Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Nanda runs in two directions at once, coming and leaving, in “Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma Hai” from Shor (1972).

We next present the lyrics and full English translation to the eternal love ode “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai” from Shor (1972). What makes “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma” so timeless? It is on everyone’s list of favorites. Part of it is that the lyrics are some of the best poetry written in accessible language (don’t get me wrong, personally if someone wants to burst into the Urdu-textbook “Mere Mehboob Tujhe,” I’m down for that too!). “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma” is rendered with almost magical emotion by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh–simultaneously a song of dream-like ecstasy and of tender nostalgia. It’s incomparable. The song speaks to a deep love between two souls undergoing hardship, to cherishing those brief precious moments spent together in happiness, and most of all, to remaining hopeful. The song is simple and evocative–and one of the most beautiful you’ll ever hear.

Manoj Kumar picturizes the famous violin introduction to “Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma” at a family beach outing.

Arriving about midway through the politcally-charged film, Shor, the song is partly told in golden-hued flashback of a family trip to the beach. Manoj Kumar plays a hard-luck activist and single father who’s wife, Nanda, is killed in a train accident.

Now some of you may at first be confused, if not disturbed, by Manoj Kumar’s radical cinematography in this sequence, typical of his edgy style. He experiments with several epigenetic, if you will, modifications at once that create an entirely signature effect: slow-motion, still photography inserts, split mirror screens. It was the 70s, and it was the time to experiment–and he’s one of the few Indian directors who did indeed drizzle these new techniques into his big screen productions. It’s unexpected, but upon closer analysis, I’ll argue works brilliantly. Manoj Kumar is no fool. To picturize a song about ephermal bliss, of prolonging a brief moment–he actually freeze frames his film to highlight the transience and importance of memory. His split frames, showing Nanda walking in and out of the center of the screen, of two halves of the beach merging, capture the duality of life that the lyrics speak of. In context, these techniques actually bring together the reflective themes of the film itself and of the love shared between its protagonists. For it, Manoj Kumar won the Filmfare Award Best Editing in 1972!

Nanda’s own reflection stares back at her as a symbolic representation of past and future in Manoj Kumar’s radical cinematography of Shor (1972).

So follow along below with our English translation of this lovely ode to carpe diem and unconditional devotion, “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai” and watch the youtube version here!

Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma Hai Lyrics and Translation

Ek pyaar kaa naghmaa hai
Life is a tale of love
Maujo.N kii ravaani hai
Life is the flowing of waves
Zindagii aur kuch bhi nahii.N, terii merii kahaanii hai
Life is nothing more than your and my story

Kuch paakar khonaa hai
In gaining something, we lose something
Kuch khokar paanaa hai
In losing something, we gain something
Jeevan ka matlab to aanaa aur jaanaa hai
The meaning of life is to come and to go
Do pal ke jeevan se, ek umr churaani hai
From a few moments of existence, we must steal a whole lifetime
Zindagii aur kuch bhi nahii.N, terii merii kahaanii hai
Life is nothing more than your and my story
Ek pyaar kaa naghmaa hai…
Life is a tale of love…

Tu dhaar hai nadiyaa kii
You are the waters of a river
Mai.N teraa kinaaraa hoo.N
I am your shore
Tu meraa sahaaraa hai, mai.N teraa sahaaraa hoo.N
You are my support, I am your support
Aankho.N mei.N samandar hai, aashaao.N ka paanii hai
In my eyes is an ocean, it contains the water of hopes
Zindagii aur kuch bhi nahii.N, terii merii kahaanii hai
Life is nothing more than your and my story
Ek pyaar kaa naghmaa hai…
Life is a tale of love…

Toofaan to aanaa hai
Storms will come
Aakar chale jaanaa hai
But in the end, they will pass
Baadal hai yeh kuch pal kaa, chhaakar dhal jaanaa hai
These clouds are only momentary, after rising they will diminish
Parachhaaiiyaa.N reh jaatii, reh jaatii nishaanii hai
But these shadows remain, these symbols of you remain
Zindagii aur kuch bhi nahii.N, terii merii kahaanii hai
Life is nothing more than your and my story
Ek pyaar kaa naghmaa hai…
Life is a tale of love…

Glossary:

naghma: tale, ravaani: flowing, turning; zindagi: life; kahaanii: story; matlab: meaning; umr: age, lifetime, dhaar: water; nadiyaa: river; kinaaraa: shore; sahaaraa: support; samandar: ocean; aashaa: hope, wish; paanii: water; toofaan: storm; baadal: cloud; parchaaii: shadow; nishaanii: symbol, sign

Manoj Kumar remembers his dead wife and the love she left behind in Shor (1972).

The film, as in many Manoj Kumar patriotic hits, ends on a defiantly tragic note. Like Shaheed (1965), in which he is martyred with pride, or Upkar (1967) in which he loses his limbs for the glorious cause, in Shor too, Manoj Kumar becomes deaf–a poetic price for his son to gain back his lost voice. The film is a must-see for many reasons, if only to complete your understanding of the role Manoj Kumar played in Bollywood and defining the political tensions of his era. Although Manoj Kumar can no longer hear his late wife sing “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai” to him, and from now on will no longer be able to hear his son, he remains hopeful and comforted by memories of the moments he once spent in happiness.

– Mrs. 55

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22 thoughts on “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

  1. As much as I love the song, I find your explanation & write-up even more interesting 🙂
    Good info on picturisation as well.
    Your posts are always a treat to read !

    I just Googled & found that the lyrics were written by Santosh Anand & Varma Malik and music composer, again a duo, Laxmikant-Pyarelal ! Am curious to find other songs by the former ….. back to a serach engine ….

    • Why thank you! We are so glad you enjoy them and love the song. I know Santosh Anand collaborated with Manoj Kumar again for the lyrics of Roti Kapada Aur Makaan–Manoj Kumar knew talent when he saw it!

      • Yes, MK did have an eye, or should we say Ear, for talent !
        I vaguely remember a little anecdote about how he liked the poem/song by Gopaldas Neeraj “bas yahi apradh main har baar karta hoon, aadmi hoon aadmi se pyaar karta hoon…” He was so taken in by the lyrics that he asked Neerajji not to give those to anybody else. He then used it in “Pehchaan”.

  2. Great post! You guys have done it again
    Plucked at our heartstrings!
    While I agree that the song is one of all the all time favorites, I disagree with the praise for the cinematography
    I remember my first videocamera in the 80’s, bought on the occasion of my first daughter’s birth, that could do all the split image and other fancy stuff that Manoj Kumar did at the touch if a button. I also realized that all of this was briefly titillating but was in no way artistic. Hence I prefer to close my eyes and wallow in the supreme emotionality of the song itself rather than ruin it by watching what now seems amateurish attempts to picturize it.
    In any case, you guys are to be congratulated once again
    Keep it up- or should I say shabaash!

    • Hahahaha I know what you mean about cheezy 80s video effects. But this case is slightly different–Manoj Kumar had a clear plan and methodology during the experimentation. It’s sorta like the French New Wave: people are either gonna love it or hate it. And hey, the man had guts for trying! 🙂

  3. It’s such a beautiful song! You’ve already written such wonderful things about the song that I dont want to dilute that by adding anything. My favourite line from the song is –
    Do pal ke jeevan se, ek umr churaani hai

    MK and his split mirror screens – have you seen his Clerk by any chance? It’s an epic!

    • Actually, that’s MY FAVORITE LINE TOO! I quote it all the time! I actually have not seen Clerk in full–but I have seen excerpts. I need to add it to my list–the all-star cast is enticing despite the somewhat scathing reviews!

  4. That was beautiful….if this song is on everyone’s favourites list, it’s there for good reason… very emotive…I don’t really have any view on the special camera effects applied…I don’t know if it added that much to an otherwise beautifully picturised song…perhaps it did (?) …but the song itself is a gem.

  5. I never could make out the meaning of ‘maujoan ki rawani hai’- never bothered to google it either-preferring to simply wallow in the mellow-yet-flowy feel of the song.Very evocative and soulful, I must say.

  6. I stumbled into this blog and I am very glad to discover it. Your choice of songs, the meaning of the lyrics and the context is what I was looking for and you have done a great service. Having studied and grew up in South I never really learnt Hindi properly but enjoyed listening to old Hindi film songs without understanding the lyrics. So my Hindi/Urdu learning starts now !! Thanks to you. Please continue to add more songs, not just the old ones.

    • Thanks for reading! We too consider ourselves students of Urdu-Hindi, and still love to debate the subtleties and origins of obscure words, so stick around! We stick to the old songs though–once you dive deep enough into classic Bollywood cinema, you’ll find you never want to go anywhere else 🙂

  7. Hi, does Mauj in the opening stanza mean “enjoyment” rather than “wave”? I read that “mauja hi mauja” meanins “enjoyment – only enjoyment”

    • Great question, Dilip! “Mauj” indeed refers to a wave (as in from an ocean) as opposed to “maujaa” which means enjoyment or pleasure. In “Ek Pyar Ka Naghma Hai,” the lyrics refer poetically to the ebb and flow of waves in the ocean as a representation of life experiences. To drive the point home, the song was picturized during a family trip to the beach!

  8. Beautifully translated. In case you can take requests would you translate and write a piece on mujhe Teri mohobbat ka sahara mil gaya hota from aap aye bahar ayi. Thanks

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