Reading Gulzar – Beeti Na Bitaai Raina

This has been a long time coming.

I think the blog hasn’t been updated for a while now (a month to be precise), but that hasn’t really been for a lack of trying. A couple of pieces that I have been working on are taking an impossibly high amount of time to get done with. As such, not quite able to head anywhere with my own words, I have decided to return to the relief and comfort of those of Gulzar.

There are a few songs where the singing of the words surpasses their poetry, if you know what I mean. Usually, the latter is so good that if you were to sing it (and I am assuming here that you’re as bad a bathroom singer as any), you’d still find joy. You’d find joy in merely reading the poetry. But the rare songs I refer to are those where the poetry’s meaning and emotion is enhanced by the manner in which they have been sung. They will be beautiful if you read them, or make your best un-donkeybray effort at singing, but they won’t be as beautiful as the original, shot-on-film, sung-by-the-gods song itself.

This film, Gulzar’s ‘Parichay’ has both these kinds of songs: there is the former of the rich poetry, and this, the latter.

When you listen to the song, or rather, watch it, you’ll see how Lata Mangeshkar and Jaya Bachchan begin the song more like a narration, like singing a song you knew the words to but thry don’t really mean anything personal to you. For a song that is inherently sad in its words, watch the latter smile and enjoy the singing. Then, watch how Bhupinder’s voice and Sanjeev’s introduction to the scene adds the feels to it, like moments beginning to form out of the mist of memories. You know this is more than just a collection of words for him. This leads beautifully to the second verse, by which they’re both emoting, yearning for the filling of a common void.

It is subtle. It is, in fact, aspiration.

Incidentally (and sadly, for it highlights the dearth we’ve had of actors of his ilk in Hindi cinema), Sanjeev Kumar who plays Jaya Bachchan’s father in this song was cast opposite her in ‘Anamika’. Incidentally, again, R. D. gave the music to that film too!

Film: Parichay

Music: R. D. Burman

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar and Bhupinder Singh

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

Beeti Na Bitaai Raina

Beeti na bitaai raina,

Birha ki jaayi raina,

Bheegi hui akhiyon ne,

Laakh bujhaayi raina…


Beeti hui batiyaan koi dohraaye,

Bhoole hue naamon se koi to bulaaye,

Chaand ki bindi waali, bindi waali ratiyaan,

Jaagi hui akhiyon mein raat na aayi raina…


Yug aate hain aur yug jaayein,

Chhoti-chhoti yaadon ke pal nahin jaayein,

Jhooth-si kaali laage, laage kaali ratiyaan,

Roothi hui akhiyon ne laakh manaai raina…


Beeti na bitaai raina,

Birha ki jaayi raina,

Bheegi hui akhiyon ne,

Laakh bujhaayi raina…


There’s no poetry on the silver screen of Hindi cinema like Gulzar’s. If there’s a song you want the words to, please let me know in the comments below.


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