Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

13445345_10154941239095031_761971052415709459_n

On June 12, 2016, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history took place at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This tragedy took the lives of 49 innocent victims and wounded at least 53 more. The majority of victims targeted in this violent massacre were LGBT people of color. We stand in solidarity with Orlando and pay tribute to the lives lost in this hate-fueled tragedy through the translation of a timeless song from Mughal-E-Azam (1960): “pyaar kiyaa to Darnaa kyaa?

Madhubala’s portrayal of Anarkali in Mughal-E-Azam (1960) is widely considered to be her greatest work.

Mughal-E-Azam (1960), directed by K. Asif, narrates the story of forbidden love between Anarkali (played by Madhubala) and Salim (Dilip Kumar). Salim, prince of the Mughal empire, falls in love with Anarkali, a beautiful dancer in the royal court. Emperor Akbar, Salim’s father, is outraged by his son’s relationship with a lowly courtesan. The ensuing conflict between Akbar and Salim, with Anarkali caught in the middle, results in a war between father and son that culminates in a tragic conclusion on all sides.

Although the love story of Salim and Anarkali has been dramatized several times over the decades, this depiction has become immortalized as a masterpiece in the realm of Hindi cinema. This film is considered a crowning glory of the careers for several of the artists involved, especially actress Madhubala, playback singer Lata Mangeshkar, music director Naushad, and lyricist Shakeel Badayuni.

With poignant eloquence, “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya?” embodies the spirit of bravery in love.  Indeed, this song expresses a universal message that originates from the time of Mughal emperors yet still resonates today. It inspires us to fight for those we love, to have courage in the face of adversity, and to live our lives freely without fear.

In light of the recent tragedy, let it also be a reminder that love can be expressed in many different ways. Those who love differently from the norm should not be afraid of expressing themselves simply for being who they are. By promoting tolerance over hate, we must come together and take a stand against the persecution of the LGBT community in today’s society.

After all, we cannot forget that love is love.

-Mr. ’55

Madhubala brazenly defies societal norms in the royal court of Emperor Akbar in Mughal-E-Azam (1960)

Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya: Lyrics and English Translation

insaan kisii se duniyaa me.n ek baar muhabbat kartaa hai
An individual only falls in love once in this world.
is dard ko lekar jiitaa hai, is dard ko lekar martaa hai 
He lives with this pain, and he dies with this pain.

pyaar kiyaa to Darnaa kyaa?
If I have loved, then why must I be afraid?
pyaar kiyaa koii chorii nahii.n kii
I have simply loved; I have committed no theft.
chhup chhup aahe.n bharnaa kyaa?
Then, why must I heave these sighs of pain in secrecy?

aaj kahe.nge dil kaa fasaanaa
Today, I will narrate the story of my heart,
jaan bhii le le chaahe zamaanaa
even if the world takes my life.
maut vahii jo duniyaa dekhe
If death is only accepted when witnessed by the world,
ghuT ghuT kar yuu.n marnaa kyaa?
then why must I die by suffocating alone?

unkii tamanna dil me.n rahegii
My desire for him will continue to grow in my heart.
shamma isii mahfil me.n rahegii
The flame will continue to burn in this gathering.
ishq me.n jiinaa, ishq me.n marnaa
After living in love and dying in love,
aur hame.n ab karnaa kyaa?
what else remains for me to do?

chhup na sakegaa ishq hamaraa
My love cannot be hidden,
chaaro.n taraf hai unkaa nazaaraa
it can be seen in all four directions.
pardaa nahii.n hai jab koii khudaa se,
If I do not wear a veil in front of God,
bando.n se pardaa karnaa kyaa?
why must my love remain veiled from society?

pyaar kiyaa to Darnaa kyaa?
If I have loved, then why must I be afraid?

Glossary

insaan: person, human; dard: pain; Darnaa: to fear; chorii: theft; aahe.n bharnaa: to heave sighs; fasanaa: story; zamaanaa: society, world; maut: death; ghuTnaa: to suffocate; tamanna: desire; shamma: flame; ishq: love; nazaaraa: sight; pardaa: veil: banda: person, human.

Mughal-E-Azam (1960) became the first Hindi feature film to be digitally colorized for re-release in theaters in 2004.

Advertisements

Yeh Mera Prem Patra Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Yeh Mera Prem Patra Sangam Rajendra kumar vijayantimala

Vijayantimala reads a love letter from her childhood sweetheart Rajendra Kumar in “Yeh Mera Prem Patra” from Sangam (1964).

Happy Valentine’s Day to all our fans! In celebration of this romantic holiday, we present the lyrics and English translation to one of our favorite love songs, “Yeh Mera Prem Patra” from the hit film Sangam (1964). Radha (played by Vijayantimala) and Gopal (played by Rajendra Kumar) play two childhood lovers who have kept their feelings hidden because of Kumar’s best friend, Sundar (played by Raj Kapoor), who has professed his unwavering devotion to Radha for years. Although Radha spurns Sundar’s love, Sundar begs his best friend Gopal to make sure no other man spoils his chances when Sundar is called to serve in the air force on the northern front.

But then! Sundar is killed while serving his country–and in their shared mourning, Radha and Gopal can finally express their undying love for one another. A shining moment in Mohammed Rafi’s career, “Yeh Mera Prem Patra” is their outpouring of uninhibited romance. With a heavenly chorus in the air that highlights the dream-like world in which the two now find themselves, Radha runs across an open meadow to Gopal as he writes her a love letter. In fact, she is so eager to discover what he has written, that her sari falls from her shoulder in her haste, revealing the front of her blouse.

Let’s pause right here. For anyone uninitiated to classic Hindi films, believe me when I say, this NEVER happens. The heroine in classic Bollywood would never let her sari fall so revealingly, and surprisingly, Radha makes NO moves to adjust it. The scene is filmed brilliantly–because of the camera’s position, the sari show is purely for the viewer to ponder–Gopal is facing the audience and cannot see what we have all noticed. It’s as if the director, Raj Kapoor, is telling us that the romance we are witnessing is not purely chaste. And indeed, the like the Radha-Gopal of Hindu mythology, the film’s two lovers are not to be destined for eternal bliss.

Yeh Mera Prem Patra sari tussle

ABOVE: Vijayantimala quietly approaches Rajendra Kumar with her sari having fallen off her shoulder. BELOW: Rajendra Kumar and Vijayantimala tussle for the end of her sari playfully while the low camera height emphasizes the beautiful open skies.

The song references the famous Ganga and Jamuna rivers from whose geographical confluence with the river Saraswati (sangam), the film derives its name. The triangular symbolism and references to the sangam is evoked throughout the film, with each character embodying one of the three ancient rivers. Sangam made history as Raj Kapoor’s first technicolour film and one of the first Bollywood films to be shot in exotic locals such as Venice, Paris and Switzerland.

But beneath all the glitter, did you know there’s actually true love story behind this sweet poem? At the age of 20, the famed Urdu lyricist of “Yeh Mera Prem Patra,” Hasrat Jaipuri, fell in love his own Radha, a young Hindu woman from hometown in Jaipur. Though they never married, she would inspire many of his greatest poems. Jaipuri later recalled fondly in an interview:

“Meri haveli ke samne, ek badi khoobsurat ladki rehti jiska naam tha Radha. Aur ishq ka mahzab se, zaat paat se, koi taaluq nahii.N. Kisi se bhi ho sakta hai, kisi se bhi kiya jaa sakta hai. To mera unse pyaar hua. Taalim maine sher-o-shayari ki, mere naanaa madhoom/manhoom se haasil ki?, lekin ishq ka sabak jo hai, woh Radha ne padhaayaa ki ishq kya cheez hai.”

[“Near my home a very beautiful girl lived named Radha. And neither religion nor caste and creed have any power over love. It can happen with anyone and it can happen to anyone. And so I fell in love with her. I may have trained in poetry from my grandfather, but the lesson of love was taught by Radha.”]

“Yeh Mera Prem Patra” is the very love letter that Jaipuri wrote to his real life Radha–more than 20 years before Raj Kapoor would use the same sweet poem in Sangam! So this Valentine’s Day, we at Mr. and Mrs. 55 recommend you do something old-fashioned and write your special someone a romantic love letter! For inspiration, soak up Hasrat Jaipuri’s shy, tender lyrics and our English translation to the sentimental love letter, “Yeh Mera Prem Patra” below!

Yeh Mera Prem Patra Lyrics and Translation:

Meherbaa.Nlikhuu.N? “Haseenaa” likhuu.N? Yaa “dilruubaa” likhuu.N?
Should I write “compassionate one”? Should I write “beautiful one”? Or should I write “beloved”?
Hairaan huu.N ki aap ko is khat mei.N kyaa likhuu.N
I am puzzled by what to write in this letter to you

Yeh meraa prem patra paDh kar, ki tum naaraaz na honaa
When you read this love letter of mine, may you not be angry
ki tum merii zindagii ho, ki tum merii bandagii ho
For you are my life, for you are my prayer

Tujhe mai.N chaand kehtaa thaa, magar us mei.N bhi daagh hai
I used to call you the moon, but in the moon are blemishes
Tujhe suraj mai.n kehtaa thaa, magar us mei.N bhi aag hai
I used to call you the sun, but in the sun is ablaze
Tujhe itnaa hii kehta huu.N ki mujhko tumse pyaar hai, tumse pyaar hai, tumse pyaar hai
I tell you only this that I love you, I love you, I love you

Tujhe Gangaa mai.N samajhuu.Ngaa, tujhe Jamunaa mai.N samajhuu.Ngaa
I will think of you as the Ganges River, I will think of you as the Jamuna River
Tu dil ke paas hai itnii, tujhe apnaa mai.N samajhuu.Ngaa
You are so close to my heart, I will think of you as my own
Agar mar jaauu.N ruuh bhaTakegii tere intezaar mei.N, intezaar mei.N, intezaar mein
If I die, my soul will wander waiting for you, waiting for you, waiting for you

Yeh meraa prem patra paDh kar, ki tum naraaz na honaa
When you read this love letter of mine, may you not be angry
ki tum merii zindagii ho, ki tum merii bandagii ho
For you are my life, for you are my prayer

Glossary:

meherbaa.N: compassionate one; likhnaa: to write; haseenaa: beautiful lady; dilruuba: lover; hairaan: puzzled, stunned; khat: letter; prem: love; patra: letter; paDhnaa: to read; naaraaz: angry; zindagii: life; bandagii: prayer; chaand: moon; daagh: flaw, blemish; suraj: sun; aag: fire; pyaar: love; Gangaa: Ganges River; Jamunaa: Jamunaa River; dil: heart; [kisi ke] paas: to be nearby [something]; mar jaanaa: to die; ruuh: soul; bhaTaknaa: to wander; intezaar: wait

romance in the garden

Rajendra Kumar and Vijayantimala romance each other in a sunlit garden in Sangam (1964). For once in his life, Rajendra Kumar’s outfit of choice adds to the ambiance rather than destroys.

One of my favorite moments both musically and cinematically in this song comes at the very end when Lata Mangeshkar picks up the chorus over a beautiful wide tracking shot of the lovebirds walking hand-in-hand in the Elysian forest. This heavenly moment can only be seen and heard in the movie, it was tragically cut from the record version we know so well!

Mrs. 55 wedding

As promised, here is a photograph of Mrs. 55 finally marrying her college sweetheart last December!

Mrs. 55 adab arz

Adab arz hai! This love poem is dedicated to my very romantic new husband and personal Bollywood hero!

Soon after this song, Sundar surprises the couple by returning from war alive! Sundar then marries Radha because his devoutly loyal friend Gopal is unable to tell him his true feelings (like a typical Bollywood bromance, don’t you just love how the woman has basically ZERO say in all this?). Inevitably, of course, the famous love letter is later discovered and Raj Kapoor is heartbroken. See our English translation of the epic self-pitying “Dost Dost Na Raha” for more of the drama that unfolds!

But let us temporarily forget all that on this lovely Valentine’s Day. This beautiful ode was requested by dedicated fan Inderjit Wassi! Thank you for the poetic request!

– Mrs. 55

What is Eastmancolor?

Amar Akbar Anthony in blinding Eastmancolor!

No, really, what the heck is Eastmancolor? When you look closely at title screen of each of your favorite classic Bollywood films, you find the simple, but bold little phrase, “EASTMANCOLOR” conspicuously splashed across the screen. It’s gnawed quietly at the back of your mind for years. Is “Eastmancolor” part of the name of the film? Is someone making a not-so-clever reference to Indians themselves (“Who is this MAN from the EAST, anyway?”)!? But the words quickly dissolve, the film begins, and in the excitement and messiness of the resulting masala, why “Eastmancolor” deserves a holy spot right in the title screen remains forever an unsolved mystery. Luckily for you, that’s about to change.

Aradhana in mind-blowing Eastmancolor!

Let’s back ourselves up and unravel this riddle from the start. When the first monopack colour film stocks hit Hollywood in the 1930s, India was eager to catch up and bring colour to Bollywood. But the process was not easy. Apart from being significantly more expensive than traditional black-and-white (silver halide photographic emulsion), coloured film stock brought with it a new set of artistic problems: development of the negative taking both luminosity and color into account.

Mere Huzoor in death-defying Eastmancolor!

The first colour film made entirely in India was Kisan Kanya (1937), produced by Ardeshir Irani who had also pioneered the first talkie of Hindi cinema 6 years earlier. However, poor box-office returns and difficulties and expenses in garnering rights to the American Cinecolor stock development process kept coloured film largely out of range for many years following. Guru Dutt, not surprisingly, was among the later auteurs who help revive its popularity. He experimented with the new colour cinematography in his timeless beauty “Chaudhvin Ka Chand”(1961)  that highlights the effect of (fake) moonlight and colour ranges at night. The opportunity to use colour arrived mid-production, and although Dutt had wanted to reshoot the entire film with the new technology, budget and time-constraints forced him to film only this and one other song in colour before the release. Around the same time, K. Asif too experimented with the range of this new technology, incorporating the dazzling colour song “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya” into his magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam (1961) as a stunning and vivid tribute to the full glamour of the Mughal Empire.

Junglee in dazzling Eastmancolor!

India’s full-length color feature, Mother India (1957), was a landmark film for many reasons, but notably for demonstrating that coloured film stock was the wave of the future—garnering a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards the year of its release. After the overwhelming success of Mother India, Bollywood began shifting its norm to predominantly coloured film, eventually using black-and-white sparingly for stylistic reasons (as in the film noirs or Teen Devian).

Caravan in jaw-dropping Eastmancolor!

Prior to this era, colourizing film had been a technical and artistic nightmare—as far back as the 1910s and 1920s, filmmakers had been painting each frame of a film by hand, bleaching the film stock and adding color dye, or most popularly, using the expensive Technicolor multi-strip subtractive method. These options had little ground in the competitive, movie-a-minute atmosphere of India, and the hassle of processing such film stock (which often needed to be shipped abroad for the purpose), left India for many years colourless.

Teesri Manzil in heart-stopping Eastmancolor!

Eastmancolor, introduced in 1950 by Kodak was a novel and economic technology that used a single-strip 33mm negative-positive process incorporated into one strip of film. While a popular rival to expensive Technicolor, it unfortunately is also the stock most prone to fading over the years. The Eastmancolor emulsions are made of cyan, yellow, and magenta layers. The cyan is the first to fade—in films you see what were originally blue skies now turned white—then eventually all you have left are the sun-washed reddish hues. This gives us a classic image of badly preserved Bollywood films with faded colours and a warm tint.  Contrast this with most beautifully vivid Technicolor processed films you can watch today (think MGM Judy Garland musicals), and you can see a big difference in how the colours have survived.

Safar in gut-wrenching Eastmancolor!

By the time DVDs rolled around, many of the films we know and love in Bollywood had suffered destruction in their original film stocks that no one bothered to repair before a DVD transfer. However, just to give you a hint of what we’ve lost, I’ve personally adjusted the color (albeit imperfectly), to a few stills below from some classic Bollywood films as they would have looked had they been printed on extremely saturated Technicolor. See how subtle thing like this can actually make a HUGE overall difference?! That faded look is merely a tragic artifact of time and neglect.

Pradeep Kumar and Bina Rai in Taj Mahal (1963).
Left: Eastmancolor. Right: Technicolor.

Sunil Dutt and Sadhana in Waqt (1965).
Left: Eastmancolor. Right: Technicolor.

Waheeda Rehman in Guide (1965).
Left: Eastmancolor. Right: Technicolor.

Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh in Teesri Manzil (1966).
Left: Eastmancolor. Right: Technicolor.

Aruna Irani in Caravan (1971).
Left: Eastmancolor. Right: Technicolor.

Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore in Aradhana (1969).
Left: Eastmancolor. Right: Technicolor.

Zeenat Aman and Dev Anand in Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971).
Left: Eastmancolor. Right: Technicolor.

We often think that Eastmancolor was used only in Bollywood, but it truly started in America as a cheaper rival to Technicolor. In fact, with the advent of Cinemascope (a new widescreen format that once again changed the dynamic of filmmaking), Eastmancolor became THE industry standard—however, in America and unlike in India, the Eastmancolor stock was actually processed still by Technicolor using their sturdier dye-transfer printing. Therefore many films in America billed as “Technicolor” actually have an Eastmancolor base, but would retain their colour fidelity over the years. This is also true of the climax of Mughal-e-Azam which was also shot in and processed by Technicolor and has therefore remained brilliant over the years (helped, of course, also by the recent restoration project). The colours of that film look far different than the colours of classic Eastmancolor Bollywood films like Caravan (1978), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), or Jewel Thief (1967). Sigh. A little investment would have gone a long way.

Madhubala glitters in K. Asif’s true Technicolor masterpiece Mughal-e-Azam (1961). Now THAT’s colour, people.

Satisfied? More information than you really wanted? I hope everyone’s burning curiosity has been slaked at last. The next time you and your hip friends watch an Eastmancolor film, you’ll be the cool cat who knows the full story. Impress the crowd with your knowledge, and poo-poo those provincial fools who think Eastmancolor simply meant Indian men making films! Fun fact: Eastman is actually the name of George Eastman who founded Kodak Photography in 1889!

This Bollywood Mystery request was submitted by faithful fan Pankaj. As always, shoot us an email and keep those requests coming!

-Mrs. 55