Rajesh Khanna Aradhana mountain echo

Kora Kaagaz Tha Lyrics & English Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna Sharmila Tagore Aradhana kora kagaz
Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore clasp hands against the beautiful Darjeeling countryside in the film Aradhana (1969).

Today we present the lyrics and English translation of one of Bollywood’s favorite love duets “Kora Kaagaz Tha” from Aradhana (1969). The song is a welcome introduction to Autumn, filmed on location on the hilltops of Darjeeling where the only thing cozier than a view of the snow-capped mountains in the distance is Rajesh Khanna in a red turtleneck.

Aradhana has rightfully earned widespread acclaim as a monumental Bollywood masala flick that really epitomizes India’s Golden Age of filmmaking. Songs like “Kora Kaagaz Tha” remind us how romance could once be spun from the magic in the air rather than from the dwindling lengths of the heroine’s skirt or from 6,000,000 back-up dancers bumping to an added techno beat. Very few love duets get everything right like this one does, immersing their audience in the beauty of India’s natural landscapes while allowing the Urdu and music to speak for themselves. Sharmila Tagore with her dimpled smile and Rajesh Khanna winking his legendary wink are pure, no-added-hormones or preservatives-required bliss.

I can think of a few other songs that defrost my lifeless heart similarly: “Deewana Hua Badal” from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) and “Abhi Na Jao Chhod” from Hum Dono (1961) come to mind.

Sharmila Tagore Aradhana kora kagaz
Sharmila Tagore’s spotlight-hogging wig takes no prisoners in Aradhana (1969).

Film director Shakti Samanta famously recalled that after pitching the brief summary of Aradhana to lyricist Anand Bakshi, Bakshi was inspired to write the lyrics to “Kora Kaagaz Tha” within seconds. Who would’ve guessed almost 50 years later, those same poetic ideas would be resurrected in mainstream American pop music with Taylor Swift’s popular “Blank Space“? (OK, maybe T. Swizzle has never seen Aradhana before…but I bet if she did, her eyeliner would drip onto the floor from happy tears.)

The best advice I can give you is to put on your best plaid flannel, wrap a wool throw around you and the one you love, and take a long sip of apple cider before starting this one. I have your back, trust me. As you listen, soak in the full glory of the Urdu “ghain” that punctuates Kishore Kumar’s “kaaghaz” or the blissful pop of the Urdu “qaaf,” adorning Lata Mangeshkar’s “mulaaqaat.” These are elegant linguistic subtleties that are fast disappearing from Bollywood music today. Lyrics and English translation to “Kora Kaagaz Tha” are below!

Kora Kaagaz Tha Lyrics & English Translation:

KISHORE: Hey hey (hey hey) aahaa hmm hmm (hmm hmm) aahaa haa (haa) haa haa (hmm hmm)

Koraa kaaghaz thaa yeh man meraa (meraa meraa)
My mind was a blank sheet of paper 
Likh liiyaa naam is pe teraa (teraa teraa)
Until I wrote your name upon it

Koraa kaaghaz thaa yeh man meraa
My mind was a blank sheet of paper
Likh liiyaa naam is pe teraa
Until I wrote your name upon it

LATA: Suunaa aa.Ngan thaa jiivan meraa
My life was a lonely courtyard
Bas gayaa pyaar is mei.N teraa
Until your love resided within it

KISHORE: TuuT na jaaye sapne mai.N Dartaa huu.N
I am afraid that my dreams may shatter
Nis din sapno.N mei.N dekhaa kartaa huu.N
I keep seeing you in my dreams all day and night
Nainaa kajraa re, matvaale yeh ishaare
Oh, those kaajal-lined eyes, those intoxicating signals
Khaalii Darpan thaa yeh man meraa
My mind was an empty mirror
Rach gayaa ruup is mei.N teraa
Until your beauty manifested within it

LATA: Koraa kaaghaz thaa yeh man meraa
My soul was a blank sheet of paper
Likh liiyaa naam is pe teraa
Until I wrote your name upon it

LATA: Chain ga.Nvaayaa mai.N ne, ni.Ndiiyaa ga.Nvaayii
I lost all peace of mind, I lost sleep
SaaDii saaDii raat jaaguu.N, duu.N mai.N duhaayii
I remain awake all night long and I pray
Kahuu.N kyaa mai.N aage? Nehaa laage, jee na laage
What should I say next? I have fallen in love, my soul is restless
Koii dushman thaa yeh man meraa
My soul was an enemy
Ban gayaa miit jaa ke teraa
Until it became your beloved

KISHORE: Koraa kaaghaz thaa yeh man meraa
My soul was a blank sheet of paper
Likh liiyaa naam is pe teraa
Until I wrote your name upon it

KISHORE: Baagho.N mei.N phuulo.N ke khilne se pehle
Before the flowers bloomed in the gardens
LATA: Tere mere naino.N ke milane se pehle
Before your and my eyes met
KISHORE: Kahaa.N thii yeh baate.N?
Where were words like these?
LATA: mulaaqaate.N?
Meetings like these?
KISHORE: aisii raate.N?
Night like these?
LATA: TuuTaa taaraa thaa yeh man meraa
My soul was a shooting star
KISHORE: Ban gayaa chaa.Nd hoke tera
It turned into a moon when I became yours

BOTH: Koraa kaaghaz thaa yeh man meraa
My soul was a blank sheet of paper
Likh liiyaa naam is pe teraa
Until I wrote your name upon it

LATA: Aa aa aaa aa
KISHORE: Aaa aa aaa
LATA: O hooo hoo hoo
KISHORE: O hooo hoo hoo
LATA: Hmm hmm mmm mmm
KISHORE: Hmm hmm mmm mmm

Glossary:

koraa: blank; kaaghaz: piece of paper; man: mind; likhnaa: to write; naam: name; suunaa: lonely, empty; aa.Ngan: courtyard; jiivan: life; basnaa: to reside, to settle; pyaar: love; TuuTnaa: to break; sapnaa: dream; Darnaa: to be afraid; nis-din: day and night; nainaa: eyes, kajraa: black eye-liner, re: an expression of emphasis, such as “oh!”; matvaalaa: intoxicated; ishaaraa: signal; khaalii: empty, Darpan: mirror; rachnaa: to create, to manifest; ruup: beauty; chain: peace of mind; ga.Nvaanaa: to waste, to ruin; ni.Ndiiyaa: sleep; saaDii: entire, whole; jaagnaa: to awaken; duhaaii denaa: to pray, to request; aage: next, future; nehaa: love; dushman: enemy; miit: loved one; baagh: garden; phuul: flower; khilnaa: to blossom; milnaa: to meet; baat: words; mulaaqaat: meeting; TuuTaa taaraa: shooting star; chaa.Nd: moon

Rajesh Khanna Aradhana mountain echo
Why, hello, cozy red turtleneck. Rajesh Khanna (of perfect human being fame) induces a sense of lightheadedness that the mountain’s altitude could never achieve alone.

Aradhana takes a turn for the spicy a few scenes later with Kishore Kumar’s solo “Roop Tera Mastana” because, after all, you can’t make a masala film without the masala. But those who would forever rather stick to the old fashioned tree-frolicks of classic Bollywood, stay here in safe territory with me as long as the season lasts.

– Mrs. 55

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Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

RajendraKumar_AshaParekh_Gharana
Rajendra Kumar serenades Asha Parekh in the Vrindavan Gardens of Mysore, India in Gharana (1961)

Today, we present the lyrics and English translation to “Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin” from Gharana (1961).

Penned by Shakeel Badayuni and composed by Ravi, this song stands out as an eternal favorite in the genre of Bollywood courtship songs, which includes gems such as “Chaudavin Ka Chand Ho” and “Mere Mehboob Tujhe.” Here, Mohammed Rafi lends his silky vocals to Rajendra Kumar, a pairing that dominated the silver screen throughout the ’60s.

This song is filled with several common tropes found in Urdu poetry that are employed to describe a woman’s beauty. These include similes to the Moon, the flowers of springtime, and the intoxication of wine. Interestingly, while “black cloud” has a negative connotation in English, the phrase kaalii ghataa is used here and frequently in other Urdu-Hindi poems to admire the dark color of a woman’s tresses.

The grammar police out there may be wondering: why has the poet chosen to refer to the object of affection here using the male vocative husnvaale instead of the feminine husnvaalii? The answer to this question can be found by understanding the historical origins of the Urdu ghazal, a form that borrows heavily from the Persian tradition. Unlike Urdu-Hindi, the Persian language does not distinguish gender among pronouns/objects. In keeping with this tradition of gender neutrality, Urdu poetry often refers to female objects of affection using masculine pronouns, leaving it up to the reader to perceive gender using other contextual clues. Now you know!

-Mr. 55
RajendraKumar_AshaParekh_Gharana
Despite being a quintessential romantic here of the 1960s, Rajendra Kumar never received a Filmfare Award.

Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin: Lyrics and English Translation

husnvaale teraa javaab nahii.n
Oh, beautiful one! There is no match for you. 
koii tujh-saa nahii.n hazaaro.n me.n
Among thousands, you are peerless.

tuu hai aisii kalii jo gulshan me.n
You are the flower bud that invites
saath apne bahaar laayii ho
the new Spring to the rose garden.
tuu hai aisii kiran jo raat Dhale
You are the ray of light that, upon nightfall,
chaa.ndnii me.n nahaa ke aayii ho
arrives bathed in the moonlight. 
yeh teraa nuur ye tere jalve
Your luster and resplendence shine
jis tarah chaa.nd ho sitaaro.n me.n
like the Moon among the stars.

terii aa.nkho.n me.n aisii mastii hai
Your eyes evoke a deep intoxication,
jaise chhalke hue ho paimaane
like a goblet overflowing with wine. 
tere ho.nTho.n me.n voh khamoshii hai
You lips contain the silence of
jaise bikhre hue ho afsaane
hidden tales scattered in the wind.
terii zulfo.n kii aisii rangat hai
The dark hue of your tresses is colored
jaise kaalii ghaTaa bahaaro.n me.n
like the black clouds of springtime.

terii surat jo dekh le shaayar
If a poet were to behold your face,
apne shero.n me.n taazgii bhar le
it would fill his couplets with new passion.
ek musavviir jo tujh ko paa jaaye
If a painter were to meet you,
apne khvaabo.n me.n zindagii bhar le
it would fill the creations of his dreams with new life.
naghmagar DhuunDh le agar tujh ko
If a songster were to find you,
dard bhar le voh dil ke taaro.n me.n
his tune of melancholy would pull at the heartstrings.

husnvaale teraa javaab nahii.n
Oh, beautiful one! There is no match for you. 

Glossary

husnvaale: beautiful one; javaab: match; tujh-saa: like you; kalii: flower bud; gulshan: rose garden; chaa.ndnii: moonlight; nahaanaa: to bathe; nuur: light, luster; jalvaa: passion, resplendence; chaa.nd: moon; sitaaraa: star; mastii: intoxication; chhalke hue: spilled, overflowing; paimaanaa: goblet; khamoshii: silence; bikhre hue: scattered; afsaanaa: tale; zulfe.n: tresses; rangat: color; ghaTaa: cloud; surat: face; shaayar: poet; sher: couplet; taazgii: freshness, passion; musavviir: painter; naghmagar: songster; dil ke taar: heartstrings.

RajendraKumar_AshaParekh_Gharana
Rajendra Kumar and Asha Parekh star in their first film together in Gharana (1961)

 

Ek Radha Ek Meera Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Mandakini
Mandakini made her controversial debut as the heroine in Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi (1985).

Today, we present the lyrics and English translation to ek radhaa ek miiraa from Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi (1985), the last film directed by the legendary actor-director Raj Kapoor.

Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi served as the debut for actress Mandakini, who was featured in two controversial scenes that raised eyebrows at the time of the film’s release. In true Raj Kapoor fashion, one of these scenes depicts a scantily clad Mandakini under a waterfall in a transparent white sari. Given all of the recent controversy over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavat (2018), it makes you wonder what Raj Kapoor had to do to get such a scene approved by the Censor Board?

In this film, the River Ganges serves as a metaphor for the corruption of Indian society, as it flows from the pure heights of the Gangotri Glacier down to the devastatingly polluted banks of Calcutta. When the film’s heroine (naturally named Ganga) makes her journey from Gangotri to Calcutta, her honor is symbolically tainted at every step – by a woman who leads her to a brothel, a priest who attempts to ritually rape her, and a blind man who coerces her into life as a courtesan. In parallel to the pollution of the River Ganges, Ganga’s innocence is sullied by behavior that reflects the darkest facets of human nature.

The film’s soundtrack composed by Ravindra Jain features several hits by Lata Mangeshkar and Suresh Wadkar, but the Raga Kirwani-based ek radhaa ek miiraa is arguably the most memorable song of the group.  This song highlights a common trope employed in the realm of Hindi films: the mythological juxtaposition of Lord Krishna’s consort Radha against 16th-century mystic poet Meera Bai. Although both women are known for their utmost devotion to Lord Krishna, the lyrics of this song beautifully capture the nuances that set their feelings apart.

One more song that depicts the Radha versus Meera juxtaposition is another Ravindra Jain favorite shyam terii bansii pukare radhaa naam sung by Arati Mukherjee in Geet Gata Chal (1975).

At the end of the day, we’re dying to know one thing: are you #TeamMeera or #TeamRadha? Tell us in the comments!

-Mr. ’55
Mandakini
Born Yasmeen Joseph, she was given the stage name Mandakini by Raj Kapoor for her  film debut.

Ek Radha Ek Meera: Lyrics and English Translation

ik raadhaa ik miiraa, dono.n ne shyaam ko chaahaa
Radha and Meera both loved Krishna.
antar kyaa dono.n kii chaaha me.n bolo?
What was the difference in their love?
ik prem divaanii, ik daras diivaanii
One desired his love, the other desired his glance.

raadhaa ne madhuban me.n DhuunDaa
Radha searched for Krishna in the honey gardens,
miiraa ne man me.n paayaa
while Meera found him in her heart.
raadhaa jise kho baiThii voh govind
When Radha lost Krishna, 
miira haath bik aaya
he fell into Meera’s hands. 
ik murlii ik paayal, ik paglii ik ghaayal
One flute and an anklet, one madwoman and a wounded lover.
antar kyaa dono.n kii priit me.n bolo?
What was the difference in their love?
ik suurat lubhaanii, ik muurat lubhaanii
One desired his beautiful face, the other admired his idol.

miira ke prabhuu girdhar naagar, raadhaa ke manmohan
Krishna was Meera’s Lord and Radha’s beloved consort

sa ga ma pa dha, pa dha ma pa re ma ga
ga re sa ni dha re
re ga ma, ga ma pa, ma pa dha, pa dha sa, ni sa re, aa…

miira ke prabhuu girdhar naagar, raadhaa ke manmohan
Krishna was Meera’s Lord and Radha’s beloved consort
raadhaa nit shringaar kare aur miiraa ban gayii jogan
While Radha adorned herself with ornaments, Meera became an ascetic.  
ik raanii ik daasii, dono harii prem kii pyaasii
One queen and one maid, both longed for Krishna’s love.
antar kyaa dono.n kii triptii me.n bolo?
What was the difference in their fulfillment?
ik jiit na maane, ik haar na maane
One could not accept victory, the other could not accept defeat.

ik raadhaa ik miiraa dono.n ne shyaam ko chaahaa
Radha and Meera both loved Krishna.

Glossary:

raadhaa: Lord Krishna’s mythological consort; miiraa: 16th-century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Lord Krishna; shyaam: dark-skinned one, a name for Lord Krishna; antar: difference; daras: glimpse, glance; madhuban: honey garden; khonaa: to lose; govind: a name for Lord Krishna; murlii: flute; paayal: anklet; paglii: madwoman, ghaayal: wounded; suurat: face; lubhaanaa: to desire, admire; muurat: idol; prabhuu: lord; girdhar: one who lifts the mountain, a name for Krishna; manmohan: one who pleases the mind, a name for Lord Krishna; nit: always; shringaar karnaa: to adorn, often with ornaments; jogan: female ascetic; raanii: queen; daasii: maid, slave; harii: a name of Lord Krishna; triptii: fulfillment, satisfaction; jiit: victory; haar: defeat, loss.

Rajiv Kapoor
Rajiv Kapoor, Raj Kapoor’s youngest son, stars as the hero who falls in love with Mandakini in Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi (1985).
Qutab Minar window Tere Ghar Ke Samne nutan dev anand

Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar Lyrics & Translation: Let’s Learn-Urdu Hindi

Dev Anand and Nutan in Paying guest
Nutan and Dev Anand co-star in the romantic comedy Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963).

Today we highlight the lyrics and English translation of “Dil Ka Bhanwar” from the romantic-comedy Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963).

Dev Anand plays an architect who is inadvertently commissioned to work on a home project for a his parent’ rival family. When he meets and falls in love their extremely pretty daughter, he risks the ire of both families’ elders by pursuing her. A free-spirited, independent woman in her own right, Nutan’s wit matches Dev Anand at every turn. Their repartee scripted by Vijay Anand is reminiscent of the Katherine Hepburn-Spencer Tracey chemistry that audiences universally loved.

S.D. Burman’s soundtrack of Tere Ghar Ke Samne is phenomenal, but few moments in Hindi cinema are more enchanting than the song sequence of “Dil Ka Bhanwar” famously picturised in Delhi’s Qutab Minar. Built in the 12th century by the founder of the Delhi Sultanate, the Qutab Minar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts hundreds of tourists daily. A narrow tower that ascends five tapering stories, Qutab Minar forces Dev Anand and Nutan into close proximity, each step rippling with amorous opportunity. Unfortunately, because of the bulky film equipment required, a replica set was actually created in order to capture the magic of this site! Each shot emphasizes the intimacy of the space filled by echoes Mohammed Rafi’s lilting melody.

I visited Qutab Minar this winter with my husband and uncle, and was struck by the magnificence of both the tower and the beauty of the surrounding ruins. In any other world, the stone carvings of the Quwwat ul-Islam Mosque within the Qutab Minar complex alone would be the main attraction. I was disappointed to learn that the top of Qutab Minar is no longer open to the public, so my husband narrowly escaped my forcing him to serenade me in broad daylight. Luckily, there was an excellent dosa joint nearby whose buttery goodness made everyone feel that all was right in the world again.

Dev Anand Qutab Minar Paying Guest
Why, hello there! Dev Anand plays a little peekaboo in “Dil Ka Bhanwar” as he descends the Qutab Minar.

Tere Ghar Ke Samne, like many of Dev Anand’s films, was a vision ahead of its time. Its theme of a never-ended struggle between modernity and tradition hints at irony, as many would look upon his films as being antiquated now themselves. There could be no better place to film such a sequence than in the Qutab complex, where the forward slog of time seems to come to a halt. Donning a stylish newsboy cap and flirting unabashedly in public, Dev Anand’s westernized appeal contrasts with his centuries-old surroundings. He knows better than to continue wooing Nutan as elders dressed in traditional clothing pass them by. As he ceases his serenade, the camera captures a perfect tableau of old and new India.

Nutan Dev Anand Qutab Minar
Dev Anand shields Nutan from the disapproving gaze of fellow-tourists at the Qutab Minar in Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963).

We hope you love our English translation of “Dil Ka Bhanwar” as much as we enjoyed exploring this delightful song with you!

Dil Ka Bhanwar Lyrics and English Translation:

Dil ka bha.Nwar kare pukaar
The bumblebee of my heart has called out
Pyaar ka raagsuno
Hear its love song
Pyaar ka raag suno re
Oh, hear its love song
Ooh ooh ooh…

Phuul tum gulaab ka kyaa jawaab aap kaa
You are a rose flower, you have no comparison
Jo adaa hai woh bahaar hai
The grace you possess is that of Spring
Aaj dil ki bekalii aa gayii zubaan par
Today the restlessness of my heart has reached my tongue
Baat yeh hai tumse pyaar hai
The words are that I love you
Dil tum hii ko diya re
Oh, I have given my heart to you alone
Pyaar ka raag suno re
Oh, hear my love song
Ooh ooh ooh…

Chahe tum miTaanaa par na tum giraanaa
If you want, make me disappear, but do not make me fall
Aa.Nsuukii tarah nigaah se
Like tears from your eyes
Pyaar kii uu.Nchaaii, ishq ki gehraii
The height of my love, the depth of my love
Puuchh lo hamaarii aah se
Ask my sighs for these answers
Aasmaa.Nchhuu liyaa re
My love has touched the sky
Pyaar ka raag suno re
Oh, hear my love song
Ooh ooh ooh…

Is hasii.N paar pe hum na baiThe.N haar ke
In this beautiful passageway, I will not accept defeat sitting down
Saayaaba.Nkesaath ham chale.N
I will become your shadow and go with you
Aaj mere sang tu, guuNje dil ki aarzuu
Today you are by my side and the desires of my heart echo
Tujhse merii aa.Nkhjab mile
Ever since our eyes met
Jaane kyaa kar diyaa re
I wonder what you have done to me
Pyaar ka raag suno re
Oh, hear my love song
Ooh ooh ooh…

Aap kaa yeh aa.Nchal, pyaar ka yeh baadal
This saari of yours is like a cloud of love
Phir hame.N zamee.N pe le chalaa
It brings me back to earth again
Ab to haath thaamlo, ek nazar ka jaam do
Now take my hand, allow me one drink from your gaze
Is naye safar ka waastaa
For the of this new journey
Tum mere saaqiiyaa re
You are what makes me feel intoxicated
Pyaar ka raag suno re
Oh, hear my love song

Glossary:

dil: heart; bhanwar: bumblebee; pukarnaa: to call out; pyaar: love; raagaa: melody [in Hindustani classical music, the framework for a composition]; sunnaa: to listen; phuul: flower; gulaab: rose; jawaab: answer, comparison; adaa: grace, style; bahaar: Spring; bekalii: restlessness; zubaan: tongue, language; baat; matter, words; miTaanaa: to make [something] disappear; giraanaa: to make [something] fall; aa.Nsuu: tears; [kisi ki] taraah: as if [something], like [something]; nigaah: eye; uu.Nchaaii: height; ishq: love; gehraaii: depth; puuchhnaa: to ask; aah: sigh; aasmaa.N: sky; chuunaa: to touch; hasii.N: beautiful; paar: passageway, toward; baiThnaa: to sit; haarnaa: to lose; saayaa: shadow; bannaa: to become; saath: together; aaj: today; [kisi ke] sang: by [someone’s] side; guu.Njnaa: to echo; aarzuu: desire; aa.Nkh: eye; jab: when; milnaa: to meet; aa.Nchal: the end of a saari that typically falls over the shoulder; phir: again; zamee.N: earth; haath thaam lenaa: to take [someone’s] hands; jaam: goblet; nayaa: new; safar: journey; waastaa: sake; saaqiiyaa: [literally] the person who serves wine

Qutab Minar window Paying guest nutan dev anand
Dev Anand and Nutan explore the nooks and crannies of Old Delhi’s famous Qutab Minar in Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963).

Never heard that last stanza before? You’re not alone! Most commercial recordings of “Dil Ka Bhanwar” impiously neglect to include the full version that is present in the actual film. Can you believe your whole life you had missed out on hearing that sweet bliss that is Mohammed Rafi’s “le chalaa-aa-aa-aa“?

– Mrs. 55

Jai Jai Shiv Shankar Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz nose rub in Aap Ki Kasam
Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz’s chemistry is palpable in a cutesy nose rub from Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation to “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974). What started as an innocent trip to the temple by newlyweds Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz to pray for a child together turns quickly into a hippie dance party (complete with bhang). The irony-laced, quasi-devotional “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” that ensues is one of the 1970s most memorable duets.

When I was younger, my sister and I used to obsessively watch these VHS tapes with collections of old Bollywood songs (thanks, Mom). On one such tape, dubbed “Greatest Hits of Kishore-Lata,” this number appeared, completely out of context. While we loved the beat of the song and Rajesh Khanna’s striking powder blue bell-bottoms, we HATED Mumtaz and everything about her. First of all, orange is not her colour, and her side burns-turned-curly-Qs would scar any pre-teenage girl. But worse than all her sartorial transgressions was her buffoonery in the opening! Can you imagine the heroine of any of other film stumbling down a staircase in front of everyone? At that time, we had no idea Mumtaz had supposedly just gotten high (much less what bhang even was) and fully intended to come across as comically intoxicated. It took years for us to heal and finally come around to her merits as an actress.

Still, while “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” is a strong competitor in the marijuana trip-themed category of 1970s Bollywood songs, it loses narrowly to “Dum Maro Dum” from Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971). To my fellow Hindi film fanatics, I’m sorry, but the gold standard in this particular regard remains Asha.

Mumtaz high in Aap Ki Kasam.png
Mumtaz nails that marijuana-induced euphoria in “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Aap Ki Kasam boasts an incredible soundtrack by R.D. Burman that spans the breadth of human experience–from the love ballad “Karvaten Badalte Rahe” to the philosophic “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar.” I may never be able to explain some things about “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar,” but it’s a huge highlight of the film. Like who on earth is that random old guy who starts singing halfway through? Do his grandkids watch this video too and point out his cameo with pride to all their American friends at school? Because I would.

Rajesh Khanna posing at Natraj in jai jai shiv shankar.png
Rajesh Khanna attempts a Natraj pose in the field during “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

We hope you enjoy our English translation of “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” below! While this playful song is rarely celebrated for the profundity of its lyrics, I hope you take a moment to appreciate Anand Bakshi’s poetic genius. Let’s face it: he was kind of backed up against a wall with the opening line ending in “Shankar.” After all, when was the last time you heard the word “kankar” used in a Bollywood song? I thought as much.

Jai Jai Shiv Shankar Lyrics and English Translation:

Kishore: Hey jai jai Shiv Shankar!
Victory to Lord Shiva!
Kaa.NTaa lage na kankar
Let neither thorn nor rock befall us
Ke pyaalaa tere naam ka piyaa
For I drink this glass is in your name, sweetheart

Lata: Ho gir jaauu.Ngii! mai.N mar jaauu.Ngii!
Oh, I will fall! I will die!
Jo tune mujhe thaam na liyaa
Unless you hold me
Ho sau Rab dii
Oh I swear to God

Lata: Ek ke do, do ke chaar, mujhko to dikhte.N hai.N
I am seeing one as two, and two as four
Kishore: Aisaa hii hotaa hai.N jab do dil milte hai.N
This is what happens when two hearts meet
Lata: Sar pe zameen, paao.N ke niiche hai aasmaa.N, ho!
Th earth is on my head, and beneath my feet is the sky, oh!

Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Lata: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God

Rando [in Braj bhashaa]: O Bansii bhaiyaa!
Oh musical brother!
O more raajaa, baDe jaTnaa se
Oh my King, you are very blessed
Ke chuure terii phulwaarii re…
To have found a flower garden like her

He he he he he he! [maniacal laughter]

Lata: Kandhe pe sar rakhe tum mujh ko sone do
Let me lay head on your shoulder and sleep
Kishore: Masti mei.N jo chaahe.N ho jaaye hone do
In this intoxication, do whatever you want to do!
Lata: Aise mei.N, tum ho gaye ho baDe be-iimaan…ho!
In my state, you seem very dishonest…oh!

Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Lata: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God

Kishore: Raste.N mei.N hum dono ghar kaise jaaye.Nge?
How can the two of us return home on this path?
Lata: Gharwaale ab humko khud lene aaye.Nge
Our families will have to come bring us back themselves
Kishore: Kuch bhii ho lekin mazaa aa gayaa, merii jaan…ho!
Anything may happen, but my dear, I had a great time…oh!

Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Lata: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God

Kishore: Are, bajaao re, bajaao, imaandaarii se bajaao
Hey! Play on, play with honesty
Are bajaao, pachaas hazaar kharchaa kar diyaa
Hey! Play on, we have spent fifty thousand rupees on this
Are imaandaari se bajaao, beta
Hey! Play with honesty, son

Glossary:

Jai: victory; Shiv Shankar: Lord Shiva in supreme and deity form; kaa.Ntaa: thorn; kankar: rock; pyaalaa: glass/goblet; naam: name; piyaa: beloved; gir jaanaa: to fall; mar jaanaa: to die; thaam lena: to hold; Rab dii sau: swear by God (Panjabi); ek: one; do: two; chaar: four; jab: when; dil: heart; milnaa: to meet; sar: head; zamee.N: earth; paao.N: feet; niiche: beneath; aasmaa.N: sky; bansii bhaiyaa: musical brother [bansii is a reference to Lord Krishna’s flute]; raajaa: king; phulwaari: garden; khande: shoulders; sonaa: to sleep; mastii: intoxication; be-iimaan: dishonest; raastaa: path; hum dono: the two of us; ghar: home; gharwaale: (literally) the people at home; khud: self; kuch bhii: anything; lekin: but, yet; mazaa aanaa: to enjoy [oneself], to have fun; jaan: life (used as a term of endearment); bajaanaa: to play [an instrument]; imaandaarii: honesty, integrity; pachhaas: fifty; hazaar: thousand; kharch karnaa: to spend

Stoned Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz Jai Jai Shiv Shankar.png
Who would you bet is higher right now, Rajesh or Mumtaz?

Thank you Garima Singh for this awesome request! Did you know Aap Ki Kasam is a remake of a 1970 Malayalam film Vaazhve Mayam? In the original, the ending is way darker, fulfilling stereotypes about the role of women in traditional society that I resent. I won’t spoil the outcome of Aap Ki Kasam for those who haven’t seen this legitimately great film, but just know that Rajesh Khanna plays a fool you will want to smack upside the head repeatedly–an urge that dissipates satisfyingly when he spirals tragically into self-destruction. Karma, baby.

– Mrs. 55