Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Nanda runs in two directions at once, coming and leaving, in “Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma Hai” from Shor (1972).

We next present the lyrics and full English translation to the eternal love ode “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai” from Shor (1972). What makes “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma” so timeless? It is on everyone’s list of favorites. Part of it is that the lyrics are some of the best poetry written in accessible language (don’t get me wrong, personally if someone wants to burst into the Urdu-textbook “Mere Mehboob Tujhe,” I’m down for that too!). “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma” is rendered with almost magical emotion by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh–simultaneously a song of dream-like ecstasy and of tender nostalgia. It’s incomparable. The song speaks to a deep love between two souls undergoing hardship, to cherishing those brief precious moments spent together in happiness, and most of all, to remaining hopeful. The song is simple and evocative–and one of the most beautiful you’ll ever hear.

Manoj Kumar picturizes the famous violin introduction to “Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma” at a family beach outing.

Arriving about midway through the politcally-charged film, Shor, the song is partly told in golden-hued flashback of a family trip to the beach. Manoj Kumar plays a hard-luck activist and single father who’s wife, Nanda, is killed in a train accident.

Now some of you may at first be confused, if not disturbed, by Manoj Kumar’s radical cinematography in this sequence, typical of his edgy style. He experiments with several epigenetic, if you will, modifications at once that create an entirely signature effect: slow-motion, still photography inserts, split mirror screens. It was the 70s, and it was the time to experiment–and he’s one of the few Indian directors who did indeed drizzle these new techniques into his big screen productions. It’s unexpected, but upon closer analysis, I’ll argue works brilliantly. Manoj Kumar is no fool. To picturize a song about ephermal bliss, of prolonging a brief moment–he actually freeze frames his film to highlight the transience and importance of memory. His split frames, showing Nanda walking in and out of the center of the screen, of two halves of the beach merging, capture the duality of life that the lyrics speak of. In context, these techniques actually bring together the reflective themes of the film itself and of the love shared between its protagonists. For it, Manoj Kumar won the Filmfare Award Best Editing in 1972!

Nanda’s own reflection stares back at her as a symbolic representation of past and future in Manoj Kumar’s radical cinematography of Shor (1972).

So follow along below with our English translation of this lovely ode to carpe diem and unconditional devotion, “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai” and watch the youtube version here!

Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma Hai Lyrics and Translation

Ek pyaar kaa naghmaa hai
Life is a tale of love
Maujo.N kii ravaani hai
Life is the flowing of waves
Zindagii aur kuch bhi nahii.N, terii merii kahaanii hai
Life is nothing more than your and my story

Kuch paakar khonaa hai
In gaining something, we lose something
Kuch khokar paanaa hai
In losing something, we gain something
Jeevan ka matlab to aanaa aur jaanaa hai
The meaning of life is to come and to go
Do pal ke jeevan se, ek umr churaani hai
From a few moments of existence, we must steal a whole lifetime
Zindagii aur kuch bhi nahii.N, terii merii kahaanii hai
Life is nothing more than your and my story
Ek pyaar kaa naghmaa hai…
Life is a tale of love…

Tu dhaar hai nadiyaa kii
You are the waters of a river
Mai.N teraa kinaaraa hoo.N
I am your shore
Tu meraa sahaaraa hai, mai.N teraa sahaaraa hoo.N
You are my support, I am your support
Aankho.N mei.N samandar hai, aashaao.N ka paanii hai
In my eyes is an ocean, it contains the water of hopes
Zindagii aur kuch bhi nahii.N, terii merii kahaanii hai
Life is nothing more than your and my story
Ek pyaar kaa naghmaa hai…
Life is a tale of love…

Toofaan to aanaa hai
Storms will come
Aakar chale jaanaa hai
But in the end, they will pass
Baadal hai yeh kuch pal kaa, chhaakar dhal jaanaa hai
These clouds are only momentary, after rising they will diminish
Parachhaaiiyaa.N reh jaatii, reh jaatii nishaanii hai
But these shadows remain, these symbols of you remain
Zindagii aur kuch bhi nahii.N, terii merii kahaanii hai
Life is nothing more than your and my story
Ek pyaar kaa naghmaa hai…
Life is a tale of love…

Glossary:

naghma: tale, ravaani: flowing, turning; zindagi: life; kahaanii: story; matlab: meaning; umr: age, lifetime, dhaar: water; nadiyaa: river; kinaaraa: shore; sahaaraa: support; samandar: ocean; aashaa: hope, wish; paanii: water; toofaan: storm; baadal: cloud; parchaaii: shadow; nishaanii: symbol, sign

Manoj Kumar remembers his dead wife and the love she left behind in Shor (1972).

The film, as in many Manoj Kumar patriotic hits, ends on a defiantly tragic note. Like Shaheed (1965), in which he is martyred with pride, or Upkar (1967) in which he loses his limbs for the glorious cause, in Shor too, Manoj Kumar becomes deaf–a poetic price for his son to gain back his lost voice. The film is a must-see for many reasons, if only to complete your understanding of the role Manoj Kumar played in Bollywood and defining the political tensions of his era. Although Manoj Kumar can no longer hear his late wife sing “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai” to him, and from now on will no longer be able to hear his son, he remains hopeful and comforted by memories of the moments he once spent in happiness.

– Mrs. 55

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Lag Ja Gale Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Maybe only a hardcore fanatic like me would know this, but today (September 28th) is Lata Mangeshkar’s birthday! Mrs 55 and I would like to wish our favorite melody queen many happy returns of the day as she turns 83 years young.

Lata Mangeshkar (1929- )

Given this special occasion, I have decided to share one of my all-time favorite songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar: lag jaa gale from Raj Khosla’s classic film noir Woh Kaun Thi? (1964). I am often asked to name my favorite Lata song, but I find this request to be challenging because there are simply too many gems to narrow it down to one choice. Instead, I feel compelled to produce a list and I can say that this song consistently makes my top ten compilation of personal favorites rendered by India’s beloved nightingale.

Sadhana displays an ethereal beauty in Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)

Penned by Raja Mehndi Ali Khan and composed by Madan Mohan, this song has been immortalized as a veritable gem of the Hindi film music industry. Through an expression of carpe diem philosophy, these lyrics encourage listeners to live in the moment and cherish their loved ones now before the opportunity escapes in the future. The beautiful simplicity of these lyrics is enhanced by a sublime melody crafted by Madan Mohan–one of his career’s finest. Lata Mangeshkar’s voice is also at its heavenly best here, and her flawless rendition takes this song to the next level. It is certainly no mystery why this song has survived the test of time as one of Bollywood’s most cherished musical numbers. As you follow along with our translation and glossary below, I hope that you enjoy this masterpiece whose beauty has brought joy to countless listeners (myself included!) over the years.

-Mr. 55

Lag Ja Gale: Lyrics and Translation

lag jaa gale ki phir yah hasii.n raat ho na ho
Embrace me, for this beautiful night may come no more. 
shayad phir is janam me.n mulaaqaat ho na ho
Perhaps, in this life, we may never meet again.

ham ko milii hai.n aaj ye ghaDiyaa.n nasiib se
We are fortunate to share these moments today.
jii bhar ke dekh liijiye ham ko qariib se
Wholeheartedly take a look at me from up close,
phir aap ke nasiib me.n yah baat ho na ho
As your fate may never hold this opportunity again.
shayad phir is janam me.n mulaaqaat ho na ho
Perhaps, in this life, we may never meet again. 

paas aaiye ki ham nahii.n aaye.nge baar baar
Come close to me, for I will not return again and again.
baahe.n gale me.n Daal ke ham ro le.n zaar-zaar
Wrapping my arms around your neck, I will continue to weep. 
aa.nkho.n se phir yah pyaar kii barsaat ho na ho
My eyes may never shed such a storm of love again. 
shayad phir is janam me.n mulaaqaat ho na ho
Perhaps, in this life, we may never meet again.

lag jaa gale ki phir yah hasii.n raat ho na ho
Embrace me, for this beautiful night may come no more. 

Glossary

gale lag jaanaa: to embrace; hasii.n: beautiful; janam: birth, life; mulaaqaat: meeting;  ghaDiyaa.n: moments; nasiib se: fortunately; nasiib: fate, destiny; jii bhar ke: wholeheartedly; qariib se: up close; baahe.n: arms; galaa: neck; zaar-zaar ro lenaa: to weep continuously; barsaat: storm.

Sadhana enchants Manoj Kumar with her mysterious allure in Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)