Sooha saha – Highway (Lyrics and Meaning)

A  lullaby from the movie Highway (2014). Here’s the youtube link to the song: Sooha saha.

I think Highway was a well made movie in many ways – the cinematography is beautiful, the storyline is simple but emotionally engaging, the acting natural, but the music tops it all. I liked all the songs from the movie, Mahi ve – a different flavor of a romantic song, Kahan hoon main – a song trying to make sense of one’s life, Pataka guddi – a lively free-spirited song to name a few. The songs also blend in well with the story. I like sooha saha in particular because with such simplicity this song manages to describe the complexity of the emotions that Mahabir (the antihero of the movie) is experiencing. Halfway through, the song switches from innocent dreams to the unpleasant reality and then back.

Mynah ni sooha saha le jaana khoye ki meethi meethi kheti mein kehlan ho 

Totha bole pedon pe, pede se poodi se, sooha saha neendan mein bhookha na ho 

sangi saathi hum soone thaare ho na ho, sooha saha amma ka 

Oh red rabbit, take the mynah (bird) with you to the milk sweet farms to play 

Where parrot sings from the trees, like dessert and bread, so the red rabbit does not feel hungry in his sleep

There may not be friends to accompany you, (but the birds should keep you company)

Red rabbit so dear to his mother

Raina, kaari kaari koylan si raina, neendi tula tula sii lena* 

taaron ka bichauna, chain se sona,

gota gota gudhadi mein ghoomega ghaamega  sooha sahaa mynah ni le jaana ho **

The night is as black as the koyal (a black bird), stitch your nap (or sleep) a little at a time 

Sleep peacefully in the bed of stars

When you roam around amongst those shiny sequin fabric bundles (probably referring to the stars), oh red rabbit, take the mynah with you. 

Toota, tara sa, chota sa, taara sa, toota re 

Pooche wo dekho tere hi baariye 

Kyun na soye, kyun to roye, kyun to khoye yun pardes mein ho 

Kyun tu rootha, kisse rootha, kya hai chootha tera des mein ho 

Broken, a star, a small star, a falling star 

It asks about you, 

Why do you not sleep, why do you cry, why do you wander around in a foreign land ? 

Why are you annoyed, who are you annoyed with, what did you leave behind in your land? 

Jo bhi hai rookha sookha mann mein wo bolo to,

kholo raahein baaton ki baahein ho, 

Whatever it is in your mind, that is bothering you, share it (with me)

Give way to the words, open up your arms (and your heart)

Totha bole pedon pe pede se poodi se, sooha saha neendan mein bhookha na ho

sang saathi ham soone thaare ho na ho, sooha saha amma ka 

Where parrot sings from the trees, like dessert and bread, so the red rabbit does not feel hungry in his sleep

There may not be friends to accompany you, (but the birds should keep you company)

Red rabbit so dear to his mother

The song starts off as a lullaby about sweet fields and starry beds describing the unconditional care of a mother for her young child as she sings to him, and ensures that the child has everything (food, friends) for a good nights sleep with the sweetest dreams.  Later however,  though still about unconditional care, this time it is not for a kid wandering around in dreamland, but for someone who has wandered for so long and so far away from home, that comfort and familiarity seem like a distant dream.

I especially found the “starry” connection 🙂  appealing. How, the stars – the friends from dream land seem to have come looking for their long lost companion (the red rabbit) in the real world – “taara sa, toota re,  Pooche wo dekho tere hi baariye

The lullaby is cute, adorable – words I would not typically use for a musical composition. The latter part of the song definitely has its tear-jerking moments.  If you live away from home, if its been a while since you talked to or visited your family, if its been a while since you had a heart to heart conversation with someone, anyone or if its been a while since you slept peacefully, you can probably relate.

And at the expense of sounding almost preachy, if you are not the lost restless soul in need for comfort, you can probably be the shining caring star that can comfort the lost restless soul, if you get what I mean. 😀

SPOILERS: In the movie, this song describes how Mahabir (the antihero of the movie) reminisces his happy childhood, just another innocent kid, loved by his mother, happy and playful,  which is in stark contrast to where he stands now several years later, the bad guy, feared by everyone, lost and lonely, which he is convinced is a point of no return, while Veera the rich girl who Mahabir has kidnapped, and who now has developed Stockholm Syndrome tries to convince him otherwise. (By the end of this song, you almost feel sorry for Mahabir, you want to forgive him, comfort him. Of course! kudos to Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt for delivering this emotion packed song so flawlessly :))

*Some other sources online with the translation of the song use “coal” to describe “koyalan” – it could be either I think, coal or the bird, but with all the bird references earlier in the song, I thought “koyal – the bird” may be more fitting.

“Tula” refers to a small unit of weight (~11g) , used to measure valuable metals like gold etc.  So the line -“neendi tula tula sii lena” could mean take small naps as you sleep, but if you sleep in short bursts how do you sleep peacefully (the next line :)), so I thought ‘sii’ here could mean “to stitch” instead of  “like tula”

** “gota-gota gudhadi mein” – can also mean sequin studded clothes that the kid (red rabbit) wears as he roams around, but again with the previous line about the bed of stars, I thought shiny sequin fabric bundles is more fitting.


नामुकम्मल अफ़्साना (Incomplete story)

IMG_4696 (2018-06-07T02_49_17.397)

कई मुल्क़ों से होकर गुज़रा तेरे शहर का रास्ता
जाने ख्यालों की किस अबतरी में फ़िर  क़दम उलझ गए
तेरी गली से घर तक की दूरी तय न हो सकी
मेरी परियों की कहानी पूरी न हो सकी

हिज्र का हर पल गुज़रा वस्ल की तहरीर सजाने में
क़ुर्बत-ए-मंज़िल पर मगर लफ़्ज़ों ने दम तोड़ दिया
दिल से ज़ुबान तक की दूरी तय न हो सकी
मेरी परियों की कहानी पूरी न हो सकी

घड़ी के पासबानों ने अर्सा-ए-दराज़ को बड़ी वफ़ादारी से लम्हों में बांटा था
मुलाक़ात की घड़ी को मगर वक़्त दग़ा दे गया
फ़क़त चन्द लम्हों की दूरी तय न हो सकी
मेरी परियों की कहानी पूरी न हो सकी

– कृत्या




मेहर-ए-शायर (Love of a poet)


शायद ज़माने को इश्क़ हो जाता हमसे, गर तेरा फितूर हम होते
शायद ज़माने से इश्क़ हो जाता हमें, गर मेरा सुरूर तुम होते
मैं ढल जाती तेरी तहरीरों में तेरे लफ़्ज़ों से ज़ीनत उधार लेकर
तुम मेरे शिकस्ताह जज़्बों को अपनी शोखियों से रंग गए होते
– कृत्या

The world would have fallen in love with me, and I would have learned to love the world,   if I were your love and  you were mine. I would blend into your compositions, embracing the beauty of your words, and you would have colored my disappointments with your cheerfulness. 

Chathon se koodna by Gulzar (Ambuja Cement Ad 2018) – Lyrics and Meaning

“In love with this Ambuja Cement Ad” – that is such an odd thing to say you would think, but – “Gulzar Sahab’s narration and a fitting video”, how can one not fall in love ? And if you ever lived in a neighborhood with a maze of terraces connecting not just houses but also the people living there, you would understand the true essence of this four minute video!

Chathon se koodna chat par, chathon se chat pe chad jaana

Palon pe paanv rakhkar kood jaate the zamaana,

Wo ghar na the gharaane the, chathon ke wo zamaane the

 Subah se sham karte the, dopaharein raat karte the

Chathon se jod kar chath, jab mohalle baat karte the

Chathon mein sootha maanje, udaana guddiyaan penche ladaana

Wo ghar na the gharaane the, chathon ke wo zamaane the

 Chathon se saadiyaan dariyaan uthaa lana,

Badi chath par lagakar parde, chath par raam leela khela karte the

Jinhe hanuman ban na, wo karke tel maalish, subah se chat pe aakar ek sau dadh pela karte the

Anu ki shaadi mein khaala ke golgappe chalte the, baja karti thi dholak aur din bhar tappe chalte the

Chathon se jod kar chath, jab mohalle baat karte the

 Nahaakar geele baalon mein kisi ka chat pe aa jaana, ujhak kar rassiyon par geele kapdon ka sukhana

Hamesha yaad aayega kisi ko dekhkar dadhkan ka badh jaana

Chathon se koodna chat par, chathon se chat pe chad jaana

Palon pe paanv rakhkar kud jaate the zamaana,


Springing from one roof to another, and climbing on one roof from another

By stepping on moments we could leap over the world (below)

Those weren’t merely (roofs over) houses, (they were so connected) they were like families,

there was a world that lived on those roofs

Mornings would become evenings, Afternoons would turn into nights (on those roofs)

When roofs were glued together and when neighborhoods used to chat

Strings would be prepared on terraces, to fly kites and compete with friends

Those weren’t merely houses, they were like families,

there was an entire world that lived on those roofs

Sarees and carpets would be brought to the big terrace from all the other terraces, used for making curtains and setting the stage, for the ram leela play

And then the one who would play hanuman, would oil his body and go to the terrace and score a hundred pushups (to look strong for the part )

 At Anu’s wedding, aunt would set up her snack shop on the roof, and the drums would play as everyone danced to its tune all day

When roofs were glued together and when neighborhoods used to chat

And when she would show up on the terrace after her shower with soaking wet hair, and she would raise her heels as she reached the line wire to hang the clothes for drying

How can one forget how the heart would beat faster at just a glimpse of her on the roof

(How can one forget) Springing from one roof to another, and climbing on one roof from another

By stepping on moments we could leap over the world (below)

The punjabi lyrics and the meaning (very loosely):

Dendi munder gawaayiyaan pal pal di , Galaan kardi chathey beete kal di

The parapet is a witness to the passage of time , The terrace talks about the days gone by

 This translation as is the case many a times does not do justice to the elegance of the words but I tried.

There are so many little things in the video that grab your attention even as  you are drifting away into a reverie, relishing Gulzar Sahab’s words sprinkled with that Punjabi folk song, like the kids watching the baby birds that have just hatched, or neighbors coming together to play cricket on a leisurely afternoon, the shout out for the rising moon at Karvachauth, the ladies of the house sitting together, rolling out dough, kids playing hide and seek, holi celebrations….

I have spent many summer evenings and winter afternoons with friends, neighbors and family on the terrace of the house I grew up in, sometimes working on a homework, or reading a novel,  pointing out distant constellations that seemed to fit into our small palms , discussing who or what we aspired to be, our big dreams,  skipping stones into the pond nearby, enjoying the sunset , the sunrise, shaking the branches of the bordering mango tree  as my sister waited patiently below to collect our prized possessions aka a few half ripe fruits, leaping, jumping, leaning to gather those cotton seeds from the nearby silk cotton tree as they flew past our terrace, feeding the birds and chipmunks, having candle light meals and sleepovers (when there was a power cut) and I can go on and on..

And as I look out of my frosty glass window now, at the frigid snow coated gables spread over houses that seem so close and yet so lonely, I wonder, if they will ever know how roofs and terraces come to life in what seems like a distant memory from another life in some other world that I left behind.

Have you ever lived in a house with a functional terrace? What is your favorite terrace memory / terrace story?

Ek ghadi aur – D-day (Lyrics and Meaning)

I heard this song after a really long time (sung by Rekha Bhardwaj), thanks to the shuffle mode on iPods (does anyone still use iPods?). It is a song from the movie D-day. ( youtube link to the song) – did watch the movie a while back, but I forgot what its all about, but this song, I still remember. 🙂

Ik ghadi aur teher ki jaan baaki hai, tere hothon pe mere hone ka nishaan baaki hai

Stay for a moment longer as there is still some life left in me, the proof of my existence is still on your lips

Shab ke chehre pe chada rang savere ka to kya, dhalte khwaabon mein abhi apna jahaan baaki hai 

The night may have adorned itself with the colors of  dawn (literally morning), but our world still lives on in the sinking (setting) dreams. 

Yun bichad ke tu mujhse na sazaa de khud ko, abhi haathon se tere jurm-o-gunaah baaki hai 

Don’t punish yourself by parting ways with me, there still remain some sins to be committed by you (literally by your hands) 

Khilte phoolon ka fasaana to bas bahana tha, bujhte sholon ki dastaan abhi baaki hai 

The tale of the blooming flowers was just an excuse (to start a conversation), the story of dwindling flames still remains to be told

Aankhein suni hai, meri maang ujadi hai to kya, abhi haathon mein mere rang-e-hina baaki hai 

My eyes may be empty, my hair (literally the parting of my hair) may be ruined, but my hands are still covered with the color of henna 


Do not leave yet, because when you do I might die. I am still alive because you are around. I know its already morning (time for you to leave), but may be there is still some time we can spend reminiscing our night together which now seems like a sinking world of dreams. Do not punish yourself with the burden of separation already, you haven’t committed enough sins to deserve that yet. Our conversation may have started with the stories of blooming flowers (probably sharing happy anecdotes), but I would like to share with you stories about dying flames too (about the difficult times). I may not look as pretty as I did when we met, but if you look closely there may be thing or two that you may find charming enough to stay back a little longer.

In the movie the song plays on the radio as Rudra (Arjun Rampal) is about to bid farewell to Suraiya (Sruthi Hassan), a prostitute. This song celebrates and elaborates the brief moments right before having to bid someone good bye, hoping against hope that,  that someone stays just a little longer. There is an undertone of the sexual relationship that Rudra and Suraiya share as complete strangers trying to bond as lovers, throughout the song,  every line is as beautiful as the other, playing with the complexity of the situation and  the different emotions that accompany farewells and goodbyes.

I enjoyed listening to the song after a long time, I hope you do too 🙂



बस एक अटैची (just one suitcase)


बस एक  अटैची में समेट लाए थे ,हर ज़रूरत ज़िंदगी की

नयी पुरानी कमीज़ों के सिलवटों में, तवज्जु  मालूफ हाथों का

वो गुल-पोश चादर और  उसमें बिखरी हुई, करवटें अलसाई  सुबहों  की

तकिये के गिलाफो के सीवन में ऊँघती,  देर रातों  की गुफ्तगू

स्वेटर  के बाज़ुओं  से लिपटी हुई, कफूरी गोलियों की खुश्बू

वो  नीली छतरी की तान से टपकता शोर गली के नुक्कड़ का

और तौलिए के  रेशों से झाँकती हुई बरामदे की  धूप

कागज़ी पुड़ियों पर रेंगती हुई खबरें पुराने अख़बारों की

और पुड़ियों  में भरे मसालों में नोक झोक रिश्तेदारों की

अचार  के डब्बों में बंद आपी की खट्टी- मीठी शरारतें

नमक चीनी की गठरियों में पड़ोसियों की हिकायतें

एक थाली और उसमें ज़ायका घर की दाल रोटी का

एक कढ़ाई और  दो बर्तन  भर  अम्मी की नसीहतें

एक चाय की प्याली और उसमें गुफ्त-ओ-शनीद फारिक शामों की

किताबों के सफो मैं क़ैद बाबा के उसूल और हिदायतें

एक ताबीज़ में यकीन इक़्बाल का और बड़े बुज़ुर्गों की तर्बियत

चन्द बुतो से बँधी हुई दीन की तालीम और रिवायतें

एक ऑल्बम में अतीत से चुराए हुए कुछ खुशनुमा लम्हे और चेहरे

एक डायरी में कुछ पते और फोन नंबर, ना भूलने के वादे, फिर मिलने के इरादे

एक CD में,  बड़े  ताग-ओ-दॉ से हासिल, मज्मुआह पसंदीदा ग़ज़लों का

कुछ तस्सल्ली खुश-अंजाम फिल्मों की और  पहले प्यार की यादें

बस एक  अटैची में समेट लाए थे ,हर ज़रूरत ज़िंदगी की

मगर अब ऐश-ओ-इशरात के इस जहान में ज़रूरतें मुक़म्मल ही नही होती

बस एक  अटैची में सिमट आयी थी, हर वजह साँस लेने की

मगर अब इस वसी मकान में भी दम घुटने लगा है

– कृत्या