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Bollywood Songs Translated – in my way

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Ab Mujhe Koi Intezaar Kahaan – Ishqiya

Who better than Gulzar to bring me out of translation-hibernation? I apologize for not updating for so long, work has me very busy nowadays but I promise to post more frequently now! I have a bunch of requests pending and I hope to get to them soon. Thanks to Latika G for sending me a request for translation of Ab Mujhe Koi Intezaar Kahaan from Ishqiya as its one of my favorite melancholic melodies and I couldn’t wait to translate it!

Abhishek Chaubey’s Ishqiya is the prequel of Dedh-Ishqiya, a film I wrote about in detail here along with a song translation of Hamri Atariya. Ishqiya is a black comedy where actor Vidya Balan plays the role of an unlikely femme fatale who manipulates two men into her own plan of vengeance. Portraying a twisted and dark world in a brilliant way, Ishqiya won a lot of praise from the critics and lead actor Vidya Balan swept all major awards for her nuanced portrayal of the lead protagonist Krishna Verma. The film features many beautiful songs, but Ab Mujhe Koi Intezaar Kahaan and Badi Dheere Jali Raina stand out like gems; combining Gulzar’s words, Vishal Bhardwaj’s music and Rekha Bhardwaj’s uniquely haunting voice. I hope you enjoy the translation and leave your feedback here or on  bollywoodtarjuma’s Facebook and Twitter page

Song Credits
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers: Rekha Bharadwaj
Music: Vishal Bharadwaj

Movie Credits
Directed by: Abhishek Chaubey
Starring: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi
Produced by: Raman Maroo, Vishal Bharadwaj
Release: 29 January 2010

Original Lyrics – Ab mujhe koi intezaar kahaan

Ab mujhe koi intezaar kahaan
Woh jo behthe the, aabshaar kahaan
Ab mujhe koi intezaar kahaan

Aankh ke ek gaaon mein,
raat ko khwaab aate the
Chooney se behthe the,
bole toh kehte the.
Udthe khwaabon ka aetbaar kahaan
Ab mujhe koi intezaar kahaan

Jin dino aap rehte the
Aankh mein dhoop thi
Ab to jaale hi jaale hain
Yeh bhi jaane hi wale hain
Woh jo tha dard ka karaar kahaan
Ab mujhe koi intezaar kahaan
Woh jo behthe the aabshaar kahaan

Translation of Ab mujhe koi intezaar kahaan by bollywoodtarjuma

No hope lives in me now.
Water that gushed down my eyes,
is also missing somehow.

Dreams used to visit,
a village in my eyes.
On touching, they leak,
through illusions they speak.
Passing like a summer cloud,
Musings can’t be trusted aloud.

The days you were here,
my warm eyes held the sun.
The days you stayed awhile,
heat lingered in the bosom.
Now it’s just cobwebs of past
and even they will not last.
Will I ever feel it again,
that bliss hiding beneath the pain.

No hope lives in me now.
Water that gushed down my eyes,
is also missing somehow.

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Dil Se Re – Dil Se

Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se (From the Heart), is a poetic love story set amidst the travails of people living in insurgency-prone areas of North East India. The entire album of the film is a musical-lyrical triumph with A R Rahman and Gulzar coming together for creating a series of tracks that remain alive as some of the best songs ever written and composed in Bollywood. Gulzar’s inimitable metaphors combine with the eccentric notes of Rahman in creating the title song of the album. Short and profound phrases and little explosions of electronic musical notes  make this song very unconventional Bollywood. It’s one of the few songs from Bollywood that express deep pathos in hypnotic fast-paced musical notations, almost conveying the sense of a traveling urgency that runs as a theme in the film. Gulzar’s lyrics in this particular instance are particularly impossible to literally translate so I would actually consider this effort to be more of a rewriting in English. As usual, I would love to know your thoughts here and on bollywoodtarjuma’s Facebook and Twitter page.

 P.S: Do find the meaning of Chhaiya Chhaiya, another unforgettable number from the same film on an earlier entry of this blog. You can also watch the full film right here.

Song Credits
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singer:
A. R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Anupama & Febi Mani
Music: A R Rahman

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

Original Lyrics – Dil Se Re from Dil Se

Ek suraj nikla tha, kuchh para pighla tha
Ek aandhee aayee thee, jab dil se aah niklee thee
Dil se re
Dil toh aakhir dil hai na
Mithee see mushkil hai na, piya piya
Piya piya piya na piya jiya jiya jiya na jiya
Dil se re

Do patte patjhad ke pedon se utarey the
Pedon kee shakho se utarey the
Phir utne mausam gujre woh patte do bechare
Phir ugne kee chahat me woh sehrao se guzre
Woh patte dil dil dil the, woh dil the dil dil dil the
Dil hai toh phir dard hoga, dard hai toh dil bhee hoga
Mausam gujarte rehte hain
Dil se, dil se, dil se, dil se
Dil se re

Bandhan hai rishto me
Kanto kee tarein hain, patthar ke darwaje diware
Bele phir bhee ugatee hain, aur guchchhe bhee khilte hain
Aur chalte hain afsane, kirdar bhee milte hain
Woh rishtey dil dil dil the, woh dil the dil dil dil the
Ghum dil ke paksh chulbule hain, pani ke yeh bulbule hain
Bujhte hain bante rehte hain
Dil se, dil se, dil se, dil se

Translation of Dil Se Re by bollywoodtarjuma

The sun rose,
bit of mercury thawed,
one storm bellowed,
when a sigh crawled,
from deep inside..
Right from the heart,
from the very start,
with writing on its scroll,
unfolding from the soul..

Heart is heart after all,
it can stumble and fall,
giving a syrupy-restless call,
for you my love, my love..
Form the heart,
from the very start,
with writing on its scroll,
unfolding from the soul..

Two autumn leaves scrambled down,
fell from branches without a sound.
Countless seasons turned,
but not for those two.
Trying to grow again,
they passed deserts and dew.
Those wilted leaves were hearts,
yes, they were living hearts.
If there is heart, there will be pain,
if there is pain, it’s the heart’s bane,
while the weather- spells pass over,
those hearts beat the same forever.

Links in a union, those throne-addled chains,
doors cast in stone and concrete walled panes.
Yet the vines sprout through,
heavy with flowers that grew,
like stories that eternally accrue,
with characters found anew.
Those unions were hearts,
yes, they were living hearts.
Anguished and with volatile wings,
floating like slippery bubbles,
they douse, form, separate and cling.
In the heart they are born,
of the heart they always sing.

Chupke Se – Saathiya

Another beautiful song by Gulzar, Chupke Se from Shaad Ali’s Saathiya (Companion) is a kind of train of thought poetry. Filled with never-ending metaphors of passion, romance and love; the song is a manifestation of desperate fantasies of lovers separated by distance and time. It’s a tough translation and I have taken some liberties to keep the flow intact. Let me know what you think here and do join bollywoodtarjuma’s Facebook and Twitter page.

Right here, you can watch this memorable film about the struggles of a couple who elope to be together but later realize marriage is not exactly a fairy tale with a happily ever after. It’s an insightful journey of self-discovery and a reflection on nature of romantic relationships in the face of  everyday struggles, drudgery and tragedies. The Tamil original, Alaipayuthey (Waves are flowing) directed by maverick film maker Mani Ratnam featured the song set to the same melody, penned by lyricist Vairamuth. Although an entirely different meaning, romance in the poetry is equally, if not more stunning. The song can be found here and it’s meaning can be read here.

Song Credits
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers:
Sadhana Sargam, Murtaza Khan, Qadir Khan, A. R. Rahman
Music: A R Rahman

Movie Credits
Directed by: Shaad Ali
Starring: Rani Mukerji, Vivek Oberoi
Produced by: Bobby Bedi, Yash Chopra, Mani Ratnam, Aditya Chopra
Release: 20 December 2002

Original Lyrics – Chupke Se from Saathiya

Dosto se jhutee mutee dusro kaa naam le ke phir meree baate karna
Yaara raat se din karna
Lambee judaayee teree bada mushkil hai aaho se dil bharna
Yaara raat se din karna
Kab yeh puree hogee, dur yeh duree hogee, roz safar karna
Yaara raat se din karna

Chupke se chupke se raat kee chaadar tale
Chaand kee bhee aahat naa ho, baadal ke pichhe chale
Jale katara katara, gale katara katara
Raat bhee naa hile aadhee aadhee, yeh
Chupke se chupke se r lag ja gale, raat kee chaadar tale

Farvaree kee sardiyo kee dhup me, mundee mundee ankhiyo se dekhana
Haath kee aad se
Nimee nimee thand aur aag me, haule haule maarva ke raag me
Mir kee baat ho
Din bhee naa dube, raat naa aaye, shaam kabhee naa dhale
Shaam dhale toh subah naa aaye, raat hee raat chale
Chupke se chupke se raat kee chaadar tale
Chaand kee bhee aahat naa ho, baadal ke pichhe chale

Tujh bina pagalee yeh purvaaye, aake meree chunaree me bhar gayee
Tu kabhee aise hee, gale lag jaise yeh purvayee
Aa gale lag jaise yeh purvayee, saathiya sun tu
Kal jo mujhako nind naa aaye, paas bula lena
Godee me apnee sar rakh lena, loree suna dena

Chupke se chupke se raat kee chaadar tale
Chaand kee bhee aahat naa ho, baadal ke pichhe chale
Jale katara katara, gale katara katara
Raat bhee naa hile aadhee aadhee, yeh

Translation of Chupke Se by bollywoodtarjuma

With false names and half-lies,
talk of me all night with friends,
but keep us in disguise.
Long separation and anxious sighs,
ceaseless night and awaited sunrise,
When will darkness break and light awake?
When will these distances fade?
Days and nights keep lingering,
for how long do we keep wandering?

Quietly, wordlessly,
beneath the blanket of night.
Under the silent footsteps of moon,
we take the clouded flight.
Quietly, wordlessly,
beneath the blanket of night,
I want you to hold me tight.

Every bit burning,
all of it melting,
while the midnight stands,
timelessly, unmoving.

Look at me with half-closed eyes,
shielded with a canopied hand,
soaked by the warmth of February-tan.
In the nippy cold and thawing heat,
with sunset’s song* upbeat,
we will exchange some verses by Mir**,
while horizon and sun get nowhere near.
The sun should not set,
night must not fall,
frozen twilight will just stall.
But when dusk finally melts to dark,
the morning should wait at the arc,
not letting the night ever disembark.
 
 While you are distant,
a delirious breeze is persistent
to fill into my shawl,
wrapping my heart in enthrall.
Listen my cherished companion,
just like this breeze, someday,
you embrace me with abandon.
Tomorrow, be near me
when sleep betrays my night,
cradle my head in your lap,
and sing me a lullaby of moonlight.

Quietly, wordlessly,
beneath the blanket of night.
Under the silent footsteps of moon,
we take the clouded flight.
Quietly, wordlessly,
beneath the blanket of night,
I want you to hold me tight.

Every bit burning,
all of it melting,
while the midnight stands,
timelessly, unmoving.

* Phrase used in the original song refers to Marva raag or melody mode in Hindustani classical music. It’s considered a song of quiet and gentle yearning for love, represented by the arrival of sunset.

**Although people may have differing opinions, I see this part as a reference to the poetry of Mir Taqi Mir, a famous Urdu poet, who was known for writing intensely romantic ballets. Read my translation of a classic ghazal by Mir here.

 

 

 

Aane Wala Pal – Gol Maal

As I struggle to post more often to keep up with my other work, poetic genius Gulzar’s birthday today offers the perfect opportunity to come back to my love for translating poetry. Aane Wala Pal from Gol Maal, is one of the many songs written by Gulzar that explore romance in its philosophical dimensions. Time is physically the same but relative in its experience. It passes quickly, heavy with stolen moments when one is with a beloved, but painfully slowly when it’s time to wait for the next meeting. This song is an exploration of that fleeting time, asking us to seek every moment for the endless stories of joy and pain it holds and live it fully for everything it’s worth. Also, the song inspires me to find precious moments to post more translations of Gulzar’s poetry this month. Lets see how it goes/ As usual, feedback from my readers would only encourage me further!

PS: If you haven’t already, do watch this hilarious and insightful film right here.

Song Credits
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers:
Kishore Kumar
Music: R. D. Burman

Movie Credits
Directed by: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Cast:  Amol Palekar, Utpal Dutt, Bindiya Goswami
Produced by: N.C Sippy
Release:  20th April 1979

Original Lyrics – Aane Wala Pal

Aanewala pal janewala hai
Ho sake toh isame jindagee bita do
Pal jo yeh janewala hai ho ho

Ek bar yu milee masum si kali
Ho khilte huye kaha pushpash me chalee
Dekha toh yahee hai dhundha toh nahee hai
Pal jo yeh janewala hai ho ho.

Ek bar wakt se lamha gira kahin
Wahan dastan milee lamha kahee nahin
Thoda sa hasake, thoda sa rulake
Pal yeh bhee janewala hai ho ho.

Aanewala pal janewala hai
Ho sake toh isame jindagee bita do
Pal jo yeh janewala hai ho ho

Translation of Aane Wala Pal by bollywoodtarjuma

Imminent moments are turning to past,
if you can, live them fully till they last,
for what’s now is slipping away fast.
this minute won’t return once its passed.

I met a blooming bud one time,
‘I am off to a sojourn’, it chimed.
When I saw, it was here,
and when I searched again,
it was nowhere.
just as the present minute,
turns away like a pivot.

Once an instant broke away from time,
a whole epic was narrated in it,
but the instant petered in sublime.
Spreading some cheers and
gifting some tears,
end of this instant also nears.

Imminent moments are turning to past,
if you can, live them fully till they last,
for what’s now is slipping away fast.
this minute won’t return once its passed.

 

Featured Image Courtesy: @yuvadesh on Twitter

Tere Bina – Guru

This song from Mani Ratnam’s 2007 film, Guru is a Sufi-style tribute to veteran Pakistani qawwali singer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, also known as Shahenshah-e-Qawwali, meaning, the king of kings of Qawwali. It was written by Gulzar to commemorate his tenth death anniversary. I have written before about the qawwali tradition and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan probably the best known artist in the modern history of this style, having performed all over the world. The opening and intermittent dham dara dham dara refrains, sung by Murtuza Khan and Quadir Khan set the smooth and ballet-like quality of this song of despair and separation from the beloved. The phrases are simple and rustic, making it apt for expressing the thoughts of the lead protagonists of the film, who come from humble backgrounds.The real  triumph for me however, are the earthy voices of Rahman and Chinmaye that give an unforgettable edge to this number, something very different from the usual sweet singing that one hears in Bollywood songs.

Mani Ratnam’s Guru, loosely based on the life of Indian business tycoon Dhirubhai Ambani, the Reliance Industries, was a favorite of masses and critics alike, receiving extensive praise from international press. Aside from award winning performances and music, the background score of the film by Rahman is easily one of his best works. I am not sure if it’s a legal copy, but the full film with English subtitles can be seen here in fairly good quality. It was a tough translation and I have taken some liberties with phrases to keep the rhythm of the song intact. I would love to hear your feedback here or on the Facebook or Twitter page of bollywoodtarjuma.

Song Credits
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers:
A.R. Rahman, Chinmaye, Murtuza Khan & Qadir Khan
Music: A.R. Rahman

Movie Credits
Directed by: Mani Ratnam
Starring:  Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, R. Madhavan, Vidya Balan
Produced by: Mani Ratnam, G. Srinivasan
Release: 12 January 2007

Original Lyrics- Tere Bina

Dum dara dum dara mast mast dara
Dum dara dum dara mast mast dara
Dum dara dum dum oh hum dum
Bin tere kya jeena

Na jaa chaakri ke mare na ja
Souten pukaare
Saawan aayega toh poochega
Na ja re
Pheeki pheeki beswaadhi
Yeh ratiyaan
Kaatoore kate na kate na
Ab tere bina sajna sajna
Kaate kate na
Katena katena tere bina
Tere bina beswaadi beswaadi
Ratiyaan, oh sajna oh

Tere bina chaand ka sona khota re
Peeli peeli dhool udaawe jhoota re
Tere bina sona peetal
Tere sang keekar peepal
Aaja katena ratiyaan
Dum dara dum dara mast mast dara
Dum dara dum dara mast mast dara
Dum dara dum dum oh hum dum
Bin tere kya jeena

Translation of Tere Bina by bollywoodtarjuma

Dum dara dum dara, where is my joy and fun
Dum dara dum dara where is my moon and sun,
my dear love, my companion,
without you, my life is so glum.

Tasteless and never-ending nights,
parched and shriveled sights
My love, without you,
life is devoid of delights.

Don’t answer if the work calls,
don’t wait if the mistress stalls,
Monsoon will come and leave,
all the rain, your absence will reave

Without you my love,
the moonlit gold is a sham,
just yellow dust turning to sand.
Without you,
Precious diamonds play phony-tricks,
lush-trees feel like cactus-pricks.

Please come for the nights don’t pass,
silver is stone and gold turns to brass.
tasteless and never-ending nights,
parched and shriveled sights
My love, without you,
life is devoid of delights.

Sooraj Dooba Hai – Roy

A strictly dance-worthy Bollywood number like this one need not be devoid of a beautiful meaning. Starting with an evocative phrase, Ho ja zara matalabi (Be a little self-centered), the song penned by Kumaar is a call to party hard, with chest-thumping disco music by Amaal Malik. But that’s not all, the song also takes on a philosophical appeal to for being a bit more self-loving, a bit more carefree and use the gratification from dancing and celebrating to live fully in every moment. The song is performed by the talented Arijit Singh, who became the hot favorite of Bollywood music lovers after his tracks from Mohit Suri’s Aashiqui 2 became a rage in 2013. You can listen to all the tracks here and let me know if you want any  translated. Although known for his naturally pathos-filled, romantic voice, Arijit Singh embraces his inner rock star in this song, ably supported by Aditi Singh Sharma.

Song Credits
Lyrics: Kumaar
Singers: Arijit Singh, Aditi Singh Sharma
Music: Amaal Mallik

Movie Credits
Directed by: Vikramjit Singh
Starring:   Arjun Rampal, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ranbir Kapoor
Produced by: Bhushan Kumar, Divya Khosla Kumar
Release: 13 February 2015

Original Lyrics-Sooraj Dooba Hai

Matlabi ho jaa zara matlabi
Duniya ki sunta hai kyon
Khud ki bhi sunle kabhi
Kucch baat galat bhi ho jaye
Kucch der yeh dil bhi kho jaye
Befikar dhadkanen is tarah se chalen
Shor goonje yahan se vahan

Sooraj dooba hai yaron
Do ghunt nashe ke maaro
Raste bhula do sare gharbaar ke
Sooraj dooba hai yaron
Do ghunt nashe ke maaro
Gham tum bhula do sare sansar ke

Ata pataa rahe na kisi ka hame
Yehi kahe yeh pal zindagi ka hame
Ata pataa rahe na kisi ka
Yehi kahe yeh pal zindagi ka
Ke khudgarz si khaahish liye
Be-sans bhi hum-tum jiyein
Hai gulabi gulabi sama
Sooraj dooba hai yaron
Do ghunt nashe ke maaro
Raste bhula do sare gharbaar ke
Sooraj dooba hai yaron
Do ghunt nashe ke maaro
Gham tum bhula do sare sansar ke

Chale nahi, udde asmaan pe abhi
Pata na ho hai jaana kahaan pe abhi
Chale nahi, udde asmaan pe
Pata na ho hai jaana kahaan pe
Ke bemanzile ho sab raste
Duniya se ho zara faasle
Kucch khud se bhi ho duriyaan
Sooraj dooba hai yaron
Do ghunt nashe ke maaro
Raste bhula do sare gharbaar ke
Sooraj dooba hai yaron
Do ghunt nashe ke maaro
Gham tum bhula do sare sansar ke

Translation of Sooraj Dooba Hai by bollywoodtarjuma

Be a little self-centered
Why care for the world?
Trust your instinct,
it’s what makes you distinct.
If something goes awry
and your self loses its way,
Just let the heartbeat thump away,
its roar echoing to convey….

Dancing night has swallowed the sun,
time to drink and have some fun,
and to forget all roads to home, one by one.
Dancing night has swallowed the sun,
time to drink and have some fun,
and to leave all worries behind, one by one.

Female:
Ask me* for anything
I can give you everything
Male:
Forget all roads heading home, one by one
Female:
Ask me for anything
I can give you everything
Male:
leave all worries behind, one by one.

Who is aware of anything now,
this moment is screaming, and how.
With a selfish desire we live on,
even with our breaths forgone,
vibe here is flushed to crimson…

Dancing night has swallowed the sun,
time to drink and have some fun,
and to forget all roads to home, one by one.
Dancing night has swallowed the sun,
time to drink and have some fun,
and to leave all worries behind, one by one.

Forget walking now, let’s grow wings and fly,
without a purpose, just wander the sky.
All our trails will be destination-free,
keeping distance from our own psyche,
let’s run afar before anyone can come…

Dancing night has swallowed the sun,
time to drink and have some fun,
and to forget all roads to home, one by one.
Dancing night has swallowed the sun,
time to drink and have some fun,
and to leave all worries behind, one by one.

Female:
Ask me for anything
I can give you everything
Male:
Forget all roads heading home, one by one
Female:
Ask me for anything
I can give you everything
Male:
leave all worries behind, one by one
*This part has been incorporated  in the song as a smart strategy of brand placement for ask.com, which is endorsed by Ranbir Kapoor, one of male protagonist of this film. You can spot a prominent signboard of askme.com with his image, right in the opening sequence of this song.

Hamri Atariya Pe – Dedh Ishqiya

Dedh Ishqiya is Bollywood erotica really, wrapped in the sophisticated robe of tameez (good manners) and tahzeeb (high culture) of the Muslim Social genre, popular from the 1940-70s. You can read all about the genre here on this great article by Madhulika Liddle. So much sexual tension rides under the surface of this song and many other moments in the film that is easy to miss, unless you pay attention.

Dedh Ishqiya is a black comedy featuring versatile Indian actors including Madhuri Dixit and Naseeruddin Shah. Dixit, who looks absolutely ravishing and ageless as a noblewoman, Begum Para, plots an elaborate plan with her accomplice Muniya (Huma Qureshi), to extort money from a nawab (nobleman) to absolve herself from bankruptcy. Though the story seems quite simple at first, some scenes reveal the way a lesbian romance been Begum and Muniya is being played out in the shadows, quite literally. There is an obvious tribute to Ismat Chugtai’s story about a lesbian romance called Lihaaf (the Quilt), which (not co-incidentally) tells the tale of a lonely Begum, ignored by her husband who prefers young boys instead. She begins a homosexual relationship with her maid and its revealed through giant shadows on the wall (obviously of the two getting close under the quilt), that resemble an elephant, according to a little girl who is visiting the Begum.

In a kind of concluding scene of the film, the male protagonists are trapped in the Begum’s plot and tied up in the courtyard, while Muniya and Begum Para celebrate by frolicking in the other room. One can only hear giggles and massive shadows on the wall to indicate intimacy between the two female protagonists. Right then, as if on cue, Khalujan (Naseeruddin Shah) asks Babban (Arshad Warsi), “Lihaaf maang le? (“Should we ask for a quilt?”). Dialogue writer and demi-wordplay­-god, Vishal Bhardwaj slips in a reference to Chugtai’s story so deftly and inconspicuously, that one cannot help but marvel at his genius. At the end, Begum Para escapes with Muniya to another town, using the word humsafar (companion/soulmate) for her. It doesn’t become any more overt for a film that is rooted in a tradition where romance often resides only in the words.

The examples of mainstream Bollywood picking up homosexual themes are really few and far in between and, the ones that do, are met with intense protest and violence. In such a scenario, a very delicate Thelma and Louise type of plot line treads the path of such censorship-prone content quite carefully. It’s another reminder of the obscenity court case that Chugtai fought and won, for no one could find a real suggestion of anything vulgar in Lihaaf, for it was all ‘under the quilt’, so to say. The film is available to watch on YouTube for small payment (less than $1), so do watch and let me know what you think. Meanwhile, Abhishek Chaubey’s latest film, Udta Punjab (Flying Punjab) is getting rave reviews and I love the music. I will be posting a translation from that film soon!

This song, Hamri Atariya (on my rooftop) which appears along with the ending credits is a re-working of renowned Hindustani classical singer Begum Akhtar’s song based on the Dadra tradition (light vocals) from Agra and Bundelkhand region of India. The song is an erotically charged number about a woman waiting for her lover, eager for his romantic company , while insecure about some ‘other woman’ or sautan (actually means a co-wife) charming him away.

The song displays the dancing genius of Madhuri Dixit in the classical Kathak choreography by Indian dance exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj. The song amply showcases facial expressions (abhinaya), delicate hand gestures, footwork and spiraling movements that are a hallmark of this dance form from northern India. The earthy, rustic voice belongs to ace singer Rekha Bharadwaj, my utter favorite since a long time. Her voice has the most unique combination of sensuality and melancholy. A part of the song had me reminiscing about Roysten Abel’s multimedia collaboration with musicians from Manganiyar community of Rajasthan, called Manganiyar Seduction (that in turn somehow reminds me of the seduction windows in Amsterdam, the world is so small!) See the below images to notice the similarities:

vlcsnap-2016-06-18-14h48m34s847 (2)

                                                A still from Hamri Atariya song

 

The-Manganiyar-Seduction-1024x683
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Roysten Abel’s Manganiyar Seduction

 

The song has plenty of restrained and some more overt mentions of the woman’s desire for a sexual union. Apart from being fun and catchy, when Muniya (Huma Qureshi) joins Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit) in the performance, the song sort of becomes representative of the film itself. Along with the video from the film, I am posting the link to a belly-dance based choreography to the same number by Banjara School of Dance, run by India’s foremost belly dance artist, Meher Malik. Call me a voyeur, but I really couldn’t keep my eyes off those beautiful dancers! Enjoy and let me know your thoughts in comments!

Song Credits
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers: Rekha Bharadwaj
Music: Vishal Bharadwaj (re-worked Begum Akhtar’s original)

Movie Credits
Directed by: Abhishek Chaubey
Starring:   Madhuri Dixit, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Huma Qureshi
Produced by: Raman Maroo, Vishal Bharadwaj
Release: 10 January 2014

Original Lyrics – Hamri Atariya Pe

Saj ke sajaaye baithi
Saazinde bulaaye baithi
Kahaan gum hua anjaanaa
Aale aale diye bhi jalaye re jalaye na
Atariya pe aaya parwana
Kaun sautan haaye bharmaaye re

Hamari atariya pe
Aaja re sanwariya
Dekha-dekhi tanik hoi jaaye
Hamri atariya pe
Aaja re sanwariya
Dekha-dekhi tanik hoi jaaye
Hamri atariya pe

Kiwadiya se lag ke piya kare jhaanka jhaanki
Bahut kaudi phenke piya udaave jahaan ki
Kasam deve jaan ki
Aaja gilauri, khilai doon kimaami
Laali pe laali tanik hui jaaye

Padosan ke gharva jaiho
Jaiho na sawariya
Sautan sapoli mori kaate jeheriya
Jeheri najariya…
Aaja atariya pe pilai doon angoori
Jora-jori tanik hui jaaye

Saajne lagaaye baithi
Chuttiya ghumaaye baithi
kahan gum hua an.jaa.na

Translation of Hamri Atariya Pe by bollywoodtarjuma

Dressed and adorned,
with musicians ready all around,
I wait for that stranger,
where did he go missing, I wonder.
I lined the porch with lamps of desire,
yet the moth didn’t come for the fire.
Another one has bewitched him, I fear,
Is that why he has disappeared?

O tan –skinned one,
run into me on the roof.
Let’s look at each other,
while the world is aloof.

Standing by the lattice door,
my mischievous lover quietly peeps.
Swears repeatedly by his life,
throwing copious wealth at my feet.

Let me paint your lips red,
with a perfumed betel spread.
Let our crimsons blend,
until the night comes to an end.

Don’t step into house next door,
don’t see the other women, I implore.
A nibble of that wicked serpentress slays,
her venom-eyes defuse my magic for days.
Come instead, to my porch,
and let me pour you some wine.
Let’s peek a bit and play some tease,
Some naughty and some benign.

Dressed and adorned,
hair pretty and plait bound,
with musicians ready all around,
I wait for that stranger,
where did he go missing, I wonder.

Surmai Akhiyon Mein – Sadma

This poignant song penned by Gulzar in his typical metaphoric style has been composed by Ilaiyaraaja, a veteran music director from the South Indian film industry. Often addressed as Isaignani (musical genius), Ilaiyaraaja is a composer, an instrumentalist, conductor, singer, and a songwriter, who has influenced a whole generation of music directors from India. He is one of the earliest musicians to come up with a stylistic symbiosis of Western and Indian musical codes to create a dynamic set of sounds. This film marks his debut in Hindi language cinema.

The song sung beautifully by Yesudas (a singing legend from South India) is really a lullaby, expressing a range of conflicting emotions in a very subtle way. Sadma (Trauma), a remake of Tamil language original, Moondram Pirai, is a story of a young man, Somu, who rescues a young woman from a house of prostitution, on realizing that her mental age is no more than that of a seven year old. Trauma from a recent accident caused her to face temporary amnesia and separates her from her family. Somu falls deeply in love with her but cannot express it in any other way but by nurturing her like his child. This complicated relationship is reflected in the words of this song, aptly using ‘dream’ as a metaphor for agonizing desires that are both forbidden and innocent. The film marked triumphant performances by its lead pair, Kamal Haasan and Sridevi making the film a cult. The concluding scene (with the same song in the background) of the film is specially remembered for its deep pathos, performed masterfully by Kamal Haasan. Do find the clip at the end of the post.

Song Credits
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers: K. J. Yesudasas
Music: Ilaiyaraaja

Movie Credits
Directed by: Balu Mahendra
Starring:  Sridevi, Kamal Haasan, Gulshan Grover and, Silk Smitha
Produced by: Raj N. Sippy, Romu N. Sippy
Release: 8 July 1983

Original Lyrics-Surmai  Akhiyon Mein

Surmayee ankhiyon main
Nanha munna ek sapna de jaa re
Nindiya ke udate paakhi re
Ankhiyon main aaja saathi re
Raa ree raa rum o raaree rum
Raa ree raa rum o raaree rum

Sachcha koi sapna deja
Mujhko koi apana deja
Anajana sa, magar kuch pehchana sa
Halka phulka shabanami
Resham se bhi reshmi

Raat ke rath par jaane vaale
Neend ka ras barsaane vaale
Itna kar de, ki meri aankhen bhar de
Ankhon main basta rahe
Sapna ye hastaa rahe

Surmayee ankhiyon main
Nanha munna ek sapana de jaa re
Nindiya ke udate paakhi re
Ankhiyon maon aaja saathi re

Translation of Surmai  Akhiyon Mein by bollywoodtarjuma

Leave a sweet little dream,
in the eyes with kohl-seams.
O dear bird with sleep-wings,
Perch on the eyelids and sing.

Grant me a dream that’s true,
Send me a soul to hold close,
A bit unknown yet, like someone I knew,
Silken soft like morning dew,
Light as the feather that flew.

The one who rides the chariots of night,
Showering nectar of sleep, at every single sight.
Do me a favour,
please pool into my eyes.
Ensure this dream is staying,
ever innocent, always smiling.

Leave a sweet little dream,
in the eyes with kohl-seams.
O dear bird with sleep-wings,
Perch on the eyelids and sing.

Concluding scene of Sadma (1983)

Naam Ada Likhna – Yahaan

A lovely song by Gulzar, which incorporates the wishes of a girl in love so and metaphorically that it sounds almost like a riddle sometimes. The film is set in insurgency-torn valley of Kashmir and has some reference to the lifestyle and culture of its people, incidentally known for their beauty and sophistication. What I love the most about the song however, is how the name of the protagonist, Ada, is mentioned in the song. One can almost assign a face to her when we hear the song, expressing all the tenderness of passion she feels when she is close to her beloved.

 

Song Credits
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers: Shreya Ghoshal & Shaan
Music: Shantanu Moitra

Movie Credits
Directed by: Shoojit Sircar
Starring: Jimmy Shergill, Minissha Lamba
Produced by: Robby Grewal
Release: 29 July 2005

Original Lyrics-Naam Ada Likhna
Pooche jo koi meri nishaani, rang hina likhna
gore badan pe, ungli se mera naam ada likhna

Kabhi kabhi aas paas chand rehta hai
Kabhi kabhi aas paas shaam rehti hai

aao naaaaa aaao naaaaa, jehnum mein beh lenge
vadi ke masuam bhi, ek din to badlenge

aau to subha jao to mera naam saba likhna
burf pade to burf pe mera naam dua likhna
zara zara aag vaag pass rehti hai
zara zara kangde ke aacha rehti hai

Kabhi kabhi aas paas chand rehta hai
Kabhi kabhi aas paas shaam rehti hai
raatein bunjhane, tum aagaye hoo

jab tum haste ho, din ho jata hai
tum gale lage too, din so jata hai

doli uthaye ayega din to, pass betha lena
kal jo mile to, mathe mein mere suraj uga dena

zara zara aas paas dhup rehegi
zara zara aas pass rang renhege

Pooche jo koi meri nishaani, rang hina likhna
gore badan pe, ungli se mera naam ada likhna

Kabhi kabhi aas paas chand rehta hai
Kabhi kabhi aas paas shaam rehti hai

Translation of Naam Ada Likhna by bollywoodtarjuma

If someone asks for my motif,
mention the colour of henna*.
On the surface of milky skin,
mark my name as Ada.

Sometimes the moon stays nigh,
at other times, it’s the twilight
Come on now, let’s flow in Jehlum,
hoping seasons of valley will turn.

Name me the morning when I arrive,
when I leave, evoke a gentle zephyr,
When snowflakes tumble down the slope,
call me out like a rising hope.

A bit of fire stays near,
and kangdi’s** tender warmth,
from the glowing embers.

You are here to douse the nights

Your smile makes the dawn break,
our embrace puts the dusk to sleep.

When the day arrives,
bearing the palanquin of light,
keep it close, make it sit tight.
On meeting me tomorrow,
grow a rosy evening-sun between my brows***.

A slight of sunshine,
A bit of vibrant sky,
will remain nearby.
 
If someone asks for my motif,
mention the colour of henna.
On the surface of milky skin,
mark my name as Ada.

* Henna is considered very auspicious in most of South Asia and henna designs  are painted on the hands of brides to signify fertility and prosperity.
** Kangri is a portable wicker-lined earthen pot, filled with hot coal used by Kashmiris beneath their traditional clothing to keep warm during the bitter winter of the valley.
*** According to me, here she is proposing a marriage with her beloved. The sun on the forehead could mean a round red bindi, that is commonly worn by Indian women after marriage, as a symbol of matrimony.

 

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