Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mujhe jaan na kaho meri jaan (Anubhav)

This is one song that is mellow, yet so sensuous and fiercely intimate, it takes your breath away. Sung superlatively by Geeta Dutt, composed by (my namesake) Kanu Roy, and penned by the inimitable Gulzar; this song is like liquid romance in your ears. The playfulness of Geeta Dutt's voice perfectly balances the witty wordplay by Gulzar; and Roy's minimal musical arrangement provides the perfect foil to the package.

Backed by a stunning cinematography by Nando Bhattacharya, this song is a joy to behold visually as well. The palpable chemistry between Sanjeev Kumar and Tanuja gets sparks flying even in the constant drizzle outside. There's no mindless running around trees or fancy sets, as the song is almost entirely filmed within the frame of one window, with only the rain-soaked plants and rain-stained windowpanes for backdrop. (Do watch the video at the end of the post, it's truly beautiful.)

This is another one of those songs that mom had in one of her cassettes, and I was not able to appreciate till much later in my life. Ironically, both starred Sanjeev Kumar, one of the finest actors Bollywood has produced.

Music director: Kanu Roy
Lyricist: Gulzar
Singer: Geeta Dutt

Lyrics, and translation
Meri jaan, mujhe jaan na kaho meri jaan
Meri jaan!

[[My life, don't call me your life, oh my life!

This right here is a classic Gulzar wordplay at work. While the first 'jaan' could be taken to mean 'my dearest/darling', the second one is in fact, life. Though why she is asking him to not call her his life is only made clear in the next antara.]]

Jaan na kaho anjaan mujhe, jaan kahan rahti hai sada - 2
Anjaane, kya jaanein, jaan ke jaaye kaun bhala

[[Oh ignorant one, don't call me your life, since life is not permanent. It doesn't stay with you forever.
So, though unknowingly people say that; knowingly no one would go down that path.]]

Sookhe saawan baras gaye, itni baar in aankhon se - 2
Do boondein na barsein, in bheegi palkon se

[[I've cried so many times with dry eyes,
But my moist eyelids have never allowed even 2 teardrops to escape from them.

The beauty of this couplet can only be understood in the original lines :( I feel bad about ruining their beauty. But such is the nature of this blog!]]

Honth jhukein jab hothon par, saans uljhi ho saanson mein - 2
Do judwa hothon ki, baat kaho aankhon se

[[When your lips are near mine, and our breaths are entangled in one another's;
At such time, let the eyes speak what our (twin) lips want to say.

This is so beautifully written. No one can describe intimacy quite the way Gulzar does! My favorite couplet :)]]

Some more random thoughts
  1. Tanuja is one underrated actress. For me the most appealing part of her is that she seems so full of love for life. There's a constant spark in her eyes. I think Kajol got that from her. Also, I think she's more beautiful than her more illustrious sister Nootan.
  2. As a kid, I didn't like Geeta Dutt's (what I thought) nasal voice. But she was such an awesome singer. Songs such as this one are sung with such exquisite simplicity. Also love the playfulness in her voice.
  3. So few truly romantic songs are filmed on married couples. But this one right here kicks ass of all those n00b unmarried romances.


  1. I want some more explanation. It is difficult to understand the deeper meaning of this song. So I need more help.

    Listening to the song for first time. Good work Kanupriya


    I agree Tanuja is underrated.

  2. thanks Bhav .. as you'll listen to it, it grows on u :)
    let me know if you know explanation of any particular line... vaise to the entire song is beautiful.

  3. i didn't know about this song. i listened to it for the first time only after reading your blog and both are beautiful, the song and the blog. thanks for sharing.

    my fav couplet here is "sookhe saawan...". and Tanuja is anyday more beautiful than Nootan and many actresses of that time.

  4. I'm glad that I was able to introduce some of you to this beautiful song. Thanks for your kind comments! :)

  5. Excellent!!!, I am amit and i was looking for this lyrics 4 years back when i heard this song on FM Radio. And today sudddenly i thought to search it again and i found this blog. Really very nice work!!!. Keep it up.

    1. :) It's a lovely song ... finds a place in your heart and stays there.

  6. Great blog, Really enjoyed. There are totally four songs in this movie i guess and all are suberb, was looking for translation of other songs of this movie. Is it there?

    1. As of now there is just this song from the movie :)

  7. Was searching for someone who could explain their understanding of two lines in this song, and came across this lovely blog! So do you think you could share how you understood/interpreted these lines (not the literal meaning): "Sookhe saawan baras gaye, itni baar in aankhon se, Do boondein na barsein, in bheegi palkon se"...I saw what you've written above, but besides that, anything else you could add here? How did sookhe saawan baras from her eyes? And what can it mean bheegi palkon se do boondein n barsein? I would be so thankful if you can share something about this.

    1. Just checking again to see if you replied...please? :)

    2. Hi!
      Sorry about replying late :)

      As for my understanding of these two lines, I think Gulzar meant that though the heroine had not cried openly; she has been silently suffering the indifference of her husband. So though she hadn't let her eyes pour, many 'sookhe saawan's have came and gone.

      But since I haven't watched the movie, I cannot really comment on the exact situation.

  8. Sookhey Saawn baras gaye, itni baar een aankhon se
    Do boondein naa barsey, een bheegi palkon se

    perhaps Gulzar means:

    the monsoon clouds gather
    so often in my eyes
    but even two drops refuse to rain down
    from these laden, wet eyelids

    listen to it, to me it seems like a happy song .. .full of love . . .the heroine has no reason to cry . . .she is singing in front of her husband, teasing him. . .in my humble opinion, she is crying tears of joy . . .
    correct me if I misinterpret . . .

    1. Hello!
      Well, that's the beauty of Gulzar's lines, that it can be interpreted in a different way by someone with a different perspective :)
      But I interpreted it by the way I saw it; and I did see some sadness in Tanuja's eyes ...

    2. I've watched the movie and your interpretation of 'sookhe Saawan' is spot on. Thank you so much for the meaning of this poignant song, Kanupriya!

  9. That's true! Jai Gulzar!
    Hey, I would love to see your translation of:
    Bole Re Papihara . . .
    what a beautiful song!

    1. Hello,
      Will try to attempt it in future. Meanwhile, keep visiting the blog :)

  10. I had heard this song often as a child on the radio. I recently heard it again on Pandora and was totally mesmerized by it. Geeta Dutt's lilting voice, coupled with Gulzar's lyrics truly created magic. I've been listening to this song over and over and my wife thinks I've gone crazy. I find something new in the song every time I play it.

    I was afraid to see the picturization of the song since more often than not I am disappointed with the way good songs are put on film. However, the simplicity of the picturization blew me away. It complemented the song in a beautiful way.

    Kanupriya, you've hit it dead-on with your translation and interpretation.

    1. Hello Anonymous,
      I'm glad you liked my interpretation :) Thanks!

  11. This song just blew me and only listening to the song, decided to see the picturisation did i realize how sensuously Tanuja has brought in the most fiery intimacy in that one frame of the window .Your translation is beautiful and well written . So helpful to understand Gulzar saheb s perspective to a certain extent , though there is a lot of depth in it . Thank you for sharing this with us !

  12. Hello everyone, I had heard about this song a few years ago from a dear friend. Apparently the hero is impotent in the movie and the heroine actually narrates her feelings in a very beautiful way. This song has a lot of inner meaning. Now hear the song again and see if you get it. Enjoy!

  13. Kanupriya, Absolutely loved your comments and the picture you painted about the song

  14. Been one of my all time favourite Geeta Dutt numbers. But never knew the intricate meanings of the first couplet. Thanks so much.

  15. Hi Kanupriya,

    I watched anubhav yesterday and have been humming this song since...But was looking for proper meaning of the words...Thanks ever so much....Please keep up the good work...There's another song sili havaa chhoo gai silaa badan chhil Gaya,,, neelee nadi ke pare gilaa same chand khil Gaya... When you have some spare time please explain those too.. the beauty about Gulzarsaabs songs is even though you don't comprehend some of the lines it's so soulful it touches ones heart. Thanks again. Regards

  16. It's a beautiful song .. so much romance but I always feel sadness with it. Haven't seen the movie but I thought the mention of life as something that will leave u soon is like seeing death somewhere near .. then the lines about sookhe sawan baras Gaye.., clearly goes deeper in this sadness.. about the tears that are not for world to see as I never let them fall .. but inside there are just too many . Last lines are just pure romance though.. 😍 Gulzar sahab is just amazing at words .


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...