Song Sketch

Koi Ye Kaise Bataye – Arth – Ensemble Of The Blues

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Arth (1982) by Mahesh Bhatt, based on the marital discord had some lovely songs, courtesy Jagjit Singh. Arth wouldn’t stand where it does now, if you take away the music from it. Jagjit Singh’s voice and his music played a vital role in bringing up the feel and emotions of the story. It had simple tunes without any stunt or trick. Accompanied by his wife Chitra Singh, the songs/ghazals were well composed and appreciated by everyone. Ghazals depicted poetry, melody, emotions for him. He had a submissive onset in life. Soft spoken and charming, he had natural aura of his own. He had the ability to regale the audience with ghazals laced with jokes, anecdotes and improvisations. Jagjit Singh is attributed for the revival and popularity of ghazal. He chose poetry that was applicable to the masses, laying emphasis on the words and melody. With an amazing baritone, he highlighted music & lyrics at the same time and brought this genre in the drawing rooms of the common man. He expanded the base of this genre, making it available and easy for a lay person. He did this by experimenting with the rhythm patterns, introducing some western music in it and streamlined the tunes to make them very melodic. Simple tunes without any stunt or trick, his voice cast a spell on listeners be it a ghazal, a bhajan, a film song or a folklore. His voice feels like a sedative to one’s injured insight. The agony and melancholy in his voice was an outlet of emotions for many a lonely hearts.
Arth served with a gamut of sensitivity, heightened anxiety and the interplay of mental terrain. More than the film it is the climax showing the raw but confident state of Pooja’s (Shabana Azmi) mind that is worth the win and Arth is all about finding that meaning of life. Pooja’s secured and content world is threatened by the arrival of Kavita Sanyal (Smita Patil) in Inder’s (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) life. In between all the tussle, Inder is pushed to the point where he has to choose between Pooja and Kavita. And he chooses Kavita. Pooja’s world collapses at her feet. She is going through a harrowing phase, lonely.
Loneliness – can’t be really termed as sad always. But it has lot more to do with emptiness. The feeling of being unwanted by a loved one certainly hurts. Being afraid of losing a person or knowing that that person is not afraid of losing you, can put you into darkness. Also the misery of knowing that no one realises how sad you are. A strong mind and fragile heart situation because you certainly do not want to go back to the person who has cheated on you. Someone who has been a North star in your life suddenly vanishes just to find him giving light and warmth to someone else. Making your life derisive and fallacious. Facing the worries, dabbling the agonies, you are on the tenterhooks, drying the tears and suddenly you come face to face with that person. Giving you the feeling of lesions being scratched when they had not even dried completely. And your heart is full of questions which makes the atmosphere blue. The thoughts you gather at that moment are ensemble of the blues. Pooja faces this situation at a party, where her thoughts are echoed in form of a ghazal presented by an upcoming, struggling singer Raj (Raj Kiran).

Koi ye kaise bataye
Ki wo tanha kyun hai
Wo jo apna tha wahi
Aur kisi ka kyun hai
Hai yahi duniya toh
Aisi ye duniya kyun hai
Yahi hota hai aakhir
Yahi hota kyun hai

How can the one who is deserted express the feeling of loneliness? Why the one who was mine is estranged forever from my life? If these are the ways of the world, if this what is supposed to happen, why does it happen? Why is the world like this?
Beginning with the lonesome guitar strums, Jagjit Singh’s voice pierces the questions about one’s fidelity. Pooja is not only embarrassed by the display of Inder’s and Kavita’s affection in public, but she is also tattered completely. Her thoughts wander to the closeness she once shared with Inder.

Ek zara haath badha dein toh
Pakad le daaman
Uske seene mein samaa jaaye
Hamari dhadkan
Itni qurbat hai toh phir
Faasla itna kyun hai

(Just love the way Jagjit Singh pronounces qurbat)

At the mere proffer of his hand, our arms would be linked. It was as if my heartbeats have become one with his. If I still feel this closeness, nearness with him, why is there distance between us? Why are we estranged? Why this bitterness?

Dil-e-barbad se nikla nahi
Ab tak koi
Ek loote ghar pe diya karta hai
Dastak koi
Aas jo toot gayi phir se
Bandhata kyun hai

No one has escaped from the wilderness of a heart, from its devastation. No one knocks at the door of an abandoned dwelling. And yet why do we keep hoping against the hope? Why this inclination?

Tum masarrat ka kaho
Ya isse gham ka rishta
Kehte hain pyar ka rishta
Hai janam ka rishta
Hai janam ka jo ye rishta toh
Badalta kyun hai

Whatever you might call it, a bond of happiness or a solder of sadness. It is said that the bond of love is the bond forever. It is persistent. If it is so, why does it change? Why this duality?

Song about the blues one is experiencing in a relationship. The subject of the song is so gloomy, but Jagjit Singh has made it so much lovable and hummable. And the song is all about his voice and guitar, Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics and Shabana’s expressions. It is also about the understated emotions by Raj Kiran and the lyrics bring out the charm in this ghazal, while Jagjit Singh’s music and voice precipitate the poetry in one’s heart. Questions about loneliness, which make you feel blue, questions about love, make you feel blue, questions about togetherness which make you feel more bluer than ever. An ensemble of the blues indeed!!

We also have what we can call it as the part 2 of this song, which wasn’t picturised but was later made into a private video song later (A Sound Affair – 1985) Tere khushboo mein basey khat main jalata kaise….. lyrics by Rajindernath ‘Rehbar’.

Here are the lyrics –

Tere khushboo mein basey khat mai jalata kaise
Pyar main dube hue khat main jalata kaise
Tere hathon ke likhe khat main jalata kaise

Jinko duniya ki nigahon se chhupaye rakha
Jinko ik umr kalejey se lagaaye rakha
Din jinko jinhe iman banaye rakha

Jinka har lafz mujhe yaad tha pani ki tarah
Yaad the mujhko jo paigaam-e-zubaani ki tarah
Mujh ko pyare the jo anmol nishani ki tarah

Tune duniya ki nigahon se jo bachkar likhe
Saalaha saal mere naam barabar likhe
Kabhi din me toh kabhi rat mein uthkar likhe

Tere khat aaj main ganga mein baha aaya hun
Aag behete hue pani mein laga aaya hun

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan


  1. Amit

    May 7, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Thesongpedia and Ms Deepa, kudos to you for writing such a wonderful piece on koi ye kaise bataye. I am attempting to sing it and was looking for the right expression for over a few months now. I think I just got it, while reading this. God bless.

    • Deepa

      May 7, 2021 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you so much. Feels so good to read this. Do share the recording with us ?

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