Beguiling eyes

“Eyes” have remained the subject for my past two blogs and I have shared a few of my favorite Bollywood songs and other poetry on this theme.  I now conclude with these two compositions.

The first song is from the hit 1970 movie Safar (The Journey).  It was picturized on the (first) “Superstar” of Bollywood, Rajesh Khanna, who played a young man dying of cancer.  Soulfully sung by the (late) Kishore Kumar, it reflects the young lover’s contemplation of his beloved’s charms; a raison d’etre for living:

Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen Your eyes (that are) full of life
Majboor karen jeene ke liye, jeene ke liye Compel one to live on
Saagar bhi taraste rehte hai Even the oceans yearn
Tere roop ka ras peene ke liye, peene ke liye To sip the nectar of your beauty
Tasveer banaaye kyaa koi How can one portray you on canvas
Kyaa koi likhe tujhpe kavitaa Or describe you in verse
Rangon chhandon mein samaayegi How can colors, cadence
Kis taraah se itni sundartaa Encapsulate such beauty
Ik dhadkan hai tu dil ke liye You are the beat of a heart
Ik jaan hai tu jeene ke liye The very soul that keeps one alive
Madhuban ki sugandh hai saanson mein Your breath is redolent of a scented grove
Baahon mein kamal ki komaltaa Your arms are lotus-like soft
Kirnon kaa tej hai chehre pe Your visage has the radiance of rays
Hirnon ki hai tujh mein chanchaltaa You have the grace of a deer
Aanchal ka tere hai taar bahut Just a single strand from your scarf will suffice
Koi chaak jigar seene ke liye, seene ke liye To stitch up a broken heart
Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen Your eyes (that are) full of life
Majboor karen jeene ke liye, jeene ke liye Compel one to live on

Here’s another beauty.  This haunting melody was composed and sung by the (late) Hemant Kumar for the 1964 movie, Kohra (The Fog) which itself was based on Daphne Du Maurier’s 1938 suspense novel Rebecca:

Ye nayan darey, darey These scared, anxious eyes
Ye jaam bharey, bharey These wine-filled goblets
Zaraa peene do … Let me sip from them a little
… Kal kii kisko khabar … who knows what tomorrow might bring
Ik raat ho ke nidar … This one night, fearlessly …
… Mujhe jeene do … … let me live
Raat haseen, yeh chaand haseen The night is appealing, the moon beautiful
Tu sabse haseen mere dilbar (but) you are the most alluring
Aur tujh se haseen … (and even) more appealing than you …
… aur tujh se haseen teraa pyaar … more captivating than you, is your love
… Tu jaane naa … (but) you remain oblivious
Pyaar mein hai jeevan ki khushi Love brings happiness in life
Detii hai khushi, kai gham bhii Which provides bliss, many sorrows also
Main maan bhii luun kabhi haar … Even if I sometimes accept setbacks
… Tuu maane naa … you do not yield
Ye nayan darey, darey These scared, anxious eyes

I conclude this theme of “eyes” by moving way back in history to the 16th century Sufi poet Shah Hussain’s kafi (a classical form of Sufi poetry) that I often like to quote:

Nii Saiyyon assi nainaa de aakhe lagge O’ my (girl) friends, listen, I am beguiled by my eyes
Paak jinhaan diyaan hovan nigaahaan … Only those that have unsullied vision …
… Kaddi naa jaande thagge … are never cheated

Our eyes show us only that which we choose to see, shaped by our own life experiences. His supplication is that only those who are pure of heart and choose not to judge, are able to witness the true nature of things.

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