Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chhoti si kahaani se (Ijaazat)

Since most of the comments on my previous post wanted the next post to be more Gulzar-esque, here we are, with a song that defines the 80's Gulzar that we all fell in love with.

This song is so much more than the sum of the beautiful, beautiful lyrics, music and voice. It is a perfect introduction to the movie Ijaazat, which is poetry in itself. Ijaazat is arguably Gulzar's best screenplay till date - and the dialogues should find a place in every cinema-lover's bookshelf.

The movie sets off against the magically surreal beauty of rain-soaked Konkan (or is it North-east?). And playing in the background is 'Chhoti si kahaani se' in Asha's heart-achingly beautiful voice. The song transports you to a different world altogether - pure and passionate, yet melancholic. It also makes you long for something, someone.

The song is pure liquid magic in the ears. And that's why it is impossible to 'translate' it. It can only be felt.

The situation: Mahinder (Naseeruddin Shah) and Sudha (Rekha) (an estranged couple) come across one another once again on a small railway station. It's pouring heavily outside, and they have no one but each other for company. This song gives us a glimpse of how they feel at this unexpected encounter.

Warning: The translation below is literal. It's so bad, it's almost ranging on blasphemous.

Lyrics and translation:

Chhoti si kahaani se, baarishon ke paani se
Saari vaadi bhar gayi
Na jaane kyun, dil bhar gaya
Na jaane kyun, aankh bhar gayi
[[This small tale, in this rain, is making the valley overflow.
I don't know why, but my heart is also overflowing (with emotions).
My eyes are also welling up.]]

Shaakhon pe patte the, patton pe boondein thi,
Boondon mein paani tha, paani mein aansoo the
[[There are rain-drops on the leaves on the branches
The water in these rain-drops is actually someone's tears]]

Dil mein gile bhi the, pahle mile bhi the,
Mil ke paraaye the, do humsaaye the
[[When we met before, we had bitterness in our hearts
And though we were like each others' shadows, still we were strangers to one another]]

Rukti hai, thamti hai, phir bhi barasti hai
Baadal pe paaon rakh ke, baarish machalti hai
[[It stops and starts again, yet it keeps pouring down
With its feet on clouds, the rain too has become whimsical]]
As a bonus, here is an artist's (mine :P) impression of Ijaazat poster. I know, I know - the faces look nothing like the actors in the movie. The focus was on getting the thought right. And also dishing something out quickly ;) Click on the image to view a larger version.


  1. Nice blog Kanu. Great concept.

    I like Gulzar's song but never went too deep into them. Like this song, its a favorite of mine but have never seen the movie and didn't know how beautifully it blends into it. Thanks for letting me know. The song has become more beautiful now! :)

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks Kosha :) Do watch the movie, it's beautiful!

  3. hi kanu ,

    thnaks for your valuable comment on my blogpost.

    I really liked this post and specially your art which mixes with the story line perfectly. I alos liked the background. I want to know how you did it. Thanks a lot, please keep coming to my blog ,. i am already a member of your followers.


  4. thanks a lot Vijay! :)
    I created the background myself, using thumbnails of images of movies by Gulzar. Then gave the image as a background on Design>>Template Designer>>Background.

  5. lokesh v.: nice one, the drawing is good too...

  6. hey kanu .m also kanu.nice to see ur blog

  7. the most gripping part of Ijaazat was the way in which Gulzar saahab has handled each character. though the movie was bit stretched, but I still wanted the character of Maya to be elongated. Naseeruddin Shah 's portrayal of Mahender leaves u with a lump in ur throat towards the end. The name Ijaazat is well justified. :)And how true you were when you said that Ijaazat is Gulzar's saahab's best work till date [probably]. It's not a movie, it's a poetry. The dialogues-
    1. Sab kuch wohi nahin hai, par hai wahin...
    2. aadatein chali jaati hain, adhikaar nahin jaate ...
    3. saans lena bhi kya aadat hai, jeeye jaana bhi ek ravaayat hai, jeeye ja rahe hain..
    are something which sets the tone of this epic piece. Don't know why in India we divide the films into Commercial and Parallel. Ijaazat was something beyond extra-ordinary. And you doing a good job. Keep it up. Hope to see more posts popping up from your side :)

  8. thanks Rahul! :) the movie definitely did NOT feel stretched to me. slow, maybe, but beautiful nevertheless. :)
    I think it's a must-watch for lovers of good cinema.

  9. nice post and looking forward to lots more posts. This blog now motivates me to bring back to life a blog I started long back translating poems by Gulzar.

    PS: Why not translate the last stanza?

  10. thanks Divesh! :) there's a new post already http://gulzar101.blogspot.com/2011/09/satrangi-re-dil-se.html :D
    did I miss one para? :-o

  11. yes..

    "rukti hai, thamti hai, kabhi barasti hai
    baadal pe paon rakh ke, baarish machalti hai"

    trademark Gulzar style :)

  12. there, done! though it's pretty bad, I was not able to find a good word for machalna/itrana :(

  13. I'd use 'playful' instead of 'whimsical'

  14. Hey Kanu! Where is Katra Katra? think it's from the same movie right? make it your next if you too like that song..:)

  15. @Swati:
    are u kidding? I LOVE that song! yes, it's from the same movie. will try it soon :)

  16. nothing ..lost in translation.Enjoyed thoroughly.Gulzar..never ceases to amaze me.
    nice blog..Will keep coming.

  17. I completely agree with both Kanupriya & Rahul. It is great movie, my favorite. It is RD's best composition, Rekha's best acting (most underrated though) Gulzar Saab's screenplay & dialogues and Nasir's great acting (he has always been great) and the most important thing is the way Gulzar Saab directed it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...