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

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Aao Tumhein Chand Pe Le Jaaye Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Asha

Asha Parekh sings a song for Baby Pinky on the ride back from Simla in Zakhmee (1975).  Take note of the Santa Claus figurine hanging off the rearview mirror.

Merry Christmas! Mrs. 55 and I hope that your holiday season is filled with lots of joy, laughter, and great music with your loved ones. In the spirit of the holidays, we are providing the lyrics and English translation to one of the few Christmas-themed songs that has ever graced the Bollywood silver screen: aao tumhe.n chaa.nd pe le jaaye.n from Zakhmee (1975).

Lata Mangeshkar sings for Asha Parekh and Sushma Shreshta sings for Baby Pinky in this song composed by Bappi Lahiri and penned by Gauhar Kanpuri. As is expected for a children’s anthem, the lyrics and melody in this song are nothing fancy. Here, in his debut film, Bappi Lahiri composes a catchy, pleasant tune that builds off of the classic Christmas carol “Jingle Bells.” In the introduction, we even get the rare opportunity to hear Lata Mangeshkar singing a snippet in English from the chorus of “Jingle Bells.” Her accent isn’t too distracting, so we won’t dwell on that point. Interestingly though, you might have noticed that the traditional lyrics to “Jingle Bells” have been modified to include a reference to Santa Claus.

When Baby Pinky asks where Santa Claus lives, Asha Parekh responds that he lives on the Moon and offers to take her there through this song. While I certainly can appreciate a fantasy lunar world now and again, I have to point out that the entire premise here is flawed! Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, which has nothing to do the with the Moon.  It is of slight concern to me that films back then were exposing Indian children to blatant geographical inaccuracies (outer space is not the same thing as the North Pole!) while butchering cherished holiday folklore!

Technicalities aside, we hope that watching this song will spread holiday cheer in true Bollywood style with its outrageous dream sequences, melodramatic facial close-ups, and heart-warming spirit. Enjoy, and have a very merry Christmas! Even if you wanted to go to the Moon, we hope that you received all the presents that you asked for this year. Until next time…

-Mr. 55
Asha

Asha Parekh and Baby Pinky dance together in a dream sequence depicting a fantasy lunar landscape.

Aao Tumhein Chand Pe Le Jaaye: Lyrics and Translation

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
jingle all the way!
Santa Claus is coming to town,
Riding on a sleigh!

Baby Pinky: Miss, Santa Claus kaa ghar kahaa.n hai?
Asha Parekh: chaan.d pe
Baby Pinky: hame.n bhii vahaa.n pe le chaliye na!
Asha Parekhacchaa?

aao tumhe.n chaa.nd pe le jaaye.n
Come, let’s take you to the Moon, 
pyaar bhare sapne sajaaye.n
and create dreams filled with love.
chhoTaa-saa ba.nglaa banaaye.n
Let’s build a small home,
ek nayii duniyaa basaaye.n
and settle a new world.

pyaar kii hai duniyaa duur aasmaa.n pe
A world of love exists in the far skies.
mil ke na bichhDe koii vahaa.n pe
No is separated after being united there.
aisii bhii ek Dagar hai, aisaa bhii ek nagar hai
There is a path to such a place.

gham jahaa.n soye aur khushi jaage
Sorrow sleeps there, while joy awakens.
aas kii hai manzil taaro.n se aage
It is a destination of hope beyond the stars.
vahaa.n dil rote nahii.n hai.n, aan.nsuu to hote nahii.n hai.n
Hearts do not cry there, for tears do not even exist.

aao tumhe.n chaa.nd pe le jaaye.n
Come, let’s take you to the Moon.

Glossary

chaa.nd: the Moon; sapne sajaanaa: to create dreams; ba.nglaa: a house in the Bengali style, a bungalow; duniyaa basaanaa to settle a world; bichhaDnaa: to be separated; Dagar: path; nagar: place, town; aas: hope; manzil: destination; aa.nsuu: tears.

Kirkland House Holiday Dinner and Dance

My blockmates and me at my last winter holiday formal at Harvard! (12.08.2012)