Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Directed by the renowned lyricist Gulzar, Aandhi stirred up quite the controversy after the film was released in 1975. Shortly after the release of Aandhi, India found itself in the midst of a national state of emergency instituted by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in response to the deep-seated political unrest and instability that had emerged across the nation. The 21-month Emergency of 1975-1977 is often viewed as one of the darkest eras in the political history of post-independence India: corruption, censorship, and the suspension of civil liberties threatened to compromise the basic principles upon which the nation’s democracy had been built. In this context, it’s not surprising that Aandhi was banned by the government during the Emergency on the grounds that the film’s protagonist bore an inappropriate resemblance to Mrs. Gandhi. As a result, certain scenes depicting the protagonist drinking and smoking were re-shot and an extra scene in which the protagonist tells her father that she idolizes Indira Gandhi (“ye hii to mere ideal hai.n“) was included to separate the film from real life. Although the parallels in appearance, mannerisms, and even the film’s title (Aandhi, meaning storm, rhymes with Gandhi) are undeniable, Gulzar explains in an old Filmfare interview that he never intended to base this film on the life of Indira Gandhi:

“Contrary to popular opinion, my story wasn’t based on Indira Gandhi’s life. It had nothing to do with Indira-ji. She was just the role model for the lady politician. Frankly, who better could there be? She was such a dynamic lady.”

SuchitraSen_Aandhi_IndiraGandhi
Suchitra Sen tells her father that she idolizes Indira Gandhi in a flashback scene that was added to Aandhi (1975) after the film was initially banned by the government.

With inspiration from a novel titled Kali Aandhi by Hindi author Kamaleshwar, Aandhi (1975) depicts the story of Aarti Devi (portrayed by Suchitra Sen) as she struggles to balance her professional ambitions with her quest for personal gratification while navigating through the volatile world of Indian politics. While traveling on the campaign trail, Aarti is caught by surprise when she runs into her estranged husband JK (portrayed by Sanjeev Kumar), who happens to be the owner of the hotel where she is staying currently. Nine years ago, the call to public service compelled Aarti to eschew her domestic duties and leave her husband and daughter in order to pursue her dreams of becoming a politician. After their unexpected reunion, Aarti and JK cultivate a tender but awkward relationship as they reminisce about memories from their past and come to realize that they still have unresolved feelings for each other after all these years. Through an artistic use of flashbacks, we learn about the development of Aarti and JK’s early romance, the disapproval of their marriage by Aarti’s father, and the eventual breakdown of their relationship. Their domestic conflict evolves into an Abhimaan-esque clash of egos and personalities, and they eventually decide to part ways after several failed efforts to maintain a happy marriage.

Su
Suchitra Sen sports Indira Gandhi’s trademark silver streak in Aandhi (1975).

Ultimately, Aandhi illustrates the complexities of an evolving relationship between two individuals who share mutual respect and affection for each other but are unable to reconcile their differences to converge seamlessly on the same path. In addition to providing a mature and realistic view of human relationships, Aandhi sheds light on the unique challenges that confront Indian women in positions of power as they attempt to balance their professional and personal lives. Although Aarti wins her election at the conclusion of the film, this victory is made bittersweet as she grapples with an unfortunate reality: professional success and domestic bliss were often mutually exclusive for Indian women of her time.

SK
The Martand Sun Temple near Anantnag, Kashmir serves as a gorgeous backdrop for this classic song from Aandhi (1975).

In addition to Gulzar’s skillful direction and the captivating performances delivered by Suchitra Sen (her diction is excused!) and Sanjeev Kumar, Aandhi is remembered most often today for its soundtrack of stunning songs composed by R.D. Burman using Gulzar’s poetry. Each Lata-Kishore duet is a gem and serves to illustrate a different facet of Aarti and JK’s relationship in the film. In particular, the classic “tere binaa zindagii se koii” is a tender and wistful expression of regret and lost love. Without the frills of an elevated vocabulary, this song boldly questions: can living life without the one you love be considered a life at all?

Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa: Lyrics and Translation

tere binaa zindagii se koii shikvaa to nahii.n, shikvaa nahii.n
I have no complaints against a life without you.
tere binaa zindagii bhii lekin zindagii to nahii.n, zindagii nahii.n
Yet a life without you is not a life at all.

kaash aisaa ho tere qadamo.n se
I wish that, from your footsteps,
chunke manzil chale.n aur kahii.n, duur kahii.n
we could find a new destination; somewhere else, somewhere far.
tum gar saath ho manzilo.n kii kamii to nahii.n
With you by my side, there is no shortage of destinations for us to reach.

SK: suno Aartii, ye jo phuulo.n kii bele.n nazar aatii hai.n na?
Listen Aarti, do you see those things that look like flower vines?
darasal ye bele.n nahii.n, arabii me.n aayate.n likhii.n hai.n.
In fact, they are not vines. They are verses written in Arabic.
ise din ke vaqt dekhnaa chaahiye, bilkul saaf nazar aatii hai.n.
We should see them during the day. They can be read very clearly.
din ke vaqt yah saaraa paanii se bharaa rahtaa hai.
During the day, this whole place is filled with water. 
din ke vaqt jab ye phuvaaare

During the day, when these fountains…

SS:  din kii baat kyo.n kar rahe ho? kahaa.n aa paauu.ngii mai.n din me.n?
Why do you keep talking about the day? How will I come here during the day?

SK: yah jo chaand hai na? ise raat main dekhnaa.
Do you see this Moon? Watch it at night.
yah din me.n nahii.n nikaltaa.

It does not come out during the day. 

SS: yah to roz nikaltaa hogaa.
But the Moon comes out every night.

SK: haa.n, lekin biich me.n amaavas aa jaatii hai.
Yes, but the dark fortnight comes in between.
vaise to amaavas pandrah din kii hotii hai.
The dark fortnight usually lasts 15 days.
lekin is baar bahut lambii thii.
But this time, it felt much longer.

SS: nau baras lambii thii na?
It felt as if it were nine years long, no?

jii me.n aataa hai tere daaman me.n
I yearn to seek refuge in your bosom
sar chhupake ham rote rahe.n, rote rahe.n
to hide my face as I continue to weep.
terii bhii aa.nkho.n me.n aa.nsuuo.n kii namii to nahii.n
Are your eyes not clouded by the mist of fresh tears, too?

tum jo kah do to aaj kii raat
If you say so tonight,
chaa.nd Duubegaa nahii.n, raat ko rok lo
even the Moon will not wane. Please stop the night from passing!
raat kii baat hai, aur zindagii baaqii to nahii.n
We only have tonight, for the rest of our lives will not be shared together.

tere binaa zindagii se koii shikvaa to nahii.n, shikvaa nahii.n
I have no complaints against a life without you.
tere binaa zindagii bhii lekin zindagii to nahii.n, zindagii nahii.n
Yet a life without you is not a life at all.

*Female lines in red are sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Male lines in green are sung by Kishore Kumar.  The dialogue takes place between Sanjeev Kumar (SK) and Suchitra Sen (SS). 

Glossary

shikvaa: complaint; qadam: footstep; chunnaa: to select; manzil: destination; kamii: shortage, dearth; bele.n: vines; darasal: in fact; aayate.n: verses; phuvaare: fountains; amaavas: dark fortnight; pandrah: fifteen; baras: year; daaman: lap, bosom; aa.nsuu: tear; namii: moistness; chaa.nd: Moon. 

SK
After rumors circulate regarding her nightly meetings with Sanjeev Kumar, Suchitra Sen reveals to the public that she has been meeting her estranged husband in Aandhi (1975).

Did you know that this song was based on a Bengali melody originally composed by R.D. Burman for a Durga Puja album in the 1970s? Listen to “jete jete pathe holo deri” to hear this melody sung by the composer himself! When Gulzar heard R.D. Burman working on this song with Bengali lyricist Gauriprasanna Mazumdar, he enjoyed the song so much that he wrote Hindi lyrics for the tune so it could be included in Aandhi. When Gulzar inserted the iconic “nau baras lambii thii, na?” dialogue in between antaras of this song, he reports in the same interview that R.D. Burman was not pleased:

“So we kept the original tune for the mukhda, and he composed something else for the antara. But when I inserted some dialogue into the lyrics, Pancham scolded me, “’Do you have any idea of sur and taal? You cut in with your dialogue anywhere you want. It’s not done!”’ But we did it!”

They certainly did something right, as this song has become immortalized as one of Hindi film music’s most treasured creations. Thanks to our reader Raju for requesting this post! Until next time…

-Mr. 55

Advertisements

Neela Aasman So Gaya Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

AR
Amitabh Bacchan plays a writer who falls for Rekha’s timeless beauty in Silsila (1981)

Directed and produced by Yash Chopra, Silsila (1981) sparked controversy even before it was released. Rumors regarding the film’s casting spread throughout the industry, as its portrayal of a love triangle between Amitabh Bacchan, his wife Jaya Bacchan, and his alleged mistress Rekha was said to mimic reality. Today, we present the lyrics and English translation of a classic romantic ballad from Silsilaniilaa aasmaa.n so gayaa.

This film depicts a passionate romance between Amit (played by Amitabh Bacchan) and Chandni (played by Rekha) that cannot culminate in marriage due to unfortunate circumstances. After his brother (played by Shashi Kapoor) is killed in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Amit marries his brother’s pregnant fiancee in order to save her honor. Unable to pursue her love with Amit, Chandni marries Dr. Anand (played by Sanjeev Kumar). When Amit and Shobha are involved in a car accident (that causes Shobha to lose her baby), they are hospitalized and treated by Dr. Anand. Chandni sees Amit in the hospital, and this encounter triggers memories of their past love. Amit and Chandni give into their temptations and begin to rekindle their romance through clandestine meetings. The plot thickens when an evening rendezvous goes sour: Amit and Chandni must go to the police station after hitting a pedestrian while driving, and officer assigned to their case turns out to be Shobha’s cousin. How long can Amit and Chandni keep their adultery a secret? Will Amit and Chandni leave their spouses to be together? Silsila is worth a viewing to find out!

Although Silsila is not the first Bollywood film to depict extra-marital love, it is ground-breaking in its concrete portrayal of the consummation of adultery.  Indeed, this film compelled Indian audiences to think about extra-marital affairs and whether they can be cinematically romanticized in a way that appeals to the masses. Silsila offers some justification for the relationship between Amit and Chandni because they were a couple before Amit sacrificed his love to uphold his duty to his brother. However, the film portrays the tumultous decline of their extra-marital romance, eventually depicting Amit and Chandni as disloyal adulterers instead of righteous lovers. The uncomfortable subject matter is presumably the reason why this film failed to be a box office success. Regarding the audience’s reaction to Silsila, Yash Chopra has said:

 “The film had inherent tensions because of the casting coup. If I was confident of the project, it was because all the three artistes had individually assured me that there would be no problems at their end. And they kept their word. It was a film on extra-marital relationships and call it moral and societal pressures, but at the last minute, I developed cold-feet and thought that maybe the hero should come home to his wife. The original ended differently. When and why I changed the ending I don’t know, but I did so because I felt that the audience wasn’t ready. But the audience didn’t accept what we gave them either.”

Although audiences may not have reacted positively to its thematic content, the film has left a legacy of controversy that is still remembered today. The release of Silsila marked the end of the alleged affair between Rekha and Amitabh, but those associated with the Bollywood industry still discuss their love story more than 25 years later. At public events such as award functions, the media is unforgiving in keeping a close eye on how Amitabh, Jaya, and Rekha interact with each other!

Aside from its controversy, this film is also remembered for a number of special debuts. In Silsila, Yash Chopra introduced Shiv (santoor maestro Pt. Shivkumar Sharma) and Hari (flute maestro Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia) for the first time as composers of Hindi film music. Moreover, Javed Akhtar penned his first lyrics for a Hindi film in Silsila. The soundtrack for Silsila has a number of popular hits such as dekhaa ek khvaab and rang barse, but “niilaa aasmaa.n so gayaa is especially noteworthy for its use of Amitabh Bacchan as a playback singer. Amitabh showcases his versatility as a performer by doing his own singing, which defied the conventions that had been established in the industry for years. Although he lacks the refinement of musical training, Mr. Bacchan can certainly hold a tune in his version of this ballad. A little bit past her prime, Lata Mangeshkar also offers a melancholic interpretation of the same song picturized on Rekha. Listen to both as you follow along with our translations, and let us know which version you prefer in the comments! Until next time…

-Mr. 55
AR
The first version of niilaa aasmaa.n showcases the passionate on-screen chemistry shared by Rekha and Amitabh Bacchan in Silsila (1981)

Neela Aasman So Gaya: Lyrics and Translation (Male)

niilaa aasmaa.n so gayaa
The blue sky has fallen into slumber.

os barse.n, raat bhiige, ho.nTh thharraaye.n
Dew falls, the night becomes drenched, and my lips quiver.
dhaDkane.n kuchh kahnaa chaahe.n, kah nahii.n paaye.n
Although my heartbeats desire to say something, they are unable to.
havaa kaa geet maddham hai
The breeze sings softly,
samay kii chaal bhii kam hai
while the time passes slowly.

merii baaho.n me.n sharmaate lajaate aise tum aaye
You came into my arms, shying away in embarassment, 
ki jaise baadalo.n me.n chaa.nd dhiire dhiire aa jaaye
like the Moon cautiously slipping into the clouds.
yah tanhaayii, yah mai.n aur tum
This solitude, you, and me. 
zamii.n bhii ho gayii gumsum
Even the Earth has fallen silent.

niilaa aasmaa.n so gayaa
The blue sky has fallen into slumber.

R
Rekha wallows in sorrow during the second version of niilaa aasmaa.n after Amitabh tells her that they cannot marry each other in Silsila (1981).

Neela Aasman So Gaya: Lyrics and Translation (Female)

niilaa aasmaa.n so gayaa
The blue sky has fallen into slumber. 

aa.nsuuo.n me.n chaa.nd Duubaa, raat murjhaayii
In my tears, the Moon has set and the night has withered. 
zindagii me.n duur tak phailii hai tanhaayii
Solitude has spread far into my life. 
jo guzre ham pe vah kam hai
What has happened to me thus far is a small beginning,
tumhaare gham kaa mausam hai
for I have just entered the season of sorrow for you.

yaad kii vaadii me.n guu.nje biite afsaane
Tales of the past resonate in the valley of memories. 
hamsafar jo kal the ab Thahare ve begaane
Yesterday’s companion is now a stranger. 
muhabbat aaj pyaasii hai
My love remains unquenched today.
baDii gahrii udaasii hai
I am overcome by a very deep sorrow.

niilaa aasmaa.n so gayaa
The blue sky has fallen into slumber.

Glossary

niilaa: blue; aasmaa.n: sky; os: dew; bhiignaa: to become drenched; tharraanaa: to quiver; dhaDkan: heartbeat; havaa: wind, breeze; maddham: dim, soft; samay: time; chaal: movement, passing; sharmaanaa: to shy away; lajaanaa: to be embarrassed; baadal: cloud; dhiire dhiire: cautiously; tanhaayii: solitude; gumsum: silent; murjhaanaa: to wither; phailnaa: to spread; yaad: memories; vaadii: valley; guu.njnaa: to resonate; afsaanaa: tale, story; hamsafar: companion: begaanaa: stranger; pyaasii: unquenched; gahraa: deep; udaasii: sorrow.

AJ
Amitabh Bacchan sacrifices his love for Rekha to marry his late brother’s pregnant fiance Jaya Bacchan in Silsila (1981).
 

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.

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