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 Kagaz 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 Kagaz 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 cider before starting this one. I have your back, trust me. And 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 Kagaz 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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Mere Naina Sawan Bhado Lyrics & Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna rainy guitar mere naina sawan bhado

Rajesh Khanna soaks his blue bell bottoms as he croons to Hema Malini in the rain in Mehbooba (1976).

Today we highlight the lyrics and English translation of “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” from Mehbooba (1976). Starring Hema Malini and Rajesh Khanna, Mehbooba is a dramatic reincarnation (punar-janam) love story that can only exist in Bollywood. When contemporary pop singer (played by Rajesh Khanna) is gifted an antique sitar for his birthday, he begins to unravel the mysteries of his past life and search for the woman whose musical talent once mesmerized him (played by the lovely Hema Malini). Mehbooba journeys from hip city life of 1970s Bombay to a countryside royal court of the 1800s where a court musician and dancer fall in love despite the misgivings of society.

First sung by Hema Malini in their past life when she believes Rajesh Khanna has deceived her, the female version of “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” is a tragic rendition, bursting with lovely alaaps that befit the classical nature of that period’s music. “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” is reprised later in the film in the modern day as Rajesh Khanna seeks to remind Hema Malini (now reincarnated as a local village belle) of their former bond. The male version is…well, steamier, in one sense of the word.

One of Mehbooba‘s most iconic scenes occurs when Rajesh Khanna begins to sing “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” in the middle of a raging stormy night, luring Hema Malini from her sleep to discover the mysterious voice filling the air. Lightening flashes menacingly, everyone’s hair is blowing wildly, and still the guitar plays on (check out more on Bollywood rain songs here!). While the male version sung by Kishore Kumar is arguably more popular (Kumar himself ranked this song in his top ten personal favorites!), the female version sung by Lata Mangeshkar is as hauntingly beautiful and enhances our understanding of the former.

Hema Malini Mere Naina Sawan Bhado Mehbooba

Hema Malini’s memories of a past life are stirred when she hears “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” from Mehbooba (1976).

Mehbooba was written by Gulshan Nanda who also wrote the screenplay of Neel Kamal (1968)–a film about a woman who visits an old palace where she discovers she was a court dancer in her previous life and that her former lover is still searching for her. Sound kind of familiar? We all see what you did there, Gulshan. Mehbooba will also literally carry a sense of deja-vu for to anyone who has seen Kudrat (1981), conveniently also starring Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini caught in a punar-janam love tangle. However, Kudrat is a darker film with flashes of expressionist inspiration that elevate the entire genre and likely contributed to its greater commercial success.

With music by R.D. Burman and lyrics by Anand Bakshi, “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” is a passionate tribute to old memories. We hope you appreciate the lyrics and learn from our English translation of both versions of “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” below!

Mere Naina Sawan Bhado Lyrics and English Translation:

Male version:

Mere nainaa saawan-bhaado.N
My eyes are like the monsoons
Phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
Yet still my mind remains thirsty

Aye dil diiwaane, khel yeh kyaa jaane?
Oh crazy heart, what does it know of this game?
Dard bharaa yeh giit kahaa.N se
From where does this pain-filled song
In ho.NTho.N pe aaye? duur kahii.N le jaaye
come to these lips? Take me far away
Bhuul gayaa kyaa? bhuulke bhii hai
What have I forgotten? Even though I forget
Mujhko yaad zaraa saa, phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
I remember a little, yet still my mind is thirsty

Baat puraanii hai, ek kahaanii hai
This is an old conversation, this is a story
Ab sochuu.N tumhe.N, yaad nahii.N hai
Now I think you do not remember
Ab sochuu.N nahii.N bhuule woh saawan ke jhuule
Now I think you could not forget those swing sets of the rainy season
Rut aaye, rut jaaye deke
I saw the seasons come and go
JhuuThaa ek dilaasaa, phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
This lie is a consolation, yet still my mind is thirsty

Baraso.N biit gaye, hamko mile bichhaDe
Ages have passed since we met and were separated
Bijurii bankar, gagan pe chhamke
We were like lightening that sparkled in the sky
Biite samay kii rekhaa, mai.N ne tumko dekhaa
But that line of time has passed since I saw you
Man sang aa.Nkh-michaulii khele
Playing hide and seek with my mind
Aashaa aur niraashaa, phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
(were) hope and despair, yet still my mind is thirsty

Female version:

Mere nainaa saawan-bhaado.N
My eyes are like the monsoons
Phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
Yet still my mind remains thirsty

Ghungharuu kii chham-chham, ban gayii dil kaa gham
The sound of the dancing bells become the sadness of my heart
Duub gayaa dil, yaado.N mei.N
My heart drowned in memories of you
Ubharii berang lakiire.N, dekho yeh tasviire.N
Only to emerge as colorless sketches, look at these portraits
Suune mahal mei.N naach rahii hai
In a lonely palace, still dancing
Ab tak ek rakkaasaa, phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
Even now is a performer, yet still my mind is thirsty

Glossary:

nainaa: eyes; saawan-bhaado.N: the 5th and 6th months of the Panjabi (Nanakshahi) calendar that comprise the monsoon season; man: mind; pyaasaa: thirsty; dil: heart; diiwaanaa: crazy; khel: game; dard: pain; bharaa: filled; giit: song; kahaa.N: where; ho.NTh: lips; duur: far; bhuulnaa: to forget; yaad: memory; puraanii: old; kahaanii: story, legend; sochnaa: to think; bhuulnaa: to forget; jhuulaa: swing set; rut: season; jhuuThaa: lie; dilaasaa: consolation; baras: age, years; biitnaa: to pass; milnaa: to meet; bichhaDnaa: to be separated; bijuri: lightening; gagan: sky; chhamaknaa: to sparkle; samay: time; rekhaa: line; aa.nkh-michaulii: hide-and-seek; aashaa: hope; niraashaa: despair; gham: sadness; Duubnaa: to drown; ubharii: raised; berang: without color; lakiraaa: line; tasviir: picture; suunaa: lonely, mahal: palace; naachnaa: to dance; tak: until; rakkaasaa: dancer

Rajesh Khanna Mehbooba guitar mere naina sawan

Smooth-operator Rajesh Khanna executes his devastating wink mid-guitar pluck, completely obliterating anyone’s initial repulsion at his haircut.

Did you know Rajesh Khanna actually sings the first antra of the song in a separate scene that takes place in broad daylight? He opens with his famous wink that still manages to induce swoons despite his distractingly dated ‘do! Think I’m the only one obsessed with the hair and outfits in these films? This week our local independent movie theatre happened to be doing a Bollywood series (obviously, I soaked up every moment), including a special screening of Om Shanti Om (2007). During the song “Main Agar Kahoon,” something felt eerily familiar…check out Shah Rukh Khan’s outfit below to see what I mean! It’s one of the many subtle meta classic film references that make Om Shanti Om such a brilliant work!

Shah Rukh Khan imitates Rajesh Khanna's unforgettable blue ensemble with a rainbow top in Om Shanti Om (2008).

Shah Rukh Khan imitates Rajesh Khanna’s scarring unforgettable blue bell bottom ensemble with a rainbow top in Om Shanti Om (2007).

– Mrs. 55

Chal Chal Chal Mere Haathi Lyrics & Translaton: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Tanuja's car is pushed and pulled by elephants in haathi mere saathi.jpg

Rajesh Khanna gives Tanuja an unusual jumpstart with a herd of elephants in Haathi Mere Saathi (1971).

Today we present the delightful lyrics and English translation of everyone’s childhood favorite song “Chal Chal Chal Mere Haathi” from Haathi Mere Saathi (1971). Rajesh Khanna star as orphaned Raju who makes fast friends with a herd of elephants that protect him and become like family. Among them, Ramu, is the star elephant who helps Raju build a fortune as a street performer, eventually allowing Raju to build a zoo where the community can share in his love of animals. The song “Chal Chal Chal Mere Haathi” during which Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja fall in love is a quintessential “only-in-Bollywood” moment. Where on earth (besides your wildest fantasies) will you ever see a convertible pushed by a group of elephants as a mechanism of securing the romance?

Tanuja plays the cleverly named Tanu whose gorgeous red Chevrolet Impala convertible breaks down in the middle of the road. Raju happens to arrive at the critical moment to help this damsel in distress! Fortunately, the elephant crew knows how to drive that puppy straight to the heart.

Rajesh Khanna elephant haathi mere saathi.jpg

Rajesh Khanna rubs noses with his favorite elephant and they both look happy AF.

Kishore Kumar lends his rich voice to Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s playful composition. Anand Bakshi’s lyrics burst with flirtatious overtures as well as underhanded zingers while the singer teasingly appears to solely address the elephants the entire time. A hearty trumpet is gloriously sprinkled throughout the song’s score as a substitute for the elephants roaring their approval. Be sure to watch extra carefully during the swift stunt in which Rajesh Khanna appears to float to the top of the elephant. Anyone who has taken a good old-fashioned haathi ride during a trip to the motherland knows ascending the elephant is NEVER this graceful. Thank you, awkwardly crouched production assistants who gave our hero the leg-up!

Rajesh Khanna whistles in Tanuja's ear in haathi mere saathi.jpg

Tanuja pretends to drive as Rajesh Khanna whistles flirtatiously in her ear in Haathi Mere Saathi (1971). I mean it, take off those driving gloves, we all know steering is futile.

So pull up a high-chair and reel your kids in for this one. They’re going to love our English translation of the lyrics of “Chal Chal Chal Mere Haathi” and you’ll be glad a world still exists this innocent and colorful, even if only for a few minutes on-screen. Follow along with the video here and enjoy our translation below!

Chal Chal Chal Mere Haathi Lyrics and English Translation:

Chal chal chal mere saathii, O mere haathii
Let’s go, my companion, O my elephant
Chal le chal kaTaaraa khii.Nch ke
Come pull this piece of junk
Chal yaar, dhakka maar
Go on, friend, push!
Band hai moTar kaar
The motor car is broken down
Chal yaar dhakka maar
Go on, friend, push!
Chal chal chal mere saathii…

Phuulo.N se naazuk hai woh, moTar mei.N baiThii hai jo
She who sits in the car is more delicate than a flower
Aahistaa aahistaa chal, usko na taqliif ho
Go carefully, let her not experience any trouble
Haaye, haaye, kha na jaaye
Haaye, haaye, let it not consume me
Uskii naazuk kamariiyaa bal, chal!
The swaying of her delicate hips, let’s go!
Chal chal chal mere saathii…

Khidmat terii kaam de, shaayad woh inaam de
If your service is successful, perhaps she will reward you
Kar us hasii.N ko salaam, aa.Nkhon se paighaam de
If you salute the beautiful lady, she may send you a message through her eyes
Paas aaja, O sun raajaa
Come close, listen O King
Aisa mauqaa na jaaye nikal, chal!
Let this chance not escape, let’s go!
Chal chal chal mere saathii…

Tuu yaaro.N ka yaar hai, kitnaa vafaadaar hai!
You are a friend of friends, how faithful you are!
JhuuTha hai saaDaa jahaa.N, sachcha teraa pyaar hai
The rest of the world may be a lie, but your love is honest
Tuu paglaa, na badalaa!
You crazy creature, do not change!
SaDii duniyaa gayii hai badal, chal!
Even if the whole world has changed, let’s go!
Chal chal chal mere saathii…

Glossary:

saathi: companion; haathi: elephant; kaTaaraa: junk, jalopy; khee.Nchnaa: to pull; dhakka maarna: to push; band hona: to be broken, to be closed; yaar: friend; phuul: flower; naazuk: delicate; baiThnaa: to sit; aahistaa: carefully; taqliif: trouble, problem; khaanaa: to eat, to consume; kamariiyaa: small waist; bal: sway; khidmat: service; kaam dena: to be successful; shaayad: perhaps; inaam: reward; hasii.N: beautiful lady; aa.Nkh: eye, paighaam: message; paas: near, close; aa jaanaa: to come here; sunnaa: to listen; raajaa: king; mauqaa: chance, opportunity; nikalnaa: to escape, to go out; vafaadaar: faithful; jhuuTaa: lie; sachchaa: truth; pyaar: love; paglaa: crazy person; badalnaa: to change; duniyaa: world

elephants in Namibia

Shots of a herd of African elephants I encountered while on a safari in Namibia with my husband recently. Can you guess which song was stuck in my head the whole time?

Ramu and Raju’s friendship are everyone’s bestie goals. They have each other’s backs like nobody’s business. Haathi Mere Saathi (1971) is truly the Bambi (1942) of Bollywood–and every child will remember exactly how they felt the first time they experienced the trauma of the film’s ending. Wow, there is just so much dust flying around my house lately, my eyes really need to stop watering. Stop, get a grip on yourself, Mrs. 55. SERIOUSLY, TOO MUCH DUST, WHY ARE MY EYES SO SENSITIVE.

Rajesh Khanna riding an elephant in haathi mere saathi.jpg

Even though your outfit is the color of pepto bismol, you da man, Rajesh Khanna.

This one-of-a-kind song was requested by fan Janaki. Awesome choice! We know we’ve been slower to post lately with the busy year, but requests like these are always inspiring. We love hearing from fans!

-Mrs. 55

Khiza Ke Phool Pe Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

khiza-ke-phool-rajesh-khanna-do-raaste

Rajesh Khanna plays a hard-working college student from a poor family in Do Raaste (1969).

Today we highlight the poignant lyrics and our English translation of “Khiza Ke Phool Pe” from Do Raaste (1969). Do Raaste is a classic family drama that hits hard on the tension between Eastern and Western values through an exploration of the dissolution of a joint family household. When one of the sons marries a rich “modernized” Indian girl who refuses to allow him to help pay off his family debt, the remaining relatives fall into poverty. The youngest son, played to perfection by Rajesh Khanna, must compromise his education by dropping out of college in order to support the family. He arrives at the birthday party of his wealthy girlfriend, played by Mumtaz (whose cutesy performance will at times make you want to hang yourself on the chandelier), and realizes that he no longer belongs in her world. The ensuing flood of feelings results in the beautiful ballad “Khiza Ke Phool Pe” written by Anand Bakshki with music by Laxmikant-Pyarelaal. Kishore Kumar’s voice takes on an initially softer, velvety shade that transitions fluidly to a powerful angst at the end of each antra. I dare you not to sigh when he croons, “mai.N roz lab pe naii ek aah taktaa huu.N.”

Though she says nothing that would disrupt the song, Mumtaz appears quite understandably mortified at his public display and rejection. For more uncomfortable dinner parties in Bollywood films, refer to our how-to guide on how to play the awkward miffed lover.

do-raaste-mumtaz-khiza-ke-phool

Mumtaz is heartbroken as Rajesh Khanna announces at her birthday party that they cannot be married in Do Raaste (1969).

Reminiscent of the hallowed “Waqt Ne Kiya” cinematography, in “Khiza Ke Phool Pe,” the camera simply soars with the gloriously endless dolly-ins and dolly-outs to accentuate each poetic moment, as if everyone weren’t already emotionally fragile after seeing Rajesh Khanna fight back tears. I applaud the film director Raj Khosla, despite the kitsch film set. The decor screams of the 1970s–emphasizing all those quasi-luxurious domestic ornaments that would in no way possibly make your life any better. The tinted glass cutout room divider is a textbook case in point. Still, the film crew made lemonade out of life’s interior design lemons.

chintzy-60s-decor-colored-glass-rajesh-khanna-mumtaz

Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz are separated by a bizarre art deco glass structure in her living room in the shot-reverse-shot sequence above. Note how in order to achieve this sequence with the actors seemingly continuing to face each other, Rajesh Khanna must move from the yellow panel to the blue panel on Mumtaz’s right for the reverse shot (below), breaking true visual continuity.

Check out the music video here and keep a box of tissues handy. We invite you join us below in our English translation and lyrics of “Khiza Ke Phool Pe” below:

Khiza Ke Phool Pe Lyrics and Translation:

Khizaa ke phuul pe aati kabhii bahaar nahii.N
The flower of Autumn never sees the Spring
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Na jaane pyaar mei.N kab mai.N zubaa.N se phir jaauu.N
I do not know when in love I may go back on my words
Mai.N ban ke aa.Nsuu khud apnii nazar se gir jaauu.N
By becoming tears, I may fall in my own eyes
Terii qasam hai meraa koii aitbaar nahii.N
I swear by you, I have no confidence
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Main roz lab pe nayii ek aah taktaa huu.N
Every day, a new sigh reaches my lips
Main roz ek naye gham kii raah taktaa huu.N
Every day, I await the arrival of a new sorrow
Kisii khushii kaa mere dil ko intezaar nahii.N
My heart is not waiting for any joy
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Ghariib kaise mohabbat kare amiiro.N se?
How can someone poor love someone rich?
BichhaD gaye hai.N kaii Raanjhe apnii Heero.N se
Many legendary heroes have been separated from their heroines
Kisi ko apne muqaddar pe ikhtiyaar nahii.N
No one has a choice over their fate
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Khizaa ke phuul pe aati kabhi bahaar nahii.N
The flower of Autumn never sees the Spring
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Glossary:

khizaa: Autumn; phuul: flower; bahaar: Spring; kabhii nahii.N: never; naseeb: destiny, fortune; dost: friend; pyaar: love; na jaane: [I] do not know, [who] knows; kab: when; zubaan.N: word, language; phir jaanaa: go back; aa.Nsuu: tears; khud: self; nazar: eyes, gaze; girnaa: to fall; qasam: swear; aitbaar: confidence, trust; roz: every day; lab: lip; nayii: new; aah: sigh; gham: sorrow; raah taknaa: to await; khushii: happiness; [kisi ka] intezaar hona: to wait [for something]; ghariib: poor; mohabbat: love; amiir: rich; bichhaD jaanaa: to become separated; Raanjhaa: hero of a classic Hindustani tale of star-crossed lovers (Heer-Ranjha); Heer: heroine of a classic Hindustani tale of star-crossed lovers (Heer Ranjha); muqaddar: fate; ikhtiyaar: choice

Now go cheer yourself up with a pumpkin spice latte and wipe those tears off your face by indulging in a symphony of Rajesh Khanna winks.

– Mrs. 55

 

Do Lafzon Ki Hai Dil Ki Kahani Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

 

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Amitabh Bacchan and Zeenat Aman share a romantic moment during a glamorous gondola ride shot in Venice, Italy for The Great Gambler (1979).

Today, we present the lyrics and English translation to an all-time hit song from The Great Gambler (1979): do lafzo.n kii hai dil kii kahaanii. Directed by Shakti Samanta, this action film starring Amitabh Bacchan in a dual role takes the audience on a cosmopolitan journey through a variety of exotic locales including Cairo, Rome, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and Egypt. While the film itself has not much to offer over other masala films released during this period of Hindi cinema, the soundtrack’s crowning gem do lafzo.n kii hai dil kii kahaanii is cherished by audiences to this day. In fact, watch Asha Bhonsle (at the age of 80!) dazzle the audience with this song here accompanied by the Metropole Orchestra at The Hague in 2013.

do lafzon kii hai dil kii kahaanii can be considered a natural successor to previous boat songs directed by Shakti Samanta, such araat ke humsafar  (An Evening in Paris, 1967) and chingaarii koii bhaDke (Amar Prem, 1972). The exotic picturization as well as the exquisite lilting melody make this song a stand-out among the other lackluster items found on the film’s soundtrack, which was composed by R.D. Burman and penned by Anand Bakshi. To infuse a dose of authentic Italian charm, the lyricist has included a few words of Italian in the song’s introduction–I’m certainly not an Italian expert, but my attempt at translating these lines is also presented below.

While the choice of veteran songstress Asha Bhonsle as the playback singer for heroine Zeenat Aman is no surprise, the choice of Sharad Kumar as the voice of the gondolier is rather interesting. Sharad Kumar Bader is an actor/singer who achieved fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s for his imitative renditions of songs originally performed by the one and only Elvis Presley. In addition to touring the globe for concerts where he sang Elvis numbers decked out in The King’s trademark jumpsuits, Sharad also received a break in Bollywood as an actor in films such as Paisa Ya Pyar (1969) and Zameen Aasman (1972) with the support of Shobhana Samarth (mother of actresses Tanuja and Nutan).  After his brief stint in the film industry, Sharad moved to Canada where he worked as an insurance agent and opened a vegetarian Indian food company called Zara’s Gourmet Kitchen with his wife Gita Bader. A colorful career path indeed!

What is your favorite foreign destination featured in a vintage Bollywood song? Let us know in the comments! Until next time…

-Mr. 55
Venice

Venice’s Grand Canal and its rich tradition of gondoliering are featured prominently in this all-time fan favorite song.

Do Lafzon Ki Hai Dil Ki Kahani: Lyrics and Translation

Sharad Kumar: laa, laa, laa… amore mio, dove sei tu?
My love, where are you?
ti sto cercando, tesoro mio!
I am searching for you, my treasure!

Amitabh Bacchan: “amore mio, dove sei tu..”
ai kyaa gaa rahaa hai?
What is he singing?

Asha Bhonsle: apne pyaar ko yaad kar rahaa hai aur kah rahaa hai ki…
He is remembering his love and saying…

Amitabh Bacchan: na, na, na aise nahii.n! gaa ke sunaao na?
No, not like this! Sing it for me, won’t you?

Asha Bhonsle: gaa ke? acchhaa!
Sing it? Okay!

do lafzo.n kii hai dil kii kahaanii
The tale of my heart is only two words long.
yaa hai muhabbat, yaa hai javaanii
Is it love or is it youth?

Sharad Kumar: amore mio, il tempo vola
My love, time flies.
prendilo, prendilo, amore mio!
Catch it, catch it, my love!

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The on-screen chemistry shared by the leading pair serves as the backbone for this lighthearted, action-packed, and often nonsensical film.

Asha Bhonsle: dil kii baato.n kaa matlab na puuchho
Please don’t ask me the meaning of my heart’s words.
kuchh aur ham se bas ab na puuchho
Please don’t ask me anything now.
jis ke liye hai duniyaa diivaanii
What the world has gone mad for,
yaa hai muhabbat, yaa hai javaanii?
Is it love or is it youth?

yah kashTiivaalaa kyaa gaa rahaa thaa?
What was that gondolier singing about?
koii ise bhii yaad aa rahaa thaa
He was reminded of someone special
qisse puraane, yaade.n puraanii
along with old tales and old memories.
yaa hai muhabbat, yaa hai javaanii?
Is it love or is it youth?

is zindagii ke din kitne kam hai.n
The days of this life are limited in number.
kitnii hai.n khushiyaa.n aur kitne gham hai.n
they are filled with so much joy and so much sorrow.
lag jaa gale se, rut hai suhaanii
So embrace me, in this beautiful season.
yaa hai muhabbat, yaa hai javaanii
Is it love or is it youth?

do lafzo.n kii hai dil kii kahaanii
The tale of my heart is only two words long.
yaa hai muhabbat, yaa hai javaanii
Is it love or is it youth?

Glossary

lafz: word; kahaanii: tale; muhabbat: love; javaanii: youth; matlab: meaning; duniyaa: world; kashTiivaalaa: gondolier; qisse: tales; yaade.n: memories; khushiyaa.n: joy; gham: sorrow; gale se lag jaanaa: to embrace; rut: season; suhaanii: lovely, beautiful. 

venetian

A glimpse of Italy at The Venetian hotel from my recent vacation to Las Vegas.

gondola

Vegas’s replica of the Grand Canal–complete with gondolier and Italian serenades!

 

 

Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna regret aap ki qasam

Rajesh Khanna reflects on the choices he made and the love he lost in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Happy New Year’s to all our fans and lovers of classic Bollywood! In the spirit of the holiday, we present the lyrics and full English translation to the thought-provoking “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974). In this song, lyricist Anand Bakshi explores the regret of one man who loses his chance to spend time with the people he loves. Rajesh Khanna plays a successful businessman who neglects and mistrusts his loving wife Mumtaz, ultimately costing him his marriage and family. Wanting desperately to make amends, Khanna soon realizes he is unable to change the past. For anyone still thinking of a New Year’s Resolution, this Kishore Kumar hit is sure to inspire!

happier times with mumtaz in aap ki kasam

Ignoring the eyesore of Delhi that is Mumtaz’s horrendous puffy orange sari blouse, happier times once reigned for the estranged couple in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Like time itself, linear movement is the emphasis of director J. Om Prakash’s gorgeous mis-en-scène. From symbolic train tracks or plodding footsteps to fantasy-pixie Mumtaz’s unidirectional trajectory through the woods, Kishore Kumar’s rich vocals are underlined by a feeling of racing forward with no way of turning back. “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein” shines in stark contrast to the romantic “Karvaten Badalte Rahe” duet sung during a high-key moment of the film. Of equal importance, the song is also a textbook example of the Bollywood cliche demonstrating a strong correlation between despondency of the hero’s love life with the length of the hero’s beard.

rajesh khanna beard aap ki qasam

By the time “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein” finishes, Rajesh Khanna has spiraled into total despondency as evidenced by his increasing length of beard.

We hope that listening to this song may inspire you to appreciate the moments you have with your loved ones over the holidays. So take a break from the daily grind and let those people know how much you care–don’t be a Rajesh Khanna! You’ll find the lyrics and our English translation of the sentimental hit “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar Jaate Hai” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974) below. Follow along with the video on youtube and let us know YOUR New Year’s resolution in the comments!

Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar Jaate Hai Lyrics and Translation:

Zindagii ke safar mei.N guzar jaate hai.N jo maqaam
Those places you pass in the journey of life
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return

Phuul khilte hai.N, log milte hai.N
Flowers bloom, people meet
Magar patjhaD mei.N jo phuul muDjhaa jaate hai.N
But that flower which dies in Autumn
Woh bahaaro.N ke aane se khilte nahii.N
It does not bloom with the coming of Spring
Kuch log ek roz jo bichhaD jaate hai.N
Those people from whom you are separated one day
Woh hazaaro.N ke aane se milte nahii.N
A thousand others may come, but you will not meet them again
Umr bhar chahe koi pukaaraa kare unkaa naam
Even though you may call their names the rest of your life
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return

rajesh khanna wanders aimlessly in aap ki qasam

Overcome with regret, Rajesh Khanna wanders aimlessly in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Aa.Nkh dhokaa hai, kya bharosaa hai?
Your eye deceives you, what is the truth?
Suno, dosto.N, shak dostii kaa dushman hai
Listen, friends, doubt is the enemy of friendship
Apne dil mei.N ise ghar banaane na do
Do not let doubt reside in your heart
Kal tadapnaa paDe yaad mei.N jinkii
Those people whose memories will torment you tomorrow
Rok lo rooThkar, unko jaane na do
Stop them when they are upset, do not let them leave
Baad mei.N pyaar ke chahe bhejo hazaaro.N salaam
For later, even though you may wish to greet them with love a thousand times
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return

mumtaz fantasy

In epic slow-motion, Mumtaz prances through the forest of Rajesh Khanna’s fantasy, chunni billowing in the wind.

Subaah aatii hai, raat jaatii hai
Morning comes, the night departs
Yuu.n hii waqt chaltaa hii rehtaa hai, ruktaa nahii.N
In this manner, time marches on, it does not stop
Ek pal mei.N yeh aage nikal jaata hai
In a single moment, time moves forward
Aadmi Theek se dekh paataa nahii.N
Man is unable to see this well
Aur parde pe manzar badal jaata hai
And the view continues to change
Ek baar chale jaate hai jo din raat subaah shaam
But once those days and nights, and those mornings and evenings pass
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return

Zindagii ke safar mei.N guzar jaate hai.N jo maqaam
Those places you pass in the journey of life
Woh phir nahin aate
They never return
Woh phir nahin aate
They never return

Glossary:

zindagii: life; safar: journey; guzar jaanaa: to pass, maqaam: place, landmark, milestone; phuul: flower; log: people; patjhaD: Autumn; muDjhaanaa: to become destroyed; bahaar: Spring; khilnaa: to bloom; ek roz: one day; bichhaD jaanaa: to become separated; hazaar: a thousand; umr bhar: whole life; pukaarnaa: to call; naam: name; aa.Nkh: eye; dhokaa: deception, trick; bharosaa: trust; shak: doubt; dostii: friendship; dushman: enemy; ghar: home; taDapnaa: to torment, to flutter; yaad: memory; roknaa: to stop; rooThna: to be upset; jaanaa dena: to let someone leave; baad mei.N: later on, bhejnaa: to send; salaam: greeting; subaah: morning; raat: night; yuu.N hii: in this manner, like this; waqt: time; pal: moment; aadmi: man; thiik se: properly, well; pardaa: veil, [in this case, a movie screen]; manzar: view; badal jaanaa: to change; ek baar: once, one time; din: day; shaam: evening

Rajesh Khanna walks away from the camera

In my favorite shot of the film, Rajesh Khanna walks away from the camera, leaving the viewer alone in the cold Winter morning in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

For the Urdu snobs, you may note that the plural of the multi-layered term maqaam is technically maqaamaat. The suffix –aat is necessary to denote plurality of certain vocabulary with an Arabic origin, however modern Hindustani often omits this mark of purist pretension–particularly when it would throw off a song’s rhyming scheme! But if you’re quick, you’ll still hear it used in classic film dialogues. Other examples include:

kaaghazaat (pieces of paper)
zevaraat (jewels)
makaanaat (stores)
jawaharaat (rubies)
ma’luumaat (information)

Zindagi Ke Safar Mei.N” was requested by fan Agar Raheem. Our resolution for the New Year is to keep up quicker with requests from fans! If you haven’t seen your request in one of our blog posts yet, don’t worry–it’s coming! Thank you for the fantastic year we’ve had together, and our best wishes for a joyful and prosperous 2014!

Old Classic Bollywood Save the Date!

2014 is going to be a particularly memorable year for us because Mrs. 55 is getting married! Get ready because, you guessed correctly, it’s going to be a classic Bollywood-themed wedding!

-Mrs. 55

Papa Jaldi Aaja Na Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

kids

These adorable children await their father Bharat Bhushan’s return from an overseas journey in Taqdeer (1967).

Here at Mr. and Mrs. 55, we wish you a very merry Christmas and send you our warmest season’s greetings! Although songs that depict Christmas are few and far between within the realm of Bollywood cinema (see last year’s post on Jingle Bells/Aao Tumhein Chand Pe Le Jaaye), there is no dearth of songs that celebrate the values comprising the essence of the holiday spirit.  While you shouldn’t hold out for a guest appearance by Santa Claus or good old Rudolph, many Hindi films from the Golden Era revolve around the aspects of Christmas that many people cherish the most: sharing happiness with others, celebrating love, and strengthening family bonds. Today, in honor of Christmas , we present a children’s classic from Taqdeer (1967) that evokes the holiday spirit through its heart-warming depiction of familial love: pappaa jaldii aajaa na.

Directed by A. Salaam Taqdeer (1967) is a Hindi remake of the Konkani film Nirmon (1966) that narrates a powerful story about a destitute widow (played by Shalini Mardolkar) whose husband (played by Bharat Bhushan) is thought to have died in a tragic shipwrecking. Struggling to make ends meet, she accepts a marriage proposal from her husband’s wealthy friend (played by Kamal Kapoor) for the sake of her family. Although money is no longer an issue for them, Shalini and her children struggle to find happiness in the absence of their warm and loving husband/father. Although his family thinks that he is deceased, it turns out that Bharat miraculously survived the shipwrecking but lost all of his memory prior to the accident as a result of amnesia. Several years later, Bharat’s amnesia resolves when he hears a performance of a song (“jab jab bahaar aayii“) that he had taught to one of his former music students. After his memory returns, Bharat returns home to Goa and encounters the harsh reality of the sacrifices his family has been forced to make in his absence. How will Bharat be reunited with Shalini and his children? Watch the full movie here to find out!

Composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelaal and penned by Anand Bakshi, this song is presented at the beginning of Taqdeer after Bharat has embarked on his overseas journey. Equipped with the gentle maternal beauty of Lata Mangeshkar’s voice, Shalini leads her children (voiced by Sulakshana Pandit, Ila Desai, and Meena Petki) in a song to ask for their father’s safe and prompt return home. Naturally, part of the reason that the children await their father’s return is because they are excited to receive the new toys and gifts that he will bring home for them from abroad. Yet, the line “guDiyaa chaahe na laanaa, pappaa jaldii aajaa na!” illustrates how the children dearly miss their father’s love and support regardless of whether they receive his gifts or not.

Indeed, this heart-warming song can serve as a reminder of what is truly important to us at this time of the year. The most important part of the holiday season is not exchanging gifts and reveling in new excitement of our new toys, clothes, or gadgets. Rather, the greatest gift that we can receive for the holidays is the opportunity to live, laugh and cherish the company of our family and loved ones. Still looking for ideas on how to spend your quality time this holiday season? Mrs. 55 and I recommend putting on your favorite old Bollywood flick and letting the bonding begin with those that matter to you the most. Until next time…

-Mr. 55
Shalini

Shalini Mardolkar writes a letter to her husband to tell him how much the family misses him in Taqdeer (1967)

 

Papa Jaldi Aaja Na: Lyrics and Translation

saat samundar paar se, guDiyo.n ke bazaar se
From a doll store across the seven seas,
achhii sii guDiyaa laanaa
please bring us back a doll. 
guDiyaa chaahe na laanaa, pappaa jaldii aajaa na!
Whether you bring a doll or not, please come home soon, Papa!

tum pardes gaye jab se, bas yah haal huaa tab se
Ever since you went abroad, our lives have not been the same.
dil diivaanaa lagtaa hai, ghar viraanaa lagtaa hai
My heart has gone mad, as this house feels desolate without you.
jhilmil chaa.nd sitaaro.n ne, darvaazo.n diivaaro.n ne
The shining Moon and stars, these doors and walls,
sab ne puuchha hai ham se: kab jii chhuuTegaa gham se?
they all have asked me, “When will your heart be liberated of sorrow?
kab hogaa unkaa aanaa? pappaa jaldii aajaa na!
When is the date of his return?” Please come home soon, Papa!

maa.n bhii loDii nahii.n gaatii, ham ko nii.nd nahii.n aatii
Since Mom does not sing lullabies anymore, we have trouble falling asleep.
khelkhilaune TuuT gaye, sangiisaathii chhuuT gaye
Our toys are broken, and our companions have left our side.
jeb hamaarii khaalii hai aur aatii diivaalii hai
Our pockets are empty, yet Diwali is still to come.
ham sab ko na taDpaao, apne ghar vaapas aao
Please do not torment us any longer. Once you return home,
aur kabhii phir na jaanaa. pappaa jaldii aajaa na!
never leave us again. Please come home soon, Papa!

khat na samjho taar hai yah, kaaghaz nahii.n hai pyaar hai yah
Consider this a telegram, not a letter. It is made of love, not paper.
durii aur itnii durii, aisii bhii kyaa majbuurii?
There is such distance between us. What compels you to be so far?
tum koii naadaan nahii.n, tum isse anjaan nahii.n
You are not naive, nor are you unaware that
is jiivan ke sapne ho, ek tum hii to apne ho
you are my dream in this life. I consider only you to be mine. 
saaraa jag hai begaanaa, pappaa jaldii aajaa na!
I am estranged from the rest of the world. Please come home soon, Papa!

saat samundar paar se, guDiyo.n ke bazaar se
From a doll store across the seven seas,
achhii sii guDiyaa laanaa
please bring us back a doll.  
guDiyaa chaahe na laanaa, pappaa jaldii aajaa na!
Whether you bring a doll or not, please come home soon, Papa!

Shalini

Shalini Mardolkar and her children are not the same without their beloved head of household Bharat Bhushan in Taqdeer (1967).

 

Glossary

samundar: sea; guDiyaa: doll; bazaar: store, market; jaldi: soon, quickly; pardes: abroad; viraanaa: empty, desolate; jhilmil: shining; darvaazaa: door; diivaar: wall; chhuTnaa: to escape/depart, to be free of; loDii: lullaby; khel-khilaune: toys; sangii-saathii: companions; jeb: pocket; khaalii: empty; taDpaanaa: to torment; duurii: distance; majbuurii: compulsion, helplessness: anjaan: unaware; jag: world; begaanaa: estranged, alien.

Nutcracker

In my holiday best for my first viewing of The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky!