Beqarar Karke Humen Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Waheeda Rehman Bees Saal Baad
Mysterious and beguiling, Waheeda Rehman catches the eye of Biswajeet, heir to a legacy of misfortune, in the film noir classic, Bees Saal Baad (1962)

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation of Hemant Kumar’s “Beqarar Karke” from the film Bees Saal Baad (1962). We often talk about seductive songs and cabaret numbers in classic Hindi films, but invariably those songs are sung by bad girl Helen or a femme fatale who entices our hero down the wrong path. “Beqarar Karke” is different. Sung by that luscious and versatile vocal genius, Hemant Kumar, the song dangerously pulls our heroine into its spell of seduction in broad daylight. It’s not often that we get a song of temptation sung by a dude, and when we do, it’s heaven (no, literally, Hemant Kumar has the voice of God). The brilliance of Hemant Kumar’s composition are in its unexpected opening guitar chords. Set in the rural village of Chandanghat, the film’s atmosphere suddenly becomes infused with jazz and heart-pounding anticipation as Kumar’s voice dips through the first word of the song, leaving everyone as “beqarar” as he foretells. The surprising Western lilt marked Biswajeet as solid hero material! Bees Saal Baad was Biswajeet Bombay debut, and originally, it was Bengali superstar Uttam Kumar who had been the first choice as lead. Fortunately, singer-music director-producer Hemant Kumar lobbied for relative newcomer Biswajeet, and after working diligently to clean up his Bengali accent when speaking Hindi, launched his career!

Bees Saal Baad tells the eerie tale of a nobleman, played by the dashing Biswajeet, who returns to the village where his forefathers were mysteriously murdered. A staple of Bollywood film noir, Bees Saal Baad explores the darkness of the old feudal system with a satisfyingly sick twist ending. But no Indian film noir is complete without romance, and soon after arriving to his ancestral home, Biswajeet naturally falls for the coy village belle (acted superbly by Waheeda Rehman). Unused to his slick city ways, she falls hard for him when he surprises her with a flirtatious serenade in the countryside. With lyrics penned by Shakeel Badayuni, “Beqarar Karke” teases us with glimpses of innocent romance mingled with a fatalistic warning that defines the film. Biswajeet recalls:

I remember during the shooting of the song sequence, “Beqarar Karke Hame.N”, Biren Nag instructed me not to touch Waheeda Rehman, but ooze romance with my looks and smile. I followed him exactly and it was Waheeda Rehman’s regal and serene screen presence which lit up the silver screen during the shot.

Low Angle Shot Bees Saal Baad Bekarar Karke
Above: Director Biren Nag constructs a clever low angle shot of Waheeda Rehman teetering on the edge of a cliff as Hemant Kumar aptly croons, “Yuu.N qadam akele na aage baDhaaiye.” Below: Seconds later, Biswajeet smoothly slips in for the rescue hug, staring down at the viewers in triumph.

He sort of broke his rule there when he went in for the rescue hug, but we know you’re going to swoon over this song as much as Waheeda! Try to grab control of your beating heart and check out the video for “Beqarar Karke” here as you follow along with our English translation and lyrics below!

Beqarar Karke Humen Lyrics and Translation:

Beqaraar karke hame.N yuu.N na jaaiye
Please do not go away like this and make me restless
Aap ko hamaari qasam lauT aaiye
For my sake, please come back
Dekhiiye woh kaali kaali badaliyaa.N

Look at those small dark clouds above
Zulf kii ghaTaa churaa na le kahii.N
May they not steal away the clouds of your hair
Chorii chorii aake shokh bijliyaa.N
The mischievous lightening comes secretly
Aap kii adaa churaa na le kahii.N
May they not steal away your elegance
Yuu.N qadam akele na aage baDhaaiye
Do not walk forward alone like this
Aap ko hamaare qasam lauT aaiye
For my sake, please come back

Dekhiiye gulaab kii woh Daaliyaa.N
Look at those rose branches
BaDh ke chuum le na aap ke qadam
May they not come and kiss your feet as you walk
Khoye khoye bha.Nware bhii hai.N baagh mei.N
Bumblebees are also hidden in this garden
Koi aap ko banaa na le sanam
May one of them not make you their own
Bahakii bahakii nazaro.N se khud ko bachaaiiye
Save yourself from their roving gazes
Aap ko hamaare qasam lauT aaiye
For my sake, please come back

Zindagii ke raaste ajiib hai.N
The paths of life are strange
In mei.N is tarah chalaa na kiijiiye
Please do not walk across them like this
Khair hai isii mei.N, aap ki huzuur,
For your welfare, your majesty
Apnaa koi saathii DhoonDh liijiiye
Please find yourself a companion
Sun ke dil kii baat yuu.N na muskuraaiiye
Please do not smile upon hearing these words of my heart
Aap ko hamaare qasam lauT aaiye
For my sake, please come back

Beqaraar karke hame.N yuu.N na jaaiye
Please do not go away like this and make me restless
Aap ko hamaare qasam lauT aaiye
For my sake, come back

Glossary:

beqaraar: restless; yuu.N: like this, in this manner; [kisi ke] qasam: [for someone’s] sake; lauT aanaa: to come back; kaalii: dark; badalii: [small] cloud; zulf: hair; ghaTaa: cloud; churaanaa: to steal; chorii chorii: quietly, sneakily; shokh: mischievous; bijlii: lightening; adaa: elegance, style; qadam: footsteps; aage: forward; baDhaanaa: to advance; gulaab: rose; Daal: branch; chuum: kiss; khoyaa: lost; bha.Nwaraa: bumblebee; baagh: garden; bahakaa: flowing, roving; nazar: glance, gaze; khud: self; [kisii ko] bachaanaa: to save [someone]; zindagii: life; raastaa: path; ajiib: strange; is tarah: in this manner; khair: welfare, good; aap ki huzuur: my honor, your majesty; saathii: companion; DhoonDhnaa: to search; dil: heart; baat: words; muskuraanaa: to smile

A quick note for the Hindi-Urdu grammar aficionados: Did you know aap ki huzoor has the same significance as mere huzoor? Bizarre, right?! Both statements confer a title of respect and superiority, despite opposite possessive pronouns (similar to “your honor” versus “my lord”). Huzoor, deriving from the Arabic hudoor denoting royal presence and still written in Nasta’liq with a zuaad, is a formal address found in many Urdu lyrics of Bollywood’s golden age (remember “Huzoor-e-wala” from Yeh Raat Phir Na Aaayegi (1965)?).

Biswajeet Bees Saal Baad
Like a dark cloud in a black turtleneck, Biswajeet glistens against the sky in Bees Saal Baad (1962).

Big shout-out to fans Ravi Shankar and Sundar who requested this game-spitting winner! For another inspiring Hemant Kumar composition and solo masterpiece, don’t miss “Tum Pukar Lo” from Khamoshi (1969).

– Mrs. 55

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The Meaning of Zuby Zuby Jalembu

Sharmila Tagore HOT An Evening in Paris
Sharmila Tagore burns up the screen in a quasi-French number from “An Evening in Paris” (1967).

I have breaking news. It’s a glimmer of light upon one of Bollywood’s great mysteries. The scene? Middle of the film An Evening in Paris. The year is 1967, and Shammi Kapoor is hot on the trail of a mystery. It’s one of those twin storylines–good twin is being held against her will by the bad guys (who look a whole lot like Pran in a blue pinstripe suit), and bad twin is a nightclub dancer who moonlights as a hit woman. By a stroke of brilliant luck, both twins are Sharmila Tagore.

So, anxious and slightly disheveled, Shammi Kapoor strolls into the Parisien nightclub, and his sense of Indian purity and uprighteousness takes a hit when the lights dim and a half-naked Sharmila Tagore struts onto the stage in a feathery swimsuit. Suddenly, she bursts into song:

Zuby zuby jalembu! Zuby zuby jalembu! Aa gaye. Shukriya. Ho mere meherabaan.”

I mean, what the heck? What do those cryptic words mean? For most of the general Indian population of the 60s watching this bizarre film, I’m guessing they

  1. Assumed it was something French and exotic (“is she really saying Suzy Suzy allez-vous?”)
  2. Didn’t care because the meaning of these Asha cabaret songs are rarely profound anyway
  3. Were too distracted by Sharmila’s dance moves and (lack of) costume to pay attention to the lyrics

Well, folks, I’m here to tell you it’s a mixture of choice 1 and 2! It’s actually slightly more meaningful than you probably thought (caveat: slightly). The tagline of the song has a legitimate basis in French music. Indian record companies probably got the spelling wrong–what we typically see as “Zuby Zuby Jalembu” should have been “Zou Bisou Bisou Bisou.” Asha’s awkward pronunciation, of course, did not help anyone.

Released as hit single in 1960 by Gillian Hills, “Zou Bisou Bisou” was a famous go-go style French song of seduction that was later redone by everyone from Sophia Loren to Megan Draper in Mad Men. Cover versions of it hit the French billboards in the 60s and, although its slow sensuality is a far cry from the high-pitched ecstatic Asha Bhonsle version, both certainly share something in common. “Bisou” (French slang for “kiss”) must have been heard somehow, somewhere by Shailendra who used it for authentic inspiration in writing this classy number that made it all the way back to Bombay.

So you see? It’s not entirely nonsense, nor is it entirely logical–the rest of the song’s lyrics don’t add up to anything profound in Hindi, but at least the effect is at very least “exotic.” And that’s all Indian audiences of the 60s could hope for in these kinds of tourist films, right? Sharmila Tagore had a special relationship with France, so much so that in 1999, the country awarded her the highest honor for artists: Insignes de Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres I. Sure, it was probably more in honor of her earlier work with Satyajit Ray, but her tribute to French go-go music must’ve helped.

Look, it’s the Eiffel Tower in the background! WOW EXOTIC!

And there it is. One mystery closed. You can thank me later. This request was submitted by one of our favorite readers, Reena! Have an obscure Bollywood mystery you want solved? Send us a request and we’d love to investigate!

-Mrs. 55

P.S. OK, so I get it. The most interesting part of this post was the mention of Sharmila wearing a bikini on stage. The irony? After igniting a wave of change in film censorship and standards with her bold moves, when Sharmila herself joined the Central Board of Film Certification, she expressed concern with the idea of too many bikinis on screen. For more on cabaret songs in Bollywood, see our post on Lata gone wild!