Ab Kya Misal Doon Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Pradeep Kumar Aarti 1962

Pradeep Kumar sings an Urdu love poem to Meena Kumari in Aarti (1962)

The next Hindi song translation in our series is of the poetic  lyrics to “Ab Kya Misal Doon” from Aarti (1962). This timeless song is one of Bollywood’s most beloved romantic odes by Mohammed Rafi. Pradeep Kumar, Meena Kumari, and Ashok Kumar star in Aarti, a family drama of love, debts, and vengeance. Ashok Kumar plays a wealthy surgeon and the villain of the film, vowing revenge when his betrothed, Meena Kumari, marries another man, Pradeep Kumar. An exacting dilemma of the film comes when ironically Ashok Kumar must decide whether or not to push aside his emotional battles and perform surgery on his own rival Pradeep Kumar to save his life. Of course, Meena Kumari throws in some more drama into the bargain–and her quiet beauty steals the show yet again. Aarti has a number of great songs written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, but unarguably the greatest is the sweet Mohammed Rafi ballad “Ab Kya Misal Doon.”

Pradeep Kumar plays “the other man” in the film–a good-hearted, but unemployed poetic dreamer who croons softly to Meena Kumari in this number. It would put any girl in a tough position: the poetry of the song is exquisite, without overwhelming anyone with an Urdu vocabulary exam. It has just the right blend of tenderness, lyricism, and adoration made magical by the unequivocal talent of Mohammed Rafi. Follow along on youtube here and enjoy our English translation of this poetic masterpiece!

Meena Kumari in Aarti 1962

Meena Kumari blushes as she hears Pradeep Kumar singing her praises in Aarti (1962)

Ab Kya Misal Doon: Lyrics and Translation

Ab kyaa misaal doon mei.N tumhaare shabaab ki
What can I now compare to your lustre?
Insaan ban gayee hai kiran mahtaab kii
You are a ray of the moon in human form

Chehre mei.N ghul gayaa hai haseen chaandni ka noor
The beautiful light of the moon has melted upon your face
Aankho.N mei.N hai chaman ki jawaan raat ka suroor
In your eyes is the garden of the early night’s joy
Gardan hai ek jhuki hui daali gulab kii
Your neck is like a lowered branch of a rose flower
Ab kyaa misaal doon…
What can I compare now…

Gesu khule to shaam ke dil se dhuan uThe
When your hair was let open, then the smokiness of night emerged from my heart
Chhule qadam to jhuk ke na phir aasmaan uThe
When your feet hit the ground, the sky bowed down would not raise itself again
Sau baar jhilmilaaye shamaa aftaab kii
The light of this sun sparkled a hundred times
Ab kyaa misaal doon…
What can I compare now…

Deewar-o-dar kaa rang, yeh aanchal, yeh pairhan
The end of your saarii and your robes are the colours of my refuge
Ghar kaa mere chiraagh hai boota sa yeh badan
The lamp of my house is this slender plant-like body
Tasveer ho tumhii mere jannat ke khwaab kii
You are the image of the paradise of my dreams
Ab kyaa misaal doon…
What can I compare now…

Glossary:

misaal: example, comparison; shabaab: glory, lustre; insaan: human; kiran: ray, mahtaab: moon; chehra: face; noor: light; chaman: garden; suruur: joy, exhilaration; gardan: neck; daalii: branch; gulaab: rose flower; gesuu: hair; dhuaan: smoke; qadam: footsteps; aasmaan: sky; sau baar: a hundred times; jhilmilaanaa: to sparkle, to shine; aftaab: sun; deewar-o-dar: walls and doors, refuge; rang: colour; aanchal: the end draping of a saarii; pairhan: robe; ghar: house; chiraagh: light; boota: small plant; badan: body; tasveer: image, picture; jannat: paradise; khwaab: dream

Meena Kumari filmfare awards 1962

Meena Kumari poses with Ashok Kumar and actress Shashikala at the 1962 Filmfare Awards.

Did you know in 1962, Meena Kumari was the only nominee at the Filmfare Awards for Best Actress? She was nominated for Aarti, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Main Chhup Rahuungi. Talk about a walk-over. She took it home for Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962).

-Mrs. 55

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7 thoughts on “Ab Kya Misal Doon Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

  1. Your love for Hindi films, songs, lyrics and above all, the emotions represented by the lyrics come out so well. I stumbled upon your site when I was searching for the lyrics and meanings for “Tu jahan jahan chalega” and then I went on to other songs! I am a Tamilian, but I have heard and loved many Hindi songs, always understanding only half the meaning, but your site has taught me so many new words that I can enjoy many more songs.

  2. I have been enjoying old Hindi film songs ever since I was a kid but did not always catch all the lyrics. E.g. I never could connect Kavi Pradeep’s song in Jagriti “Aao bache tumhe dikhayen ???? Hindustan ki”. I still don’t know what that word is. Having watched Mughal-e-Azam many times, I could fully appreciate the film only when I saw it with Enlgish subtitles when a colour version was released. But now with this sort of a site, I am so glad to learn all those words I have missed in my favourite songs.

  3. Congrats on new beginning for younger generation..that era was the best with the best film industry consisting of great play back sincere, lyrics writers, story writers, music directors, best, clean, meaningful movies, simplicity, modestly dressed, most of the movies would have meaning to it and moral to learn. Appreciate and thanks for starting this web which will definitely help new generation to understand the beautiful meaning of great songs. Best wishes for your success….Keep up the good work!!!!!!

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