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Albela sajan aayo ri

January 22, 2012

Meaning and Context:

I was entranced by this song when I first heard it many years ago. It is beautiful in the way it has been filmed and acted and in the way it is composed and sung, but the true beauty of the song lies in the way a few words are able to convey the overflowing happiness of our protagonist’s heart.

It is first and foremost a classical composition, a bandish based on raag Ahir Bhairav, a raag played and sung in the second prahar (phase) of dawn. It is sung by Ustad Sultan Khan of Indore Gharana (The House of Indore), a community of classicla singers. The taal is primarily Teen Taal with a variation of Keherwa. As for the words of the song are traditional. They belong to the region of Rajasthan-Gujarat (where the story of the film also takes place) as they represent the sentiments and sensibilities of that region.

Although I have given a literal translation for each line below, but it cannot really convey the full meaning of the words. Albela means someone who enraptures the heart. Sajan means lover. I have taken the liberty and called our albela sajan the proverbial prince Charming, because in a way that is who he is for her. Her athman (atma in hindi, or soul) is rejoicing to see him.

The line chauk purao mangal gaao is a traditional phrase of the region and is used when something good happens or some happiness comes home. Chauk purao- the tradition is that designs are drawn on the floor using dough and a low seat called chauki is kept in the centre. This is a tradition mainly associated with weddings. Mangal gaao- there are songs for every occassion and the songs for a happy time are called mangal.

So the poet is saying to do all this because man rang nisi paayo ri… i.e. the heart has found its colour. I have gone on to add another line that I heard in another bandish of the song because it is truly beautiful- sakal jagat anad chayo ri… i.e. the entire world is rejoicing.

Albela sajan aayo ri… albela sajan aayo ri…

Link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA5nR-HtotE

The Song:

Albela sajan aayo ri
Albela sajan aayo ri

Mora athman sukh paayo ri
Albela sajan aayo ri

Chauk purao mangal gao
Man rang nisi payo ri

Chauk purao mangal gao
Sakal jagat anand chayo ri

Albela sajan aayo ri
Albela sajan aayo ri

Line by line translation:

Prince Charming has come
Prince Charming has come

My soul has found so much joy
Prince Charming has come

Draw on the floor and sing happy songs
My heart has found its colour

Draw on the floor and sing happy songs
Entire world is rejoicing

Prince Charming has come
Prince Charming has come

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From → Des

2 Comments
  1. Nice song.I love you my partner hope you will be my present and future

  2. Nice song.I love you my partner hope you will be my present and also my future

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