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

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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

 

Spooky Songs of Classic Bollywood: The 15 Most Haunting Melodies of Yesteryear

Biswajeet Bees Saal Baad film noir kahin deep jale

Biswajeet is haunted by a mysterious voice singing of love and murder in Bees Saal Baad (1962).

Happy Halloween! What better way to give yourself the creeps than with a vintage Hindi film song! Mr. 55 and I once hosted a Spooky Song-themed study break on-campus during which we projected old Hindi film noirs on a large screen, drank rooh afza and jammed nerdily to Lata’s high notes. Was it any surprise the two of us were the only ones really having an awesome time? Join us in our countdown to the spookiest song of classic Bollywood! When I say scary, I’m not referring to Vinod Khanna’s lime green tuxedo in Aan Milo Sajna (although it might give you nightmares). I’m talking about the real deal here. These are songs that will keep you up at night, that will haunt your waking moments as you grapple with the symbolism. And if you see a mysterious woman in a white-sari floating around your house this evening…well, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

The Fifteen Scariest Songs from Old Hindi Films!

15. Tujhko Pukare Mera Pyar (Neel Kamal 1968)

Few things are scarier than being buried alive. Rajkumar haunts his Mughal-era lover through the ages even when she is reborn as a 1960s desperate housewife.

14. Gagan Jhanjhana Rah (Nastik 1954)

This song is a hidden gem. Hemant Kumar actually impersonates God in this song with a voice that booms from the heavens amidst a stormy apocalpyse. The chorus is so darn creepy in this song, you might feel real chills from the wind sound effects mixed into the song!

13. Waqt Ne Kiya (Kaaghaz Ke Phool 1957)

What makes this song so spooky and yet so beautiful? It’s all in the lighting and the spectres lingering in the room–read our translation for more!

12. Jayen To Jayen Kahan (Taxi Driver 1954)

In our translation of this all-time creeper, we discuss the emptiness of the song’s mis-en-scene to heighten a feeling of abandonment, leaving you nothing but Dev Anand’s perfect pompadour to ease the pain.

11. Akele Hain Chale Aao (Raaz 1967)

While the movie Raaz may be a clunk, “Akele Hain” (that is reprised in a male and female version!) will certainly leave you clawing after your security blanket. Insider hint: Rajesh Khanna takes his shirt off later on in the movie if you can sit through the rest of the film.

10. Raat Andheri (Aah 1953)

In this heartbreaking social drama, Raj Kapoor plays a handsome tuberculosis patient unable to marry the girl of his dreams because of his illness. In the throes of self-pity, the minor key music haunts him as his own life slips away. Tragic, yes, but mostly just creepy.

9. Sau Baar Janam Lenge (Ustadon Ke Ustad 1963)

Mohammed Rafi’s unearthly beautiful voice echoes through the mist in this song like a phantom from the other world. The woman in mourning seems ready to commit suicide at any moment during the song, keeping the audience on their toes!

8. Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari (Kaaghaz Ke Phool 1957)

This gentle song of disillusioned love beckons you in like a tantalizing dream, and then drags you to perdition as you scream over the ethereal chorus. Our earlier translation of Dekhi Zamane discusses the transitions of the song from fantasy to absolute nightmare!

7. Koi Duur Se Aawaz De Chale Aao (Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam 1962)

One of my favorite songs in this genre, Guru Dutt is awakened in the middle of the night by a tender lament floating through the halls of the large empty mansion in which he works. Who is this mysterious and sad woman with the enchanting song? You HAVE to watch this genius star-studded film and find out!

6. Jane Kahan Gaye Woh Din (Mera Naam Joker 1970)

Good thing I don’t have a fear of clowns or this song would have permanently wrecked my childhood. Raj Kapoor plays a circus performer who has lost all those he has ever loved. He enters a private Hell in which he is bound to perform in his clown garb to an unfeeling audience, always smiling on the outside and crying on the inside. Brace yourself for several attempts at artsy camera tricks to make him float that could not be more creepy.

5. Gumnaam Hai Koi (Gumnaam 1965)

Based on the Agatha Christie novel “And Then There Were None,” Gumnaam is a kitsch-lovers delight. Drop-dead gorgeous (literally) Lata Mangeshkar’s voice haunts a group of travelers as they meander through a nameless forest. Newsflash! The “ghost” of this song actually chimes in with a high-pitch thrill when the music goes quiet, so listen carefully!

4. Naina Barse (Woh Kaun Thi? 1964)

One of the best examples of a femme fatale in Hindi films, “Naina Barse” is sung by a ghostly woman haunting her lover from a former lifetime. Her flowing white sari against the endless, crisp white snow of a Simla winter set the perfect stage for a nightmare. The woman in a white sari is a classic cliche–read more about its meaning here!

3. Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil (Bees Saal Baad 1964)

This song hardly needs an introduction, so famous is its eerie tune. One of the most brilliant shots is the slow crane down from above the chandelier to Biswajeet’s horrified stare at the piano. But has anyone else ever noticed the film version has the interlude violins playing an entire octave lower than in the recorded version?? It totally blew my mind when watching the film–and both ways are equally horrifying!

2. Jhoom Jhoom Dhalti Raat (Kohra 1964)

Stylistic symbolism sets this creepster apart from its competitors. My favorite moment in this song is when the shadow figures do an interpretive dance in the sand, acting out the “choDo piyaa mera, choDo haath” line. I get chills every time I watch this–the cinematography is genuinely brilliant and haunting!

1. Aayega Aanewala (Mahal 1949)

Welcome to the spookiest song of Bollywood! Nothing will ever top the song that officially taught Bollywood everything it needed to know about horror. Don’t expect any corpses to pop out of the closet–this song is way to classy for that. See our translation of this unbeatable classic for more!

So…I know I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight. What are your favorite spooky songs from Bollywood films? Tell us the scenes that have haunted your waking hours for years (think Sadhana declaring “Mujhe khoon achha lagtaa hai” on a rainy night)! Mr. 55 and I both hope you have a very Happy Halloween!

– Mrs. 55

Mrs. 55 in her go-to gypsy girl costume. When all else fails...

Mrs. 55 in her go-to gypsy girl costume. When all else fails…tie a chunni on your head.

Shayad Meri Shaadi Ka Khayal Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna Tina Munim Shayad Meri Shadi Mauritius

Rajesh Khanna and Tina Munim fall in love by the beautiful Mauritian beaches in Souten (1983).

Today we present the lyrics and complete English translation to the duet “Shayad Meri Shadi Ka Khayal” from the film Souten (1983). A landmark film for prominently portraying the lives of Indians in the island of Mauritius, Souten tells the story of Mauritian businessman Rajesh Khanna and his relationship with Tina Munim who uses the romantic landscapes to her advantage. The song “Shayad Meri Shadi Ka Khayal” is a playful age-old favorite, with back-and-forth witticisms between an eager young woman anxious to marry a reluctant bachelor.

From frolicking through a forest of palm trees to dancing upon a yacht in a sapphire blue ocean, the song highlights the island’s natural beauty as one of India’s favorite foreign tourist destinations. More exotic than Kashmir, but more familiar than Toyko, Southern Africa’s hidden gem, Mauritius, became the ideal dream-world for filmi escapsim. The bungalow in which much of the Mauritian scenes are filmed was none other than the then Prime Minister of Mauritius’ own house. While filming, Rajesh Khanna loved the set so much that upon his return to India, he modeled his own bungalow “Ashirwad” after the house in Mauritius!

Saawan Kumar Tak, director of Souten, recalls of working with Rajesh Khanna on the film,

“I did a great film like Souten with him. He was born to play that role and I was born to make that film. Such was our rare match. It was a memorable experience working with him. Souten was the first Bollywood film to be shot in Mauritius and since then the beautiful destination gained popularity.” 

Tina Munim mauritius shayad meri

Palm trees sway as Tina Munim playfully urges Mauritian businessman Rajesh Khanna to ask her parents for permission to marry in Souten (1983).

This song has a special parallel meaning for me and my fiancé, who is actually a Mauritian native who came to America for college where we met! Like the heroine in the film, I was all over trying to get him to marry me almost as soon as I heard his French accent the first time! I can totally relate to Tina Munim in this song. And he too went through an elaborate process of asking my parent’s permission to marry me, but unlike the couple in the film, we’ve been lucky. You have to see the movie to learn more about the troubles that follow the marriage of Rajesh Khanna and Tina Munim’s characters in Souten–but the title of the film, (“Second Wife”) can perhaps give you a clue!

Now Souten was actually not the first Indian film to have been shot in Mauritius (Sanjay Khan’s Chandi Sona in 1977 had precedence), however the huge success of Souten is credited for giving Mauritian the popularity it deserved. Dozens of more recent films have taken advantage of the economically-friendly and culturally-similar atmosphere of a country whose citizens are largely of Indian ancestry themselves. In fact, the big blockbuster of the 90s, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was shot at my fiance’s own high school, Royal College Curepipe!

Rajesh Khanna visor mauritius

Sweet red visor, Rajesh! Show those locals how we do it in Bombay!

Composed by glass-ceiling shattering female music director, Usha Khanna, “Shayad Meri Shadi” is sung by dynamic duo Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. I hope our English translation of “Shayad Meri Shadi” opens up your horizons to the splendor of an island you perhaps otherwise would have never known. Follow along with our lyrics by watching the song here, and enjoy more sights of Mauritian beauty with some of our engagement pictures at Caselas Nature and Wildlife Park in Mauritius below!

 

Shayad Meri Shaadi Ka Khayal Lyrics and Translation:

Female:
Shaayad merii shaadi kaa khayaal dil mei.N aayaa hai
Perhaps the thought of my marriage came to her heart
Isii liye mummy ne merii, tumhe.N chaaii pe bulaayaa hai
For this reason, my mother has called you over for tea

Male:
Kyaa kahaa? Phir se doharaanaa na
What did you say? Repeat it again

Female:
Shaayad merii shaadi kaa khayaal dil mei.N aayaa hai
Perhaps the thought of my marriage came to her heart
Isii liye mummy ne merii, tumhe.N chaaii pe bulaayaa hai
For this reason, my mother has called you over for tea

Male:
Panchhii akelaa dekh ke mujhe, yeh jaal bichhaayaa hai
You saw me as a lone bird and set this trap
Isii liye mummy ne terii, mujhe chaaii pe bulaayaa hai
For this reason, your mother has called me over for tea
Kyuu.N hai na?
Isn’t that right?

Female:
Nahii.N, nahii.N!
No, no!
Thiik tum, chaar baje, ghar chale aanaa
At precisely four o’clock, come to the house
Meraa haath maang lenaa, zaraa naa sharamaanaa
Do not feel embarrassed to ask for my hand

Male:
Saat phere mere sang sapne dekh rahi ho
You are seeing dreams of wedding rituals alongside me
Khili huii dhuup mei.N, taare dekh rahi ho!
In broad daylight, you are seeing stars!
Are nahii.N, nahii.N baabaa, chaaii nahii.n peenaa!
No, no, lady, I will not drink tea!

Female:
Kyuu.N, kyuu.N?
Why, why?

Male:
Taubaa merii taubaa, maaf kar denaa!
Oh my goodness, forgive me!

Female:
Inhii.N adaao.N par to haaye apnaa dil aayaa hai
Because of your pretenses, my heart is sighing
Isii liye mummy ne terii, mujhe chaaii pe bulaayaa hai
For this reason, my mother has called you over for tea

Male:
Naa, naa, naa, naa!
No, no, no, no!

Female:
Dillagi na karo, chheDo na humko sanam
Do not play around, do not tease me, beloved
Haa.N kaho, ghar chalo, tumko meri qasam
Say yes, come to the house, swear by me

Male:
Jaan-e-man, maanaa ham tumpe marte hai.N
Darling, I accept that I have fallen for you
Pyaar to Theek hai, shaadii se Darte hai.N!
Love is fine, but I am afraid of marriage!
Shaadi se pehle to, sab achchhaa lagtaa hai
Before marriage, everything seems great
Saari umr ko phir, ronaa paDtaa hai!
But for the rest of my years, I will have to cry!

Female:
Inhii.N adaao.N par to haaye apnaa dil aayaa hai
Because of your pretenses, my heart is sighing
Isii liye mummy ne terii, mujhe chaaii pe bulaayaa hai
For this reason, my mother has called you over for tea

Male:
O, panchhii akelaa dekh ke mujhe, yeh jaal bichhaayaa hai
You saw me as a lone bird and set this trap
Isii liye mummy ne terii, mujhe chaaii pe bulaayaa hai
For this reason, your mother has called me over for tea

Female:
Tumhe.N merii qasam aaoge, na?
You swear by me that you will come, right?

Male:
Nahii.N, bilkul nahii.N!
No, absolutely not!
Haa.N terii qasam, aauu.Ngaa!
OK, yes, I swear by you that I will come!

Glossary:

shaayad: perhaps; shaadi: wedding; khayal: thought; dil: heart; isii liye: for this reason; chaaii: tea; doharaanaa: to repeat; panchhii: bird, akelaa: alone; jaal: trap; Thiik chaar baje: at precisely four o’clock; [kisi ka] haath maangnaa: to ask [for someone’s] hand in marriage; sharmaanaa: to become embarrassed; saath phere: Hindu wedding ritual of seven circles around a ceremonial fire; sapnaa: dream; dhuup: sunlight; taaraa: star; maa’af kar dena: to give forgiveness; adaa: style, grace, pretense; dillagi: amusement; chheDnaa: to tease; [kisi ki] qasam: to swear by someone; jaan-e-man: mind of my soul, darling; maannaa: to accept, to agree; [kisi pe] marnaa: to fall in love with someone; Darnaa: to be afraid of; pehlaa: first, before; umr: years; ronaa: to cry

This song is dedicated to another Mauritian ex-patriot and fan of Mr. and Mrs. 55, Ayoob! Hope you enjoy the reminder of paradise glamourized as only Rajesh Khanna in an all-white jumpsuit can. My challenge to you, Mauritian fans: which Mauritian beach do you think this song is film at? Grand Baie, Péreybère, Belle Mar Plage, etc.? Let us know your insider opinion!

-Mrs. 55

blue beach mauritius shayad meri shadi

Despite the close-call of an on-screen kiss between Tina Munim and Rajesh Khanna, the blue beaches of Mauritius steal the show in Souten (1983).

P.S. Speaking of shaadis, it’s T-minus 7 months to my wedding! Mr. and Mrs. 55 and I have been busily planning our “surprise item” for the Sangeet (non-surprising spoiler alert: it’s going to be a performance of an old Hindi film love song!), and I just returned from India for an epic shopping trip that resulted in more Sabyasachi lenghas than should be legal. We’ll keep posting more details in future posts as the wedding day approaches!

Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rajesh Khanna Anand Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli

Dangerously attractive Rajesh Khanna proves that real men wear lavender in Anand (1971).

Next we showcase the lyrics and English translation of “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli” from the sentimental mega-hit Anand (1971). Diagnosed with terminal lymphosarcoma of the intestine, Rajesh Khanna is determined to raise the spirits of those around him. With a smile, he explains his philosophy to his bewildered physician, Amitabh Bachhan:

“Babumushai, zindagii badii honii chahiye, lambii nahii.N.” [“Babumushai, life should be big, not long.”]

Brimming with rich symbolism from floating balloons to boatmen in the ocean, “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli” explores the outlook of a man whose journey is approaching its destination. Rajesh Khanna give a tour de force performance as a character at peace with the mysteries of the world.

Rajesh Khanna gives out balloons at Juhu Beach

Rajesh Khanna buys out a lucky balloon-wala in “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli” from Anand (1971).

The song begins with a distinctive, uplifting trumpet solo, establishing the tone. While other gorgeous songs of Anand such as “Kahin Door Jab Din” are sung by the gentle Mukesh, Manna Dey was chosen for “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli.” Known better for his masterful Hindustani classical numbers of the 1960s, Manna Dey’s film career began to falter with the rise of Kishore Kumar’s heroic romantic vocals. But his popularity revived in the 70s with Anand when Rajesh Khanna himself asked music director Salil Chaudhary for a chance to lip-sync a Manna Dey song. As Manna Dey recalled in a 2012 interview,

“I loved the way he [Rajesh Khanna] picturised music. The success of a song depends upon how an actor picturises it. He was the number one in picturising songs. I will ever be indebted to him.”

We hope you enjoy the lyrics and English translation of “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli” from Anand (1971). Follow along with the video here while reflecting on film lyricist Yogesh’s philosophical poetry!

Zindagi Kaisi Paheli Lyrics and Translation:

Zindagii kaisii hai pahelii, haaye!
Oh, what a riddle life is!
Kabhii to ha.Nsaaye kabhi yeh rulaaye
Sometimes it makes us laugh, sometimes it makes us cry

Kabhii dekho man nahii.N jaage, peechhe peechhe sapno.N ke bhaage
Sometimes the mind does not awaken, it chases dreams
Ek din sapno.N ka raahii chalaa jaaye sapno.N ke aage, kahaa.N?
One day that traveler of dreams will go beyond the dreams, but where?

Jin hone sajaaye yahaa.N mele sukh dukh sang-sang jhele
Those who bring people together, they experience joy and sorrow together
Wohii chunkar khaamoshii yuu.N chalii jaaye akele, kahaa.N?
Those same people choose silence and depart alone, but where?

Glossary:

zindagii: life; pahelii: riddle, puzzle; haaye: oh, sigh; ha.Nsaanaa: to make [someone] laugh; rulaanaa: to make [someone] cry; man: mind; jaagnaa: to awaken; peechhe: behind; bhaagnaa: to run; ek din: one day; sapnaa: dream; raahii: traveler; aage: ahead, future; melaa sajaanaa: to arrange a fair (literal), to bring people together; sukh: happiness; dukh: sadness; sang-sang: together; jhelnaa: to experience; chunnaa: to choose; khamoshii: silence; akelaa: alone

Juhu Beach Rajesh Khanna Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli Anand

“Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli” was famously filmed at suburban Bombay’s Juhu Beach, made even more gorgeous by the delicate silhouette of Rajesh Khanna against the shoreline.

It’s hard to believe we lost a legend like Manna Dey 6 months ago, a little more than a year after losing Rajesh Khanna. The singer was 95 years old. This beautiful tribute to those dream chasers we wish were with us, “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli,” was requested by fan Ajay.

-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