Aye Dil-E-Nadaan Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

 

As many of our readers may already be aware, today marks the 86th birthday of melody queen Lata Mangeshkar. In commemoration of this special day, we would like to present the lyrics and English translation to one of the most exquisitely beautiful songs sung by the Nightingale of India during her long and illustrious career: ai dil-e-naadaa.n from Razia Sultan (1983).

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Hema Malini stars as a 13th century empress of Delhi in Razia Sultan (1983)

Directed by Kamal Amrohi (of Mahal and Pakeezah fame), Razia Sultan narrates the story of the only woman to ascend the throne of Delhi and her alleged love affair with Abyssinian slave-turned-warrior Jaml-ud-Din Yaqut. Hema Malini stars in the title role, while her real-life beau Dharmendra plays the role of her love interest Yaqut. When Sultan Altamash decides that his beloved daughter Razia shall be the successor to his throne instead of his trouble-making son Ferozshah, the kingdom erupts in an uproar over the possibility of being ruled by a woman. After her father’s passing, Razia proves herself to be a compassionate and brave ruler who leads with an eye toward justice like her late father. Over time, Razia is accepted as the first female emperor of the kingdom until gossip spreads among the royal court about an affair between Razia and her former slave Yaqut. Although Yaqut is now a free man and army commander, the relationship between him and the empress is highly scandalous due to his roots as a dark-skinned African slave. When this controversy reaches its peak, Razia must make a choice between her kingdom and her love. In the end, in true Bollywood style, Razia makes the ultimate sacrifice for her love.

Although this film had the potential to provide a compelling view on the complexities of race and gender politics, it fails to meet the mark in many respects and was unable to achieve commercial success at the time of its release. It is likely that the heavy-handed use of formal Urdu made it difficult for audiences to understand many parts of the film’s dialogue. The pace drags in many scenes, and the starring duo provide few memorable moments throughout the film. Those familiar with this period of history will also note that many liberties were taken to create a fictionalized narrative suitable for presentation in a Bollywood movie.

The aspect in which director Kamal Amrohi has shined, as he has done in his previous productions, is in the selection of the music for the film’s soundtrack. Khayyam’s sublime and minimalistic compositions come together with Jaan Nisar Akhtar’s reticent yet expressive poetry to create a memorable album that is probably the single most redeeming quality of Razia Sultan. The crowning jewel of this soundtrack is ai dil-e-nadaa.n rendered flawlessly by the inimitable Lata Mangeshkar. Her voice captures the mysticism and tranquility of the poetry with remarkable ease. Jaan Nisar Akhtar’s poetry is beautiful in its simplicity as it probes the nature of human desire and the inevitable suffering that it causes. No discussion of this song would be complete without mention of the santoor interludes interspersed with moments of silence, which provide gentle accompaniment to the serenity evoked by Akhtar’s words and Lata’s ethereal voice.

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The elaborate costumes and sets used to shoot Razia Sultan (1983) make it one of the most expensive productions of its time. [Source]
A couple of anecdotes from key players involved in the making of this song to round out our discussion today:

Khayyam explains how he was inspired by the story of Razia Sultan during the composition of ai dil-e-naadaa.n: “

The caravan of Razia Sultan came to India from Turkey through a long and tortuous route traversing many countries. If you listen carefully, the tune and orchestration reflects the musical influences of all the regions she traveled across. The song is about the duel in her mind- the woman inside her is deeply in love with a black slave but the princess inside her is all too aware of her duty. The song depicts that dilemma in her mind. [Source]

Lata Mangeshkar has always ranked this song has one of the best of her career and included it in her An Era in An Evening concert that took place in Mumbai in March 1997 (see link above). In her own words, she says:

“Khayyam’s ai dil-e-naadaa.n from Razia Sultan is among the best songs I’ve sung. The way Kamal (Amrohi)-saab explained it to me,  I could actually visualise the situation. I was very satisfied by the way I rendered the number. Kamal-saab found my Urdu pronunciation clear and chaste. The lyrics of ai dil-e-naadaa.n written by Javed Akhtar’s father Jaan Nisar Akhtar, were inspiring. I have sung several songs written by him.” [Source]

Are you wondering why Lata’s voice sounds so heavenly in this song even though it was past its prime at the time of the film’s release in 1983? That’s because Khayyam had this song recorded by Lata nine years earlier in 1974. After just two rehearsals, she had recorded the entire song in one take! Khayyam recollects how the popularity of this song helped him be selected as the music director for other major films in the 1970s like Kabhie Kabhie (1976):

“Actually the reason, I got Kabhie Kabhie was the song ai dil-e-naadaa.n. For Razia Sultan, I had recorded Lata-ji’s ai dil-e-naadaa.n and also Qabban Mirza’s aayii zanjiir kii jhankaar as early as in 1974. ai dil-e-naadaa.n had then created such a stir that practically everyone in the film industry was talking about that song. That fame had reached to Yash Chopra and one evening, when I returned after a Razia Sultan sitting at Kamaalistan, I found Yash-ji and Sahir-saab waiting for me. They told me that they were making a film about a love-story of a poet and they wanted me as a composer. I immediately said, ‘Yes’.” [Source]

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In spite of a solid portrayal of the lead character by Hema Malini, Razia Sultan (1983) failed to achieve success at the box office. [Source]

Aye Dil-E-Nadaan Lyrics and Translation:

ai dil-e-naadaan
Oh, my naive heart!
aarzuu kyaa hai? justujuu kyaa hai?
What do you desire? What do you seek?

ham bhaTakte hai.n, kyo.n bhaTakate hai.n dasht-o-sehraa me.n?
Why do I wander alone in this deserted wilderness?
aisaa lagtaa hai mauj pyaasii hai apne dariyaa me.n
It seems as if I am a wave thirsty for water in its own river.
kaisii uljhan hai? kyo.n yeh uljhan hai?
What is this turmoil? Why is there this turmoil?
ek saayaa-saa ruuh-ba-ruuh kyaa hai?
What is this shadow that stands face-to-face before me?

kyaa qayaamat hai! kyaa musiibat hai!
What a disaster! What misfortune!
keh nahii.n sakte kiskaa armaa.n hai
I am unable to say whom it is that I desire.
zindagii jaise khoyii-khoyii hai, hairaa.n-hairaa.n hai
It seems as if my life itself is lost and confused.
yeh zamii.n chup hai, aasmaa.n chup hai
The earth lies quietly, while the sky remains in silence.
phir yeh dhaDkan-sii chaar-suu kyaa hai?
Yet, what pulsates around me in every direction?

ai dil-e-nadaan aisii raaho.n me.n kitne kaa.nTe hai.n
Oh, my naive heart! There are many thorns along the path of love.
aarzuuo.n ne har kisii dil ko dard baa.nTe hai.n
The pursuit of desires has given pain to every heart.
kitne ghayal hai.n, kitne bismil hai.n
Many hearts are wounded; many hearts are sacrificed.
is khudaayii me.n ek tuu kyaa hai?
In the face of divinity, who are you alone?

ek tuu kyaa hai, ek tuu kyaa hai?
Who are you alone?
ai dil-e-naadaan, ai dil-e-nadaa.n
Oh, my naive heart!

Glossary:

naadaa.n: naive, foolish; aarzuu: desire; justujuu: search, pursuit; bhaTaknaa: to wander; dasht: desert; sehraa: wilderness; mauj: wave; pyaasii: thirsty; dariyaa: river; uljhan: turmoil, confusion; saayaa: shadow; ruuh-ba-ruuh: face-to-face; qayaamat: disaster, crisis, Day of Judgment: musiibat: misfortune; armaa.n: desire, hope; khoyii: lost; hairaa.n: confused, distressed; zamii.n: earth, land; chup: quiet, silent; aasmaa.n: sky; dhaDkan: pulse, heartbeat; chaar-suu: all around, in all four directions; raah: path; kaa.nTe: thorns; dard: pain; baa.nTnaa: to allocate, to distribute; ghayal: wounded; bismil: wounded, sacrificed; khudaayii: divinity, world.

The use of the word bismil adds a unique spiritual dimension to the lyrics of this song. Bismil means wounded or sacrificed and originates from the Islamic ritual of sacrificing animals as an offering while uttering bismillah (in the name of God).

-Mr. 55

Intimate scenes between Hema Malini and Parveen Babi (particularly during the song khvab ban kar koii aayegaa) sparked some controversy at the time of this film’s release. [Source]

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

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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
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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.

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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.

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

Yash Chopra: King of Bollywood Romance

Yash Chopra (1932-2012)

Today marks a very sad occasion in the tinsel-lined world of Mumbai filmdom. Legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra has passed away at the famous Lilavati Hospital in Bombay at the age of 80. A timeless pillar of Bollywood romance, Yash Chopra defined generation after generation of Indian love. From his earliest directorial super-hit Waqt (1965) to his later epic romances Veer-Zara (2004), Yash Chopra made the careers of dozens of stars that we know and cherish today. One of his most famous muses, struggling Amitabh Bachchan who starred in Yash Chopra blockbusters like Deewar (1975) and Kabhi Kabhi (1976), was given a new chance at a comeback with Mohabbatein (2001)–a film that led to the evergreen actor’s eventual rebirth as a grand figure in Bollywood once more. For that opportunity, Big B like many great actors remains ever grateful to the man and legend who supported him.

With Yash Chopra’s passing, the neo-golden age of Bollywood film comes as well to a sad close. Films like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), and Kuch Kuch Hota (1998) that defined my childhood and that of a generation of hopeless romantics were produced by the Yash Raj banner and carry the hallmark of an era of innocent beauty and carefree romance that brought joy to millions world round. Thank you, Yash Chopra, for the memories and the love. You taught us how to give unconditionally and the precious, crazy things a person can do in the name of love. In the words of your own film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: tumne na jaane kya sapne dikhaaye

Here is a glimpse at some of Yash Chopra’s most famous films over the years as both director and producer:

Daag (1973)

Daag (1973) starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore.

Waqt (1965)

Waqt (1965) starring Sadhana, Sharmila Tagore, Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor, Balraj Sahni and Rajkumar.

Deewar (1975)

Deewar (1975) starring Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan.

Kabhi Kabhi (1977)

Kabhi Kabhi (1977) starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhi, Rishi Kapoor, and Nitu Singh.

Silsila (1981)

Silsila (1981) starring Rekha, Jaya Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan.

Chandni (1989)

Chandni (1989) starring Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge (1995)

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) starring Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan.

Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)

Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) starring Madhuri Dixit, Shah Rukh Khan and Karishma Kapoor.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Salman Khan.

Mohabbatein (2001)

Mohabbatein (2001) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.

Veer-Zara (2004)

Veer-Zara (2004) starring Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta.

What was YOUR favorite Yash Chopra film moment and how have his films affected you? Let us know in the comments!

– Mrs. 55

Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

What a classy soiree!

I just spent three hours of my life watching Waqt (1965) instead of studying for the MCAT.  Therefore today we present the lyrics and English translation of “Aage Bhi Jane Na Tu.” Was it worth it? Totally.

This 1965 film directed by Yash Chopra features an all-star cast (Balraj Sahni, Achla Sachdev, Sadhana, Raaj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Sharmila Tagore, Shashi Kapoor, Motilal, Rehman, Madan Puri, Leela Chitnis, and Shashikala, among others) along with a compelling storyline that defined the masala genre of Hindi cinema for years to come. The plot tells the story of a family of five who are tragically separated by a natural disaster. Years later, their lives become bizarrely connected through a series of complex entanglements involving romance, misunderstandings, illness, and of course–a murder. I don’t want to ruin the movie by giving away too many details, but its theme can be summarized by the powerful concluding statement made by Balraj Sahni’s character: “waqt hi banata hai aur waqt hi bigaDta hai” (Time creates all, and time destroys all).

Sadhana and Sunil Dutt have a moment in Waqt (1965)

The icing on the cake for this movie is its soundtrack composed by Ravi and penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. One popular song you may know from this film is Manna De’s “ai merii zohraa jabii.n,” but today, I have chosen to translate the soundtrack’s crown jewel: “aage bhii jaane na tu.” Unlike many songs in Bollywood movies that serve as fillers, this song is actually instrumental in advancing the plot. The song is played in the background at a soiree that is attended by many of the film’s major characters. During the course of the song, a lot of important things happen: Sadhana and Sunil Dutt get all romantic together, Rehman orders Raaj Kumar to steal Shashikala’s diamond necklace, Sharmila Tagore seeks Shashi Kapoor’s attention, and Shashi Kapoor is forced to leave the party early to take care of his sick mother. Most importantly, however, Raaj Kumar gets into a fight with a drunk Madan Puri because he makes a pass at Sadhana, and this fight is related to the murder that I eluded to above. I’ll leave it at that for now to keep things suspenseful…

Dashing Raaj Kumar attempts to steal Shashikala’s diamond necklace. Sneaky!

Sahir Ludhianvi is brilliant as always in his poetry, as he transforms a potentially mediocre party song into a beautifully expressed philosophical statement about life. Through his words, he urges listeners to adopt a carpe diem intellectual framework in which decisions should be based on the present instead of relying on the uncertainties of the future and the past. He illustrates that seizing the day is important by saying, “jo bhii hai, bas yahii ek pal hai” (What is here now is only this one moment), and these words are particularly apt for a movie whose title and theme revolve around time. Ravi’s exquisite tune and Asha Bhonsle’s passionate rendition do justice to the depth of Ludhianvi’s words, which all  have contributed to making this gem one of Bollywood’s most treasured songs from the Golden Era.

Shashi Kapoor leaves the party to take care of his ailing mother 😦

Do you recognize the woman on whom this song is picturized in the film? Her name is Erica Lal, but I couldn’t find much biographical information about her except that she was an American woman who married an Indian living in Mumbai at this time. In any case, she looks stunning on screen during this song and captures the spirit and style of the sophisticated ’60s crooner.

–Mr. 55

Erica Lal is the epitome of the stylish ’60s crooner in Waqt (1965)

Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu Lyrics and Translation

aage bhii jaane na tu, piichhe bhii jaane na tu
You may not know what lies ahead of you, nor do you know what lies behind you.

jo bhii hai, bas yahii ek pal hai
What is here now is only this one moment.

anjaane saayo.n kaa raaho.n mein Deraa hai
Unknown shadows camp along the paths ahead,

andekhii baaho.n ne ham sab ko ghera hai
While unseen arms have embraced us all.

yeh pal ujaalaa hai, baaqii andhheraa hai
This moment is shining with light; everything else is darkness.

yeh pal gavaana na, yeh pal hii teraa hai
Do not waste this moment, as only this moment is yours.

jiinevaale, soch le yahii vaqt hai kar le purii aarzuu
Think fast, oh living soul: this is the time to fulfill all your desires.

is pal ke jalvo.n ne mahfil sa.nvaarii hai
The passion of this moment has graced this gathering,

is pal kii garmii ne dhaDkan ubhaarii hai
And the warmth of this moment has accelerated our heartbeats.

is pal ke hone se duniyaa hamaarii hai
The world is ours because of this moment’s existence.

yeh pal jo dekho to sadiyo.n pe bhaarii hai
Take a look at this moment, for its grandeur is to be remembered for centuries.

jiinevaale, soch le yahii vaqt hai kar le purii aarzuu
Think fast, oh living soul: this is the time to fulfill all your desires.

is pal ke saaye me.n apnaa Thikaanaa hai
One’s destination can be found in the shadows of this moment.

is pal ke aage hii har shay fasaanaa hai
Ahead of this moment, all objects become stories of fantasy.

kal kis ne dekhaa hai? kal kis ne jaanaa hai?
Who has seen tomorrow? Who has known tomorrow?
is pal se paayegaa jo tujh ko paanaa hai
From this moment, you shall receive all that you are due.

jiinevaale, soch le yahii vaqt hai kar le purii aarzuu
Think fast, oh living soul: this is the time to fulfill all your desires.

aage bhii jaane na tu, piichhe bhii jaane na tu
You may not know what lies ahead of you, nor do you know what lies behind you.

jo bhii hai, bas yahii ek pal hai
What is here now is only this one moment.

Glossary

pal: moment; anjaane: unknown; Deraa: stop, camp; andekhii: unseen; baahe.n: arms; ghernaa: to encircle, embrace; ujaalaa: light; andhheraa: darkness; jiinevaale: living soul;  aarzuu: desire; jalvaa: passion; mahfil: gathering; sa.nvaaranaa: to grace, adorn; ubhaarnaa: to intensify, accelerate; sadii: century; Thikaanaa: destination, address; shay: object;  fasaanaa: tale, story

Raaj Kumar beats up a salacious drunkard to protect Sadhana’s honor. With the right combination of handsome looks, sophisticated personality, and masculine brawn, he is a model example of the classic Bollywood stud.