Seema : A peek into the lyrical colossus of Shailendra and Hasrat

Shashi hegde writes on lyrics of Seema – a Shankar jaikishan movie !

Dear friends,

In the times when it is hard to differentiate lyrics from dialogues, the lyricists of 50’s and 60’s are a study in contrast. Rajendra Krishna, Majrooh, Sahir, Shakeel Badayuni along with Hasrat and Shailendra really packed a punch with their words.

Seema, a Mars and Movies film, apart from being a masterpiece film with soul touching music, is a classic showpiece of the lyrical genius of Hasrat and Shailendra – the names without which banner Shankar Jaikishan is incomplete.
If one listens to the songs with lyrics and its relevance to the story in mind, each song seems better than the other with each of it being a gem on its own.
I am sharing the lines of each of the songs that touches me and touches anyone who listens to it.


1. Humein bhi dedo sahara – Such a simple song with so much depth in its lyrics.

“Bhara ho pet to sansar jagmagata hai
Sataye bhook to imaan dagmagata hai”

What a way to describe the bitter truth about the ways of the world.
Philosophers and saints might have preached something else, but what Hasrat saab
has written is the real truth!

2. Baat baat mein rootho na – A lyrical marvel.
“Dhalti hai raatein lekar andhera; layi baharein naya sawera; jeevan safar mein
dukh ho ya sukh ho karna hai phir bhi basera”
“Phool khushi ke har koi lele; koi na dekhe aansoo ke mele;
tum jo hase to haslegi duniya rona padega akele”

What a lovely way of bringing out the virtue of optimism and stoicness (Sthitha prajna) through beautifully weaved words.

3. Suno chhoti si gudiya ki lambi kahani – this perhaps will rate among the most beautifully written hindi film songs of all time! The words are SEAMLESS. The words flow like silk with each word gelling so beautifully yet emphasizing the previous word.

“Dil mein arman ka ek chhota sa bangla ho;
chandi ki dharti par sone ka jangla ho;
khel ho jeevan ke yahaan mel ho jeevan ke”

“Chand ki dola ho aur bijli ki baja ho;
dole mein rani ho aur ghode pe raja ho;
pyar ke raste ho aur phool baraste ho”

If anyone could draw beautiful pictures with words, it was Hasrat Jaipuri.


A poet like Shailendra will never ever happen again. Every song of his has a soul of its own! His words can emote – they make us laugh, cry, introspect and ponder about the ways of the world. He is an epic, he was an era and he is the Everest if the lyricists were the Himalayan range!

1. Kahan ja raha hai tu aye janewale:
The lyrics are in the league of their own. One can identify oneself so much with the words that he/she starts feeling as if it was written for him/herself.

“andhera hai man ka diya to jala le”
“Yeh jeevan safar ek andha safar hai;
behekna hai munkin bhatakne ka dar hai”

“Jo thokar na khaye nahi jeet uski;
jo gir ke sambhal jaye hai jeet uski”

2. Manmohana bade jhoote:

When it comes to the genre of such songs as this one, Ja ja re ja balamwa, Jao jao nand ke lala, Jao na satao rasiya, etc – there is Shailendra and only Shailendra.

Shailendra showcases another forte of his – chaste, unadulterated Hindi!
Many such songs of Shailendra like this one will easily qualify as “Cheez” for Hindustani classical vocal performances.

3. Tu pyar ka sagar hai:

A bhajan like this one has never been written or may be a song like this one?
Each line is a classic like the man who wrote it!

“tu pyar ka sagar hai; teri ek boond ke pyase hum” .
What a way to describe the expansiveness of almighty!
“ghayal man ka pagal panchhi udane ko beqarar;
pankh hai komal aankh hai dhundli jana hai sagar par”

“Idhar jhhomti gaye zindagi udhar hai maut khadi;
koi kya jane kahan hai seema uljhan aan padi;
kano mei zara kehde ki aaye kaun disha se hum”

That was Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri!

Shashi Hegde