Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamana Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Waheeda Rehman Aaj Phir Jeene Guide

We are not worthy of Waheeda Rehman glistening in head-to-toe teal in “Aaj Phir Jeene Ki” from Guide (1965).

Today we present the English translation and lyrics to “Aaj Phir Jeene Ki” from the cult classic film Guide (1965). A stirring exploration of the Vedic transformation from materialism to freedom from worldly attachments, Guide is routinely listed among the greatest Bollywood films ever made. Based on the classic novel by R.K. Narayan “The Guide,” the film unearths profound depths beneath a glittery surface of a scandalous romance: Raju (played by Dev Anand) is a smooth-talking tour guide who is mesmerized by a vivacious young dancer, Rosy (played by Waheeda Rehman), the wife of an elderly archaeologist. Trapped in a loveless marriage of convenience, Rosy dreams of becoming a famous performer while masking her shame of being the daughter of a courtesan.  While her lofty ambitions and enchanting on-screen presence initially propel Rosy to the foreground of the narrative, Raju’s nuanced, reflective character is the real star of the film whose philosophical awakening bestows the film its larger-than-life greatness.

Dev Anand Waheeda Rehman hay cart Guide

Waheeda Rehman finds a renewed zeal to live with the support of Dev Anand in Guide (1965).

Raju observes with quiet fascination Rosy’s marital discord as he leads her and her husband on a tour of historical caves. His curiosity quickly blossoms into something more as her despair leads to attempted suicide as Rosy’s husband carries on an affair with a local villager. Raju finds himself assuming the role of her protector, whisking Rosy to the city where she purchases a set of ghungroos (dancing bells) from a street stall. The bells transform her instantly into capricious, joyful young woman who realizes how much she has to life for. As she prances back to the countryside, swirling through the Rani Padmini Palace and Chittorgh Fort in Rajasthan along the way, Waheeda Rehman’s “Aaj Phir Jeene Ki” (sung by Lata Mangeshkar) is a song of rebirth.

Guide is a landmark for its ceiling-smashing plot and careful, stunning cinematography that keep pace with its stellar soundtrack composed by S. D. Burman. Follow along with the video here to see how director Vijay Anand cuts between high-angle and low-angle shots that brilliantly mirror the unpredictable oscillations of Rosy’s mood.

Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamana Lyrics and Translation:

Kaa.Nto.N se khee.Nch ke yeh aa.Nchal
I pulled my saari away from thorns
ToD ke bandhan baandhe paayal
I broke my shackles when I tied these anklets
Koii na roko dil ki udaa.N ko
Let know no one stop the soaring of my heart
Dil woh chalaa aa aa aa aa aa…
There goes my heart…
Aaj phir jeene ki tamannaa hai
Today I have the desire to live again
Aaj phir marne ka iraadaa hai
Today I intend to die again

Apne hii bas mei.N nahii.N mai.N
I have no control over myself
Dil hai kahii.N to huu.N kahii.N mai.N
My heart is somewhere and I am somewhere else
Ho jaane kya paa ke merii zindagii ne ha.Ns kar kahaa
Who knows what my life gained as it said laughing
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

Aaj phir jeene ki tamannaa hai
Today I have the desire to live again
Aaj phir marne ka iraadaa hai
Today I intend to die again

Mai.N huu.N huubaar yaa tuufaa.N huu.N?
Am I intoxicated or a rainstorm?
Koii bataaye mai.N kahaa.n huu.N
Someone tell me where I am
Ho Dar hai safar mei.N kahii.N kho na jaauu.N mai.N rastaa nayaa
I fear that I may get lost somewhere in this journey upon a new path
Aa aa aa aa aa…

Aaj phir jeene ki tamannaa hai
Today I have the desire to live again
Aaj phir marne ka iraadaa hai
Today I intend to die again

Kal ke andhero.N se nikal ke
I emerged from the darkness of yesterday
Dekha hai aankhe.N malte malte
I rub my eyes and finally see
Ho phuul hi phuul zindagii bahaar hai, tay kar liyaa
Flowers are everywhere and life is like Spring, I have decided
Aa aa aa aa…

Aaj phir jeene ki tamannaa hai
Today I have the desire to live again
Aaj phir marne ka iraadaa hai
Today I intend to die again

Glossary

kaa.Ntaa: thorn; khee.Nchnaa: to pull; aa.Nchal: end of a saari; toDnaa: to break; bandhan: shackle; paayal: anklet; koii: someone; roknaa: to stop; dil: heart; udaa.N: soaring, flight; aaj: today; phir: again; jeenaa: to live; tamannaa: desire; marnaa: to die; iraadaa: intention; bas mei.N: self-control; kahii.N: somewhere; jaane kyaa: who knows what, wonder what; paanaa: to gain; zindagii: life; ha.Nsnaa: to laugh; huubaar: intoxicated; tuufaa.N: storm; bataanaa: to tell; Dar: fear; safar: journey: kho jaanaa: to become lost; rastaa: path; nayaa: new; andheraa: darkness; nikalnaa: to emerge; malnaa: to rub; phuul: flower; bahaar: Spring; tay karnaa: to decide

Waheeda Rehman Rani Padmini palace Rajasthan

The depth of field in the shot allows the viewer to appreciate Dev Anand lagging behind in the background of the Rani Padmini palace in Rajasthan, India where “Aaj Phir Jeene Ki” was filmed on location.

This lovely Lata Mangeshkar solo was requested by fan Yahya. Did you know there was an English-language version of Guide that was even more daring and true to the novel, but never made it to large audiences? More on its fascinating back-story and how American Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck and Dev Anand became unlikely co-producers in a future post!

Waheeda Rehman and Dev Anand reunited five years later for the film Prem Pujari (1970) that also boasted a gorgeous soundtrack, including the hit love duet “Shokhiyon Mein Ghola.” However, the film failed to capture the magic of their earlier hits and flopped at the box office. Dev Anand would go on to say in many interviews that working on Guide remained the highlight of his career.

-Mrs. 55

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Mere Naina Sawan Bhado: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna rainy guitar mere naina sawan bhado

Rajesh Khanna soaks his blue bell bottoms as he croons to Hema Malini in the rain in Mehbooba (1976).

Today we highlight the lyrics and English translation of “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” from Mehbooba (1976). Starring Hema Malini and Rajesh Khanna, Mehbooba is a dramatic reincarnation (punar-janam) love story that can only exist in Bollywood. When contemporary pop singer (played by Rajesh Khanna) is gifted an antique sitar for his birthday, he begins to unravel the mysteries of his past life and search for the woman whose musical talent once mesmerized him (played by the lovely Hema Malini). Mehbooba journeys from hip city life of 1970s Bombay to a countryside royal court of the 1800s where a court musician and dancer fall in love despite the misgivings of society.

First sung by Hema Malini in their past life when she believes Rajesh Khanna has deceived her, the female version of “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” is a tragic rendition, bursting with lovely alaaps that befit the classical nature of that period’s music. “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” is reprised later in the film in the modern day as Rajesh Khanna seeks to remind Hema Malini (now reincarnated as a local village belle) of their former bond. The male version is…well, steamier, in one sense of the word.

One of Mehbooba‘s most iconic scenes occurs when Rajesh Khanna begins to sing “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” in the middle of a raging stormy night, luring Hema Malini from her sleep to discover the mysterious voice filling the air. Lightening flashes menacingly, everyone’s hair is blowing wildly, and still the guitar plays on (check out more on Bollywood rain songs here!). While the male version sung by Kishore Kumar is arguably more popular (Kumar himself ranked this song in his top ten personal favorites!), the female version sung by Lata Mangeshkar is as hauntingly beautiful and enhances our understanding of the former.

Hema Malini Mere Naina Sawan Bhado Mehbooba

Hema Malini’s memories of a past life are stirred when she hears “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” from Mehbooba (1976).

Mehbooba was written by Gulshan Nanda who also wrote the screenplay of Neel Kamal (1968)–a film about a woman who visits an old palace where she discovers she was a court dancer in her previous life and that her former lover is still searching for her. Sound kind of familiar? We all see what you did there, Gulshan. Mehbooba will also literally carry a sense of deja-vu for to anyone who has seen Kudrat (1981), conveniently also starring Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini caught in a punar-janam love tangle. However, Kudrat is a darker film with flashes of expressionist inspiration that elevate the entire genre and likely contributed to its greater commercial success.

With music by R.D. Burman and lyrics by Anand Bakshi, “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” is a passionate tribute to old memories. We hope you appreciate the lyrics and learn from our English translation of both versions of “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” below!

Mere Naina Sawan Bhado Lyrics and English Translation:

Male version:

Mere nainaa saawan-bhaado.N
My eyes are like the monsoons
Phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
Yet still my mind remains thirsty

Aye dil diiwaane, khel yeh kyaa jaane?
Oh crazy heart, what does it know of this game?
Dard bharaa yeh giit kahaa.N se
From where does this pain-filled song
In ho.NTho.N pe aaye? duur kahii.N le jaaye
come to these lips? Take me far away
Bhuul gayaa kyaa? bhuulke bhii hai
What have I forgotten? Even though I forget
Mujhko yaad zaraa saa, phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
I remember a little, yet still my mind is thirsty

Baat puraanii hai, ek kahaanii hai
This is an old conversation, this is a story
Ab sochuu.N tumhe.N, yaad nahii.N hai
Now I think you do not remember
Ab sochuu.N nahii.N bhuule woh saawan ke jhuule
Now I think you could not forget those swing sets of the rainy season
Rut aaye, rut jaaye deke
I saw the seasons come and go
JhuuThaa ek dilaasaa, phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
This lie is a consolation, yet still my mind is thirsty

Baraso.N biit gaye, hamko mile bichhaDe
Ages have passed since we met and were separated
Bijurii bankar, gagan pe chhamke
We were like lightening that sparkled in the sky
Biite samay kii rekhaa, mai.N ne tumko dekhaa
But that line of time has passed since I saw you
Man sang aa.Nkh-michaulii khele
Playing hide and seek with my mind
Aashaa aur niraashaa, phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
(were) hope and despair, yet still my mind is thirsty

Female version:

Mere nainaa saawan-bhaado.N
My eyes are like the monsoons
Phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
Yet still my mind remains thirsty

Ghungharuu kii chham-chham, ban gayii dil kaa gham
The sound of the dancing bells become the sadness of my heart
Duub gayaa dil, yaado.N mei.N
My heart drowned in memories of you
Ubharii berang lakiire.N, dekho yeh tasviire.N
Only to emerge as colorless sketches, look at these portraits
Suune mahal mei.N naach rahii hai
In a lonely palace, still dancing
Ab tak ek rakkaasaa, phir bhii meraa man pyaasaa
Even now is a performer, yet still my mind is thirsty

Glossary:

nainaa: eyes; saawan-bhaado.N: the 5th and 6th months of the Panjabi (Nanakshahi) calendar that comprise the monsoon season; man: mind; pyaasaa: thirsty; dil: heart; diiwaanaa: crazy; khel: game; dard: pain; bharaa: filled; giit: song; kahaa.N: where; ho.NTh: lips; duur: far; bhuulnaa: to forget; yaad: memory; puraanii: old; kahaanii: story, legend; sochnaa: to think; bhuulnaa: to forget; jhuulaa: swing set; rut: season; jhuuThaa: lie; dilaasaa: consolation; baras: age, years; biitnaa: to pass; milnaa: to meet; bichhaDnaa: to be separated; bijuri: lightening; gagan: sky; chhamaknaa: to sparkle; samay: time; rekhaa: line; aa.nkh-michaulii: hide-and-seek; aashaa: hope; niraashaa: despair; gham: sadness; Duubnaa: to drown; ubharii: raised; berang: without color; lakiraaa: line; tasviir: picture; suunaa: lonely, mahal: palace; naachnaa: to dance; tak: until; rakkaasaa: dancer

Rajesh Khanna Mehbooba guitar mere naina sawan

Smooth-operator Rajesh Khanna executes his devastating wink mid-guitar pluck, completely obliterating anyone’s initial repulsion at his haircut.

Did you know Rajesh Khanna actually sings the first antra of the song in a separate scene that takes place in broad daylight? He opens with his famous wink that still manages to induce swoons despite his distractingly dated ‘do! Think I’m the only one obsessed with the hair and outfits in these films? This week our local independent movie theatre happened to be doing a Bollywood series (obviously, I soaked up every moment), including a special screening of Om Shanti Om (2007). During the song “Main Agar Kahoon,” something felt eerily familiar…check out Shah Rukh Khan’s outfit below to see what I mean! It’s one of the many subtle meta classic film references that make Om Shanti Om such a brilliant work!

Shah Rukh Khan imitates Rajesh Khanna's unforgettable blue ensemble with a rainbow top in Om Shanti Om (2008).

Shah Rukh Khan imitates Rajesh Khanna’s scarring unforgettable blue bell bottom ensemble with a rainbow top in Om Shanti Om (2007).

– Mrs. 55

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

Khiza Ke Phool Pe Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

khiza-ke-phool-rajesh-khanna-do-raaste

Rajesh Khanna plays a hard-working college student from a poor family in Do Raaste (1969).

Today we highlight the poignant lyrics and our English translation of “Khiza Ke Phool Pe” from Do Raaste (1969). Do Raaste is a classic family drama that hits hard on the tension between Eastern and Western values through an exploration of the dissolution of a joint family household. When one of the sons marries a rich “modernized” Indian girl who refuses to allow him to help pay off his family debt, the remaining relatives fall into poverty. The youngest son, played to perfection by Rajesh Khanna, must compromise his education by dropping out of college in order to support the family. He arrives at the birthday party of his wealthy girlfriend, played by Mumtaz (whose cutesy performance will at times make you want to hang yourself on the chandelier), and realizes that he no longer belongs in her world. The ensuing flood of feelings results in the beautiful ballad “Khiza Ke Phool Pe” written by Anand Bakshki with music by Laxmikant-Pyarelaal. Kishore Kumar’s voice takes on an initially softer, velvety shade that transitions fluidly to a powerful angst at the end of each antra. I dare you not to sigh when he croons, “mai.N roz lab pe naii ek aah taktaa huu.N.”

Though she says nothing that would disrupt the song, Mumtaz appears quite understandably mortified at his public display and rejection. For more uncomfortable dinner parties in Bollywood films, refer to our how-to guide on how to play the awkward miffed lover.

do-raaste-mumtaz-khiza-ke-phool

Mumtaz is heartbroken as Rajesh Khanna announces at her birthday party that they cannot be married in Do Raaste (1969).

Reminiscent of the hallowed “Waqt Ne Kiya” cinematography, in “Khiza Ke Phool Pe,” the camera simply soars with the gloriously endless dolly-ins and dolly-outs to accentuate each poetic moment, as if everyone weren’t already emotionally fragile after seeing Rajesh Khanna fight back tears. I applaud the film director Raj Khosla, despite the kitsch film set. The decor screams of the 1970s–emphasizing all those quasi-luxurious domestic ornaments that would in no way possibly make your life any better. The tinted glass cutout room divider is a textbook case in point. Still, the film crew made lemonade out of life’s interior design lemons.

chintzy-60s-decor-colored-glass-rajesh-khanna-mumtaz

Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz are separated by a bizarre art deco glass structure in her living room in the shot-reverse-shot sequence above. Note how in order to achieve this sequence with the actors seemingly continuing to face each other, Rajesh Khanna must move from the yellow panel to the blue panel on Mumtaz’s right for the reverse shot (below), breaking true visual continuity.

Check out the music video here and keep a box of tissues handy. We invite you join us below in our English translation and lyrics of “Khiza Ke Phool Pe” below:

Khiza Ke Phool Pe Lyrics and Translation:

Khizaa ke phuul pe aati kabhii bahaar nahii.N
The flower of Autumn never sees the Spring
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Na jaane pyaar mei.N kab mai.N zubaa.N se phir jaauu.N
I do not know when in love I may go back on my words
Mai.N ban ke aa.Nsuu khud apnii nazar se gir jaauu.N
By becoming tears, I may fall in my own eyes
Terii qasam hai meraa koii aitbaar nahii.N
I swear by you, I have no confidence
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Main roz lab pe nayii ek aah taktaa huu.N
Every day, a new sigh reaches my lips
Main roz ek naye gham kii raah taktaa huu.N
Every day, I await the arrival of a new sorrow
Kisii khushii kaa mere dil ko intezaar nahii.N
My heart is not waiting for any joy
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Ghariib kaise mohabbat kare amiiro.N se?
How can someone poor love someone rich?
BichhaD gaye hai.N kaii Raanjhe apnii Heero.N se
Many legendary heroes have been separated from their heroines
Kisi ko apne muqaddar pe ikhtiyaar nahii.N
No one has a choice over their fate
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Khizaa ke phuul pe aati kabhi bahaar nahii.N
The flower of Autumn never sees the Spring
Mere naseeb mei.N, aye dost, teraa pyaar nahii.N
Your love is not in my destiny, oh friend

Glossary:

khizaa: Autumn; phuul: flower; bahaar: Spring; kabhii nahii.N: never; naseeb: destiny, fortune; dost: friend; pyaar: love; na jaane: [I] do not know, [who] knows; kab: when; zubaan.N: word, language; phir jaanaa: go back; aa.Nsuu: tears; khud: self; nazar: eyes, gaze; girnaa: to fall; qasam: swear; aitbaar: confidence, trust; roz: every day; lab: lip; nayii: new; aah: sigh; gham: sorrow; raah taknaa: to await; khushii: happiness; [kisi ka] intezaar hona: to wait [for something]; ghariib: poor; mohabbat: love; amiir: rich; bichhaD jaanaa: to become separated; Raanjhaa: hero of a classic Hindustani tale of star-crossed lovers (Heer-Ranjha); Heer: heroine of a classic Hindustani tale of star-crossed lovers (Heer Ranjha); muqaddar: fate; ikhtiyaar: choice

Now go cheer yourself up with a pumpkin spice latte and wipe those tears off your face by indulging in a symphony of Rajesh Khanna winks.

– Mrs. 55

 

Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Madhubala car window Ek ladki bheegi bhagi si

Madhubala peers at Kishore Kumar through a car window in “Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhagi Si” from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958).

Today we bring you the lyrics and English translation of the delightful “Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si” from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958). A meandering slapstick comedy, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi stars the three fun-loving Kumar brothers: Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar, and Anoop Kumar. While Ashok often played more serious roles on the silver-screen (think serious man of affairs), this film was a chance for him to showcase another side of his personality brought out by the most eccentric of the siblings, Kishore.

In Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Kishore Kumar plays a hapless car mechanic who fixes the broken vehicle of a young lady, Madhubala, who both mesmerizes him and vexes him by not paying for the repairs. “Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si” is arguably the most iconic song from the film and bears a Guru Dutt-esque quality of flowing seamlessly from the dialogue to the opening bars. Composed by S.D. Burman and written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, the song exudes the charm of a Broadway showtune that transforms every twist of a wrench and glance through an open car window into a romantic overture, easily one of the most inspiring songs of the monsoon season.

Kishore Kumar Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si

Kishore Kumar plays an entertaining car mechanic desperately in love with Madhubala in the hit comedy “Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi” (1958).

Kishore Kumar proves downright hilarious, even now almost 60 years later. One of my favorite moments is when Kishore Kumar ascends the stairs after the second antra. You know that noise that comes out of your mouth that sounds sort of like a dying cat when you’re jamming out to your favorite song alone in the safety of your own home and you don’t really know the words? That’s precisely what Kishore Kumar does too. Except in his case, he jams out as if extemporaneously to his own song smack dab in the middle of the opening performance. You gotta love a guy who enjoys his own tunes this much. Throughout the song, he engages the audience by appearing to break the fourth wall, inviting us to share in his intrigue about the mysterious woman who has entered his shop.

The adorable chemistry between Kishore Kumar and Madhubala is palpable. You can see what each loved about each other that was shared in their real-life romance. Sadly, Madhubala died prematurely at the age of 38, leaving him heartbroken only 3 years after their marriage. Join us below as we navigate the lyrics and English translation of “Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si.” Follow along with the video here, and I dare you to try to get through the whole song without smiling!

Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si Lyrics and Translation:

Ek laDki bhiigi bhaagi sii
A girl who appears rather wet
Sotii raaton mei.N jaagi sii
And seems awake in a sleepy night
Milii ek ajnabii se
She met a stranger
Koii aage na piichhe
No one preceded or followed her
Tum hii kaho yeh koii baat hai!

You tell me if this is appropriate!

Hmm…

Dil hii dil mei.N jalii jaatii hai.N
In her heart of hearts, she is burning
BigaDii bigaDii chalii aatii hai.N…
In a bad mood, she approaches
Jhunjhalaatii hui, balkhaatii huii
Sulking, swaying
Saawan ki sunii raat mei.N
In this quiet monsoon night

Milii ek ajnabii se
She met a stranger
Koii aage na piichhe
No one preceded or followed her
Tum hii kaho yeh koii baat hai!

You tell me if this is appropriate!

Dagmag Dagmag, lehakii lehakii
Wobbling, wavering
Bhuulii bhaT kii behakii behakii
With lost steps, she wanders
Machalii machalii, ghar se nikalii
Restless, she left her home
Paglii sii kalii raat mei.N
Acting a bit crazy in this black night

Tan bhiigaa hai, sar giilaa hai
Her body is drenched, her head is wet
Uskaa koii pech bhii Dhiila hai!
One of her screws must also be loose!
Tanatii, jhuktii, chaltii, rukhtii
Strutting, cowering, moving, then pausing
Nikalii andherii raat mei.N
She emerged into this dark night

Milii ek ajnabii se
She met a stranger
Koii aage na piichhe
No one preceded or followed her
Tum hii kaho yeh koii baat hai!

You tell me if this is appropriate!

Hmm…

Glossary:

ladkii: girl; bheegii-bhaagii: wet, drenched; sonaa: to sleep; raat: night; jaagii: awake; milnaa: to meet; ajnabii: stranger; koi: someone; aage: ahead; peechhe: behind; baat: issue, matter; dil: heart; jalnaa: to burn; bigaDnaa: to deteriorate, to become in a bad mood; jhunjhalaanaa: to scoff, to sulk; balkaanaa: to sway, to move in a circle; sawaan: the rainy season; sunii: lonely, quiet; Dagmag: wobbly; lehakii: wavering; bhuulii: lost, forgotten; bhaT: steps; behakii: wandering; machalnaa: to become restless; ghar: home; nikalnaa: to emerge, to come out; tan: body; sar: head; giilaa: wet; pech Dheela: loose screw; tanatnaa: to strut; to appear confident; jhuknaa: to bow; chalnaa: to go; rukhnaa: to stop; andheraa: dark

Kishore Kumar bashful ek ladki bheegi bhagi si

Kishore Kumar’s genius comedic timing remains timeless in “Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si” from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958).

A quick note about the term “baat” of “koi baat hai/kya baat hai” fame. I translated the phrase above roughly as “something appropriate” but the meaning of the word is far more nuanced. “baat” alone can mean words or conversation, as in the verb “baat karnaa,” meaning “to speak.” You can say “kya baat hai?” to ask “what is the matter?” or you can exclaim “kya baat hai!” as a way of demonstrating awe. A translation that gets more to the heart of how the phrase “tum hii kaho yeh koii baat hai” is being used here is perhaps “you tell me if this is something worth talking about,” but to me that felt too cumbersome to write poetically above.

And while I have a captive audience, let’s also examine the grammar of “bheegii/bhaagii sii.” Tacking on the “sii” (feminine) or “saa” (masculine) to any adjective in Hindi softens the descriptor (somewhat like the way in English we sometimes add “ish” to the end of adjectives) or indicates “a little”–as in, she is “a little” wet. A common example you’ll hear is “chhoTaa saa/chhoTii sii” as in the classic Bollywood heroine’s wish to have nothing more than “ek chhoTaa sa ghar” with her faithful husband. But we digress.

– Mrs. 55

Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

two shot sisters Mala Sinha and Tanuja

Tanuja and Mala Sinha play sisters with opposite personalities who love with the same man in Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966).

Today we highlight the lyrics and English translation of the gorgeous “Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe” from Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966). The breathtakingly evocative cinematography of this song steals the show–and that’s a difficult feat with Urdu lyrics dripping with this much beauty. Eminent director Guru Dutt tragically died while directing this film, and it was later finished by Shaheed Latif. As a result, Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi seems to have all the elements of a great work of poetic realism, but lacks all the magic. Dutt’s starring role was eventually replaced by Dharmendra, who is easy on the eyes, but never quite commands the scene like his predecessor.

Dharmendra plays an upright investigative journalist employed by a newspaper company owned by Mala Sinha, a pragmatic entrepreneur fighting for her beliefs in a male-dominated world. Her personal sacrifices have allowed for her younger sister (played by Tanuja) to be raised in a lifestyle of ease and self-indulgence. Mala Sinha begins to fall in love with Dharmendra as his caring manner and flattering attentions opens up the possibility for the romantic fulfillment she had long denied herself. Meanwhile, Tanuja’s girlishly flirtacious advances toward Dharmendra appear not unwanted, completing the dramatic love triangle. Neither sister knows of the other’s intentions, and the audience anxiously awaits the moment when one will discover the truth. Whom will Dharmendra ultimately choose?

At least for the audience, that answer comes during one of the most romantic Mohammed Rafi songs of Bollywood: “Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe.” The cinematography of the film is by K.G. Prabhakar (whose strong legacy includes working as assistant camera in Guru Dutt masterpieces Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Pyaasa). The first thing you might notice about Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi is the (lack of) colour. By 1966, Eastmancolor was by far the norm in Bollywood. Shooting this film in black-and-white stock therefore was a deliberate choice. Guru Dutt never filmed a movie in color (with the exception of a rare scene here and there, eg. “Chaudhvin Ka Chand“), and his films carry a haunting charm. Prabhakar uses creative camera angles and perfectly choreographed movements to convey the message of true love. The exquisite cinematography coupled with a combination of Anjaan’s ornate balladry, the dreamlike piano solo, and Mohammed Rafi’s hypnotically romantic vocals make this song a vision of what film should be.

Tanuja and Mala Sinha eyes

Shots of the two sisters mimic one another throughout “Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe,” heightening the dramatic irony. Here, both sisters shyly glance up toward Dharmendra as they each believe lines from his song are sung exclusively for them. Even their cat-eyeliner and penciled eyebrows are in fierce competition.

Early in the song, the camera choices are critical to casting doubt about to whom Dharmendra is truly singing. Prabhakar shoots the siblings’ reactions and movements in parallel, with each sister’s gazes mimicking the other such that even the audience grows uncomfortable, knowing one of them must be mistaken.

master shot compiled

This master shot creates a literal love triangle in the mis-en-scene and defines both their spatial and emotional relationships.

By the middle of the song, both sisters approach Dharmendra so that all three can be captured in the same shot, creating a fascinating opportunity for the cinematographer. In the master shot pictured above, the camera is placed behind Dharmendra’s shoulder, creating a visual triangle formed by the lid of the grand piano to underscore the romantic triangle blossoming before our eyes. This angle also allows a gorgeous moment of symbolism within the mis-en-scene through the placement of the main characters. Tanuja, whose love is confident and eager, leans toward Dharmendra into the light source, while Mala Sinha, whose love is more careful and protected, stands further away in the shadows, avoiding his direct gaze. Sinha is framed by the piano lid at the pinnacle of the triangle, literally surrounded by the music that has changed how she views the world.

ambiguous eyelines compiled

From a profile shot of Dharmendra to a medium reaction shot of Mala Sinha, the eyelines are ambiguous. Is he singing to Tanuja or to Mala Sinha?

Next, the audience is cleverly teased by the camera with a series of shots that heighten the romantic ambiguity. Prabhakar films a profile shot of Dharmendra singing, so that from the viewer’s perspective, he is just as likely to be making eye contact with Mala Sinha as with Tanuja. He brings the camera into Dharmendra’s seat for Mala Sinha’s reaction so that what we see is as if from Dharmendra’s own perspective. Tension mounts! A reverse shot from Mala Sinha’s position of Dharmendra would close the communicative loop, and we would finally have our answer that the two are definitely looking at one another, and both know it. Alas! Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi is not so simple.

shot reverse shot compiled

The classic over-the-shoulder shot-reverse shot sequence ultimately seals Tanuja as the object of Dharmendra’s affection.

Finally, the camera gives its long-held secret away. At the end of the ballad, two consecutive shots with matching eyelines betray Tanuja and Dharmendra as the primary romantic couple of the film. The camera cuts from an over-the-shoulder shot of Tanuja to a reverse over-the-shoulder shot of Dharmendra. His gaze is now clearly directed at only one sister. Meanwhile, Mala Sinha appears tragically oblivious, wandering to the window to daydream of what we now know is impossible.

We hope you fall in love with the lyrics and our English translation of “Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe” below. When words like chuur-chuur and kashish are tossed around lightly in a Bollywood song, you know you’re in for some solidly gorgeous poetry! Follow along with the cinematography of the film here and let us know which sister you were rooting for in the comments!

Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe Lyrics and Translation:

aap ke hasee.N rukh pe aaj nayaa nuur hai
Upon your beautiful face today is a new light
meraa dil machal gayaa, to meraa kyaa qusuur hai?
If my heart trembled, what fault is it of mine?
aap kii nigaah ne kahaa to kuch zaruur hai
Your glance said something surely
meraa dil machal gayaa to meraa kyaa qusuur hai?
If my heart trembled, what fault is it of mine?

khulii laTo.N ki chhaao.N mei.N, khilaa khilaa yeh ruup hai
In the shade of your open tresses, this beauty bloomed
ghaTaa se jaise chhan rahii, subaah subaah kii dhuup hai
As if morning sunlight is streaming through a cloud
jidhar nazar muDii ,udhar suruur hii suruur hai
In whichever direction my gaze turns, there is only pleasure upon pleasure
meraa dil machal gayaa to meraa kyaa qusuur hai?
If my heart trembled, what fault is it of mine?

jhukii jhukii nigaah mei.N bhii hai.N balaa ki shokhiyaa.N
In your shy lowered gaze is also a calamity of mischief
Dabii Dabii ha.Nsii mei.N bhii, taDap rahii hai.N bijliiyaa.N
Even in your suppressed laughter, lightening is pulsing
shabaab aap kaa nashe mei.N khud hii chuur-chuur hai
Your youthfulness dissolves itself in intoxication
meraa dil machal gayaa to meraa kyaa qusuur hai?
If my heart trembled, what fault is it of mine?

jahaa.N jahaa.N paDe qaDam, wahaa.N fizaa badal gayii
Wherever your foot falls, there the wind changes
ki jaise sar-basar bahaar aap hii mei.N Dhal gayii
As if the whole of Spring descended into you
kisi mei.N yeh kashish kahaa.N jo aap mei.N huzuur hai?
Where is this allure in anyone that is present in you?
meraa dil machal gayaa to meraa kyaa qusuur hai?
If my heart trembled, what fault is it of mine?

aapke haseen rukh pe aaj naya noor hai
Upon your beautiful face today is a new light
meraa dil machal gayaa to meraa kyaa qusuur hai?
If my heart trembled, what fault is it of mine?

aap kii nigaahon ne kahaa to kuch zaruur hai
Your glances said something surely
meraa dil machal gayaa to meraa kyaa qusuur hai?
If my heart trembled, what fault is it of mine?

Hmm hmm hmm…hmm hmm hmm

Glossary:

hasee.N: beautiful; rukh: face; aaj: today; nayaa: new; nuur: light; dil: heart; machalnaa: to quiver, to tremble; qusuur: fault; nigaah: glance; zaruur: surely, of course; khulaa: open; laT: tresses; chhaao.N: shadow, shade; khilnaa: to bloom; ruup: beauty; ghaTaa: cloud; chhannaa: to stream; subaah: morning; dhuup: sunlight; jidhar; in whichever direction; nazar: gaze, eyes; muDnaa: to turn around; udhar: in that direction; suruur: pleasure, addiction; jhuknaa: to bow, to lower; balaa: calamity, misfortune; shokhii: mischief; Dabnaa: to suppress; ha.Nsii: laughter; taDapnaa: to flutter; bijlii: lightening; shabaab: youth; nashaa: intoxication; khud: self; chuur-chuur: pulverized, dissolved; jahaa.N: where; paDnaa: to step; qadam: footstep; wahaa.N: there; fizaa: wind, atmosphere; badalnaa: to change; jaise: like, as if; sar-basaar: entire, whole; bahaar: Spring; Dhalnaa: to set, to descend; kisii mei.N: in someone; kashish: allure, charm; huzuur: present

A brief word on the nuances between English and Urdu-Hindi. I struggled to translate bijliiyaan and shokhiyaan, plurals of the feminine nouns bijlii and shokii respectively. In English, the word lightening does not necessarily imply the number of bolts (singular versus plural), however bijliyaan clear indicates multiple bolts of lightening. Similarly, shokhii, meaning mischief in English, becomes a series of mischievous activities in the plural shokhiiyaan–however there is no simple plural of the word mischief in English (although in and of itself, the word mischief in English can imply plurality, but not necessarily). I also find that when used in Urdu-Hindi, especially romantic songs, shokhii has a much more playful connotation than the potentially negative associations of mischief in English. Isn’t language a wonderful thing?

Mala Sinha window

A stunning dolly shot of Mala Sinha from outside the window represents her emotional imprisonment from which Dharmendra offers a chance at escape.

“Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe” was requested by loyal fan Arun. Thank you for reading this  epic essay that came out of your request! For more analysis of great moments in Bollywood cinematography check out our translations of  “Tum Pukar Lo” (Khamoshi 1969) and “Kar Chale Hum Fida” (Haqeeqat 1964).
– Mrs. 55

Jadugar Saiyan Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Vijayantimala in Nagin (1954)

Vijayantimala gazes at her snake-charmer lover in Nagin (1954)

Today we highlight the lyrics and English translation of the sweet Lata Mangeshkar solo “Jadugar Saiyan” from the hit film Nagin (1954). A lively mandolin solo fades in as a handsome young couple daydream in a jungle grove . There are many reasons why this song is one of Bollywood’s favorites. For me, I think it is because “Jadugar Saiyan” captures that beautiful age of innocence we like believe once existed in Indian romance. This song hearkens us back to a fabricated time when just holding hands could give a man heart palpitations, and all the women sung amazingly just like Lata Mangeshkar.

Mala, played by Vijayantimala, and Sanatan, played by Pradeep Kumar, come from rival spear-throwing adivasi clans whose eclectic livelihood involves capturing live snakes. The feisty, blood-thirsty daughter of the clan chief, Mala, is the definition of bada$$, complete with an intimidating ‘do and a bow-and-arrow ensemble. After hearing the enchanting been melody Sanatan is playing to lure a family of cobras, she falls for him harder than any snake ever had. The feeling is mutual, for even when she later attempts to kill him (he is from a rival family, after all), he’s too hooked to let a minor thing like disregard for human life get between them.

While the lyrics of the song are from the point of view a girl who claims to desperately wish to go home because it’s past her curfew, the tone is completely flirtatious. Throughout the entire song, he does literally nothing to stop her from leaving (unless you count the occasional flex of his bare pectoralis majors), while Mala dances circles around him, initiates impromptu games of tag, and bats her eyelids ferociously. This endearing, almost comical, tension between the girl’s actions and words underscore the wholesome nature of their love affair. I mean, there are probably more scintillating things you could say to entice the man you love other than how your all your besties are going to tease you for being embarrassed later. Mala embodies that purity of intention with just a dash of spice that makes her the quintessential Bollywood heroine.

Vijayantimala pleads with Pradeep Kumar in Jadugar Saiyan from Nagin

Vijayantimala pretends to plead with a shirtless Pradeep Kumar in “Jadugar Saiyan” from Nagin (1954).

At the end of the song, Mala’s father arrives to break up the party, spelling utter disaster for our star-crossed couple. Welcome to 1950s Bollywood, people. Sanatan might be able to kill a poisonous cobra with his bare hands, but there can be no worse fate for our hero than to suffer disapproval from his would-be father-in-law.

With lyrics by Rajinder Krishan and music by Hemant Kumar, the soundtrack from Nagin is one of Bollywood’s all-time best. Be sure to check out Vijantimala’s extra special dance moves in the music video, and we hope you love the lyrics and English translation of this delightful song from Nagin as much as we do!

Jadugar Saiyan Lyrics and English Translation:

jaaduugar, saiyaa.N, chhoDo more bai.Nyaa
Magician, beloved, let go of my wrists
ho gayii aadhii raat, ab ghar jaane do
It is midnight, let me go home

jaane de, O rasiiyaa, mere man basiiyaa
Let me leave, O sweet one, for you reside in my mind
gaao.N meraa baDii duur hai
My village is very far away
terii nagariiyaa.N ruk na sakuu.N mai.N
I cannot stop in your town
pyaar meraa majbuur hai
My love is helpless
zanjiir paDii mere haath, ab ghar jaane do
My hands are shackled, now let me go home

jaaduugar, saiyaa.N, chhoDo more bai.Nyaa
Magician, beloved, let go of my wrist
ho gayii aadhii raat, ab ghar jaane do
It is midnight, let me go home

jhukii jhukii a.Nkhiiyaa.N dekhe.Nge saaDii sakhiiyaa.N
All my friends will see my lowered eyes
de.Nge taanaa tere naam kaa
They will tease me with your name
aise mei.N, mat rok, bedardii
Do not stop me like this, unfeeling one
le vachan kal shaam ka
Accept a promise of tomorrow evening
kal ho.Nge phir ham saath, ab ghar jaane do
Tomorrow we will be together again, now let me go home

jaaduugar, saiyaa.N, chhoDo more bai.Nyaa
Magician, beloved, let go of my wrist
ho gayii aadhii raat, ab ghar jaane do
It is midnight, let me go home

Glossary:

jaaduugar: magician; saiyaa.N: beloved; chhoDnaa: to let go; moraa: Braj bhasha term for meraa, my; baiyaa.N: wrists; aadhii raat: midnight; ghar: home; jaane denaa: to allow to go; rasiiyaa: sweet one; man basiyaa: one who resides in the mind; gaao.N: village; baDii: very; duur: far; nagariiyaa.N: town; ruknaa: to stop; pyaar: love; majbuur: helpless, weak; zanjiir: chains, shackles; haath: hands; jhuknaa: to lower, to bow; a.Nkhiiyaa.N: eyes; saaDii: all; sakhiiyaa.N: a girl’s other female friends; taanaa: taunt; naam: name; aise: like this; mat; do not [do something] roknaa: to stop [someone/something]; bedardii: unfeeling one, cruel one; vachan: promise; kal: yesterday/tomorrow; shaam: evening; phir: again, then; saath: together

Vijyantimala in Jadugar Saiyan from Nagin 1954

Vijyantimala plays the fearless daughter of an adivasi chief in Nagin (1954).

Will Mala and Sanatan ultimately have a happy snake-charmed life together? Even without the plot, the film is well-worth watching for the songs and an introduction to the fascinating way classic Bollywood portrays India’s tribal communities (which is a whole other discussion). For a glimpse of another famous shirtless actor from the 1950s, check out our translation of “Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni” from Jaal (1952)! You can thank me later.

This song translation was requested by fan Pankaj. Keep these great requests coming!

-Mrs. 55