Vijayantimala in Jewel Thief Asman Ke Neeche

Aasman Ke Neeche Lyrics & Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Aasman Ke Neeche Dev Anand Jewel Thief
Dev Anand, wearing a deer stalker hat for unclear reasons, hugs Vijantimala during “Aasman Ke Neeche” from Jewel Thief (1967).

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation to the playful duet “Aasman Ke Neeche” from hit thriller Jewel Thief (1967).

Let me start by saying that Jewel Thief is an incredible film. If I’m being honest amongst friends, not every masala film from the Golden Age stood the test of time. Vijay Anand’s Hitchcockian thriller Jewel Thief makes you its willing hostage by mixing a love triangle with an international crime heist. Throw in Helen posing as a Bond girl in a chicken costume and you have earned my rapt attention on a Friday night. Pun intended, Jewel Thief is a real diamond in the rough.

When “Aasman Ke Neeche” begins, Vijayantimala and Dev Anand relax in a sun-drenched garden on a Spring day. She sings the first few lines of the song and Dev Anand mocks her, twisting her melody into a flat-toned qawwali and calling her song “bogus!” What a dis.

Playful Dev Anand Jewel Thief
Playful Dev Anand teases Vijayantimala in the film Jewel Thief (1967).

Why do people dump on qawwalis so much? Not only are they often just as complicated classical compositions as any Hindustani purist could muster, but they’re a ton of fun. So, at least for me, Dev Anand’s poor attempt backfires. Even he knows it, because he then proceeds to burst into a full blown orchestral (complete with Kishore’s vocals), shutting down the qawwali debacle.

Aasman Ke Neeche” ranks among my favorite classic Hindi film duets. It’s melodic and  flirtatious, chasing the audience through a garden of poetic overtures, thanks to the dynamism of S.D. Burman and Majrooh Sultanpuri. In a musical masterpiece like Jewel Thief, however, the song can be overshadowed by the film’s other show-stealers (“Raat Akeli Hai,” need I say more?) But in any other film, this duet would be THE song for which you anxiously sat through the entire three hours of melodrama.

We hope you enjoy our English translation to the lyrics of “Aasman Ke Neeche” below! Check out the music video here and let us know your favorite song from Jewel Thief in the comments!

Aasman Ke Neeche Lyrics & English Translation:

Asmaa.N ke niiche, ham aaj apne piichhe 
Beneath the sky, today we leave behind us
Pyaar kaa jahaa.N basaa ke chale
A world of love we inhabited as we go
Qadam ke nishaa.N banaa ke chale
We leave our footprints behind as we go

Kishore: Tum chale to phuul jaise aa.Nchal ke rang se saj gayii raahe.N, saj gayii raahe.N
Kishore: You walk and like flowers the colors of your sari decorate the path
Paas aao mai.N pahanaa duu.N chaahat kaa haar yeh khulii khulii baahe.N, khulii khulii baahe.N
Come close to me, and these opens arms will give you a garland of love
Lata: Jiskaa ho aa.Nchal khud hii chaman, kahiye woh kyuu.N haar baahon ke Daale
Lata: The one with the sari is herself a garden, so tell me why would she need a garland from the branches of your arms?
Asmaa.N ke niiche, ham aaj apne piichhe…

Lata: Boltii hai.N aaj aankhe.N kuch bhii na aaj tum kehne do hamko, kehne do hamko
Lata: Today my eyes are speaking, do not let me say anything
Bekhudii baDhatii chalii hai, ab to khaamosh hii rahne do hamko, rahne do hamko
Although my restlessness grows, leave me in silence now
Kishore: Ek baar ek baar mere liye, kah do, khanake laal ho.NTho.N ke pyaale
Kishore: Just once for me, say something and clamor the plates of your red lips
Asmaa.N ke niiche, ham aaj apne piichhe…

Kishore: Saath mere chalke dekho aayii hai.N dhuum se ab kii bahaare.N, ab kii bahaare.N
Kishore: Come with me and see with what an unproar Spring has arrived
Har galii har moD pe woh dono.N ke naam se hum ko pukaare, tum ko pukaare
At every street, at every turn, they call to me, they call to you
Lata: Kah do bahaaro.N se aaye idhar, un tak uThkar ham nahii.N jaanewaale
Lata: Tell the Spring to come here, I am not getting up and going there

Asmaa.N ke niiche, ham aaj apne piichhe
Beneath the sky, today we leave behind us
Pyaar kaa jahaa.N basaa ke chale
A world of love we inhabited as we go
Qadam ke nishaa.N banaa ke chale
We leave our footprints behind as we go

Glossary:

aasmaa.N: sky; niiche: beneath; piichhe: behind; pyaar: love; jahaa.N: world; basaanaa: to inhabit; qadam ke nishaa.N: footprints; phuul: flower; aa.Nchal: drape of a saari; rang: color; sajnaa: to decorate; raah: path; pahanaa: to wear; chaahat: love, desire; haar: garland; baahe.N: arms; khud: self; chaman: garden; Daal: branch; aa.Nkhe.N: eyes; kuch bhii: anything; bekhudii: restlessness*; bhaDaanaa: to grow: khamosh: silence; ek baar: one time; khanaknaa: to clang together, to clamor; pyaalaa: cup, small plates; dhuum: uproar; bahaare.N: Spring; galii: street; moD: turn; naam: name; pukaarnaa: to call out; idhar: this way (as opposed to udhar, that way); uThnaa: to get up

*Bekhudii is a complicated word to explain briefly. See our translation of “Hum Bekhudi Mein,” featuring none other than Dev Anand (in another stellar hat) for a deeper dive!

Vijayantimala in Jewel Thief Asman Ke Neeche
Dev Anand is no match for sass-queen Vijayantimala in Jewel Thief’s “Aasman Ke Neeche.”

Fun grammar gem: Bahaar taken alone means Spring (singular) in Urdu-Hindi. However, it is the plural form, bahaare.N, that is frequently heard in Bollywood poetry, which can be taken to literally mean the Spring season or more liberally, as general blossomings. To further confuse the budding literati, the Hindi word baahar, which means, outside, is technically the realm where bahaar, Spring, occurs!

This delightful duet was requested by megafans Shabyanath Roshan, and Srini! We greatly appreciate this burst of Springtime fever in the middle of our cold Boston winter!

– Mrs. 55

Beacon hill in the winter
A photo on my way to work in snowy Beacon Hill (Boston, Massachusetts) last week!

Jadugar Saiyan Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Vijayantimala in Nagin (1954)
Vijayantimala gazes at her snake-charmer lover in Nagin (1954)

Today we highlight the lyrics and English translation of the sweet Lata Mangeshkar solo “Jadugar Saiyan” from the hit film Nagin (1954). A lively mandolin solo fades in as a handsome young couple daydream in a jungle grove . There are many reasons why this song is one of Bollywood’s favorites. For me, I think it is because “Jadugar Saiyan” captures that beautiful age of innocence we like believe once existed in Indian romance. This song hearkens us back to a fabricated time when just holding hands could give a man heart palpitations, and all the women sung amazingly just like Lata Mangeshkar.

Mala, played by Vijayantimala, and Sanatan, played by Pradeep Kumar, come from rival spear-throwing adivasi clans whose eclectic livelihood involves capturing live snakes. The feisty, blood-thirsty daughter of the clan chief, Mala, is the definition of bada$$, complete with an intimidating ‘do and a bow-and-arrow ensemble. After hearing the enchanting been melody Sanatan is playing to lure a family of cobras, she falls for him harder than any snake ever had. The feeling is mutual, for even when she later attempts to kill him (he is from a rival family, after all), he’s too hooked to let a minor thing like disregard for human life get between them.

While the lyrics of the song are from the point of view a girl who claims to desperately wish to go home because it’s past her curfew, the tone is completely flirtatious. Throughout the entire song, he does literally nothing to stop her from leaving (unless you count the occasional flex of his bare pectoralis majors), while Mala dances circles around him, initiates impromptu games of tag, and bats her eyelids ferociously. This endearing, almost comical, tension between the girl’s actions and words underscore the wholesome nature of their love affair. I mean, there are probably more scintillating things you could say to entice the man you love other than how your all your besties are going to tease you for being embarrassed later. Mala embodies that purity of intention with just a dash of spice that makes her the quintessential Bollywood heroine.

Vijayantimala pleads with Pradeep Kumar in Jadugar Saiyan from Nagin
Vijayantimala pretends to plead with a shirtless Pradeep Kumar in “Jadugar Saiyan” from Nagin (1954).

At the end of the song, Mala’s father arrives to break up the party, spelling utter disaster for our star-crossed couple. Welcome to 1950s Bollywood, people. Sanatan might be able to kill a poisonous cobra with his bare hands, but there can be no worse fate for our hero than to suffer disapproval from his would-be father-in-law.

With lyrics by Rajinder Krishan and music by Hemant Kumar, the soundtrack from Nagin is one of Bollywood’s all-time best. Be sure to check out Vijantimala’s extra special dance moves in the music video, and we hope you love the lyrics and English translation of this delightful song from Nagin as much as we do!

Jadugar Saiyan Lyrics and English Translation:

jaaduugar, saiyaa.N, chhoDo more bai.Nyaa
Magician, beloved, let go of my wrists
ho gayii aadhii raat, ab ghar jaane do
It is midnight, let me go home

jaane de, O rasiiyaa, mere man basiiyaa
Let me leave, O sweet one, for you reside in my mind
gaao.N meraa baDii duur hai
My village is very far away
terii nagariiyaa.N ruk na sakuu.N mai.N
I cannot stop in your town
pyaar meraa majbuur hai
My love is helpless
zanjiir paDii mere haath, ab ghar jaane do
My hands are shackled, now let me go home

jaaduugar, saiyaa.N, chhoDo more bai.Nyaa
Magician, beloved, let go of my wrist
ho gayii aadhii raat, ab ghar jaane do
It is midnight, let me go home

jhukii jhukii a.Nkhiiyaa.N dekhe.Nge saaDii sakhiiyaa.N
All my friends will see my lowered eyes
de.Nge taanaa tere naam kaa
They will tease me with your name
aise mei.N, mat rok, bedardii
Do not stop me like this, unfeeling one
le vachan kal shaam ka
Accept a promise of tomorrow evening
kal ho.Nge phir ham saath, ab ghar jaane do
Tomorrow we will be together again, now let me go home

jaaduugar, saiyaa.N, chhoDo more bai.Nyaa
Magician, beloved, let go of my wrist
ho gayii aadhii raat, ab ghar jaane do
It is midnight, let me go home

Glossary:

jaaduugar: magician; saiyaa.N: beloved; chhoDnaa: to let go; moraa: Braj bhasha term for meraa, my; baiyaa.N: wrists; aadhii raat: midnight; ghar: home; jaane denaa: to allow to go; rasiiyaa: sweet one; man basiyaa: one who resides in the mind; gaao.N: village; baDii: very; duur: far; nagariiyaa.N: town; ruknaa: to stop; pyaar: love; majbuur: helpless, weak; zanjiir: chains, shackles; haath: hands; jhuknaa: to lower, to bow; a.Nkhiiyaa.N: eyes; saaDii: all; sakhiiyaa.N: a girl’s other female friends; taanaa: taunt; naam: name; aise: like this; mat; do not [do something] roknaa: to stop [someone/something]; bedardii: unfeeling one, cruel one; vachan: promise; kal: yesterday/tomorrow; shaam: evening; phir: again, then; saath: together

Vijyantimala in Jadugar Saiyan from Nagin 1954
Vijyantimala plays the fearless daughter of an adivasi chief in Nagin (1954).

Will Mala and Sanatan ultimately have a happy snake-charmed life together? Even without the plot, the film is well-worth watching for the songs and an introduction to the fascinating way classic Bollywood portrays India’s tribal communities (which is a whole other discussion). For a glimpse of another famous shirtless actor from the 1950s, check out our translation of “Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni” from Jaal (1952)! You can thank me later.

This song translation was requested by fan Pankaj. Keep these great requests coming!

-Mrs. 55

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

A Beginner’s Guide to Bollywood Tree Courtship: The Best Tree Songs of Classic Films

Rajesh Khanna tree Mumtaz Aap Ki Qasam
Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz engage in a playful treeside encounter in Aap Ki Kasam (1974).

A tree is the ideal wingman. It’s an insider trick Bollywood heroes and heroines learned early on that rarely fails to end in matrimonial bliss. Many of the best songs of Bollywood occur in a forest, taking full advantage of that lovable prop whose stability is matched only by its generosity. In honor of Van Mahotsav, the annual Indian tree-planting festival taking place this week, we too would like to honor the cultural importance of the all-mighty tree in the greatest reflection of our society: film. Why a tree? Newcomers to classic Bollywood may ask with due naivite. The archetypal significance of entering the forest–delving deep into the mysteries of the mind and soul–do have some place in the escapism of romantic fantasy, but the logic of singing and dancing around a tree is actually quite simple.

sharmila tagore kashmir ki kali
Sharmila Tagore hugs a tree for emotional stability in Kashmir Ki Kali (1964).

In most romantic-dramas of the Golden Age, emotions are just brimming over with adorable intensity. With a tree as a wingman, you can simultaneously practice your moves with a literal tree hug while catching your breath from a potentially close encounter with the real object of your desire. See, the tree doesn’t judge. The tree doesn’t ask for a return favor next Friday. The tree is neutral ground–a seemingly innocent bystander in the forest of love to which both parties have full claim. Sometimes the woman peeks behind the tree, sometimes the man. As a friendly chaperone, the tree legitimizes everyone’s behavior in that bashful innocence of bygone romance. Yes, censorship laws may prevent you from making real moves on your loved one, but they won’t stop you from snuggling a tree.

Dilip Kumar Vijayantimala dil tadap tadap ke tree
Although Vijayantimala tightly embraces a forgiving tree trunk, it’s clear who she really wants to be hugging in Madhumati (1958).

Bollywood has been perfecting the tree ritual since time immemorial. It’s a cinematic institution, particularly for the benefits of discreet pans to the sunlit treetops or a calming mountainside when a love scene threatens to quickly advance from G to PG. We even emulated basic tree positioning in a photograph on our “About Us” page!

Enjoy our list of classic Bollywood’s best tree songs below. Study them thoroughly and know your part well before embarking on your next trip to the forest. While this list could honestly go on forever, we’ve chosen our top 15 tree songs based on creativity of tree choreography. Which of YOUR favorite tree numbers would you add? Share your thoughts in the comments!

1. Dekho Kasam Se (Tumsa Nahin Dekha 1957)

2. Dil Tadap Tadap (Madhumati 1958)

3. Deewana Mastana Hua Dil (Bombai Ka Babu 1960)

4. Do Sitaron Ka Zameen (Kohinoor 1960)

5. Abhi Na Jao Chod Kar (Hum Dono 1961)

6. Isharon Isharon Mein (Kashmir Ki Kali 1964)

7. Jaiye Aap Kahan Jaayenge (Mere Sanam 1965)

8. Baharon Phool Barsao (Suraj 1966)

9. In Baharon Mei.N Akeli (Mamta 1966)

10. Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe (Kanyadaan 1968)

11. Bekhudi Mein Sanam (Haseena Maan Jayegi 1968)

12. Jaane Jaan DhoonDta (Jawani Diwani 1972)

13. Suno Kaho Suna (Aap Ki Kasam 1974)

14. Is Mod Se Jaate Hain (Aandhi 1975)

15. Tune O Rangile (Kudrat 1981)

Shammi Kapoor Dekh Kasam Se
Shammi Kapoor coyly assesses the romantic situation from the comfort of his engraved tree in Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957).

Feeling like a pro already? Perhaps you’re ready for the big time: spitting game around a tree in the rain! Check out our compilation of Bollywood’s best monsoon songs, and you’ll be walking down the aisle in no time.

-Mrs. 55

Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Shamshad Begum Bollywood playback singer
Bollywood playback legend Shamshad Begum (1919-2013)

Last Wednesday, Bollywood lost another of its finest treasures: legendary playback singer Shamshad Begum. The veteran singer was 94 years old. She was well-known for breaking the norms–a maverick with a Brenda Lee-esque penchant for the Western and an irresistible je ne sais quoi that drew hoards of admirers from across the sub-continent. While Lata Mangeshkar and her clones sought to define femininity by delicate, high-pitch vocals Shamshad Begum proved over and over again that a sexy, strong timber could still carry innocence and that women in India could not all be categorized by a single stereotyped voice. Yes, the world needed Shamshad Begum, a woman who never succumbed to expectations and whose daring voice lent itself to some of the greatest works of Bollywood’s Golden Age. We salute you, Shamshad, and the invaluable service you did to the nascent Hindi film industry.

Who can forget her performance with Nigar Sultana as the sultry Bahar in Mughal-e-Azam‘s “Teri Mehfil Mein Qismat“? Few women dared sing a duet with Lata Mangeshkar for fear of inferiority–but that was precisely where the great talents of Shamshad shined their brightest. With a voice unlike anything in Bollywood history, Shamshad dazzled audiences with a deep, edgy flair for which she was famous. There was simply no competition because the voices were incomparable. Shamshad’s other famous duets such as “Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar” with Mohammed Rafi from CID (1956), “Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon” with Chitalkar Ramchandra in Patanga (1949) or “Kajra Mohabbatwala” with Asha Bhonsle in Qismat (1968) to name a few, showcase her unique robust twist on the norm and continue to be remade and popularized today.

Shamshad Begum receiving the Padma Bhushan for a lifetime of achievements in 200.9
Shamshad Begum receiving the Padma Bhushan for a lifetime of achievements in 2009.

Music director O.P. Nayyar confessed in an interview that when he entered the music industry, he begged Shamshad Begum to sing for his compositions. Her first collaboration with him became absolutely legendary: “Kabhi Aar, Kabhi Paar” from the film Aar Paar (1954). Here at Mr. and Mrs. 55, our favorite of her solo hits is the extraordinarily catchy S.D. Burman composition, “Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re” from Bahar (1951) in which classical dancer Vijayantimala made her Bollywood debut.

You can tell from themyriad of hand gestures reminiscent of a classical mudra to accompany the emotion of each line (coupled with her impeccable posture), that teenager Vijayantimala was well-trained in Bharatnatyam arts. This theatrical dance form meshes interestingly with the medium of film, at times carrying the over-expression of a silent movie and the spectacle of a living room classical dance performance. Perhaps the best part of this adorably innocent love song (besides, of course, Shamshad’s vocals!) is the clever and hilariously unnecessary drama accompanying the actresses 4 costumes changes in the song!

Vijayantimala in Bahar 1951 Saiyan Dil Mein Ana Re
Young Vijantimala makes her Bollywood film debut singing Shamshad Begum’s “Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re” in Bahar (1951).

Please enjoy the full lyrics and English translation to this Shamshad Begum hit “Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re” below and let us know YOUR favorite Shamshad Begum song in the comments!

Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re Lyrics and Translation:

Saiyaa.N dil mei.N aanaa re
Beloved, come into my heart
Aake phir na jaanaa re
And once you come, never leave
Chham chhamaa chham chham

Raja ban ke aanaa re
Like a king, come to me
Mohe leke jaanaa re
And take me with you when you go
Chham chhamaa chham chham

Chaandnii raat hogii, taaro.N kii baaraat hogii
It will be a moonlit night, the stars will form a wedding procession
Pehle pehle pyaar kii pehlii pehlii baat hogii
The first words of my first love will be spoken
Khushii khushii gaaye.Nge ham geet suhaanaa re
We will joyfully sing a beautiful song

ThoDii thoDii sahal hogii, thoDaa thoDaa pyaar hogaa
Little by little, our love will become easy
Kabhii iqraar hoga, kabhii inkaar hogaa
Sometimes you will agree with me, sometimes you will refuse me
Teraa manaanaa meraa rooTh jaanaa re
But you appease me, my anger will disappear

Tum mere paas hoge, gham baDii duur hogaa
You will be beside me, and all sadness will be far away
Kehtaa hai jiyaa meraa hogaa zuroor hogaa
My heart tells me this will certainly be so
Laanaa re laanaa tashriif laana re
Come, believe in me

Saiyaa.N dil mei.N aanaa re
Beloved, come into my heart
Aake phir na jaanaa re
And once you come, never leave
Chham chhamaa chham chham

Raja ban ke aanaa re
Like a king, come to me
Mohe leke jaanaa re
And take me with you when you go
Chham chhamaa chham chham

Glossary:

saiyaaN: beloved; raajaa: king; chaandnii: moonlight; baaraat: wedding procession; khushii: happiness, joy; geet: song; suhaanaa: beautiful; thoDaa: a little; sahal: easy; iqraar: agreement, acceptance; inkaar: refusal; manaanaa: to appease someone; rooTh: sulk, anger; gham: sadness; duur: far; jiyaa: soul, heart; zuroor: certainly; tashriif laanaa: a respectful way of asking someone to come or to enter (and in doing so, trust their honor with you)

So now you’re asking yourself, why is there no translation given for arguably the best line of the song: “Chham chhamaa chham chham“? There are a few ways to analyze this line–whether she’s referencing the glittering of stars, doing some free-styling by adding an extemporaneous beat to the melody, or getting carried away by the excitement of her own life–I think any real attempt to translate that exceedingly interpretive line formally would be an injustice to the song’s joie de vivre. Let us know your favorite Shamshad Begum moment in the comments!

– Mrs. 55