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I have been impressed by Will.I.Am who is the co-founder and frontman for the hugely popular group Black Eyed Peas. You might remember him from this song  “Its a New Day” which he performed on the Oprah show.

Where is The Love? is a wonderful song when you hear it with the lyrics.

Lyrics

Click here for rest of the post with lyrics

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This song in hindi was very popular from the movie Jurm. The hindi lyrics were by Indeevar.
Here is the earliest recording of the American folk song by The Journeymen in 1961 which Music Director Rajesh Roshan copied.

If you miss the train I’m on,
You will know that I am gone,
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.
A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
you can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

 

Lord, I’m one, Lord, I’m two, Lord,
I’m three, Lord, I’m four, Lord,
I’m five hundred miles a way from home.
Away from home, away from home,
Away from home, away from home,
Lord, I’m five hundred miles away from home.
Not a shirt on my back,
Not a penny to my name.
Lord, I can’t go back home this-a way.
This-a way, this-a way,
This-a way, this-a way,
Lord, I can’t go back home this-a way.

If you miss the train I’m on,
You will know that I am gone,
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.
A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

Mukesh became the de-facto background singer for Raj Kapoor, but he has sung hits for Dilip Kumar and Amitabh as well. However, its the above song that I identify Mukesh with. Check out Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics:

इक दिन बिक जाएगा, माटी के मोल
जग में रह जाएंगे, प्यारे तेरे बोल

दूजे के होंठों को, देकर अपने गीत
कोई निशानी छोड़, फिर दुनिया से डोल
इक दिन बिक जायेगा …

ला ला ललल्लल्ला
(अनहोनी पग में काँटें लाख बिछाए
होनी तो फिर भी बिछड़ा यार मिलाए)-(२)
ये बिरहा ये दूरी, दो पल की मजबूरी
फिर कोई दिलवाला काहे को घबराये, तरम्पम,
धारा, तो बहती है, बहके रहती है
बहती धारा बन जा, फिर दुनिया से डोल
एक दिन …
(परदे के पीछे बैठी साँवली गोरी
थाम के तेरे मेरे मन की डोरी)-(२)
ये डोरी ना छूटे, ये बन्धन ना टूटे
भोर होने वाली है अब रैना है थोड़ी, तरम्पम,
सर को झुकाए तू, बैठा क्या है यार
गोरी से नैना जोड़, फिर दुनिया से डोल
एक दिन…

Translation

One day, you’ll be sold for the price of dirt
What you will leave behind, my dear, are just your words
So leave a song for some lips to sing
Leave behind a mark, then leave this world

A million obstacles may come in unknown paths
But destiny will unite you with the beloved you lost
This longing, this separation
Are two moments of helplessness which is transient
So why should a brave like you be scared?

Taram pam

A stream never stops till it meets the sea
So become that stream, then leave this world

Covered by a veil sits the dusky beauty
Holding the heart strings of yours and mine
May the string not slip, may the bond not snap
The dawn is about to break, with just a wee of night left

Taram pam

Why are you sitting with your head down, my friend?
Lock your eyes with her, then leave this world.

One day…

Disclaimer:  It’s not easy to translate Hindi to English without losing the subtle meaning and nuances that it conveys. Let me know if you have better translation of these lyrics.

Trivia: A Majrooh Sultanpuri song was featured in the wonderful movie starring Amy Adams – Sunshine Cleaning.

Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia at the live event near Rutgers, NJ

I was fortunate to attend the live performance by the legend thanks to Prasad Kunisetty. The event was organized by Association for India’s Development(AID), a non-profit movement that supports grassroot development in India. Here at the event, sponsorships were sought for providing solar lanterns to non-electrified rural homes in Central India

The mastery that Pt. Chaurasia has over the Bamboo Flute (bansuri) was easily noticeable even by novice listeners like me as he enthralled the filled to capacity and sprawling auditorium on this Fall evening. Music is known to produce a dopamine rush to the brain and he did not disappoint. What an evening!

Here is a short clip of him from youtube playing Raag Mian Ki Malhar to give you an idea of his music that enveloped us.

As a child and teenager, I had heard him on All India Radio and Doordarshan but did not pay much attention as I was then into disco and fast tapping music and found his flute to be soporific and too calming. As I grew older and a bit wiser, I realized the soothing and uplifting effect of his music. To be able to finally attend a live performance by him was truly a heaven sent opportunity.

Pt. Chaurasia had also teamed up with Santoor legend Pt. Shivkumar Sharma to give  memorable music to Bollywood movies like Silsila, Chandni, Lamhe etc.,

You can sense his humility when he says, “I never forget that I started off as a stenographer and whatever I have achieved is more than enough for me. I am a very ordinary person but I am happy in life. That’s all that matters.”

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