Dam Bhar Jo Udhar Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Raj Kapoor and Nargis Awara Dum Bhar Jo Udhar

Raj Kapoor and Nargis huddle together on a love-boat in Awaara (1951).

Our next lyrics and English translation is of the great love duet “Dum Bhar Jo Udhar” from the film Awaara (1951). It’s practically impossible to not love this song. Raj Kapoor plays an underworld criminal who falls for the wealthy ward of a rich judge played by his favorite leading lady Nargis. The film launched both of their careers to mega-stardom and for good reason. Packed with musical gems like the evergreen “Awaara Hoon” or “Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi,” the film is a scathing social drama that weaves Raj Kapoor’s own respectable father, Prithviraj Kapoor, into the heart of its scandalous and surprising twist. The film was so well-received and brilliantly made that it was nominated for a Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953! Propelled by a tempting bad-boy with a tragic past storyline, the film arguably contains the greatest performance of Raj Kapoor’s career. Awaara is a historical and artistic must-see!

Dum Bhar Jo Udhar” is a Mukesh-Lata duet sung on a small boat in the middle of the night. Shailendra’s lyrics embody a theme common in Hindi films, which emphasizes the shyness of the woman and the boldness of the man. Both man and woman address the only other witness to their tryst–the beautiful moon above. However, the woman begs the moon to look away and not make her feel shy, while the man eagerly urges the moon to shine upon him and witness their love blossom. The importance of moon imagery in Urdu-Hindi poetry is legend–most often taking the form of a feminine metaphor that epitomizes beauty. In this case, however, the playful moon evokes the male gaze as a trusty ally to the hero and a source of embarrassment to the heroine. It’s so adorable I could squirm.

Nargis Awaara Dum Bhar Jo Udhar

The eternally lovely Nargis glows in the moonlight in Awaara (1951).

Here are the full lyrics and English translation to “Dum Bhar jo Udhar” from Awaara (1951). Enjoy our interpretation of the song’s meaning and follow along on youtube with this link!

Dam Bhar Jo Udhar Lyrics and Translation

Lata:

Dam bhar jo udhar muu.N phere, O Chandaa
O Moon, if you would turn your face away for one moment
Mai.N unse pyaar kar luu.Ngii
I will make love to him
Baate.N hazaar kar luu.Ngii
I will say a thousand things to him

Dil kartaa hai pyaar ke sajade
My heart has prayed for such love
Aur mai.N bhii unke saath
And now I am with him
Chaand ko chandaa roz hii dekhe
The moon sees moonlight every day
Merii pehlii raat, ho, merii pehlii raat
But this is my first night, oh, this is my first night!
Baadal mei.N ab chhup jaa re! O Chandaa
Now go hide in the clouds, O Moon!
Mai.N unse pyaar kar luu.Ngii
For I will make love to him
Baate.N hazaar kar luu.Ngii
I will say a thousand things to him

Mukesh:

Dam bhar jo idhar muu.N phere, O Chandaa
O Moon, if you would turn your face here for one moment
Mai.N unse pyaar kar luu.Ngaa
I will make love to her
Nazare.N do-chaar kar luu.Ngaa
I will steal a few glances from her

Mai.N chor hoo.N kaam hai chorii
I am a thief, and my job is to steal
Duniyaa mei.N hoo.N badnaam
I am dishonored in society
Dil ko churaataa aayaa hoo.N mai.N
I have some to steal your heart
Yehii meraa kaam, ho, yehii meraa kaam
This alone is my job
Aanaa tuu gavaahi dene, O Chandaa
You must come and be a witness, O Moon
Mai.N unse pyaar kar luu.Ngaa
For I will make love to her
Nazare.N do chaar kar luu.Ngaa
I will steal a few glances from her

Lata:

Dil ko churaake kho mat jaanaa
Do not steal my heart and become lost
Raah na jaanaa bhool
Do not forget your way back to me
In qadmo.n se kuchal na denaa
Do not crush with your footsteps
Mere dil kaa phool, ho, mere dil kaa phool
The flower of my heart, oh, the flower of my heart!
Yeh baat unhe.N samjhaa de, O Chanda
You make him understand this, O Moon
Mai.N unse pyaar kar luu.Ngii
I will make love to him
Baate.N hazaar kar luu.Ngii
I will say a thousand things to him

Glossary:

dam bhar: one full moment; udhar: in that direction; muu.N: face; pherna: to turn; hazaar: a thousand; pehlii; first; baadal: clouds; idhar: in this direction, here; do-chaar: a few; badnaam: a person of ill-repute; gavaahi denaa: to serve as witness; raah: path, way; qadam: footsteps; kuchal dena: to crush; phool: flower; samjhaa denaa: to make [someone] understand

Now before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, let’s just talk briefly about the phrase “Mai.N unse pyaar kar luu.Ngii” and what that really means. I have translated it somewhat literally for simplicity’s sake as “I will make love to him,” but that phrase in English carries with it more physical connotations than what it means in this context. Although the verb “pyaar karna” means simply “to love” as in the general English sense, the way it is used in this song carries a more immediate sense of both action and personal gain–by adding the coloring verb “lena” (“to take”), the phrase now implies that the girl is about to do something for her own benefit. We can safely say that these lyrics are not a prelude to actual Victorian “love-making” on that rocky boat of theirs, but rather an expression of desire and courtship. When she says, “Mai.N unse pyaar kar luu.Ngii,” this means no more than whispering sweet nothings, holding hands, stealing glances, and other forms of expressing tenderness and passion short of actually “making love.” See my point? And don’t let Nargis’ pole dancing throw you off.

Nargis pole dancing awaara

Yeah, no seriously I wasn’t kidding. Nargis takes the phrase “pole-dance” to a whole new level in Awaara (1951).

You know what’s really great about this movie? The fact that ages before women were given anything close to social equality, Nargis plays a powerful lawyer who ends up bringing justice to her lover Raj Kapoor. She stands strong in a court filled with men, and really makes us all proud. Granted, she’s really rich and let’s Raj Kapoor SLAP her in a different scene (kill me now), but we can appreciate what she stood for at least in that regard. It’s one of the best courtroom scenes of the industry! This song was requested by die-hard fan lalten–hope you enjoyed!

– Mrs. 55

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4 thoughts on “Dam Bhar Jo Udhar Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

  1. Lovely song – heard it after ages ! And it’s still as fresh as ever 🙂

    So many many songs use the Moon for various purposes ! Be it as a simile, as a metaphor, or personified, …… to rant, to cajole (kid lullabies – chandaa mama), to love, to admire, as a friend, and in this song as a peeping Tom ;-))

    • Your quite right, the moon has always played key role in Urdu-Hindi poetry and its evolution can be fascinating–while often given feminine connotations, here the effect is clearly masculine! Great points!

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