Friday, August 14, 2009


By special request, today I shall visit the song Dooriyan from the spankin' new Bollywood film Love Aaj Kal starring Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Rishi Kapoor. Aaj means today, and Kal could either mean yesterday or tomorrow. Sometimes, when said in combination "aaj kal" means "these days." But in the context of this movie, the title equates to "Love Now and Then" ("then" being in past tense).

The film explores two relationships: one modern-day story of a couple that initially decides to break up for practical purposes, and the agonizing emotional journey that follows; and one older tale of love at first sight. The film shows the similarities between the relationships despite the stark difference in circumstances. "Dooriyan" plays beautifully into this narrative with its wistful melody and lyrics.

"Doori" means distance. "Dooriyan" is the plural, an emphasis on multiple distances. Let's listen to the song, shall we? (The video is a random fan slideshow, not an actual video from the movie.)

As mentioned in an earlier post, "Yeh" means "this/these." So the "yeh dooriyan" that keeps being repeated is "these distances."

And now for the translation of the chorus. Look to the colors in each line for corresponding meanings.

In raahon ki dooriyan
Nigaahon ki dooriyan
Humrahon ki dooriyan
Fanah ho sabhi dooriyan

The distances of these paths (Note: "yeh" turns into "in" when there is a possessive (ki) in the mix)
The distances of gazes (Nigaahen = eye or gaze, which becomes -hon because of the ki)
The distances of co-travelers
Let all distances be destroyed (Sab = all; hi is an emphatic addition)

Let's take up some more of the beginning lyrics as well.

Kyun koi paas hai
Door hai kyun koi
Jaane na koi yahaan pe

Aa raha paas ya door main ja raha
Jaanu na main hoon kahan pe

Why someone is near
Why somone is far
no one knows over here

Am I coming closer or am I going further
I do not know where I am

Beautiful song to get emo to, or "senti" as they would say in Desi English.

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dil Dooba, Dil Dooba!

By now, anyone who has heard any Bollywood song or seen any Bollywood flick and done a reasonable amount of research should know that "dil" means heart. Bollywood lyrics pimp out the heart every chance they get. So let us delve into a popular song from a few years back, "Dil Dooba" from the film Khakee.

Dooba is the past tense of the verb "doobna," which means "to drown." The d is pronounced like an American d, unlike the d of "dil," which takes the dental d (roughly like the "th" from "this").

Here we go with the video:

So the heart drowned... "neeli aankhon mein yeh dil dooba" means "in [your] blue eyes this heart drowned." Check the color code to see which words correspond with which! The word for eyes is aankhon, but it is because of the post-position "mein" that it has changed to "aankhon."

Stay tuned for more! Comment with any questions or specific requests.