Sunday, January 31, 2010

How to Pronounce Anjali

Since Anjali is such an important name in Bollywood (2 of them in Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, from the last post, for example), I thought I would offer this how-to guide on pronouncing it.

The Return of SRK-Kajol? Kuch Kuch Hota Hain!

As the bona fide Bollywood fans will already know, a new movie is to be released on Feb. 12, entitled "My Name Is Khan." It is directed by Karan Johar, starring none other than Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol! With Fox Searchlight behind its release, you should be able to catch it at a theater near you.

As a tribute to the SRK-Kajol jodi (couple, pronounced roughly like the name Jody/Jodie), I'm going to bring back the title and title song of their hit 1998 film (Karan Johar's debut directorial venture), Kuch Kuch Hota Hain. If you have not seen this, you must! It is a modern classic, a love triangle as infuriating as it is romantic and magical.

"Kuch" (with the u pronounced like "oo" in "book") on its own means "some." Two kuch's in succession means "something." There is also "sab kuch" ("everything," with "sab" pronounced like "sub") , "kuch bhi" ("anything"), and "kuch nahi" ("nothing").

We have seen "hona" many times before, meaning "to be" or "to happen." "Hota hain" means "happens." Altogether, "Kuch Kuch Hota Hain" means "Something Happens..." the implication is that something happens/stirs in the heart (though it may be the case elsewhere as well).

A common dialogue in the film during scenes with awkward misunderstandings is "Kuch kuch hota hain... tum nahi samjhoge." ("Something happens... you won't understand.")

So with that, let's explore this chorus, shall we? I apologize that the translation is not very poetic; I'm making it quite literal so you can see how the words correlate.

Tum paas aaye
Yun muskuraaye
Tumne na jaane kya
Sapne dikhaaye

Ab to mera dil
Jaage na sota hain
Kya karu haai
Kuch kuch hota hain
Kya karu haai
Kuch kuch hota hain

You came near
Smiled like that
You didn't understand what
Dreams [you] showed me

Now my heart
[Neither] wakes nor sleeps
Oh God what should I do
Something happens...
What should I do
Something happens...