Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

kabhi kabhi shashi kapoor rakhee 3

Shashi Kapoor and Rakhee celebrate their wedding night with song in Kabhi Kabhi (1976).

Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of the occasion, we present the lyrics and full English translation to one of the great love poems of Hindi films: “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein” from the 1976 star-studded mega-hit Kabhi Kabhi.

Penned by that evergreen poet Sahir Ludhianvi, “Kabhi Kabhi” remains on top of any list of Bollywood love songs. The lyrics are written from the heart in adoration of a woman on a couple’s wedding night. The song is reflective and gentle, but bursting with a beautiful excitement of what lies ahead. Kabhi Kabhi revolves around the love affairs of the protagonists and their effects on the next generation. The ageless devotion expressed in this song continues to evolve and evoke new meanings as the film progresses from one revelation to the next.

An interesting aspect of this song is that it is sung from a male perspective by a female heroine (after all, the song was dedicated to her in the first place by Amitabh Bachchan!) Lines like “Suhaag raat hai, ghunghaT uTaa rahaa hoo.N mai.N” evoke tragic irony as Rakhee feels her veil lifted by a man she does not love. Similarly, the final line “Mai.N jaantaa huu.N ki tuu gher hai, magar yuu.N hii” can be interpreted as both as an understanding that husband and wife still must get to know one another, but also as Amitabh Bachhan accepting that Rakhee now belongs to someone else. And just further to wring your heart, blind-to-reality Shashi Kapoor insists to her that if they ever meet the great poet who wrote these words, they must thank him for being with them on their wedding night. (Naturally, they all do meet up somehow–and it’s every bit a circus you can imagine!)

kabhi kabhi shashi kapoor rakhee 2

Rakhee sings from the anthology of poems written by a former lover in Kabhi Kabhi (1976).

You don’t need to know or appreciate the background of this song to fall head over heels for its melody and blissful lyrics. So celebrate the love in your life and enjoy our English translation of “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein” below!

Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein Lyrics and Translation:

Mukesh:

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mei.N khayaal aataa hai
Sometimes this thought enters my heart

Lata:

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mei.N khayaal aataa hai
Sometimes this thought enters my heart
Ki jaise tujhko banaayaa gaya hai mere liye
That you were created only for me
Tu ab se pehle sitaaro.n mei.N bas rahii thii kahii.N
Before now you lived somewhere among the stars
Tujhe zameen pe bulaayaa gayaa hai mere liye
You were called to earth only for me

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mei.N khayaal aataa hai
Sometimes this thought enters my heart
Ki yeh badan, yeh nigaahe.N merii amaanat hai.N
That this body and these eyes belong to me
Yeh gesuuo.N kii ghanii chaao.N hai.N merii khaatir
These dark shadows of your hair are for me alone
Yeh honTh aur yeh baahe.N meri amaanat hai.N
These lips and these arms belong to me

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mei.N khayaal aataa hai
Sometimes this thought enters my heart
Ki jaise bajatii hai shahanaaiiaa.N sii raaho.N mei.N
As if wedding music is being played in the streets

Mukesh:

Suhaag raat hai, ghunghaT uTaa rahaa huu.N mai.N
It is our wedding night, I am lifting your veil

Lata:

Suhaag raat hai, ghunghaT uTaa rahaa huu.N mai.N
It is our wedding night, I am lifting your veil
SimaT rahii hai tuu sharmaake apne baaho.N mei.N
You shyly blush as I wrap you in my arms

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mei.N khayaal aataa hai
Sometimes this thought enters my heart
Ki jaise tuu mujhe chaahegii umr bhar yuu.N hii
That you will love me forever like this
UThegii merii taraf pyaar kii nazar yuu.N hii
That you will always lift this loving gaze to me

Mukesh:

Mai.N jaantaa huu.N ki tuu gher hai magar yuu.N hii
I know you are still a stranger, however
Kabhi kabhi mere dil mei.N khayaal aataa hai
Sometimes this thought enters my heart

Glossary:

kabhi kabhi: sometimes, from time to time; khayaal: thought; sitaaraa: star; zameen: earth; badan: body; nigaahe.N: glances, eyes; amaanat: property; gesuu: hair; ghanii: dark; chaao.N: shadow; [kisii kii] khatir: [for someone’s] sake; honTh; lips; baahe.N: arms; amaanat: belonging; shahanaaii: a wind instrument usually played at weddings; raah: path, streets; suhaag raat: wedding night; ghunghaT: veil; sharmaanaa: to become shy; umr bhar: whole life; [kisii kii] taraf: [in someone’s] direction; gher: stranger

kabhi kabhi shashi kapoor rakhee 4

By the end of “Kabhi Kabhi”, the already awkward suhaag raat scene inevitably becomes more awkward.

This special Valentine’s day post is dedicated to my fiancé! It’s been two years since we’ve been together and I’ve loved every moment. Thank you for putting up with my singing old Lata songs outside my range while you’re trying to study, and for finally appreciating the epicness that is Mughal-e-Azam!

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My adorable fiancé and I met at as undergrads at Harvard where he was in the class ahead of me. He proposed two years later, and now we’re busy planning the wedding!

– Mrs. 55

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12 thoughts on “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

  1. This is such a beautiful post!! How sweet that it is dedicated to your fiance. I will keep humming this song the whole day! If there were any official melody for Valentine’s Day, it should be this one.

  2. Perhaps the greatest love song ever written. It is played at so many weddings and special occasions and means so much to so many people. It is the favorite song of countless romantics and I am sure a great number have been singing this to a special someone since they heard the lyrics. I know I did. Happy Valentines Day to both of you!

  3. Dear Mr & Mrs 55,

    Happy Valentine’s day and congratulations on your upcoming wedding…
    A very pretty song…I love the way it has been rendered by both Mukesh and Lataji. However, this is one song where I wished the music director (Khyaam) had produced multiple versions in different singers voice (Rafiji,Kishoreji) just to see how the beauty of this song comes out in different styles.

    • Great point! It’s definitely a gem that I would have loved to hear other singers of the era do a cover version. It’s unfortunate that many of the great male singers passed away somewhat prematurely. Lata in her later years recording many Shradhanjali albums in which she did covers of many classic songs recorded originally by other artists (a somewhat controversial move). Such an opportunity was lost to others from that period!

  4. Belated wishes for eternal love …. but then why confine them to only St Valentine’s Day … they [and love] are evergreen just like some of these songs you choose 🙂

    It just struck me that Bollywood-crazed Mr & Mrs 55 have not followed the reel trend in real life. Being abroad, Mr 55 should’ve chosen a ‘gori mem’ [at least the first time round]; although Ms 55 Has stayed true to B style by giving heart & soul to a desi golden heart ;-))

    Wishing you love, togetherness & happiness ….. for without Love, there would Be No music, no hope ; no blog such as yours !

  5. Only someone who has been in love can understand the immense pain in the words :(( Seems this song is the story of my life.I love her,I think she has been created for me,but i know one day she will be someone elses bride and i wont be able to do anything about it

  6. Glad I discovered your site while looking for a translation of “Chalo ek baar phir se ajnabi ban jaye hum dono”! Great stuff!!

    Re your commentary on Kabhi Kabhi, I feel that when he asked Rakhi to sing this song, Shashi Kapoor knew about her and Amitabh and that he made her sing this song to complete her submission to him … I know it kind of takes away from the romantic impact of the song but it is a possibility … what say?

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