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Bollywood Songs Translated – in my way

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jimmy shergil

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.

 

Paani Paani Re – Maachis

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.

Sham Se Aankh Mein – Marasim

This soothing number of profound missing is not from Bollywood. It’s an independent album that was a collaboration between the Ghazal king, Jagjit Singh and my very favorite poet, Gulzar saab. It’s a request by Shristi and I am more than happy to try. I love the economy of word and phrase in the song and the completely natural rhythm coming though beautifully. Please leave a comment if you have non-Bollywood requests, I will give my best!

Song Credits

Singer: Jagjit Singh
Album: Marasim
Lyrics: Gulzar

Original Lyrics-Sham Se Aankh Mein

Shaam se aankh mein nami si hai (2)
Aaj phir aap ki kami si hai

Dafn kardo hume ke saans bhi le (2)
nabz kuch der se thami si hai (2)
Aaj phir aap ki kami si hai

Waqt rehta nahin kahin tik kar (2)
Iss ki aadat bhi aadmi si hai (2)
Aaj phir aap ki kami si hai

Koi rishta nahin raha phir bhi (2)
Ek tasleem lazmi si hai (2)
Aaj phir aap ki kami si hai…

Translation of Sham Se Aankh Mein by bollywoodtarjuma

Once again,
my eyes moisten
as the twilight arrives,
along with your absence.

Once again,
my pulse slows down,
wishing to be burried alive,
to feel my breath,
to feel alive

Once again,
Time reminds me,
that it won’t stay forever,
just like human relationships.

Once again,
I wish you had said goodbye*
even though what we had
was long dead.

 

*A goodbye/farewell is my interpretation of the word ‘tasleem’, though it can mean salutation too. An alternate translation would be:

Once again,
I offer you my salutation,
even though what we had
is long dead.

 

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