Rahe Na Rahe Hum Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Suchitra Sen Ashok Kumar Mamta

Ashok Kumar and Suchitra Sen star in the beautiful Asit Sen film Mamta (1966).

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation of the melodious “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” from the film Mamta (1966). This gentle beauty sung by Lata Mangeshkar captures an inspiring philosophy on losing a loved one. An optimistic melody balances the tragic sentiments of its lyrics. While Ashok Kumar must leave Suchitra Sen to study law abroad, he pledges his loyalty to her upon the forthcoming separation and asks her to sing for him before he leaves.

The film Mamta explores the sacrifices Suchitra makes upon becoming a mother and like the thematically-similar blockbuster Aradhana (1969) demonstrates the resilience of a woman wronged by society. Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote the lyrics to Roshan’s superb compositions for Mamta that have kept the film’s legacy alive today. “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” continues to be a favorite with its playful chime opening and nectar-sweet vocals that betray the heartache of the scene.

Suchitra Sen in Mamta

Suchitra Sen tears the petals from a flower on the eve of her separation from Ashok Kumar (right) and tosses the torn petals into the pond (left). The imagery of Suchitra’s identification with a flower recurs throughout the song and film–note how even her saari is decorated with a floral pattern!

“Rahe Na Rahe Hum” captures an appreciation of transience, framed as a neglected yet wonderous consequence of continuity, and highlights the transcendence of attachment to worldly phenomena such as seasons, physical proximity, and even time itself.

The tender line “ashqo.N se bhiigii chandnii mei.N ek sadaa si sunoge chalte chalte” allows simultaneously for mourning and recovery. While Suchitra acknowledges he will miss her, those tears of sadness will not last through the end of his journey that both know he must continue without her. Like the flowers petals that fall away drifting into the pond, Suchitra’s presence is not fettered by a set manifestation. Ultimately “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” is far more than mere words of consolation—it is an ode to love that celebrates the permanence of memory.

Suchitra Sen in Mamta

Suchitra Sen sings “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” as a parting gesture to the man she loves in Mamta (1966).

We hope you enjoy the full lyrics and English translation to the beautiful “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” below. Note that the plural pronoun “hum” can be translated as either “we” or “I.” I’ve chosen the singular for poetic purposes, but you can see how this no-doubt deliberate subtlety on the part of Sultanpuri sahib may color the translation slightly differently with each read. Watch the original song here!

Rahe Na Rahe Hum Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rahe na rahe hum mahakaa kareN.ge
Whether or not I am here, this fragrance will remain
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden

Mausum koi ho, is chaman mei.N rang barse rahe.Nge hum khiraamaa
Whatever the weather may be in our garden, I will fill it gracefully with color
Chaahat ki khushbuu yuu.N hii zulfo.N se uDegii khizaa ho ya bahaare.N
The sweet fragrance of our love will still fly from my hair, whether Autumn or Spring
Yuu.N hii jhuumte aur khilte rahe.Nge
I will continue to sway and blossom
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden
Rahe na rahe hum…
Whether or not I am here…

Khoye hum aise kyaa hai milnaa kyaa bichhaDnaa nahii.N hai yaad humko
I am so deeply lost in love that I no longer know separation from unity
Kooche mei.N dil ke jab se aaye sirf dil ki zameen hai yaad humko
Ever since you entered the lanes of my heart, I can only remember its world of love
Ise sarzameen pe hum to rahe.Nge
In that realm I will remain
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden
Rahe na rahe hum…
Whether or not I am here…

Jab hum na ho.Nge, jab hamaare khaak pe tum rukoge chalte chalte
When I am gone, when you pause by my ashes as you walk
Ashqo.N se bhiigi chaandnii mei.N ek sadaa si sunoge chalte chalte
In the rainy moonlight that is wet from my tears, you will hear my call as you walk
Wohii pe kahii.N hum tum se mile.Nge
There somewhere, we both will meet again
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden

Rahe na rahe hum mahakaa kareN.ge
Whether or not I am here, this fragrance will remain
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden

Glossary:

mahaknaa: [a fragrance] to spread, kali: flower; sabaa: breeze; baagh: garden; wafaa: loyalty, devotedness; mausam: weather, atmosphere; chaman: garden; rang: color; khiraamaa: gracefully; chaahat: love, desire; khushbuu: sweet fragrance; zulf: hair; khizaa: Autumn; bahaar: Spring; jhuumnaa: to sway; khilnaa: to blossom; milnaa: to meet; bichhaDnaa: to separate; kooche: lane; zameen: world; yaad: memory; sarzameen: realm, society; khaak: ashes; ashq: tears; bhiigii: wet, rainy; chaandnii: moonlight, sadaa: call, voice

You may be interested to note that there is a duet version of this gem that is reprised at the end of the film by Mohammed Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur. Yes, it was the days of the famous Rafi-Mangeshkar feud–hence why the duets of the film necessitated recruiting additional singers (also from the same film, the flirtatious hit “In Baharo.N Mei.N Akeli” by Rafi and Asha as well as “Chhupa Lo Yuu.N Dil” featuring Lata and Hemant Kumar).

This song was requested by the one and only “lalten“! Let us know in the comments, does this song make you feel happy or bring tears to your eyes?

– Mrs. 55

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O Sajna Barkha Bahar Aayi Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Sadhana wistfully enjoys the rain in "o sajna barkhaa bahaar aayii" from Parakh (1960). Because she plays the role of a village girl here, she was instructed to get rid of the characteristic "fringe" hairstyle seen in her later movies in order to avoid looking too glamorous!

Rain songs have always held a special place in Bollywood cinema. From “pyaar hua iqraar hua” in Shree 420 (1955) to “ghanan ghanan ghir aayii badra” in Lagaan (2001), fans of Hindi cinema have been treated to a number of beautiful gems about the rain over the years. Today, I’ve translated an all-time classic rain song from the film Parakh (1960) directed by Bimal Roy (he won his third Filmfare Award for Best Director for this film!): “o sajna barkhaa bahaar aayii”.   Parakh satirizes Indian democracy using a plot in which the postmaster (Nasir Hussain) of a village mysteriously receives a check for five lakh rupees to be given to an individual who is most well-equipped to benefit the village. When it is decided that an election will be held, influential characters in the village begin campaigning to persuade the village that they are the most deserving candidate to receive the check: namely, the impious postman (Motilal), the pious piest (Kanhaiyya Lal), the creepy rich man (Asit Sen), the greedy doctor (Rashid Khan) , the landlord (Jayant), and the well-respected schoolmaster (Vasant Chowdhury). Meanwhile, the postmaster’s daughter (Sadhana) begins to fall in love with the schoolmaster, and she sings “o sajna” as she pines for him in the rain.

A musically timeless duo: playback singer Lata Mangeshkar and music director Salil Chowdhury

This song is considered to be one of the finest compositions of the music director Salil Chowdhury (who also wrote the story for Parakh). Although Salil Chowdhury did not receive his due during his lifetime, he is undeniably  one of the most talented and revolutionary composers from the Golden Era. His compositions are often remembered for their unusual melodies, rich orchestration, and integration of Western and Indian classical themes. Those of you familiar with Salil Chowdhury’s work in Bollywood may be surprised to know that he also composed songs for a wide variety of Indian languages, including Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telegu. Among these languages, Salil’s most prolific work was in his native tongue Bengali–he revolutionized the genre of the Bengali adhunik (modern) song with his musical compositions and self-written lyrics (what a multi-talent!). In fact, as is the case with many of his Hindi songs,  the tune for “o sajna” was released in Bengali first in 1959 as “na jeo na.” This song was one of Lata Mangeshkar’s earliest hits in the Bengali music industry, and Bengalis have cherished the collaboration between Lata and Salil ever since this major musical milestone.

–Mr. 55

P.S: As an extra tidbit of trivia, it has been said that the only non-classical record found in the collection of renowned Hindustani vocalist Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan after his death was an LP of “na jeo na.” What an honor!

O Sajna Barkha Bahar Aayi Lyrics and Translation

o sajnaa barkhaa bahaar aayii
Oh, my beloved, the rain-filled season of spring has arrived.
ras
kii puhaar laayii, a.nkhiyo.n me.n pyaar laayii
It has brought sprinkling droplets of nectar, it has brought love to these eyes.

tum ko pukaare mere man kaa papiiharaa
The cuckoo bird in my heart calls out to you,
miThii miThii aganii me.n jale moraa jiiyaraa
as my heart burns in a sweet fire.

aisii rimjhim me.n, o sajan, pyaase pyaase mere nayan
My eyes long for you, my beloved, in this light shower of rain;
tere hii khvaab me.n kho gaye
they have become lost in a dream of you.

saa.nvalii salonii ghaTaa jab jab chhaayii
When the beautiful dark clouds spread throughout the sky,
a.nkhiyo.n me.n rainaa gayii, nindiyaa na aayii
the night passed in my eyes, and I could not fall asleep.

o sajna barkhaa bahaar aayii
Oh beloved, the rain-filled season of spring has arrived.

Glossary

barkhaa: rain; ras: nectar; puhaar: sprinkles, droplets; papiiharaa: pied-crusted cuckoo bird (associated with the monsoons in Indian mythology); jiyaraa: heart; rimjhim: light rain; saa.nvalii: beautiful; salonii: dark; ghaTaa: clouds; rainaa: night; nindiyaa: sleep.

Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu Hindi

Waheeda Rehman Rajesh Khanna khamoshi

Waheeda Rehman soothes Rajesh Khanna’s aching soul in Khamoshi (1967).

Our next post will explore the stirring lyrics and translation of “Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi” from Khamoshi (1967.) A one-of-a-kind film from its generation, Khamoshi is the moving story of patients in an insane asylum and the woman who treats them played by the graceful Waheeda Rehman. In American and European films, the theme of mental illness, the dangers of institutionalism, and the murky line between doctor and patient had been explored quite frequently–such as with famous German Expressionism’s The Cabinet of Dr. Calighari (1931), Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1958), and of course, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1976). However, in Bollywood, the Asit Sen hit Khamoshi vividly remains the only film from that era to have fully explored this theme.

Based on the short story “Nurse Mitra” by Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay, Khamoshi shines with wonderful performances, exquisite musical compositions, and disturbing black-and-white cinematography. Interestingly, Suchitra Sen starred in the original Bengali version Deep Jwele Jaai (1959) also directed by Asit Sen!

In this song, Rajesh Khanna, a patient at the mental institution where Waheeda works, takes her on a boat and declares his love for her. Still recovering from an episode in which he was jilted by a former girlfriend, Rajesh blurs his memories of the two women in these lyrics. Little does he know, his blind, albeit misguided love is the final provocation for Waheeda Rehman to lose her own sanity as she struggles to recover from having also lost one she once loved.

Waheeda Rehman works as a nurse in an insane asylum for the love-sick in Khamoshi (1967)

Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi Lyrics and Translation:

Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi
There was something strange about that evening,
Yeh shaam bhi ajeeb hai
Just as this evening feels strange
Woh kal bhi paas paas thi, woh aaj bhi qareeb hai
She was close to me yesterday, she is near me today as well
Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi
There was something strange about that evening

Jhukii hui nigaaho.N mei.N, kahii.N meraa khayaal thaa
In her lowered gaze, perhaps there was a thought of me
Dabi dabi ha.Nsii mei.N ek haseen saa gulaal tha
As she suppressed a smile, there was a burst of beautiful color
Main sochtaa thaa meraa naam gungunaa rahi hai woh
I used to think that she was singing my name
Na jaane kyo.N laga mujhe ki muskuraa rahi hai woh
I do not know why it seemed to me that somewhere she is smiling
Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi
There was something strange about that evening

Meraa khayaal hai abhii jhuki hui nigaaho.N mei.N
Now thoughts of me are in her shy, lowered gaze
Khulii hui hansi bhi hai, Dabii huii sii chaah mei.N
Even though she is laughing openly, there a hidden desire
Mai.N jaanta hoo.N, meraa naam gungunaa rahi hai woh
I know that she is singing my name
Yehii khayaal hai mujhe ki saath aa rahi hai woh
It appears to me that she is coming closer
Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi
There was something strange about that evening

Glossary:

shaam: evening; ajeeb: strange; qareeb: close, near; jhuka: lowered; khayaal: thought; ha.Nsii: laughter; gulaal: color [like those thrown during the festival of holi]; muskuraanaa: to smile; khula: open; chaah: want, desire

Rajesh Khanna checks in to the kind of hospital where smoking is permitted, and professionalism in doctor-patient relationships remains conveniently undefined…Khamoshi (1967)

For whoever can’t handle the suspense, the film ends with Waheeda being committed to her own institution and Rajesh Khanna declared sane–with the implication that one day perhaps another doctor will fall in love with her and the roles will reverse yet again. It is a cold and disturbing message filmed with some of the purest cinematographic beauty in Bollywood. I’ll spare you from a discussion of subversive political symbolism, but I will point out one last bit of trivia:

In the Bengali version, the Hemant Kumar song “Ai Raat Tomar Amar” is filmed with the same mis-en-scene as “Tum Pukar Lo” in Khamoshi, however, the melodies are not the same! “Ai Raat Tomar Amar” is in fact the musical predecessor of “Yeh Nayan Dare Dare” from Hemant Kumar’s later soundtrack in Kohraa (see our post on Bollywood film noir for more). Music directors back then were notorious for reusing compositions–and we’re sure glad they did!

-Mrs. 55