3 Idiots (2009) lyrics and translation: Aal Izz Well (All is Well)

The soundtrack to the upcoming 3 Idiots was released Monday (November 9) morning in India. It was the first ever Indian soundtrack to be launched online (via web conference; picture source), and was it fun to be part of or what?! The event, hosted by Aamir Khan, was followed by one-on-one web conferences with the cast and crew, in which many of us had the privilege to discuss the soundtrack with Shantanu Moitra (music director), Swanand Kirkire (lyricist), Shreya Ghoshal and Shaan (vocalists). Actors Kareena Kapoor and Madhavan, and Director Raju Hirani, were also present.

A truly remarkable celebration of sorts, and definitely a personal landmark from the standpoint of a fan. So much so, that when I finally woke up Monday for work, running on about three hours of sleep, I couldn't help but sing Aal Izz Well in the shower to keep the spirits up (read keep the self awake)! Long live manipulative music and cinema!

Like soundtracks to Aamir's films from this decade, particularly Dil Chahta Hai (2001), Rang De Basanti (2006), and Taare Zameen Par (2007), the lyrics to 3 Idiots liberally employ terms from Indian pop culture. The song 'Aal izz well' is a perfect example. I should add that each of those three films was a reflection of complex emotions involved in being human. 3 Idiots -- a feel-good film with a heavy dose of comedy -- extends that theme with a focus on self-actualization. Its soundtrack is absolutely vertically-aligned, which means there's a good chance its integration will be its biggest strength.

Remember the vibe from 'Subah Ho Gayi Mamu' (Munnabhai M.B.B.S. (2003))? The morning makes a comeback here with a rooster to start things off. An uncle is back too (but he's a 'chacha' (i.e. paternal uncle), not a 'mamu' (maternal uncle)). Two big pop culture terms in a 'Murgi' (hen) and 'Bakra' (goat), with allusions and inclusion not too different in their purpose from what they would imply in English (as in chicken and scapegoat)!

'Aal izz well' is simple. It's goofy. It intentionally tests the line between funny and tacky. And it promises to fit right in! I really like the vocals by Sonu Nigam and Shaan, they're perfect for the song. Here are the lyrics and my translation.

Thoughts on the song?

Finally, here's the trailer featuring the song:


theBollywoodFan said...

Dear Aal: A link to this post was added to the 3 Idiots Umbrella post. Lots more on the film there. Cheers.

shell said...

I just downloaded this music yesterday, so far I'm enjoying it immensely. It will be interesting to see where each of the songs fits into the movie. I wish I could've been part of the online discussion, must have been amazing to talk to Aamir about the project. I am so looking forward to this movie - it will be the only one I see in theatres this year!

theBollywoodFan said...

Glad you're enjoying the soundtrack, Shell! Although I can't yet say I'm enjoying it 'immensely'. Hope you find the translations of some value, the lyrics really make this work for me.

That was an amazing time online, although Aamir's heard it from us for the pain the time zones caused (not that anyone can do anything about that, LOL), and for disappearing after the launch when everyone else was there to talk to us (but he was there before the launch, credit where credit's due). There were folks on the east coast who went to bed at 4 a.m.!

My favorite parts of it were discussions with Shaan and Shreya, they are awesome and really genuinely interested in reaching out. And there's nothing quite like philosophizing with a lyricist/poet!

You can always stop by Aamir's blog to discuss (with him and others) this film or any other, really!

Joss said...

Oh but you're quick! tBF is back on form! I like Aal Izz Well, but not so much the other songs. Will persist because they're Aamir's. Look out for puppy pic in your inbox soon.

Barfota (via Twitter) said...

Thank you so much for sharing your translations of the lyrics to the 3i soundtrack!

Anonymous said...

Aal? Did you really say dear Aal? Bwahahaha...too funny.

theBollywoodFan said...

Joss: Thanks! I like some of the other songs more, but the use of a very pervasive term, coupled with that goofy choreography, has me liking 'Aal Izz Well' too! Thanks for your e-mail, I'll definitely write soon!

Barfota: Thank you, and you're very welcome! How do you like the soundtrack so far?

Anonymous: Yes, AAL is all that needs to be said! :D

Darshit said...

Last Para 'Scholarship....' is brilliant. I couldn't get it in all fun track, it says really serious thing in funny mood. 'agarbattiyaan raakh ho..'.
So glad you are liking the soundtrack. It is really worth.
[and oh, i m still 2 posts behing :S]

just another frog said...

I've been following your blog for a while. I just wanted to thank you so much for these translations! I am looking forward to 3 Idiots a lot as well. I actually didn't expect much from the soundtrack, but I'm actually loving it quite a bit! :)

Also, please check out my blog. It is pretty new, and I'm trying to promote it a bit: http://bollywoodabridged.blogspot.com/

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit: This song would be so different without the 'Aal izz well' and without the idiots just bouncing around, LOL. Really enjoying the soundtrack more than I thought I would. I like all songs except 'Jaane Nahin Denge', and the two remixes. The other four are top quality. And I'm sure Jaane Nahin will also be used very well, I'm confused if I should translate it or not. Dil se shayad na ho, but I might try it out.

Just Another Frog: Thanks for following, and thank you for your comment! Same here on the expectations, probably a good thing :) I'll look forward to stopping by your blog some time this weekend. Thanks again!

Darshit said...

Well, Jaane Nahin Denge is my favorite. Cause I loved the situation in original book. And am sure it will be awesome on screen.

theBollywoodFan said...

Wow, that's interesting to know, thanks! I guess it deserves a post of its own, then?!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a wonderful English translation, also awesome guitar cords for Give me some Sunshine. Thanks again. I have seen 3 Idiots without subtitles, I laughed so much, also its so touching, Cheers to Bollywood films, every day by day I am falling in Love with Hindi Films. So many cultures, emotions, its gives me goose bumps and tears in my eyes that people in that part of the world (INDIA) have so many attachments and emotions. Indians know to live life and be happy.


theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Anonymous, thank *you*! Glad you enjoyed the translation and the film. (Must've been interesting without subtitles.)

Really glad you're enjoying Bollywood films. Which are some of the films you have seen?

Many if not most portray an India more rosy than it is, but then, as the saying goes, happy is what we choose to be!

Aal izz well, yes... :) Thanks again for your visit and comment. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

hi, me and lot of my friends enjoy this movie so much
its so inspired movie
i'm from indonesia

Anonymous said...

though i've watched it only this year, it was awesome! nice rancho!

theBollywoodFan said...

Thank you both for your visit and comment!