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Bollywood Songs Translated – in my way

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Amitabh Bhattacharya

Sanwaar Loon – Lootera

Got a request from Lisa H for translation of Sanwaar Loon from Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera. She mentioned her love for Bollywood songs and specifically asked me to explain the meaning of phrase ‘sanwaar loon’ that repeats in the song repeatedly. She also asked my why this song sounds so ‘different’ from the contemporary Bollywood songs. Here are my answers in brief with gratitude for Lisa who send some generous compliments for the blog as well.

 ‘Sanwaar’ is sophisticated word that means indulging/beautifying/pampering or even taming to a certain extent. Hence, its use is seen in many contexts, This song that won singer Monali Thakur many awards is about a woman who feels the love and desire for a man growing inside her body and mind. The resultant phrases are her mutterings and musings about how she wishes to both indulge in her new found longings and tame them to avoid embarrassing herself in the flush of a very self-conscious youth. The song has been composed brilliantly by Amit Trivedi to suit the time and place where the film is set, i.e. 1950s West Bengal. It sounds very classic Bollywood with a minimalist ‘non-digital’ sounding orchestra, innocent vocals and the style of having one mukhda (opening stanza) and two antaras (stanzas that follow the opening one) with identical tunes. In the last two decades, Bollywood music has innovated a lot and moved away from such song renderings, hence making this song a kind of refreshing retrospective melody.

 Lootera (Robber) is loosely based on O Henry’s tragic short story, The Last Leaf. It had a fairly successful run at the box office, winning praise for the lead actors, Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh for their performances. The film also won praise for its meticulous production design that created the 1950s West Bengal is all its sophistication and glory. Despite the scale on which the film was mounted, Lootera was astute and understated in the right measure. This wonderful video gives the entire lowdown on behind-the-scenes of this picturesque film. Do keep your requests and comments coming through the blog or Facebook and Twitter pages of bollywoodtarjuma!
Song Credits
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singers:
Monali Thakur
Music: Amit Trivedi

Movie Credits
Directed by: Vikramaditya Motwane
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha
Produced by: Anurag Kashyap, Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor, Vikas Bahl
Release: 5 July 2013

Original Lyrics – Sanwaar Loon

Hawa ke jhonke aaj mausamon se rooth gaye
Gulon ki shokhiyaan jo bhanwre aake loot gaye
Badal rahi hai aaj zindagi ki chaal zara
Issi bahaane kyun naa main bhi dil ka haal zara
Sanwaar loon haaye sanwaar loon
Sanwaar loon haaye sanwaar loon

Baramade puraane hain, nayi si dhoop hai
Jo palke khatkhata raha hai kiska roop hai
Shararatein kare jo aise bhoolke hijab
Kaise usko naam se, main pukar loon
Sanwaar loon, sawaar loon

Yeh saari koyalein bani hain aaj daakiyan
Kuhu-kuhu me chitthiyan padhe mazakiyaan
Inhe kaho ki naa chhupaaye
Kisne hai likha bataaye,
Uski aaj main nazar utaar loon
Sanwaar loon haaye sanwaar loon
Sanwaar loon, sanwaar loon

Translation of Sanwaar Loon by bollywoodtarjuma

Breezy gusts got annoyed with the weather,
Flowers lost their nectar to buzzers,
As winds of change taking me over,
I wonder of my heart’s disposition,
indulge to finally better its rendition,
admit its beauty has come to fruition.

Old alleys awash with a new light,
whose charmed face knocks at my sight?
Oh how to ignore the mischievous trail?
how to call him out from behind the veil?

Cuckoos are have turned into postmen,
humming witty messages now and then.
Tell them not to use such ciphers,
please reveal who is the writer,
I only want to wish him well,
and break all his evil spells.

Breezy gusts got annoyed with the weather,
Flowers lost their nectar to buzzers,
As winds of change taking me over,
I wonder of my heart’s disposition,
tune to finally better its rendition,
admit its beauty has come to fruition.

Ha Reham – Aamir

This song penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya is essentially a prayer seeking mercy of God at every step. Stressing on the fragility of the human life and the need for the grace of God with fair amount of repetition in singing, the catchy tune is a modern take on the qawaali tradition from South Asia. This is perfect post for today, i.e. the day the holy month of Ramzan begins. I dedicate it to God who enables all knowledge in all worlds.

Song Credits
Singers: Amit Trivedi, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Shilpa Rao, Neuman Pinto, Rashid Ali
Music: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya

Movie Credits
Directed by:  Raj Kumar Gupta
Starring: Rajeev Khandelwal, Gajraj Rao
Produced by: Ronnie Screwvala
Release: 6 June 2008

Original Lyrics-Ha Reham

Aani jani hai kahani
Bulbule si zindagani
Banti kabhi bigadti
Tez hawa se ladti bhidti
Ha rehum ha raham
Farma aye khuda
Ha rehum ha raham
Farma aye khuda
Mehfuz har kadam karna
Aye khuda aye khuda

Saason ki suti dor anoothi
Jal jayegi jal jayegi
Band jo laye the haathon ki muthi
Khul jayegi khul jayegi

Bhagwan kare kaya yeah ujali
Mitti mein mil jayegi
Chahe jitni shamaye roshan karlo
Dhoop toh dhal jayegi jayegi

Ha rehum ha raham
Farma aye khuda
Mehfuz har kadam
Karna aye khuda

Sone chamak mein
Sikko khanak mein
Milta nahi milta nahi
Dhool ke zarro
Mein dhunde koi toh
Milta wahi milta wahi

Kya majaal teri marzi ke aage
Bandon ki chal jayegi
Tane ungli jo tu
Katputli ki chaal
Badal jayegi jayegi

Ha rehum ha raham
Farma aye khuda
Mehfuz har kadam
Karna aye khuda

Translation of Ha Reham by bollywoodtarjuma

Stories come and go,
in this fragile life of water bubbles,
that come together and then undone,
fighting strongest winds and blazing sun.
So we ask for your mercy oh Lord,
please secure every step we take.

The cord of your breath,
will burn out,
the clasped fingers of birth,
will be wide open.
The shining body, the gift of God,
will disappear into earth,
The light will go out one day,
ignoring the hundred lit fires,
for no one is here to stay.

So we ask for your mercy oh Lord
please secure every step we take.

Neither in the glittering gold,
nor in the tinkling coins you hold,
Answers are found,
when you search,
in each grain of sand around.

How can a mortal dare
to change your mind of Lord?
With each tug at the string,
you can alter the way,
this puppet-life sings.
So we ask for your mercy oh Lord
please secure every step we take.
Oh dear Lord
Oh dear Lord

Abhi Mujh Mein Kahi – Agneepath

Abhi mujh mein kahi, a multiple award winning song rendered in the soulful voice of Sonu Nigam is truly a triumph of words, notes and singing. As one swings between hope and pain, this song represents a perfect roller coaster ride of Bollywood music. Agneepath is one of my favorite films too. According to me, it features the career-best performance by Indian superstar Hrithik Roshan. Some day, I hope to translate Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s legendary poem, ‘Agneepath’ that is metaphorically connected to film.

Song Credits
Singer: Sonu Nigam
Music: Ajay Atul
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya

Movie Credits
Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Rishi Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Priyanka Chopra
Directed by: Karan Malhotra
Produced by: Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar
Release Date: 26 January 2012

Original Lyrics-Abhi Mujh Mein Kahi

Abhi mujh mein kahin
Baaqi thodi si hai zindagi
Jagi dhadkan nayi
Jaana zinda hoon main toh abhi
Kuch aisi lagan iss lamhe mein hai
Ye lamha kahaan tha mera
Ab hai saamne
Issey chhoo loon zaraa
Mar jaaoon ya jee loon zaraa
Khushiyaan choom loon
Yaa ro loo’n zaraa
Mar jaaun ya jee loon zaraa

Ho.. dhoop mein jalte huey tann ko
Chhaya ped ki mil gayee
Roothe bachche ki hansi jaise
Phuslaane se phir khill gayee
Kuchh aisa hi abb mehsoos dil ko ho rahaa hai
Barso’n ke purane zakhm pe marham laga sa hai
Kuch aisa rahem, iss lamhe mein hai
Ye lamha kahaan tha mera
Ab hai saamne
Issey chhoo loon zara
Mar jaaoon ya jee loon zara

Dor se tooti patang jaisi, thi ye zindagani meri
Aaj ho kal ho mera naa ho
Har din thi kahani meri
Ik bandhan naya peechhe se abb mujhko bulaaye
Aane waley kal ki kyun fikar mujhko sata jaaye
Ik aisi chubhan iss lamhe me hai
Ye lamha kahaan tha mera aa
Ab hai saamne
Issey chhoo loon zara
Mar jaaoo’n ya jee loon zara

Translation of Abhi Mujh Mein Kahi by bollywoodtarjuma

A bit of life
is still left in me,
I realize a new heartbeat,
in this moment, in this breath.
I witness it,
and wish to touch it,
kiss the happiness living in it,
and cry the tears it sheds,
and ask it,
‘where were you lost till now’?

When my sun- scorched body,
was finally soothed by some shade,
it lit up like the smile
of a sulking child,
cajoled with a treat.
The respite of that moment,
a balm on my eternal wounds.
The empathy of this moment, of this breath,
makes me ask it,
‘where were you lost till now’?

Just like a string- less kite,
my life floated away,
unware of a tomorrow,
that may never even come.
As I worry about future,
a fresh promise calls out to me,
piercing my unmoving thoughts
in this moment, this breath,
and I wish to ask it,
‘where were you lost till now’?

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