Song Sketch

Prisoner In Her Love – Aayi Zanjeer Ki Jhankaar – Razia Sultan

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Razia Sultan (1983) is the story about the first female ruler of Delhi Sultanate. It took 8 years to complete this film. This historic film made by Kamal Amrohi stands out for many reasons – It is made in exquisite style, the ensemble of music, sets, costumes and design is amazing. It is also soulful and sensuous. It is the much speculated love story of the Queen (Hema Malini) and her slave Yakut (Dharmendra) in most unconventional way.
Emperor Iltutmish (Pradeep Kumar) is known for his compassion and sense of justice. Razia, is his beloved daughter. The apple of his eye. He wants her to succeed him as the Emperor. Razia has to prove herself and hence has to undergo rigorous war training. Yakut is a dark-skinned man, who was the emperor’s slave at one time, but set free and inducted in the army and is appointed as Razia’s trainer. The closeness, the proximity during these training sessions make them fall in love with each other.
For these sessions and war trainings, Yakut has ordered a special type of sword for Razia. A lightweight yet very sharp and slender. Looking at the sword he sees the resemblance between Razia and the sword. Jan Nisar Akhtar has aptly used this situation in the song further –

Lamhaa lamhaa meri aankhon mein khinchi jaati hai
Ek chamakti hui talwar Khuda Khair kare

As if Yakut is saying- the moment I see this sword, I’m reminded of her slender figure. My eyes see her every time. God bless me!!

Recorded in the rich and unusual voice of Kabban Mirza, the song happens to be a favorite with everyone. A wonderful, unhurried melody by Khayyam. Full of pathos. A slave trying to hide the love he has for his queen.
Khayyam has given a lonesome flute to introduce the song. It enhances the plight of the slave more!! Accompanied by santoor and the rubaab, which give the song a Persian touch. He has even taken care of the pronunciations by Kabban Mirza. Eg – Hear how he says giriftaar, instead of giraftaar. Perfection!!

Khuda khair kare
Aayi zanjeer ki jhankaar
Khuda khair kare
Dil hua kiska giraftaar
Khuda khair kare

God bless me, but the noise of the shackles of her love is like music for me. My heart has become a prisoner in her love. For him the clanks of these shackles is as good as tinkling of the anklets. He is under their unyielding arrest.
His voice glides into some beautiful violins strains. Tabla of course matches the heart beats. The guitar strums add to the beauty of the song.

Jaane ye kaun meri rooh ko chhukar guzraa
Ek qayamat huyi bedaar
Khuda khair kare

I thought I was made of steel, until she came and touched my soul. The world around me just collapsed. It was as if I was resurrected, awakened.
Jan Nisar Akhtar has so deftly penned the emotions of a slave who is neither able to nor is he allowed to express his love. All his restrictions – emotional, social, mental and the conflict inside. It elevates the feeling and reaches the crescendo in the last stanza.

Khoon dil ka na chhalak jaaye meri aankhon se
Ho na jaaye kahin izhaar
Khuda khair kare

I’m afraid, my eyes will reveal the anguish, the agony of my heart. I’m afraid the blood from my heart will spurt out through my eyes and proclaim my love for you. This shouldn’t happen, God bless me!!
The ghazal is the epitome of agony. Agony of a slave, who is a prisoner of love.

Jan Nisar Akhtar and Khayyam together prove again that they are geniuses. Kabban Mirza’s voice makes the song more special and unconventional. His voice is rich and pure, as the morning azaan from the Mosque.
The yearning, the solitude, the overwhelming love and the bittersweet longing of the heart and the soul. You are entrapped in the soulful melody, you become the prisoner of melody as this slave is snared in love!!

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan


  1. Kuldeep

    February 28, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Wow..a beautiful song like this deserve an equally beautiful explanation…such right use of the words…beautifully put ☺

    • Deepa

      February 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Thank you 🙂

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