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

 

Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna regret aap ki qasam

Rajesh Khanna reflects on the choices he made and the love he lost in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Happy New Year’s to all our fans and lovers of classic Bollywood! In the spirit of the holiday, we present the lyrics and full English translation to the thought-provoking “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974). In this song, lyricist Anand Bakshi explores the regret of one man who loses his chance to spend time with the people he loves. Rajesh Khanna plays a successful businessman who neglects and mistrusts his loving wife Mumtaz, ultimately costing him his marriage and family. Wanting desperately to make amends, Khanna soon realizes he is unable to change the past. For anyone still thinking of a New Year’s Resolution, this Kishore Kumar hit is sure to inspire!

happier times with mumtaz in aap ki kasam

Ignoring the eyesore of Delhi that is Mumtaz’s horrendous puffy orange sari blouse, happier times once reigned for the estranged couple in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Like time itself, linear movement is the emphasis of director J. Om Prakash’s gorgeous mis-en-scène. From symbolic train tracks or plodding footsteps to fantasy-pixie Mumtaz’s unidirectional trajectory through the woods, Kishore Kumar’s rich vocals are underlined by a feeling of racing forward with no way of turning back. “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein” shines in stark contrast to the romantic “Karvaten Badalte Rahe” duet sung during a high-key moment of the film. Of equal importance, the song is also a textbook example of the Bollywood cliche demonstrating a strong correlation between despondency of the hero’s love life with the length of the hero’s beard.

rajesh khanna beard aap ki qasam

By the time “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein” finishes, Rajesh Khanna has spiraled into total despondency as evidenced by his increasing length of beard.

We hope that listening to this song may inspire you to appreciate the moments you have with your loved ones over the holidays. So take a break from the daily grind and let those people know how much you care–don’t be a Rajesh Khanna! You’ll find the lyrics and our English translation of the sentimental hit “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar Jaate Hai” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974) below. Follow along with the video on youtube and let us know YOUR New Year’s resolution in the comments!

Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar Jaate Hai Lyrics and Translation:

Zindagii ke safar mei.N guzar jaate hai.N jo maqaam
Those places you pass in the journey of life
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return

Phuul khilte hai.N, log milte hai.N
Flowers bloom, people meet
Magar patjhaD mei.N jo phuul muDjhaa jaate hai.N
But that flower which dies in Autumn
Woh bahaaro.N ke aane se khilte nahii.N
It does not bloom with the coming of Spring
Kuch log ek roz jo bichhaD jaate hai.N
Those people from whom you are separated one day
Woh hazaaro.N ke aane se milte nahii.N
A thousand others may come, but you will not meet them again
Umr bhar chahe koi pukaaraa kare unkaa naam
Even though you may call their names the rest of your life
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return

rajesh khanna wanders aimlessly in aap ki qasam

Overcome with regret, Rajesh Khanna wanders aimlessly in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Aa.Nkh dhokaa hai, kya bharosaa hai?
Your eye deceives you, what is the truth?
Suno, dosto.N, shak dostii kaa dushman hai
Listen, friends, doubt is the enemy of friendship
Apne dil mei.N ise ghar banaane na do
Do not let doubt reside in your heart
Kal tadapnaa paDe yaad mei.N jinkii
Those people whose memories will torment you tomorrow
Rok lo rooThkar, unko jaane na do
Stop them when they are upset, do not let them leave
Baad mei.N pyaar ke chahe bhejo hazaaro.N salaam
For later, even though you may wish to greet them with love a thousand times
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return

mumtaz fantasy

In epic slow-motion, Mumtaz prances through the forest of Rajesh Khanna’s fantasy, chunni billowing in the wind.

Subaah aatii hai, raat jaatii hai
Morning comes, the night departs
Yuu.n hii waqt chaltaa hii rehtaa hai, ruktaa nahii.N
In this manner, time marches on, it does not stop
Ek pal mei.N yeh aage nikal jaata hai
In a single moment, time moves forward
Aadmi Theek se dekh paataa nahii.N
Man is unable to see this well
Aur parde pe manzar badal jaata hai
And the view continues to change
Ek baar chale jaate hai jo din raat subaah shaam
But once those days and nights, and those mornings and evenings pass
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return
Woh phir nahii.N aate
They never return

Zindagii ke safar mei.N guzar jaate hai.N jo maqaam
Those places you pass in the journey of life
Woh phir nahin aate
They never return
Woh phir nahin aate
They never return

Glossary:

zindagii: life; safar: journey; guzar jaanaa: to pass, maqaam: place, landmark, milestone; phuul: flower; log: people; patjhaD: Autumn; muDjhaanaa: to become destroyed; bahaar: Spring; khilnaa: to bloom; ek roz: one day; bichhaD jaanaa: to become separated; hazaar: a thousand; umr bhar: whole life; pukaarnaa: to call; naam: name; aa.Nkh: eye; dhokaa: deception, trick; bharosaa: trust; shak: doubt; dostii: friendship; dushman: enemy; ghar: home; taDapnaa: to torment, to flutter; yaad: memory; roknaa: to stop; rooThna: to be upset; jaanaa dena: to let someone leave; baad mei.N: later on, bhejnaa: to send; salaam: greeting; subaah: morning; raat: night; yuu.N hii: in this manner, like this; waqt: time; pal: moment; aadmi: man; thiik se: properly, well; pardaa: veil, [in this case, a movie screen]; manzar: view; badal jaanaa: to change; ek baar: once, one time; din: day; shaam: evening

Rajesh Khanna walks away from the camera

In my favorite shot of the film, Rajesh Khanna walks away from the camera, leaving the viewer alone in the cold Winter morning in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

For the Urdu snobs, you may note that the plural of the multi-layered term maqaam is technically maqaamaat. The suffix –aat is necessary to denote plurality of certain vocabulary with an Arabic origin, however modern Hindustani often omits this mark of purist pretension–particularly when it would throw off a song’s rhyming scheme! But if you’re quick, you’ll still hear it used in classic film dialogues. Other examples include:

kaaghazaat (pieces of paper)
zevaraat (jewels)
makaanaat (stores)
jawaharaat (rubies)
ma’luumaat (information)

Zindagi Ke Safar Mei.N” was requested by fan Agar Raheem. Our resolution for the New Year is to keep up quicker with requests from fans! If you haven’t seen your request in one of our blog posts yet, don’t worry–it’s coming! Thank you for the fantastic year we’ve had together, and our best wishes for a joyful and prosperous 2014!

Old Classic Bollywood Save the Date!

2014 is going to be a particularly memorable year for us because Mrs. 55 is getting married! Get ready because, you guessed correctly, it’s going to be a classic Bollywood-themed wedding!

-Mrs. 55

Neele Gagan Ke Tale Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Neele Gagan Ke Tale 2

Rajkumar gets romantic with his co-star Vimi in “Neele Gagan Ke Tale” from Humraaz (1967)

Next we showcase the lovely lyrics and English translation of “Neele Gagan Ke Tale” from Humraaz (1967). Set against a peaceful blue sky, Rajkumar and Vimi express their young love for each other as the voice of Mahendra Kapoor floats above. Because of this, the song carries a timeless quality marked by omniscience, as if everything we see is approved by Heaven. Whether a gentle horseback ride or riverside rendez-vous, “Neele Gagan Ke Tale” focuses just as much attention on the protagonists as it does on the wonder of nature. With an opening number as famously idyllic as this, Humraaz effectively lulls the viewer into a false sense of security. A highly underrated mystery thriller, the film shifts gears radically, filled with exciting turns and unexpected cameos until the shocking, but artistically very satisfying end. But that Elysian paradise of “Neele Gagan Ke Tale” where lovers dream and Earth is in bloom will continue to live on forever.

Rajkumar Vimi Neele Gagan ke Tale Humraaz 1967

Mahendra Kapoor’s  “Neele Gagan Ke Tale” is appropriately filmed against a beautiful deep blue sky.

Humraaz is also a rare showcase of Mahendra Kapoor’s talent as a singer. Music director Ravi is often credited as making Kapoor’s career with opportunities and expressiveness that other music directors famously denied him. A devoted Mohammed Rafi disciple, Mahendra Kapoor was often brushed aside by music directors like O.P. Nayyar, who unfairly referred to Kapoor as “besuraa” or “tuneless” in comparison! Ravi, however, believed in Kapoor’s unique talent and freely demonstrated his ability with Sahir Ludhianvi lyrics from the tragic “Chalo Ek Baar Phir Se” to the romantic “Kisi Patthar Ki Murat Se” also from Humraaz. The evergreen hit “Neele Gagan Ke Tale” won Kapoor the filmfare award for Best Playback Singer in 1967! And indeed, one listen of Kapoor’s resonant, tender vocals in this sweet ballad will quickly quell any dissent (which, coming from myself, a fight-to-the-death Rafi groupie, says a lot)! Paired with the blissfully romantic landscapes of India’s beloved tea estates in Darjeeling, the song is truly one of the most gorgeous classic Bollywood has to offer.

Rajkumar Vimi darjeeling Humraaz

Rajkumar and Vimi enjoy the peaceful Darjeeling landscapes in Humraaz (1967).

We hope you enjoy the full lyrics and English translation of “Neele Gagan Ke Tale” below. Follow along with the video and let us know how much you love the escapist fantasy of it all in the comments!

Neele Gagan Ke Tale Lyrics and Translation:

Hey neele gagan ke tale
Beneath the blue sky
Dhartii ka pyaar phale
The love of earth blossoms
Aise hii jag mei.N aate hai.N subahe.N
In this place the morning arrives
Aise hii shaam Dhale
In this place the evening falls
Hey neele gagan ke tale
Beneath the blue sky
Dhartii ke pyaar phale
The love of earth blossoms

Shabnam kii motii phoolo.N pe bhikre
The pearls of morning dew spread upon the flowers
Dono.N kii aas phale
And both of their desires flourish
Hey neele gagan ke tale
Beneath the blue sky
Dhartii ke pyaar phale
The love of earth blossoms

Bhalkaatii bele.N mastii mei.N khele
The sprawling branches play joyfully
PeDo.N se milke gale
And meet the embrace of the trees
Hey neele gagan ke tale
Beneath the blue sky
Dhartii ke pyaar phale
The love of earth blossoms

Nadiyaa kaa paanii dariyaa se milke
The water of the stream meets the river
Saagar kii or chale
And travels toward the ocean
Hey neele gagan ke tale
Beneath the blue sky
Dhartii ke pyaar phale
The love of earth blossoms

Glossary:

neelaa: blue; gagan: sky; tale: below; dhartii: earth; pyaar: love; phalna: to blossom; jag: place; subaah: morning; shaam: evening; Dhalnaa: to set, to diminish; shabnam: dew; motii: pearl; aas: desire; bhalkaatii: sprawling, winding; bel: branch; mastii: intoxication, joy; peD: tree; gale: embrace; nadiyaa: stream: paanii: river; dariyaa: river; saagar: ocean; or: toward, direction

Rajkumar Vimi Humraaz Neele gagan ke tale

Rajkumar is one heck of a handsome soldier as he bids a tender farewell to Vimi in Humraaz (1967).

Fun fact: “Neele Gagan Ke Tale” also makes our list of favorite “horse songs” found in Bollywood films because of its opening trot!

-Mrs. 55

A Beginner’s Guide to Bollywood Tree Courtship: The Best Tree Songs of Classic Films

Rajesh Khanna tree Mumtaz Aap Ki Qasam

Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz engage in a playful treeside encounter in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

A tree is the ideal wingman. It’s an insider trick Bollywood heros and heroines learned early on that rarely fails to end in matrimonial bliss. Many of the best songs of Bollywood occur in a forest, taking full advantage of that lovable prop whose stability is matched only by its generosity. In honor of Van Mahotsav, the annual Indian tree-planting festival taking place this week, we too would like to honor the cultural importance of the all-mighty tree in the greatest reflection of our society: film. Why a tree? Newcomers to classic Bollywood may ask with due naivite. The archetypal significance of entering the forest–delving deep into the mysteries of the mind and soul–do have some place in the escapism of romantic fantasy, but the logic of singing and dancing around a tree is actually quite simple.

sharmila tagore kashmir ki kali

Sharmila Tagore hugs a tree for emotional stability in Kashmir Ki Kali (1964).

In most romantic-dramas of the Golden Age, emotions are just brimming over with adorable intensity. With a tree as a wingman, you can simultaneously practice your moves with a literal tree hug while catching your breath from a potentially close encounter with the real object of your desire. See, the tree doesn’t judge. The tree doesn’t ask for a return favor next Friday. The tree is neutral ground–a seemingly innocent bystander in the forest of love to which both parties have full claim. Sometimes the woman peeks behind the tree, sometimes the man. As a friendly chaperone, the tree legitimizes everyone’s behavior in that bashful innocence of bygone romance. Yes, censorship laws may prevent you from making real moves on your loved one, but they won’t stop you from snuggling a tree.

Dilip Kumar Vijayantimala dil tadap tadap ke tree

Although Vijayantimala tightly embraces a forgiving tree trunk, it’s clear who she really wants to be hugging in Madhumati (1958).

Bollywood has been perfecting the tree ritual since time immemorial. It’s a cinematic institution, particularly for the benefits of discreet pans to the sunlit treetops or a calming mountainside when a love scene threatens to quickly advance from G to PG. We even emulated basic tree positioning in a photograph on our “About Us” page!

Enjoy our list of classic Bollywood’s best tree songs below. Study them thoroughly and know your part well before embarking on your next trip to the forest. While this list could honestly go on forever, we’ve chosen our top 15 tree songs based on creativity of tree choreography. Which of YOUR favorite tree numbers would you add? Share your thoughts in the comments!

1. Dekho Kasam Se (Tumsa Nahin Dekha 1957)

2. Dil Tadap Tadap (Madhumati 1958)

3. Deewana Mastana Hua Dil (Bombai Ka Babu 1960)

4. Do Sitaron Ka Zameen (Kohinoor 1960)

5. Abhi Na Jao Chod Kar (Hum Dono 1961)

6. Isharon Isharon Mein (Kashmir Ki Kali 1964)

7. Jaiye Aap Kahan Jaayenge (Mere Sanam 1965)

8. Baharon Phool Barsao (Suraj 1966)

9. In Baharon Mei.N Akeli (Mamta 1966)

10. Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe (Kanyadaan 1968)

11. Bekhudi Mein Sanam (Haseena Maan Jayegi 1968)

12. Jaane Jaan DhoonDta (Jawani Diwani 1972)

13. Suno Kaho Suna (Aap Ki Kasam 1974)

14. Is Mod Se Jaate Hain (Aandhi 1975)

15. Tune O Rangile (Kudrat 1981)

Shammi Kapoor Dekh Kasam Se

Shammi Kapoor coyly assesses the romantic situation from the comfort of his engraved tree in Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957).

Feeling like a pro already? Perhaps you’re ready for the big time: spitting game around a tree in the rain! Check out our compilation of Bollywood’s best monsoon songs, and you’ll be walking down the aisle in no time.

-Mrs. 55

Karvaten Badalte Rahe Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

 

RK

Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz frolic in pre-marital bliss in the title track from Aap Ki Qasam (1974)

Today, we present the lyrics and English translation to the title track from Aap Ki Qasam (1974): karvate.n badalte rahe.n.  Directed by J. Om Prakash, this film stars Rajesh Khanna, Mumtaz, and Sanjeev Kumar in a story that illustrates how suspicion can be the ultimate enemy to marital bliss. 

As Mumtaz’s jealous husband, Rajesh Khanna begins to doubt his wife’s fidelity when his best friend Sanjeev Kumar comes into the picture. Although Mumtaz and Sanjeev Kumar share a platonic brother-sister friendship, Rajesh Khanna’s suspicion blinds him from reality until he destroys his own marriage.  Refusing to dignify the false accusations of infidelity placed on her with a response, Mumtaz leaves him and returns to her father’s home.  When she realizes that she is pregnant with Rajesh Khanna’s daughter, she enters a second marriage (with her father’s blessings!) so that her child can be raised in a loving home.  In the mean time, Rajesh Khanna comes to his senses and realizes that his suspicion towards his wife was misguided. Unable to apologize properly to Mumtaz for his unacceptable behavior, guilt drives Rajesh Khanna to become a homeless wanderer. Several years later, Mumtaz invites him to his daughter’s wedding where all parties receive closure of sorts. However, a tragedy strikes to create an ending that seeps with melodrama in true Bollywood fashion. 

Aap Ki Qasam is remarkable in its portrayal of marital suspicion for avoiding the chauvinistic bias present in similar films of this era. Typically, female characters accused of infidelity were vilified and forced to appease their husbands regardless of whether the accusations placed upon them were were valid or not. This film breaks the patii-parameshvar (husband is God) mold by supporting a woman’s right to leave an unhappy marriage in which she is treated disrespectfully by her husband. In particular, the support that Mumtaz receives from her father (played by Rehman) in divorcing her husband and entering a second marriage is unusually refreshing for this period of cinematic history. Although it can be argued that Mumtaz’s father makes much of the decisions for her, the fact that she is not compelled to beg for forgiveness at her husband’s feet is sufficiently progressive to merit attention. Indeed, valuing a woman’s dignity and self-worth over her duty to preserve a dysfunctional marriage is the ground-breaking message that makes Aap Ki Qasam stand out among other movies from this time.

In addition to being a cherished Rajesh Khanna-Mumtaz hit, this film is remembered today for its fantastic soundtrack composed by R.D. Burman. Aside from the  Pahadi-based duet sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar presented here, this album contains the popular duets “suno, haa.n kaho,” “jai jai shiv sha.nkar,” “paas nahii.n aanaa,” the beautiful Lata solo “chorii chorii chup ke chup ke,” and the philosophical Kishore solo “zindagii ke safar me.n.”  Anand Bakshi’s lyrics in “karvate.n badalte rahe.n” are marked by simplicity in their expression of the romance and trust shared between two lovers as they yearn in separation. Moreover, the beautiful snow-filled Himalayan landscape and the on-screen chemistry exhibited by Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz add to the appeal of this duet. 

Finally, as an aside, the 1973 BBC documentary Bombay Superstar profiling Rajesh Khanna and his influence on Hindi cinema actually features a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Aap Ki Qasam through interviews with the superstar himself,  director J. Om Prakash, and co-star Mumtaz. My favorite part of this documentary is the scene that depicts the amount of work that went into picturizing a playback song for a Bollywood film (the filming of “suno, haa.n kaho” is shown in the documentary).  Check out the full documentary here on YouTube if you haven’t seen it yet! Until next time…

-Mr. 55
RK

The on-screen chemistry between Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz allowed this pair to dominate the box office during the early 1970s.

Karvaten Badalte Rahe: Lyrics and Translation

karvate.n badalte rahe.n saarii raat ham
Tossing and turning in bed, I have been restless the entire night.
aap kii qasam, aap kii qasam
I swear by you.
gham na karo, din judaayii ke bahut hai.n kam
Do not be sad; the days of our separation are very limited.
aap kii qasam, aap kii qasam
I swear by you.

yaad tum aate rahe ek huuk sii uThtii rahii
As I remembered you, a sharp pain kept arising in my heart.
nii.nd mujhse, nii.nd se mai.n, bhaagtii chhuptii rahii
Sleep and I kept fleeing and hiding from each other.
raat bhar bairan nigoDii chaa.ndnii chubhtii rahii
The hostile, wretched moonlight continued to pierce through the entire night.
aag sii jaltii rahii, girtii rahii shabnam
A fire kept burning, as the dew continued to fall.
aap kii qasam, aap kii qasam
I swear by you.

jhiil sii aa.nkho.n me.n aashiq Duub ke kho jaayegaa
Your beloved will get lost by drowning in the loch of your eyes.
zulf ke saaye me.n dil armaan bharaa so jayegaa
Under the shadows of your tresses, his hope-filled heart will fall into slumber.
tum chale jaao, nahii.n to kuchh na kuchh ho jaayegaa
Please go away, or else something will happen between us.
Dagmagaa jaaye.nge aise haal me.n qadam
Our steps will falter out of control under these circumstances.
aap kii qasam, aap kii qasam
I swear by you.

ruuTh jaaye.n ham to tum ham ko manaa lenaa sanam
Should I sulk, please console me, oh beloved.
duur ho.n to paas ham ko tum bulaa lenaa sanam
Should you be far away, please call me to your side, oh beloved.
kuchh gilaa ho to gale ham ko lagaa lenaa sanam
Should I make a mistake, please embrace me in forgiveness, oh beloved.
TuuT na jaaye kabhii yah pyaar kii qasam
May this vow of love never be broken by us.
aap kii qasam, aap kii qasam
I swear by you.

Female lines in red are sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Male lines in green are sung by Kishore Kumar. Lines in black are sung together by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. 

Glossary

karvate.n badalnaa: to toss and turn in bed  (i.e. to be restless at night); qasam: a sworn oath or vow; gham karnaa: to be sad; judaayii: separation; huuk: a sharp pain; nii.nd: sleep; bhaagna: to flee; chhupnaa: to hide; bairan: hositle, cruel; nigoDii: wretched; chubhnaa: to pierce; aag: fire; shabnam: dew; jhiil: loch, lake; aashiq: beloved; zulf: tresses; saaye: shadows; armaan: hope; Dagmagaaanaa: to falter, stagger; haal: circumstances, state; qadam: steps, feet; ruuTh jaanaa: to sulk; manaa lenaa: to console; sanam: beloved; paas bulaa lenaa: to call to one’s side; gilaa: mistake; gale lagaa lenaa: to embrace; TuuT jaanaa: to be broken.

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The snowy Himalayan foothills provide the ideal backdrop for this romantic duet from Aap Ki Qasam (1974).

Phool Ahista Phenko Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Mumtaz is at her sassy finest on screen during this blazing duet from Prem Kahani (1975)

Our next translation comes from Prem Kahani (1975), a hit film set during the peak of India’s struggle for freedom from British rule that stars Mumtaz, Rajesh Khanna, and Shashi Kapoor in  another take on the archetypal Bollywood love triangle. Rajesh Khanna plays the role of an apolitical poet with aspirations of teaching literature who becomes involved in a revolutionary freedom fighter movement to avenge his brother’s murder during a peace protest. He engages in a passionate romance with Mumtaz; however, when she boldly asks to marry him, he turns her down. The reason? Knowing the risks that he will face as a revolutionary, he does not want Mumtaz to be subjected to the cruelties of becoming widowed. Deeply hurt by this rejection,  Mumtaz agrees to marry the man of her father’s choosing. In the mean time, Rajesh kills his brother’s murderer and becomes a fugitive highly sought after by the police. One day, while visiting his sister-in-law’s house, he is shot by police who arrive to search the premises. In order to recover from his wound, Rajesh flees to seek refuge at his best friend Shashi Kapoor’s place. When Rajesh arrives, he finds that it is the day of Shashi’s wedding! Rajesh meets the new bride, and — you guessed it — it is none other than Mumtaz.

In this context, the meaning of the lyrics in “phuul aahistaa phe.nko” come truly alive. The tension at home between Mumtaz and Rajesh Khanna is painfully palpable, and in the midst of this mess, the clueless Shashi calls for the start of an informal mushaira (poetry recital).  If you’re interested in the poetry preceding this song, you can listen to the back-and-forth of the witty retorts between Rajesh and Mumtaz at this link here.  The poetry leads seamlessly into the introduction of this memorable Lata-Mukesh duet, which was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and penned by Anand Bakshi. This gem is a perfect example of how songs in Bollywood films can be used  to express emotions that cannot be described as gracefully with dialogue alone.

Through these lyrics, Rajesh takes the opportunity to express his sorrow for letting Mumtaz go and playing with her heart. Mumtaz, with some sassy lines of her own, chides Rajesh for the way that he treated her. In order to fully understand these lyrics, it is important note that the thematic message of this song revolves around a key metaphor: the roses discussed here represent womankind. Like flowers, Indian women must grapple with a delicate and fragile fate as they endure the pain inflicted by the thorns of society’s constraining norms.  Thus, when Rajesh claims in the mukhDaa that roses must be plucked gently (phuul aahistaa phe.nko, phuul baDe naazuk hote hai.n), Mumtaz sarcastically questions the sincerity of his politesse during her antara (baDii khuubsuurat shikaayat hai yah, magar sochiye kyaa sharafat hai yah?). In her heart, she wishes Rajesh had not been overly concerned with her well-being so that their marriage could have occurred (in spite of her prospects of becoming widowed).  By channeling her emotions into anger, Mumtaz now hopes that the same kind of pain will ultimately afflict Rajesh so that he can understand the heartbreak she was forced to endure because of his decisions (jo rulaate hai.n logo.n ko ek din khud bhii rote hai.n).

As you can tell, this song is power-packed with emotional intensity and some beautifully crafted poetry–I highly recommend a listen if you have not received the opportunity to hear it yet. Follow along with our translation and glossary below, and as always, remember to send in your requests to themrandmrs55@gmail.com!

–Mr.55

Rajesh Khanna recites poetry that expresses deep regret for letting his beloved Mumtaz slip away in Prem Kahani (1975)

Phool Ahista Phenko: Lyrics and Translation

kahaa aap kaa yah bajaa hii sahii
What you have said is entirely correct: 
ki ham beqadar, bevafaa hii sahii
I am insensitive and unfaithful. 
bade shauq se jaaiye chhoD kar
With pleasure, you may leave me and go away.
magar sahan-e-gulshan se yuu.n toD kar
But, from the rose garden,

phuul aahistaa phe.nko, phuul baDe naazuk hote hai.n
Gently pluck the roses, for they are very delicate. 
vaise bhii to ye badqismatnok pe kaa.nto.n kii sote hai.n
Indeed, these ill-fated flowers must reside on the tips of thorns.

baDii khuubsuurat shikaayat hai yah
You have expressed quite a lovely grievance,
magar sochiye, kyaa sharaafat hai yah?
but please consider whether it is mere politesse.
jo auro.n kaa dil toDte rahte hai.n
Those who continue to break others’ hearts 
lage choT unko to yah kahte hai.n ki
say this when they become hurt themselves: 
phuul aahistaa phe.nko, phuul baDe naazuk hote hai.n
Gently pluck the roses, for they are very delicate. 
jo rulaate hai.n logo.n ko ek din khud bhii rote hai.n
Those who make others cry shed their own tears one day.

kisii shauk ko baagh kii sair me.n
During a stroll in the garden,
jo lag jaaye kaa.nTaa koii pair me.n
when a thorn pierces your foot,
khafaa husn phuulo.n se ho kis liye?
why do you become angry with the roses, oh beautiful one?
ye maasuum hai.n, bekhataa is liye
They are innocent and faultless.
phuul aahistaa phe.nko, phuul baDe naazuk hote hai.n
Gently pluck the roses, for they are delicate.
ye kare.nge kaise ghaayal? ye to khud ghaayal hote hai.n 

How can they hurt others? They are wounded themselves.

gulo.n ke baDe aap hamdard hai.n
You are quite sympathetic to the beauty of these roses.
bhalaa kyo.n na ho? aap bhii mard hai.n
And why not? You are also a man!
hazaaro.n savaalo.n kaa hai ek javaab
A thousand questions have this one answer.
fareb-e-nazar yah na ho, ai janaab
My dear, don’t let your eyes deceive you.
phuul aahistaa phe.nko, phuul baDe naazuk hote hai.n

Gently pluck the roses, for they are delicate.
sab jise kahte hai.n shabnam, phuul ke aa.nsuu hote hai.n
What people call dew drops are, in fact, the tears shed by roses

*Female lines sung by Lata Mangeshkar are denoted in red. Male lines sung by Mukesh are denoted in black.

Glossary

bajaa: correct; beqadar: insensitive; bevafaa: unfaithful; shauq se: with pleasure; sahan: courtyard; gulshan: rose garden; phe.nknaa: to pluck, throw; aahistaa: slowly, gently; naazuk: delicate; badqismat: ill-fated; nok: tip; shikaayat; grievance; sharaafat: politesse, decency; choT: injury, wound; shauk: thorn; baagh: garden; sair: promenade, stroll; khafaa: angry; maasuum: innocent; bekhataa: faultless; gul: rose; hamdard: sympathetic; fareb-e-nazar: delusion of sight; shabnam: dew drops.  

The handsome yet clueless Shashi Kapoor is unaware of the tumultuous history between his wife Mumtaz and best friend Rajesh Khanna in Prem Kahani (1975).