Surprising History Behind The Title Ibn-E-Battuta From The Movie Ishqiya

Ibn-E-Battuta Ta Ta

Bagal Mein Joota Ta Ta

Pehne To Karta Hai Churrr

Udh Udh Aave Aa Aa, Daana Chugey Aa Aa

Udh Jaave Chidiya Phurrr

Ibn-E-Battuta Ta Ta, Bagal Mein Joota Ta Ta”

Remember these lyrics from the movie Ishqiya starring prominent actors from the industry- Vidya Balan, Arshad Warsi, and Naseeruddin Shah but do you know what Ibn-e-Battuta really stands for?

Well, Ibn-e-Battuta got its title from Moroccan scholar Muhammad Ibn Battuta who used to travel and write extensively about his journeys.

Ibn Battuta started on his travels in 1325, when he was just 20 years old. His main purpose of traveling was to go on a Hajj, or a Pilgrimage to Mecca. But his traveling went on for around 29 years in which he covered about 75,000 miles visiting the equivalent of 44 modern countries mostly under the Muslim governments. In fact, the worldwide famous UNESCO Heritage Site, Khajuraho Temples, which are famous for their architectural brilliance, intricate carvings and erotic sculptures, also has its first recorded accounts in the travelogue of Ibn Battuta.

During his journey, many dangers and adventures came along the way like getting attacked by bandits, almost drowning in a sinking ship, and nearly getting beheaded by a tyrant ruler. He also had a few marriages and fathered several children on his travels!

Ibn Battuta
Image Source- History.com

Near the end of Ibn Battuta’s life, the Sultan of Morocco insisted that Ibn Battuta dictate the story of his travels to a scholar and today we can read translations of that account, originally titled Tuhfat al-anzar fi gharaaib al-amsar wa ajaaib al-asfar, or A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling. Also called as Ibn Battuta’s Rihla, or Journey due to the mouthful title.

Map travels of Ibn Battuta
Map travels of Ibn Battuta
Now, coming back to the song Ibn Battuta…

Although, in the song, Gulzar uses the name of Ibn-e-Battuta to express a traveler and simply tells you how to travel and live life in a funny manner using the medium of the song but doesn’t seem to have any particular association with the movie.

It is not just this but Ibn Battuta influenced others poets also such as Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena, the title of whose poem is similar to the one written by Gulzar due to which there were controversies of Saxena’s daughter claiming the song’s credits.

Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena
Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena

This is the poem by Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena decades ago-

Ibn Battuta

Pehen ke joota

Nikal pade toofan mein

Thodi hawa naak mein ghus gayi

Thodi ghus gayi kaan mein

Kabhi naak ko

Kabhi kaan ko

Malte Ibn Battuta

Isi beech mein nikal pada

Unke pairon ka joota

Udte udte unka joota

Pahunch gaya Japan mein

Ibn Battuta khade reh gaye

Mochi ki dukan mein.”

Forms in which Ibn Battuta’s contributions received appreciation-

The contributions of Ibn Battuta have been extremely valuable worldwide as his text Rihla gives interesting record of places. It adds to our understanding of the Middle Ages whose legacy gets carried forward in various forms still such as-

  1. Inspired by Battuta’s travels, the interiors of the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, inaugurated in 2005, and carry the theme throughout the building.
  2. Portrayal by Richar van Weyden in the film Ninja Assassin (2009).
  3. Ibn Batuta pehen ke joota is a popular Hindi nursery rhyme from the 1970s, written by the poet Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena, as mentioned above.
  4. The 2009 IMAX film Journey to Mecca- again based on Ibn Battuta’s travels.
  5. Ibn Battuta’s travels featured as part of the main plot in the modern-day settings of the episodic video game Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta, which developed in Saudi Arabia by Semaphore.
  6. Ibn Battuta Centre is a research institution at Marrakech (Morocco) for testing instruments used for the exploration of Mars and Moon.

So, yes this is what lies behind the song Ibn-e-Battuta. Thus, we hope you enjoy the song even more after knowing its significance. 🙂

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