August 23, 2013

#1: The Endless Wait

A few months ago we were celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema. A few days ago it was Gulzar sahab's birthday. On both these occasions I had thought of starting this new column. "The Great Hindi Lyrics" will be where I will be sharing great songs from Hindi cinema, great in their poetry, and not necessarily in their tune, choreography, or popularity. In fact, my effort will be to come up with songs which are great but not very popular, not those that play every day on various FM channels. There was a time when I was very proud of Hindi films. I am not anymore. In fact, I feel there is only one aspect of our films where we have been truly world-class. It is not the story, the camerawork, the editing, not even the performances or the music, but the lyrics of hundreds of great songs that we produced over the decades. It is this poetry in the songs of Hindi films that, in my opinion, is one thing we can truly be proud of. Unfortunately, not many, including myself, pay too much attention to the words (for example, I am paying conscious attention to the words of the below-mentioned song only today, after 17 years of hearing it for the first time.) This column will be an effort to compensate for that.

In case any of you do not understand a word or a line, please do ask. We should discuss the poetry for the benefit of all. Also, in each of these posts, I will let the song do the talking and if I feel like adding something, will do it in the comments below. So here it is, the first song of the series, a song on the endless wait for the beloved.....

ऐ हवा कुछ तो बता, जाने वालों का पता
काली घटाओं तुम छू के पहाड़ों को
लौट आना, हाँ तुम, लौट आना.…

जंगल से जाती पगडंडियों पे
देखो तो शायद पाँव पड़े हों,
कोहरे की दूधिया ठंडी गुफ़ाओं में
बादल पहन के शायद खड़े हों,
हौले से कानों में मेरा कहा कहना
लौट आना, हाँ तुम, लौट आना.…

बुझने लगा है झीलों का पानी
घुलने लगा है शाम का सोना,
कहाँ से थामूँ रात की चादर
कहाँ से पकडूँ धूप का कोना,
जाइयो पास उनके मेरा कहा कहना
लौट आना, हाँ तुम, लौट आना.…

ऐ हवा कुछ तो बता, जाने वालों का पता
काली घटाओं तुम छू के पहाड़ों को
लौट आना, हाँ तुम, लौट आना.…
लौट आना, लौट आना, लौट आना.…

Gulzar (Maachis, 1996)


  1. Please notice that the use of the line "laut aana" in the mukhdaa can be read differently from that of the two antaraas!!! In the mukhdaa, it is addressed to the wind, the messenger. But in the antaraas, after the phrase "mera kahaa kehna" the same line becomes the message itself being said to the beloved...

    Also, here the wait seems to be of more than one people. I think it is more for effect than actually intending to mean a wait for many.

    It was the line: "Jungle se jaati.... paanv pade hon" that made me select this song for this column. Trademark Gulzar.

    And I love the use of "jaaiyo paas unke"..... :)

  2. Dear Sir,

    I'm really glad that you have started this particular series. Going to follow each and every as i use to did with all others by you.

    Keep posting.