Tum Mujhe Yun Bhula Na Paaoge: Hasrat Jaipuri, a True Romantic

A musical tribute to Hasrat Jaipuri, Hindi cinema’s iconic lyricist and poet, on the legend’s birth anniversary.

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Remembering Hasrat Jaipuri on his birth anniversary. 
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Hindi cinema’s legendary poet and lyricist Iqbal Hussain aka Hasrat Jaipuri, was a man who believed in miracles. In fact, his life was no less than one. On his birth anniversary, here’s a musical look at his best works, life and why he always believed that the purpose of music and poetry is to touch the heart.

Tu jharokhe se jo jhaanke toh main itna poochoon,

Mere mehboob tujhe pyaar karoon ya na karoon.

Hasrat fell in love with a girl named Radha, who lived across the street from him in Lucknow. He believed that love knows no religion, caste or distinction. He penned these words for Radha, his first love. But they turned out to mark the beginning of his love affair with poetry instead.

Hasrat came to Bombay in the 1940s to earn a living. He started out as a bus conductor, a job he absolutely loved. It allowed him to observe faces and the stories behind them. In his 8 year long career as a BEST bus conductor, not once did he charge a pretty face for a ticket. A romantic at heart, beauty inspired him to write more and he valued that a lot more than money.

It was around this time that he also sold clay toys at traffic signals and slept on the footpath in Bombay’s Opera House area. He lost a close friend, a labourer who slept next to him on the street. This came as a shock and made him pen a poem Mazdoor Ki Laash. His hard hitting words touched filmmaker Prithviraj Kapoor at a mushaira. He was so impressed that he asked Raj Kapoor to take him on as a lyricist for Barsaat (1949). Hasrat believed that his first break with Raj Kapoor was nothing less than a miracle. Jiya Bekqarar Hai was the first song of his illustrious career.

Hasrat Jaipuri was a man of vintage melodies. He believed that contemporary numbers could never be evergreen like old Hindi film songs because they didn’t touch one’s heart. We couldn’t agree more. Old melodies have a sweet heartache and always suited a character and his/her situation. That’s why it took Hasrat almost a month to create a single song and he was proud of the creative process that went in.

Hasrat too had a song for every occasion. When he saw his newborn son for the very first time he said,

Teri pyari pyari soorat ko, kissi ki nazar na lage
Chashme baddoor...

As one of the most celebrated lyricists of Hindi cinema, Hasrat Jaipuri’s words and his songs remain unforgettable and eternal.

(This is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on April 15, 2016. The story is being republished on the occasion of Hasrat Jaipuri’s death anniversary.)

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