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).
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O Duniya Ke Rakhwale Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

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Agonized by his fate, Bharat Bhushan entreats the Lord to heed his grievances in Baiju Bawra (1952)

On April 15, 2013, an unspeakable tragedy hit my current hometown of Boston when two bombs were set off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. This annual event held on Patriot’s Day attracts nearly 500,000 spectators who come to watch amateur and professional runners from all over the world. Considered one of the largest acts of terrorism ever to strike Boston, the marathon bombings killed 3 individuals and wounded nearly 300 victims. Tragedy is always unsettling, but these attacks have been particularly difficult to grapple with because of their proximity to home. As the local community finds the strength to overcome, our thoughts and prayers at Mr. and Mrs. 55 are with all those who were affected by this senseless act of violence in Boston.

Five days after the attack, a harrowing manhunt for one of the suspects at large put the entire city of Boston on lockdown with a “shelter in place” order for all residents.  Within the safe confines of my dorm at Harvard, I found comfort during this time in old Hindi film songs–something familiar and close to my heart.  In the aftermath of this tragedy, there was one song in particular that resonated deeply with my state of mind: o duniyaa ke rakhvaale from Baiju Bawra (1952). In commemoration of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, we offer the lyrics and English translation to this timeless devotional classic. 

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Composed by Naushad in the somber and grave raga Darbari Kanada, this evergreen number from Baiju Bawra (1952) is one of Mohammed Rafi’s best renditions. His pathos-laden voice navigates through a difficult melody spanning nearly two octaves that culminates in a high Bb4 (taar shuddh ma in the key of F) during the final climax. In light of the recent tragedy, however, we will focus on the message presented by Shakeel Badayuni’s lyrics. Without using elevated vocabulary, Badayuni masterfully captures the essence of an important philosophical maxim that may help us cope with the recent events: the reconciliation of opposites. Expressed as frustration and anger, the song’s protagonist struggles to accept the contradictory nature of the world he inhabits. Why were storms created along with ships? Why must we be separated from our loved ones after being united? Why does hope exist along with despair? And ultimately, why was evil created along with good? 

Failing to find adequate responses to these difficult questions, the protagonist lashes out in grievance against his Lord. Indeed, Badayuni makes a bold move in the context of a bhajan by having the protagonist refer to his Lord as harjaayii (unfaithful, betrayer). The protagonist’s frustration is understandable given that everything familiar to him in this world has turned against him. Using metaphorical imagery, Badayuni describes this feeling through the transformation of conventional entities: rain into fire, flowers into embers, night into snake, and stars into stones. The lyrics continue to take a few unconventional turns when the protagonist asks the Lord to take his life (“jiivan apnaa vaapas le le, jiivan denevaale“) and when the devotee subversively offers his blessings to the Lord (“bhagvaan bhalaa ho teraa!”) in sardonic resignation. 

At their core, these lyrics encourage the listener to appreciate the value of prajna, a Sanskrit term used to describe the wisdom of non-duality. Based on the fundamental reconciliation of dual phenomena, this worldview posits that the demarcation of polar opposites leads to further conflict and suffering.  Instead of placing last week’s tragic events within a framework of good versus evil, valuing prajna instructs us to focus our energy on reflection and the discovery of underlying causes.  Additionally, in Shakeel Badayuni’s words, we must not lose hope in the face of misfortune (“qismat TuuTii aas na TuuTii) as we rise above our differences and provide support to one another in this trying time of need.  

Here at Mr. and Mrs. 55, we would like to reiterate our deepest condolences and sympathies to all those in our community and beyond who were affected by the recent Boston Marathon attacks. For those who are interested, we encourage donations to One Fund Boston, a charitable organization established by Mayor Thomas Menino and Gov. Patrick Deval to support the victims of this tragedy. Stay strong, Boston!

-Mr. 55
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Lord Shiva sheds tears upon his devotee’s plight in Baiju Bawra (1952)

O Duniya Ke Rakhwale: Lyrics and Translation

bhagvaan, bhagvaan, bhagvaan!
Oh Lord!

o duniyaa ke rakhvaale! sun dardbhare mere naale
Oh protector of this world! Please heed my woeful lamentations.

aash niraash ke do rango.n se duniyaa tuu ne sajaayii
You have adorned this world with the two colors of hope and despair.
naiyaa sang tuufaan banaayaa, milan ke saath judaayii
You created the storm along with the boat, separation along with union.
jaa dekh liyaa harjaayii
Lord, I have witnessed your betrayal.
 o luuT gayii mere pyaar ki nagarii, ab to niir bahaa le
Oh! My city of love has been plundered; now shed a few tears upon my plight.

aag banii saavaan kii barkhaa, phuul bane angaare
The monsoon rains have turned into fire, while the flowers have become embers.
naagin ban gayii raat suhaanii, patthar ban gaye taare
The beautiful night has become a snake, while the stars have turned into stones.
sab TuuT chuke hai.n sahaare
All of my support has been lost.
o jiivan apnaa vaapas le le, jiivan denevaale
Oh provider of life! Please take back this life from me.

chaa.nd ko Dhuu.nDe paagal suuraj, shaam ko Dhuu.nDe saveraa
The mad Sun seeks the Moon, while the morning searches for the night.
mai.n bhii Dhuu.nDuu.n us priitam ko ho na sakaa jo meraa
I too search for the beloved who could not be mine.
bhagvaan bhalaa ho teraa!
Lord, may you be blessed!
o qismat phuuTii aas na TuuTii, paa.nv me.n paD gaye chhaale
Oh! I have suffered misfortune without losing hope, though my feet have become sore with blisters.

mahal udaas aur galiyaa.n suunii, chup-chup hai.n diivaare.n
The palace is forlorn with its deserted alleys and silent walls.
dil kyaa ujaDaa, duniyaa ujaDii, ruuTh gayii hai.n bahaare.n
My heart has been ravaged, my entire world has been destroyed, and even the new spring sulks in displeasure.
ham jiivan kaise guzaare.n?
How can I spend my life like this?
o mandir girtaa phir ban jaataa, dil ko kaun sambhaale?
Oh! Fallen temples can be rebuilt, but who can mend my broken heart?

o duniyaa ke rakhvaale! sun dardbhare mere naale
Oh protector of this world! Please heed my woeful lamentations.

Glossary

bhagvaan: Lord; duniyaa: word; rakhvaalaa: protector; dardbharaa: woeful; naale: lamentation; aash: hope; niraash: despair; sajaanaa: to adorn; naiyaa: boat; tuufaan: storm; milan: union; judaayii: separation; harjaayii: betrayer, unfaithful one; luuT jaanaa: to be plundered; nagrii: city, town; niir bahaanaa: to shed tears; aag: fire; saavan: monsoon; barkhaa: rain; naagin: snake (female); suhaanii: lovely, beautiful; sahaaraa: support; jiivan: life; vaapas lenaa: to take back; denevaalaa: provider; chaa.nd; Moon; paagal: mad, crazy; suuraj: Sun; shaam: evening, night; saveraa: morning; priitam: beloved; “(kisii kaa) bhalaa ho!“: an expression used to indicate the offering of blessings to someone; chhaalaa: blister; mahal: palace; udaas: sullen, forlorn; galii: alley; suunaa: empty, deserted; chup-chaap: silent; diivaar: wall; ujaDnaa: to be uprooted, ravaged or destroyed; ruuTh jaanaa: to sulk; bahaar: spring; jiivan guzaarnaa: to spend life; mandir: temple; sambhaalnaa: to manage, mend.

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A dejected Bharat Bhushan asks for his life to be taken back in Baiju Bawra (1952)

Allah Tero Naam Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Nanda prays for her husband in the army in Hum Dono (1961).
Nanda prays for her husband in the army in Hum Dono (1961).

Happy New Year’s to all our readers! What an incredible year it’s been for us to write this blog and to have enjoyed discovering so many fellow fans of classic Bollywood cinema! I grew up in a Hindu Punjabi family, and in my house, we always celebrate the New Year’s with a havan the morning of January 1st with friends in the community. There’s something calming and cozy about these annual gatherings–we keep it casual where I’m from while taking a break to reflect on the year behind on us and what lies ahead. In the spirit of auspicious beginnings, we shall present the lyrics and full English translation to one of Bollywood’s greatest bhajansAllah Tero Naam” from Hum Dono (1961). Rendered impeccably by Lata Mangeshkar, “Allah Tero Naam” soars with bi-partisan Hindu-Muslim appeal in a humble call to God for wisdom and strength. The iconic number is one of Lata’s personal favorite Jaidev compositions!

nanda allah tero naam 3
Nanda sings the gentle bhajan “Allah Tero Naam” in Hum Dono (1961) as a special expression of bipartisan devotion in Hindi films.

For me, Hum Dono (1961) is one of the finest films of Dev Anand’s illustrious career: it glows with a constantly-twisting plot and a golden soundtrack that places the film among the legends of cinematic history. Dev Anand was well-known for pushing the envelope of societal norms as a director, and the troubling predicaments his characters find themselves in always astound–whether falling in love with a woman who thinks he’s her brother (Bombay Ka Babu), conducting whirlwind affairs with three women at once (Teen Devian) or romancing another man’s wife who believes he’s her real husband (Hum Dono). The plots are scintillating and the acting invariably superb. Furthermore, did I mention Hum Dono a quasi-twin movie too? Couple that with a war-time theme and you can readily imagine the opportunities for confusion of epic Bollywood proportions. See our earlier translation of “Main Zindagi Ka Saath” from the same film!

The Lata Mangeshkar solo is one of the film’s many high points, arriving midway through the film as Nanda prays for her husband’s safe return from the war. The time period was arguably when Lata’s voice was at her most angelic, and the graceful, gentle maneuvers of this song will leave you breathless for more!

Perhaps one of the greatest aspects to “Allah Tero Naam” is the Hindu-Muslim crossover lyrics. Reminiscent of “Ishwar Allah Tero Naam” later rendered by Mohammed Rafi in Nayaa Raastaa (1970), this bhajan encompasses an important and unique aspect of Indian spirituality–the transcendence of religious barriers (which holds a particular intrigue in a war-time themed filmed!) You guessed it, the lyrics are penned by that sensitive soul Sahir Ludhiviani, who’s feelings against war and it’s horrors are a theme in many later works (“Khuda-e-bartar,” anyone?). So whether you adore this song for the lyrics, the rendition, or just for Nanda’s emotive eye-batting, we hope you enjoy the lyrics and our English translation to “Allah Tero Naam” and wish you a happy New Year!

Allah Tero Naam Lyrics and Translation:

Allah tero naam, Ishwar tero naam
Your name is Allah, your name is Ishwar
Sab ko sanmatii de, Bhagwan
Bless everyone with equanimity, God

Maango.N kaa sindoor na chhuuTe
Do not let the sindoor disappear from the part of our hair [Let us not be widowed]
Maa.N bahano.N kii aas na TuuTe
Do not shatter the hopes of mothers and sisters
Deha binaa, Daataa
Without a body, Lord…
Deha binaa bhaTake na praan
Let the soul not wander without a body

O saare jag ke rakhwaale
O keeper of the whole world
Nirbal ko bal denewaale
The giver of strength to the weak
Balwaano.N ko
To the strong…
Balwaano.N ko de de gyaan
Bestow wisdom to the strong

Glossary:

Allah: God [Muslim]; Ishwar: God [Hindu]; sanmatii: equanimity, advise; maaNg: the parting line in a woman’s hair; sindoor: red powder worn in a woman’s hair part to signify marriage; maa.N: mother; bahan: sister; aas: hope; TuuTnaa: to break, to shatter; deha: body; Daataa: Lord; bhataknaa: to wander; praan: soul, life; rakhwaalaa: the keeper; nirbal: weak; bal: strength; balwaan: one who is strong, a warrior; denewaalaa: the giver; gyaan: wisdom, knowledge

dev anand hum dono allah tero naam
Dashing as always Dev Anand is torn from his family and caught in a moral dilemma in Hum Dono (1961).

Ever wondered why some songs use the term “tero” instead of “teraa” such as in this devotional? It’s a grammatical exception in the Hindustani language that you’ll only find in a direct address to God! It’s always nice to start a new year with linguistic trivia. Here at Mr. and Mrs. 55, our New Year’s resolution is to blog more often–we’re almost nearing our 100th post!

– Mrs. 55

Meera Bhajans as Film Songs: The Saintlier Side of Bollywood

Meera-bai (c. 1498-1547 A.D) was a mystical poet and devotee of Lord Krishna

When most people think of Bollywood cinema, they usually think of extravagant costumes, seductive dance moves, and lots of melodramatic overacting. While all this extravagance is certainly an integral aspect of the industry, you may be surprised to learn about a saintlier side of Bollywood that I will discuss here today: the use of Meera-bai’s texts in Hindi film music.

Meera-bai was a 16th-century mystic whose devotion to Lord Krishna has been immortalized in Indian culture through her poetry and bhajans (religious songs). Meera, a Rajput princess, was married off to a prince at young age, but this marriage did not satisfy her as she already  considered herself the spouse of Lord Krishna. Her husband died in battle soon after their marriage and Meera became a widow at an early age. Meera transformed her grief into spiritual devotion and wrote many poems in praise of Lord Krishna.  In her texts, she worships Krishna from the perspective of a lover longing for union: romantic on one level and spiritual on another. Although her undying devotion to Krishna was initially a private matter, public moments of spiritual ecstasy soon outed her to society. Eventually, her brother-in-law became displeased with her excessive devotion for Krishna and made several attempts on Meera’s life. The most well-known story describes how he poisoned Meera’s prasad and made her drink it, but the Lord transformed the poison into amrit (spiritual nectar) to save her life.

Meera-bai’s texts express themes that are highly pertinent to  heroines in Hindi cinema from the Golden Era. Interpreting and contextualizing Meera’s love for Lord Krishna can be a challenging task, however, because of its apparently paradoxical relationship to acceptable gender norms for women at the time. On one hand, Meera could be considered the ideal Indian woman for the eternal devotion she displays toward her lover–in this case, Lord Krishna–in spite of all the obstacles placed in her way. The type of selfless devotion and sacrifice Meera-bai displays toward Krishna is the same type of devotion that Indian women in the chauvinistic climate of the ’50s and ’60s were expected to provide their husbands.  On the other hand, Meera-bai actually subverts the typical pativrata norms established by Indian society because her devotion is misplaced. Instead of serving her human husband, Meera devotes all of her love to Krishna, which is inconsistent with society’s expectations for the dutiful and virtuous Indian wife. This is further complicated by the fact that Meera, in her mind, actually considered herself to be the wife of Krishna (and supposedly conducted a marriage ceremony with a Krishna idol at a temple).

In any case, it is undeniable that Meera’s texts contain universal themes about love, pain, and devotion that have permeated several mediums of the South Asian cultural sphere. Here, let’s analyze a couple of examples in order to see how Meera’s words have been used in the context of Hindi film songs:

pag ghungruu bandh miiraa nachii re (Meera, 1947): Meera (1947) is a rare treat for lovers of Bollywood films because it is the only Hindi film ever made that features M.S. Subbulakshmi as both an actress and playback singer. M.S. Subbulakshmi, who was the first musician to be awarded the prestigious Bharat Ratna, is one of the most renowned vocalists in the history of the Carnatic musical tradition. Her singing is ethereal and sublime, and many people have praised her by saying she is modern-day personification of Meera-bai herself! Although she retired from films early in her career to pursue classical concert music, her portrayal of Meera in this film is remembered to this day for its natural and pure expression of spiritual divinity.  Words don’t do this woman justice, so just click the link and take a listen for yourself. I’ve selected one of about 20 Meera bhajans that are found in the film; in this particular poem, Meera uses the metaphor of dance to describe her love for the Lord. You may have noticed that the first line of this bhajan was used in another (much less saintly) Bollywood classic rendered by Kishore Kumar and composed by Bappi Lahiri from Namak Halaal (1982) decades later.

M.S. Subbulakshmi embodies the spiritual divinity of Meera-bai in the 1947 Hindi remake of the Tamil film Meera. 

ghunghaT ke paT khol re, tohe piiyaa mile.nge (Jogan, 1950): I have always thought that one of Geeta Dutt’s strengths as a singer was her rendition of bhajans. She shines here in this Raga Jaunpuri-based devotional composed by Bulo C Rani that has some beautiful words penned by Meera-bai. Literally, the first line translates roughly as  “remove your veil so that you can get a glimpse of your beloved.” However, on a deeper level, Meera-bai is using the veil as a metaphor for ignorance–she is asking us to remove our veils of ignorance so that we can be closer to the Lord.

erii mai.n to prem divaanii, meraa dard na jaane koii (Nau Bahar, 1952): Lata Mangeshkar is brilliant in her rendition of this Raga Bhimpalasi-based bhajan composed by Roshan and picturized on Nalini Jaywant  in Nau Bahar. Inspired by a Meera-bai poem, the words here describe how Meera’s devotion to the Lord can is best expressed through love, as she is unfamiliar with the traditional rites and rituals of worship.

 jo tum toDo piiyaa, mai.n naahii.n toDuu.n  (Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, 1955):  V. Shantaram’s Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje was one of India’s first technicolor films when it was released in 1955.  In this Filmfare award-winning film, when the character played by Sandhya fears that she has destroyed her beloved’s (played by Gopi Krishna) dancing career, she becomes so depressed that she decides to reject all wordly pleasures and become an ascetic like Meera-bai. This Bhairavi-based bhajan composed by Vasant Desai is rendered beautifully once again by Lata, who succeeds in expressing the sentiment of Meera’s words about unconditional devotion to her Lord even if he is not faithful to her.

piyaa ko milan kaise hoye rii, mai.n jaanuu.n naahii.n (Andolan, 1977)Asha Bhonsle tends to employ a lot of over-the-top histrionics in her songs, but music director Jaidev manages to get Asha at her pure, unadulterated best with this soulful composition from Andolan picturized on Neetu Singh.

mere to giriidhhar gopaal, duusro na koii  (Meera, 1979): Directed by lyricist Gulzar, this film is yet another Bollywood biopic about Meera-bai, and Hema Malini takes the starring role here. Despite high hopes, this film achieved only moderate success at the box office. However, the film’s soundtrack of  compositions by sitar virtuoso Pandit Ravi Shankar has certainly left a memorable legacy. In this particular poem, Meera-bai’s words express her singular devotion to the Lord; there is no one else in the world for her except for her Lord Krishna. While Hema falls a little flat in her portrayal of Meera, Vani Jairam actually does a great job expressing the appropriate emotions needed in this rendition and in the rest of the songs on the soundtrack. However, as you may have suspected, Vani was not Ravi Shankar’s first choice of singer for this film–his first choice was none other than Lata Mangeshkar. Lata, however, turned him down, by using the following reasoning:

“How could I? I had already done Meera bhajans for my brother Hridaynath.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the non-filmi album of Meera bhajans released by Lata and Hridaynath. In fact, Lata’s rendition of a similar text  “mhara re giridhhar gopaal, duusra na koii” tuned by Hridaynath for this album is absolutely exquisite. However, her reasoning here doesn’t really make sense to me. Even before her album for Hridaynath, Lata had sung plenty of Meera bhajans for films (see above!) under the baton of other music directors, so I don’t see how this excuse constitutes a legitimate reason to refuse singing in this film. I suspect that her refusal had more to do with some lingering bad blood between her and Ravi Shankar from their prior collaboration on Anuradha (1960): apparently, tensions had flared between the two of them because Lata had failed to show up to a recording session of “saa.nvare saa.nvare” without prior notice. 

Hema Malini is way too attractive to pull off being an ascetic in Meera (1979)
 jo tum toDo piiyaa, mai.n naahii.n toDuu.n  (Silsila, 1981): Although this text is similar to the Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje song listed above, the melody is quite different because music directors Shiv-Hari have tuned this song to the Raga Chandrakauns, an underused raga that is quite rare in the filmi musical sphere. Lata, unfortunately, sounds a bit past her prime here, but this song is still memorable for Meera-bai’s words and their relevance to the contemporary situation at hand in the film. Similar to the real-life rumors that were rampant at this time, Jaya Bacchan’s character suspects that her husband (played by Amitabh Bacchan) is having an extramarital affair with another woman (played by Rekha). Meera-bai’s lyrics express the anguish and torment that Jaya feels in response to her husband’s infidelity, but she resolves to remain faithful to him even though he is not faithful to her. Interestingly, things also turned out this way in real life–Jaya stayed with Amitabh even though it was widely known within the film community that he had cheated on her with Rekha.
Jaya Bacchan laments her husband’s infidelity in Silsila (1981). Look at those eyes!
What are some of your favorite bhajans featured in Bollywood films? Let us know in the comments!
–Mr. 55