Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Secret within My Lips

This cryptic song is from Jewel Thief, a caper thriller from 1967. Some of its credits are the same as my previous translation: producer and actor Dev Anand, director and editor Vijay Anand, music director S.D. Burman, and choreographer B. Sohanlal. The song is an intense dance number that precedes the movie’s climax. This is another example of Vijay Anand’s skill at making a song and dance sequence an integral part of the story-telling. Dancer and actor Vyjayanthimala’s grace is matched by cinematographer V. Ratra’s long, tracking shots circling around her. Her movements and expressions convey the mysterious forebodings of the song. She is what Majrooh Sultanpuri’s ominous lyrics describe as a “fire-like body floating around.” S.D. Burman was known to have traveled across Bengal collecting indigenous folk music, the influence of which is evident in this composition.

This translation, like the previous one, retains the meter of the original. It is also a Hinglish translation, leaving some common words untranslated (meanings visible upon hovering and in footnotes).

ITRANS is the scheme I used for the transliteration (romanization), with the help of Aksharamukha, an online transliterator.

A video clip of the song from the movie follows the translation.

I’ve collected links to some writings about the movie.

A Secret within My Lips
hoThoM meM aisI bAt
होठों में ऐसी बात

A secret pressed within my lips I left and came away,
The secret which if revealed... a curse, oh what a curse!
Yeah, oh yeah,
The secret in which there is love but
There’s also poison, oh!
hoThoM meM aisI bAt maiM dabAke chalI AI
khul jAe vahI bAt to… duhAI hai duhAI!
hA.N re hA.N,
bAt jis meM pyAr to hai,
Xahar bhI hai, hAy!
होठों में ऐसी बात मैं दबाके चली आई,
खुल जाए वही बात तो… दुहाई है दुहाई!
हाँ रे हाँ,
बात जिस में प्यार तो है,
ज़हर भी है, हाय!

The night, black like a cobra, has come into its youth,
Yeah, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!
My, oh my, who will be bitten by this hour!
If I turn and look back
pAyal* on my feet suffer,
If I walk ahead all of the courtyard begins to throb!
Within my lips, oh…
rAt kAlI nAgin sI huI hai javA.N,
hA.N re hA.N, hA.N, hA.N, hA.N!
hAy daiyA kisko DasegA yah samA!
jo dekhUM pIChe mu.D ke
to pag meM pAyal ta.Dpe,
Age chalUM to dha.DaktI hai sArI aMganAI
hoThoM meM hAy…
रात काली नागिन सी हुई है जवाँ,
हाँ रे हाँ, हाँ, हाँ, हाँ!
हाय दैया किसको डसेगा यह समा!
जो देखूं पीछे मुड़ के
तो पग में पायल तड़पे,
आगे चलूं तो धड़कती है सारी अंगनाई।
होठों में हाय…
A secret pressed within my lips I left and came away,
The secret which if revealed… a curse, oh what a curse!
hoThoM meM aisI bAt maiM dabAke chalI AI
khul jAe vahI bAt to… duhAI hai duhAI!
होठों में ऐसी बात मैं दबाके चली आई,
खुल जाए वही बात तो… दुहाई है दुहाई!

The way in which my fire like body floats around,
Yeah, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!
My long hair goes one way, my ghU.NghaT** goes another,
And now my earring breaks off!
Oh, and my biMdI*** leaves me!
I’ve become the eschaton now as I pandiculate.
Within my lips, oh…
aise merA jvAlA sA tan laharAe,
hA.N re hA.N, hA.N, hA.N, hA.N!
laT kahIM jAe ghuMghaT kahIM jAe,
are ab jhumkA TUTe!
ki merI biMdiyA ChUTe!
ab to banke qayAmat letI hU.N aMga.DAI
hoThoM meM hAy…
ऐसे मेरा ज्वाला सा तन लहराए,
हाँ रे हाँ, हाँ, हाँ, हाँ!
लट कहीं जाए घूँघट कहीं जाए,
अरे अब झुमका टूटे!
कि मेरी बिंदिया छूटे!
अब तो बनके क़यामत लेती हूँ अंगड़ाई।
होठों में हाय…
A secret pressed within my lips I left and came away,
The secret which if revealed… a curse, oh what a curse!
Yeah, oh yeah,
The secret in which there is love but
There’s also poison, oh!
hoThoM meM aisI bAt maiM dabAke chalI AI
khul jAe vahI bAt to… duhAI hai duhAI!
hA.N re hA.N,
bAt jis meM pyAr to hai,
Xahar bhI hai, hAy!
होठों में ऐसी बात मैं दबाके चली आई,
खुल जाए वही बात तो… दुहाई है दुहाई!
हाँ रे हाँ,
बात जिस में प्यार तो है,
ज़हर भी है, हाय!

* pAyal: Anklet
** ghU.NghaT: Veil or headscarf worn by a woman to cover her head and face
*** biMdI: Red dot worn by a woman on the center of her forehead

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Today Again It's the Desire to Live!

This is an English translation of a hit song from the acclaimed, classic Hindi (Hindustani, to be accurate) movie, Guide (1965), which is based on R. K. Narayan’s novel, The Guide. It is about the corruption and Vedic redemption of the titular tourist guide, Raju (Dev Anand, also the producer). It is also the story of Rosie (Waheeda Rehman), who leaves an unhappy marriage and, with Raju’s encouragement and help, follows her heart to do what she loves, dance. This song is Rosie’s declaration of her newfound will. Shailendra’s lyrics express a mix of innocent optimism, apprehension and resolve. S. D. Burman’s composition is celebratory and cheerfully assertive. It is obvious from this song why director Vijay Anand, the producer/actor’s younger brother, is considered a "master of song picturization" – he also shares editing credit with Babu Sheikh. With cinematographer Fali Mistry's shots of Waheeda Rehman dancing at Chittor Fort, Vijay Anand creates a spectacular depiction of Rosie’s aspiration and daring. Watch for the low-angle tracking shot showing Rosie dancing fearlessly on one of the walls of the old fort – a video clip of the song from the movie follows the translation.

In this translation I have tried to maintain the meter of the original song. For this reason, the translation is not exact in some places, but it maintains the meaning of the original. I chose to keep a couple of Hindi words because they aren’t gracefully translatable and sound better than the translation. Technically, therefore, this is a Hinglish translation.

For the transliteration (romanization) I used the ITRANS scheme for the Devanagari script – Aksharamukha is the most reliable online transliterator I found. The translation of every verse/chorus below is followed by its transliterated and Devanagari versions.

If you'd like to see translations of more classic Bollywood songs, check out Mr. & Mrs. 55. They've also translated this very song.

Much has been written about this movie as well as the book on which it is based. I've collected links to some of it.

Today Again It's the Desire to Live!
Aj phir jIne kI tamannA hai!
आज फिर जीने की तमन्ना है!

Out of the thorns I pulled my A.Nchal*,
Broke all my bonds and tied on pAyal** –
Nobody hold back the flight of my heart…
There goes my heart!
kA.NToM se khIMch ke yah A.Nchal,
to.D ke baMdhan bA.NdhI pAyal –
koI na roko dil kI u.DAn ko…
dil vah chalA‌!
काँटों से खींच के यह आँचल,
तोड़ केे बंधन बाँधी पायल –
कोई न रोको दिल की उड़ान को…
दिल वह चला‍‌!
Today again it's the desire to live!
Today again it's the intention to die!
Aj phir jIne kI tamannA hai!
Aj phir marne kA irAdA hai!
आज फिर जीने की तमन्ना है!
आज फिर मरने का इरादा है!

I’m not under my own control,
My heart’s somewhere and I’m elsewhere –
What was it that my life found I wonder,
It smiled and said…
apne hI bas meM nahIM maiM,
dil hai kahIM to hU.N kahIM maiM –
jAne kyA pA ke merI XiMdgI ne
ha.Ns kar kahA…
अपने ही बस में नहीं मैं,
दिल है कहीं तो हूँ कहीं मैं –
जाने क्या पा के मेरी ज़िंदगी ने
हँस कर कहा…
Today again it's the desire to live!
Today again it's the intention to die!
Aj phir jIne kI tamannA hai!
Aj phir marne kA irAdA hai!
आज फिर जीने की तमन्ना है!
आज फिर मरने का इरादा है!

I am dust blowing, I am a storm!
Can someone tell me where I am?
I fear that I’ll get lost on the journey,
It’s a new road…
maiM hU.N GubAr yA tUfA.N hU.N!
koI batAe maiM kahA.N hU.N –
Dar hai safar meM kahIM kho na jAU.N maiM,
rastA nayA…
मैं हूँ ग़ुबार या तूफ़ाँ हूँ!
कोई बताए मैं कहाँ हूँ –
डर है सफ़र में कहीं खो न जाऊँ मैं,
रस्ता नया…
Today again it's the desire to live!
Today again it's the intention to die!
Aj phir jIne kI tamannA hai!
Aj phir marne kA irAdA hai!
आज फिर जीने की तमन्ना है!
आज फिर मरने का इरादा है!

Came out of the dark of yesterday
And saw as I was rubbing my eyes
Flowers abound, life is primavera,
I’ve decided…
kal ke aMgheroM se nikal ke
dekhA hai A.NkheM malte malte
phUl hI phUl, XiMdgI bahAr hai,
tay kar liyA…
कल के अंघेरों से निकल के
देखा है आँखें मलते मलते
फूल ही फूल, ज़िंदगी बहार है,
तय कर लिया…
Today again it's the desire to live!
Today again it's the intention to die!
Aj phir jIne kI tamannA hai!
Aj phir marne kA irAdA hai!
आज फिर जीने की तमन्ना है!
आज फिर मरने का इरादा है!

* A.Nchal: The loose end of a saree or a dupaTTA (a long, scarf like garment) that is wrapped around the front of a woman's torso.
** pAyal: Anklet; here it means ghu.NghrU, a musical anklet with small bells worn by dancers.