Tere Mere Milan Ki Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

tere mere milan jaya amitabh abhiman
In the famous climax of Abhimaan (1973), Jaya Bhaduri and Amitabh Bachhan reunite on-stage for an emotional rendition of “Tere Mere Milan Ki.”

Today we showcase the lyrics and full English translation of “Tere Mere Milan Ki” from the 1973 hit film Abhimaan. Based loosely on the life of famous playback singer Kishore Kumar and his first wife, Ruma Ghosh, the film centers around a talented newlywed couple whose marriage is threatened by professional jealousy. When high-rolling pop singer Amitabh Bacchan marries innocent country girl Jaya Bhaduri, her newly-discovered musical prowess steals his limelight with alarming disharmony.

The show-stopping number “Tere Mere Milan Ki” is a song of reconciliation in the film’s finale. Flowing with tenderness and hope, the enchanting duet gives Amitabh Bacchan and Jaya Bhaduri another chance to love each other. Is their marriage worth saving? Read more about the film’s story and behind-the-scenes gossip in our earlier review of Abhimaan!

Amitabh Bachan abhiman tere mere milan
Amitabh Bachhan humbly begins his performance alone and ashamed in Abhimaan (1973).

Rightfully earning S.D. Burman the 1973 Filmfare Award for Best Music Director, “Tere Mere Milan Ki” is a classic example of Rabindra-sangeet in Bollywood. The song dazzles with Majrooh Sultanpuri’s poetic nuances, a metaphorical glimpse into the creation of a family. He describes the lover’s eyes as “chanchal,” which can mean playful, but also implies something that does not remain in one spot, a certain liveliness in spirit. With every “dekho na,” he directs that gaze back toward the night of their union, while she looks toward what lies ahead and the family they will begin together.

Jaya Bahaduri tere mere milan abhiman
Jaya Bhaduri mourns her miscarried child backstage of her husband’s performance in Abhimaan (1973).

For me, this song has always glowed. Lata Mangeshkar’s voice resonates after the opening stanza like an angel descending from heaven. But it was only after seeing the film that I realized the heroine of the story had recently suffered a miscarriage. Thus the lines “nanhaa sa gul khilegaa a.Nganaa” are more than a hope for the future, but a true reflection of their family’s dream deferred. The entire song changed its meaning for me, and became if possible, even more poignant.

We hope you enjoy our English translation and lyrics to “Tere Mere Milan Ki” from Abhimaan (1973) below! Follow along with the video here.

Tere Mere Milan Ki Yeh Raina Lyrics and Translation:

Male:
Tere mere milan kii yeh rainaa
On the night of your and my union
Nayaa koi gul khilaayegi
A new rose will bloom
Tabhi to chanchal hai tere naina
That is why your eyes are playful
Dekho na! Dekho na, tere mere milan kii yeh rainaa
Look! Look at the night of your and my union

Female:
Nanha sa gul khilegaa a.Nganaa
A small rose will bloom upon our balcony
Suunii baiyaa sajegii, sajnaa
She will decorate my lonely arms, beloved
Male:
Jaise khele chandaa baadal mei.N
Just as the moon plays with the clouds
Khelegaa woh tere aa.Nchal mei.N
She will play in the folds of your saari
Female:
Chandaniyaa gungunaayegi
The rays of the moon will sing
Tabhi to chanchal hai tere naina
That is why your eyes are playful
Dekho na! Dekho na, tere mere milan kii yeh rainaa
Look! Look at the night of your and my union

Male:
Tujhe thaame kaii hatho.N se
I will hold your hand many times
Miluu.Nga madbharii raato.N mei.N
I will meet you many intoxicating nights
Female:
Jagaake aansuunii si dhaDkan
By awakening this unfamiliar heartbeat
Balamwaa, bhar duu.Ngii teraa man
My beloved, I will fill your soul
Male:
Nayii adaa se sataayegii
With a new style you will torment me
Tabhi to chanchal hai tere naina
That is why your eyes are playful
Dekho na! Dekho na, tere mere milan kii yeh rainaa
Look! Look at the night of your and my union

Both:
Nayaa koi gul khilaayegi
A new rose will bloom
Tabhi to chanchal hai tere naina
That is why your eyes are playful
Dekho na! Dekho na, tere mere milan kii yeh rainaa
Look! Look at the night of your and my union

Glossary:

milan: meeting, union; rainaa: night; gul: rose; tabhi: this is why, hence; chanchal: restless, playful; nainaa: eyes; nanhaa: little, tiny; a.Nganaa: balcony; suunii: lonely; baiyaa: arms; sajnaa [verb]: to decorate; sajnaa [noun]: darling, beloved; chandaa: moon; baadal: clouds; aa.Nchal: the end of a saari (pallu) or dupatta; chandan: silver, rays of the moon; gungunaanaa: to hum, to sing; haath thaamnaa: to hold hands; madbharii: filled with intoxication; jagaanaa: to wake up; aansuunii: unfamiliar, unheard; dhaDkan: heartbeat; balamwaa: lover; man: soul, heart; adaa: style; sataanaa: to torment

Amitabh comforts Jaya tere mere milan abhiman
Art mimics life as Amitabh Bachhan comforts Jaya Bhaduri in “Tere Mere Milan Ki” from Abhimaan (1973).

This lovely Lata-Kishore duet was requested by fan Dilip! Thank you for the beautiful request! For more songs from Abhimaan, check out our earlier post on the lovely Rafi-Lata duet “Teri Bindiya Re.”

– Mrs. 55

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Mata Saraswati Sharda Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Saraswati
Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and music, is worshipped each year on Basant Panchami.

Basant Panchami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of Spring through the worship of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and music. On this day, Ma Saraswati is worshipped with great fervor and devotion, especially by students in educational institutions across India.  In addition, many young children are given their first lesson in writing on this holiday through a ritual called haathe-korii. Since this auspicious holiday is coming up in just a few days on Friday, we are presenting the lyrics and English translation to one of Bollywood’s  only homages to goddess Saraswati: maataa sarasvatii shardaa from Alaap (1977).

As many of you probably know, bhajans dedicated to Saraswati are a rare commodity in the arena of Bollywood cinema. The majority of the film industry’s references to Hinduism focus on Vishnu in the form of Krishna and his consort Radha. What is the reason behind Bollywood’s obsession with Radha and Krishna? The most obvious answer is that the love stories presented in Hindi films lend themselves easily to comparisons to the romance shared between these two figures of Hinduism. Bollywood heroes can identify with flirtatious Krishna who uses his charm to seduce Radha whose delicate coyness resembles that of Bollywood heroines.  An austere deity like Saraswati, symbolizing wisdom and education, finds little glamor in an industry that is driven primarily by themes based on love and romance. 

In what context does Saraswati receive prominence in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Alaap (1977)? Tuned by Jaidev in Raga Bhairavi, a version of this bhajan sung by Yesudas, Madhurani, and Dilraj Kaur opens the film as Amitabh Bachhan prays to Saraswati for her blessings at the music school where he studies classical vocal. This bhajan also concludes the film when a version sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Dilraj Kaur is reprised on Rekha singing along with her son for her husband Amitabh who has contracted a severe case of tuberculosis.  The homage to Saraswati is fitting in Alaap because the film’s plot is driven in part by music. In Alaap, Amitabh Bachhan desires to become a classically trained vocalist against the wishes of his conservative father Om Prakash who refuses to accept music as a legitimate profession. He pressures Amitabh to become a lawyer like himself and the ensuing resentment leads to a bitter conflict between father and son that culminates in a tragic conclusion.

As the holiday of Basant Panchami approaches with its celebration of learning and new beginnings, we hope that you enjoy this beautiful bhajan and our English translation provided below. May Ma Saraswati bless all of us in our academic and musical pursuits during the upcoming year. Until next time…

-Mr. 55

P.S. This non-filmi Saraswati Vandana recorded by Lata is also divinely enchanting: yaa kundendu tushaar haar dhavalaa

AB
Amitabh Bacchan looks pious in white during prayers to Ma Saraswati in a music school in Alaap (1977)

Mata Saraswati Sharda: Lyrics and Translation

maataa sarasvatii sharadaa,
Mother Saraswati,
he maataa sarasvatii sharadaa!
Oh mother Saraswati!
vidyaadaanii dayaanii dukh-harinii
You are the giver of knowledge, the goddess of compassion, and the remover of sorrow.
jagatajananii jvaalaamukhii
You are the fire-mouthed mother of this world.
maataa sarasvatii sharadaa!
Mother Saraswati!

kiije sudrishTi
Please cast an auspicous glance upon us,
sevak jaan apnaa
and know us as your humble servants.
itnaa vardaan diije
Please grant us these boons:
taan, taal, aur aalaap
musical mastery of passagework, rhythm, and preludes.
buddhii ala.nkaar, sharadaa
Knowledge is your jewel, Saraswati.

he maataa sarasvatii shardaa!
Oh mother Saraswati!

Glossary

maataa: mother; sarasvatii: Hindu goddess of learning and music; sharadaa: another name for Saraswati; vidyaadaanii: giver of knowledge; dayaanii: goddess of compassion; dukh-harinii: remover of sorrow; jagatjananii: mother of the world; jvaalaamukhii: fire-mouthed; sudrishTii: auspicious glance; sevak: servant; vardaan: boon; taan: musical passagework; taal: rhythm; aalaap: prelude to a raagbuddhii: knowledge; ala.nkaar: jewel, ornamentation.

Rekha
Rekha sings a reprise of this bhajan with her son for her ailing husband Amitabh in the conclusion of Alaap (1977)

The Bollywood Bromance: Songs of Manly Love

There are few things cuter than a wholesome die-hard Indian bromance. In the past decade, the term “bromance” has become popularized by the American media and by high-grossing summer flicks that explore its comedic aspects—but its roots can be traced back to Hollywood first academy award for best picture Wings (1927). This silent heart-wrenching World War I love-fest between two men inspired dozens of commercial hits down the road from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) to Top Gun (1986). Say what you want about those films, however, Bollywood was unarguably where this concept blossomed to its colorful fullest.

Perhaps it’s cultural—I can remember visiting Simla when I was younger and seeing teenage boys holding hands as they walked down the street. It was just considered a normal expression of friendship. Things have changed plenty since my childhood, but regardless, the marketability of the bromance genre may also likely stem from what had (and has) been for a long time a male-dominated industry–from directors to screenwriters all the way down to the lowly production assistants. In fact, in the early pre-talkie years of Indian cinema, women were not even allowed to act in films, much less attend viewings. Y-chromosome melodrama sells, and sells big. The bonds of manly love have been a glorified subject of Bollywood expression since time immemorial and has inspired some of the best movies you’ll ever watch.

In this post, we’ll explore our top 5 “bromantic” songs of yesteryear films long before the days of Dostana (2008) and even Qurbani (1980). From declaring eternal devotion to sobbing over betrayal, each one has a special place in our hearts and cinematic history.

Amitabh Bachhan and Dharmendra sing out their love in Sholay (1975)

Yeh Dosti (Sholay 1975):

This song is the crowning jewel of Bollywood bromance. Set at the beginning of an all-time megahit, this song showcases two men (Amitabh Bachhan and Dharmendra) riding a single motorcycle and singing their love for each other. Chest-hair is just blowing in the wind as their friendship is put to the test at the film’s climax. Overdone slightly, but a timeless tear-jerker!

Raj Kapoor pours his heart into his sad song of betrayed trust in Sangam (1964)

Dost Dost Na Raha (Sangam 1964):

Talk about tragedy. Raj Kapoor flies to war and saves his country, only to return and discover that his wife Vijayantimala is really in love with his own best friend Rajendra Kumar. This song of betrayal and lost friendship played morosely on the living room piano makes everyone in the room awkward. Please note that low-cut v-neck top. No, I’m not referring to Vijayantimala.

Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachhan being adorable in Namak Haraam (1978)

Diye Jalte Hai.N (Namak Haraam 1973):

A Rajesh Khanna classic. Although best friends, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachhan come from two very different socio-economic statuses, ultimately leading to a huge public morally-charged battle of principles. Rajesh Khanna plays the good guy as usual, and his on-screen chemistry with Bachhan evokes the joy audiences loved in Anand! Did I mention the obligatory and visible fluffy chest hair?

Facing starvation and homelessness, two boys find friendship in Dosti (1964)

Chahoonga Mai.N Tujhe (Dosti 1964):

This film was unique in that it is entirely about two teenage boys (neither of whom were big stars then) and the sacrifices they make for each other. Did I mention the hero is blind and homeless? It makes it more endearing. This beautiful Mohammed Rafi song of tragedy is when the hero realizes his best friend is better off without him, and decides to get out of his way forever. These are kids, guys. It’s really, really cute.

Pran works to get a smile out of Amitabh Bachhan in Zanjeer (1973). This is a must-see–Pran is just such a beast in this movie.

Yaari Hai Imaan Mera (Zanjeer 1973):

Oh, Pran, you are a legend. This famous song celebrates the friendship between an Indian (Amitabh Bacchan) and an Afghani patthan (the inimitable Pran). He embodies this character so skillfully—look at how he twirls and gives that sly shake of the head, you’d think he had grown up in a mountainous outskirt of Kabul. See, Bollywood knows how to cross political boundaries too!

An extremely honorable mention goes to “Anhoni Ko Honi” from Amar Akbar Anthony (1979). Does it really count as a bromance if they’re actually supposed to be brothers?

Amitabh Bacchan, Vinod Khanna, and Rishi Kapoor are three brothers on a mission in Amar Akbar Anthony (1979)

Share with us your thoughts and additions to our list!

-Mrs. 55

Who Is Mani Rabadi?

You’ve probably never heard of Mani Rabadi, but I’ll bet you’ve seen her work before. A behind-the-scenes legend, Mani Rabadi was a fashion designer to the stars. This woman was the final word in costume design for Bollywood films of the 60s and 70s (even continuing to work until Hum Aapke Hain Kaun in 1994)! If you wanted something run-of-the-mill, Mani Rabadi was not your woman. But if a director wanted something to stand out, to set bold trends, and to wow the audience with glamour, she was the only choice. When you see some of the pictures below, you can readily understand how this silent woman in the background transformed the careers of the stars. Her styles turned actors into icons, and made actresses into idols.

Starting her career in a humble toy factory to help pay tuition, and then joining the Indian People’s Theatre Association, Mani got her first break doing Gujarati films before moving to Bollywood. Here is a gallery of her designs from the movies we all love:

An Evening in Paris (1967)

Sharmila actually plays a dual role in the film. The villainous side incidentally always shows her tummy–just to help the audience keep things straight.
Uhh, what precisely are you looking at Pran?
Cutsy hair clip that’s bigger than my nose? Don’t mind if I do.

Jewel Thief (1967)

I’ve talked a lot about my feelings for Helen in a chicken suit from this film, but this picture definitely deserves one more mention.
Yup, those are cotton balls puffing out of that red sari like polka dots. Just saying, it takes a bold and confident woman to try and pull that off.
Dev Anand poses as a French jewelry importer. Can’t you tell by the beret?

Aradhana (1969)

Who can forget Rajesh Khanna’s tall Nepali hat as he bellows “Mere Sapnon Ki Rani” on a hillside?
Rajesh Khanna in a blue suit with a hot red turtleneck during “Kora Kaagaz Tha” is the epitome of suave.
Unarguably the most famous scene from Aradhana, Sharmila Tagore makes a sari out of a flimsy blanket…and the rest is history.

Bobby (1973)

Youth and freedom must mean a tight leather jacket!
Umm, ok Dimple Kapadia, where did the rest of your shirt go though?
Cute but completely arbitrary villager costume for “Jhoot Bole Kauva Kate.”

Farz (1961)

Nice ascot, Jeetendra.
Oh, those tight white pants that made you who you were. It’s no wonder Jeetendra was nicknamed “Jumping Jack”!

Prince (1969)

Did someone say “hep cat”?!
Helen and Vijayantimala dance off in “Muqabla Humse Na Karo.”

Kati Patang (1970)

Asha briefly portrays a 70s bride before running away from the ceremony.
Bindu makes a spectacle of herself in comparison to Asha’s stark white sari..

Amar Akbar Anthony (1979)

Rishi Kapoor dresses as a qawwal by night.
There actually aren’t really words for this.
Moss green pleather jacket with religious bling.
You are wearing a fedora? Clearly, you have become a millionaire.

Don (1978)

Nothing says “bad boy” like a big red bowtie.
Don’t mess with her scarf.
Or his.
Helen rocks an overly slitted dress for “Yeh Mera Dil” in Don (1978)

The bottom line here is, could Jeetendra have seized Bombay by storm without his famous tight white pants? Could Dimple Kapadia have shot to stardom without costumes that only covered half of the minimum required? Doubtful. Sure, you might not want to be caught dead in a ditch with many of these outfits, but her work is so diverse, eye-catching, and unpredictable: Mani Rabadi is unarguably genius. Next time you watch one of these hits, consider the people behind the scenes and appreciate their fluid artistry hidden within the films.

-Mrs. 55

Lymphosarcoma of the Intestine: The Making of a Bollywood Legend

Your average non-Bollywood viewer will probably read “lymphosarcoma of the intestine” and feel nothing. They will also probably pronounce intestine with a normal emphasis on the second syllable and won’t make it rhyme with “shine.” But ask anyone on the streets of Bombay who knows a thing or two about life from the silver screen, and you’ll be amazed. For Hindi cinema, the dreaded diagnosis “lymphosarcoma of the intestine” is synonymous with unavoidable impending doom of a most serious and scientifically complex nature. How did this all start and Bollywood folklore aside, what is lymphosarcoma of the intestine? Let us step back in time to 1971 to the film Anand when the hysteria all began…

Amitabh Bachhan and Rajesh Khanna both can’t pronounce intestine in Anand (1971)

Anand is a film about a life-loving cancer patient whose optimism touches everyone he encounters. The film’s writer, Hrishikesh Mukherji, had majored in chemistry like his father before him, and started a career in Bollywood as a laboratory assistant in the film development process. Mukherji published the story himself—and was actually about his personal relationship to film great, Raj Kapoor (to whom the film is dedicated!) Kapoor used to call Mukherji babumushai when Kapoor had fallen quite ill himself, and the characters were based upon their interactions. I have discussed more about the songs and plot of the film here, but for now, I will highlight Anand’s unexpected, fatal diagnosis: lymphosarcoma of the intestine. At one point in the film, Anand is explaining his disease and jokes about the name that, “kisi viceroy ka naam lagta hai. Aadmi Vividh Bharati par announce kar sakta hai.” [It sounds like the name of some viceroy. It could be announced on the radio.]

So was the fancy sounding form of cancer just thrown in for the purposes of character development? Or was it perhaps actually the name of a disease he stumbled upon by chance many years ago as a chemistry student? Whatever the reason, clearly no one on their crew knew the correct pronunciation of the word “intestine” or the following it would develop. The tragic diagnosis then took on a cult status in Bollywood movies, memorable for its almost bizarre obscurity, and became de rigeur for anyone needing a terminal disease. It resurfaced most memorably in the smash-hit comedy Munna Bhai, MBBS (2003) about a Bombay thug-turned doctor who fights for the life of a patient with none other than…you guessed it, lymphosarcoma of the intestine! Surely, this was a nod to the original “patient-doctor” film Anand.

There’s probably a reason why you haven’t heard of lymphosarcoma of the intestine in real life.  A 1922 paper that discussed three cases of the disease in-depth in Annals of Surgery remained the definitive word for many years. The paper described it as an extremely rare and obscure condition about which current knowledge was lacking (this was well before the age of DNA). Also discussed is how towards the end of the illness, the patient presents with severe constipation or vomiting—both unpleasant effects that Mukherji failed to include (they probably would not have gone over well on screen). Nearly 100 years later, the term “lymphosarcoma” is obsolete–by definition all neoplasms of the lymphoid tissue are cancerous and simply termed “lymphoma.” So what was perhaps once called the mysterious lymphosarcoma of the intestine is now recognized as intestinal non-Hodgkin’s MALT B-cell lymphoma. Still, this particular form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma occurs infrequently (only 8% of B-cell lymphomas), but retains a good prognosis if a particular chromosomal mutation does not occur. It can be caused by chronic inflammation from the bacteria H. Pylori, in which case, antimicrobial agents could cure you. Unfortunately for Anand, H. Pylori would not be discovered until 1982. Still, surgery and chemotherapy were available options for these patients, neither of which seemed to have been advised for Anand. For him, lymphosarcoma of the intestine remained an unavoidable death sentence.

And now you’re saying, so what? So Hrishikesh Mukherji made melodrama from an obscure fatal disease and didn’t stick with its actual forms of progression and treatment, big deal? Well, I’m here to say, for whatever it’s worth, lymphosarcoma of the intestine became ingrained under false pretenses in the imagination of Bollywood when knowledge about something more realistic and with a higher incidence might have actually served some benefit. What if he was just dying from end-stage renal failure due to severe diabetes after a life of eating pure asli ghee? Yes, it’s a stretch. All right, a huge stretch. But someone had to say it.

Let me just end this with some fun trivia. Did you know that Amitabh Bachan and Rajesh Khanna were not originally intended to be cast in this film? I know it’s hard to imagine, but in reality Mehmood and Kishore Kumar were supposed to play their roles! Due to an unfortunate misunderstanding, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Kishore Kumar had a falling out, so new actors were brought in instead for the roles that would make their as well as lymphosarcoma of the intestine’s careers!

-Mrs. 55