Chann Kitthan Translation

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Ali Sethi’s magnificent tribute to this golden classic was released some days ago and thanks to a dear friend for pointing me to this. Haunting –  is probably an understatement but then that’s what Ali Sethi does – Always making us miss the correct word to describe what we feel because his singing lies somewhere between what we have felt before and what we have always felt but never realised.

I couldn’t find the meaning of these lyrics because we all know Internet is woefully inadequate when it comes to finding good things. So I reached out to Milli and an affectionate padosi for help. Both of them have shared the translation of not just the little part which Ali Sethi has used. .  They have translated the entire set of lyrics.

anyway, here goes

These are “dohras” or “दोडा़” in Saraeki which is what we call “tappe” in Punjabi. These are couplets which rhyme towards the end, and he first line has no connection with the second. Its only purpose is to serve the rhyming purpose. Here you go!

चन कित्थाँ गुज़री आही रात वे

मेंढा जी दलीलाँ दे वात वे

She is calling him moon (chann) and asking him where did he spend the night!

Saying that because he didn’t come home last night she has been reasoning (daleelaan – दलील देना) with herself as to why and where was he and was he with another woman or something was wrong and so on and so forth.

कोठे ते पिड़ कोठ्ड़ा माही कोठे सुक्दा घा भला

आशिक़ाँ जोड़ियाँ पोह्ड़ियाँ माशूक़ाँ जोड़े राह भला

Kothay te pidh kothda in every couplet means छत के ऊपर छत. In Punjabi kottha means terrace. So terrace upon terrace and on the terrace grass is drying. ( ghaa- grass, sukhda- drying)

Aashiq here serves a gender perspective,  aashiq is male and men break (phodiyaan) hearts where as women or maashooq bring hearts together. we can interpret it as aashiq being used in a loose sense, such as ashiq fek or people who carry their hearts on their sleeve and fall in ‘love’ every instance but aren’t serious where as maashooq is someone who is in serious love and so they bring hearts together.

or you can interpret it as 

“paudiyaan” which means stairs, so she says ashiq build steps or stairs, and mashooqs built roads or rather they pave the way for love

कोठे ते पिड़ कोठ्ड़ा माही कोठे सुक्दी रेत भला

असाँ गुधाइयाँ मेंढियाँ तूं किसे बहाने वेख ज़रा

Ret- sand so sand is drying on the terrace

Asaan- we or I gundhiyaan mendiyaan- braided lil braids on the head very typical of Punjab. We call it middiyaan, so she is saying I made braids for you, at least come kisi bahaane and see me.

कोठे ते पिड़ कोठ्ड़ा माही कोठे  ते तन्दूर भला

पह्ली रोटी तुँ खावें ओ तैंडे साथी नस्दे दूर भला

Tandoor on top of the terrace

When you come home with friends as men used to in olden times she is saying she wil cook and first (pehli) roti will be for him and (tainde saathi) and your friends can run away  (nass is to run). Basically I don’t give a damn about your friends as long as you have eaten the first roti.

कोठे ते पिड़ कोठ्ड़ा वे माही कोठे बैठा काँ भला

तूँ ताँ मैं कूँ भुल गियों ए मैं अजे वी तैडो हाँ भला

Kaan is crow, so crow is sitting on the terrace.

You might have forgotten me (bhul giyon) but I am yours even today. (Aje- even now, taindi-Teri or yours)

कोठे ते पिड़ कोठ्ड़ा वे माही कोठे दे विच बारियाँ

हुण ताँ वापस आ माही तूँ जित्तियो ते मैं हारो आँ

Baari means windows, so saying terrace has windows.

Hunn is now, jitiyon comes from jeetna, so saying now come back, you win I lose!

कोठे ते पिड़ कोठ्ड़ा वे माही कोठे सुक्दियाँ तोरियाँ

कालियाँ राताँ जाग के मैं नप्पियाँ तेरियाँ चोरियाँ

Toriyaan is the vegetable tori so they are drying on the terrace

Nappiyaan- means to nab in this case more like stumbled on to your choriyaan meaning i know what you have been up to and that has led to sleepless dark nights, or the other way round that in your absence I have had dark sleepless nights and led me to stumble on to your antics.

कोठे ते पिड़ कोठ्ड़ा वे माही कोठे सुक्दे बेर भला

होर मैं तैनूँ की आखाँ क्यूँ लाई ए इत्नी देर भला

Ber is ber the fruit and it is drying

Hor means aur when we say hor kee haal chal? Aakhaan means to say, so she is saying what more can I say to you? Why did you take so long (der) ?

कोठे ते पिड़ कोठ्ड़ा वे माही हेठ वगे दरिया

बेश्क रुस्सिया रहा मैथों हिक वारो मुड़ के आ भला

Het means neechay, such as hetaan kursi rakhi hai, which means a chair is kept on the lower floor. So saying a river (dariya) flows (vaghe) besides the terrace

Russna means gussa ya naaraaz hona. Maithon means mère se, so saying beshak stay mad at me but ik baari (once) come back.

The ones used in Ali Sethi’s version

“toriyaan” but he says “…kaliyaan (not kaali but kalli means alone, so I spent lonely nights) raataan jaag ke ginniyaan teriyaan duriyaan” meaning I have spent lonely nights counting how far you are

kothay baitha kaan (crow) bhala
Main ban jaavaan maachli (fish) tu baglaa ( crane is closest, basically the bird that swoops down and grabs the fish) ban ke aa bhala. So be that bird and take me away.
You can listen to all the versions here
Link – http://patari.pk/home/detailSearch/chain%20kithan (do hear Ataullah khan’s version as well)
Also – one chummi to Patari guys for such a lovely work they do!

Have you checked out Fanoos yet?


Hello to everyone who is reading this blog. Yes I am talking to you Maa papa! (because apparently no-one else does)

If you have somehow by mistake stumbled here then don’t waste your time with reading anything on this blog. Instead, as a token of love for stumbling here (even if it is because you were looking for something else), click here and listen to this song.

We covered Zohaib Kazi and the fabulous music he made for his comic book strip here sometime back. He has been associated with CokeStudio Pakistan for a long time now.

He is back and this time it sounds even better because to put it as the teaser says – ‘Pakistan speaks 70+ languages, yet Pakistani music speaks only a handful’. Team Patari and Zohaib have explored some remote corners in the region to get music out of there and showcase it all for us.

First song is out – you can listen to only on Patari (the superb music streaming service that is actually doing something good) and the photo of this post contains the meaning of the song that is out. The vibe of the song brushes ‘Mastaan Mastaan’ from Tahan and it is a riot to say the least. You can listen to the song here

IMG_1224With some exciting voices lined up, this looks and sounds promising.

Ayeeeee ha!

Music review – Ajab Ishq…Maati da by Harpreet

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Very rarely do I come across an album that makes me happy about doing the review. Call it a recco post if you will, but this album is something you must not let go without giving it a listen. Track wise review below. This review first appeared here https://moifightclub.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/music-recco-ajab-ishq-maati-da-by-harpreet/ and My B.B.C. review appeared here (audio review) http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2015/06/150619_musicreview_harpreet_vdz

Call it the effect of the much awaited rains in Bombay, but in spite of average lyrics, the song Ajnabi sounds top drawer. Harpreet sounds comfortable, soothing and musical without making a big deal of it. The song ‘Kutte‘ has a ‘bulleya ki jaana main koun’ vibe in the beginning, but the similarity ends when you observe that the tune and words are too direct and aggressive. The superb music arrangement of the song lends a ‘wanderer’ feel perfectly. The song is in Punjabi, but trust me that wont matter one bit. It’s been a while since man with all fallacies have found a expression, and this song is a beautiful exception to that. ‘Man can’t live alone and can’t live with people’…a crisis we are all too familiar with, aren’t we?

Nirala is what takes my breath away every time I hear it. The melodious possibilities are endless when you mix Hindi poetry with contemporary fusion-sque presentation, and boy is this song a case study to that or what! For the want of better expression, this song is about 6 minutes of continuous goosebumps. Harpreet is a joy to listen to…mujhe gagan ka dikha saghan wah chhor…By God, I saw the chhor with Harpreet when I heard this part, so what if I was sitting in the confines of my room. Easily, the best non-filmi song of the year so far.

Even in the song like ‘Maati‘ whose composition is more like a continuous fast pop nazm, he keeps it simple and free flowing without overpowering the composition with too many instruments. The long taans in the beginning of Ajab Jodi, paired with fabulous guitar and percussion might well work better than Kerala ‘stuff’, if you know what I mean. The tune isn’t easy and that is hardly an issue for him who sings it  with an ease that would put most of the auto tune wonders at discomfort. The lyrics are pure and insightful.

We can never have enough of good ‘Heer‘ and this album adds to the glowing collection of ‘Heers’ with its tribute to the same. The composition is the clear winner here. The track is Punjabi and even if it is not your first language, you will love the track, I am quite sure. Sonapani has a lullaby like treatment and is perhaps the easiest composition of the album to hum along.

Pipli is again a Punjabi track but you listen to it once and you will know what I have already mentioned time and again…’language-doesn’t-matter’! Breezy composition and passionate singing make up for any linguistic limitations this song might present itself with.

I would love to hear what you have to say about the album, but personally speaking, all the new talent that comes up these days has just bollywood aspirations, and that leaves us music fanatics to look to our neighbors and get jealous. There are very few bands which try to present themselves as viable alternatives to the ‘drum-dholki-dafli-autotune-infected-Bollywood’ sound company. Harpreet represents a new sound which I hope gets popular and sells!

Art speaks differently to different people. To me, a good music album always makes me want to become a musician and explore the wondrous heritage of music that our country has. Take the old sounds, mix them with new, let nothing be what it has been since ages. Change, because it is wonderful.

We always tag the foreign music with ‘genres’, this album is Indian, and boy, what a genre it would be if paid attention and money.

For once, I wish we would give out ‘star’ rating because this album and the supreme effort would have got 10 stars out of 5. Illogical? Well, which star rating isn’t?

Dum Laga Ke Haisha – Music credits

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The review for Dum laga ke haisha will take time and will most probably go online on B.B.C. Web on Feb 27. Meanwhile, you can hear the songs here and see the music credits below (because we must know who is behind the awesomeness or who to blame if things go wrong! 🙂 ) …This is the film that got Anu Malik back!

Music Director : Anu Malik Lyricist : Varun Grover MOH MOH KE DHAAGE (MALE)
















































Kitabon se kabhi guzro

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It was 10 Sept 2006

I sat with Jagjit Singh to ‘learn ghazal singing’. Bangalore.

Pardon my silly writing, but going through some old stuff, found these 2 pages and wanted to share it with you.

Happy birthday in advance, Jagjit Singh.

IMG_20150120_120429 IMG_20150120_120441~2And when you are done looking at the pics, listen to this

In Search…Of Jagjit Singh

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Whenever I travel for work, I cannot NOT listen to GhazalJit Singh. While listening to one of the albums today, I wondered why some of the best albums of Jagjit Singh aren’t present in most of the playlists (which normally start with ‘Tumko dekha to ya khayal aaya’ and stop at ‘Hoshwalon ko khabar kya’ or at max ‘Koi fariyaad’).

Allow me to write a bit about the album that was released when I was in class 12 (1997) and was a companion in tackling many issues (including solving those tough mock CBSE Accounting papers)

  • Apne hothon par sajana chahta hu, aa tujhe main gungunana chahta hu – Penned by Qateel Shifai, the simplicity of singing and easy composition ensured that a noob of class 12th understood everything without having to consult any intellectual on the meaning of a Ghazal. Santoor was prominent throughout this entire album and this ghazal was no different. Towards the end you can hear Jagjit Singh humming and that was back then (and till now) so soothing. A quiet Ghazal about love and nothing else. If only such gems were released in the days of Youtube, twitter…
  • Dosti Jab kisise ki jaaye, Dushmano ki bhi raai li jaaye – Penned by Rahat Indoree, this ghazal speaks without mincing words about life that continues to bleed. The slow tabla throughout the ghazal with layers of Santoor, violins and other instruments brings in a stillness about things when one wants to sit and take stock of life. I remember going all ‘Waaaaaaaah’ when I heard this antraa for the first time that went ‘बोतलें खोल के तो पी बरसों, आज दिल खोल कर भी पी जाए’. I have lost count on the number of occassions I have used this line and gained appreciation at the expense of Jagjit Singh and Rahat Indoree..
  • Kahin Aisa na ho daaman jala lo, hamarey aansuon par khaak daalo – Penned by Liyaqat ali Azm – A ghazal with such a beautiful style of request and persuasion that will make you wonder if such arguments (To win back the beloved) exist today?  मनाना ही ज़रूरी है तो फिर तुम, हमें सबसे खफा हो कर मना लो….(उस अंदाज़ पे गौर करियेगा जिसमें जगजीत सिंह ‘हमारे’ कहते हैं…4:59 mins के समय)
  • Ya to mit jaaiy Ya mita dijiye, kijiye jab bhi sauda, khara kijiye – Penned by Wajida Tabassum, this is a ghazal for the hopeless romantic (No wonder Sitar makes the first appearance in this album via this ghazal). Good amount of keyboards were used by Jagjit singh to compliment the feel of the ghazal that remains top class throughout the ghazal. अब जफा कीजिए या वफ़ा कीजिए, आखिरी वक्त है, बस दुआ कीजिए…)
  • Kaise Kaise haadsey sehtey rahey, fir bhi hum jeetey rahey hanstey rahey – If she made us fall in love with ‘Ya to mit jaiye’, Wajida Tabassum makes our heart ache with this soulful ghazal. Pain was jagjit singh’s middle name so he is quite easily at his best, composition wise, arrangement wise and singing wise. The deliberate high pitch in the mukhda of the ghazal constructs a feel of pain just so beautifully…वक्त तो गुज़रा मगर कुछ इस तरह, हम चरागों की तरह जलते रहे…
  • Khaamoshi khud apni sada ho aisa bhi ho sakta hai, sannata hee goonj raha ho aisa bhi ho sakta hai – Penned by Zaqa Siddiqui, this ghazal makes up for the ‘sadness’ in the album. Composed in low notes especially in the Mukhda of the ghazal, this is not an easy ghazal to sing. A ghazal filled with insight and self reflection.
  • Bebasi Jurm hai hauslaa jurm hai, zindagi teri ek-ek adaa Jurm hai –  Ayaz Jhansvi pens this ghazal with good amount of ‘शिकायत’ quotient and Jagjit Singh sang it with consummate ease. Poetry at it’s fluid best, composition at it’s melodious best, there is hardly a thing that is wrong with this ghazal. याद रखना तुझे मेरा इक जुर्म था, भूल जाना तुझे दूसरा जुर्म है…
  • Jab kisi se koi gila rakhnaa, saamne apne aaina rakhnaNida fazli gives the voice of Jagjit singh the right amount of pathos with an insightful ghazal. Asking us to look at our reality before finding faults with others, the ghazal is slow, melancholic and thought provoking without getting preachy or loud. मिलना जुलना जहाँ ज़रूरी हो, मिलने जुलने का हौसला रखना….

Jagjit singh is rightly credited with taking ghazals to the masses. Prior to his arrival on the scene, this genre was reserved mostly for some singers who took pride in using tough words and putting their Epiglottis out for display. This album is as simple as it can get. Listen to it once and I will leave you to make your opinion on the same. What most of the people forgot when they talked about Jagjit Singh was his ability and willingness to find new poets and showcase their work. Have a look at the lyricists of this album and you will know what is the point I am trying to make.

Don’t miss this album if you are a ghazal listener.

If you feel there is something wrong with the album it is purely because of the overexcited writing in this post and the fault is mine.

Meanwhile, ये रहा मेरा कसेट

GhazalJit Singh

Bhoos ke dher mein – Lyrics and meaning – #GangsOfWasseypur


Right! Time for the another song lyrics and and it’s meaning from the album Gangs of Wasseypur…This one, as a little birdie tells me, is a personal favorite of the pen magician (Varun Grover) who has to be credited for the song and for all the posts in this blog on Gangs of Wasseypur

The song is deep. Hard hitting. Hear it. Meaning in italics


Na Milihey


Bhoos ke dher mein raai ka daana,

Rang biranga bail sayaana,

Like looking for a pin in a haystack,

Like spotting a smart, colorful buffalo,

Bhoos ke dher mein raai ka daana,

Rang biranga bail sayaana,

Like looking for a pin in a haystack,

Like spotting a smart, colorful buffalo,

Dooje pahar mein toot-ta taara,

Paani pe tirta pakka paara…

Like seeing a falling star mid-afternoon,

Like having mercury float on water…


Naa milihey…

Naa milihey…naa…

You won’t find it…

Won’t find it…

Won’t find…

Na soch,

Na khoj,

Ud jayi-ho, jag hai toap…

Don’t even think, Or try…

The world will burst like a cannon…



Hai kohra rakh sab haath taan,

Imaan na dayi-ho hili-hey…

It’s vague ahead, so stick your hands out…

Just don’t let your faith wither…

Naa milihey…

Naa milihey…naa…

Naa milihey…

Naa milihey…naa…

You won’t find it…

You won’t find it…

Batiyaati haathon ki lakeera,

Mahal duwaarey, khada fakeera…

Like fate talking without ambiguity,

Like an ascetic waiting at a palace gate…

Ghaath laga le,

Raat jaga le,

Suruj ka sab ghoda bhaga le, baba..

Dhar le chaahe bhoot ki dhoti,

Paa le ashwathhama ka moti,

Paani mein…

Paani mein, maati mein,

Loha mein, kaathi mein,

Jiya ke jod mein, aankhan ki paati mein…

Aakaas khuley mein, mann ki gaanthi mein…

By hook or by crook,

Or by capturing the horses of Sun,

Or by latching on to the ghost’s fabric,

Or by acquiring the mythical pearl of eternity,

Or in water or mud,

Or in iron or mood,

Or in the joint of hearts or crack of eyes,

Or in the vast skies or closed minds…



Not a chance!

Batiyaati haathon ki lakeera,

Mahal duwaarey, khada fakeera…

Like fate talking without ambiguity,

Like an ascetic waiting at a palace gate…

Bhari dupahari naachey mayura,

Yam se chatur, gaanv ka moora….

Like a peacock dancing in blazing sun,

Like a village idiot more wicked than the Devil…

Na milihey…

You won’t find it.

Hai kohra rakh sab haath taan,

Imaan na dayi-ho hili-hey…

It’s vague ahead, so stick your hands out…

Just don’t let your faith wither…

Naa milihey…

Naa milihey…naa…

Naa milihey…

Naa milihey…naa…

You won’t find it.

You won’t find it.

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