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Dholi taro

7

Link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VBAGMkTjTs

Meaning & Context:

Gujarat is famous for three things – its sumptuous food, its enterprising people, and the Garba. Garba is a form of dance which is generally performed during the nine-day worship of Goddess Durga, the Navratri. Men and women dress up in colourful, traditional clothes and dance in a circle, swaying and clapping their hands rhythmically. Dholi taro presents this dance in a grand celebratory setting, where the lovers tease each other like Krishna-Radha.

The song depicts a scene from Krishna leela – Radha has come out for a celebration, looking ever-so beautiful, accompanied by her friends, the gopis. Krishna, as always, has decided to follow her and is trying to woo her by playing the flute. He teases her, she teases him back. He teases her some more, she teases him right back. That’s how the song goes… This is a popular scenario in many depictions of Krishna leela, across art forms. Here, it is interwoven with traditional Gujarati song and dance.

Ismail Darbar’s music is spectacular. The song begins in the style of classical Hindustani music and then goes on to transform into Garba, with the dhol (Indian drum) taking the centre-stage. The lyrics too are all about the music, really. They talk about the various types of sounds, right from the bangles and anklets of the girl to musical instruments like manjira (type of cymbals). It’s a difficult song to translate for this reason.

The picturization is also breathtakingly beautiful. It inspired a whole generation to go for Garba, dressed up like the lead actors of the movie. It is one of my most favourite songs and I am glad that I’ve finally been able to post it.

Lyrics to the song:

Jhananana jhanjhanat jhanjhar baaje re aaj
Tanananana tantanat manjeera baaje
Ghananana ghanghanat gori ke kangana aaj
Chhananana chhanchhanat paayal sang baaje

Sar par chunar odhe niklegi aaj raadhe
Lehra lehra ke gopiyon sang

Kaanha bhi peechhe peechhe
Taan koi kheenche kheenche
Murli se barsaayega sur tarang

Dharti aur vo gagan
Jhoomenge sang sang
Sab pe chadhega aaj prem rang

Rangeen gulaal hoga
Socho kya haal hoga
Nachenge prem rogi dham dhama dham dham

Dham dham datilal datilal dhidkit dhidkit dhilaal
Baaje mirdang dhana dhan dhan dhana dhan baaje
Chham chham chham chhamat jhanjhar jhamjhamat
Ghungroo ghamghamat chamak cham chamake

1

Hey baaje re baaje re dhol baaje….

Dholi taro dhol baaje, dhol baaje, dhol baaje dhol
Ki dham dham baaje dhol

Chori badi anmol
Meethe meethe iske bol
Aankhein iski gol gol gol gol
To dham dham baaje dhol

Chhora hai natkhat
Bole hai patpat
Are chhede mujhe bole aise bol
To dham dham baaje dhol

Rasilo ye roop tharo chu lu zara
Arre na… Arre haan…
Arre haan haan haan haan

Raat ki rani jaise roop mera mehka sa
Udegi mahak mujhe chhoo na tu kyon behka sa

Paas aaja meri rani
Tu ne na meri maani
Karoonga main manmaani
Mat kar shaitani

Hey dham dham dham dhol baaje baaje re dhol baaje… Dham dham…

Line by line translation:

Today, anklets ring jhananana jhanjhanat
Cymbals jangle tanananana tantanat
Today, girl’s bangles clank ghananana ghanghanat
Together with anklets jingling chhananana chhanchhanat

Today, covering her head with chunari will Radha come out
Swaying, with her friends

Krishna, too, will follow
Pulling some new melody
Showering musical notes from the flute

Earth and sky
Will dance together
Everyone will be covered in love’s colour

Vibrant colour sprays will there be
Imagine what it would be like
The love-sick dancing dham dhama dham dham

Dham dham datilal datilal dhidkit dhidkit dhilaal
Mridanga resounds dhana dhan dhan dhana dhan, it beats
Anklets ring chham chham chham
Bells jingle chamak cham chamake

Hey the drum beats resound…

Dear drummer, your drum beats, drum beats…
Drum beats dham dham

2

The girl is very precious
Sweet are her words
Round are her eyes
Drum beats dham dham

The boy is mischievous
Banters constantly
Teases me, says such things
Drum beats dham dham

Luscious is your beauty, if I may touch it
Oh no… Oh yes…
Oh yes.. yes… yes…

My beauty is fragrant like jasmine
The scent will fly, don’t touch me, why do you seem so mad

Come near me
You didn’t hear me
I’ll do what I want
Don’t do mischief

Hey the drum beats dham dham… dham dham does the drum beat… Dham dham…

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Monta re

6

Link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99NUJ1cLbBI

Meaning & Context:

A lover’s heart is like an unbridled horse – charged up and out of control. It can go in any direction and it doesn’t care for any restrictions. That’s essentially what this song from the film Lootera is trying to convey.

The story is set in Bengal of the 1950s, where the daughter of a wealthy zamindar (landlord) falls in love with a young visitor who wants to excavate their land for ancient artefacts. Perhaps, it’s the first time someone has caught her interest and now her heart is fluttering like a wayward butterfly. She is half-amused, half-exasperated at the state of her heart. That’s the emotion that Monta re captures.

The song carries the influence of Baul sangeet, a folk musical tradition indigenous to Bengal, music of the mystics, who strummed their ‘iktara’ (single-stringed instrument) and clanking the ‘manjira’ (small cymbals) as they went around villages singing songs of the Lord. The young and talented music composer, Amit Trivedi, has integrated the elements of Baul sangeet in this song which make it serenely melodious.

The lyrics, too, have a folk touch to them, like the line “maati ko ye chandan sa maathe pe sajaye re” – the heart, intoxicated with love, has forgotten the difference between mud and chandan (sandalwood paste) – it puts mud on forehead like its chandan. And then, one line of the song is in Bengali – “Disha hara kemon boka monta re” – which means how silly this heart is, how wayward has it become in love. This phrase in Bengali, along with a couple of Bengali lines at the end of the song which echo in the background, give one the sweet flavour of the Bengali language which remains with the listener till long after the song is over.

Lyrics to the song:

Kaagaz ke do pankh leke uda chala jaye re
Jahan nahi jaana tha ye wahin chala haye re

Umar ka ye taana-baana samajh na paye re
Zubaan pe jo moh-maya, namak lagaye re
Ke dekhe na, bhaale na, jaane na dayre
Disha hara kemon boka monta re…

Fateh kare kiley saare, bhed jaaye deewarein
Prem koi sendh laage
Agar magar bari bari jiya ko yun uchhale
Jiya nahin gend laage

Maati ko ye chandan sa maathe pe sajaye re
Zubaan pe jo moh maya namak lagaye re
Ke dekhe na bhale na jaane na daayre
Disha hara kemon boka monta re

2

Line by line translation:

It flies away on two paper wings
It goes where it is not supposed to, oh!

It doesn’t understand the weft and warp of time
It puts delusions on the tongue, with salt
Doesn’t look, doesn’t care, doesn’t know the boundaries
Directionless, where does this silly heart go….

Conquers all forts, pierces all walls
Love seems like is a trespasser
In turns, it throws around the heart ‘twixt ‘if’ and ‘but’
Like its not the heart but a ball

Adorns the forehead with earth like it’s chandan
It puts delusions on the tongue, with salt
Doesn’t look, doesn’t care, doesn’t know the boundaries
Directionless, where does this silly heart go….

Kabhi neem neem

kabhi-neem-neem-2

Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCW-EV0rv-I

Meaning & Context:

This song is sprinkled with sweet sugar crystals of Bengali folk music. A R Rahman has composed it using the quintessential simplicity and charm of Bengali folk songs and Madhushree has sung it with all her heart.

The song is about a girl describing the nature of her lover, a man who is quite rough and fierce generally, but has an occasional sweet side to him as well. So, she says that her lover is sometimes as bitter as neem, a commonly found plant in India renowned for its bitterness, but he is also sometimes sweet like honey. He may shoot fierce looks at her sometimes, like arrows piercing through her heart, but there is love behind those sharp looks also.

She feels quite abashed about her situation and so the song says in a repeated strain – ‘Lajja se mare re ye jiya’. This is a common way of depicting the girl in folk songs as the girl in love is always seen as shy and timid. She always covers her face bashfully when her lover or husband approaches her sensually. Although, when you see the video of the song, you will find that the girl is not the typical bashful types but is more playful with her lover.

A couple of Bengali words, like ‘boiragi’ and ‘shondha’, are used to give that touch of Bengali language to the lyrics. Besides this, many expressions in the song carry the distinctive folk flavour, like ‘boiragi man tera hai saheb ji’ – your heart is boiragi or vairagi i.e. detached. ‘Saheb’ is the typical way of addressing the male lover or husband in the region. The opening and closing strain ‘hum hum huma… huma’ also adds to the folk feel of the song.

This song has been long overdue on this blog. I’m happy that its finally here!

Lyrics to the song:

Kabhi neem neem, kabhi shahad shahad
Kabhi naram naram, kabhi sakht sakht
Mora piya…. Mora piya… Mora piya ho….

Nazron ke teer me basa hai pyar
Jab bhi chala hai wo dil ke paar
Lajja se mare re ye jiya….

Boiragi man tera hai saheb ji
Mere seene mein hai kaid wo ab ji
Preet ki rakho laaj aye mere rab ji

Ruswa huyi to, duniya hase to
Lajja se marer rer ye jiya….

Shondha ki laali mukh chamkaye
Saundhi saundhi khushboo man behkaye
Zulfon ki raina phir kyun na chaaye?

Chaand sitaren dekhenge sare
Lajja se mare re ye jiya….

kabhi-neem-neem

Line by line translation:

Sometimes bitter as neem, sometimes sweet as honey
Sometimes soft, sometimes hard
My lover… my lover… my lover oh….

Eye-shots, fierce like arrows, are but full of love
Whenever has it pierced through the heart
The heart dies of embarrassment…

Detached is your heart, my lord
In my bosom it now lies in captivity
Keep love’s dignity, oh my lord

If I be disgraced, if the world laughs
The heart will die of embarrassment…

Evening’s redness makes my face shine
Fragrant earthen scent (petrichor) arouses the heart
Then why wouldn’t the night of dark braids appear?

Moon and stars, they will all see
The heart will die of embarrassment…

Heer

heer

Link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNcxgxHcGYg

Meaning and Context:

The song interweaves two of the most famous folk tales of Punjab – the story of Heer-Ranjha and the story of Mirza-Sahiba. In the song, the girl is saying – don’t call me Heer, I am now Sahiba. Heer, the heroine of the first story, loved Ranjha, but she was married to another man. But Sahiba, the heroine of the second story, was saved from this fate and her lover, Mirza, took her away with him. Thus, the girl in the song wishes to be called Sahiba instead of Heer because she hopes to be with her lover.

The song is in Punjabi. I generally don’t put here songs which are completely in a different language than Hindi because I don’t know any other language except Hindi and English but here I make an exception for this beautiful song. The lyrics and translation are borrowed from the internet. Please do let me know if they can be improved in any way.

Lyrics to the song:

Heer Heer na akho adiyo, mai te Sahiba hoi
Ghodi laike aave lai jaye… Ghodi laike aave lai jaye

Ho mainu, lai jaye Mirza koi, lai jaye Mirza koi, lai jaye Mirza koi….

Ohde je hi main te oh mere warga
Hansda ae sajra sawere warga
Ankha band kar lai te thand hanere warga
Ohde je hi main te oh Mirza mere warga

Naal naal tur na te vith rakhna
Hadd rakh lena vich dil rakhna
Chanve chanve pave asi teri parchawe tur na
Ohde je hi main te oh Mirza mere warga

mirza-sahiba

Line by line translation:

O friends, don’t call me Heer, I am now Sahiba
He will come on a horse and take me… He will come on a horse and take me…

Oh, some Mirza may take me away… some Mirza may take me away…

I am like him, he is like me
His smile is like the break of dawn
When he closes his eyes, it’s like cold darkness
I am like him, like Mirza, and he is like me…

Walk with me, don’t keep any distance in between
Mark a boundary and keep the heart in between
I have to walk in your shadow only
I am like him, like Mirza, and he is like me…

Mehndi hai rachne wali

mehndi-1

Link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTpxYgX6RPU

Meaning and Context:

As I have written before, Mehndi is an important occasion before the wedding when mehndi or heena is applied on the bride’s hands (and feet). It is an occasion for some singing and dancing for the bride’s side, an opportunity for all the women-folk to gather around the bride and praise her beauty and the beauty of the mehndi freshly drawn on her hands. Mehndi is said to accentuate the beauty of the bride, make her look even more beautiful.

Among the many traditional and popular songs for the occasion is this lovely song from Zubeida written by ace lyricist, Javed Akhtar. Although, the setting in the movie is quite an unhappy one, as the girl is being married without her consent, but the song has went on to become one of the most loved Mehndi songs of all times.

It is written in the style of very traditional folk songs of Mehndi. It draws on a number of expressions which are found in folk songs, like the bride is called ‘hariyali banni’, which literally means ‘verdant bride’. The expression is used to say that the bride will bring prosperity to her husband’s household.

Then, like many wedding folk songs, there is mention of various women relatives of the bride– mother, maternal-aunt, maternal grandmother, and so on… They all are filled with joyous anticipation for their girl’s new life. They take the opportunity to tease her about the approaching wedding day and her first intimate encounter with the groom. They tell her that the groom will be mesmerized by her mehndi, and the deeper the colour of mehndi gets, the more will her husband love her.

Lyrics to the song:

Mehndi hai rachne wali
Hatho mein gehri laali

Kahen sakhiyan, ab kaliyaan
Hathon mein khilne wali hain
Tere manko, jeevan ko,
Nai khushiyan milne wali hai

O hariyali banno…
Le jane tujhko guyyian
Aane wale hain saiyan
Thamenge aake baiyyan
Goonjegi shahnai… Angnaai angnaai…

Mehndi hai rachne wali…

Gayein maiya aur mausi
Gayein behna aur bhabhi
Ki.. Mehndi khil jaye,
Rang laye, hariyali banni

Gayein phufi aur chachi
Gayein nani aur dadi
Ki… Mehndi man bhaaye,
Saj jaye, hariyali banni

Mehndi roop sanware ho…
Mehndi rang nikhare ho…
Hariyali banni ke aanchal mein utrenge taare

Mehndi hai rachne wali…

Gaaje baaje baaraati
Ghoda gaadi aur haathi ko
Laayenge saajan, tere aangan
Hariyali banni…

Teri mehndi wo dekhenge
To apna dil rakh denge wo
Pairo me tere chupke se
Hariyali banni…

Mehndi roop sanware ho…
Mehndi rang nikhare ho…
Hariyali banni ke aanchal mein utrenge taare

Mehndi hai rachne wali…

mehndi-3

Line by line translation:

Mehndi is about to darken
Deep redness in hands

Girlfriends say, now flower-buds
Are going to blossom in hands
Your heart, your life,
Is about to receive new happiness

Oh verdant bride…
To take you away, dear
Your lover is about to come
He will hold your hand
Trumpets will resound… In the courtyard

Mehndi is about to darken…

Mother and maternal-aunt sing
Sister and sister-in-law sing
That… May the Mehndi blossom
Brings colour, verdant bride

Mehndi 2

Paternal aunts sing
Grandma and grandmom sing
That… Mehndi be heart-pleasing
Beautifies, verdant bride

Mehndi makes you look beautiful…
Mehndi makes you glow…
Stars will descend into the lap of verdant bride

Mehndi is about to darken…

With pomp and show and entourage
Horse, car, and elephant
Will the groom bring, to your courtyard
Verdant bride

He will see your Mehndi
He will keep his heart
In your feet, quietly
Verdant bride…

Mehndi makes you look beautiful…
Mehndi makes you glow…
Stars will descend into the lap of verdant bride

Mehndi is about to darken…

Lo aa gayi lodi ve

happy-lohri

Link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQE3BPCeuQU

Meaning and Context:

Lohri is the harvest festival of Punjab. Celebrated on the eve of Sakranti, i.e. 13th January, it also marks the end of peak winters. It’s an auspicious occasion for Punjabis, who celebrate it with many traditional rites and rituals. But for the youth, it’s an evening of fun and revelry around the bonfire. This song from the movie Veer Zaara captures this lighter mood of the festival where lovers tease and romance each other.

It presents a light-hearted dialogue between a middle-aged couple, where the husband is romancing the wife by expressing his promise of love for her. The wife teasingly tells him that she knows his intentions very well. She reminds him how he keeps breaking his promises about drinking and playing cards every night, so is he going to do the same about this promise too? The husband too teases her back but eventually manages to convince her by expressing his unshakeable love for her.

Lyrics and line by line translation:

AB:
Tere kurbaan jawa
Teri marzi jaan jawa
Tohar baat maan jawa
Teri soniye

HM:
Tainu mai jaan diya
Khoob pehchan diya
Milna jo mujhko haiga tujhko
Sun le kuch gal na meriya

Men:
Hoye, hoye, hoye jind meriye…

Women:
Aaye haye haye jind meriya…

Men:
Lo aa gayi lodi ve
Bana lo jodi ve
Kalaayi koyi yu thaamo
Na jaye chodi ve
Na jaye chodi ve….

Women:
Jhoot na boli ve
Kufar na toli ve
Jo tune khaayi thi kasmein
Ik ik todi ve
Ik ik todi ve….

AB:
Shaam hote hi naal yaaraan de roz da peena
Doobe sooraj to banda vi doobe, hai ye koyi jeena?

HM:
Baat changi hai ye teri, dhyaan rakhaanga
Aaj pee loon, boond kal se main na chakhaanga

AB:
I can die for you
If I know what you want
I will do as you say
You beautiful

HM:
I know you
I know you too well
All you want is to get me
But never hear what I say

Men:
Hoye, hoye, hoye my love…

Women:
Aaye haye haye my love…

Men:
Here comes lodi
Find yourself a partner
Hold a hand so
That you never leave
That you never leave….

Women:
Don’t lie now
Don’t do evil now
All the vows you took
You broke each one
You broke each one….

AB:
At dusk he must drink with his friends everyday
As the sun sets he too must set, what life is this?

HM:
What you say is right and I will remember now
Let me drink today, not a drop from tomorrow

6a00e551a4e0f3883301a510c0caca970c
SRK:
Haan.. jo ab shaam hogi toh seedhe ghar jaayenge
Haan haan haan….

AB:
Tere kurbaan jawa
Teri marzi jaan jawa

Women:
Oy raanjhna, mere makhna, oy dhholna, mere sajna

Men:
Jind meriye, oy heeriye, soniye ho….

HM:
Tenu har din vekhdi hoon khelde patte
Mujhse pyaare tenu panje, chhikke te satte, kyun?

AB:
Taash kheloon ab na hogi aisi naadaani
Ab toh honge do hi patte, raaja aur raani

HM:
Jind ey meri hogi teri chhad patteyaan di dheriyaan
Tainu mai jaan diya… khoob pehchan diya…

HM:
Kuchh mangau yaad tumko reh nahin paaye
Laana toh tha ek paraanda, halva le aaye!

AB:
Paas ab ye note book hai, is mein likh loonga
Yaani ab jo tum mangaao wo hi laaunga

SRK:
Sudharte sudharte hi sudhar jaayenge
Haan haan haan…

SRK:
Haan… now every evening he will come straight home
Haan haan haan….

AB:
I can die for you
If I know what you want

Women:
Oh lover, my darling, my love

Men:
My life, my love, you beautiful….

HM:
I see you playing cards everyday
Dearer to you are your five, six and sevens

AB:
Wont make the mistake of playing cards now
Now there will be only two cards, king and queen

HM:
Your life is with me, leave the pack of cards
I know you…. I know you too well….

HM:
I ask you to bring something, you forget
Asked you to bring a ribbon, but you got halva!

AB:
Now I have this notebook and I will write in it
So now whatever you ask I will get it right

SRK:
He is improving, he will improve with time
Haan haan haan…

13tweet2
HM:
Chaahe badlo ya na badlo phir bhi mere ho
Main toh chahu jab janam loon tum hi mere ho

AB:
Oh ho ho ho ho..
Heeriye main har janam hoon tera hi jogi
Tu meri thi, tu meri hai, tu meri hogi

SRK:
Tumhaare bina ye kidhar jaayenge..?

AB:
Tere kurbaan jawa
Teri marzi jaan jawa

HM:
Whether you change or not, you are mine
In every lifetime I wish you were mine

AB:
Oh ho ho ho ho..
My love, Im yours in every life
You were, you are, and you always be mine

SRK:
Where will he go without you..?

AB:
I can die for you
If I know what you want

 

Chali kahani

prithviraj-sanyukta

Link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P0iOywzw4g

Meaning and Context:

Chali kahani is a magnum opus. Written by Irshad Kamil for the movie Tamasha, it’s a song about stories, about how all stories, whether old or new, native or foreign, have essentially the same soul. Times change, characters change, but the story remains unchanged.

tamasha-old-faqeer-and-the-kidIn the movie, a kid would go to a faqeer (mystic hermit) to hear a story but the faqeer would tell the stories all mixed-up. Rama could become Romeo, Romeo could become Ranjha – all in one story – for in the view of the old faqeer, it didn’t matter who the characters were or where they came from, its the story which is to be understood.

The faqeer says, “Kahani, kahani hoti hai, aur wahi kahani har jagah chalti hai, har waqt… Ayodhya me, Yunan me… Laila-Majnu, Romeo-Juliet, Sikandar ki chadhai, Lanka ki ladai… Is waqt, aas paas, aur tumhari zindagi me.. wahi kahani… ek hi. Socho mat ki kahan aur kab aur kiski.. bas maza lo kahani ka dil khol kar.”

(A story is a story, and the same story goes everywhere, every time… in Ayodhya, in Greece… Laila-Majnu, Romeo-Juliet, Alexander’s invasion or the battle of Lanka… This moment, here, and in your life.. same story.. one only. Don’t think where, when, or whose… just relish the story with all your heart.)

Yamuna, if called Jamuna, as it is called in a certain dialect, doesn’t become another river. Similarly, the names of characters may change, time and place may be different, but the story doesn’t necessarily change. Different people tell the same story in their own language and cultural context at different times. It doesn’t make the stories different. In a profound moment of revelation, the faqeer unifies the greatest names of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Judiasm:

“Yamuna hai ya Jamuna? Joseph hai ya Yusuf? Jesus hai ya Isa? Moses hai ya Musa? Batao. Brahma hai ya Abraham? Ya Ibrahim?”

(Is it Yamuna or Jamuna? Is it Joseph or Yusuf? Jesus or Isa? Moses or Musa? Say. Is it Brahma or Abraham? Or Ibrahim?)

The song brings out the truth in the faqeer’s words by interweaving stories from different times and places, merging legend and history, myth and folklore, into one organic whole. From the stories of Rama and Krishna of ancient India to Moses of ancient Egypt, from the legend of the beautiful Helen of Troy to the equally beautiful Sanyukta of Kannauj, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Waris Shah’s Heer-Ranjha, from Alexander the great to Mughal prince Salim– the story goes on.

And when you think about it, there actually are some striking similarities between stories from completely disparate places. For instance, the Hindu myth regarding the birth of Krishna and the story of the birth of Moses in various Abrahamic traditions have a lot in common. When Krishna was born, he had to be taken across the river Yamuna by his father Vasudeva to save him from Kansa, who was killing the new-borns. Moses, too, had to be rescued from the river Nile because the Pharaoh was getting all the new-borns killed.

If we look at the stories of ancient India, we will find that the same story being told differently in different times. Symbolic legends in the Veda were adapted and further developed in the Puranas and different Puranas tell the same story differently. As the Rig Veda said – ekam satya vipra bahudha vadanti – the truth is one, it is spoken of variously by the wise.

The faqeer’s view is especially true for folktales. It has been seen that the same story is told with slight variations across different regions. Like the story of Sohni-Mahiwal which is mentioned in the song is told differently in Sindh and Punjab. Another famous folktale from the region, Heer-Ranjha, is quite similar to Sahakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In both stories, the lovers belong to warring families and, in both stories, the lovers die in the end for each other.

Actually, aren’t all love stories the same? The lovers are always cruelly separated, then there is inexplicable longing for each other and the attempts to meet in secret, and unfortunately, they always have a tragic ending. Even the love of divine avatars like Rama-Sita and Kirshna-Radha was full of viraha. The story of Rama-Sita is especially focused on in this song. Sita was taken away from Rama, first by the demon Ravana, and later by society. In the end, Sita had to descend into the womb of Mother Earth.

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And then, sometimes, bloody battles ensue for love – the Trojan war for Helen of Troy, the animosity between Kannauj and Delhi over princess Sanyukta, and Salim’s hostility towards his own father, the Mughal emperor Akbar, who objected to his son’s love for a courtesan, Anarkali.

All these stories are brought together in this remarkably written and visually enthralling song. It’s really a song like none other. I would advise the listener to forget about the differences of cultures, religions, characters, times and places, and like the faqeer said, just sit back and enjoy the story.

Lyrics to the song:

Tirkit taal se lo chali kahani
Panghat kaal se lo chali kahani
Sarpat daudti hai faqt zubani
Chutput ashiqui mein dhali kahani
Angin saal se hai wahi purani
Tere mere ishq ki ye nayi kahani
Aati kahaan se hai ye jaati kahaan kya pata……

Ye Chenab ka dariya hai
Ye ishq se bharya
Wo lehro pe balkhati
Mahiwal se milne jati
Wo naam ki Sohni bhi thi
Mahiwal ki honi bhi thi

Lekin bhay Kans ka tha usko – to phir
Vasudev ne kaanha ko – lekar
Jamuna se paar lagaya
Dariya se to Firaun ki behna ne phir Moosa uthaya

vasudeva

Chali kahani, chali kahani…. Chali kahani, chali kahani….

Birha ka dukh kaahe ho baanke
Dikhe mohe tu hi jiya mein jo jhaankiye
Pal pal ginti hoon aathon hi pahar
Kitne baras hue mohe hankiye
Naina niharo more bhor se jhare
Preet mori piya baton se na aankiye
Main hi mar jau ya mare dooriyan
Dooriyo ki chaadaron pe yadein tankiye

Wo utha virodhi parcham
Mughal-e-azam ko tha ye gam
Shehzada mohabbat karke
Izzat ka karega kachram
Troja ki thi Helen
Tha itni raksha mein Ravan
Antatah bheeshan yuddham krandan
Mera to ranjhan mahi ranjhan ranjhan….

 

Line by line translation:

Like the rhythmic beat the story goes
From times of panghata (ancient water-filling point) the story goes
Swiftly running by the word of mouth
Moulded in sundry love-affairs the story goes
Still the same old since countless years
This new love story of yours and mine
Where does it come from.. where does it go.. who knows…

This is the river of Chenab
It’s filled with love
Swaying on the waves
She goes to meet Mahiwal
Sohni was her name
She was going to be Mahiwal’s

But she was fearful of Kansa – then
Vasudeva took Krishna
Across Yamuna
From a river did Pharaoh’s sister pick up Moses

The story goes, the story goes…  The story goes, the story goes…

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Why must one bear the pain of separation, Krishna?
I see only you if I look into my heart
I count every second all day
How many years has it been, say?
Look at my eyes, crying since dawn
Don’t measure my love by my words
Should this distance end or I?
Reminisce memories spread across the distance

There arose the rebellion flag
It saddened the king of Mughals
The prince in love
Will trash the royal honour
Helen was from Troy
Ravana was so secured
Ended with terrible battle, sorrow
Mine is Ranjhan, mine is Ranjhan