Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics were made timeless by his strong feminism
Abhi na jao chhod kar ke dil abhi bhara nahin. The film’s rousing love ballad, “Hum Dono,” is widely considered to be one of the best love songs written for Hindi cinema. One cannot help but be swept away by the sheer poetic prowess of Sahir Ladhianvi when listening to the timeless ghazals “Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe rona aaya” and “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya…” sung by Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle.
Asha Bhosle and Mukesh, in the film Phir Subah Hogi, personified the aspirations of every Indian in the post-Nehruvian era with their rendition of “Woh subah kabhi toh aayegi” by Sahir Ludhianvi.
When Rafi sang “Jihne naaz hai Hind par woh kahan hai” by Sahir, he personified the post-Nehruvian disillusionment of every Indian.
We should all take a moment on this International Women’s Day to reflect on Sahir’s “Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko” (Sadhana, 1958): “Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko, mardon ne ussey bazaar diya/Jab jee chaha masla kuchla, jab jee chaaha dhutkar diya/Mar
Sahir Ludhianvi’s eloquent yet stinging words on the place of women in our society still ring true today. There has never been a better ode to the womanhood that has been stifled by patriarchal rituals.
It is one of my proudest moments as an actress to have such a great song about womanhood,” says the luminous Vyjayanthimala, who lip-synced Lataji’s voice in the film. The words of Sahir saab were like chiselled inscriptions in stone. If there was ever a song that best represented who I am, it would be this one. That song could only have been sung by Lataji.