Rarely does a film with such impressive credit list appear anywhere. Dil Se was very special for bringing together mavericks from every field of Indian cinema including multiple award winning director Mani Ratnam, music composer A R Rahman and of course, Gulzar. The song Chaiyya Chaiyya has since then become a legend of sorts, appearing on the musical Bombay Dreams, in the opening and closing credits of the 2006 film, Inside Man, pilot episode of Smith and an episode of CSI: Miami. The  video of the song, daringly shot on top of a moving train without any VFX by ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan, has been viewed some 24 million times on Youtube! No wonder it was polled to be at number nine in the BBC’s  2002 list of ten most popular songs of all times.

So after this long introduction, I must put a disclaimer: aside from being legendary, this song belongs to the ‘untranslatable’ category. One can only try to capture some of the meaning of this hypnotically charged up number. Not to forget, the obsessive repetition of words and phrases that lends its magic to this song can never by transported to any other language. This translation is a tribute to the charm of Chaiyya Chaiyya! Every time I decided to quit translating it, listening to this song made me get back to the keyboard and now I am going to dance to Chaiyya Chaiyya after posting! Let me know what you think. Leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

Song Credits
Singers: Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasthi
Music: A R Rahman
Lyrics: Gulzar

Movie Credits
Directed by: Mani Ratnam
Starring:  Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala, and Preity Zinta
Produced by: Mani Ratnam, Ram Gopal Varma, and Shekhar Kapur
Release Date: 21 August 1998

 Original Lyrics-Chaiyya Chaiyya 

Jinke sar ho ishq ki chaaon
Paaon ke neeche jaanat hogi
Jinke sar ho ishq ki chaaon

Chal chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya
Chal chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya

Saare ishq ki chhaaon chal chaiyya chaiyya
Saare ishq ki chhaaon chal chaiyya

Pau janat chale chal chaiyya chaiyya
Pau janat chale chal chaiyya

Chal chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya
Chal chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya

Voh yaar hai jo khushboo ki tarah
Voh jiski zubaan urdu ki tarah
Meri shaam raat, meri kaayanat
Voh yaar mera sainya sainya

Chal chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya
Chal chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya chaiyya

Gulposh kabhi itraaye kahin
Mehke to nazar aa jaaye kahin
Gulposh kabhi itraaye kahin
Mehke to nazar aa jaaye kahin

Taaveez banaake pehnoon usay
Aayat ki tarah mil jaaye kahin
Taaveez banaake pehnoon usay
Aayat ki tarah mil jaaye kahin
Gulposh kabhi itraaye kahin
Mehke to nazar aa jaaye kahin

Taaveez banaake pehnoon usay
Aayat ki tarah mil jaaye kahin

Voh yaar hai jo imaan ki tarah
Mera nagma vohi mera qalma vohi
Mera nagma nagma mera qalma qalma

Yaar misaale ous dhale
Paaon ke tale firdous chale
Kabhi daal daal kabhi paat paat
Main hava pe dhoondhoon uske nishaan

Saare ishq ki chaaon chal chaiyya chaiyya
Saare ishq ki chaaon chal chaiyya
Pau janat chale chal chaiyya chaiyya
Pau janat chale chal chaiyya

Main uske roop ka shehdaai
Vo dhoop chhanv se harjaai
Vo shokh hai rang badalta hai
Main rangroop ka saudaai
Main rangroop ka saudaai

Jinke sar ko ishq ki chhaaon
Paaon ke neeche jannat hogi
Jinke sar ko ishq ki chhaaon
Paaon ke neeche jannat hogi
Shaam raat meri kaaynaat
Vo yaar mera sainya sainya

Translation of Chaiyya Chaiyya by bollywoodtarjuma

Those who’ve been blessed with
the shadow of love over their head,
will have heaven under their feet one day

Lets all walk under the shadow of love
Lets move towards heaven 
called love

That beloved who wafts like a perfume,
with the expression of Urdu,
my dusk and night,
my world
my obsession, my love.

Lets all walk under the shadow of love
Lets move towards heaven 
called love

Sometimes that marigold blooms here with pride,
at times it appears elsewhere,
fragrant and bright.
I will wear her like a charmed thimble,
if I see even a sign of her.
She surrounds me like my conscience,
my song, my prayer,
who disappears like the morning dew,
leaving paradise on her footprints,
as I look for her,
on trees and leaves,
and every whiff of air I breathe.

Lets all walk under the shadow of love
Lets move towards heaven
called love

I am a devotee of her beauty,
but she plays hide and seek,
like sun and shade.
She changes colours,
as I perfect my business of
searching for her multi-hued face,
My days, nights and twilight,
My world, my universe, my cosmos,
all breathe my beloved’s name.

Lets all walk under the shadow of love
Lets move towards heaven
called love

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