Qamar Jalalabadi

"Ik dilke tukde hazaar huye,koyi yahan gira koyi wahan gira…

Bahte huye aansoo ruk na sake,koyi yahan gira koyi wahan gira…"

He wrote unforgettable soulful song in 1948 for the film Pyar Ki Jeet. This was one of his personal favourites, and went on to be the lament in his life as he kept losing people he cared for one by one; and was forcedinto a final quagmire of loneliness as he weakly wrestled with the agonies of old age as well as a nondescript existence. There was no way to collect any of the remaining 'tukde' and join them, since they had disintegrated completely and were too far apart, so finally on 9th January 2003 he bid farewell to this pulsating Metropolis with its permanent rush hour sequence. His greatest attribute was his acceptance of life and other people on a complete as is where is basis. His philosophic manifestations took form in his songs, and even his most emotional ballad or romantic ditty conveyed a subtle hangover of philosophy.

He was born in a Punjabi family in 1917 in Amritsar, in a small town called Jalalabad, and was named Om Prakash. Right from the tender age of seven he starting writing poetry in Urdu. There was no encouragement from home, but a wandering minstrel poet named Amar met him in his hometown and encouraged him to write, recognizing his immense talent and potential. He also gave him the ‘takhallus’ of ‘Qamar’ which means moon, and Jalalabadi was added for effect because Qamarji hailed from that town. It was the general trend in those days for writers to name themselves after the towns they hailed from. After completing his matriculation from Amritsar, Qamarji embarked on his journalistic career journey by writing for Lahore based newspapers like Daily Milap, DailyPratap, Nirala, Star Sahakar. The lure of the Film industry brought him to Pune in the the early Forties. In 1942, he wrote lyrics for his first film Zameendar which was a Pancholi Pictures production and the songs of this film were very well received, especially the song sung by Shamshad Begum "Duniya me garibonko aaraam nahi milta….rote hain to hasne ka paigaam nahi milta…." which also had a line or two written by writer and poet Behzaad Lucknowi.

Thereafter he shifted to Mumbai with family and thus began an eventful career in the glorious film industry which went on for nearly 4 decades. His songs were elusive wordplays that made you ponder deeply, looking for the hidden depths that were left upon the listener to uncover. Although he wrote what the need of the moment dictated, his gentle personality seeped through his lyrics. Potent love, deep excruciating pain and longing, ecstasy beyond comprehension, also hurt and humiliation that one faces in life through no fault; in other words every itsy bitsy emotion a lover or beloved goes through in the tryst to acquire true love, were portrayed in his effervescent songs. Golden voices of the legendary singers like NoorJehan, G.MDurrani, Zeenath Begum, Manju, Amirbai Karnatqi and many others added mesmeric glitz to Qamarji’s deeply meaningful songs; alongwith eclectic singers like Mohd. Rafi, Talat Mahmood, Geeta Roy, Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Mukesh, Manna Dey, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar and the Nightingale of India Lata Mangeshkar.

Not many people may know that the immortal composer S.D Burman had also rendered a comic song penned by Qamarji in the film Eight Days in 1946. The song was tuned by S.D Burman and the ticklish wordings were as follows…"O babu babu re dil ko bachana bachana, tere dilka banega nishaana…….". Music composer Sardar Malik had rendered a few soulful songs in his heydays, and Qamarji had written several ballads for him. One memorable song was from the film Renuka in 1947 "sunti nahi duniya kabhi fariyaad kissi ki, Dil rota raha aati rahi yaad kissiki….". The regal Beauty of her times Naseem Banu sang a heart-wrenching ghazal penned by Qamarji "Dil kis liye rota hai...pyar ki duniya me, aisa hi hota hai" for the film Mulaquat in 1947. Dancing legend Sitara Devi emoted a few of Qamarji’s songs in the film Chand In 1944 and in this film she played a cameo role as the slim and svelte second leading lady alongwith the charming Begum Para and dashing hero Prem Adib. Chand was one of the earliest of Qamarji’s successful and memorable films.

As a lyricist he handled anything from the ridiculous to the sublime with equal deftness. On one hand he wrote mesmeric duets like "sun mere sajana dekhoji mujhko bhool na jana…" sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd. Rafi (film: Aansoo 1953) and on the other hand he penned comic relief songs like "aaj pahli taarik hai" endured with full throttle gusto by Kishore Kumar (film: Pehli Tarikh-1954). This song turned into veritable anthem and was played on Radio Ceylon on the first if every month for decades, and it probably still is. The film Howrah Bridge (1954) sky-rocketed his career as lyricist to unpredescented heights. Songs like "mera naam Chin Chin Chu" (Geeta Dutt) and "aaiye meherbaan, baithiye janejaan…." (Asha Bhonsle) are still as breathtaking as ever, and are remembered far and wide for their rollicking tunes by Maestro Music composer O.P Nayyar as well as for the succulent lyrics. It is a sad thought though that very few people know who the writer of these songs is.

In his personal life he was a highly principled personality who had his own unique rules and beliefs. He began each day with prayers that comprised of loud chanting of excerpts from The Bhagwad Geeta, The Holy Koran as well as The Bible. He was deeply into transcendental meditation, and was mostly embedded in his writing for most part of the day. A true Karma yogi as well, who took care of his ailing parents as long as they lived, nurtured his brothers and sisters, even gave up a bungalow in Khar in his heydays to one of his married sisters to save her from a difficult marriage, and shifted to simpler accommodation in Juhu with family. He was a benevolent and kind father and fought against all odds to provide for his seven children, and he managed to give us all a pretty decent life and put us all through college. His relationship with his wife was unique in the sense that my mother Smt. Leelawati was the traditional housewife, but also a friend and philosopher to my Father. They shared a rare bond of togetherness, he preferred to sit at home and chat with her over a cuppa, discussing every topic under the sun, instead of blowing his time in some mehfil with friends with a drink in hand.

He had several friends and hundreds of fans whom he lovingly called his "pankhe". His fan mail came in various languages; Hindi, English, Urdu and many regional languages as well. I remember how meticulously he replied to all his fan mail and judiciously sent an autographed photo as well. Some of his favorite people were poet Qateel Shifai, Ameen Sayani, Kalyanji and Anandji, the elusive O.P Nayyar who visited him some time before Qamarji’s demise, Music Composer S.D Batish, C.L Kavish, D.D Kashyap and many more. From his past associations he remembered G.Damle of Prabhat Film Company, Dattaram Pai of Filmistan, Babubhai Mitra, Husnlal Bhagatram and S.Mukherji the most as they had been a part of his initial glorious days as a lyricist. It is impossible to equate a man’s lifetime in words. In his long career span he worked for several Film Companies like; Prabhat Film Company, Pancholi Pictures, Filmistan Ltd., Famous Pictures, Minerva Movietone, Prakash Pictures, Wadia Films Ltd., Filmkar Ltd., Sippy Films, N.C Sippy Films, Shri Shakti Films, Mitra Productions and many more.

He was one of the founder Members of prestigious organizations like FILM WRITERS ASSOCIATION & IPRS in Mumbai. The music Composers he worked with were; Ghulaam Haider, G.Damle, Pt.Amarnath, Khemchand Prakash, Husnlal Bhagatram, S.D. Burman, Anil Biswas, Shyam Sunder, Sajjad Hussain, C.Ramchandra, Madan Mohan, Sudhir Phadke, S.D. Batish, Sardar Malik, Ravi, Avinash Vyas and in the latter phase of his career with O.P Nayyar, Kalyanji Anandji, Sonik Omi, Uttam Singh and Laxmikant Pyarelal as well. Most music lovers may not be aware that Qamarji was a polished and highly acclaimed Adabi Shayar as well, and had graced innumerable Mushairas and symposiums related to Urdu Poetry all over India. Some gems of his Shairy are available [here] for all the die-hard fans of Vintage music and mystical Poetry.

Qamar Jalalabadi Popular Songs

"Duniya me garibon ko aaraam nahi milta

Rote hain to hasne ka paigaam nahi milta…."

Film: Zameendar (1942)

Singer: Shamshad Begum

Music: Ghulaam Haider

"Umeed tadapti hai roti hai tamanaen

Duniya ka takaza hai duniya se chale jaen…"

Film: Pagli (1943)

Singer: Shamshad Begum

Music: Gobindram\Jhande khan

"Ai chand bata mujhko kya isi ka naam hai pyar

Ik pardesi ne chhedi hai mere man ki taar…"

Film: Chand (1944)

Singers: Zeenat Begum\G.M Durrani

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"O mere Bhagwan ab to humse raha na jaye

Maang rahi hai nyay duniya maang rahi hai nyay…"

Film: Ram Shastri (1944)

Singer: Meenakshi

Music: G. Damle

"Toote huye do dil tere darbaar me aaye

Bhagwaan!Bhagwaan inhe kaun milaye…"

Film: Kaise Kahoon (1945)

Singer: Zeenat Begum

Music: Pandit Amarnath

"Pahle na samjha pyar tha samjha to tum hi chal diye

Tum to gaye pardes hum rote hain milne ke liye…"

Film: Eight Days (1946)

Singer: Amirbai Karnatqi

Music: S.D. Burnam

"Chota sa Raja aaya chhotasa re

Aaya Gokul me chhotasa Raja…"

Film: Gokul (1946)

Singers: Manik Verma\Sathi

Music: Sudhir Phadke

"Aa…ankhon me aa palkon me aa aake chhup ja

Dekhe na koyi more piya…"

Film: Nargis (1946)

Singer: Ameerbai Karnatqi

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"Meri ankhen cham cham chamak uthi honton pe jaage geet re

Kya isi ka naam hai preet re…"

Film: Leela (1947)

Singers: Geeta Roy\Beena Pani

Music: C.Ramchandra

"Ho…..Kya yehi tera pyar tha..

Mujhko to intazaar tha…"

Film: Mirza Sahibaan (1947)

Singer: Noor Jahan

Music: Pandit Amarnath\Husnlal Bhagatram

"O roothe huye Bhagwan…Tumko kaise manaun

Tu hi nahi sunta to kisko haal sunaun…"

Film: Sindoor (1947)

Singer: Amirbai Karnatqi

Music: Khemchand Prakash

"O door jane wale waada na bhool jana

Raatein huyi andheri tum chand banke aana"

Film: Pyar ki Jeet (1948)

Singer: Suraiya

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"Badnaam na ho jaye mohabbat ka fasana

O dard bhare aansuon ankhon me na aana"

Film: Shaheed (1948)

Singer: Surindar Kaur

Music: Ghulam Haider

"Voh paas rahen yaa door rahen nazron me samaye rahte hain

Itna to bata de koyi hume kya pyar isiko kahte hain…"

Film: Badi Bahen (1949)

Singer: Suraiya

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"O….Pardei musafir kisko karta hai ishaare

itna to bata de tera dil kisko pukare, kisko pukare…"

Film: Balam (1949)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar\Suraiya

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"Saajan ki galiyan chhod chale dil roya aansoo bah na sake

Yeh jeena bhi kya jeena hai hum unko apna kah na sake…"

Film: Bazaar (1949)

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Music: Shyam Sunder

"Zara sun lo hum apne pyar ka afsana kahte hain

Hume yeh duniya wale aapka diwana kahte hain…"

Film: Bazaar (1949)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar\Raajkumari

Music: Shyam Sunder

"Lut gaya din raat ka aaraam kyun

Ai mohabbat tera yeh anjaam kyun…"

Film: Lekh (1949)

Singer: Mukesh

Music: Krishna Dayal

"Kismat me bichhadna tha huyi kyun unse mulaqat re

Na rooth ke mujhse ja ke mera dil nahi mere haath re…"

Film: Shabnam (1949)

Singers: Geeta Roy\Mukesh

Music: S.D. Burman

"Yeh duniya roop ki chor bacha le mujhe Babu bacha le mujhe Babu re…"

Film: Shabnam (1949)

Singer: Shamshad Begum

Music: S.D. Burman

"Mujhse yeh kah rahi hain tasveer ki lakeeren

Ban ban ke bigadti hain taqdeer ki lakeeren.."

Film: Gauna (1950)

Singers: Shamshad Begum\Geeta Roy

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"O Maahi O Maahi O Dupatta mera de de

Dupatta mera de de..."

Film: Meena Bazaar (1950)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar\Mohd.Rafi

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"O Sanam O Sanam O Sanam Mai tujhe Pukaroon Sanam Sanam Sanam Sanam"

Film: Sanam (1951)

Singers: Mohd.Rafi\Suraiya

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"Hum hain tere diwane gar tu bura na mane

Kisse hain yeh purane gar tu bura na mane"

Film: Shabistan

Singers: Geeta Roy\Talat Mahmood

Music: C.Ramchandra

"Meri Naiya hai majdhaar Prabhu Tu paar lagane wala

Sau baar mitaye duniya mujhe Maalik hai bachane wala"

Film: Anjaam (1952)

Singer: Geeta Roy

Music: Madan Mohan

"Mohabbat ki hum chot khaye huye hain

Kissi bewafa ke sataye huye hain…"

Film: Farmaish (1953)

Singer: Mohd Rafi

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"Tum dil ko tod doge has has ke hum sahenge

Tum todte rahoge hum jodte rahenge…"

Film: Farmaish (1953)

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Music: Husnlal Bhagatrem

"O..Dil na lagana

Jeene na dega yeh zamana…"

Film: Mashooqa (1953)

Singer: Mukesh

Music: Roshan

"O rone wale aansoo chhupale

Ik do ghadi muskura le…"

Film: Pehli Taarikh (1954)

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Music: Sudhir Phadke

"Kabhi hai gam kabhi khushiyaan yahi to zindagani hai

Kabhi lab par hasi hai aur kabhi aankhon me pani hai…"

Film: Waaris (1954)

Singer: Talat Mahmood

Music: Anil Biswa

"Raahi matwale tu chhed ik baar man ka sitar

Jane kab chori chori aayi yeh bahar chhed man ka sitar.."

Film: Waaris(1954)

Singer: Talat Mahmood

Music: Anil Biswas

"Ai meri zindagi tujhe dhoondoon kahan

Na to milke gaye na hi chhoda nishaan…"

Film: Adl-E-Jahangir(1954)

Singer: Talat Mahmood

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"Apna hi ghar lutane diwana jaa raha hai

Khud shamma ko bujhane Parwana jaa raha hai…"

Film: Adl-E-Jahangir(1954)

Singer: Mohd. Rafi

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"Bhool jaa sapne suhane bhool jaa

Kaise tujhko bhulaoon Saajna…saajana..."

Film: Rajdhani(1956)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar\Talat Mahmood

Music: Hansraj Bahl

"O Aasmaanwale jeene nahi hain dete

Tere jahaan waale…"

Film: Aanbaan(1956)

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

"Mera jala raat bhar diyA na aaye piya

O duniya yeh kya kiya re…"

Film: Chamak Chandini

Singer: Sudha Malhotra

Music: Sardar Malik

"Mohabbat zinda rahti hai mohabbat mar nahi sakti

Aji insaan kya yeh to Khuda se dar nahi sakti…"

Film: Changez Khan(1957)

Singer: Mohd.Rafi

Music: Hansraj Bahl

"Jab raat nahi katati ik raat nahi katati

Zindagi kaise kategi..."

Film: Changez Khan (1957)

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Music: Hansraj Bahl

"Rooth ke tum to chal diye ab mai dua ko kya karoon

Jisne hume juda kiya aise Khuda ko kya karoon..."

Film: Jalti Nishani (1957)

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Music: Anil Biswas

"Chhotasa baalma ankhiyan neend chura le gayo re

Ratiyan neend na aaye…"

Film: Ragini (1968)

Singer: Asha Bhonsle

Music: O.P Nayyar

"Ik Pardesi mera dil le gaya

Jaate jaate meetha meetha gam de gaya…"

Film: Phagun(1958)

Singers: Asha Bhonsle\Mohd. Rafi

Music: O.P Nayyar

"Mai soya ankhinyaan meeche teri zulfonke neeche

Duniya ko bhool diwani ab raha zamana peechey…"

Film: Phagun (1958)

Singers: Mohd.Rafi\Asha Bhonsle

Music: O.P Nayyar

"Jo waqt pe kaam aa jaaye

Aji wahi sahaara achha hai..."

Film: Farishta (1958)

Singer: Mohd. Rafi

Music: O.P Nayyar

"Mera naam Chin Chin Chu

Raat chandni mai aur tu.."

Film: Howrah Bridge (1958)

Singer: Geeta Roy

Music: O.P Nayyar

"Aaiye meherbaan,baithiye jaan-e-jaan

Shouk se leejiyeji, ishq ke imtihaan"

Film: Howrah Bridge (1958)

Singer: Asha Bhonsle

Music: O.P Nayyar

"Eent ki dukki paan ka ikka kahin joker Kahin satta hai suno ji yeh Calcutta hai..."

Film: Howrah Bridge (1958)

Singer: Mohd Rafi

Music: O.P Nayyar

"Chori chori ik ishaare ho gaya hai

Dil hamara tha tumhare ho gaya…"

Film: Basant (1960)

Singers: Mohd. Rafi\Asha Bhonsle

Music: O.P Nayyar

"Dum dum diga diga mausam bhiga bhiga

Bin peeye mai to gira mai to gira…"

Film: Chhalia (1960)

Singer: Mukesh

Music: Kalyanji Anandji

"Teri raahon me khade hain dil thaam ke haaye

Hum hain diwane tere naam ke…"

Film: Chhalia (1960)

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Music: Kalyanji Anandji

"Tu hai mera prem devta in charnon ki daasi hoon mai

Man ki pyas bujhane aayi antarghat tak pyasi hoon mai…"

Film: Kalpana (1960)

Singers: Mohd.Rafi\Manna Dey

Music: O.P Nayyar

"Pyaase panchi neel gagan me geet khushi ke gaayen

Is mele me hum hain akele saathi kise banaye…"

Film: Pyaase Panchhi (1961)

Singer: Mukesh

Music: Kalyanji Anandji

"Phir tumhari yaad aayi hai Sanam ai Sanam

Hum na bhoolenge tumhe Allah kasam…"

Film: Rustom Sohrab (1963)

Singers: Mohd.Rafi\Manna Dey\Sadat Khan

Music: Sajjad Hussain

"Mai to ik khwab hoon is khwab se tu pyar na kar

Pyar ho jaye to phir pyar ka izhaar na kar…"

Film : Himalay ki godmein (1965)

Singer : Mukesh

Music : Kalyanji Anandji

"Rafta rafta voh hamare dil ke mehmaan ho gaye

Pahle jaan phir jaan-e- jaan phir jaan-e-jana ho gaye…"

Film: HumKahanJaaRaheHain (1966)

Singers: Asha Bhonsle\Mahendra Kapoor

Music: Basant Prakash

"Donon ne kiya tha pyar magar

Mujhe yaad raha tu bhool gayi…"

Film: Mahua (1969)

Singer: Mohd. Rafi

Music: Sonik-Omi