Khilona Jaan Kar Lyrics & Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Sanjeev Kumar and mumtaz star in Khilona 1970 filmfare award best picture
Portraying a man suffering a psychotic break, Sanjeev Kumar sings an appeal of love to Mumtaz in the ethically-fraught film “Khilona” (1970).

Today we are showcasing the poetic lyrics and English translation of “Khilona Jaan Kar” from the 1970 Filmfare Winner for Best Movie: Khilona. One of Mohammed Rafi’s iconic solo hits, “Khilona Jan Kar” is a deeply soulful appeal of a wounded man to a woman on the verge of leaving him.

Or at least that’s one way of looking at the song. I hadn’t watched Khilona (meaning “toy” in Urdu-Hindi) growing up, so hearing Anand Bakshi’s beautiful lyrics and seeing the music video, I was moved by the profound emotion only Rafi could imbibe so passionately into every reverberating “Ooooo khilona.” My father always burst into the song’s opening right after finishing up a satisfying vocal yawn. I think anyone can appreciate how that would transition quite smoothly.

Anyway, that’s my childhood in a nutshell. But now that I’ve seen the film, where, oh, where do I even begin?

Mumtaz courtesan Khilona 1970
In Khilona (1970), Mumtaz plays a pure-hearted courtesan who stumbles into the bizarre plot of a rotting patriarchy in order to help cure a stranger’s mental health crisis…at the cost of her own.

In Khilona, Sanjeev Kumar plays a famous poet who loses the love of his life in a traumatic incident, causing him to have a psychotic break. It’s hard to say precisely which disorder writer Gulshan Nanda was trying to convey here. Is it schizophrenia? Is it post-traumatic stress disorder? Sanjeev Kumar’s amalgamation of trope behaviors and unbridled basic instincts really underscore Bollywood’s overall troubling history portraying mental health disorders.

Speaking of Bollywood cliches, enter our courtesan with a heart of gold: Mumtaz. She is convinced to undergo a “fake” wedding ceremony and “pretend” to be Sanjeev Kumar’s wife in the hopes that this might help break his delusions. Then, using his psychosis as a shield, he rapes her and she is unable to seek restitution…partly due to the fact that she has gone full blown Stockholm Syndrome on the man who abuses her daily (another uncomfortable and relatively common theme in classic Bollywood films?). The lunacy of the plot is so stunning that it’s sad to believe it garnered Best Film of the year and really doesn’t reflect well on any of us.

sanjeev-kumar-psychotic-crazy-poet-khilona

Sanjeev Kumar reaches out to Mumtaz through a symbolic prison in Khilona (1970). The film won the FilmFare Award for Best Movie in 1970.

That said, Mumtaz deserves credit for accepting this difficult role, which had been rejected by other heroines who didn’t want to play such a controversial character. The role won her Best Actress that year and led to her starring in blockbusters like Aap Ki Kasam (1974) and Prem Kahani (1975).

None of this is obvious when you listen to the words of “Khilona Jan Kar.” However, now that you know the backstory, you can appreciate the tragic irony of the shehnaii (an instrument typically reserved for wedding celebration) melody that punctuates a song dedicated to a disenfranchised woman who is embroiled in a delusional marriage. Suddenly, the prison-like scaffolding of the windows through which Sanjeev Kumar gazes make sense: as a mental health patient, he is outcast by Indian society, but he is also a literal criminal who has assaulted Mumtaz. After all, who is the real khilona here? Despite the lyrics’ dripping self-pity, it’s not Sanjeev Kumar. Toyed with by every self-serving member of the patriarchy, Mumtaz is the real khilona of the film. In that context, this song is just emotional blackmail. 

That’s plenty to chew on, I think! Without further ado, we hope you enjoy our English translation to “Khilona Jan Kar” below!

Khilona Jaan Kar Lyrics and English Translation:

Khilonaa jaan kar tum to meraa dil toD jaate ho
You consider it a toy, and break my heart
Oooo mujhe is haal mei.N kiske sahaare chhoD jaate ho?
Oh, with whose support do you leave me alone in this condition?
O khilonaa jaan kar…

Khudaa kaa vaastaa dekar manaa luu.N duur huu.N lekin
For God’s sake, I would mollify you, yet I am far away
Tumhaaraa raastaa mei.N rok luu.N majbuur huu.N lekin
I would stop you in your path, yet I am weak
Ki mai.N chal bhii nahii.N saktaa huu.N, aur tum dauDh jaate ho
For I am unable to even walk, and you run away
O khilonaa jaan kar…

Gilaa tumse nahii.N koii, magar afsos thoDaa hai
I have no complaint against you, but I do have a little regret
Ki jis gham ne meraa daaman baDi mushqil se chhoDaa hai
That the sadness which left my side with great difficulty
Usii gham se meraa phir aaj rishtaa joD jaate ho
Is the same sadness you are binding to me today
O khilonaa jaan kar…

Mere dil se na lo badlaa zamaane bhar ki baato.N kaa
Do not take revenge upon my heart for a world of issues
Theher jaao! Suno! Mehemaan huu.N mai.N chand raato.N kaa
Wait! Listen! I am a guest for only a few nights
Chale jaanaa abhii se kis liye muu.N moD jaate ho?
You must go eventually, but why turn your face away from me right now?
O khilonaa jaan kar…

Glossary:

Khilonaa: toy; dil: heart; toDnaa: to break; haal: situation, health; sahaaraa: support; chhoDnaa: to leave; Khudaa: God; [kisii ka] vaastaa: the sake [of someone]; manaanaa: to mollify; lekin: yet; raastaa: path; roknaa: to stop; majbuur: weak; chalnaa: to go, to walk; dauDhnaa: to run; gilaa: complaint; magar: but; afsos: regret; thoDaa: a little; gham: sadness; daaman: side; embrace; baDaa: big, very; mushqil: difficulty; rishtaa: relationship, alliance (often in reference to a marriage proposition); joDnaa: to join, to bring together; badlaa lenaa: to take revenge; zamaanaa: the world, earth; Theher: to pause, to wait; sunnaa: to listen; mehmaan: guest; abhii: now; muu.N: face; moDnaa: to turn

Compound verb creation with “jaanaa”: A quick lesson from your Urdu-Hindi grammar school junkie

This is a concept that I still find takes finesse to use well and “Khilona Jaankar” is filled with compound verbs so it’s a great place to start! In Urdu-Hindi, you can create a special type of compound verb by taking a regular verb, such as “toDnaa” (to break), and combining it with “jaanaa” (to go). So instead of saying “you break my heart” as “dil toDte ho,” you would say “dil toD jaate ho.” The addition of “jaana” adds a sense of completion and finality to the verb preceding it. In these scenarios, the “na” is removed from the primary verb and the “jaanaa” is subsequently conjugated according to the tense you want to convey. Other commonly used compound verb examples include “denaa” or “lenaa“!

I highly encourage you to contrast Sanjeev Kumar’s performance here with his role in Aandhi (1975), where he shined playing the estranged, ultimately supportive husband to a rising female politician. Unlike Khilona for which he was nominated, but lost), Sanjeev Kumar won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for Aandhi, redeeming us all! 

– Mrs. 55

Sanjeev Kumar psychiatric patients Khilona 1970.
Sanjeev Kumar truly embodies the male gaze in Khilona (1970) as he emotionally blackmails Mumtaz into staying in their unhealthy relationship.

Maine Tere Liye Hi Saath Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna plays a patient with a terminal illness and endless optimism in classic Bollywood film Anand (1971).

As the year draws to a close, the lyrics of “Maine Tere Liye Hi” from classic Bollywood film Anand (1971) seems a fitting note with which to reflect on everything that has passed. 2020 has been one of the most bizarre, tragic, and tiring years many of us have experienced. I say “many” to acknowledge that our grandparents, who actually survived far worse–whether the Partition of India or World War II–became among the greatest victims of the pandemic. As a physician, I always spend extra time with my elderly COVID patients who are alone just to talk, even when it’s hard to otherwise feel as motivated to dive into the abyss as we did in the Spring. If you haven’t called your grandparents this week, stop reading this post and call them now.

Finished your call? Did you tell them to watch The Crown and promise to eat a tablespoon of sugar before your next exam? Great. We’ll move on. “Maine Tere Liye” for me has the perfect blend of nostalgia, sorrow, and optimism to encapsulate the end of 2020. A truly must-see film (which I actually watched on zoom with a group of my non-Hindi speaking colleagues this year! A crowd-pleaser to say the least!), Anand (1971) unfolds the tale of a doctor (played by Amitabh Bachhan) whose cynicism of a failing medical system is dismantled by the joie-de-vivre of a patient (played by Rajesh Khanna) diagnosed with lymphosarcoma of the intestine. I was struck by how true Amitach Bachhan’s criticisms of healthcare delivery in 1971 India rang so painfully true in 2020 America: poor patients often cannot access the care they desperately need. Luckily, to balance out these profound, sobering thoughts, I was also struck by Rajesh Khanna’s impeccable comedic timing and, as always, his absolutely dashing good looks (why, yes, he drops his famous wink in this song so be ready to check your pulse!).

At a casual dinner party in Anand (1971), Rajesh Khanna sings for his friend Amitabh Bachhan like it’s no big deal and he just woke up with that voice.

The soundtrack of Anand is as legendary as its performances, with hits like “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli” and “Kahin Door Jab Din.” “Maine Tere Liye Hi” stands out uniquely as a poem of friendship: something everyone needs in 2020. With lyrics by Yogesh and music by Salil Chaudhary, playback singer Mukesh croons about relishing in memories of the past and awaiting a better future. We dedicate this song to all of our amazing readers with whom a deep love of music and film from a bygone era brings us together. We hope our English translation of “Maine Tere Liye” offers a bright moment to your day!

Maine Tere Liye Hi Lyrics & English Translation

Maine tere liiye hii saat rang ke sapne chune
I have chosen a dream of seven colors just for you
Sapne, suriile sapne,
Dreams, beautiful dreams
Kuch ha.Nsii ke, kuch gham ke,
Some with laughter, some with sorrow
Terii ankho.N ke saaye churaaye rasiilii yaado.N ne
These rich memories have stolen shadows of your eyes
Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke…

ChhoTii baate.N
Small words…
ChhoTii chhoTii baato.N kii hai yaade.N baDIi,
Small words can leave big memories
Bhuule nahii.N biiThii huii ek chhoTii ghaDii
I haven’t forgotten even small moments that have passed
Janam janam se, aankhe.N bichaaye, tere liiye in raho.N mei.N
With every lifetime, my eyes are spread upon these paths for you
Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke…

Bhole-bhaale
Innocent
Bhole-bhaale dil ko behlate rahe
I kept amusing my innocent heart
Tanhaii mei.N tere khayalo.N ko sajaate rahe
In my loneliness, I kept adorning my thoughts of you
Kabhii kabhii to, aawaaz dekar, mujhko jagaayaa khwaabo.N ne
From time to time, my dreams called out to wake me up
Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke…

RuuThi raate.N
Upset nights
RuuThi huii raato.N ko manaayaa kabhi
Sometimes, I’m able to soothe the upset nights
Tere liye biiThii subaah ko bulaayaa kabhii
For you sometimes I call back the morning that has passed
Tere binaa bhii, tere liiye hii, diye jalaaye aaho.N ne
Ever when you are gone, for you alone, the lamps are lit by my sighs
Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke…

Glossary:

saat: seven, rang: color; sapnaa: dream; chunnaa: to choose; suriilaa: beautiful; ha.Nsii: laughter; gham: sorrow; aa.Nkh: eyes; saayaa: shadow; churaanaa: to steal; rasiilii: rich, delicious; yaade.N: memories; chhoTaa: small; baate.N: words; baDaa: big; bhuulnaa: to forget; biiThnaa: to pass; ghaDii: moment; janam: lifetime; bichaanaa: to spread, to lay; bholaa-bhaalaa: innocent, naive; dil behlaanaa: to amuse, to sweet talk; tanhaaii: loneliness; khayaal: thought: sajaanaa: to decorate, to adorn; kabhii kabhii: sometimes, occasionally; aawaaz: voice, jagaanaa: to wake up; khwaab: dream; ruuThaa: upset; raat: night; manaanaa: to placate, to soothe; subaah: morning; bulaanaa: to call; [kisii ke] binaa: without [someone]; [kisii ke] liye: for [someone]; diyaa: lamp; jalaanaa: to burn, to light: aah: sigh

Rajesh Khanna pretending to play the piano and holding the camera hostage with his smoldering gaze in Anand (1971).

This beautiful song was requested by long-time fans Prasad Sakhamuri and Sheza Iqbal. Thank you both for the very apt choice! As you’ve noticed, Mr. 55 and I have been busy in the hospitals this year, but we read all your requests and kind messages and respond as soon as we can! What classic Bollywood songs have inspired YOU in 2020? We’d love to know in the comments!

– Mrs. 55

My husband and I living large on vacation at the Shangri-La in Mauritius days before the U.S. shut its borders in March 2020. That feels like such an alternate reality now! We’ll be dreaming of that time for many months to come.

Parda Hai Parda Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

RishiKapoor_AmarAkbarAnthony
Rishi Kapoor stars as a Muslim qawwali singer in Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)

Rishi Raj Kapoor died at the age of 67 on April 30th, 2020 after a two-year struggle with acute myeloid leukemia. He is best known for his work as a leading hero in over one hundred Bollywood films including his debut role in Bobby (1973), Karz (1980), Saagar (1985), and Chandni (1989) among many others.

Today, we present the lyrics and English translation to pardaah hai pardaah from Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), which remains one of the most cherished performances by Bollywood’s original chocolate boy.

Directed by Manmohan Desai, Amar Akbar Anthony is an ode to secularism and religious tolerance that tells the story of of three brothers separated during childhood. Amar, played by Vinod Khanna, is the eldest Hindu-born brother who grows up to become a policeman. Anthony, played by Amitabh Bachchan, is the middle brother who becomes a practicing Christian and works as a liquor dealer. Finally, Akbar played by Rishi Kapoor, is the youngest brother who goes on to become a Muslim qawwali singer. Following a host of complicated turns and twists, the three brothers are reunited many years later after discovering their mutual roots.

In this film, Rishi Kapoor gives one of his most memorable performances in the beloved qawwalipardaah hai pardaah.” Sung during his late-70’s comeback, Mohammad Rafi deserves equal praise for his expressive vocals under the direction of music composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Although the remainder of the soundtrack’s lyrics are standard Bollywood masala fare, Anand Bakshi’s lyrics for this number are exquisitely penned surrounding the common man-unveils-woman trope (see parde me.n rahne do, yeh jo chilman hai). With the use of words like shabaab, shahazaadii, and mahjabii.n, you might want to brush up on your Urdu vocabulary with our glossary provided below.

Need another movie to add to your quarantine watch list? Pay your tribute to the departed Mr. Kapoor and look no further than Amar Akbar Anthony – the full movie can be found here!

-Mr. ’55

R.I.P. Rishi Kapoor (1952 – 2020)

Rishi Kapoor
Rishi Kapoor woos his real-life wife Neetu Singh in this animated qawwali performance

Parda Hai Parda: Lyrics and English Translation 

MR: shabaab pe mai.n zaraa-sii sharaab phai.nkuu.ngaa
I shall pour some wine over this youth.
kisii hasii.n kii taraf yeh gulaab phai.nkuu.ngaa
I shall throw this rose toward a beauty.

pardaah hai pardaah, pardaah hai pardaah
There is a veil, there is a veil.
parde ke piichhe pardaanashii.n hai
There is a woman behind the veil.
pardaanashii.n ko bepardaah na kar duu.n to
If I do not unveil the woman behind the veil...
Akbar meraa naam nahii.n hai!
then my name is not Akbar!

mai.n dekhtaa huu.n jidhar, log bhii udhar dekhe.n
Wherever I look, people look in the same direction.
kahaa.n Thahartii hai jaa kar merii nazar dekhe.n
They look at where my gaze stops.

mere khvaabo.n kii shahazaadii, mai.n huu.n Akbar ilaahabaadii
Oh, the princess of my dreams! I am Akbar of Allahabad.
mai.n shaayar huu.n hasiino.n kaa, mai.n aashiq mahjabiino.n kaa
I am a poet of beauty. I am a lover of beautiful women.
teraa daaman na chhoDuu.ngaa, mai.n har chilman ko toDuungaa
I shall not leave your side. I shall tear every curtain between us.

na Dar zaalim zamaane se, adaa se yaa bahaane se
Do not fear this cruel world. By grace or pretense,
zaraa apnii suurat dikhaa de, samaa khuubsuurat banaa de
please show your face and beautify the mood.
nahii.n to teraa naam leke, tujhe koii ilzaam deke
Otherwise I will sully your name with an accusation.
tujhko is mahfil me.n rusvaa na kar duu.n
If I do not dishonor you in this gathering...
pardaanashii.n ko bepardaah na kar duu.n to
If I do not unveil the woman behind the veil...
AK: Akbar teraa naam nahii.n hai!
then your name is not Akbar!

MR: khudaa kaa shukr hai, chahraa nazar to aayaa hai
Give thanks to the Lord, her face has been revealed!
hayaa kaa rang nigaaho.n pe phir bhii chhaayaa hai
Yet a tinge of modesty remains in her eyes.

kisii kii jaan jaatii hai, kisii ko sharm aatii hai
As I suffer, she shies away from me.
koii aa.nsuu bahaataa hai, to koii muskuraataa hai
As I shed tears, she cracks a smile.
sataa kar is tarah aksar, mazaa lete hai.n ye dilbar
My lover takes pleasure in torturing me so.
yahii dastuur hai in kaa, sitam mashahuur hai in kaa
Her cruel practices are known to all.

khafaa hoke chahraa chhupaa le, magar yaad rakh husnvaale
Hide your face in anger, my beautiful one, but remember this: 
jo hai aag terii javaanii, meraa pyaar hai sard paanii
my love is like cold water for the fire of your youth.
mai.n tere ghusse ko ThanDaa na kar duu.n haa.n
If I do not calm your anger...
pardaanashii.n ko bepardaah na kar duu.n to
If I do not unveil the woman behind the veil...
AK: Akbar teraa naam nahii.n hai!
then your name is not Akbar!

MR: pardaah hai pardaah, pardaah hai pardaah
There is a veil, there is a veil.

*MR = lines sung by Mohammed Rafi, AK = lines sung by Amit Kumar

GLOSSARY

shabaab: youth; sharaab: wine, alcohol; phainknaa: to throw; hasii.n:
beautiful one; gulaab: rose; pardaah: veil; pardaahnashii.n: veiled
woman; bepardaah karnaa: to unveil; Thaharnaa: to stop; khvaab: dream;
shahazaadii: princess; illahabaadii: from Allahabad, a city in the Indian
state of Uttar Pradesh; shaayar: poet; aashiq: lover; mahjabii.n: moon-
like beauty; daaman chhoDnaa: to leave one's side; chilman: curtain;
zaalim: cruel; zamaanaa: world; adaa: grace; bahaanaa: pretense; suurat:
face; samaa: ambience, atmosphere; khuubsuurat banaanaa: to beautify; 
ilzaam: accusation; mahfil: gathering: rusvaa karnaa: to dishonor; shukr:
thanks; chahraa: face; hayaa: modesty; nigaahe.n: eyes; sharm aanaa: to 
feel shy; sataanaa: to torture; mazaa lenaa: to take pleasure; dilbar: 
lover; khafaa: angry; husnvaale: beautiful one; aag: fire; javaanii: 
youth; sard: cold; ghussaah: anger.
RishiKapoor_AmarAkbarAnthony
Rishi Kapoor’s character is named after a Urdu poet Syed Akbar Hussain, popularly known as Akbar Illahabadi

Janewalo Zara Lyrics & Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

janewalo zara dosti 1964 sudhir kumar

Sudhir Kumar plays a gifted blind boy with sensitivity and finesse in Dosti (1964).

Today we present the lyrics and English translation of “Janewalo Zara Mud Ke Dekho” from the poignant film Dosti (1964). A passionate plea to recognize the humanity in our neighbors and embrace others in our community, no matter their differences, “Janewalo Zara” seems like the perfect anthem for the new realities we all live in.

You may not know this, but Mr. ’55 and I are both doctors! We trained together in the same hospital after medical school and are both working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic this month. The coronavirus has hit us all in different ways, but it has not spared anyone–regardless of race, socioeconomic class, or religion. We truly hope all our fans are staying healthy and staying at home.

We know quarantine is far from easy. During tough times, take a moment to appreciate something you have despite the many losses we all feel. For everyone who is bored in their homes, there are people who have suddenly found themselves homeless during the shutdown. For everyone driving their spouse nuts (not speaking from personal experience, *obviously*), there are people who find themselves entirely alone and secluded all day long. For everyone who has lost their job, there are people who are scared to go to their jobs for fear of becoming infected (and I don’t just mean fellow healthcare workers, but custodians and food service workers and everyone else considered “essential”). For everyone grieving the loss of doing the things they loved, there are people grieving the loss of the people they loved, and maybe could not even visit in the hospital when ill.

Sudhir Kumar Dosti janewalo zara

Mohammed Rafi is the perfect soul stirring match to vocalize the song “Janewalo Zara” from the film Dosti (1964).

Dosti (1964) is a Bollywood bromance between two teenage boys, Ramu and Mohan, who form an unlikely friendship in a time of adversity. Ramu (Sushil Kumar) has a permanent leg injury from a childhood accident and Mohan (Sudhir Kumar) is blind. Together, they demonstrate that friendship and kindness should know no boundaries. This song, with music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and vocals by the inimitable Mohammed Rafi, is a reminder about coming together as a community and ensuring our most vulnerable are not abandoned.

On that note, we hope you appreciate our English translation of “Janewalo Zara” below! And if you are able, reach out to and help your neighbors who may be hurting more than you know (from a safe social distance, of course!). We would love to hear what inspires you during this difficult time, and which classic Bollywood songs and films are help you stay sane!

Janewalo Zara Mud Ke Dekho Lyrics & Translation:

Jaanewaalo zaraa muD ke dekho mujhe
Passerbys, turn around a little and look at me
Ek insaan huu.N, mai.N tumhaarii taraah
I am a human being, I am just like you
Jisne sabko rachaa apne hii ruup se
He who created everything in his own beauty
Uskii pahchaan huu.N, mai.N tumhaarii taraah
I share his identity, I am just like you

Is anokhe jagat kii mai.N taqdiir huu.N
I am the Fate of this strange world
Mai.N vidhaataa ke haatho.N kii tasviir huu.N, ek tasviir huu.N 
I am the image sculpted by the Lord's own hands
Is jahaa.N ke liye, dhartii maa.N ke liye
For the sake of the world, for the sake of Mother Earth
Shiv ka vardaan huu.N, mai.N tumhaarii taraah
I am a boon from Shiva, I am just like you

Man ke andhar chhipaaye milan kii lagan
You have hidden the desire to meet in your mind
Apne suraj se huu.N ek bichhaDii kiran, ek bichhaDii kiran
I am a beam of sunlight separated from the sun
Phir rahaa huu.N bhaTaktaa mai.N yahaa.N se vahaa.N
I continue to wander, here and there
Aur pareshaan huu.N mai.N tumhaarii taraah
And I am worried, I am just like you

Mere paas aao, chhoDo yeh saara bharam
Come near me, leave all these misapprehensions behind
Jo mera dukh vahii.N hai tumhaaraa bhii gham
My sadness is the same as your sorrow
Dekhtaa huu.N tumhe, jaantaa huu.N tumhe
I see you, I know you
Laakh anjaan huu.N, mai.N tumhaarii taraah
I am an absolute stranger, but I am just like you

Glossary:

zaraa: a little; muDnaa: to turn around; insaan: human being; [kisi kii] taraah: like [someone]; rachnaa: to create; ruup: beauty; appearance; pahchaan: identity, recognition; anokhaa: strange, unique; jagat: world; taqdiir: Fate; vidhaataa: the Lord; haath: hands; tasviir: picture; jahaa.N: world; dhartii: earth; Shiv: Lord Shiva (Hindu); vardaan: boon, wish; man: mind; andhar: inside; chhipaanaa: to hide; milan: meeting; lagan: desire; suraj: sun; bichaDnaa: to become separated; kiran: ray of sunlight; bhaTaknaa: to wander; pareshaan: worry; chhoDnaa: to let go of; bharam: misapprehensions; dukh: sad; gham: sorrow; laakh: ten thousand; anjaan: stranger

Did you know Dosti won the 1964 FilmFare Award for Best Picture, and is #24 on our list of the top classic Bollywood films ever made?

Until next time, stay safe and #stayhomeIndia!

Mr and Mrs 55 ICU

Mr. ’55 and I enjoying sunlight and a post-call brunch after working overnight in the ICU. Note: this picture was taken before restaurants transitioned to take-out only and masks were recommended at all times in public 🙂

– Mrs. ’55

Aasman Ke Neeche Lyrics & Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Aasman Ke Neeche Dev Anand Jewel Thief

Dev Anand, wearing a deer stalker hat for unclear reasons, hugs Vijantimala during “Aasman Ke Neeche” from Jewel Thief (1967).

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation to the playful duet “Aasman Ke Neeche” from hit thriller Jewel Thief (1967).

Let me start by saying that Jewel Thief is an incredible film. If I’m being honest amongst friends, not every masala film from the Golden Age stood the test of time. Vijay Anand’s Hitchcockian thriller Jewel Thief makes you its willing hostage by mixing a love triangle with an international crime heist. Throw in Helen posing as a Bond girl in a chicken costume and you have earned my rapt attention on a Friday night. Pun intended, Jewel Thief is a real diamond in the rough.

When “Aasman Ke Neeche” begins, Vijayantimala and Dev Anand relax in a sun-drenched garden on a Spring day. She sings the first few lines of the song and Dev Anand mocks her, twisting her melody into a flat-toned qawwali and calling her song “bogus!” What a dis.

Playful Dev Anand Jewel Thief

Playful Dev Anand teases Vijayantimala in the film Jewel Thief (1967).

Why do people dump on qawwalis so much? Not only are they often just as complicated classical compositions as any Hindustani purist could muster, but they’re a ton of fun. So, at least for me, Dev Anand’s poor attempt backfires. Even he knows it, because he then proceeds to burst into a full blown orchestral (complete with Kishore’s vocals), shutting down the qawwali debacle.

Aasman Ke Neeche” ranks among my favorite classic Hindi film duets. It’s melodic and  flirtatious, chasing the audience through a garden of poetic overtures, thanks to the dynamism of S.D. Burman and Majrooh Sultanpuri. In a musical masterpiece like Jewel Thief, however, the song can be overshadowed by the film’s other show-stealers (“Raat Akeli Hai,” need I say more?) But in any other film, this duet would be THE song for which you anxiously sat through the entire three hours of melodrama.

We hope you enjoy our English translation to the lyrics of “Aasman Ke Neeche” below! Check out the music video here and let us know your favorite song from Jewel Thief in the comments!

Aasman Ke Neeche Lyrics & English Translation:

Asmaa.N ke niiche, ham aaj apne piichhe 
Beneath the sky, today we leave behind us
Pyaar kaa jahaa.N basaa ke chale
A world of love we inhabited as we go
Qadam ke nishaa.N banaa ke chale
We leave our footprints behind as we go

Kishore: Tum chale to phuul jaise aa.Nchal ke rang se saj gayii raahe.N, saj gayii raahe.N
Kishore: You walk and like flowers the colors of your sari decorate the path
Paas aao mai.N pahanaa duu.N chaahat kaa haar yeh khulii khulii baahe.N, khulii khulii baahe.N
Come close to me, and these opens arms will give you a garland of love
Lata: Jiskaa ho aa.Nchal khud hii chaman, kahiye woh kyuu.N haar baahon ke Daale
Lata: The one with the sari is herself a garden, so tell me why would she need a garland from the branches of your arms?
Asmaa.N ke niiche, ham aaj apne piichhe…

Lata: Boltii hai.N aaj aankhe.N kuch bhii na aaj tum kehne do hamko, kehne do hamko
Lata: Today my eyes are speaking, do not let me say anything
Bekhudii baDhatii chalii hai, ab to khaamosh hii rahne do hamko, rahne do hamko
Although my restlessness grows, leave me in silence now
Kishore: Ek baar ek baar mere liye, kah do, khanake laal ho.NTho.N ke pyaale
Kishore: Just once for me, say something and clamor the plates of your red lips
Asmaa.N ke niiche, ham aaj apne piichhe…

Kishore: Saath mere chalke dekho aayii hai.N dhuum se ab kii bahaare.N, ab kii bahaare.N
Kishore: Come with me and see with what an unproar Spring has arrived
Har galii har moD pe woh dono.N ke naam se hum ko pukaare, tum ko pukaare
At every street, at every turn, they call to me, they call to you
Lata: Kah do bahaaro.N se aaye idhar, un tak uThkar ham nahii.N jaanewaale
Lata: Tell the Spring to come here, I am not getting up and going there

Asmaa.N ke niiche, ham aaj apne piichhe
Beneath the sky, today we leave behind us
Pyaar kaa jahaa.N basaa ke chale
A world of love we inhabited as we go
Qadam ke nishaa.N banaa ke chale
We leave our footprints behind as we go

Glossary:

aasmaa.N: sky; niiche: beneath; piichhe: behind; pyaar: love; jahaa.N: world; basaanaa: to inhabit; qadam ke nishaa.N: footprints; phuul: flower; aa.Nchal: drape of a saari; rang: color; sajnaa: to decorate; raah: path; pahanaa: to wear; chaahat: love, desire; haar: garland; baahe.N: arms; khud: self; chaman: garden; Daal: branch; aa.Nkhe.N: eyes; kuch bhii: anything; bekhudii: restlessness*; bhaDaanaa: to grow: khamosh: silence; ek baar: one time; khanaknaa: to clang together, to clamor; pyaalaa: cup, small plates; dhuum: uproar; bahaare.N: Spring; galii: street; moD: turn; naam: name; pukaarnaa: to call out; idhar: this way (as opposed to udhar, that way); uThnaa: to get up

*Bekhudii is a complicated word to explain briefly. See our translation of “Hum Bekhudi Mein,” featuring none other than Dev Anand (in another stellar hat) for a deeper dive!

Vijayantimala in Jewel Thief Asman Ke Neeche

Dev Anand is no match for sass-queen Vijayantimala in Jewel Thief’s “Aasman Ke Neeche.”

Fun grammar gem: Bahaar taken alone means Spring (singular) in Urdu-Hindi. However, it is the plural form, bahaare.N, that is frequently heard in Bollywood poetry, which can be taken to literally mean the Spring season or more liberally, as general blossomings. To further confuse the budding literati, the Hindi word baahar, which means, outside, is technically the realm where bahaar, Spring, occurs!

This delightful duet was requested by megafans Shabyanath Roshan, and Srini! We greatly appreciate this burst of Springtime fever in the middle of our cold Boston winter!

– Mrs. 55

Beacon hill in the winter

A photo on my way to work in snowy Beacon Hill (Boston, Massachusetts) last week!