Friday, December 27, 2019

Love, Love, Love (What is this Thing?)

This fabulous Nayyar-Bhosle number is from the 1966 mystery drama Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (This Night Won't Come Again). O. P. Nayyar's compositions for vocalist Asha Bhosle are in a class of their own – like Madan Mohan's compositions for Lata Mangeshkar, Asha's sister. Mumtaz lipsynchs the song on the screen. She brings a sly moxie to the pretense of star-crossed love in Aziz Kashmiri's lyrics.

The purpose of this literal song and dance is to get the cross Biswajit to make up with her. Her friends, played by extras prancing around awkwardly, look like they are trying to recreate a grade school production from their childhoods. They are apparently there to help with the endeavor but are redundant, Mumtaz has it covered quite nicely. The frowning Biswajit in the attire of the era's Manager, and carrying an easel and a canvas (he's quickly relieved of both by extras), is probably annoyed because he came there to paint during his lunch break and wants to be left alone. Will Mumtaz's operatic proclamations of devotion make him give in and ditch his dabbling in art?

Yes, all this is undeniably fabulous. I've listened to and watched this many times and have yet to tire of it. Hence this translation. I've tried to maintain the original meter and the translation isn't exact, but it's correct. The chorus, for instance, translates to "What is this thing called love?" I wanted the line to start with "love" like it does in the original, and the Hindi/Hindustani word for single-syllable "love" in the original has three syllables: मोहब्बत (mohabbat). "Love, love, love – what is this thing?" starts with "love" and has the same meter as the original, plus I think it's catchy.

The video of the song follows the translation below.

Love, Love, Love (What is This Thing?)
mohabbat chIX hai kyA?
मोहब्बत चीज़ है क्या?

Torturer, the hope of mercy from you – those who have may well have,
What I would like to see is to what extent you can be ruthless.
sitamgar tujhse ummId-e-karam hogI jinheM hogI,
hameM to dekhnA yah hai ki tU XAlim kahA.N tak hai.
सितमगर तुझसे उम्मीद-ए-करम होगी जिन्हें होगी,
हमें तो देखना यह है कि तू ज़ालिम कहाँ तक है.
Love, love, love – what is this thing?
I’ll fall in love, see what it's like!
What is it that is called death?
I’ll die for love, see what it's like!
mohabbat chIX hai kyA?
mohabbat kar ke dekheMge!
qaXA kahte hai kisko?
kisI par mar ke dekheMge!
मोहब्बत चीज़ है क्या?
मोहब्बत कर के देखेंगे!
क़ज़ा कहते है किसको?
किसी पर मर के देखेंगे!

It’s a very beautiful promise that to this heart I have made,
To give away my life for you, that is what I intend to do.
To give away my life for you, that is what I intend to do.
Where is love's crucifixion?
ba.DA hI KUbsUrat dil se vAdA kar liyA hamne,
ki tum par jAn dene kA irAdA kar liyA hamne.
ki tum par jAn dene kA irAdA kar liyA hamne.
kahA.N hai pyAr kI sUlI?
बड़ा ही ख़ूबसूरत दिल से वादा कर लिया हमने,
कि तुम पर जान देने का इरादा कर लिया हमने.
कि तुम पर जान देने का इरादा कर लिया हमने.
कहाँ है प्यार की सूली?
Where is love’s crucifixion?
I’ll bear that cross, see what it's like!
Love, love, love – what is this thing?
kahA.N hai pyAr kI sUlI?
yah sUlI cha.Dh ke dekheMge!
mohabbat chIX hai kyA?
कहाँ है प्यार की सूली?
यह सूली चढ़ के देखेंगे!
मोहब्बत चीज़ है क्या?

At your door this heart of mine is standing as love’s questioner,
With those intoxicating eyes behold the heart’s carafe is empty.
With those intoxicating eyes behold the heart’s carafe is empty.
Can the carafe run over?
tumhAre dar pe dil apnA mohabbat kA savAlI hai,
nashIlI A.NkhoM se dekho surAhI dil kI KAlI hai.
nashIlI A.NkhoM se dekho surAhI dil kI KAlI hai.
Chalak jAtI hai kaise?
तुम्हारे दर पे दिल अपना मोहब्बत का सवाली है,
नशीली आँखों से देखो सुराही दिल की ख़ाली है.
नशीली आँखों से देखो सुराही दिल की ख़ाली है.
छलक जाती है कैसे?
Can the carafe run over?
I’ll fill it up, see what it's like!
Love, love, love – what is this thing?
Chalak jAtI hai kaise?
surAhI bhar ke dekheMge!
mohabbat chIX hai kyA?
छलक जाती है कैसे?
सुराही भर के देखेंगे!
मोहब्बत चीज़ है क्या?

Until when, sweetheart, will I have to be tested in this way?
Just smile and let’s hear a bit of your decision, kind sir.
Just smile and let’s hear a bit of your decision, kind sir.
Then upon your decision…
liyA jAyegA kab tak jAneman yauM imtihA.N apnA?
sunA do muskurA kar faislA kuCh meharbA.N apnA.
sunA do muskurA kar faislA kuCh meharbA.N apnA.
tumhAre faisale par…
लिया जायेगा कब तक जानेमन यौं इम्तिहाँ अपना?
सुना दो मुस्कुरा कर फ़ैसला कुछ मेहरबाँ अपना.
तुम्हारे फ़ैसले पर…
Then upon your decision
I’ll die of joy, see what it’s like!
Love, love, love – what is this thing?
I’ll fall in love, see what it's like!
What is it that is called death?
I’ll die for love, see what it's like!
tumhAre faisale par
KushI se mar ke dekheMge!
mohabbat chIX hai kyA?
mohabbat kar ke dekheMge!
qaXA kahte hai kisko?
kisI par mar ke dekheMge!
तुम्हारे फ़ैसले पर
ख़ुशी से मर के देखेंगे!
मोहब्बत चीज़ है क्या?
मोहब्बत कर के देखेंगे!
क़ज़ा कहते है किसको?
किसी पर मर के देखेंगे!