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Monta re

February 21, 2017

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….

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From → Bangla

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