Jayen To Jayen Kahan Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Dev Anand Taxi Driver

Dev Anand stares at the lonely beach in “Jayen To Jayen Kahan” from Taxi Driver (1954).

Next we present the full lyrics and English translation of “Jayen To Jayen Kahan” from Taxi Driver (1954). It’s one of yesteryear star Talat Mehmood’s most beloved solo hits. For anyone in the crowd who is unfamiliar with Talat, I’m truly saddened for your sake, but actually not entirely surprised. He’s one of the great unsung heroes of Bollywood who’s place in musical history was undermined with the rise and domination of Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh by the 60s. At least Hemant Kumar wrote his own film compositions and could conveniently cast himself as singer! But Talat was classy. While largely remembered for his legendary mark in ghazal-dom, Talat actually gave Shammi Kapoor his first hits in the 50s before Mohammed Rafi entered the scene. Yes, Talat was edged out of the business like a budding flower before Autumn. And did I mention he was so incredibly good-looking for a playback singer that he also acted in several films?

Dapper Talat Mehmood sings and acts with Suraiya in Waris (1954). Hottie, right?!

I could go on and on about my love for Talat and his velvety smooth voice, but let’s stay focused. Like later Dev Anand hit CID (1956), Taxi Driver is a really wonderful glimpse at chaotic and quaint 1950s Bombay city life. Told through the creative eyes of Chetan Anand (director and Dev Anand’s brother), the film is forever locked in its own charmingly antiquated society and street life of a bygone era. Most importantly, behind-the-scenes, Dev Anand was falling in love with his sensuous on-screen partner, Kalpana Kartik who would become his wife! It’s one of the few times you’ll see the two together (check out Baazi (1951) or Nau Do Gyarah (1957) for more!) and the juiciness of it all makes the film fun for the whole family. As Kalpana (AKA Mona Anand) later recalled:

I still remember our midnight marriage on the sets of “Taxi Driver” in 1954. Dev was a shy, youthful person, very co-operative and sensitive. We passed six decades together amid a lot of thick and thin. Whenever I heard rumours that he would desert me, I laughed my heart out. I knew that nomadic Dev would always be mine.

Cute, right? The hit philosophical song of the film “Jayen To Jayen Kahan” is sung first by Talat and later by Lata in the reprise–adding a touch of melodrama to the action. It’s beautifully picturized–the Talat version feels like an early Ozu film and carries a heavy weight with it. The careful cinematography allows time to pass slowly in a way that removes the viewer from the material world of the film and completely engulfs them in the philosophical queries of the song. Lyrics are, of course, by the great Sahir Ludhianvi. It’s a must-see for fans of early cinema!

Kalpana Karthik Taxi Driver

Gorgeous Kalpana Karthik and wife of Dev Anand, sings with Grace Kelly style in Taxi Driver (1954).

So without further ado, enjoy the lyrics and English translation to “Jayen To Jayen Kahan“! We’ve got you the male and female versions below (click here for the Talat version video!).

Jayen To Jayen Kahan Lyrics and Translation:

Male:

Jaaye.N to jaaye.N kahaa.N?
If I must go, where could I go?
Samjhegaa kaun yahaa.N dard bhare dil ki zubaa.N?
Who here will understand the words of a heart full of pain?

Mayuusiio.N kaa majamaa hai.N jee mei.N
A crowd of disappointments resides in my soul
Kya reh gayaa hai is zindagi mei.n
What is left for me in this life?
Ruuh mei.N gham, dil mei.N dhuuaa.N
In my soul is sadness, in my heart is smoke

Unka bhi gham hai, apna bhi gham hai
She has her sorrows, I have my own
Ab dil ke bachne kii ummiid kam hai
Now there is little hope of saving my heart
Ek kashTii, sau tuufaa.N
For it is like a single boat against a hundred storms

Jaaye.N to jaaye.N kahaa.N?
If I must go, where could I go?
Samjhegaa kaun yahaa.N dard bhare dil ki zubaa.N?
Who here will understand the words of a heart full of pain?

Female:

Jaaye.N to jaaye.N kahaa.N?
If I must go, where could I go?
Samjhegaa kaun yahaa.N dard bhare dil ki zubaa.N?
Who here will understand the words of a heart full of pain?

O jaanewaale daaman chhuDaake
Oh traveler who is leaving my embrace
mushkil hai jeenaa tujhko bhuulaake
Forgetting you and continuing to live is difficult
Is se to hai maut aasaan
Even death is easier than this

Seene.N mei.N shole, saa.Nso.N mei.N aahe.N
In my chest are embers, in my breaths are sighs
Is zindagii se kaise nibhaaye
What is there for me to fulfill in this life?
Har jazabaat hai viiraan
My every emotion is empty

Jaaye.N to jaaye.N kahaa.N?
If I must go, where could I go?
Samjhegaa kaun yahaa.N dard bhare dil ki zubaa.N?
Who here will understand the words of a heart full of pain?

Glossary:

dard: pain; zubaa.N: words, language; mayuusii: disappointment; majamaa: crowd; ruuh: soul; gham: sadness; dhhuuaa.N: smoke; ummiid: hope; kashTii: boat; tuufaa.N: storm; mushkil: difficult; maut: death; ahsaan: easy; seenaa: chest; shole: embers; saans: breath; aah: sigh; jazabaat: emotion; viraan: empty, wasted

I think the most important question here is, who sang it better: Lata or Talat? At the risk of being strangled by Mr. 55, I think it’s pretty clear the answer is Talat. It’s one of the few songs that just was not written for Lata–it sounds a little strained coming from her, if I dare say so. Talat, meanwhile, sounds like an effortless dream as always. A Talat Mehmood hit was requested by reader Suman! Send us a message if you’ve got a request too!

An adorable early rare photograph of Dev Anand with his wife Kalpana Kartik.

An adorable early rare photograph of Dev Anand with his wife Kalpana Kartik.

-Mrs. 55

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7 thoughts on “Jayen To Jayen Kahan Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

  1. ‘Unka bhi gham hai, apna bhi gham hai
    She has her sorrows, I have my own
    Ab dil ke bachne kii ummiid kam hai’

    I think here the poet is trying to say that his heart is burdened with her sorrows as well as his.Unka bhi gam hai can read as I feel her sorrows/ Or my heart is sad because of her-(unka gham) hence there is little hope of it surviving!

    Love the song, Love Talat’s songs-‘Jalte hain jiske liye’ has that lovely segment where the voice dips and Talat croons ‘Dil mein rakh lena isse haatoan se ye choote na kahin,geet nazuk hai mera sheeshe se bhi toote na kahin’ -simply slicing through the heart like butter!
    ‘Phir wahi shaam, wahi gham’ and ‘humse aaya na gaya’ touch the troughs of despair and take you willingly with the mellifluous accents of Talat- Truely a voice for those in love.

    • Interesting point of view on that line! It could well mean this–however, because he used “apna” instead of “mera” I tend to lean more toward a separation of sorrow. It’s totally open to interpretation though, so good catch! Jalte hain jiske liye is unarguably one of Talat’s finest moments–I love that line as well! Hahaha his voice is definitely one that melts 🙂

  2. I’m going to direct this question to the Mr. of the Mr. and Mrs. 55 (for reasons obvious only to a few): Who do you think the more underrated artist is between Talat and Hemant Kumar?

  3. These lyrics are very moving! This is one of my favorite sad songs from classical Bollywood. I am curious about Talat. Why do you think he failed to gather as much popularity as the other singers of his time despite his golden voice?

    • Glad you enjoyed! That’s an excellent question–some of it had to do with the unique signature actor-playback singer combinations of classic Bollywood. Big rising stars like Raj Kapoor acted almost exclusively with Mukesh and Shammi Kapoor with Mohammed Rafi. Kishore Kumar sung and acted in many of his own films and later carved his own niche with Dev Anand and of course Rajesh Khanna. However, artists like Talat Mehmood did not link as the signature voice of any one actor and his timeless style kept him from competing with the jazzy “modern” voices entering the industry. However, while he lost popularity in Bollywood, he is still widely considered the King of non-filmi ghazals with which he made a formidable reputation!!

      • Talat velvety voice suited Dilip Kumar most as Dilips own singing voice was close to Talat, Listen to Dilips only film song recorded—-lagi chute na rama chahe jiya jaye—-
        Then Dilip stopped acting in emotional sad films and went for loud action and
        comedy which brought in Rafi as his voice ,One of the reasons for Talat,s
        being pushed in the background.
        Then music directors like Anil Biswas Madan Mohan also lost their position
        in the industry
        Stars like Rajender Kumar who cloned Dilip,acting also preferred Rafi
        Most of all Talat lost the magic of his voice in late seveniies.
        His later tours of US and Europe brought tears to our eyes because his voice had become a shadow
        Satish Bahadur

  4. Pingback: Spooky Songs of Classic Bollywood: Haunting Melodies of Yesteryear | Mr. & Mrs. 55 - Classic Bollywood Revisited!

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