The Story Behind 'Jo Bhi Main Kehna Chahoon'

I was always, always mystified by those nine words.

"Jo bhi main kehna chaahoon, barbaad karein alfaaz mere."

"जो भी मैं कहना चाहूं, बर्बाद करें अल्फ़ाज़ मेरे।"

I always wanted to know where the words came from, what was the inspiration, what made a writer write those words that undermine the value of words themselves, and with such a simplicity, in such an admission, that it sounds like a very simple truth.

I was so mystified of the lines that while I was writing to Irshad Kamil to ask the meaning of a word today, I asked him about this line too. But before his reply to me, I found something in Caravan magazine's article on him. Pasting those lines that talk about this line, if you're interested in the rest, the link is included too. Check it, it's a good article about a wonderful person.

“Words destroy what I have to say,” was the brief Ali offered Kamil during their initial meetings in 2010 for a song that brings out the dilemma of his hopeless protagonist. Kamil responded with lines from a ghazal of his:

तुम जाते हो, सोच भी मेरी साथ साथ चल देती है
मेरे अन्दर बैठा मैं तब और कोई हो जाता है
दौर-ए-जवानी में ही इबादत शिद्दत से हो सकती है
हाँ ये बात अलग है की रब और कोई हो जाता है
इन लफ़्ज़ों के मायने कामिल जाने कौन बदलता है
मैं कहता हूँ कुछ, और मतलब और कोई हो जाता है

Tum jaate ho, soch bhi meri saath saath chal deti hai
Mere andar baitha main tab aur koi ho jaata hai
Daur-e-jawaani mein hi ibaadat shiddat se ho sakti hai
Haan yeh baat alag hai ki rab aur koi ho jaata hai
In lafzon ke maayne Kamil jaaney kaun badalta hai
Main kehta hoon kuch, aur matlab aur koi ho jaata hai

(When you leave, my senses also take my leave to follow you
The person sitting within me then turns into someone else
It is only in one’s youth that one may worship with utmost passion
It is a different matter though that the Almighty is someone else then
I don’t know, Kamil, who it is that changes the meaning of these words
I say one thing but it takes on a meaning entirely different)

Kamil suggested the last two lines for the particular song. But Ali, as Kamil now recalled, didn’t accept these lines because his troubled rocker Jordan, previously Janardan Jakhar, wasn’t supposed to have this kind of sophistication. “He was not a poet,” Kamil said to me about Ali’s lead character. To make it sound like something that could come from Jordan, Kamil toned down the original and proposed “Seedhe baat kartey hain” (Let’s talk in a direct manner), which, after a few more rounds of discussion, led to the memorable ‘Jo bhi main kehna chaahoon barbaad kare alfaaz mere’ in the movie.

Original Link:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting finding!

Great article!

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