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Archive for December, 2009

Themes in songs on unrequited love in Hindi  films

by Ratnendra Pandey

Love has been a common theme  in literary work  since the time unknown and across cultures.  Poets and writers have vividly captured the thoughts of  people in love.   For the last 70-80 years, Bollywood (or Hindi Film Industry) has been a very powerful medium of literary expression. Some of the best songs of our times have been written for Hindi films. It may be safe to assume that the songs that are really good and even if not specifically for  Hindi films  end up in Hindi films. In this essay, I have compiled the some common themes that appear in Hindi songs on unrequited love.

1. I shall leave your town.

This is very common theme  in love literature.  As a child I was always intrigued by  the  song,  “Teri duniya se hoke majboor chala” from 1970 film Pavitra Papi  (The Holy Sinner).  Why would someone want  to go away to a far off land?  The song was a great hit in its time and is played over and over even today.   The 1976 song from film Hawas  “Teri Galiyon me na rakhenge kadam, aaj ke baad”   shot up in popularity charts.   The best song in my opinion in this category came from Pakistani Movie “Shama aur Parwana” in 1970 . The song is like this, “Main tera shehar chor jaunga” .  Literally meaning, “I shall leave your town’.  About a decade and half later, Hindi film Nazarana (1987) had a song  with somewhat similar opening lines ending with “main tera shehar chor jaunga“.

The 1967 song from film Ram aur Shyam  “Aaj ki raat mere dil ki salami le le, kal teri bazm se dewaana chala jayega” and the 1969 song from Pakistani film Dag “Teri mehfil se yeh dewaana chala jayega” do a good job in expressing this theme.

These songs express the intense unhappiness in love, the resolve of the  unloved person to never comeback or to bother the beloved. And, to make sure if ever the memories of the beloved  arise then he would just keep quite. Often, there is a promise to not talk about the beloved and to protect her from getting bad name in society.

2. I shall forever wait for you.

I believe this theme is exact opposite of “I shall leave your town”. Here the unloved does not leave the place.  Instead promises to keep waiting for the beloved till eternity.  Richard Marx has captured this thought very well in the song, “Wherever you go, Whatever you do, I will be right here waiting for you.” The 1967 Hindi Film Bahu Begum had song,  “Hum intezaar karenge tera qayamat tak“.  Literally meaning, “I shall wait for you till the end of this world”.

Many songs have this idea  expressed in different form such as,   “You may return anytime”,  You shall return one day, “Door to my home shall always be open for you”.  In all these works, the character offers the option to the beloved to return to him should things do not work out. Some good examples are song in Purab aur Paschim  “koi jab tumhara hridya tor de” .  The 1977  song  “Chand mera dil, chandani ho tum”  from film “Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin” says the same thing.   Underlying this is the idea that beloved is temporarily distracted and when she or he  realizes the true love is missing, she or he would want to return. Unloved is usually very confident in such songs that he is offering the most genuine love that the beloved will not find anywhere else.

3. I shall never forget you.

This is obvious.  But, unloved ones seem to find solace  in telling that he or she would never forget the beloved. It is so obvious. Still, it has been theme of many songs.  Some songs have dealt this with a little more sophistication.  The 1995 Imtehan song  “Ek yaad ke sahare zindagi guzar denge, ja bewafa tujhe hum dil se utar denge”  [Translated –  I shall stay alive with the help of your memories. But, Oh unfaithful !  I shall take you out of my mind.]  is quite interesting.  The irony is that  unloved needs the memories to live, yet in the next sentence he resolves to forget the beloved so that he can live. There cannot be any greater contradiction. Memories of beloved can be fatal or be lifesaver.

In the 1962 film Hariyali or Rasta , one of the song metaphorically compares the memories of the beloved with the identity.  The song “Teri yaad dil se bhoolane chala hoon, ke khud apni hasti mitane chala hoon“.  [Translated – I wish to forget you, even if it makes me a person with no identity.]

In a  song in 1979 Pakistani film the unloved equates the memories of the beloved the life. The memories of beloved cannot be done apart from the life of unloved one. So the song “main jis din bhoola doon tera pyar dil se, woh din akhiri ho meri zindagi ka” sung by Mehnaz.

4. You shall never forget me.

Some unloved ones are overconfident that the beloved shall never forget them.  This theme has shown up again and again in Bollywood songs.  The 1970 movie PAGLA KAHI KA had a rather long song sequence, ” Tum Mujhe Yun Bhula Na Paoge“.  Pakistan’s  legendary singer Mehdi Hasan sang ” mujhe tum nazar se giraa to rahe ho, mujhe tum kabhii bhii bhulaa naa sakoge” for 1952 Pakistani movie Doraha. This song goes into vivid details about how the memories of the unloved one would haunt the beloved for long.

Mehdi Hasan has another beautiful song to his credit dealing with same theme from a 1969 Pakistani Film Zindagi Kinti Haseen Hai.  “Jab Koi Pyar Se, Tum ko aik shakhs yaad aayega“.  The treatment of the concept in this song is very similar to the one in song “mujhe tum nazar se” reminding the beloved that she will not be able to forget.

Back in India, in Film  Ji Chahta Hai 1964,  the song “Ham chorh chale hain mehfil ko” written by Hasarat Jaipuri and sung by Mukesh, advises beloved not to weep when memories of the unloved  come to mind.

5. You shall appreciate me when I am gone.

Many unloved ones believe that beloved would come to know of theirs true worth one day.  The American song ‘Why don’t you tell me so?’  by Flatt and Scruggs nicely  captures this idea in the stanza:

“Now there’ll come a time little darling
When you will want me you know
But darling, it will then be too late
For you to tell me so”

The song “Dil Aaj Shayar Hai” from 1971 film ” Gambler”  has the verse “Hum jab n hoonge to ro ro ke duniya doondhegi mere nishan“. The song “Atharah baras ki tu hone ko aie re”  from 1979 film has a verses with similar thought.  In all the cases the message to the beloved  is that the no else would take better care of her.

6. End of Relation with either good wishes or curses.

Writers face a difficult choice about how to end a bad relation. In most songs, the unloved one accepts the end of relation with grace and offer best wishes and good life ahead to the beloved.  This theme is usually hidden in a stanza in main song. In  1992 film Deewana, the stanza “jaan-e-wafa tujhko kya dein? dil kaha raha hai dua deen” of the song “Tere dard se dil abad raha” the unloved is willing to ignore the pain and offer good wishes. In the 1970 song from Khilona “Khush rahe tu sada”  good wishes are offered through out.  Occasionally, the unloved one ends relation with curses and swears like in song from 1966 film Aaye Din bahar Ke “Mere dushman tu meri dosti ko tarse“, or  the song from 1973 film Anamika, “meri bheegi bheegi si palkon pe reh gaye jaise mere sapne bikhar ke” .  Both songs have strong  words and powerful poetry. Critics argue that both songs are unduly harsh on women.  As it turns out in both movies, the unfaithfulness is in part a due to some  misunderstanding and part due to complex reasons not all within control of the women.

###

Links to video of  songs referred in this essay

  1. Teri duniya se hoke majboor chala
  2. Teri Galiyon me na rakhenge kadam, aaj ke baad
  3. Main tera shehar chor jaunga (Shama aur Parwana  – 1970)
  4. main tera shehar chor jaunga (Nazarana – 1987)
  5. Aaj ki raat mere dil ki salami le le, kal teri bazm se dewaana chala jayega
  6. Teri mehfil se yeh dewaan chala jayega
  7. Wherever you go, Whatever you do, I will be right here waiting for you. by Richard Marx
  8. Hum intezaar karenge tera qayamat tak
  9. koi jab tumhara hridya tor de
  10. Chand mera dil, chandani ho tum
  11. Ek yaad ke sahare zindagi guzar denge, ja bewafa tujhe hum dil se utar denge
  12. Teri yaad dil se bhoolane chala hoon, ke khud apni hasti mitane chala hoon
  13. main jis din bhoola doon tera pyar dil se, woh din akhiri ho meri zindagi ka
  14. Tum Mujhe Yun Bhula Na Paoge
  15. mujhe tum nazar se giraa to rahe ho, mujhe tum kabhii bhii bhulaa naa sakoge
  16. Jab Koi Pyar Se, Tum ko aik shakhs yaad aayega
  17. Ham chorh chale hain mehfil ko
  18. Why don’t you tell me so?  By Flatt and Scruggs.
  19. Hum jab n hoonge to ro ro ke duniya doondhegi mere nishan
  20. athraah baras ki tu hone ko aie re
  21. Tere dard se dil abad raha
  22. Khush rahe tu sada
  23. Mere dushman tu meri dosti ko tarse
  24. meri bheegi bheegi si palkon pe reh gaye jaise mere sapne bikhar ke

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English Translation of Song :  Jaane kyon log mohabbat kiya karte hain?

Movie Name: Mehboob Ki Mehandi (1971)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music Director: Laxmikant Pyarelal
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Year: 1971

Translator: Ratnendra Pandey

Is Zamaane Men Is Mohabbat Ne
Kitane Dil Tode Kitane Ghar Phuunke
(jaane Kyon Log Mohabbat Kiyaa Karate Hain) – 2
Dil Ke Badale Dard-e-dil Liyaa Karate Hain
Jaane Kyon Log Mohabbat Kiyaa Karate Hain

[Love has broken many hearts and burned down many houses, yet why do people love and trade heart for pain?]


Tanhaai Milati Hai, Mahafil Nahin Milati
Raahen Mohabbat Men Kabhi Manzil Nahin Milati
Dil Tut Jaataa Hai, Naakaam Hotaa Hai
Ulfat Men Logon Kaa Yahi Anjaam Hotaa Hai
Koi Kyaa Jaane, Kyon Ye Paravaane,
Kyon Machalate Hain, Gam Men Jalate Hain
(aahen Bhar Bhar Ke Divaane Jiyaa Karate Hain) – 2
Jaane Kyon Log Mohabbat Kiyaa Karate Hain

[They seek gathering. But, all they get is loneliness.  Love is a path that reaches no destination. There is no success. The  heart eventually breaks.  This is how love concludes. World will never understand why the moth gets so uneasy and burns itself in flame. Life of Passionate people is full of sighs. Why do people still love?]

Saavan Men Aankhon Ko, Kitanaa Rulaati Hai
Furaqat Men Jab Dil Ko Kisi Ki Yaad Aati Hai
Ye Zindagi Yuun Hi Barabaad Hoti Hai
Har Vaqt Honthon Pe Koi Fariyaad Hoti Hai
Naa Davaaon Kaa Naam Chalataa Hai
Naa Duaaon Se Kaam Chalataa Hai
(zahar Ye Phir Bhi Sabhi Kyon Piyaa Karaten Hain) – 2
Jaane Kyon Log Mohabbat Kiyaa Karate Hain

[ The month of  Sawan makes separation unbearable. When heart yearns for someone tears come out of eyes.  The life becomes useless.  Some complain is there all the time.  Medicines become  ineffective. Even the prayers do not heal. How does everyone  still accept this and swallow the poison (of love)?]

[Furkat=seperation]


Mahabuub Se Har Gam Manasuub Hotaa Hai
Din Raat Ulfat Men Tamaashaa Khuub Hotaa Hai
Raaton Se Bhi Lambe Ye Pyaar Ke Kisse
Aashiq Sunaate Hain Jafaa-e-yaar Ke Qisse
Bemuravvat Hai, Bevafaa Hai Vo,
Us Sitamagar Kaa Apane Dilabar Kaa,
(naam Le Le Ke Duhaai Diyaa Karate Hain) – 2
Jaane Kyon Log Mohabbat Kiyaa Karate Hain

[ This happens all the time in love. The beloved is accused of all the pain. This spectacle repeats day and night. The stories of love become longer than the nights.  People in love tell tales of  beloved’s tyranny.   That the beloved is untrustworthy. That the beloved is unfaithful. They call names to the tyrant whom they love so much. Why do they do all this?  Why do people love?]

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Translation of Song “Na Jaane Kaise” By Ratnendra Pandey

[ Lyrics in Hindi in Bold. English Translation in Italics]

Movie : Badaltey Rishtey
Singers : Suman Kalyanpur, Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi
Song : Na Jaane Kaise Pal Mein
Lyricist : Anand Bakshi
Actors : Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor, Reena Roy
Music Director : Laxmikant Pyarelal

[Background: This songs delves upon relationships. The relations turn from good to bad. Old relations fall apart. New relations come up.  Reena Roy is married to Jeetendra. A.K. Hangal, an accomplished astrologer, predicted that Reena’s husband would die within 30 days of the marriage. Reena schemes with Rishi Kapoor to kill Jeetendra sooner so that they could marry. There is a change of heart during this song.  Reena changes her mind and now protects Jeetendra. Rishi Kapoor is still on with the plan. Notice how the cup of ice cream, supposedly mixed with poison to kill Jeetendra,  passes through various hands. Watch thick vermilion on Reena’s head. Notice Rishi’s restlessness throughout the song. Jeetandra has a happy face, ignorant of what destiny has for him.  – Ratnendra ]

na jaane kaise pal mein
badal jaate hain
na jaane kaise pal mein
badal jaate hain
ye duniya ke badalte rishte

[ I wonder how the relationships change in a moment]

kya jaane kaise rangon mein
dhal jaate hain
ye duniya ke badalte rishte
na jaane kaise pal mein
badal jaate hain

[ I wonder how the relationships blend into different colors]

jud kar kahin dil jod de
toote to dil tod jaate hain ye
jud kar kahin dil jod de
toote to dil tod jaate hain ye

ye phool bankar hain khilte kahin
kahin dil mein kaante chubhaate hain ye
jaane kahan kis mod pe de ke daga
dil ko chhal jaate hain
na jaane kaise pal mein
badal jaate hain
ye duniya ke badalte rishte

[ Relations are unpredictable. When relations come together, they bring hearts together. But, when they go apart they break heart.

Relationship may bloom like a flower and fill heart with happiness.  But, when the relationships are thorny, they prickle the heart  and cause grief .

The relations may deceive you and move on leaving you lonely.

]

apno se yoon bichde hain jo
unhe kya bichadne ka kuchh ghum nahi
apno se yoon bichde hain jo
unhe kya bichadne ka kuchh ghum nahi

magar haar kar kyun dukhon se koi
zehar ghol de zindagi mein kahin
sab khel hai taqdeer ka
taqdeer se hi badal jaate hain
ye duniya ke badalte rishte

na jaane kaise pal mein

badal jaate hain

ye duniya ke badalte rishte

[Separation hurts and brings pain to all. But, one should not succumb to pain and live an unhappy life. It is all a matter of fate.  It is the destiny that changes the relations.]


rishte kabhi toote kahan
jo toot jaaye wo rishte nahi
rishte kabhi toote kahan
jo toot jaaye wo rishte nahi

chhupi hai udaasi ke peeche hasi
dabi dard mein bhi khushi hai kahin
sach to hai ye bas pyar se
jeevan hamaare badal jaate hain
ye duniya ke badalte rishte

[The Relationships  never die.  Those that break apart are not relations in the first place. There is a laughter behind every sorrow.  There is a happiness  buried under pain. The truth is that love changes the life]
na jaane kaise pal mein
badal jaate hain
ye duniya ke badalte rishte

[ I wonder how the relationships change in a moment]

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