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Bollywood Songs Translated – in my way

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Mani Ratnam

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.

 

 

 

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.

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