This song by Gulzar, uses water as a motif for remembrance and travel through nostalgia. All powerful water can birth and destroy civilizations, yet it brings so much relief when it falls from the sky after a hot day, or fills our eyes to help us ease pain of our life. Its fascinating how a poet can spot so much life in a single word or phrase. The film, Maachis (matchstick ) is a must watch too for its sensitive and realistic portrayal of circumstances that led to the rise of anger and insurgency in the youth of Punjab in 1980s. As much awaited, Udta Punjab (Flying Punjab) releases soon, I was reminded on this film directed by Gulzar about the angry young blood of Punjab. Though the films are so different, I suppose we can agree that a small flame of a matchstick can engulf an entire generation in no time.

Song Credits
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics: Gulzar

Movie Credits
Directed by: Gulzar
Starring: Om Puri, Tabu, Chandrachur Singh, Kanwaljit Singh
Produced by: R. V. Pandit
Release: 25 Oct 1996

Original Lyrics-Paani Paani Re

pani pani re khare pani re
pani pani re khare pani re
naino me bhar jaa
ninde khali kar jaa

pani pani in pahado ki
dhalano se utar jana
dhua dhua kuchh vadiya
bhi aayegi guzar jana

ek gaav aayega
mera ghar aayega
jaa mere ghar jaa
ninde khali kar jaa

ye rudali jaisi rate
jagrato me bita dena
meri aankho me jo bole
mithe pakhi to uda lena

barfo me lage
mausam pighle
mausam hare kar jaa
ninde khali kar jaa

pani pani re khare pani re
pani pani re khare pani re
naino me bhar jaa
ninde khali kar jaa

Translation of Paani Paani Re by bollywoodtarjuma

Dear water, salted water,
arrive.
Pool into my eyes,
dry out the sleep
and make me rise.

Dear water,
tumble through the slopes,
of those hills,
pass through the misty valleys,
don’t halt till you reach
my village, my home.
Go inside and
dry out its sleep.

Stay up in these nights,
dense with mourning,
watch over and hush my eyes,
if a sweet bird should sing.
As the snow-cold bites,
melt the skies,
Turn the seasons over,
paint the field with a green cover.
Stay there and
dry out its sleep.

Dear water, salted water,
arrive.
Pool into my eyes,
dry out the sleep
and make me rise.

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