Two Harvard students relive the magic and music of old Bollywood cinema!
Mr. and Mrs. 55 are two twenty-something Harvard students who are clearly stuck in the wrong century. When they first met at Harvard, they instantly bonded over a common love and appreciation for all things related to classic Bollywood movies. Many long nights were spent discussing the origins of Urdu vocabulary from obscure film dialogues, the never-ending Lata vs. Asha debate, and the awesomeness of Rajesh Khanna’s hairstyle. Mr. 55 is a classical Western and Indian pianist, a dedicated Hindi-Urdu student, and perhaps most importantly, an ardent fan of Lata Mangeshkar. Mrs. 55 is a Hindustani classical singer and Kuchipudi dancer, a film production major, and above all, a die-hard Mohammed Rafi groupie. Here, Mr. and Mrs. 55 have joined forces to share their Hindi lyric translations of classic Bollywood songs and their musings on the movies, music, and poetry from the Golden Age of Hindi cinema. Enjoy!
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This is an awesome blog! Looking forward to your coming posts.
Mr. 55 is so dashing. I wish he were my Bollywood hero.
Mrs. 55 is a cutie, too! 🙂
Great blog, guys!
Good Job Guys! Love this blog….I think I am gonna be on it every night now 😉
Really great blog.. look forward to your next post.
Wonderful blog! I really look forward to great things here, the start has been excellent! 🙂
Brilliant, good luck in your endeavours, hope to enjoy the fruit of your efforts in the futire
Bookmarked 🙂 🙂
You guys rock!! Truly enjoyed reading your blogs, keep it up!!!
I am deeply interested in writing an article on you people. Please send me all the details about you people.
With best wishes.
Dated: July 27′ 2012.
Keep up the good work.
What a fancy new look for the website!!
OMG THEY ARE THE CUTEST.
Awesome!!! Here in a place called “Sugar Land”, we have a couple of Bollywood music crazies. We loved your post and work.please keep up the good work. If we can help you in any way we will be delighted.
This is one of those moments – I thought I was the only one who sat on the North American (Montreal) continent and spent my nights listening to Bollywood songs of the 50’s and 60’s. I am glad to know there are others like me, although I must say that starting a blog about it never occurred to me though I am an aspiring writer (or maybe that is why), and have been trying to incorporate the golden age of the Bombay Film Industry into my fiction.
Admire your effort in enlightening the world about the beauty of classic Bollywood songs!
You are doing an invaluable service to the lovers of music of ester years like me.
I dont know how to thank you for this great gift to us.
Nice to meet you both:))) Please keep posting more songs.
Love love love this website. Well done guys!! I knew I should have gone to Harvard, dammit
Hi guys, I would like to congratulate you with your wonderful blog. I love the attention for the old Bollywood songs and I especially very much appreciate the focus on Hindi as well as on Urdu words in the songs. I am quite sorry that Urdu is appreciated much less nowadays. Thank you for the translations and explanations of songs as well as the other facts you post. And happy Independence day!
I just saw Your Blog as i was seeking to find a good translation for the gem, jurm-e-ulfat…of Sahir from Taj Mahal. You both are doing a great job. I am going to go through everything here soonest and get back. God Bless You. D S RAO
hey what a great blog i stumbled upon while googling for Nutan…. and that odd heroine Ameeta who is supposed to have been disillusioned with her fate in Bollywood is my kind of heroine although dumped by bollywood for Asha Parekh.. seriously Ameeta is more chirpy and nice than Asha.. continuing with my fascination for that odd heroine who never stole the limelight is another in Kalpana Karthik, so chirpy and bubbly
I am so delighted that a couple as young as you are, can write a blog over which the 50 something like me are feasting. A BIG THANK YOU!
And I also liked Shakira…
So write about them… will wait for your posts..
@COMPLUSIVE SCRIBE…I thought i was crazy when i wished god would paint the skies with stills and flicks from black and white era of bollywood be it nargis or nutan or waheeda…
This is a wonderful post. Now following your FB page. Thanks.
This is a fantastic story, unlike any other. Your work is unique and uplifting. It only goes to show that art is ageless.
I just now discovered your site, and what a great thing it is. Thank you. I will come to visit you every day from now on.
Fantastic translations, exactly what I need to enable me to understand the songs better. Hope you can add more lyrics later.
Awesome translations and exposition. Thanks for sharing your love of the music and the genre!
Great Blog!!! Love it!!!!!
Nice blog. But why such few posts on Amitabh Bachchan? Would love to read on his films.
This is a wonderful place to be, congratulations for your passionate work
amazing, isnt it? how do two twenty-something students who ordinarily be loathe to indulge in films of a past era, be so immersed in it? just proves that old is gold!
you chose the title from a film called mr and mrs 55
as a person who grew up on “Bolly-fodder”, this blog is superb. and takes me back to teh days of superlative cinema
Stumbled upon your blog through a search. Love it!! Please don’t stop! 😀
Stumbled upon this site today. Great writing! Awesome! Please keep it coming.
Stumbled upon this today. As a non hindi speaker and a lover of these songs, this is a treat. Great writing as well. Keep it up!
Hello. This is a very nice blog; I need to spend more time here.
I have finally added you to my blogroll at Dances on the Footpath (which will probably be linked from this comment – right?), and I noticed, while stopping here today, that we seem to have semi-matching image headers. LOL I change mine pretty frequently, but I chose Meena’s Pakeezah eyes today for obvious reasons… I thought I was being original! Well, I hope you don’t mind.
You specialize in the ’50s and ’60s… In recent years, I have actually favored the 1940s most. (I am a Noor Jehan groupie… Or maybe a Suraiya groupie…) But we all love an early 1970s film called Pakeezah! (Of course, it was started way before then…)
Anyway, as I was saying, I think I will be visiting here more often, and will “speak” to you again soon!
Stumbled upon your blog while searching for a translation of “Chalte Chalte” from Pakeezah. The two of you have done an excellent work. As a south Indian who some how got caught up with hindi songs ( through a couple of hand-me-down cassettes by HMV- a Dev Anand hits and part 2 of kishore kumar hits!), struck a chord with the old composers and their songs; and through some effort learned to understand half of what was being sung – your blog is a treasure trove.
These songs introduced me to the great poetic language Urdu! and its poets… So much so that i dream; reading those great poets without a dictionary at hand, one of these days
Added my email to your mailing list.
Might disturb you with a few requests of my own one of these days…
Great job. Excellent analyses of the songs. Came here looking for lyrics and meanings.
Are you guys really 20-somethings? Keep up the good work.
Great material, I was searching for a song where the heroine is burried alive while singing a song and look what I found!, a well balanced blog w/o bs , keep it going
Dear lovely Harvard couple,
Simply fantastic and a high quality work of excellent creativity. Makes a superb gift to lovers of music of the golden era of Indian Cinema.
Cannot thank you both enough for this gem of a musical treasure and would love to send you a personal message by name if I could have the relevant information. You just deserve my utmost praise, sincere thanks and thoughtful gratitude for conceiving and creating a magnificent and delightful site as good and appealing as this.
Hey guys, enjoying your blog. Loved the way you analysed the shots from the film “Haqueekat” as also the translation of the lyrics. I don’t know how I stumbled upon your blog but am just enjoying the stuff. Find it hard to believe that you are 20-somethings! Have you finalised on the song for your engagement dance? Do keep us informed. Would love to be in touch with you and perhaps write about you and your blog, if you are game for it. You sound so talented. Happy Independence Day.
I stumbled onto this while searching for the translation of “Kissi Pathar Ki Murat Ko”. Good work guys! These old songs have such beautiful lyrics and to be able to expand my hindi/urdu vocabulary is awesome!
Awesome. And Please catalog movies of same taste like Garam Hawa. Am still in twneties and am feeling those days of India.
The blog is a nice work. Keep it going please.
SO MUCH PASSION
I came upon your website while looking up the lyrics of the Hum Dono Song: “Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chalaa Gaya.” Your translation of the lyrics and the context was brilliant and inspiring. I am a big fan of your blog from hereon!
I stumbled upon this place while searching more info on “Na To Carvaan Ki Talaash Hai”, a timeless qawalli. And I was hooked 🙂 Please keep up this place.
Same story as ^! Thanks for being inspired and inspiring others!
Awesome blog. You’ve got yourself a new fan from Holland. I stumbled upon this blog when I was searching for the lyrics of Chalte Chalte Yunhi Koi Mil Gaya Tha from Pakeez. I love the 50s and 60s of Hindi cinema. I am eager to learn more about it. I’m also immersing myself in the Hindi language. Where can we listen online to your singing and music?
So awesome to have stumbled upon your blog (while searching for a good translation of Main Zindagi ko nibhaata…). Thank you!
Your website makes me really happy. I loved the same music and movies in Johns Hopkins 20 years ago, and somehow drifted away. But its real nice to be back.
Thank you! You have given much pleasure. God bless.
thanks for the help. i am trying to learn urdu through bollywood. but my friend told me that would be like crossing the english channel holding on to on the tail of a rabbit. but i am determined to try!
Hi there, Mr. and Mrs. 55,
As part of a blogparade of German bloggers, I named you one of my two favourite Bollywood blogs. Here’s the link to my blogpost: http://blog.hartmutpospiech.de. Alas, it’s in German. But I can tell you that I like your stuff, especially your lyric translations, and it has helped me a lot to understand lyrics while working on my novel about a loner who likes old Bollywood movies. Alas, it’s in German, too. And, it isn’t out yet. But let me tell that it is nice to know that there are some people out there who share my passion.
Hartmut from Hamburg, Germany
PS: Here’s the link to the blogparade:
I was following your blog for more than a year but recently saw you guys on FB too and hence this post . I am amazed with your passion to 50s and 60s and which is according to most of the people is the Golden era of hindi cinema . I am very happy to know that Mrs 55 is also a Rafi fan just like me . Keep up the good work guys .
Its a great blog!!! i am a fan of 50s & 60s hindi film music. i wanted to know the meaning of a few words in the song chalo ik baar phir se and inhi logon ne. thats when i came across your site.
just great guys
Heard that one doesn’t even have time to scratch their heads at Havard? Surprising how you guys manage time for this. Anyways, good going. Keep it up but I am really curious to know 🙂
when one loves doing something, one (maybe two !) will find (set aside)time for that enjoyable pastime.you could try it sometime !.
And I stumbled on to your site looking for the meaning of that Umrao Jaan favourite – yeh kya jagah hai dosto”. Thank you!
Very interesting bio of you both! Seems like cupid was waiting for both of you to show up at Harvard, before letting go the arrows 🙂
Good for music lovers like us too 🙂
Hi (Guys -) …. I left a comment on the song ‘Dum bhar ke udhar munh Phere, O Chanda-aaa’ from Awaara. But I still felt I had not praised you enough, so I came to your home page.
You look and ‘feel’ like a wonderful couple ( if I may say so – ) . Let me enumerate what I want to say:
1. You are not only good in Hindi-Urdu, but also have a very strong command over the english – which is what a proper translator should be – you always translate ‘into’ your major language ( akin to mother tongue -)…. never the other way around. Your use of idioms and efforts to be faithful to the culture and significance of the lyric writer, are very commendable.
2. Your passion, obsession and dedication engulfs your writings. Even the dreariest writings can become masterpieces under the charm of a marvellous translator. Examples are Edward FitzGerald’s rendering ot The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam’. The quatrains / verses may not rhyme in the persian – but they certainly, rhyme, oh so well, in the English !!@!
3. Fimally, the fact that you two, were dedicated and persevering enough, to get into Harvard, doesn’t hurt your cause, either. 😉 Lol.
Best wishes for the future, in whatever field you decide to shine, in your lives.
Great blog! I especially love the translation of Hindi film songs. The cover photos look so good; however, you need the big black umbrella of Shri 420! Sorry to nitpick! Keep up the excellent work! 🙂
Love this blog! It is always so tedious to find English translations to my favourite Bollywood songs…but they’re all here!
Rocking couple, blessed are you…njoy!
I am 32 years old and like you both, stuck in this century which I enjoy and at times regret that if only I had taken birth some thirty years ago so that I could have enjoyed the decades of 60’s and 70’s.
I share the same interests like you both and ecstatic to know that I am not alone which my specific inclinations and orientation.
Unfortunately, I am not active on social media but use my e-mail very frequently.
I shall be glad enough and honored to earn your friendship. Looking forward to hearing from you soon and to a fruitful fellowship.
I’m so glad to find a page which shares my enthusiasm of classic blog wood movie in the same way I do! Do you have space for another member? ☺️😊
Classic Bollywood movies*
Great site. mujhe aasha hai ki aap ise rakhenge jab tak ki main hindee seekhane ko khatm nahin kar sakata
Found this wonderful blog accidentally while searching for some trivia related to “Koi Jab Tumhara Hriday Tod De” and damn i found it ! Very much interested in Indian art and culture and there critical analysis. the effect and role of Urdu in our society(Which is sadly neglected due to political reasons). Feels so good to be here. Thanks for this wonderful wonderful blog.
What an amazing blog!! I stumbled across it while looking for a proper Urdu analysis of Chalte Chalte from Pakeezah… 🙂 Are you two still at Harvard? I study Hindi-Urdu there with Richard-ji! (At the moment, I’m actually doing the Urdu CLS program in Lucknow – such fun!) At any rate, I intend to be a regular visitor to this site; and if you both still happen to be in Cambridge, I hope we can bond over ghazals and Rafi and Lata (and Coke Studio Pakistan, anyone?) at some point in the future.
Great blog. Added to my reading list also
I am posting for the second time here …. 😉 I was reading through all the various comments, and found out, that I ( ! ) had posted here, a year ago ! While I have never posted “double” before – this blog note is to make up for people who never post, despite coming to any blog several times ….
I came here for the translation for ‘Aye mere pyarey watan, aey mere bechadey chaman … etc’ the song sung by Manna Dey, pictured on Balraj Sahni, music by Salil Choudhary from Kabuliwala. It is one of my favorite songs.
I am sure you both have graduated from Harvard, and gone on to more bigger and better careers, so here are my best wishes for whereever you are or may be.
I studied Hindi formally for 8 years, but rarely spoke or conversed in it, and never read any novels or books, in the language, so my skills remained rudimentary.
Thank you again, for your dedicated translations. God Bless.
I am zealous of you two. And I envy your passion. What more can I say !!! Wish I could spend hours with you !!!
Just found out that Mr. & Mrs. 55 is also a Bollywood movie
Don’t know who you are, an immense thank you, I frequently look up your site for English translation. I am of Indian descent but don’t know much of the Hindi/Urdu language and learning as time allows
woo-hoo what a site. Much thanks for all your hard work, you make many of us much more appreciative in our daily lives
Simply great !!!
DEAR MADAMJHEE AND SIRJEE,
NAMASTAY, SATSARIAKAL,HARI OM, OM SAWASTI ASTU, SALAAM, OR WHATEVER SUITS YOU.
VERY GRATEFUL TO YOU FOR THIS VENTURE. A BRAND NEW, INNOVATIVE, WONDERFUL, THOUGHTFUL, HEART-TOUCHING, GREAT IDEA. WE NEED TO HONOR YOU COUPLE AT AN APPROPRIATE PLATFORM IN USA AND INDIA. PROBLEM IS I DO NOT KNOW OR HAVE YOUR CONTACT.
OR MAY BE YOU ARE ABOVE ALL HUMAN’S KABIL-E-TAROOF.
APPREICIATE WHAT YOU ARE DOING. ENJOYING EVERY SONG, EVERY TRANSLATION OF THE GREAT URDU WORDS.
MADAN ARORA , MD, FLINT, MCIHIGAN, USA.
बहुत बढ़िया। मज़ा आ गया। your love for and dedication towards our old music is inspiring. do visit me and have a meal at my farm when you are in Maharashtra/Goa.
Wonderful site. Many many thanks for what you are doing. I visited your site countless times for hindi song translations. I am from south India and know very little hindi, but I am fond of lyrics and their meaning. You guys are doing great job of translating the songs. I hope you cover more songs. God Bless You couple.
Much impressed! Looking forward to more entries.
Nice blog with wonderful contents. Keep it up! Really amazing!
Please could you post on twitter?
Really very true
Love your blog. Can you guys start a podcast.
Omg this is so awesome guys, l just love all these old classics, I was lucky to be brought by parents who loved all these hindi movies and songs. My father had a share in a UK Asian cinema many years ago so we basically spent every weekend at the Ritz cinema in Coventry, such special memories they fill my heart with so much joy well done Mr & Mrs 55.
What an excellent site this is!!!
You’ve rekindled my love of my Indian heritage. Like a previous commentator on here, I too live in Coventry (in the English midlands) and like all south Asians, find great comfort and pleasure in our shared music and culture. Your website brings both joy and warmth to a drab and monotonous world.
What I especially enjoy are your translations. So many other translators on the web think they can do better than the original lyricists and produce translations that attempt to rewrite the originals in a form they think are better – but in reality are a pale and miserable (and often inaccurate) imitation of the original. You, by contrast, are empathetic, understanding and kind, and you let the prose and poetry speak for itself.
You ask for requests. My only request is that you both live long and happy lives, and continue to write your blog as you do so.
Wow! Great work guys,
I love this site!… you guys are too cute to handle <3…
I wish you two a wonderful life ahead
Dear Mrs. and Mr. 55,
This is my THIRD post, … I posted in August 2017, then august 2018 …. now its August 2021, … and I am glad to be still alive (!) and post again. I am retired, and in the tumults of life, I forgot about your website, but I was trying to get the original lyrics of ….. Aye mere watan ke logo … sung by Manna Dey, for the movie Kabuliwala, pictured on Balraj Sahney, lyrics by Salil Chaudhri (?)
Coincidentally, it was the SAME song I was searching for, five years ago. Truly, the memory is the second thing to disappear from a mind ( I dont remember what is the first thing in the ‘mind’ that goes away …)
Again, you have done a yeoman’s job, a great contribution for the reference work for indian Bollywood music lovers everywhere. I live in Cleveland , Ohio and what with the COVID pandemic, there have been no music festivals or mushairas, and Youtube can only satisfy you so far.
I trust you are doing well personally, and have gone in for either more advanced studies, or for satisfying job careers, and I wish you the very best. I hope your enthusiasm remains undiminished and undaunted by the plethora of work which still lies ahead of you.
God Bless you both, and again the very Best Wishes for the future..
By the way, the ENTIRE Movie, Mr and Mrs 55, is on the Wikipedia website ..
.. it you just go to the page of Mr and Mrs 55.
The entire movie can be viewed thru Wikipedia.
I grew up in India in the 50s and so these are the songs of my childhood and coming of age. Fluent in Hindi ( not my mother tongue) but never understood the Urdu words. Trying to get my American born daughter to appreciate the music I love. Your translations are a great help. Hope I can get her interested. Thank You.
Hi Mr and Mrs 55,
I grew up in the 1950’s in India. My Hindi is rudimentary. I used to beamy Urdu/Hindi speaking friend to translate the meaning of songs. so glad I found your site. Thank you.
Terrific! Stumbled upon this blog while searching for lyrics translation! Great going guys! more power to you.
Brilliant that Mr and Mrs blog set up by young people who are so interested in old Hindi film songs and their origins
hello from a frequent visitor of your awesome musical blog.
Wow!!! What a treasure trove of old Hindi songs and translations. On the request of a few friends, I have recently started translating ghazals from old Hindi films. However, I always like to double check other translations to see if my effort holds up against other versions and correct any mistakes that I might have made. This is a great reference site. Looks like nothing new has been posted since 2012. Suspect that Mr & Mrs have graduated and moved on with their lives. Hugely appreciate all the effort they put into creating this blog for like minded music lovers.
Thanks for spreading the fragrance of Urdu poetry and dialogues through the online garden. Some bumble bees like me would come buzzing to enjoy the sweetness of divine lyrics and words. You guys rock!!