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Bollywood Songs Translated – in my way

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Kamal Hasan

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)

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Solah Baras Ki – Ek Duje Ke Liye

Bollywood has a song for every kind of love, specially the very first brush of love that happens at sweet sixteen. Pehla Pyaar or first love is a very common phrase in Bollywood songs, but Solah Baras Ki stands out as an exquisite piece of poetry exploring this impatient and passionate kind of love. Literally saluting the age of sixteen for its courage, it goes on to list everything young hearts love to do, from writing their names on a beach inside a heart to spending endless hours together.

The film, Ek Duje Ke Liye (Made for Each Other), the Hindi remake of the original Telugu film Maro Charitra (1979), is love story between two youngsters who come from a different cultural background. The film is funny and romantic at first with the lovers connecting despite the language barrier and the elders of the families obviously disapproving of the pair. Later, it moves on to more disturbing realities of India, where youngsters often find unrelenting opposition and even violence from their friends and family for falling in love/marrying outside of their cultural community, caste or religion. I feel this film is very important for its exploration of both real and psychological violence that forms the dark underbelly of the rosy appearances of Indian love stories featuring youngsters.

Song Credits
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Anup Jalota
Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal

Movie Credits
Directed by: K. Balachander
Starring:  Kamal Haasan and Rati Agnihotri
Produced by: L. V. Prasad
Release: 5 June 1981

Original Lyrics-Solah Baras Ki

Koshish kar ke dekh le
Dariya saare, nadiya saari
Dil ki lagi nahin bujhti
Bujhti hai har chingari

Solah baras ki
Solah baras ki baali umar ko salaam
Aye pyaar teri pehli nazar ko salaam
Salaam aye pyaar teri pehli nazar ko salaam

Duniya mein sabse pehle jisne yeh dil diya
Duniya ke sabse pehle dilbar ko salaam
Dil se nikalne waale raste ka shukriya
Dil tak pahunchne waali dagar ko salaam
Aye pyaar teri pehli nazar ko salaam
Salaam aye pyaar teri pehli nazar ko salaam

Jismein jawan ho kar badnaam hum hue
Jismein jawan ho kar badnaam hum hue
Us shehar, us gali, us ghar ko salaam
Jisne hamein milaya, jisne juda kiya
Us waqt, us ghadi, us gajar ko salaam
Aye pyaar teri pehli nazar ko salaam
Salaam aye pyaar teri pehli nazar ko salaam

Milte rahe yahan hum yeh hai yahan likha
Is likhawat ki zerozabar ko salaam
Sahil ki rait par yun lehra utha yeh dil
Sagar mein uthne waali har lehar ko salaam
In mast gehri-gehri aankhon ki jheel mein
Jisne hamein duboya us bhanwar ko salaam
Ghoonghat ko chhod kar jo sar se sarak gayi
Aisi nigodi dhaani chunar ko salaam
Ulfat ke dushmanon ne
Ulfat ke dushmanon ne koshish hazaar ki
Phir bhi nahin jhuki jo us nazar ko salaam
Aye pyaar teri pehli nazar ko salaam
Solah baras ki baali umar ko salaam

Translation of Solah Baras Ki by bollywoodtarjuma

All the rivers and lakes,
can’t put out the fires,
that adoring hearts make

Salute to the innocent age of sixteen,
Salute to the first love’s magical sheen.

First one to surrender his heart,
our salute to one that loved at the very  start.
To the trails starting from the heart &
the pathways that reach back through,
our gratitude, through and through.

Salute to the innocent age of sixteen,
Salute to the first love magical sheen.

Salute to that city, that lane, that home,
Where we grew up and then were shamed.
The time that brought us together,
salute to that minute and
to those chimes of the clock tower.

Salute to the innocent age of sixteen,
Salute to the first love’s magical sheen.

Salute to the etching on this cliff,
a bit twirling and a little haywire,
that says we will be forever.

To this heart that swayed in the sand,
and the beach, the waves, the ocean,
salute to all the nature in motion.
The one who drowned us
into the depths of those eyes,
salute to that vortex in disguise.
Salute to that naïve veil,
that slipped right off the head.
while following the lover’s trail.
Final salute the resolve that didn’t bend,
when foes of love tried to no end.

Salute to the innocent age of sixteen,
Salute to the first love’s magical sheen.

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