Dost Dost Na Raha Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Raj Kapoor sings about betrayal in love and friendship at the piano in Sangam (1965)

Our next translation comes from Sangam (1965), a film starring Raj Kapoor as Sundar, Vijayntimala as Radha, and Rajendra Kumar as Gopal in a classic love triangle story gone wrong. The plot of Sangam is somewhat complex, but it can be boiled down to a few key points:

  • From a young age, Sundar has been attracted to his childhood friend Radha. However, Radha only has eyes for another friend Gopal and persistently rejects Sundar’s advances.  In secret, Gopal reciprocates Radha’s feelings for him.
  • To prove his worthiness as a man and impress Radha, Sundar enlists in the Indian Air Force. Before his departure, Sundar asks Gopal to make sure no man comes in between him and Radha while he is gone.
  • One day, Gopal and Radha receive the terrible news that Sundar is presumed dead after a plane crash. Although they are deeply saddened, this news means that Gopal and Radha can pursue their feelings for each other with a clear conscience. During their courtship, Gopal writes an unsigned love letter to Radha that will become important later in the story.
  • Much to Gopal and Radha’s surprise, Sundar returns happy and healthy from the Air Force–the rumors of his death were inaccurate. The self-sacrificing Gopal keeps his word and steps out of the picture so that Sundar can woo Radha.
  • Eventually, Radha and Sundar get married. It is difficult for Radha to reject Sundar now because his heroic accomplishments in the Air Force have elevated his status to that of a worthy suitor. The newly wedded couple have an extravagant European honeymoon.
  • After their return, the couple enjoy marital bliss. Yet, their happiness is short-lived: Sundar finds the unsigned love letter and assumes that Radha has been an unfaithful wife (although she has stopped all relations with Gopal post-marriage).
  • In the days that follow, Sundar becomes insane with jealousy and makes Radha’s life miserable with constant threats and aggression. Radha flees to Gopal’s house for refuge without knowing that Sundar will end up doing the same thing.
  • The three characters now have a dramatic confrontation where Gopal admits that he is the author of  the unsigned love letter. Tensions flare, and to avoid giving too much away, I’ll just say that the movie ends with a tragic death….

Placed into the context of this film,  Sundar pours his heart out by singing “dost dost na rahaa” after discovering the unsigned love letter that Radha has hidden from him.  With heart-wrenching lyrics penned by Shailendra and a touching melody based on Raga Bhairavi composed by Shankar-Jaikishan, this song is Bollywood’s quintessential anthem for those who have been betrayed in love or friendship. Mukesh’s pathos-laden voice is perfectly suited to express the pain that Sundar must feel after he comes to believe that his two closest companions in life have been unfaithful to him. The intensity of emotion is heightened by this song’s picturization: the camera captures close-up shots of facial expressions when Sundar sings the antara addressed to Gopal followed by the one addressed to Radha.  From watching this scene, it seems like you can cut the tension in the air with a knife! Although no one should ever have to endure being spurned like this in real life, we hope that the lyrics and English translation provided below will allow you to acquire a greater appreciation for one of Hindi cinema’s finest expressions of angst and betrayal that is still a fan-favorite today.

-Mr. 55

Vijayantimala quietly endures Raj Kapoor’s misguided accusations of infidelity in Sangam (1965)

Dost Dost Na Raha: Lyrics and Translation

dost dost na rahaa, pyaar na pyaar rahaa
My friend no longer remains a friend; my love no longer remains love.
zindagii, hame.n teraa aitbaar na rahaa 
Life, I have lost my faith in you.

amaanate.n mai.n pyaar kii gayaa thaa jisko kar
The one to whom I entrusted my belongings of love,
vah, mere dost, tum hii the, tum hii to the 
My friend, you were him. Only you.
jo zindagii kii raah me.n bane the mere hamsafar 
The one who had become my fellow traveler in the journey of life,
vah mere dost tum hii the, tum hii to the 
My friend, you were him. Only you.
saare bhed khul gaye, raazdaar na rahaa 
All my secrets are now exposed, the secret-bearer no longer remains.
zindagii, hame.n teraa aitbaar na rahaa
Life, I have lost my faith in you.

gale lagii saham saham, bhare gale se boltii
The one who embraced me fearfully while speaking in a somber voice,
vah tum na thii.n to kaun thaa? tum hii to thii.n
If she wasn’t you, then who was she? It was only you. 
safar ke vaqt me.n palak pe motiyo.n ko toltii 
The one who shed tears of pearls at the parting hour,
vah tum na thii.n to kaun thaa? tum hii to thii.n 
If she wasn’t you, then who was she? It was only you. 
nashe kii raat Dhal gayii, ab khumaar na rahaa
The night of intoxication is over, the inebriation no longer remains.
zindagii, hame.n teraa aitbaar na rahaa
Life, I have lost my faith in you.

vafaa kaa leke naam jo dhaDak rahe the har ghaDii
The one who beat each moment in the name of faithfulness
vah, mere nek nek dil, tum hii to ho
My good heart, you are it.
jo muskuraake rah gaye zahar kii jab suii gaDii
The one who continued to smile when pierced with a needle of poison
vah, mere nek nek dil, tum hii to ho
My good heart, you are it.
ab kisii kaa, mere dil, intazaar na rahaa
Now, my heart, I am not waiting for anyone.
zindagii, hame.n teraa aitbaar na rahaa
Life, I have lost my faith in you.

dost dost na rahaa, pyaar na pyaar rahaa
My friend no longer remains a friend; my love no longer remains love.


aitbaar: trust, faith; amaanat: property, belongings; sau.npnaa: to entrust, hand over; hamsafar: traveler, companion; bhed: secret; raazdaar: secret-bearer; gale lagnaa: to embrace; saham: fearfully; bharaa galaa: somber voice; palak: eyelid; motiyaa.n: pearls; tolnaa: to weigh; nashaa: intoxication; khumaar: inebriation; vafaa: faithfulness; dhaDaknaa: to beat; nek: good, worthy; zahar: poison, suii: needle; gaDnaa: to pierce, thrust in; intazaar: wait.

Rajendra Kumar, with a distressed and guilty expression, listens to Raj Kapoor’s allegations of disloyalty during this song from Sangam (1965).

The Meaning of Zuby Zuby Jalembu

Sharmila Tagore HOT An Evening in Paris

Sharmila Tagore burns up the screen in a quasi-French number from “An Evening in Paris” (1967).

I have breaking news. It’s a glimmer of light upon one of Bollywood’s great mysteries. The scene? Middle of the film An Evening in Paris. The year is 1967, and Shammi Kapoor is hot on the trail of a mystery. It’s one of those twin storylines–good twin is being held against her will by the bad guys (who look a whole lot like Pran in a blue pinstripe suit), and bad twin is a nightclub dancer who moonlights as a hit woman. By a stroke of brilliant luck, both twins are Sharmila Tagore.

So, anxious and slightly disheveled, Shammi Kapoor strolls into the Parisien nightclub, and his sense of Indian purity and uprighteousness takes a hit when the lights dim and a half-naked Sharmila Tagore struts onto the stage in a feathery swimsuit. Suddenly, she bursts into song:

Zuby zuby jalembu! Zuby zuby jalembu! Aa gaye. Shukriya. Ho mere meherabaan.”

I mean, what the heck? What do those cryptic words mean? For most of the general Indian population of the 60s watching this bizarre film, I’m guessing they

  1. Assumed it was something French and exotic (“is she really saying Suzy Suzy allez-vous?”)
  2. Didn’t care because the meaning of these Asha cabaret songs are rarely profound anyway
  3. Were too distracted by Sharmila’s dance moves and (lack of) costume to pay attention to the lyrics

Well, folks, I’m here to tell you it’s a mixture of choice 1 and 2! It’s actually slightly more meaningful than you probably thought (caveat: slightly). The tagline of the song has a legitimate basis in French music. Indian record companies probably got the spelling wrong–what we typically see as “Zuby Zuby Jalembu” should have been “Zou Bisou Bisou Bisou.” Asha’s awkward pronunciation, of course, did not help anyone.

Released as hit single in 1960 by Gillian Hills, “Zou Bisou Bisou” was a famous go-go style French song of seduction that was later redone by everyone from Sophia Loren to Megan Draper in Mad Men. Cover versions of it hit the French billboards in the 60s and, although its slow sensuality is a far cry from the high-pitched ecstatic Asha Bhonsle version, both certainly share something in common. “Bisou” (French slang for “kiss”) must have been heard somehow, somewhere by Shailendra who used it for authentic inspiration in writing this classy number that made it all the way back to Bombay.

So you see? It’s not entirely nonsense, nor is it entirely logical–the rest of the song’s lyrics don’t add up to anything profound in Hindi, but at least the effect is at very least “exotic.” And that’s all Indian audiences of the 60s could hope for in these kinds of tourist films, right? Sharmila Tagore had a special relationship with France, so much so that in 1999, the country awarded her the highest honor for artists: Insignes de Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres I. Sure, it was probably more in honor of her earlier work with Satyajit Ray, but her tribute to French go-go music must’ve helped.

Look, it’s the Eiffel Tower in the background! WOW EXOTIC!

And there it is. One mystery closed. You can thank me later. This request was submitted by one of our favorite readers, Reena! Have an obscure Bollywood mystery you want solved? Send us a request and we’d love to investigate!

-Mrs. 55

P.S. OK, so I get it. The most interesting part of this post was the mention of Sharmila wearing a bikini on stage. The irony? After igniting a wave of change in film censorship and standards with her bold moves, when Sharmila herself joined the Central Board of Film Certification, she expressed concern with the idea of too many bikinis on screen. For more on cabaret songs in Bollywood, see our post on Lata gone wild!