Singer Mubarak Begum In Interview With Shishir Krishna Sharma

Written by shishir krishna sharma
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Mubarak Begum

By Shishir Krishna Sharma

Mubarak Begum 

         Residents of Mumbai's satellite town Jogeshwari(East)'s Behrambagh area are probably unaware that the famous yesteryear singer whose songs “Mujhko Apne Gale Laga Lo O Mere Humraahi” and “Kabhi Tanhaaiyon Mein Yun Hamaari Yaad Aayegi” tug our heartstrings till today, lives amidst them. But perhaps, they don't have the leisure of inclination to know the state in which she is living in today. The truth is that She resides in Behrambagh's Sultanabad Chirag Society's Building Number 22, Flat No C-111 in a state of penury and neglect. Arthritis has affected her legs so much that most of her time is spent indoors.

           She has always had a feeling of aversion towards people of the media world. She says that,” no one has ever tried to understand my condition. Everybody made fun of and exploited my position. The manner in which my poverty and helplessness were portrayed left a bad taste in my mouth. This is the reason why I entered this area six years ago with a sense of relief although it is difficult for me to forget the place where I spent sixty five years of my life”. Her anger is visible clearly in her voice but as our talk progresses She becomes more at ease. Actually, Mubarak Begum spent sixty five years in one of the oldest and famous commercial areas of Mumbai, Lamington Road, where its business round the clock, though its nature changes after sunset. She used to stay in a meagre 10 feet by 8 geet room on the second floor of a dilapidated Noor Mohammad Beg Mohammad building in the area's Congress House Lane.

Mubarak Begum

             Mubarak Begum's forefathers belonged to Rajasthan's Nawalgarh while her mother was from Jhunjhunu. Mubarak Begum recalls, “I was born in my maternal home. I couldn't get educated since my conservative parents were afraid that an educated girl would run away from home. My Grandfather had a tea shop in Ahmedabad. So, my father with his family moved there and started operating a fruit cart. My first memories are of the same place. My father played the Tabla as a hobby so well that Ustad Thirakwa Khan Saheb accepted him as his disciple. Sometime in early 1940s my father took all of us to Mumbai”.

             It was but natural that Mubarak Begum received the tenets of music from her father. Seeing the enthusiasm with which she sang songs of Suraiyya and Noorjehan, her father made her a pupil of Kirana Gharana's Ustad Riazuddin Khan and ustad Samad Khan Sahab. Mubarak Begum started getting opportunities to sing on All India Radio thanks to this. She recalls, “One day, Rafiq Ghaznavi, the famous composer heard me sing on the radio and he called me to sing for a film. The lyricist was Agha Jan Kashmiri, but I froze on seeing the crowd at the studio and could not sing. A similar incident repeated itself for Ram Daryani's Bhai Bahan whose composer was Shaym Sundar. In view of these failings, for a time, I had made up my mind to not sing for films. But gradually I overcame my fears and made efforts to overcome those days of struggle. My efforts bore fruit and I gave my first playbck for Yakub's Aiye with the song Mohe Aane Lagi Angdaai. This Yakub and Sulochana Chatterjee Starrer was released in 1947 and its composer was Shaukat Hyderi Dehlvi who became famous as Nashad in the years to come”.

 Mubarak Begum With Shishir ji During The Interview

Here is Mubarak Begum's lovely debut rendition for your enjoyment.

 

In the 1950s, apart from singing all songs of Hansraj Behl's Phoolon Ke Haar, She sang many solos and duets like Mera Bhola Balam (Kundan /composer: Ghulam Mohammad), Devta Tum Mera Sahara (Daaera/ Composer Jamal Sen), Mehlon Mein Rehne Waale (Shabaab/composer Naushad), Chala Chal Musafir (Maa Ke Aansoo/Sardar Malik), Aaj Gharwaale Ghar Nahin (Aulad/ardar Malik), Jal Jal Ke Maroon (Sheesha/Ghulam Mohammad), Hum Haal-e-dil Sunaayenge (Madhumati/Salil Chaudhary) and Kya Khabar Thi Yun Tamanna (Rishta/K Dutta). But it was the title song of Kedar Sharma/Snehal Bhatkar's Hamaari Yaad Aayegi(1961), Kabhi Tanhaaiyon Mein Yun Hamaari Yaad Aayegi which brought her overnight glory.

In the 1960s she sang many popular songs like Mujhko Apne Gale Laga Lo (Humrahi/Shankar Jaikishan), Neend Ud Jaaye Teri Chain Se Sone Waalon (Juaari/Kalyanji Anandji), Shama Gul Karke Na Ja (Arab Ka Sitara/Sadat), Nigahon Se Dil Mein Chale Aaiyega (Hamir Hath/Shanmukh Babu), Humen Dam Dai Ke Sautan Ghar Jaana (Yeh Dil Kisko Doon/Iqbal Qureshi), Bemuravvat Bewafa (Sushila/C Arjun), Mere Aansuon Pe Na Muskura (More Man Mitwa/Dattaram), Ankhon Ankhon Mein Har Raat Guzar Jaati Hai (Marvel Man/Robin Banerjee), Itne Kareeb Aake Bhi Kya (Shagun/Khaiyyam), Ae Dil bata Hum Kahaan Aa Gaye (Khooni Khazana/S Kishan) and Wada Humse Kiye (Saraswati Chandra/ Kalyanji Anandji). According to Mubarak Begum, “As I became more popular, conspiracies against me also began to gain steam. As a result, songs like Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyaan Milaana (Jab Jab Phool Khile) and Agar Mujhe Na Mile Tum(Kajal) which had been recorded by me entered the market without my voice. One day when an interview of mine was being broadcast on the radio, my phone rang. On the other side was a famous playback singer who said, 'Remember Me? If I didn't love you, you would have been out of this industry long back.' Perhaps, She had been listening to my interview at that time. I have still not understood, if that was love or a veiled threat because I had to go out of the industry by the beginning of the 1970s. Although I got the chance to sing a song, now and then, not a single one of them reached the market.”

Mubarak Begum

The song, Sanwariya Teri Yaad Mein, sung by Mubarak Begum, for the 1980 movie Ramu To Diwana Hai, proved to be her last song and since then She has spent over three decades of her life in dire straits. She is ever grateful to Late Sunil Dutt's help due to which She was able to get the current flat from Govt Quota.

Mubarak Begum says, “Even today I am sometimes called by people for stage shows but my fast deteriorating feet don't allow me to go out of my home much. Two years ago, I had sung for a program organised by Rafi Foundation in Chandigarh. I can also never forget when I sang for a program in Hyderabad in July 2008 because all through the program famous yesteryear actress Jamuna was sitting in the front row. When I started singing, Mujhko Apne Gale Laga Lo O Mere Humrahi, She became emotional and started lip syncing to it because It was her on which it had been picturised.”

Mubarak Begum

Some years back, Films Division had made a documentary on her which was premiered in the Goa Film Festival. Her name is taken with deep respect among music lovers even today and they enjoy the songs sung by her till today. However, Mubarak Begum feels sad about one thing. She says, “I am sad to see that my own state Rajasthan has probably totally forgotten me. If the people of Rajasthan remember me, I shall always be ready to go for a program there without worrying about my old age and illness.”

 

 

Video edited by Master Manaswi Sharma

 

Here is a video of Mubarak Begum recorded for this interview. Video Edited by Master Manaswi Sharma:-

 

 

 

Here are a few more songs of Mubarak Begum for your enjoyment:-

1. Aha Aao Chalen Wahaan – Aiye 1949 – Shaukat Hyderi – SH Bihari (with Lata Mangeshkar)

2. Husn Ki Baraat Chali - Mughal-e-Azam 1960 (Unreleased) - Naushad - Shakeel (with Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar)

 

3. Baba Ban Gaye Gentleman - Khandaan 1955 - A.R. Qureshi - Sarshar Sailani

4. Nigaahon Se Dil Mein Chale Aaiyega - Hamir Hath 1964 - Shanmukh Babu

5. Jeevan Ka Tu Ujiyara Hai - Patit Pawan 1955 - Jamal Sen - Bharat Vyas (with Sudha Malhotra)

6. Husn Waalon Se ... Bhari Mehfil - Rukhsana 1955 - Sajjad Hussain - Shakeel Badayuni 

7. Dil Ko Laga Ke Huzoor - Rukhsana 1955 - Sajjad Hussain - Khumar Barabankvi (with Asha)

8. Is Kadar ... Hum Mohabbat Ki Nigahon Ko - Shah Behram 1955 - Hansraj Behl - Asad Bhopali

9. Sajan Ke Nainon Se Dil - Shakhi Lutera 1955 - Iqbal - Farookh Qaiser

10. Kafas Mein Daala ... Na Manzil Hai - Tataar Ka Chor 1955 - Khaiyyam - Prem Dhawan (with Talat and Asha)

hindi-films-songs.com/main/song6/1955_Tataar_Ka_Chor_06_Kafas_main_dala---Na_manzil_hai_talat-_asha-_mubarak_begum_prem_dhawan_khaiyam.mp3&autostart=0&autoreplay=0&showtime=1" />

11. Devta Tum Ho Mera Sahara - Daayega 1953  (with Rafi)

12. Aye Khuda Majboor Ki Fariyaad - Chandni Chowk 1954

13. Ghir Ghir Aaye Badarwa Kaare - Daak Babu 1954 (with Talat Mahmood)

14. Tera Bachpan Ek Kahani - Sangam 1954 (with Talat Mahmood)

15. Jal Jal Ke Maroon - Sheesha 1952

16. Dil Humse Woh Lagayen - Baradari 1955 (with Lata Mangeshkar)

17. Woh Na Aayenge Palat Kar - Devdas 1955 

18. Raat Kitni Haseen - Badal Aur Bijali (with Talat Mahmood)

19. Chanda Ka Rang Liye - Harihar Bhakti 1956 (with Talat)

20. Ghungat Hataye Ke Nazren Milaaye Ke - Rangeen Raaten 1956 (with Sudha Malhotra)

21. Bharat Ke Lok Geet - Fashion 1957 - Hemant Kumar (with Sulochana)

22. Jalwa Jo Tera Dekha - Gateway of India 1957 (with Asha, Usha and Meena Mangeshkar)

23. Hum Haal-e-dil Sunayenge - Madhumati 1957

24. Kabhi Tanhaiyon Mein - Hamari Yaad Aayegi 1961 

25. Farishton Ki Nagari Mein - Hamari Yaad Aayegi 1961 (with Mukesh)

26. Aji Gham Chhodo - Piya Milan Ki Aas 1961

27. Phool Bagiyan Mein -Zindagi Aur Khwab 1961

28. Mujhko Apne Gale Laga Lo - Humrahi 1961 (with Rafi)

29. Ishq Kyon - Punarmilan 1964 (with Asha)

30. Itne Kareeb Aa Ke Bhi - Shagoon 1964 - Khaiyyam - Sahir (with Talat)

31. Mehfil Mein Aap Aaye - Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain 1965 (with Suman Kalyanpur)

32. Zara Keh Do - Gogola 1966 (with Talat Mahmood)

33. Saqia Ek Jaam - Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare 1966 (with Asha)

34. Yeh Munh Aur Masoor Ki Daal - Around the World 1967 (with Sharda)

{play}http://hindi-films-songs.com/song3/1967_Around the World (1967)_Sharda & Mubarak Begum_1967 Around the World (1967) Yeh Moonh Aur Masoor Ki Daal.mp3&autostart=0&autoreplay=0&showtime=1" />

35. Neend Udi Jaaye Teri Chain se - Juari 1968 (with Krishna Bose and Suman Kalyanpur)

36. Biwi Ki Aukaat - Maa ke Ansoo 1959 - Sardar Malik

37. Ruk Ja - Maa Ke Ansoo 1959 - Sardar Malik

38. Kya Parwah Chala Chal Musafir - Maa Ke Ansoo 1959 - Sardar Malik (with Rafi)

39. Yah Rasool Chala Chal Musafir - Maa Ke Ansoo 1959 - Sardar Malik (with Rafi)

40. Nigahon Mein Masti ... Ajab Teri Nazron Ki - Vazir-e-Azam 1961 - Robin Banerjee (with Robin Kumar)

41. Nazren Khamosh Hon Paigham Pahonch Jaate Hain - Lucky Number 1961 - Anil Biswas

42. Pareshan Hon Aapke Dushman-e-jaan  - Lucky Number 1961 - Anil Biswas

43. Kisi Ne Ishq Waalon Ke Liye - Lucky Number 1961 - Anil Biswas (with Meena Kapoor, Male Chorus)

44. Ae Jaan-e-Nazar Chilman Se Agar - Qawwali Ki Raat 1964 - Iqbal Qureshi (with Rafi)

45. Dekh Kar Meri Taraf - Qawwali Ki Raat 1964 - Iqbal Qureshi (with Rafi)

46. Sahib-e-jashan Saaqia Bahar Aayi Jhoom Jhoom - Nadir Shah 1968 - S.N. Tripathi

47. Chehra Laal Laal Hai Badli Hui Chaal Hai - Rustom-e-Baghdad 1963 - N Dutta 

48. Dil Ki Duniya par Koi Chha Gaya - Afreeka 1954

49. Ek Pardesi Man Bhaya - Daak Babu 1954 - Dhaniram - Prem Dhawan

50. Laakh Laakh Taare Liye - Ameer 1954 - Lachhiram - P.L. Santoshi

51. Jo Koi ... Zamaane Ka Gila - Ameer 1954 - Lachhiram - Asad Bhopali (with S Balbir)

52. Nahin Achcha hai Pyar - Gawaiya 1954 - Ram Ganguli - Chandrashekhar Pande

53. Chaar Tinke ... Apni Barbaadi - Gawaiya 1954 - Ram Ganguli - S.H. Bihari

54. Is Haath De Us Haath Le - Gul Bahaar 1954 - Dhaniram

55. Kaliyon Ko Choomoon - Gul Bahaar 1954 - Dhaniram

56. Ho Gaya-3 Unse Pyar Thoda Sa - Haar Jeet 1954- S.D. Batish

57. Bechain Hai Betaab Hai - Haar Jeet 1954 - S.D. Batish (with Geeta Dutt)

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58. Kya Batayen Chheen Kar Tere - Maan 1954 - Anil Biswas - Safdar Aah  (with Kalyani)

59. Kya Khabar Thi Tamanna - Rishta 1954 - K Dutta - Fani K

60. Mahlon Mein Rehne Waale - Shabab 1954 - Naushad - Shakeel (with Rafi and Bande Hasan)

61. Main Hoon Nisaar Tujhpe - Jaasoos 1955 - Iqbal - Farookh Qaiser

62. Dil Toot Gaya Ulfat Ki Kasam - Jaasoos 1955 - Iqbal - Farookh Qaiser



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