Friday, April 12, 2013

Chupke Se (Saathiya)

"All happy families are alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Begins the novel Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. The same could be said of couples as well. And if you follow closely the lyrics and poetry by Gulzar, you'll notice a lot of non-perfect couples, and very few perfectly happy ones.

So there is someone who has been just a touch unfaithful (Hazaar raahein mud ke dekhin), someone very much in love but forced to part ways with their loved one (Mera kuchh saamaan), a wife waiting, in vain, for her husband who doesn't show up (Khaali haath shaam aayi hai), a hero yearning for a woman who refuses to be with him (Aye Ajnabi, Satrangi Re), a couple living separately but still in love (Tere bina zindagi se koi), or even a ghost wondering if he will be able to stay with the woman he loves, forever (Dheere Jalna). The same pattern of less than perfect relationships can be traced throughout his non-filmy poetry as well. It's as if his universe is populated with these couples, living apart but constantly striving to come together.

This particular song features a star-crossed couple - married, but forced to live separately due to circumstances. And needless to say, anyone who has ever been in love can identify with what Gulzar has said about separation pangs.

Lyrics, and English Translation:
Doston se jhoothi-moothi doosron ka naam le ke,
teri-meri baatein karna
Yaara, raat se din karna
 Lambi judaai teri bada mushkil hai,
aahon se dil bharna
Yaara raat se din karna

(The hero says -)
 [[Every time I talk about us, I have to use the false cover-up of others' names
And with each passing day, it is becoming more and more difficult to fill the empty space in my heart with sighs and wait for another night to turn to day]]

 [My comments: It's quite uncanny how Gulzar takes something very usual amongst youngsters (at least of yerster-years) and slips it into his songs - namely, covering up one's secret love life by hiding behind others' identities. I have always loved this line the most, for saying so much in so few words!]

Kab ye poori hogi door ye doori hogi
Roz safar karna - Yaara raat se din karna

[[When will this distance go away
When will this journey that I have to make everyday, the journey of turning another night into day, end?]]

Chupke se, chupke se, raat ki chaadar tale
Chaand ki bhi aahat na ho, baadal ke peechhe chalein
Jalein katra-katra, galein katra-katra
Raat bhi na hile aadhi-aadhi, 
Raat bhi na hile aadhi-aadhi aye
Chupke se, chupke se, raat ki chaadar tale

(The heroine says -)
[[Hush, my love, let's meet secretly under the veil of the night
Let's hide behind the clouds, lest the moon comes to know and creates a scene
Let us burn together and melt bit by bit
While the night waits with bated breath]]

[My comments: Gulzar's association with the moon is legendary. Almost as noticeable in his songs is the recurrence of lovers meeting under the moon light. Right from his first song Mora Gora Ang Lai Le, where the heroine begs to be made darker, so she can easily meet her lover at night; to a more recent O Humdam Suniyo Re, where the moon (hero) frequents his lover's street at nights.] 

Farvari ki sardiyon ki dhoop mein
Moondi-moondi akhiyon se dekhna
Haath ki aad se
Nimmi-nimmi thand aur aag mein
Haule-haule maarwa ke raag mein
Meer ki baat ho

[[(I wait for the day when) In the soft sunlight of February, you would look at me, shading your half-open eyes with your palm
When the mild winter meets fire, I wish we could sit together and talk about Mir, with the Raag Maarwa playing in the background]]

[My comments: For a beautiful interpretation of this paragraph, I must guide you towards this amazing post by the equally amazing Pavan Jha who is an encyclopedia of anything and everything Bollywood.

I must also mention how it reminds me of the para "Jaadon ki narm dhoop aur aangan mein let kar" from "Dil Dhoondhta Hai"] 

Din bhi na doobe, raat na aaye, shaam kabhi na dhale
Shaam dhale to subah na aaye, raat hi raat chale
 [Chupke se ...]

[[(When we are together) I wish the day would never end, the night never come, and the evening stays with us
And even if the evening ends, I wish the next morning doesn't come and the night goes on and on]]

[My comments: Who else is reminded of "O Saathi Re, din doobe na" from Omkara?] 

Tujh bina pagli ye purwai
Aa ke meri chunri mein bhar gayi
Tu kabhie aise hi gale lag jaise ye purwai
Aa gale lag jaise ye purwai 

[[Without you, even the winds go crazy
I wish that some day, you will embrace me like this breeze
Come, engulf me completely like the crazy winds...]]

Saathiya sun tu
 Kal jo mujhko neend na aaye paas bula lena
God mein apni sar rakh lena, lori suna dena
[Chupke se ...]

[[Listen, my love!
I wish a day comes when, if I am unable to sleep, you would make me lie next to you
Or sing a lullaby to me, with my head in your lap

Till that day comes, meet me secretly under the veil of the night ...]]

Of course, I need not talk again and again on how I love the movie and its music! The coming together of ARR and Gulzar has always spelled magic, well may be except in JTHJ.
For my take on other songs from the movie Saathiya, click here.


  1. Beautiful song!! The effect of this song is multiplied a thousand times when listened in the wee hours. I feel this song is a natural extension of 'Dil Dhoondhta Hai...' He invokes similar emotions in 'Naam Ada Likhna'(which I recommend you to cover).

    Consider this :

    Doli utha ke aayega din to paas bitha lena
    Kal jo mile to maathe pe mere suraj uga dena

    And here it goes :

    Kal jo mujhko neend na aaye paas bula lena
    God mein apni sar rakh lena, lori suna dena

    1. Very true! :)
      And nice song recommendation. Has been on my to-do list for some time now :)

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  3. What a nice song.
    ARR and gulzar simply makes awesome ....
    And your explanations hook up us over their....

    1. Really, ARR and Gulzar together spell magic :)


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