Paaon Choo Lene Do Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Bina Roy, as Mumtaz Mahal, shys away from Pradeep Kumar in Taj Mahal (1963)

Today we discuss the lyrics and English translation of “paaon choo lene do” from the film Taj Mahal (1963). Lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi and music director Roshan both won Filmfare Awards for their work in Taj Mahal (1963), so it’s not surprising that we’ve decided to discuss a third song from this soundtrack here today (see our previous translations of “jurm-e-ulfat pe” and “khudaa-e-bartar“). “paa.nv chuu lene do” is a duet rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi that was picturized on Bina Roy as Mumtaz Mahal and Pradeep Kumar as Shah Jahan in the film. While “jurm-e-ulfat pe” had some political undertones and “khudaa-e-bartar” was a pacifist statement against war, Sahir’s lyrics in this song from Taj Mahal are purely romantic. The male and female leads flirt back and forth using a savaal-javaab (question-response) structure that focuses on idealizing the heroine’s feet. The female foot has been fetishized in Indian culture and Bollywood cinema over the years, and perhaps the most notable example of this phenomenon occurs in Kamal Amrohi’s magnum opus, Pakeezah: Raaj Kumar is completely smitten after one glance at Meena Kumari’s delicate feet during a train ride.

Krishna decorates Radha’s feet with alta.

What are the origins of the Indian obsession with the foot? Part of this obsession can perhaps be attributed to the importance placed on foot worship in Hindu traditions. For instance, religious imagery in temples and paintings has depicted numerous examples of Krishna painting Radha’s feet or Lakshmi massaging Vishnu’s feet.  Moreover, it is a tradition for women in North India to adorn their feet with a bright red dye called alta during marriages, dances, and religious festivals, like Durga Puja. In fact, during some weddings, brides step into a plate of alta before entering their in-law’s house and leave colored footsteps behind them as they walk. Finally, any child growing up in a Hindu household can attest to the fact that greeting one’s elders by touching their feet is an expected gesture of respect.

Regardless of how you feel about feet, you should definitely take a listen to this duet from Taj Mahal and follow along with our translation/glossary provided below. Indeed, Ludhianvi’s use of language here to highlight the contrast between the hero’s unabashed romantic desires and the heroine’s hesistant modesty is exquisite. As a final note, I just wanted to say that this song was requested by one of our readers Vasuki! We love receiving requests, so please let us know if there is a song you’d like translated, a movie you’d like reviewed, or any other topic you’d like discussed by leaving us a comment here or sending an e-mail to Enjoy!

–Mr. 55

The camera fetishizes Bina Roy’s feet in Taj Majal (1963)

Paaon Choo Lene Do Lyrics and Translation

Rafi: paa.nv chhuu lene do, phuulo.n ko inaayat hogii
Please let the flowers touch your feet, it will be favor of kindess to them. 
varnaa ham ko nahii.n, inko bhii shikaayat hogii
Or else, not only I, but they too will protest. 

Lata: aap jo phuul bichhaaye.n unhe.n ham Thukaraaye.n
As I reject the flowers that you have picked for me,
ham ko Dar hai ki yah tauhiin-e-muhabbat hogii
I fear that this will be an insult to love.  

Rafi: dil kii bechain umango.n pe karam faramaao
Please have mercy on the restless yearnings of my heart. 

itnaa ruk ruk ke chalogii to qayaamat hogii
If you walk toward me so hesitatingly, it will be a disaster. 

Lata: sharm roke hai idhar, shauq udhar khii.nche hai
Modesty has held me back here, while desire has drawn me over there.  
kyaa khabar thii kabhii is dil kii yah haalat hogii?
Who knew that my heart would ever be in such a state? 

Rafi: sharm ghairo.n se huaa kartii hai apano.n se nahii.n
One should be modest in the presence of strangers, not with loved ones. 
sharm ham se bhii karogii to musiibat hogii
If you shy away from me, there will be trouble.  

paa.nv chhuu lene do, phuulo.n ko inaayat hogii
Please let the flowers touch your feet, it will be favor of kindess to them.  


inaayat: favor; varnaa: or else; shikaayat: complaint; Thukaranaa: to reject; tauhiin-e-muhabbat: insult to love; bechain: restless; umang: hope, yearning; karam faramanaa: to have mercy; ruk ruk ke: hesitatingly; qayaamat: disaster; sharm: modesty; shauq: eagerness, desire; haalat: state, condition; ghair: stranger; musiibat: trouble

Pradeep Kumar as Emperor Shah Jahan in Taj Mahal (1963)

11 thoughts on “Paaon Choo Lene Do Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

      • Please do, I’m trying to get ne and it’s been the hardest thing! I like classic movies and I love love love seeing great love songs like this.

        I have to say that sometimes I would hear Suman and swear it’s Lata, their voices are UNCANNILY SIMILAR. However, they both are amazing singers and I enjoy their singing very much, especially when I can get an English translation of the song so I can know what I’m singing lol

  1. Beautiful lyrics and your translation does full justice! I’d like to share something else about the song with you guys:

    “Stories abound on Roshan’s use of Lata’s voice in ‘Taj Mahal’. There is one that
    he himself loved to narrate. The song “paaon chhoo lene do phoolon ko inaayat
    hogi” was running way behind its recording schedule. Roshan himself fell ill
    and had to be hospitalized, and just the day before the much awaited recording
    session, Lata came down with a bad case of bronchitis. She called up the MD
    and suggested postponing the scheduled recording by a couple of weeks. Roshan
    was adamant. Then there were pressures from all sources. The one he resisted
    the most was the idea that Suman should sing in Lata’s place. While Roshan
    always enjoyed Suman’s singing, he refused to go back on the original decision.
    Lata was duly summoned at the hospital. She would not say no to the maestro.
    In the hospital ward, they mustered up whatever privacy they could, rehearsed
    the song a few times, and under the circumstances, decided that this was the
    best they could do. The recording took place the following day, as scheduled.”

    Upon careful listening, the nasal congestion comes trough quite clearly when Lata sings “hum ko dar hai ki yeh tauheen-e-muhabbat hogi”.

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  3. Dear Mr and Mrs Pachapana
    I love much what you do and i am a lover of shayr, ghazal and old indian music
    Great job indeed
    Thanks for this very beautiful song and translation
    Please, ek fariyad hai:
    Would you please translate the lyrics of the beautiful “Chandi ka badan sone ki nazar ” from the same movie ?

    Chaandi kaa badan sone ki nazar
    Us par ye nazaakat kyaa kahiye Eji kyaa kahiye
    Kis kis pe tumhaare jalvo ne
    Todi hai qayaamat kyaa kahiye Eji kyaa kahiye
    Chaandi kaa badan sone ki nazar

    Gustaakh zubaan gustaakh nazar
    Ye range tabiyat kyaa kahiye Eji kyaa kahiye
    Aise bhi kahi is duniyaa me
    Hoti hai muhabbat kyaa kahiye Eji kyaa kahiye
    Gustaakh zubaan gustaakh nazar

    Aanchal ki dhanak ke saaye me
    Ye phul gulaabi haaye gulaabi cheharo ke
    Is vaqt hamaari nazaro me Kyaa chiz hai jannat kyaa kahiye
    Eji kyaa kahiye

    Tumase nazare jo mili Din o duniyaa se gaye
    Ik tamannaa ke sivaa Har tamannaa se gaye
    Mast aankho se jo pi Jaam o minaa se gaye
    Zulf laharaai jahaan Ham bhi laharaa se gaye
    Hure milati hai kise Is ki paravaah se gaye

    Is vaqt hamaari nazaro me Kyaa chiz hai jannat kyaa kahiye
    Eji kyaa kahiye
    Chaandi kaa badan sone ki nazar

    Yun garm nigaahe mat daalo
    Ye jism pighal bhi pighal bhi sakate hai
    Ude na kahi rup ki shabanam
    Garm nigaahe daalo kam kam
    Aadaab e nazaaraa bhule ho
    Tum logo ki vahashat kyaa kahiye Eji kyaa kahiye

    Tum hame jit sako Is kaa imkaan nahi
    Khhud ko badanaam kare Ham vo naadaan nahi
    Koi marataa hai mare Ham pe ehasaan nahi
    Un se kyun baat kare Jin se pahachaan nahi
    Tum ko aramaan hai to hai Ham ko aramaan nahi
    Ham ko aramaan ke aramaan ke aramaan nahi
    Aadaab e nazaaraa bhule ho
    Tum logo ki vahashat kyaa kahiye Eji kyaa kahiye

    Chaandi kaa badan sone ki nazar
    Din raat duhaai dete hai Ye haal hai in divaano kaa
    Jahaan dekhi nai surat machal baithe
    Ye haal hai in divaano kaa divaano kaa
    Jin ki khhaatir gam sahe aur ro-ro jaan gavaayen
    Haay ri qismat uhi ke munh se divaane kahalaayen

    In aashiqo ke haath se Ai zindagi bavaal
    In kaa kare khhayaal ke Apanaa kare khhayaal
    Har lab arz e shauq to Har aankh hai savaal
    Ye gam se beqaraar hai Vo dard se nidhaal

    Arey ye haal hai in divaano kaa
    Meri nind gai meraa chain gayaa
    Vo jo pahale thi taab o tabaan gai
    Yahi rang rahaa yahi dhang rahaa
    To ye jaan lo jaan ki jaan gai

    Ye haal hai in divaano kaa

    Kisi ko khhud khhushi kaa, shauq ho to, kyaa kare koi
    Davaa e hijr de, bimaar ko, achchhaa kare koi
    Koi bevajah sar phode to kyo paravaah kare koi
    Kisi majabur e gam kaa haal kyo aisaa kare koi

    Mazaa to hai ke jab tum, Tum tadapaa karo,
    Dekhaa kare koi

    Mare ham aur tum par, Ke tum par khhun kaa
    Daavaa kare koi

    Haan, daavaa kare koi
    Ye haal hai in divaano kaa, divaano kaa

    Jite bhi nahi marate bhi nahi
    Bechaaro ki haalat kyaa kahiye Eji kyaa kahiye
    Gustaakh zubaan gustaakh nazar.
    Thanks in advance

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  5. sahir (who never married) was surprisingly, a romanticist————-listening to his numbers in most of yash and BR films (dhool ka phool, hamraaz, waqt, gumrah and latterly, daag and daastaan)————then kabhi kabhi and neel kamal, and the excellent
    “tujhko pukaare mera pyaar”-one gets the feel that he may have had a real disappointment in life.

    • Sahir remained a bachelor to the end. He was in love with a girl and all these beautiful songs were attributed to her but had he married her we would have been deprived of these songs!

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