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.
Movie: Anubhav (1971)
Music director: Kanu Roy
Singer: Geeta Dutt
Lyrics, and translation
Meri jaan, mujhe jaan na kaho 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
- 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.
- 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.
- So few truly romantic songs are filmed on married couples. But this one right here kicks ass of all those n00b unmarried romances.