Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Satrangi Re (Dil Se)

In my opinion, Satrangi Re's distractingly beautiful cinematography and a stunning Manisha Koirala take away from it. Because the song in itself is so incredibly exquisite, it ought to be heard in isolation as well.

At the hostel in Banasthali, we used to shut all doors and windows of our room and make it pitch black. Then we played this song on full volume. That took the song to another dimension altogether. Today before writing the post, I recreated that atmosphere. And I must tell you, we were not crazy back then. Go, give it a try!

A 'Satrangi Re' montage.

All the songs of Dil Se are a league apart. But sadly, Satrangi Re's more illustrious album-mates (Chhaiya-Chhaiya, Dil se re, Ae Ajnabi) have somehow overshadowed it, if only a little. With Satrangi Re, three of current music scene's stalwarts - AR Rehman, Gulzar and Sonu Nigam - have come together to create a song that's an absolute triumph. To say that it's my all time favorite wouldn't be an overstatement.

Coming to the lyrics of Satrangi Re - they are much more than just words. There is a philosophy in work here. It is said that there are seven stages of love. This song is a journey through these:
  1. Hub (Attraction)
  2. Uns (Infatuation)
  3. Ishq (Love)
  4. Aqidat (Reverence)
  5. Ibaadat (Worship)
  6. Junoon (Obsession)
  7. Maut (Death)
These 7 stages have been so deftly woven in the lyrics, they're almost unnoticeable. But once you get to know they're there, you can't help but feel thrilled about the secret message, much like the secret codes in Da Vinci's paintings.

Lyrics, with English translation:
Tu hi tu, tu hi tu, satrangi re
Tu hi tu, tu hi tu, manrangi re
[[You, of many colors
You color my soul like no one else has]]

Dil ka saaya humsaaya, satrangi re, manrangi re
[[You, of my soul's color, 
Like a shadow to my heart; my soul mate]]

Koi noor hai tu, kyun door hai tu
Jab paas hai tu, ehsaas hai tu
Koi khwaab hai ya parchhayi hai, satrangi re
[[You are like a light (for my darkness), why then are you so distant?
Even when you're near me, you're like a a fleeting feeling
Are you a shadow or a dream, (oh you, of many colors!)]]

Is baar bata, muhzor hawa, thehregi kahan?
[[Tell me where this gale will finally stop...]]

Ishq par zor nahin, hai yeh woh aatish Ghalib
Ja lagaye na lage, aur bujhaye na bane
[[Love can't be tamed, it's like a fire that overpowers everything else
It doesn't start when forced; but once started, it's impossible to extinguish]]

Aankhon ne kuchh aise chhua, halka halka uns hua
Halka halka uns hua, dil ko mehsoos hua
[[The touch of your eyes sparked an infatuation (that my heart felt)]]

Tu hi tu, tu hi tu, jeene ki saari khushbu
Tu hi tu, tu hi tu, aarzoo aarzoo
Tere jism ki aach ko chhoote hi, mere saans sulagne lagte hain
Mujhe ishq dilaase deta hai, mere dard bilakhne lagte hain
[[You are like the fragrance of life itself, you are what I desire
Your feverish touch ignites my very breath
My pain cries out for you, while love consoles me]]

Tu hi tu, tu hi tu, jeene ki saari khushbu
Tu hi tu, tu hi tu, aarzoo aarzoo

Chhooti hai mujhe sargoshi se, aankhon mein ghuli khamoshi se
Main farsh pe sajde karta hoon, kuchh hosh mein kuchh behoshi se
[[You are like the fragrance of life itself,
You're the desire that touches me with a whisper; nothing but silence in your eyes
I bow to you, only partly conscious of myself]]

Teri raahon mein uljha-uljha hoon, teri baahon mein uljha-uljha
Suljhane de hosh mujhe, teri chaahon mein uljha hoon
[[I'm enchanted by your ways, I am entangled in your embrace
Let me disentangle my senses, 'cause my desire for you is driving me insane]]

Mera jeena junoon, mera marna junoon
Ab iske siva nahin koi sukoon
[[My life is now an obsession, and so I will be till I die - 
there is no respite for me]]

(Repeat: Tu hi tu, tu hi tu satrangi re...)

Mujhe maut ki god mein sone de
Teri rooh mein jism dubone de
Mujhe maut ki god mein sone de, satrangi re, manrangi re
[[Let me sleep in the lap of death,
Let me drown my body in your soul
Let me sleep in the lap of death... You, of many colors! You, of my soul's color!]]

Point to ponder:
'Ghalib' means 'victorious' or that which/who overcomes everything. So in the sher - 'Ishq par zor nahin, hai yeh woh aatish Ghalib' - the word 'Ghalib' not only refers to the poet's name, but also the fact that love is like an unconquerable fire.

Sonu Nigam, oh Sonu Nigam! The kind of mad passion you've brought to this song is out of the world. It really makes me want to drown or cry or fall in love all over again. Mujhe maut ki god mein sone de, indeed!

Gham mein hasti ka 'Asad', kis se ho juz-marg ilaaj,
Shama har rang mein jalti hai, sahar hone tak


  1. well ... I completely agree with the style of listening to such songs in Banasthali ....or there was a way to lie on the terrace walls gazing into the star studded sky ... Gone are the days :(

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

  2. @Shveta, Shirisha:
    Well you could always close your eyes, put on your headphones, and pretend that you're in Banasthali ;)

  3. Thank you very very much for this post. I don't think I ever enjoyed this song more than now. Absolutely wonderful.

  4. @Divesh:
    You're welcome! More than anything, one of the reasons behind this blog was sharing the little awesome somethings that I noticed while listening to Gulzar :)

  5. pretending is just not enuf sometimes!!!! cant we make a prog and go to bV again....ya ya i know everybody is bisi....but cant stop makg a prog !!!!

  6. lokeshv.:: Liked this one most among the entries so far......
    Great work dear....

  7. That's a wonderful post...this song is certainly one of my fav-5 songs along with Ae Ajnabi.....and the fact about the lyrics taking through the life cycle is amazing attention to detail.
    And Sonu Nigam was at his best in this...

  8. Brilliant well explained..and the translation is simply marvelous..the way you've inspected the whole song and wrapped everything up so well....Mind blowing!!!! :)

  9. @Pooja: am ready for it :) plan banao ;)
    @Bhav, Lokesh: thanks :)
    @Sudeep: I agree, Sonu Nigam was at his best at that time. this type of songs (passionate, intense ones) are his specialty I think :)

  10. ghalib fact was intersting n this album is also memorable me as well cus i used to listen this album back to back for many hours .

  11. @Deepti:
    1. Your profile pic is nice :)
    2. thanks :) I've listened to it a lot too!

  12. very nice translation. Two things that I wanna highlight is - it's muhzor hawa and not purzor hawa. Also, uns means pain and not infatuation :)Regards.

  13. Thnaks for this post... really awesome... brought back lots of memories as well... there was a time when I couldnt sleep well if I dont listen to Dil Se songs before sleeping... totally love them :)

  14. @Rahul:
    Thanks :)
    I checked, 'uns' means love/affection/infatuation.
    As for 'purzor vs muhzor' I'll have to listen to the song once more before I update the blog post :)

    I love them too. I think ARR was at his best at that time :)

  15. Oh! If 'uns' means infatuation, then thanks for updating my Urdu Dictionary. Keep Going. Regards :)

  16. Many Many thanks for your profound words.
    This movie and especially this song moves me deeply.
    HE from Love. She from the resentment, had the same value and internal discipline and came to the same place.
    He, to protect. She, to destroy ...
    Could you comment more about the 7 states of Love in Arabic philosophy?
    Sorry, but do not write well in English.
    I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina
    My e mail is:

  17. @debipremi
    thanks for your appreciation. will try to write about the 7 stages of love, but after some research. :)
    glad you visited and liked my blog.

  18. to me, Dil Se still remains ARR's best ever work in film music and my most favorite film music album with each and every song representing a different genre and a milestone in itself. I also feel that Gulzar saab sometimes wastes too many of gems of his poetry in a single movie and some of them go unnoticed by the majority of listeners. But then he has such a vast treasure that he can afford to do so. Nobody captures the feelings and intricacies of relations the way he does.
    And Kanupriya, you also definitely have your way with the words.Its not easy to capture what Gulzar says and very difficult to communicate it to others. hats off...

  19. Dil Se does seem to be right there at the top in the supremely impressive Rahman discography. I also love Dilli-6 and Saathiya OSTs.

    As for Gulzar, even his simplest songs are full of these little surprises, but he does ace the Sufi genre.

    Thanks for your appreciation. I do try hard to capture a few things, but I don't think I can ever do these songs justice.

  20. Wow. I can't believe I have never come across your blog so far. I've been a big Gulzar fan forever. He is for me the last good guy, the last stand against mediocrity, the last refuge of the poetry lover. Loved reading about the "life cycle" of love. It appeals to the MBA in me, who likes frameworks. ;) This is awesome AWESOME work, and I am thrilled thinking of the hours I am going to spend on this blog reading about Gulzar songs. Thank God for the government of India. :)

    1. Thanks Ganesh! Glad you liked the blog :) And yes, that was the first time I heard someone thank God for the GoI :P

    2. Also, the line "last stand against mediocrity" *so* reminds me of Ayn Rand and The Fountainhead :)

  21. Hey Kanupriya, I am glad there is some one who is trying to get into this song. The lyrics are my all time fav. Now let me tell you the depth you have achieved is about 60% of what you could have gone into but farsi is not your first language so what you have understood/achieved is excellent. In many of the stanzas I could have taken you deeper but that would have been as big as the blog itself. So we will just take 1 example.
    Dil ka saaya humsaaya ........
    What that means
    The shadow (read darkness) of my heart has become my humsaaya (neighbour) (read constant companion). You totally missed the word humsaaya and that's where the whole depth was.

    1. Hi Humayun,
      Thanks for dropping by. Of course I could not even think of getting into the full meaning of the song... it's deep and beautiful.
      Love your interpretation of "Dil ka saaya humsaaya"... gives a whole new meaning to the line!

  22. Another example
    Meraa Jeena Junoon Meraa Marnaa Junoon .....

    It doesn't mean till I die, it's too deep as I said to put it here

  23. You are like a rainbow
    As you paint my heart with your seven colors
    but my soul is left only with these colors
    And I wonder why you are afar like the crescent moon
    My heart flutters when you are near & I fail to realize if it was my dream or
    Just a shadow of your rainbow, my love
    Kindly tell me when this storm of anguish would stop

    Her: Love isn’t Force. Love isn’t Power. Love is true.
    Can neither be created nor destroyed
    Be patient & let Love Conquer.

    A slight glimpse from you left me infatuated
    And this infatuation later enlightened my heart
    You are my life’s essence, you are my only desire
    And when I touch your sensual body ignited by fire of passion
    I can feel my breath being taken away
    Your love’s embrace comforts my heartache

    You are my life’s aura, my one & only passion
    Even a simple touch like an inaudible whisper from you
    Or the silence in your eyes when they stare
    Makes me bow & offer my admiration to you my angel
    Knowingly & unknowingly, at time surreal, a delightful trance.

    My soul is alone, with memories of your seven colors
    And I wonder why you are afar like the crescent moon
    My heart flutters when you are near & I fail to realize if it was my dream or
    Just a shadow of your rainbow, my angel

    I am entangled in your love maze, in your embrace
    My ego seeks to solve this puzzle, but my desire for you has me ensnared
    Now, you are my only passion, my true obsession
    Be it in this life or in death & I seek nothing else
    Cause you are the rainbow of life, the queen of my soul.

    Her: Love isn’t Force. Love isn’t Power. Love is true.
    Can neither be created nor destroyed
    Be patient & let Love Conquer.

    Let me sleep in the warm lap of death
    As I await to be to be dabbled in your soul
    Not even death can part me from my love for you
    My rainbow, my angel.

  24. Awesome...!! Have to get up at 5.00 tomorrow and here I am commenting!!
    Awesome interpretation this..!! I listen to this song so, so often but never looked at it from the 7 stages of love..!! I am Gulzar fan too and am so looking forward to read more of your posts..!!!

    P.S. Awesome background pic.. you have a big fan here..!! :)

    1. Thank you! :)

      PS: Thanks, spent some time in making the b/g :D

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Hey Kanupriya this song is my all time fav so I had to interpret it my own way. Most of it is the same as yours but some of the places I have given my own interpretation. Thanks for inspiring me to write the blog

  27. Hi Kanupriya,

    Wonderful post. One of my most favorite song too. However, just wanted to point out, the 4th word that you gave should be "Aqidat" and not "Adiqat", Aqidat means faith, firm belief, etc. I maybe wrong, but i don't know any word called Adiqat in Urdu.


    1. Hey, thanks for correcting that :)

  28. Thanks a lot for this. It helps a lot in explaining this song to someone (else) who doesn't speak the language but can't stop singing it regardless. I really enjoyed reading other songs you have translated. The words of Gulzar have always been top class. Thanks.

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the blog and found the post useful :)

  29. OMG!! I LOVEEEEEE THIS BLOG, GULZAR, HIS WORKS!! I realy cannot explain how happy I'm how thrilled I am and how overwhelmed I'm to have come across this blog. I truly agree Satrangi re is magic! AR Rahman to Sonu Nigam and then Gulzar's lyrics, have no words. and so true that All Dil se songs are class apart. I love these artists in hindi film industry and I'm a big huge fan of only hindi songs and it kills me when people these days say hindi film music = no music... they are so wrong and I'm so proud of you to have created such an awesome blog. Your translations are really well written! Thank you! :)

    1. Thanks Shreeja! So nice to come across a fellow Gulzar fan :)
      Glad you liked the blog

  30. Omg. Never saw the seven stages of love being depicted in this song. Fascinating!

  31. can you interpret this song for me
    Lekin - 1991 Yaara seeli seeli, birha ki raat ka jalna
    thank you
    and my id is -:

  32. Thanks and kudos for this phenomenal compilation and your interpretations.
    Pointing to one anomaly(may be not;not sure) - original "Gham-e-hasti" , written here "Gham mein hasti" in Mirza Ghalib's sher.

  33. Insightful . Thank you for sharing your thoughts .


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