Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The mirror as seen in some Hindi movie songs
I felt like keying down some random notes, when I thought over the imagery of mirror or aaina in some memorable songs. Often seen as a metaphor for reflection, I guess there may be many songs that refer to the many facets of aaina - existential and philosophical - literal and figurative. Here are some I could think of:
Kyaa koi nai baat nazar aati hai hum mein
Aainaa hamen dekh ke hairaan saa kyon hai
(Last two lines from the song "Seene mein jalan aakhon mein toofan sa kyon hai...")
From the movie: Gaman ( lyrics- Sharyar, music - Jaidev, singer -Suresh Wadkar)
Such beautiful lyrics have become a thing of the past...Let me try translating them...Is there something new about me? The mirror and I - we both are the same, but why is it that the mirror is surprised looking at me? Some lyrical compositions, like this one, are difficult to translate as they do not retain the essence of the original, lose the magic. Perhaps, the newness in me is because of the way I look today. But, I couldn't have changed so much that the mirror finds me so very different. Now, lyrics from another song:
Aaina wohi reheta hai Chehere badal jaate hain
Aakhon mein rukte nahin jo aansoo nikal jaate hain
From the movie: Shalimar
How true! The mirror remains the same, and we change - mind, body and soul. We really change or we wear masks - a mask for every occasion. I looked back and pondered, "how often do I look into the mirror? how much time do I spend in front of the mirror?" Not more than few seconds in a day! In fact, the only time I get to see myself in the mirror is when I'm in the lift of my apartment that has mirrors on three sides. 
Does the mirror remember I how used to look earlier? Then why does it ask me for my 'previous' face as described beautifully in the lyrics below:
Aaina mujhse meri peheli si surat maange
Mere apne mere hone ki nishani maange
From the movie: Daddy (Singer- Talat Aziz)
Is that the reason my mirror finds something strange in me. It has seen me grow up and seen me go through changes at various stages of my life. Why does the mirror feel startled looking at me? Certainly not because of the way I look! For, I've looked more or less the same always. Is it because of my expression? Is it because of the things I've forgotten? Is it because of the things I remember? Which previous 'image' of mine is the mirror trying to match? How does the mirror remember so many of my them?
Isn't mirror a chronicler of  life - imprinting all the events as it were!


Ananth said...


Liked your thoughts.....just one suggestion. Please quote the name of the shaayar or the lyricist. You must do justice to the original writer.

Videhi Visali said...

this is such a thoughtful list and love the translations!

Madhuri Dubey said...

Thanks Ananth and Vaidehi. @Ananth, I could find the name of the lyricist only for the 'Gaman' song, couldn't find for other two:(

vandy said...

remember the last scene of 'Umrao jaan'(rekha)she cleans the dust of the mirror..so

Madhuri Dubey said...

@Vandy, yes this poignant scene was after the song "Yeh kya jageh hai doston..." Thanks for reminding!