Yeh Duniya Agar vs. Duniya – from Sahir Ludhianvi to Piyush Mishra!

The story goes that Director Anurag Kashyap was depressed over not being able to release his film Paanch and was watching Pyaasa! Let me add that there is no better state than a depressed one for watching Pyaasa, just as there is no better state to get drunk in as one of disappointment in love! Out of this state emerged a film called Gulaal. I am a huge fan of Gulaal, but I particularly the music in the film. For me the music makes the film, and the lyrics make the music of Gulaal! In the film there is a track called Duniya – which of course owes inspiration directly to Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye to Kya Hai. One is written by the noted Shayar Sahir Ludhiyanvi and composed by the maestro SD Burman, the derivation is written by fledgling (Comparatively speaking) poets Swaanand Kirkire and Piyush Mishra, and composed and sung by Piyush Mishra – his first stint at composing/singing. So are the two songs directly comparable and is the derivation at all distinguishable from the original? I decided to revisit both and listen to them more carefully:

This song, sung is a state of growing despair by Rafi Saab, talks of one man’s personal tragedy that is compounded by the state of the world he is living in! And he is not afraid to demand a destruction of the world around him, because after all what is it worth to him, and indeed to all of humanity? The singing rises to a fever pitch as the protagonist is physically dragged away from the stage and forcibly stopped form making his voice heard.

Film: Pyaasa – 1957
Song :Yeh Duniya Agar
Lyricist :Saahir Ludhiyanvi
Singer :Mohammad Rafi
Music Director :Sachindev Burman

Ye mahalon, ye takthon, ye taajon ki duniyaa
Ye inasaan ke dushman samaajon ki duniyaa
Ye daulat ke bhuukhe rivaazon ki duniyaa
Ye duniyaa agar mil bhii jaaye to kyaa hai

Har ek jism ghaayal, har ek ruh pyaasi
Nigaahon mein uljhan, dilon mein udaasi
Yeh duniyaa hai yaa aalam-e-badhavaasi
yeh duniyaa …

Jahaan ek khilonaa hai inasaan ki hasti
Ye basti hai murdaa-paraston ki basti
Jahaan aur jivan se hai maut sasti
yeh duniyaa …

Javaani bhatakti hai bezaar bankar
Javaan jism sajate hai baazaar bankar
Jahaan pyaar hotaa hai vyaapaar bankar
ye duniyaa …

Yeh duniyaa jahaan aadami kuchh nahin hai
Vafaa kuchh nahin, dosti kuchh nahin hai
Jahaan pyaar ki kadr hi kuchh nahin hai
ye duniyaa …

Jalaa do, jalaa do ise phoonk daalo ye duniyaa
Mere saamne se hataa lo ye duniyaa
Tumhaari hai tumhi sambhalo ye duniya, ye duniyaa …

Film : Gulaal – 2009
Song : Duniya
Music : Piyush Mishra
Lyrics : Piyush Mishra & Swanand Kirkire
Singer : Piyush Mishra

Next we look at the inspired version. Now no one in their right minds can compare the visuals of having Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rahman, Rahman, Mala Sinha in the same frame to that of a dying Kay Kay Menon and several lesser actors staggering about! BUT what is the message in this version? Here an idealist gets trapped into student politics, where a much larger game is afoot, his illusions are shattered and not by a woman who loves him and leaves him, but by a woman who exploits him for her and her brother’s political ideology. There is a darker subtext that includes the stigma of illegitimacy and the almost incestuous relationship that the twin siblings share! Added into all this is the despair of youth and the clash between the “innocent ideology” of student politics and the darkness of real politics, the exploitation of innocence by experience! The hero, in a fit of despair, does away with what he thinks is the main cause of the problems, and as he himself lies dying, the dark forces are shown to triumph! Thus Gulaal leaves one with a deeper wound that goes beyond that of love lost and a life ruined. And the lyrics are more profound in that they talk not only of the world here and now but reject statements that there may be a better world beyond this one! A deep and despairing message that is emphasized on screen with the twins triumphing, the brother’s “coronation” is watched with a fixed fascination by the sister who has now shed all her femininity and with a lance in her hand, turbaned and with gulaal smeared on her face, she, who was the weapon is now a mere pawn, and one of many, in the game.

O Ri Duniya
Surmayi Aankhon Ke Pyaalon Ki Duniya
Satrangi Rangon Gulaalon Ki Duniya..O Duniya
Alsaayi Sezon Ke Phoolon Ki Duniya
Angdaai Tode Kabootar Ki Duniya
Karwat Le Soyi Haqueeqat Ki Duniya
Deewaani Hoti Tabeeyat Ki Duniya
Khwahish Mein Lipti Zaroorat Ki Duniya
Insaan Ke Sapno Ki Neeyat Ki Duniya..O Duniya

O Ri Duniya

Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai

Mamta Ki Bikhri Kahaani Ki Duniya
Behno Ki Siski Jawaani Ki Duniya
Aadam Ke Hawwaa Se Rishte Ki Duniya
Shaayar Ke Pheeke Lafzon Ki Duniya

Ghalib Ke Momin Ke Khwaabon Ki Duniya
Majaazon Ke Un Inqualaabon Ki Duniya
Faiz Firaaq Aur Saahir O Makhdoom
Mir Ki Zauk Ki Daagh Ki Duniya

Ye Duniya Agar

Pal Chhin Mein Baatein Chali Jaati Hain Hain
Pal Chhin Mein Raatein Chali Jaati Hain Hain
Reh Jaata Hai Jo Savera Wo Dhoondhey
Jalte Makaan Mein Basera Wo Dhoondhey
Jaisi Bachi Hai Waisi Ki Waisi Bachaa Lo Ye Duniya
Apna Samajhke Apno Ke Jaisi Uthaalo Ye Duniya

Chhut Put Si Baaton Mein Jalne Lagegi Sambhaalo Ye Duniya
Kat Pit Ke Raaton Mein Palne Lagegi Sambhaalo Ye Duniya..

O Ri Duniya

Wo Kahein Hain Ki Duniya Ye Itni Nahi Hai
Sitaaron Se Aage Jahaan Aur Bhi Hain
Ye Hum Hi Nahi Hain Wahaan Aur Bhi Hain
Hamaari Har Ek Baat Hoti Wahin Hai

Hamein Aitraaz Nahi Hai Kahin Bhi
Wo Aalim Hain Faazil Hain Honge Sahi Hi
Magar Falsafaa Ye Bigad Jaata Hai
Jo Wo Kehte Hain

Aalim Ye Kehta Wahaan Eeshwar Hai
Faazil Ye Kehta Wahaan Allah Hai

Tumhari Hai Tum Hi Sambhalon Ye Duniya
Ye Bujhte Huye Chand Baasi Charaaghon Ki
Tumhaare Ye Kaale Iraadon Ki Duniya

I know that the prime source is the one that deserves more credit, but here the inspired version reaches beyond the inspiration, and in fact outdoes it in the depth of despair it is able to portray. It is all held together with the deep and resonant voice of Piyush Mishra. So Duniya is no lesser than that which created it and Piyush and Swanand deserve much credit for this song. While no one can really compare to Sachin Da, the simplicity of Piyush’s music does underscore the gravity of the lyrics in Gulaal. This album deserves all the accolades it got (which was precious little), and MUCH MUCH MORE!


8 Responses

  1. Nice post!!! – Sad he and his work in Gulaal has been forgotten.

    Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil me hai
    Dekhna hai zor kitna bazu-e-kaatil me hai
    Waqt aane pe bataadenge tujhe e aasmaan
    Hum abhi se kya batayen kya hamare dil me hai

    Oh re Bismil kaash aate aaj tum Hindustaan
    Dekhte ki mulk saara kya tashan, kya thrill mein hai
    Aaj ka launda yeh kehta hum to bismil thak gaye
    Apni aazaadi to bhaiya laundiya ke til mein hai.

    Aaj ke jalson me Bismil ek gunga gaa raha.
    Aur behron ka wo rela naachta mehfil mein hai
    Haath ki khadi banaane ka zamaana lag gaya
    Aaj to chaddi bhi silti englison ki mill mein hai

    Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil me hai…
    ….kya batayen kya hamare dil me hai

    Awesome lyrics!!!!

  2. Waah Bhai waah! Piyush Mishra ki Jai HO!! I cannot wait for his next album.

  3. This one is more close to my heart and it defines this world more than the older one because “Duniya badal chuki hai.. aur zindagi ke maayne bhi..”

  4. I would be really appreciate if someone could add the translation of duniya song from gulaal. Unfortunately I’m not the one of 160 million urdu (is it urdu or hindi) speaking people but I’d love to know what the songs says. Thank you.

  5. I disagree first and foremost…the latter song might be more inspiring, but don’t forget that it has inspired by the former…without the former song, the newer version would not have been written…so in essence, the first actually is a more inspiring and original and makes complete sense, it is talking about the world in general and not just specifically targeting politics, etc.. thanks, but i still like the first version and will always remain closer to my heart, as it is brief and to the point…

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