Song Sketch

Void World – Tu Nahi Toh Zindagi Mein – Arth

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What happens when you miss someone you love very much? That someone who is very special and days just do not feel right without her/him. You crave to hear his voice, his laughter or just the warm hummm of his breathing. You crave for his touch, his smile, his presence. You miss that person not only in your loneliness but also when you are busy. He is the first thought when you get up in the morning. But you still live on, in a hollow world!! This generally happens after an unsuccessful love relationship or broken love. And you say to yourself a la Amitabh in Mr. Natwarlal, “Ye jeena bhi koi jeena hai, lallu?” Insanely you also start feeling every song played is played for you. Have you come across such a situation in life? Specially when the song lyrics go like –

Tu nahi toh zindagi mein
Aur kya reh jaayega
Duur tak tanhaiyon ka
Silsila reh jaayega

What would this world be without you!! It will be just like a sequence of loneliness. Memories will keep on haunting one after the other and so will loneliness.
A beautiful ghazal from a bold and beautiful film Arth (1982). A film 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. 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. 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!!
Though this particular song wasn’t included in the film, it is quite a well known one for all ghazal lovers and Jagjit Singh followers. With loneliness dripping all along the song it serves the purpose to send one in a lonesome realm. Specially highlighting those evenings where you go blue with someone’s thoughts.
Beginning with mild tinkles of xylophone, the ghazal proceeds further with the guitar strums and Chitra Singh’s voice following those strums deeply.

Tu nahi toh zindagi mein
Aur kya reh jaayega
Duur tak tanhaaiyon kaa
Silsila reh jaayega

Tabla comes into the scene only after the first 2 lines. With the lonesome flute adding more to your blue mood along with a melancholy violin. First interlude too has the violin dominating and merging with guitar as we head towards the first stanza.

Dard ki saari tahein
Aur saare guzre haadse
Sab dhuaan ho jayenge
Ek waaqiya reh jayega
Tu nahi toh zindagi mein
Aur kya reh jaayega
Tu nahi toh

All the extremities of pain and all the past incidents of us together, will get engulfed in this smoke of loneliness. They won’t remain there forever. It will remain only in form of a story or an incident.
These lines are said just as a hope against the hope – meaning that one day I’ll be absolutely fine without you.

Yun bhi hoga wo mujhe
Dil se bhula dega magar
Ye bhi hoga khud usi mein
Ek khala rah jaayega
Tu nahi toh zindagi mein
Aur kya reh jaayega
Tu nahi toh

It is possible that he might have forgotten me completely, moving on in his life. But there will be a vacuum in his world too.
Iftikhar Imam Siddiqui has penned the ghazal taking into account all the possibilities of aftermath of a broken love including the thought of belittling. For those who are not aware of the lyricist or his work, he a poet of great repute who has recited his poems in India and Pakistan. He’s more well known as the editor of the journal, Shair, which was founded by his grandfather Seemab Akbarabadi.

Daayre inkaar ke
Iqraar ki sarghoshiya
Ye agar tutey kabhi toh
Faasla reh jaayega
Tu nahi toh zindagi mein
Aur kya reh jaayega
Tu nahi toh

The playfulness of whispering that yes and recognising one’s love and the extremes of refusal should always stay maintained. Meaning the secret talks of love if revealed to anyone else (spilling the beans) would only worsen the matter and increase the distances and bitterness in a relationship.
The real love in your life doesn’t go away that easily. The memories walk beside us. Might be unseen and unheard but missed every day and in every way. We just pretend to ignore those memories and fool ourselves. Yet those memories come like tides and drown us in it. That constant bickering of heart in grief, love that gathers around at the corner of your eyes, that lump in your throat even at the mention of his name, the hollowness, the emptiness remind you that you live in a void world!!

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan


  1. dilipapte25

    May 29, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    You picked the right song, though others were good to in ‘Arth. I was a Manager at Ambar / Oscar / Minor, when Arth was released

    • Deepa

      May 29, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Wow, that must have been nostalgic for you 🙂 Hope you enjoyed the write up. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. Jay

    June 6, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Kabhi ajnabee the zameen aasma ye..tera haath thaama to huve mehrbaan ye..the earth and the sky were stranger to me but they became my friends when i loved you…ab tu nahi to..they will become stranger again.” if all else perished and he remained, i would still continue to be..but if he were annihilated and all else remained then this universe will turn into a mighty stranger and i will not seem to be part of it”- from “Wuthering Heights”

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