Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se Lyrics & Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman in Ek Anjabi Haseena Se
Sauve but poor boy Rajesh Khanna woos rich girl Zeenat Aman in “Ajnabee” (1974) as her family plots to break up the romance.

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation of “Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se” from the 1974 Rajesh Khanna-Zeenat Aman film Ajnabee, whose evergreen soundtrack far outshined its earnings at the box office. The film initially follows the well-worn Bollywood playbook of a poor boy falling for a rich girl, fighting against her greedy, scheming family.

As the first song in the film, “Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se” sets the bar incredibly high for the musical numbers to follow. With Kishore Kumar’s strong vocals, R.D. Burman delivers one of the most charming ballads of the 1970s. In “Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se,” Rajesh Khanna weaves the tale of how he met and fell in love with a stranger in the middle of party attended by said “stranger.” Tension rises during the song as she wonders if he will publicly give her away as the object of his love (I mean, what could be more humiliating for a conservative Bollywood heroine)?

So naturally, halfway through the song, he makes all the women line up, bend over, and he circles behind them to pin a handkerchief on the one he is singing about.

Umm

What the…?

Rajesh Khanna Ajnabee 1974
Rajesh Khanna charms the crowd by singing “Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se” from Ajnabee (1974). I can’t say I love the pentagonal shape of Rajesh Khanna’s hair for most of the 1970s, but obviously I’ll still take it.

Oh, you read that correctly. The ensuing game of “pin the tail on the party guest” is every moment as bizarre as you imagine. Luckily, after these flirtatious antics, the couple eventually does get together and the film pivots in its second half to a more sophisticated tone. The film makes a nice attempt to tackle changing gender roles in a modern marriage, and even broaches the subject of the right to choose (regarding abortion). Not at all what you were expecting, right??

With romantic lyrics by Anand Bakshi, this song smoothly overcomes the brief lapse in sanity of its picturization. Check out our English translation and lyrics of “Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se” from Ajnabee (1974) below:

Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se Lyrics & English Translation:

Ek ajnabii hasiinaa se yuu.N mulaaqaat ho gayii
I met a beautiful girl this way
Phir kyaa huaa, yeh na puuchho, kuch aisii baat ho gayii
Do not ask what happened next, something like this happened

Woh achaanak aa gayii, yuu.N nazar ke saamne
She came suddenly before my eyes 
Jaise nikal aayaa ghaTaa se chaa.Nd
As if the moon had emerged from a cloud
Chehre pe zulfe.N bikharii hui thii
Her hair billowed across her face
Din mei.N raat ho gayii
And day turned into night

Jaan-e man jaan-e jigar, hotaa mai.N shaair agar
Life of my soul, life of my heart, if I had been a poet
Kehtaa ghazal terii adaao.N par
I would recite poems about your grace
Mai.N ne yeh kaha to mujhse khafaa woh
I told her this, but she became angry with me
Jaane hayaa ho gayii
Who knows what shame she felt

Khuubsurat baat yeh, chaar pal kaa saath yeh
These are beautiful words, but this was a fleeting union
Saari umar mujhko rahegaa yaad
Those memories will stay with me my whole life
Mai.N akelaa thaa magar, ban gayii woh hamsafar
I was alone, but she became my life companion
Woh mere saath kho gayii
We became lost together

Ek ajnabii hasiinaa se yuu.N mulaqaat ho gayii
I met a beautiful girl this way
Phir kyaa huaa, yeh na puuchho, kuch aisii baat ho gayii
Do not ask what happened next, something like this happened

Glossary:

ajnabii: stranger; hasiinaa: beautiful woman; mulaaqaat: meeting; phir: then, next; puuchhnaa: to ask; achaanak: suddenly; nazar: gaze, eyes; nikal aanaa: to come out, to emerge; ghaTaa: cloud; chaa.Nd: moon; chehraa: face; zulf: hair; bikharnaa: to billow; din: day; raat: night; man: soul; jigar: liver (I wrote ‘heart’ above for simplicity, but technically, this is a Farsi-derived term for liver, another vital organ and term of endearment); shaair: poet; ghazal: couplet; adaa: grace, style; khafaa: angry; hayaa: shame; khuubsurat: beautiful; chaar pal: a few moments (four moments); saaraa: entire; umar: lifetime; yaad: memory; akelaa: alone; hamsafar: fellow traveler, companion; saath: together; kho jaanaa: to become lost

Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se awkward game
In this uncomfortable and wholly unnecessary party game, Rajesh Khanna acts as though he’s about to pin the tail on the donkey, I mean, on his secret crush…?? UGH. Why.

We know monsoon season has come to an end, but it’s worth noting that these two had another famous moment in this film that made our list of the top 15 Bollywood rain songs! It’s mildly awkward for other reasons, but after watching this number, I know you’ll be ready.

– Mrs. 55

Shammi Kapoor Asha Parekh Teesri Manzil.png

O Mere Sona Re Lyrics & Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Shammi Kapoor Asha Parekh in O Mere Sona Re Teesri Manzil
Asha Parekh flirts with Shammi Kapoor by poking hay in his ear during “O Mere Sona Re” from Teesri Manzil (1966).

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation of “O Mere Sona Re” from the film Teesri Manzil (1966). This playful duet is one of many gems in R. D. Burman’s crowning soundtrack for this memorable film.

Teesri Manzil opens as a dark murder mystery when Asha Parekh’s sister falls to her death off the balcony of the third story of a hotel. Seeking revenge on her sister’s ex-lover Rocky whom she believes to be the culprit, Asha travels to Deradhun where Rocky is the lead singer in a band. However, she’s (almost literally) derailed by a train ride meet-cute with Shammi Kapoor, transforming the film into a slapstick romantic-comedy. Smooth operator Shammi Kapoor and corny, but savage Asha Parekh exchange a biting repartee that builds a perfect synergy between the two notoriously over-the-top actors.

After a misunderstanding about Shammi’s romantic, but honorable intentions, Asha leaves him in the lurch only for him to be beaten up by goons before her eyes–a consequence she deeply regrets. Asha cajoles him with the energetically flirtatious “O Mere Sona Re” on a sunny hillside. The song has particular significance in the film as she had hitherto refused to call him by his nickname “Sona.” Although she now uses this term of endearment for romantic effect, the joke is on her because the audience knows something he has been desperately hiding from her: Sona is actually Rocky!

Shammi Kapoor Asha Parekh Teesri Manzil.png
Asha Parekh and Shammi Kapoor create Vaudevillian chemistry in Teesri Manzil (1966).

Can you hear that single-note high-pitched violin? It’s the sound of your interest being piqued. We hope that you love our English translation of the beloved “O Mere Sona Re” below–it’s one of the most fun Asha-Rafi duets from that era! And we both know you never hit “skip” when it pops up on your iTunes shuffle.

O Mere Sona Re Lyrics & Translation:

O mere sonaa re, sonaa re, sonaa re
Oh my beloved, my beloved, my beloved
de duu.Ngii jaa.N judaa mat honaa re
I will give you my life, but let us not be separated
mai.N ne tujhe zaraa der mei.N jaanaa
I took some time to get to you know better
huaa qusuur khafaa mat honaa re
It was my fault, but do not become upset
O mere sonaa re, sonaa re, sonaa …
Oh my beloved, my beloved, my beloved…

o merii baaho.N se nikal ke, tu agar mere raste se haT jayegaa
Oh if you escape from my arms and leave my path
toh laharaake ho balkhaake, meraa saayaa tere tan se lipaT jaayegaa
Then swaying and billowing, my shadow will wrap around your body
Tum chhuDaao laakh damaa.N
You may release yourself from a hundred thousand of my embraces
chhoDte hai.N kab yeh armaa.N?
But when will you let go of these desires?
Ki mai.N bhii saath rahuu.Ngii rahoge jahaa.N
For I will stay together with you wherever you are

O mere sonaa re, sonaa re, sonaa…

O miyaa, hamse na chhipaao, woh banaavaT kii saarii adaaye.N liye
O gentleman, do not hide from me with all your artificial graces
Ki tum is pe ho itaraate, ki mai.N piichhe huu.N sau iltijaae.N liye
Why must you flaunt so much when I am behind you pleading a hundred times?
jii, mai.N khush huu.N, mere sonaa
Yes, I am happy my beloved
jhuuTh hai kyaa? Sach kaho na!
Is this a lie? Tell me the truth!
Ki mai.N bhii saath rahuu.Ngii rahoge jahaa.N
For I will stay together with you wherever you are

O mere sonaa re sonaa re sonaa…

O phir hamse na ulajhnaa, nahii.N laT aur uljhan mei.N paD jayegii
Oh, do not entangle me again, for if not, your hair will become even more tangled
O pachtaaogii kuch aise, ki yeh surakhii labo.N kii utar jaayegii
Oh, you will regret so much that the redness of your lips will disappear
yeh sazaa tum bhuul na jaanaa
Do not forget this punishment
pyaar ko Thokar mat lagaanaa
Do not knock down love again
ki chalaa jaau.Ngaa phir mai.N na jaane kahaa.N
For I will leave then, I do not know where

O mere sonaa re sonaa re sonaa…

Glossary:

sonaa: beloved (literally: gold/golden one); jaan: life; judaa: separation; der mei.N: late; qusuur: fault; khafaa: angry; baahe.N: arms; nikalnaa: to come out, to emerge; raastaa: path; haT jaanaa: to get out; laharaanaa: to sway, to wave; balkhaanaa: to billow; saayaa: shadow; tan: body; lipaT jaanaa: to wrap around, to twist; chhudaanaa: to release, to disengage; laakh: one hundred thousand; daamaa.N: embrace; chhodnaa: to let go of, to release; armaa.N: desire; miyaa: gentleman; chhipaanaa: to hide; banaavaT: artificial, fake; adaa: grace, style; itaraanaa: to flaunt, to show off; piichhe: behind; iltajaa: plea; khush: happy; jhuuTh: lie; sach: truth; phir: again, then; ulajhnaa: to bother, to entangle; laT: locks of hair; pachtaanaa: to regret; surakhii: redness; lab: lips; utarnaa: to get off, to descend; sazaa: punishment; bhuulnaa: to forget; Thokar: knock;

Shammi Kapoor O Mere Sona Re
His pompadour ruffled irreparably, Shammi Kapoor reproaches Asha Parekh at the end of “O Mere Sona Re” from Teesri Manzil (1966).

You may now be asking yourself, what is poetic genius Majrooh Sultanpuri really saying on a deeper level with the whole “pachtaaogii kuch aise, ki yeh surakhii labo.N kii utar jaayegii“?

Like…are we just talking about lipstick getting smudged here…by her love interest perhaps? Or is she going to lose that red color because she grows pale from iron deficiency anemia? Will there be actual blood loss?

So many ways to interpret this. I leave it to you, O, gentle reader.

This winner was requested by superfan Shiraz. We love getting great requests like this one!

– Mrs. 55

Jai Jai Shiv Shankar Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz nose rub in Aap Ki Kasam
Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz’s chemistry is palpable in a cutesy nose rub from Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation to “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974). What started as an innocent trip to the temple by newlyweds Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz to pray for a child together turns quickly into a hippie dance party (complete with bhang). The irony-laced, quasi-devotional “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” that ensues is one of the 1970s most memorable duets.

When I was younger, my sister and I used to obsessively watch these VHS tapes with collections of old Bollywood songs (thanks, Mom). On one such tape, dubbed “Greatest Hits of Kishore-Lata,” this number appeared, completely out of context. While we loved the beat of the song and Rajesh Khanna’s striking powder blue bell-bottoms, we HATED Mumtaz and everything about her. First of all, orange is not her colour, and her side burns-turned-curly-Qs would scar any pre-teenage girl. But worse than all her sartorial transgressions was her buffoonery in the opening! Can you imagine the heroine of any of other film stumbling down a staircase in front of everyone? At that time, we had no idea Mumtaz had supposedly just gotten high (much less what bhang even was) and fully intended to come across as comically intoxicated. It took years for us to heal and finally come around to her merits as an actress.

Still, while “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” is a strong competitor in the marijuana trip-themed category of 1970s Bollywood songs, it loses narrowly to “Dum Maro Dum” from Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971). To my fellow Hindi film fanatics, I’m sorry, but the gold standard in this particular regard remains Asha.

Mumtaz high in Aap Ki Kasam.png
Mumtaz nails that marijuana-induced euphoria in “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

Aap Ki Kasam boasts an incredible soundtrack by R.D. Burman that spans the breadth of human experience–from the love ballad “Karvaten Badalte Rahe” to the philosophic “Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar.” I may never be able to explain some things about “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar,” but it’s a huge highlight of the film. Like who on earth is that random old guy who starts singing halfway through? Do his grandkids watch this video too and point out his cameo with pride to all their American friends at school? Because I would.

Rajesh Khanna posing at Natraj in jai jai shiv shankar.png
Rajesh Khanna attempts a Natraj pose in the field during “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” from Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

We hope you enjoy our English translation of “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” below! While this playful song is rarely celebrated for the profundity of its lyrics, I hope you take a moment to appreciate Anand Bakshi’s poetic genius. Let’s face it: he was kind of backed up against a wall with the opening line ending in “Shankar.” After all, when was the last time you heard the word “kankar” used in a Bollywood song? I thought as much.

Jai Jai Shiv Shankar Lyrics and English Translation:

Kishore: Hey jai jai Shiv Shankar!
Victory to Lord Shiva!
Kaa.NTaa lage na kankar
Let neither thorn nor rock befall us
Ke pyaalaa tere naam ka piyaa
For I drink this glass is in your name, sweetheart

Lata: Ho gir jaauu.Ngii! mai.N mar jaauu.Ngii!
Oh, I will fall! I will die!
Jo tune mujhe thaam na liyaa
Unless you hold me
Ho sau Rab dii
Oh I swear to God

Lata: Ek ke do, do ke chaar, mujhko to dikhte.N hai.N
I am seeing one as two, and two as four
Kishore: Aisaa hii hotaa hai.N jab do dil milte hai.N
This is what happens when two hearts meet
Lata: Sar pe zameen, paao.N ke niiche hai aasmaa.N, ho!
Th earth is on my head, and beneath my feet is the sky, oh!

Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Lata: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God

Rando [in Braj bhashaa]: O Bansii bhaiyaa!
Oh musical brother!
O more raajaa, baDe jaTnaa se
Oh my King, you are very blessed
Ke chuure terii phulwaarii re…
To have found a flower garden like her

He he he he he he! [maniacal laughter]

Lata: Kandhe pe sar rakhe tum mujh ko sone do
Let me lay head on your shoulder and sleep
Kishore: Masti mei.N jo chaahe.N ho jaaye hone do
In this intoxication, do whatever you want to do!
Lata: Aise mei.N, tum ho gaye ho baDe be-iimaan…ho!
In my state, you seem very dishonest…oh!

Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Lata: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God

Kishore: Raste.N mei.N hum dono ghar kaise jaaye.Nge?
How can the two of us return home on this path?
Lata: Gharwaale ab humko khud lene aaye.Nge
Our families will have to come bring us back themselves
Kishore: Kuch bhii ho lekin mazaa aa gayaa, merii jaan…ho!
Anything may happen, but my dear, I had a great time…oh!

Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Lata: Sau Rab di
I swear to God
Kishore: Sau Rab di
I swear to God

Kishore: Are, bajaao re, bajaao, imaandaarii se bajaao
Hey! Play on, play with honesty
Are bajaao, pachaas hazaar kharchaa kar diyaa
Hey! Play on, we have spent fifty thousand rupees on this
Are imaandaari se bajaao, beta
Hey! Play with honesty, son

Glossary:

Jai: victory; Shiv Shankar: Lord Shiva in supreme and deity form; kaa.Ntaa: thorn; kankar: rock; pyaalaa: glass/goblet; naam: name; piyaa: beloved; gir jaanaa: to fall; mar jaanaa: to die; thaam lena: to hold; Rab dii sau: swear by God (Panjabi); ek: one; do: two; chaar: four; jab: when; dil: heart; milnaa: to meet; sar: head; zamee.N: earth; paao.N: feet; niiche: beneath; aasmaa.N: sky; bansii bhaiyaa: musical brother [bansii is a reference to Lord Krishna’s flute]; raajaa: king; phulwaari: garden; khande: shoulders; sonaa: to sleep; mastii: intoxication; be-iimaan: dishonest; raastaa: path; hum dono: the two of us; ghar: home; gharwaale: (literally) the people at home; khud: self; kuch bhii: anything; lekin: but, yet; mazaa aanaa: to enjoy [oneself], to have fun; jaan: life (used as a term of endearment); bajaanaa: to play [an instrument]; imaandaarii: honesty, integrity; pachhaas: fifty; hazaar: thousand; kharch karnaa: to spend

Stoned Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz Jai Jai Shiv Shankar.png
Who would you bet is higher right now, Rajesh or Mumtaz?

Thank you Garima Singh for this awesome request! Did you know Aap Ki Kasam is a remake of a 1970 Malayalam film Vaazhve Mayam? In the original, the ending is way darker, fulfilling stereotypes about the role of women in traditional society that I resent. I won’t spoil the outcome of Aap Ki Kasam for those who haven’t seen this legitimately great film, but just know that Rajesh Khanna plays a fool you will want to smack upside the head repeatedly–an urge that dissipates satisfyingly when he spirals tragically into self-destruction. Karma, baby.

– Mrs. 55

Zeenat Aman pretending to play guitar in Yaadon ki Baraat

Chura Liya Hai Lyrics & Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Zeenat aman chura liya hai asha bhonsle
Zeenat Aman opens “Chura Liya Hai” with a perfectly harmonious clanking of bar goblets in Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973). R.D. Burman achieved this sound by actually clanking a spoon against a glass!

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation to “Chura Liya Hai” from retro classic Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973).

The robust musical composition of “Chura Liya Hai” is nothing short of genius: its instrumental experimentation and rich layers of orchestral nuance are what made R.D. Burman such a radical revolutionary in the industry. But first we must start by discussing the comical opening sequence of Zeenat Aman fake guitaring. I’m sorry, but this can’t be ignored, nor can anyone’s feelings about it be overstated.

Have you ever seen someone play the guitar, Zeenat? Does the timing of when you pluck strings and when the guitar emits sound make sense to you? Or were you rushing through the scene because Elvis was calling and wanted his white jumpsuit back?

Zeenat Aman pretending to play guitar in Yaadon ki Baraat
Abandoning all pretense, Zeenat Aman gives her guitar a hug in Yaadon ki Baraat (1973).

I’ll move on. Director Nasir Hussein’s hit film Yaadon Ki Baraat plays upon the classic Hindi film trope of three-brothers-separated-in-childhood who reunite as adults and serve up some nice cold justice on a platter. I’m waiting for someone to remix this as a sister story with a welcome whiff of feminism, but it’s fine. While I would argue Waqt and Amar, Akbar, Anthony made far more note-worthy contributions to cinema, Yaadon Ki Baraat was a formulaic commercial success despite the gauche performance by its leading man Vijay Arora. And yes, I have strong feelings about those protruding ruffles on his tuxedo shirt, but I’ll spare you.

Vijay Arora in Chura liya hai.png
Vijay Arora casually throws the guitar he does not know how to hold over his shoulder in “Chura Liya Hai” from Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973). In doing so, Zeenat realizes she has found someone who truly understands her.

Vijay Arora plays one of the three brothers who falls for the wealthy daughter of his adoptive father’s employer (played by Zeenat Aman). With vocals that have reached peak Rafi perfection (just years before his voice took a turn for the husky), Vijay easily lands the girl by transforming “Chura Liya Hai” into a flirtatious duet when he pipes up mid-way through the number.

We hope you enjoy our lyrics and English translation to “Chura Liya Hai” below! God bless you, Majrooh Sultanpuri. Punjabi words like lahuu never make it to mainstream Bollywood songs.

Chura Liya Hai Lyrics & English Translation:

ASHA: Churaa liyaa hai tumne jo dil ko
If you steal my heart
Nazar nahii.N churaanaa, sanam
Do not steal your gaze away from me, my beloved
Badal ke merii tum zindagaanii
Even as you change my life
Kahii.N badal na jaanaa, sanam
Do not go and change yourself, my beloved

Ho! le liyaa dil, oh! Haaye meraa dil!
Oh you have taken my heart! Oh, sigh, my heart!
Haaye, dil lekar mujhko na behlaanaa
Sigh, as you take my heart, do attempt to pacify me

Churaa liyaa hai tumne jo dil ko
If you steal my heart
Nazar nahii.N churaanaa, sanam
Do not steal your gaze away from me, my beloved
Badal ke merii tum zindagaanii
Even as you change my life
Kahii.N badal na jaanaa, sanam
Do not go and change yourself, my beloved

Bahar banke aauu.N kabhii tumhaarii duniyaa mei.N
I will become the Spring and enter your world
Guzar na jaaye yeh din kahii.N issii tamannaa mei.N
Let my days not disappear with this desire
Tum mere ho, ho! tum mere ho, aaj tum itnaa waadaa karte jaanaa
You are mine, oh! You are mine, today you can only leave if you promise me this

Churaa liyaa hai tumne jo dil ko
If you steal my heart
Nazar nahii.N churaanaa, sanam
Do not steal your gaze away from me, my beloved
Badal ke merii tum zindagaanii
Even as you change my life
Kahii.N badal na jaanaa, sanam
Do not go and change yourself, my beloved

RAFI: Ho! sajaau.Ngaa luT kar bhi tere badan ki Daali ko
Oh! I would destroy myself to decorate the branches of your body
Lahuu jigar ka duu.Ngaa hasii.N labo.N ki laalii ko
I will give the blood from my heart for the rouge of your lips
Hai wafaa kyaa is jahaa.N ko, ek din dikhlaa duu.Ngaa mai.N diiwaanaa
One day, this crazy man will show the world what a true promise is

Churaa liyaa hai tumne jo dil ko
If you steal my heart
Nazar nahii.N churaanaa, sanam
Do not steal your gaze away from me, my beloved
Badal ke merii tum zindagaanii
Even as you change my life
Kahii.N badal na jaanaa, sanam
Do not go and change yourself, my beloved

Ho! le liyaa dil, oh! Haaye meraa dil!
Oh you have taken my heart! Oh, sigh, my heart!
Haaye, dil lekar mujhko na behlaanaa
Sigh, as you take my heart, do attempt to pacify me

Churaa liyaa hai tumne jo dil ko
If you steal my heart
Nazar nahii.N churaanaa, sanam
Do not steal your gaze away from me, my beloved
Hmmm hmmm hmmmm
Hmmm hmmm hmmmm

Glossary:

churaanaa: to steal; dil: heart; nazar: gaze; sanam: beloved; badalnaa: to change; zindagaanii: life; behlaanaa: to pacify; Bahaar: Spring; duniyaa: world; guzaar jaanaa: to pass; tamannaa: desire; waadaa: promise; sajaanaa: to decorate; luT: ruin, destruction; badan: body; Daalii: branch; lahuu: blood [Panjabi]; jigar: liver/heart; hasii.N: beautiful; lab: lips; laalii: redness; jahaa.N: world; din: day; dikhlaanaa: to show; diiwaanaa: crazy (in love), a la Beyonce

Vijay Arora and Zeenat Aman in Yaadon Ki Baarat.png
Zeenat Aman and Vijay Arora  act all like they didn’t notice the other one is singing straight at them in “Chura Liya hai” from Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973).

You guys might recall that album “You’ve Stolen My Heart” by the Kronos Quartet and Asha Bhonsle in 2005. It features this song…and let’s just say, my heart didn’t get stolen. To me, this song could not be improved upon–and I rarely ever question the absolute sublimity of a Rafi-Lata duet. Here, I have come to appreciate what Asha uniquely brings to this song–a kind of vivacity and playfulness that Lata would have done very differently–and I wouldn’t change it even if I could!

-Mrs. 55

Rajesh Khanna Mehbooba guitar mere naina sawan

Mere Naina Sawan Bhado Lyrics & Translation: 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