Ghajini (2008): Music review, lyrics and translation

We've journeyed through each song from the Ghajini soundtrack by A. R. Rahman. This was my second attempt at translating a complete soundtrack, one I thoroughly enjoyed (hope to be back next summer for 3 Idiots! :) I've been enjoying the music album a lot, and I hope you have been too. If you have yet to listen to the songs, you can at this link. They're also available for download at the iTunes store.

As I've said earlier, while I cannot vouch for the quality of the translations (I am no expert, and shall always be a student of both languages), I can vouch for the quality of the lyrics by Prasoon Joshi. This is Aamir Khan's fourth consecutive film in which Mr. Joshi has provided the lyrics (following Rang De Basanti (2006), Fanaa (2006), Taare Zameen Par (2007)). Once again, it's more than a noteworthy effort, especially when the songs are placed within context. It might not be the single best soundtrack of the year (Rahman is only competing with himself for that title), but I believe it will be one of the best integrated.

There is equilibrium in this soundtrack, with two songs each by male and female vocalists, and one duet. Forces of nature are a recurring theme. Discussions on each song are contained in dedicated posts at these links:

  1. Guzaarish: Lyrics and translation | Trailer
  2. Aye Bachchu: Lyrics and translation
  3. Kaise Mujhe: Lyrics and translation
  4. Behka: Lyrics and translation | Trailer
  5. Latoo: Lyrics and translation
  6. Kaise Mujhe (instrumental) - See #3 above

My favorite song from the album is Kaise Mujhe (#3 above), followed by Behka. If the purpose of a soundtrack in the supply chain for Hindi film is to attract a wider audience, the soundtrack to Ghajini fulfills the purpose with flying colors. One of the best soundtracks of year, my only complaint with it is that it is too short! Four stars and then some for an excellent effort by A. R. Rahman, Prasoon Joshi, Aamir Khan, the music crew and vocalists. Cannot wait to the film's release this Christmas!

Soundtrack rating: 4.25/5 (Excellent!)


Joss said...

I only realised this was your second complete soundtrack translation when I went looking for the words to TZP. But you haven't done them! I know they will be on the dvd, but we still haven't got that here. And there is a translation on the website, but I prefer the way you do it.

Never, mind I am slowy working my way through the Ghajini lyrics. I must say, they are a lot harder to understand than the Jaane Tu words. Well, Guzarish is anyway. I could hear the rhythm, alliteration, rhyme, and patterning and I was pretty impressed by all that, before I'd understood a single word. Maybe the poetic nature of the lyrics is what has made the syntax more ... economical. I'm having a lot of trouble memorising them, even though I listen to Guzarish five times over while I'm cooking dinner! I love it.

Thanks for all you've done.

Anonymous said...

I too like Kaise Mujhe tum mil gaye, which is the best song of the album. Another good one is - Guzaarish that has been filled in my ears! I liked the music, translations and lyrics, which means it's a complete album.

Was the last one you completely translated Jaane tu...?

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Joss: Yes, the second this year and second overall :) Let's hope the TZP DVD releases this month (it might, and word is it's been dubbed in English as an accompanying audio track). The most interesting part of documenting the lyrics and translating them is to try to identify the flow and correlate with other songs. There's this game we used to play as Bollywood-crazed kids -- to try to guess the sequence of songs in the film before its release. I'm not sure I want to give this a shot, though, I've been hopelessly off-track in the past, LOL.

Jaane Tu's soundtrack did use simpler words in many cases, yes. And you're correct about the alliteration, rhyme, etc. Maybe you could start with Aye Bachchu, then Latoo and Kaise Mujhe, before getting to Guzarish...might be less tricky to piece together that way (?). And I find Behka the most fun to karaoke to!

And there is a translation on the [TZP] website, but I prefer the way you do it.

You're too kind, Joss. But please tell Aamir! ;)

Thanks for all you've done.

No, no, thank you for visiting. As always, it's good to know you found it of some value.


theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Saurabh: The soundtrack has plenty of catchy tunes, and there is a good blend of music overall, yes. I really like all songs, except perhaps Aye Bachchu, which is lyrically a step below the rest (although situational; not something I hold against the album too much).

Yes, Jaane Tu... was it! Cheers!

Darshit said...

Kaise the best. Its feel is haunting and emotional at the same time. May be it will bring tears in eyes, during the movie.

On the contrast, Aye also what i like. A wild wild song.

Overall, the album is as you mentioned - not best of Rehman's work during the year, but still there is a place. Perhaps only 5 songs, are not enough. Wish there could be more.

Your translation, 'Kaise mujhe' was best. Talking about Prasoon, he is one of the best around. We had seen his sparks in various Ads earlier, too.

theBollywoodFan said...

The choreography to 'Kaise Mujhe' should be interesting, Darshit, and I would not be at all surprised if it does manipulate us to tears. It has the most lyrical depth of any song in the album, that's for sure.

Do you know of any specific ads with Prasoon's words? We miss out on them here to a large extent.


Darshit said...

By Ads, I mean to say, as a copywriter.
Thanda matlab coca cola, starring Aamir.
Cadbury's ads.
Happydent's most award winning ad.
And many more out there.

I think he had penned all those words too. Another work was Anthem for Rising INdia for CNN IBN channel, music by Rehman.

Here, is the link to his latest work. A poem on Mumbai Attack.

Heartrending words.....

Andromache said...

I just got the CD yesterday, loved it and was glad to see that someone had already translated it. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

guys, I don't know how many of you ahve had a chance to read Prasoon's Poem post the terror attacks in Mumbai called Is baar nahin. Its a must read. The english translatin done by rediff is floating on teh net. will trya nd see if I can paste both:
Iss Baar Nahin

Is baar jab woh choti si bachchi mere paas apni kharonch le kar aayegi
Main usey phoo phoo kar nahin behlaoonga
Panapney doonga uski tees ko
Is baar nahin

Is baar jab main chehron par dard likha dekhoonga
Nahin gaoonga geet peeda bhula dene wale
Dard ko risney doonga,utarney doonga andar gehrey
Is baar nahin

Is baar main na marham lagaoonga
Na hi uthaoonga rui ke phahey
Aur na hi kahoonga ki tum aankein band karlo,gardan udhar kar lo main dawa lagata hoon
Dekhney doonga sabko hum sabko khuley nangey ghaav
Is baar nahin

Is baar jab uljhaney dekhoonga,chatpatahat dekhoonga
Nahin daudoonga uljhee door lapetney
Uljhaney doonga jab tak ulajh sake
Is baar nahin

Is baar karm ka hawala de kar nahin uthaoonga auzaar
Nahin karoonga phir se ek nayee shuruaat
Nahin banoonga misaal ek karmyogi ki
Nahin aaney doonga zindagi ko aasani se patri par
Utarney doonga usey keechad main,tedhey medhey raston pe
Nahin sookhney doonga deewaron par laga khoon
Halka nahin padney doonga uska rang
Is baar nahin banney doonga usey itna laachaar
Ki paan ki peek aur khoon ka fark hi khatm ho jaye
Is baar nahin

Is baar ghawon ko dekhna hai
Gaur se
Thoda lambe wakt tak
Kuch faisley
Aur uskey baad hausley
Kahin toh shuruat karni hi hogi
Is baar yahi tay kiya hai

Prasoon Joshi

English Translation

This time when that little girl comes to me with her bruises, I will not blow gently at her wound, nor distract her, I will let her pain grow.
Not this time.

This time when I see pain on faces
I will not sing the song that eases pain
I will let the pain seep in, deep.
Not this time.

This time I won’t apply any balm
Nor will I ask you to shut your eyes
and turn your head
While I gingerly apply medicine
I will let everyone see the open, naked wounds
Not this time.

This time when I see difficulty, uneasiness
I will not run to solve the problems
I will let them become complicated
Not this time.

This time I won’t pick up my tools as a matter of duty
I will not make a new beginning
Nor will I stand as an example of one dedicated to my job
I will not let life easily return to normalcy
I will let it descend into muck, on the twisting paths
I will not let the blood on the walls dry out
Nor will I let its colour fade away
This time I won’t let it become so helpless
That you can’t tell blood from paan-spit
Not this time.

This time the wounds need to be watched
For a long time
Some decisions are needed
And then some brave moves to be made
We have to begin somewhere
This time this is what I have resolved.

English translation

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit: I did not know he was behind the 'Thanda Matlab Coca Cola' ads, which I am very fond of. Do you have a link to that CNN-IBN anthem? Prasoon and A.R. make for a great combo. Thanks for that poem on the terrible Bombay attacks. Heartrendering indeed.

Hi Andromache, and welcome! Very glad you liked the soundtrack and found the translations of some use. Thank you so much for your kind words, I greatly appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Please do visit again :)

Anonymous: Thank you for sharing it from this Rediff link, which Darshit posted in a comment above.

Anonymous said...

im unable to view the translated lyrics for Kaise Mujhe .. could u repost it again .. pls ??

many thanks !

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Anonymous: The link above is working, just click on the image in the page that follows to view it. If that doesn't work, click here.