Certain songs catch your attention the very first time you listen to them. Mostly those songs are like a delicious dish with right amount of ingredients and flavour. “Zihale Miskin” is a kind of song you simply flow along with. If you start counting merits surrounded by this particular song you will surprise to know how many great things are floating there around. Its J. P. Datta’s movie “Gulami” with one of the finest star cast of those times. Dharmendra, Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Muthun Chakravarti, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and sizzling Reen Roy & Anita Raaj. Music composed by the legendary duo Laxmikant Parelal (LP) and lyrics written by none other than maestro Gulzaar. While watching the movie you can figure out that J. P. Datta has certain mastery over capturing desert. You get the feel of those wide screen westerns during desert action. The story deals with the exploitation of the lower caste community. But you don’t need to know all this to enjoy “Zihale Miskin”. It’s a different story altogether! I haven’t forgotten Lata Mangeshkar and Shabbir Kumar. I just wish to devote more lines for them while discussing this sweet song.
Gulzar has this unique ability of taking something from classical literature and make amazing out of it. He had already doen in the past with “Dil Dhoondhta Hai” in “Mausam”. The line “Dil Dhoodhta Hai, fir wohi, fursat ke raat din” taken from Ghalib. Rest of the song is well known glorious history. This time he picked up from Ameer Khusrau’s poem “Zihale Miskin Makun Taghaful”. This particular first line of Khusrau’s poem is in Persian. Gulzar can play with the words and bring out unusually amazing meaning. Gulzar’s first two lines are,
zihaal-e-miskeen mukon ba-ranjish, bahaal-e-hijra bechara dil hai
The meaning of those lines are actually the pray of a broken heart that says “Please don’t look at me with hatred my poor soul is still in pain with the separation from my beloved one.”
LP’s tune gives you the feeling of a folk music and it is rightfully composed for a Banjara or nomadic tribes of Rajasthan desert. Since “Dosti” and “Parasmani” this duo has given innumerable great compositions. This time they have perfectly matched it with the sequence as well as with the wide background of a harsh desert. It’s LP’s magic that made this tune like an oasis of desert. Lata starts with beautifully intense aalaap and begin with those golden words of Ameer Khusrau. She ofcourse take the charge of whole song from the beginning. You can’t help thinking that RafiSaheb should have been there around for this song though Shabbir Kumar has done a pretty good job. I am sure LP had Rafi in their mind while choosing Shabbir Kumar.
The song begins with the wide scenery of a beautiful evening in the desert, surrounded by the temples showing their outlines. The caravan is probably finished its journey for a day and about to rest. Someone starts playing that folk tune on the instrument and the Banjara female simply cannot resist herself. She comes out, hypnotized by the tune move rhythmically almost flowing on the waves of the mesmerizing environment. Soon Mithun joins her with his entire macho aura accompanies her with unbeatable unique dancing style. The song goes on with difficult yet perfectly balanced blend of sensuality, pain, intensity, rhythm and love. Banjaran dancer exhibits the best possible feminine seduction while Anita Raj says a lot with just tears in her eyes. Mithun shows his masculinity not only through dance and other mannerisms but even through the walk.
I love this song because you can enjoy the music and the way it has filmed in the movie. It’s uniquely picturised taking every detail into account. Mithun moves his body along with the tribal female simply seems to be choreographed for a fearless, happy go lucky, manly person. Anita Raj look cute in Rajasthani attire and this song took her to the levels where she speaks with the language of eyes. Though the song ends with a happy note where she says “tumhaari palakoN se girke shabanam hamaari aaNkhoN meiN ruk gayi hai (The dew that falling from your eyes (lashes) stays in my eyes), its difficult to forget the pain in her eyes while Mithum solace her saying “tumhaare seene se uThta dhuaaN hamaare dil se guzar raha hai” (Your frustration passes through my heart). Song brings both of them together. Their love flourished with the feel of their pain…….