Musical Notes

When the bhajan ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare’ inspired a Pakistani love song

‘Phirni Aan Main Labdi’, from the 1957 movie ‘Nooran’, features Pakistani singing sensation Noor Jehan.

The romantic duet Phirni Aan Main Labdi, sung by Noor Jehan and Munir Hussain for the Pakistani movie Nooran (1957), is also very familiar to Indian listeners, for it is a reworking of the popular bhajan Om Jai Jagdish Hare. The song is filmed differently from others in the movie – it is part of a dream sequence from the heroine’s point of view and has a spiritual dimension befitting its origins.

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Phirni Aan Main Labdi from Nooran (1957).

Written by Hazin Qadri, Phirni Aan Main Labdi is among several wonderful tunes by composer Safdar Hussain for Nooran. The movie was produced by JC Anand, the renowned filmmaker who chose to stay back in Lahore after the Partition and produced numerous local hits as well as distributed Indian titles in Pakistan. By the mid-1950s, Anand already had the tragic romances Sassi (1954) and Heer (1955) under his belt. In 1957, he produced four films, including the Urdu language Ishq-e-Laila, based on the Laila-Majnu legend, and Nooran in Punjabi.

Nooran, directed by MA Khan Jr, is a rural Romeo-Juliet style romance that charts the unrequited love between Nooran (singing star Noor Jehan) and the handsome new stranger in town, Sohna Baloch (Sudhir). The romance, beginning with a typical love-at-first-sight moment, is destined to fail since their families have been at loggerheads for years. Unfortunately for Anand, the production – his only collaboration with Noor Jehan in her acting phase – didn’t work at the box office as expected.

But what did click was the soundtrack. With Noor Jehan in sublime singing form, the movie boasts of some of her best-known Punjabi songs, including Tere Bol Ne Te, Panchi Te Pardesi and Ik Cheez Gawachi Dil Kolon.

Phirni Aan Main Labdi forebodes the doomed romance between Nooran and Sohna. The two are dressed predominantly in heavenly white amidst a backdrop of flowers and clouds, and divine blessings are showered on them from above. At the end of the dream sequence, Nooran is shown to be mesmerised by Sohna playing the flute, invoking parallels with another legendary Punjabi tragic romance, Heer-Ranjha.

Om Jai Jagdish Hare also inspired another tune in 1957: Aaj Nahin To Kal Bikhrenge Yeh Badal from the lost mythological film Naag Mani, starring Nirupa Roy, Trilok Kapoor and Manhar Desai. The song, written by Pradeep and set to music by Avinash Vyas, is sung with great feeling by Geeta Dutt.

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Aaj Nahin To Kal Bikhrenge Yeh Badal from Naag Mani.
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The quirks and perks of travelling with your hard to impress mom

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A year ago, Priyanka, a 26-year-old banking professional, was packing her light-weight duffel bag for an upcoming international trip. Keen to explore the place, she wanted to travel light and fuss free. It was not meant to be. For Priyanka was travelling with her mother, and that meant carrying at least two extra suitcases packed with odds and ends for any eventuality just short of a nuclear war.

Bothered by the extra suitcases that she had to lug around full of snacks and back-up woollens, Priyanka grew frustrated with her mother. However, one day, while out for some sight-seeing Priyanka and her family were famished but there were no decent restaurants in sight. That’s when her mum’s ‘food bag’ came to the rescue. Full of juice boxes, biscuits and sandwiches, her mother had remembered to pack snacks from the hotel for their day out. Towards the end of the trip, Priyanka was grateful to her mother for all her arrangements, especially the extra bag she carried for Priyanka’s shopping.

Priyanka’s story isn’t an isolated one. We spoke to many people about their mother’s travel quirks and habits and weren’t surprised at some of the themes that were consistent across all the travel memoirs.

Indian mothers are always prepared

“My mom keeps the packed suitcases in the hallway one day before our flight date. She will carry multiple print-outs of the flight tickets because she doesn’t trust smartphone batteries. She also never forgets to carry a medical kit for all sorts of illnesses and allergies”, says Shruti, a 27-year-old professional. When asked if the medical kit was helpful during the trip, she answered “All the time”, in a tone that marvelled at her mother’s clairvoyance.

Some of the many things a mother packs in her travel bags. Source: Google Images
Some of the many things a mother packs in her travel bags. Source: Google Images

Indian mothers love to feel at home, and create the same experience for their family, wherever they are

“My mother has a very strange idea of the kind of food you get in foreign lands, so she always packs multiple packets of khakra and poha for our trips. She also has a habit of carrying her favourite teabags to last the entire trip”, relates Kanchan, a marketing professional who is a frequent international flier often accompanied by her mother. Kanchan’s mother, who is very choosy about her tea, was therefore delighted when she was served a hot cup of garam chai on her recent flight to Frankfurt. She is just like many Indian mothers who love to be reminded of home wherever they are and often strive to organise their hotel rooms to give them the coziness of a home.

Most importantly, Indian mothers are tough, especially when it comes to food

Take for instance, the case of Piyush, who recalls, “We went to this fine dining restaurant and my mother kept quizzing the waiter about the ingredients and the method of preparation of a dish. She believed that once she understood the technique, she would be able to make a better version of the dish just so she could pamper me!”

Indian mothers are extremely particular about food – from the way its cooked, to the way it smells and tastes. Foreign delicacies are only allowed to be consumed if they fulfil all the criteria set by Mom i.e. is it good enough for my children to consume?

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To see how Lufthansa has internalised the Indian spirit and become the airline of choice for flyers looking for a great Indian experience, watch the video below.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.