‘Chaiyya chaiyya’ was, once upon a time, just another hummable, danceable song. Now it’s a feel-and-sing song for those rainy evenings.
I have this habit of picking up a book before every journey. This time when I was at the new terminal 3 of the Delhi airport, I was already in a perfectly reflective mood, staring out of the glass window looking on to the runway and moodily sketching into my green silk bound sketchbook. Winter mornings always have this effect on me, especially Delhi winters with the calming fog and misty breath. So when I walked into the bookshop to pick a book and I found a compilation of Gulzar’s lyrics, I was beside myself with joy. Even better was that it had both the hindi version in hindi script with the english transliteration beside it. I’m not a native hindi speaker, but somehow, I seem to understand shayaris, ghazals and hindi poetry. It does become difficult and frustrating sometimes when I don’t understand the meaning of a particularly difficult word in a sentence. Or when I like the song but I don’t really get the feel of it. Like Chaiyya chaiyya. Thanks to the book, now I do.
Gulposh kabhi ithraye kahin/ Mehke toh nazar aa jaaye kahin
Taweez bana ke pehnoon use/ aayat ki tarah mil jaaye kahin
Mera nagma wohi, mera kalma wohi
Woh yaar misaale os chale/ paanv ke thale firdos chale
Kabhi dal dal/ kabhi path path
Mein hawa pe doondoon us ke nishaan
For now, the black cover of the book feels so smooth against my palms as I rest them on my hands and follow the lyrics as the song plays in my head. Gulzar is such a beautiful name.