Monday, January 5, 2015

Phir Se Aaiyo (Namkeen)

"Itna na mujhse tu pyaar badha, ki main ik baadal aawaara / Kaise kisi ka sahaara banoon, ki main khud beghar bechaara"
[From Chhaya (1961), lyrics by Rajendra Krishan]

How can someone who drifts about like a cloud, having no home or stable income, support someone else? Isn't one a fool for falling in love with such a man?

For Mithu, who has only known despair and loneliness all her life, this very drifter is the ray of hope, happiness and love. It matters not to her that Gerulal is a truck driver who is in her village for a few days in passing; it matters not to her that he doesn't even realizes she loves him. Perhaps it's not even her intent to make him know. Right now all that matters is that his presence is enveloping her life like the clouds envelop their village atop the mountain; making it look a bit less miserable; giving a semblance of serenity and even beauty to it.

Needless to say, the trio of Pancham-Gulzar-Asha has once again succeeded in creating a song full of pathos. Gulzar's words as well as Asha's voice are at once full of hope and longing. Pancham gives a haunting score like only he could. Like another of this trio's song (also my favorite), Chhoti Si Kahaani Se, this song is picturised in the hills - except that instead of dripping with rains, these hills are covered in mist - just the sort of place this song takes you to, even without the visuals.

But what indeed is much more stunning about the visuals here, is Shabana Azmi. Without uttering a single word, she manages to convey so much. The tiny smile constantly playing on her lips is a dead giveaway of the state of her heart. Roaming barefoot in the mist-covered valley, she looks content and happy - she couldn't care less if no one else listens to the tune of her heart - it's for her and it's for him, the cloud-like drifter that she awaits.

Lyrics and Translation:
Phir se aaiyo badra bidesi, tere pankhon pe moti jadoongi
Bhar ke jaaiyo humaari talaiya, main talaiya kinaare miloongi
Tujhe mere kaale kamli waale ki saun

[[Come again, O visiting cloud; and I'll embellish your wings with pearls
Make the pond full of water; and it's by its shore that I will meet you
I beseech you, in the name of God!]]

Tere jaane ki rut main jaanti hoon, mud ke aane ki reet hai ki nahin
Kaali darga se poochhoongi jaa ke, tere mann mein bhi preet hai ki nahin
Kachchi puliya se ho ke gujariyo, kachchi puliya kinaare miloongi

[[I know that you have to depart come the season, but would you promise to return as well?
I intend to ask the gods if you love me the way I do
Come by the narrow bridge, and it's here that I will meet you]]

Tu jo ruk jaaye meri atariya, main atariya pe jhaalar laga doon
Daaloon chaar taabeez gale mein, apne kaajal se bindiya laga doon
Chhoo ke jaaiyo, humaari bageechi, main peepal ke aade miloongi

[[If you promise to stay longer, I'll bedeck the terrace with frills and lights
I will put amulets around your neck and mark you with a black tikka with my kohl (to ward off evil)
When you come to touch my garden, it's by the peepal tree that I will meet you]]

My two cents:
Like Ijaazat's Maya and Aandhi's JK, Mithu writes poetry. In fact, as someone who cannot speak, her diary is her only outlet - It's here that she writes of her woes and fears; and of her dreams and hopes. Like Maya and JK, Mithu is all about sentiments and uses poetry to get away from the harsh reality that is her life.

Maya is in this on-again-off-again relationship with a married man, which she knows leads nowhere. JK was married to a woman who was poised to become (and indeed does become) much more successful and powerful than him, leaving him on the way up. Mithu has only known a life of poverty and misery, living with her senile mother and two sisters, while barely making a living.

All three are surrounded by uncertainty and heartache. Words are their escape. (Like Gulzar? Like all poets indeed?)

Watch the video here:

(You can watch the full movie on youtube here)


  1. very soon i will be in love with you

  2. Kanupriyaji
    This is too much beautiful poetry !! I have still not heard this song but very soon i hope to do it. Your english translation is outstanding. I am here on your blog very first time. I appreciate the subject you have selected to justify. Thanks.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hello Kanupriya..I ambled into your blog while researching about Gulzar saab's lyrics and their deeper meaning. I'm already hooked on! Thanks a trillion for what you are doing.

    A question about this song. "kaale kamli waale ki saun". Can you tell me about the reference to kaali kamli waala..I mean you say this is God but is there a regional reference?


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