Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Mamta Suchitra Sen Chhup Lo Yun Dil
Suchitra Sen wishes her daughter will never meet a Fate like her own in Mamta (1966).

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation to the soulful “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein” from Mamta (1966). One of Majrooh Sultanpuri’s greatest pieces, the calming lyrics set the tone for both the song’s music and its picturization, entering the film as fluidly as it ebbs away, as if an extension of the dialogue the audience so yearns to hear. “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein” is an expression of unwavering romantic devotion set to a soothingly monastic pace.

Suchitra Sen and Ashok Kumar play two lovers who were unable to wed because of class differences, but never forget their love for one another. Suchitra later marries an abusive husband, and ultimately is forced into becoming a courtesan to survive. She tearfully gives up her only daughter so that her child can escape her mother’s ignominious shadow. In the aftermath, “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil” is not lipsynced, but rather the female voice is picturized on a lingering image of Suchitra Sen fading behind a drawn curtain, while the male is picturized on Ashok Kumar shrouding his eyes behind a pair of sunglasses. Poetically fitting, both literally conceal themselves from the viewer in a song dedicated to the beauty of hidden worship.

Ashok Kumar Mamta 1966 sunglasses
Ashok Kumar pensively shields his emotions in Mamta (1966).

Roshan’s soundtrack of Mamta is as gorgeous as it is diverse (see our earlier translation of “Rahe Na Rahe Hum“). “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil” employs a rare paucity of musical instrumentation: from the opening chimes of temple manjira to the traditional bansuri echoing alone in the empty cinematic space, the song emphasizes the ascetic nature of their devotion. To match, the romantic lyrics are infused with religious imagery, and director Asit Sen carefully constructs shots that instead of bring the hero and heroine closer together, in fact emphasize their distance (even their eyelines don’t match!). Indeed, perhaps the song is not two lovers singing to each other after all. The song can be read instead as a mother singing to the daughter she will leave forever, and a father discovering a new meaning to his life by caring for the child in her mother’s memory.

Based in Bollywood’s favorite raaga Yaman, “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil” is one of the most moving Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar duets of all time. We hope you enjoy our English translation to the lyrics of “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein” below!

Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein Lyrics and Translation:

MALE:
Chhupaa lo yuu.N dil mei.N pyaar meraa
Hide my love inside your heart
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

FEMALE:
Tum apne charano.N mei.N rakh lo mujhko
Keep me by your feet
Tumhaare charano.n ka phuul huu.N mai.N
For I am the flowers beneath your footsteps
Mai.N sar jhukaaye khaDii hoo.n priitam
I am standing with my head bowed, my beloved one
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

MALE:
Yeh sach hai jeenaa thaa paap tum bin
It is true that to live without you was a sin
Yeh paap mai.N ne kiyaa hai ab tak
I have committed this sin until now
Magar thii man mei.N chhabii tumhaariI
But your image was always in my mind
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

FEMALE:
Phir aag birhaa ki mat lagaanaa
Please do not light the fire of separation again,
Ki jal ke mai.N raakh ho chukii hoo.N
For I have already burned into ashes

MALE:
Yeh raakh maaThe pe mai.N ne rakh lii
I have worn those ashes upon my forehead
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

BOTH:
Chhupaa lo yuu.N dil mei.N pyaar meraa
Hide my love inside your heart
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

Glossary:

chhupaanaa: to hide; mandir: temple; lau: flame; diyaa: candle; charan: footsteps; phuul: flower; sar jhukaanaa: to bow [one’s] head; khaDaa: standing; priitam: loved one; jiinaa: to live; paap: sin; man: mind; chhabii: image; aag: fire; birhaa: separation; jalna: to burn; raakh: ashes; maaThe: forehead

Gorgeous Suchitra Sen Mamta 1966
Suchitra Sen’s glittery teal eyeshadow brilliantly matches her sari before becoming soaked in tears in Mamta (1966).

Famous Bengali director Asit Sen was well-known for making films with a refreshingly strong female lead, from Khamoshi (1969) starring Waheeda Rehman to Safar (1970) starring Sharmila Tagore. His mentor was none other than auteur Bimal Roy of Parineeta (1953) fame, which undoubtedly influenced the stories he chose to tell in his own directorial works. This beautiful Mamta song was requested by fan Jiyati Verma! Thank you for the great request!

– Mrs. 55

Advertisements

Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rekha Umrao Jaan Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston
Rekha stars as a courtesan with a heart of gold in Umrao Jaan (1981).

We next present the beautifully tragic lyrics and English translation of “Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston” from Umrao Jaan (1981). Umrao Jaan is a heart-breaking film with depths more profound than the glittery tawaif dances it showcases. Based on the 1899 Urdu novel by Mirza Hadi Ruswa entitled, “Umrao Jaan Ada,” the 1981 film stays largely true to the original text.

Delving into the decadence of 19th century Lucknowi society, Umrao Jaan Ada portrays the rituals of a fascinating culture marked by luxury and oppression. I first read Ruswa’s novel during my junior year of college in Urdu class and fell in in love with the resilience of the story’s heroine.

Rekha in Umrao jaan 1981
Searching for a familiar face in a crowd of strangers, Rekha remains alone in Umrao Jaan (1981).

Interestingly, the framing of the 1981 Muzaffar Ali-directed film differs from the novel, told as a chronological account instead of a reminiscence. For me, this changes the tone of the film entirely: in the novel, the audience knows that although Umrao Jaan has suffered greatly in her lifetime, she eventually finds the peace and independence she deserves.

In the film, however, Umrao Jaan’s fate is unclear. We are left only with the stirring final image of her somber reflection in the mirror of her childhood home—an identity so long defined by others now confronted by its owner. Knowing these alternate endings colours the implications of Asha Bhonsle’s emotional “Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston” preceding them.

Rekha Umrao Jaan 2
Rekha hides a tear as Umrao Jaan sings to a gathering in her hometown of Faizabad.

Just prior to the film’s finale, Umrao Jaan (portrayed by Rekha) is asked to perform a song in her own town of Faizabad where she is now regarded as a pariah or stranger. The poetry that results in “Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston” evokes that sense of loss and confusion—a blameless fall from Eden with no path forward. As her own mother listens quietly outside the tent, Umrao Jaan’s addressing the unfamiliar gathering as “doston” becomes perhaps less ironic and more of an earnest plea.

Written by Shahryar with music by Khayyam, “Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston” is a counterpoint to the film’s earlier musical gems “In Ankhon Ki Masti” and “Dil Cheez Kya Hai.” With no ulterior motives, Umrao Jaan at last sings and dances as herself, voicing the real emotions within her heart. Many consider this song to be the film’s greatest composition.

We hope you enjoy our lyrics and translation to the soulful swansong, “Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston” below! Let us know your favorite Umrao Jaan moment in the comments!

Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston Lyrics and Translation:

Yeh kyaa jagah hai dosto.N?
What place is this, friends?
Yeh kaunsaa dayaar hai?
What kind of world is this?
Had-e-nigaah tak jahaa.N, ghubaar hii ghubaar hai
Where, as far as the eye can see, there are only dust storms

Yeh kis maqaam par hayaat mujhko lekii aa gayii?
To what realm has life brought me?
Na bas khushii pe hai jahaa.N, na gham pe ikhtiyaar hai
In this place I have no control over my happiness, and no choice in my sorrow

Tamaam umr ka hissaa maa.ngtii hai zindagii
Life demands an account of all my years
Yeh meraa dil kahe to kyaa? Yeh khud se sharmasaar hai
What will this heart of mine answer? It is so ashamed of itself

Bulaa rahaa hai kaun mujhko chilmano.N ki us taraf?
Who is calling me from the other side of those blinds?
Mere liye bhi kyaa koi udhaas beqaraar hai?
Is anyone there for me who is restless in sorrow?

Yeh kyaa jagah hai dosto.N?
What place is this, friends?
Yeh kaunsaa dayaar hai?
What kind of world is this?
Had-e-nigaah tak jahaa.N, ghubaar hii ghubaar hai
Where, as far as the eye can see, there are only dust storms

Glossary:

jagah: place; dayaar: world, region; had-e nigaah tak: until the limits seen by the eye; ghubaar: dust storm; maqaam: realm; hayaat: life; bas: power; khushii: happiness; gham: sorrow; ikhtiyaar: choice, tamaam umr: whole life, all the years; hissaa: account; zindagi: life; khud: self; sharmasaar: embarrassed, ashamed; chilman: curtains made of reeds, blinds; udhaas: sorrow; beqaraar: restless

As I read the pages of Ruswa’s novel, I was so struck by his descriptions of the admirable training in classical arts given to students of the kothe. These talents that in today’s society would be so valued as the pinnacle of culture, instead branded these women for a lifetime of ignominy. Today such diligence in the study and practice of classical voice, dance, and poetry is so rare and impressive!

Rekha in Umrao Jaan Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston
Ethereal beauty Rekha yearns for acceptance from her long-lost family in Umrao Jaan (1981).

For the grammar junkies among us, you may wonder why the “jagah” in this song is pronounced to rhyme with “yeh” instead of “kyaa.” Strictly speaking, the Lucknowi pronunciation of the word is the long “aah,” however, for poetic fluidity, Asha Bhonsle pronounces it here in the alternate form. Regional variants exist in the Hindustani language for similar words such as subah and vajah!

– Mrs. 55

PakeezahMeenaKumariChalteChalte3

Chalte Chalte Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Meena Kumar shines as Pakeezah in the beloved mujra song "Chalte Chalte."
Meena Kumar shines as the golden-hearted Pakeezah in the beloved mujra song “Chalte Chalte.”

For our next song, we provide an English translation of the timeless lyrics of Pakeezah’sChalte Chalte.” The film Pakeezah (1971) instantly reached legendary Bollywood status upon its release, due in part to the ethereal musical score, brilliant Urdu dialogue, lavish sets, but also from its star Meena Kumari’s untimely death within a week of the premiere. This song is known everywhere, and the beauty of Meena and Lata’s performance truly speaks for itself. My parents have old home videos of 4-year-old me draping a chunni on my head and attempting to dance and sing along with her during this song. It’s hard to put that kind of impact into words, but you can tell it’s profound.

Anyway.

Meena Kumari dazzles her audience with “Chalte Chalte” in Pakeezah (1971)

An interesting facet of this song is the interwoven theme of the train ride. For anyone familiar with film theory, “the train” has a fascinating and critically important role in cinematic history across the globe. Likened to films themselves, the train transports you to a different world and takes you on a brief journey that can leave you different from when you started. It is a theme heavily explored by early French filmmakers first experimenting with the medium (you may remember the loving references to the Lumiere brother’s Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station (1895) in Hugo!), and in Indian cinema, trains play no less an important role. Like Satyajit Ray’s famous Pather Panchali (1955) which pivoted on the introduction of a train whistle across the quiet sugarcane fields, so too does the world of Pakeezah hinge on the sound of a distant train whistle incorporated into the score at the end of the song. For trains can represent that journey from tradition to modernity, from reality to fantasy, and for Pakeezah as well as Kamal Amrohi’s viewers entering a hidden, dying world of ornamentation, the train is a vehicle of escape.

Gesturing to the moon, Meena Kumari waits for her mysterious admirer to find her again in Pakeezah (1971)

“Chalte Chalte” will absolutely leave you wishing for more, so make sure you watch the movie if you ever want to claim cultural competency. To read more about this film, check out our post on behind-the-scenes Pakeezah trivia! Enjoy our full lyrics and English translation to “Chalte Chalte” below!

Chalte Chalte Lyrics and Translation:

Chalte chalte yuu.N hii koi mil gaya tha
I met someone by chance while walking
Sare raah chalte chalte
Walking around the path
Wohii thamke rah gayii hai
The night suddenly came to a standstill
Meri raat dhalte dhalte
Just as it was about to fade away

Jo kahii gayii na mujhse
What I was unable to voice
Woh zamaanaa keh rahaa hai
The world is now saying
Ki fasaanaa ban gayii hai
That a fable has been created
Meri baat talte talte
From those words which evaded me

Shab-e-intezaar aakhir kabhi hogi mukhtasar bhi
That night of waiting will after all shorten soon
Yeh chiraag bhuj rahi hai
These lamps are dying
Mere saath jalte jalte
As they burn alongside me

Glossary:

raah: path; zamaanaa: the world; fasaanaa: fable, legend; baat: words, incident, matter; talna: to evade, to escape; shab-e-intezaar: night of waiting; mukhtasar: short, soon; chiraag: flame

The production value of this film is ridiculous.

It’s always slightly bothered me that after the first antra the two back-up dancers start twirling, and after the second turn, get completely off-sync since the genius on the right goes a little too fast for the music. Kamal Amrohi cuts quickly to the next shot when this starts happening, so you might say it’s not a huge deal per se, but for someone who was such a neurotic perfectionist, how did this slip by him? It just gets to me every time. Or am I over-thinking this?

-Mrs. 55