Friday, April 10, 2020


                    ( Poet Makhdoom )
                ( Iqbal Qureshi)
                   ( Iqbal Qureshi)
                      (Chandrasekhar )


“ Yaar Iqbal   ,  mera gilaas phir bhar do  .  Makhdoom ,  phir   dubaara sunaao :

“ Az azal ta abad
ye bataa chaaraagar teri zambeel mein
nuskhaa-e-keemiyaa-e-muhabbat bhi hai
kuchh ilaaj-o-mudaavaa-e- ulfat bhi hai?
Do badan pyaar ki aag mein jal gaye
Ek chameli ke mandwe tale”

"From the creation to the end of this world  ,
Healer ! Let me know ,
Does your Box  of remedies
Contain something like the concoction of love?
Has it  any cure  for the love-sick?
Two Bodies  lost in the flames of  love .
Under the Jasmine  adorned support.
Two bodies,


 Makhdoom , Yeh nazm  mujhe be-inteha pasand hai. film ke medium se saare Hindustaan mein Phail sakti hai . ”

This is what  Telgu actor  Chandrashekhar  told to his friends Iqbal Qureshi and poet Makhdoom . Like many Hyderabadis of that period, Chandrashekhar was a connoisseur of Urdu literature .The  poem was equally close to Iqbal Qureshi's  heart . Many   common friends including   Vithal Rao and  Suddala Hanmanthu loved this poem.
That day  Iqbal Qureshi,   Makhdoom and Chandershekhar  were drinking   inside a  bar cum restaurant in Hyderabad city .    Chandrashekhar was  an  upcoming Telgu film actor at that time while  Makhdoom had already established  himself as a revolutionary Urdu  poet .

The poem  was conceived  when  Makhdoom visited the graves of Master  Ashiq Ali and his beloved in Nalgunda. Ashiq Ali was a trade union leader who also had supported Makhdoom in Telengana agitation apart
joining him in  anti Nizam agitation in Hyderabad state.

Who is referred to as  'Charaagar' in the poem?  When this question was put to Makhdoom , he remained silent.

Iqbal Qureshi was  more  than six feet  (6 feet and four inches ) tall. He was from Aurangabad  but had come to live in Hyderabad where he  joined AIR as singer  . Music was his childhood passion. In Hyderabad , he also established  an academy to conduct  musical shows .   He had impressed   Chandershekhar and Makhdoom with his skill to play with  various musical instruments including harmonium , flute and Tabla .  They became close friends and would spend their evenings  together.  Later Iqbal was transferred to Bombay and that proved lucky for him.  Chandrashekhar  had already moved to Bombay . In Bombay , Iqbal Qureshi joined  joined IPTA  where he  came into contact with many  film and theatre artists and writers .  He was engaged as a  musician for IPTA plays  . It was Lekhraj Bakhri who noticed his talent and offered him a break in a movie  (1958  Panchayat )   that had Manoj Kumar in the lead role.This was followed by Bindiya ( 1960 ) ,  Love in Shimla ( 1960 ) , Umar Qaid ( 1961 )and Banarasi Thug (1962 )

By now his friends Chandrashekhar and Makhdoom had climbed the popularity ladder in their respective fields. The desire to set Makhdoom’s poem ‘ Ek Chameli Ke mandve tale ’ to music was still fresh in Iqbal’s  heart. He suggested to Chandershekhar  who   was  a successful   Bollywood  actor  for a project that would include Makhdoom’s immortal poem. That is how’ Cha Cha Cha ‘ was born in 1964. Chandrashekhar  wrote the screenplay,  dialogues ,produced and  directed the movie. And finally Iqbal Qureshi's music gave immortality to Makhdoom's poem ' Chaaraagar'.Chandrashekhar was more than happy .

Cha Cha Cha was the debut movie for poet lyricist Gopal Das Neeraj. In fact Chandrasekhar had heard Neeraj in some Mushairas /  Kavi Samelans and had become admirer of his poetry.  He wanted a poem of Neeraj  to be included as a song in Cha Cha Cha.When Iqbal Qureshi set tune for  Neeraj's song' Subah Na Aayi' , he was not comfortable with the word' khandahar'  appearing in it . He wanted to get it changed.  He told Neeraj:

" Neeraj Sahib, Gaana zabardast likha hai. Sirf lafz Khandahar se gaane ki dhun ke  flow me thoda rukaawat sa  lag raha hai. Koyi aur  khoobsoorat lafz  Daal do. " Even  singer Mohd. Rafi  felt so. Neeraj refused to change it saying that the entire focus of the poem shall get disturbed .  If one reads the poem , Khandahar is apt and the most  appropriate word . But when one  listens to  the song ,  one  tends to go with Iqbal Qureshi.

Makhdoom came to Mumbai during the  recording of his song 'Ek Chambeli ke Mandve Taley' . It was a  great reunion of three  old friends. I am informed that Cha Cha Cha team ,  along with poet  Makhdoom  visited Kashmir sometime in  1964  and shot some scenes/ sequences  in   Dal Lake and other locations  . Chandrasekhar played the role of singer Puran Chand Kashmiri in this film .

Iqbal Qureshi scored music for  some hit  film songs. Some songs were unique and trendsetters. I quote some songs composed  of this musical genius ;

(1)   Mujhe raat din yeh khayaal hai

(2)   Subah na aayi shaam na aayi

(3)   Vo hum na thay vo tum na thay

(4)   Phir aane lagaa yaad vohi pyaar ka aalam

(5)   Ek Chambeli ke mandve taley

(6)   Husan vale husn ka anjaam de

(7)   Me apne aap se ghabra gaya huun

(8)   Ta thaiya kar ke aana
(9) Aaj Mausam ki masti mein gaaye pawan

This talented  giant was overlooked and ignored  by film industry post ‘ Cha Cha Cha’. He didn’t get A grade films . He moved to Bhojpuri and B and C grade films and finally died in 1998 .

( Avtar Mota )


In Mumbai, Makhdoom also teamed up with music director Madan Mohan for a film project. Before that Makhdoom's song " Jaane waale sipaahi se poochho" was also used for 1960 movie "Ussnay kahaa Thhaa".

After the deäth of Makhdoom, his Gazals were also used in films like GAMAN(1978), BAZAAR(1982) and  MANDI(1983). " Aap ki Yaad Aati Rahi Baat bhar" from  movie GAMAN written by Makhdoom won best play back singer award for Chhaya Ganguli.

"Phir Chhirri Raat Baat Phoolon ki"sung by Lata Ji for BAZAAR , touched new heights of popularity . For MANDI , Asha Ji sang " Ishq ke Sholay ko Bhadakaao" a Ghazal written by Makhdoom .

Makhdoom loved Kashmir. Amongst his many friends in Kashmir,  Poet Dina Nath remained close to him. Like Nadim, Makhdoom was also an admirer of Mayakovasky. He paid his last visit to  Kashmir in 1969 and died of a massive heart attack   the same year . He was 61  .

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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