Filmfare Awards. Of course I will detail about it in the biography.

shakeel 2

He was born on 3rd August 1916 in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh. It is said that his father arranged for his studies in various languages like Urdu, Hindi, Persian and Arabic. He joined higher studies in Aligarh in 1936, where he had favourable conditions for his writing skills, he was in contact with Neeraj & Jigar Muradabadi. The latter is said to have left a strong influence on Shakeel’s poetic ventures. In 1942, he settled in Delhi for job. He still continued his Shayari in Urdu and even if he wouldn’t have joined films, his Shayari would have brought him the same fame. He used to attend poetic recitations, Mushaira in Mumbai (then Bombay) where famous producer A R Kardar heard him reciting his Shayari. He was immensely impressed and offered Shakeel, his next film, Dard as a lyricist. It was in the year 1946. Naushad was impressed with his thought process as well. He was sure about Shakeel’s writing and knew he had something different to offer to Hindi films than the routine stuff . His faith was true enough. Dard was released in 1947 and was a musical hit. Shakeel never let him down and always insisted on quality rather than quantity. He wrote love songs, romantic songs, lullabies, qawwalis, soulful ghazals, sad songs, Mujra songs, etc.
In Mother India, he wrote songs that exhibited Indian culture, it had Holi song, bidai song, along with other songs. In Ganga Jamna he aptly used Bhojpuri words, that suited the film background perfectly. ‘Nain Lad Jai Hain To Manwa Ma’ is an example. Similarly, for Mughal E Azam, he used Urdu words profusely as it was a period film and needed that kind of lyrics. For other social films, he was at home with routine kind of language, never compromising his standards. His songs in praise of woman, brought him awards twice in his career. His similes in both the songs are quite different. Once he compared the her with full moon, in second song, he calls her incomparable. It’s a delightful experience to listen to these songs, concentrating on their lyrics. Experience it someday!

We will go through his career now, I have decided to go with the composers one by one.

With Naushad –
His first ever movie song, ‘Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon’ became hugely popular and it also helped Umadevi gain immediate recognition. Till date, mention of Umadevi brings memories of this melody. It made her immortal. All the songs for the movie ‘Dard’ were popular, songs sung by Umadevi (who was the playback for main lead, Munnawar Sultana), Suraiya (who was in supporting role) and Shamshad Begum achieved equal popularity. The film started a prolonged and one of the most successful associations in Hindi cinema, between Naushad & Shakeel. I think except for a couple of films (Saaz Aur Awaz is one of them), Naushad never replaced him. Their pair continued to offer hit songs throughout the period. Their notable films include, Aan, Dulari,Baiju Bawra, Amar, Udan Khatola, Mother India, Kohinoor, Mughal E Azam, Ganga Jamna, Leader, Mere Mehboob, Ram Aur Shyam, Aadmi, and Sangharsh. They worked together for 30 films, Sangharsh (1968) was the last one. Shakeel’s death ultimately separated them. To choose songs from these films is one of the most difficult task for me right now! Obviously I can’t offer justice to all the songs, I will go for my most favourite ones of course!
They created more than 250 masterpieces, I will highlight here the songs that I didn’t include in the list, but are my favourites.
Dillagi – Tu Mera Chand Main Teri Chandani, Muraliwale Murali Baja
Aan – Dil Mein Chhupa Ke Pyar Ka Toofan, Maan Mera Ehsaan
Amar – Tere Sadqe Balam, Na Milta Gham To
Shabab – Chandan Ka Palna, Man Ki Been Matwari Baaje
Udan Khatola – Mera Salam Leja, O Door Ke Musafir
Son Of India – Dil Todne Wale, Chal Diye Deke Gham
Ganga Jamna – Do Hanso Ka Joda, Dhoondo Dhoondo Re Sajna
Ram Aur Shyam – Balam Tere Pyar Ki Thandi, Aayee Hai Baharen
Dil Diya Dard Liya – Koi Sagar Dil Ko Behlata Nahin, Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi
The list could go on forever….

The end of their association was painful for Naushad, though he later composed for a number of films, could not create the same magic. It is said that he also helped Shakeel financially for his treatment. Naushad and Shakeel shared a different relationship than just being colleague. They were close friends and used to spend hours together discussing the situations for the songs in a particular movie, and both of them were perfectionists. Shakeel’s lyrics complemented Naushad’s style of music and Naushad used to be at ease with him, which he never felt with any other lyricist. Their pair is considered an eternal and immortal pair from the golden era of HFM.
Both of them were no avid drinkers, but Shakeel was diabetic, yet could not follow the restrictions for a diabetic and landed in trouble at an early age. Naushad called Majrooh in 1969 for Saathi, twenty years after Andaz (1949).

With Hemant Kumar –
He wrote for Hemant Kumar only for three films, but the association was melodious and successful. All the songs are immensely popular till date.
Their first joint venture was for the film, Bees Saal Baad (1962) with beautiful songs like Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil, Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke, and two solos by Hemant Kumar himself. The songs were acclaimed by all and their association continued for two more films, Bin Badal Barsaat (1963) with Ek Baar Zara, and Zindagi Kitni Khubsoorat Hai. They reached peak with Sahib Bibi Ghulam in 1963 with all masterpieces. Shakeel wrote the songs, keeping in mind the background of the film, the characters in the film, and their thought process. Meena Kumari continuously thinks of her husband and her world is limited to her home. Shakeel wrote really beautiful, meaningful, perfect to the situation songs and it was a great attraction for the film. In my opinion Shakeel was at his all time best in the movie.

With Ghulam Mohd –
Ghulam Mohd was once Naushad’s assistant. Shakeel had a long association with him too. The songs were of course very melodious and meaningful. Some of them were hits too, but Ghulam Mohd never got his due. He always remained underrated and unfortunately the songs, though good couldn’t lift up his career. The memorable songs of the duo are –
Yeh Duniya HaiShair (1949)
Dil Leke Chhupane WaleParas (1949)
Duniya Mein Nahin Koi YaarAmber (1952)
Khushi Dil Se Hansi Hothon SeSheesha (1952)
Man Dheere Dheere Gaye ReMailk (1954)
Shikayat Kya KaroonKundan (1955)

With Ravi –
Ravi was one of the fortunate composers who had an opportunity to work with stalwarts in Hindi films. Shakeel was one of them. They worked together for 15 films, all of the films brought fame and honour to Ravi. He got his first Filmfare Award for best music director for Gharana (1961), where Shakeel was the lyricist. They already had worked together by then in Chaudhvin Ka Chand And Ghunghat, both in 1960. Ravi’s biggest break with Guru Datt was also with Shakeel. He proved as a lucky charm to Ravi. In majority of the songs, Shakeel’s bright and soulful lyrics score over Ravi’s tunes. Still he complimented the lyrics well enough. Their popular songs together are-
Choudahvi Ka Chand Ho – Choudahvi Ka Chand (1960)
Husnawale Tera Jawab Nahin – Gharana (1961)
Mori Chham Chham Baje Payaliya – Ghunghat (1960)
Zindagi Ke Safar Mein – Nartaki (1963)
Khile Hai Sakhi Aaj Phulwa – Grihasthi (1963)
Lo Aa Gayi Unki Yaad – Do Badan (1966)
This list also would be endless.

Shakeel with other composers –
RoshanBedag (1965), Noorjahan (1967)
C RamchandraZindagi Aur Maut (1965), Wahan Ke Log (1967)
S D BurmanKaise Kahoon (1964), Benzir (1964)

Shakeel was a badminton lover and used to like flying kites.
He also wrote non film ghazals that were sung by Begum Akhtar.
A few popular ones –
ए मोहब्बत तेरे अंजाम पे रोना आया
मेरे हम नफस मेरे हम नवाँ
Also a few were sung by Talat Mehmood.
ग़म ए आशिकी़ से कह दो
चंद लम्हे तेरी मेहफिल में
दिल के बहलने की तदबीर
(click on the song link for listening)
Many of the songs are still popular and sung by today’s singers as well in ghazal programs. His six books of shayari were published.

Filmfare Awards –
He won the best lyricist award for three consecutive years, making a hat trick.
1961 – Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho From Chaudhvin Ka Chand
1962 – Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin From Gharana
1963 – Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil From Bees Saal Baad
No other lyricist has been able to break this record.
A postage stamp was released in his honour in 2013.


Shakeel had a different vision for his shayari, he didn’t write about the betterment of the society, the injustice to the poor etc. Instead his way to Shayari was emotional & romantic. He said once
“मैं शकील दिल का हूँ तर्जुमा
के मुहब्बत का हूँ राजदां
मुझे फ़क्र हैं मेरी शायरी
मेरी ज़िंदगी से जुदा नहीं”

I’m presenting today my favourite songs (to choose only 15 songs was a strenuous mental exercise) penned by him, as usual the songs are in NO particular order.

1. Betaab Hain Dil Dard E Mohhobat Ke Asar Se – Dard (1947) Suraiya & Umadevi / Music – Naushad
The song appealed to me instantly as it combines sad and happy moods together in a single song. I had a list of such songs last year. Munawar sultana ( by Umadevi) performing in a sad mood, to find her childhood friend in love with another girl. Suraiya singing at the same time in happy mood to celebrate her love. Shakeel has used very charming words for Suraiya’s part and she sings it with emotions. The same is the case with Umadevi, who’s heart touching sad part is well written and composed.
The opening line ‘बेताब हैं दिल दर्द ए मोहब्बत के असर से’ holds true for both the situations. It was genius of Shakeel to arrange such a line suiting the feelings of both.

2. Hum Tum Yeh Bahar – Amber (1952) Lata Mangeshkar & Rafi / Music – Ghulam Mohd.
Shakeel’s cute, romantic song, woven in an impressive melody by Ghulam Mohd. Shakeel writes so romantically the interaction between the couple.
‘दुनिया को हमारी हो ना खबर, आँखों में इशारे हो जाए।
उल्फ़त का चले ऐसा जादू, दुश्मन भी हमारे हो जाए।’
Look at these lines, even in a romantic song, Shakeel has used the lines to highlight that even enemies can be made friends with love and affection.

3. Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya – Mughal E Azam (1960) Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus / Music – Naushad
One of the most popular songs of Hindi films ever! Akbar orders Anarkali to deceive Salim and then she would be free forever. But Anarkali prefers to announce her love in front of everyone in the Darbar. She declares her love for Salim and asks the world, why should she be scared, she loves him and that’s not a crime. When she can swear on God about their love, there’s no reason to hide it from people. Shakeel uses very appropriate words that suit the situation and the era. Akbar gets ashamed when Anarkali questions him, “पर्दा नहीं जब कोई ख़ुदा से, बंदों से पर्दा करना क्या”
The other songs are of course worth listening too!

4. Piya Aiso Jiya Mein – Sahib Biwi Ghulam (1963) Geeta Dutt / Music – Hemant Kumar
I always get stuck when it comes to writing about songs from this movie. Meena Kumari’s career best performance overshadows everything for me. In this song, she is getting ready for her husband. She is hopeful for the sindur to show its magical effects on him and make him stay with her. He has been in her mind and senses, she has no other thing to think about. She imagines him arriving at each footstep.

5. Yaad Mein Teri Jaag Jaag Ke – Mere Mehboob (1963) Lata Mangeshkar & Rafi / Music – Naushad
I like this song since childhood, as I listened to it on a cassette. My father had a great collection of old Hindi songs and this was a part of it. He is so deeply in love with her that he can’t forget her, even if the circumstances demand so. He keeps tossing in bed all night just thinking about her, unable to bring himself to sleep. I have nothing more to say about it. Enjoy it!

6. Mohhobat Ki Dhun Beqarar Se Puchho – Dil E Nadan (1953) Talat, Jagjit Kaur & Sudha Malhotra / Music – Ghulam Mohd.
Again, the song gives me goosebumps, as the three singers sing the beautiful lines one after the other. It’s a delight to watch gorgeous Shyama with Talat on the piano singing the song.
She has fragrant memories of someone special, who has stolen her peace of mind. But the blossoming love is still there in her heart.
A beautiful composition!

7. Badle Badle Mere Sarkar – Chaudavi Ka Chand (1960) Lata Mangeshkar / Music – Ravi
This is perhaps the only song Lata sang for Guru Dutt Films.
Shakeel describes a woman’s emotions who thinks her husband is no longer interested in her. She wonders if he is the same man who was always busy admiring her, and now doesn’t even give her a look. Her home is on the verge of breaking. She even experiences changes in her surroundings and other’s attitude to her also appears altered. The description is heart touching and makes you almost experience her situation.

8. Duniya Mein Hum Aaye Hai to – Mother India (1957) Lata Mangeshkar, Usha & Meena Mangeshkar / Music – Naushad
Radha (Nargis) is left alone with her kids and no one to look after them. She has no support from anyone. She still finds courage and strength and soothes her broken heart to stay calm and continue her struggle. She teaches her kids, never to lose hope and not to be ashamed of failures. Instead it will make you even more stronger and you can fight with destiny more vigorously. Such a powerful message in simple words, he makes it look so easy.

9. Koi Pyar Ki Dekhe Jadugari – Kohinoor (1960) Lata Mangeshkar & Rafi / Music – Naushad
The couple is riding horses in carefree attitude as they are finally together. The obstacles in their path are cleared away and they can enjoy freedom and each others company. Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari are free from the tragedy tags for once. The rhythm of horses footsteps makes it more enjoyable.

10. Raat Ki Mehfil Sooni Sooni – Noor Jahan (1967) Lata Mangeshkar / Music – Roshan
Though the song was not a part of the film, (it was omitted, God knows why?) it’s so wonderfully brilliant. This was again a period film and to do wonders was a child’s play for Shakeel.
It’s a song of self pity, but the depth of pain touches your soul. For me, it’s the best song from the movie.
‘सर को जहाँ टकराये जाकर ऐसी कोई दीवार नहीं।
हाय री किस्मत! हम दुनिया में प्यार के भी हक़दार नहीं।
दिल होता जो अपने बस में, लेते ना हम प्यार का नाम।’

11. Kaise Kahoon – Kaise Kahoon (1964) Lata Mangeshkar / Music – S D Burman
They worked together for two films only, but the songs were marvelous.
Kaise Kahoon was a good film though couldn’t do well at the box office. Nanda is in love with Vishwajit, who considers her as his closest friend. He takes her for granted so much that she is unable to express her love. One day she sings the song to express it, of course in his absence. But he gets back early to find her singing. They live in the same home, with her father who’s his mentor. So she says
‘बलमा नहीं तुझसे दूरी,फिर भी आशा नहीं होती पूरी।
रेह रेह के दिल मेरा धड़के जैसे छाए बहारें अधूरी।’
A beautiful song, equally well sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
The other film, Benzir was a Muslim social film, with lots of good songs. I particularly like ‘Mubaraq Hai Woh Dil Jis Ko Kisi Se Pyar Ho Jaye’ sung by Mangeshkar sisters.

12. Man Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj – Baiju Bawra (1952) Rafi / Music – Naushad
The song is famous as a perfect example of the saying ‘Songs have no boundaries of religion and caste’. Indeed it’s a great bhajan, sung, written and composed excellently.
Shakeel proved that he is not only fluent with Urdu, but can do wonders in pure Hindi as well. Just listen and get peace of mind.

13. Jab Chali Thandi Hawa – Do Badan (1966) Asha Bhosle / Music – Ravi
One of the most popular songs from the movie. She finds her life worthless without him and keeps remembering him, even everyday routine makes her think about him. Nothing makes her happy anymore not even the sun, beautiful views. Her sad remembrance turns her mushy and it feels like he is right there but she can’t be with him. Equal credit goes to Shakeel for his touchy words.

14. Zara Nazaron Se Kehdo – Bees Saal Baad (1962) Hemant Kumar / Music – Hemant Kumar
A typical chhed chhad song. He is teasing her and asking her to be careful with her killer eyes (nazar). He says it’s all just a game for her but a lot of men might get hurt. The world is her oyster and she can pick and choose. She doesn’t need any weapons as her innocence is her weapon along with her impeccable style.
‘ये भोलापन तुम्हारा ये शरारत और ये शोख़ी, जरूरत क्या तुम्हें तलवार की तीरों की खंज़र की।’
Shakeel’s another way to praise her beauty, appears here by comparing her adayein with various weapons. Waheeda’s adayein of course complement it perfectly.

15. Tere Husn Ki Kya Tareef Karoon – Leader (1963) Lata Mangeshkar & Rafi / Music – Naushad
Another romantic song, where he uses a different kind of words than usual. He is so utterly beguiled by her beauty that he is worried that anything he says will make her believe he is in love with her. She replies that her heart misses a beat when she sees him but not that she loves him. Such a sweet romantic song, a delight to listen!
It’s not a routine to have a romantic song with a different approach of teasing each other.
Its as if they are both determined to make each other believe they are not in love.

A Bonus song

§ Hui Yeh Hum Se Nadani – Chor Bazaar (1954) Lata Mangeshkar / Music – Sardar Malik §
A rarely heard song to end the list. It’s a pity that such a talented composer is forgotten,though the song is immortal. The ghazal keeps on lingering in our minds due to the powerful lyrics.
In the song, a disheartened woman expresses herself as inferior to her love. And says only if she could have realized it earlier, she might have saved herself from a lot of anguish.
‘ना क्यूँ अंजाम ए उल्फत देखकर आँसू निकल आए।
जहाँ की लूटने वाले खुद अपना घर लुटा बैठे।’


Which of the Shakeel’s song would you add?

Disclaimer –
Mehfil Mein Meri claims no credit of any image or song posted here. All the images and songs are copyrights of their owners. The song links shared from YouTube are for the musical lovers to enjoy the songs.

15 Replies to “My Favourites by Shakeel Badayuni”

  1. “I like this song since childhood

    LOL! A few weeks back, I was doing researching for a post and my daughter was playing in the room too. When she heard this song, she came running to watch too, and was completely transfixed, she loved it so much. In fact, for the next few days, she kept on requesting it. Eventually I got so sick of the song, I stopped. 🙂

    Nice list, and some really lovely songs there, though I think in most cases I remember them more for the music than for the lyrics.


    1. ” in most cases I remember them more for the music than for the lyrics”
      Yes, But I always think that the lyrics form an important but neglected part of the song. If we do remember the songs with the lyrics, it’s the lyrical part that plays at least an equal role for its success. If we tend to remember mainly the tune, the interlude music, then we may give more credit to composer.
      While choosing songs as here, I used the same criteria. for example, ‘Duniya Mein Hum Aaye Hai’ would be remembered for its easy but very meaningful lyrics, and not for the tune. Still it would be a famous song.
      Of course, these are my opinions.
      But in general, I think what you say is correct for a large number of songs.


      1. Being a writer, I would be the last person to say that the lyrics aren’t as important as the music! 😀 It’s just that some songs stand out for the sheer brilliance or poignancy of their lyrics. They make you think that the lyricist has not just strung together a series of words, but has really thought long and hard over them. A lot of Sahir’s songs – especially from Pyaasa – fit into that category. Sahir seems to have poured his heart into them, and SDB did a magnificent job in suiting the music to the words, never letting the music overshadow the words (or, in the case of Tang aa chuke hain, not even having any music).


        1. I would be the last person to say that the lyrics aren’t as important as the music!
          I guess, you are right in a sense! If we consider general public, they hardly think about the lyricists. I would say all the components are equally important. Of course, not all the songs have excellent lyrics, and a very few have brilliant words or deep thoughts wrapped in a simple language. But the lyricists of old film songs used to consider about the situation, the character who’s going to act, the thought process of the character, the background of the film, etc. So it wouldn’t have been an easy task to write.
          You rightly said about the songs of Pyaasa

          And yesterday, my love for lyricists, made me forgot the first part of your comment about the LO! That was so sweet. She really likes such old songs, is so appreciable at her age. That song is my favourite too!
          My daughter used to like ‘Chhupa Chhupi Agad Bagad’ from savera, and she kept on hearing the song and I started hating it soon! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Anup G ,
    I liked the post.
    I liked the short biography.
    I liked commentary on songs.
    I liked selection of songs.

    Yes.It is the saddest thing about the lyricists that pple don’t give much importance to them.
    We can identify singers nd many of the music directors from their photo but how many lyricists can we identify from their pics ?!!!!

    I suggest / request U to write a Post no.2 of rare meaningful gems of Shakeel ji .

    Btw , thnx for this post.


    1. Thanks a lot Pramodji for appreciation.
      And yes it’s sad that much importance is not given to lyricist.
      I suggest / request U to write a Post no.2 of rare meaningful gems of Shakeel ji .
      That’s a good suggestion! I’ll try to do that.
      I have to plan it of course, but i would love to!
      Thanks for the suggestion!


  3. Anupji, regarding your comment about your daughter loving Chhuppa chhuppi – that’s one of my favourites too, and I played it for the LO a few times, but she doesn’t seem to care for it much. But the other day, we listened to a random playlist – all b/w songs – and she sang happily along to Mera naam Chin Chin Choo (to which she danced as well; she loves dancing) and Sar jo tera chakraaye, but the song that was “the best” (her words, not mine) was Ae dil hai mushkil.

    I’m so happy that she’s happy listening to old songs! We must start them young. 😉


  4. Loved this post. Shakeel will remain all time favorite lyricist due to his simple and meaningful verses.
    Just wanted to add three songs which I consider his best songs, considering popularity and soulfulness.
    “na milta gham tau barbadi ke afsane kahan jate” AMAR
    “ye zindagi ke mele duniya mein na honge” MELA and
    “o’ door ke musafir hum ko bhi sath lele” UDAN KHATOLA.

    ps– how can I forget “hum bhi agar bache hote naam hamara hota” DOOR KI AWAZ.


    1. Lovely songs Naghma ji!
      Totally great songs!
      Na Milta Gham To from Amar is my favourite among the four mentioned by you.
      but Hum Bhi Agar Bacchhe is a completely different class altogether!
      a thoroughly enjoyable song. Here it is

      And the one from Amar, It’s difficult to select a single song from Amar.



  5. Anupji,
    A well written and structured article. Made nice reading. Loved listening to the songs too.
    I would add a lovely
    ghazal by Talat Mahmood..

    It was originally from the film Pak Daman (1957) (Mentioned by Dr.Shetty in Soy) in the voice of Shaqeel.. In fact Shaqeel made an appearance in the film.


    1. Welcome Venkatramanji to Mehfil. Thanks for the appreciation.
      Nice to see you here on my blog. I have been reading your comments on SoY.
      And thanks for adding the Talat song. I wasn’t aware of the song, nor the fact that it was actually from Paak Daman and Shakil himself had sung it in the movie. Thanks for sharing the trivia.


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