Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Chanda mama door ke

Posted on: March 26, 2009

Translation and comments on the lyrics have been provided by Sudhir

“Vachan” was Ravi’s debut movie as a music director. I have said it that Ravi was a music director who created a large number of iconic songs, which have become immortal. And Ravi began proving that right from his debut movie.

Here is a song that was on every mom’s lips for many decades to come. Yes, I am talking about that iconic children’s song “chanda maama door ke, puye pakaaye boor ke”. This song was from “Vachan”. It was written by Prem Dhawan and picturised on Geeta Bali. Any idea who the kid is ? That kid must be in his mid 50s now. How time flies !
PS-The kid is called Master Babboo.

This song is popular even among those who are not very conversant with Hindi. Translation of this song is much sought after but such translations are not available because this song is very difficult to translate. But our inhouse translation expert Sudhir jee had done a great job in translating it. Here is his take on this song along with the translation :-

Moon has been an integral part of the folklore across all cultures and societies, and across all eras. This bright orb in the night sky has been an object of fascination and speculation for human mind for ages. A large number of social and emotional artifacts in life have gotten associated with or are attributed to the moon. One is very familiar with the role that moon plays in the lover’s romance. That is for the grownups. For infants and kids, moon holds a wonderful fascination – an amazing source of brightness in the night sky. Many times, when the sky is clear, on attentive gazing, one can make out the contours of geographical formations on the surface of the moon. Before the time it was explored with telescopes, these formations on the moon were a source of speculative attribution of things or people existing on this heavenly body. In the west, the all too familiar ‘man in the moon’ theme exists. Another prominent theme is a rabbit that lives in the moon. In Indian culture, once again, moon is attributed with humanlike tendencies. I would believe this to be based on the thing that when one gazes into the moon, the contours of geographical formations give an impression of a smiling face. I know, I have seen that smiling face :), and that is partly the source of all such legends and tales around the moon. In the Indian milieu, and especially for the infants, the moon is introduced as a ‘mamma’, a maternal uncle. And this association is because ‘mamma’ is supposed to always bring gifts for his nephews and nieces. And so, ‘Chanda Mamma’, the maternal uncle who lives in the moon, holds out promises to always bring goodies and gifts for the toddlers.

This song here is probably the dearest of such jingles, sung to please the children if they are unhappy or upset, especially when being told to drink their milk by their mother. Over the years, this song has become a perennial favorite, to sing to the children. For all its simplicity and its melody, and its message of gifts and good things to eat, in an effort to bring a smile to the lips of a child that is upset over something. In fact this song is loosely based on time worn jingles and lories for toddlers, that abound the folk music in rural India.

chandaa maama door ke

(O my darling child)
Your dear uncle
Living afar, with home in the moon

puye pakaayen boor ke
aap khaayen thaali mein
munne ko den pyaali mein

He will cook for you
Sweet and syrupy bread (puaa), with sugar
But lo,
He will serve for himself in a big plate
And for munna (the toddler child)
He will serve it in a tiny bowl

(NOTE: boor = white cane sugar, in crushed form, not sugar crystals
puye = plural of ‘puaa’, a sweet bread made from thick fluor (sooji / rava); the flour is made into dough, and then patted into small thin cakes. It is then deep fried in ghee (butter) and then left in sugar syrup to soak for some time. It is also called with the name ‘maalpuaa’ or ‘poodaa’
thaali = a dinner plate
pyaali = a small bowl to serve side dishes
munna = a traditional name for a small child

pyaali gayi toot
munnaa gayaa rooth

Alas, that tiny bowl is still too big
For the tiny hands of the toddler
It fell from the teeny fingers, and broke
And munna is now afraid and upset

laayenge nayi pyaaliyaan
bajaa bajaa ke taaliyaan

But oh, let this worry you not
For we will bring
More such tiny bowls, all shining a new
And we all will clap with happiness

munne ko manaayenge
ham doodh malaai khaayenge

And so, we will try to please munna
And make him smile again
And then he will have milk
With layers of fresh butter

(NOTE: I have been racking my brains and searching for a simile, but I guess there is nothing in English that corresponds to ‘malaai’. In India, milk is generally boiled before being served. When left to cool after a boil, a thin layer of something forms on the top of the milk, and the closest word I can suggest is butter, although it is not exactly the butter that is prepared by churning milk. This ‘malaai’ is very scrumptious to eat and has a very delicate taste. And it is supposed to be a source of good health for growing children.)

udankhatole baith ke munnaa chandaa ke ghar jaayegaa
taaron ke sang aankh michauli khel ke dil bahlaayegaa

And then, in a flying chariot
Munna will travel to uncle’s home in the moon
And will enjoy playing hide and seek
With the stars in the heaven

khel kood se jab mere munne kaa dil bhar jaayegaa
thumak thumak meraa munnaa waapas ghar ko aayegaa

And when munna is fulfilled with the play
And is feeling tired
Then with tiny baby steps
Walking like a teeny weeny elephant
Munna will come tumbling back home

As I recall my own childhood, and how sometimes my mother would sing this song to me, it brings back memories of her efforts to make me drink my milk. That is what this song is about. It is meant for making the toddlers drink their glass of milk. For many children do not like the taste of it and resist to drink it. So the mother will sing a jingle like this, promising that the uncle living in the moon will come with sweet puaa’s for the child. But where is the puaa, the toddler asks. Oh that, the mother replies, well the bowl that holds the puaa fell down and is broken. But worry not, we will get more bowls, so just go ahead and drink the milk for now, and the malaai with it. Once you have had your milk, then your uncle will take you with him to his moon home, in a flying chariot, and there you can play with the stars in the sky. And when you are done playing, and feel tired, just come back to my arms in your delightful tumbling walk, and come and rest.

Boy, isn’t this stuff what the dreams are made of. I just fell in love with this jingle, all over again. 😀



Song-Chanda mama door ke (Vachan) (1955) Singer-Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Prem Dhawan, MD-Ravi


chandaa maama door ke, puye pakaayen boor ke
chandaa maama door ke, puye pakaayen boor ke
aap khaayen thaali mein, munne ko den pyaali mein
aap khaayen thaali mein, munne ko den pyaali mein
chandaa maama door ke, puye pakaayen boor ke

pyaali gayi toot munnaa gayaa rooth
pyaali gayi toot munnaa gayaa rooth
laayenge nayi pyaaliyaan bajaa bajaa ke taaliyaan
laayenge nayi pyaaliyaan bajaa bajaa ke taaliyaan
munne ko manaayenge ham doodh malaayi khaayenge,
chandaa maama door ke, puye pakaayen boor ke
aap khaayen thaali mein, munne ko den pyaali mein
chandaa maama door ke, puye pakaayen boor ke

udankhatole baith ke munnaa chandaa ke ghar jaayegaa
udankhatole baith ke munnaa chandaa ke ghar jaayegaa
taaron ke sang aankh michauli khel ke dil bahlaayegaa
khel kood se jab mere munne kaa dil bhar jaayegaa
thumak thumak meraa munnaa waapas ghar ko aayegaa,
chandaa maama door ke, puye pakaayen boor ke
chandaa maama door ke, puye pakaayen boor ke
aap khaayen thaali mein, munne ko den pyaali mein
aap khaayen thaali mein, munne ko den pyaali mein
chandaa maama door ke, puye pakaayen boor ke
hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm

28 Responses to "Chanda mama door ke"

Video is not showing !


I checked up and found that the link is working. The reason why it is not showing for you could be that youtube is blocked in your computer. It happens in many work place computers where the employers block youtube.

But then why is it that other videos are visible ? Some of my video links are from dailymotion, which is not blocked because it is not that well known. So the lesson for me is to provide non youtube links as far as possible.


Could someone pleaes translate this to English. I have tried the on-line translator, but get nothing. Thank you VERY much.


I’m trying to get this song ‘Chanda Mama Door Ke’ written out in its original script for a school’s book I’m putting together in Bristol, UK. Is there anyone who could send me a word document or equivalent with the Hindi (is it Hindi) script?


Gathering Voices


Thanks once again..
is gaane ko talash rahi thi kayee dino se!


Could I get english translation?


[…] me that this duo collaborated on another well-loved children’s song from Vachan (1955) called “Chanda mama door ke” which I am off to see right now. […]


If I look at the kid (at 0:53), I see a resemblance to Tarun Bose. But the chronology won’t agree. Any comments?

Also, the kid is a little too grown up to be portrayed as was in the song. Any comments?


[…] as five songs from his debut movie ‘Vachan” (1955) which included his first iconic song Chanda mama door ke which remains a favourite song of Indian mothers and their young one’s even […]


Thanks for the lyrics. I was just singing this song to my daughter and she wanted me to teach the song to her.. I did’t knew full song.. thanks a lot.


Thank you for posting this! Is this the song that was used in the late-70’s/early-80’s version of “The Secret Garden”? In the movie she uses the song as a lullaby for her cousin- it’s very lovely! I’ve uploaded an MP3 of it here:'sIndianLullaby.mp3
It sounds very similar but I wanted to make sure.

Also, does anyone know the English translation to this song? I’ve read that it’s a really sweet song and would love to know what it means. 🙂

Thanks again!


Thanks Atul…

I love this and I like this always. again a lot of thanks,



what is the meaning of ‘boor’ in this song? it should be ‘goor’ or something like that. Right?


boor is similar to “rawa”, I think.


Boor – in hindi we use to call is shakkar ka bhoora – mixture of crushed sugar and cooked in hot water


Good one…..
I like this song for my cute baby….


Atul ji,
The kid in the song is MASTER BABBOO,as mentioned in the credits of the film.


Friends on the blog,

Please see updates to this post. Atul ji wrote to me last evening, that he continues to receive many requests to translate this song. So I sent him the translation and the accompanying notes, which he has now added here.

Please see. 🙂



Love that song! My nana used to sing it to us and then ofcourse our mother 🙂
N just to help u out, malaai is cream 🙂


You have done a great job Mr. Sudhir…! Background and explanation, of “moon” in the song and in the Indian society, narrated by you are absolutely theme clearing. Concepts of “uncle”, “his home in the moon” and “gifts from him” have been made very clear. Sign of smile 🙂 used exactly. And, then the thing what I was searching for were “puye” and “boor”. I did never understand these words from the song as they are not used in Urdu, my national language, but now I’ve learnt how to bake “puye boor k”. Your note on “malaai” and “buttrer” efforts for the best and, really, deserves a “smili”. “Breaking of pyaali”, “new ones with puaas” and “feeding of milk” are beautifully explained in the last paragraph. And…. Your memories of childhood and feelings of love are lovely heart touching! May you blessed!


Dear Asif Sb,

Your comments and your sentiments are heartening. I am so glad that my effort means so much to you.

Thanks for your blessings,



Hey sudhirji
I always thought malai and cream where one and the same. Of course excessive whipping of malai/ cream brings forth the butter. ☺


Peevesie’s Mom ji

I would like to make a distinction between ‘malai’ and ‘cream’.

As per my understanding, cream is the higher fat content layer that forms on top of milk, if left undisturbed for some time. Or else, it can be separated from milk by a churning (or whipping) action. Cream has a very uniformly consistent texture, same as soft butter. And because of its texture, it has a quality of being able to flow.

‘Malai’, on the other hand, forms on top of milk, only after it has been boiled and allowed to cool. If one simply sees the layer of malai on top of boiled and cooled milk, it seems like a thin fabric stretched on top of the milk. The consistency of this item is more like layers of such ‘fabric’ like material, and not like soft butter.

In North India, traditionally the ‘halwaais’ would boil huge amounts of milk in large containers called ‘kadaahaa’ (कड़ाहा) (something like mother of ‘kadaahi’ (कड़ाही) ). These ‘kadaahas’ can be as large as three to four feet in diameter. Then the flame is reduced and the milk continues to simmer at a constant temperature. In the nights, especially in winters, people would come to have this simmering hot milk as a post dinner dessert, while on their post dinner walks. The ‘kadaaha’ of milk is put to boil early evening, and the session will continue till almost 1 or 2 am. Even today, in the old parts of Delhi and other towns, this scenario presents itself, and one can catch the night birds in Old Delhi at such ‘halwaai’ or milk vendor establishments.

As the milk continues to simmer, the layer of ‘malai’ on top continues to become thicker, gets somewhat of a brittle – solid texture, and has to be literally ‘broken’ with a spoon to add to the glass of milk being served.

As the milk content gets depleted, the ‘halwaai’ takes care to take out the milk from the point that is closest to where he is serving from. This makes a fairly large portion of the malai surface being intact as the hours go by. As the level of milk lowers, the thickened layer of malai starts to settle on to the hot surface of the ‘kadaaha’. At the end of the session, when the level of milk is almost gone, this thick and further heated layer of malai has gained a texture of a very thick cloth, which can be 2 to 3 millimeter thick. Now this item is scrapped off from the ‘kadaaha’, and forms another delicacy called ‘khurchan’ (literally – something scrapped off). This specialty dish is something that not all ‘halwaais’ can make, because it needs a very delicate expertise to keep the balance of temperature as the time progresses. Even in Delhi, which has some very old traditional ‘halwaai’ establishments, (almost like close to couple of hundred years), this delicacy is prepared only by a select few, and sometimes that also only on order.

In the Bangla tradition, there is a sweet dish called ‘fried malai’. Literally, thickened layers of malai so formed are placed between two thin layers of ‘maawa’ (now this is another milk byproduct that the western dairy processes are probably unaware of – more about it only on further demand from readers 🙂 ). The layered item is cut with a knife into small square pieces which are fried lightly just like a ‘pakora’ and then dipped in sugar syrup. I think the name of this item is ‘Shaar Bhaaja’, or a similar sounding name.

I must say that I know probably less about the western processes of dairy products. I know that the Indian methods of preparing ‘makkhan’ and ‘ghee’ do not use milk directly. The milk is curdled, the curd is churned, the cream that comes from churning curd is used to prepare what is called ‘desi makkhan’ which is white. From this ‘makkhan’ one direction is to cool it and get butter that is used, and the second path is further processing that results in the formation of ‘ghee’. In my own home, my mother keeps collecting ‘malai’ in a large container that sits in the freezer. After about 3 or 4 weeks, she simply heats and processes this frozen ‘malai’, and prepares ‘ghee’ from it. Now ‘ghee’ is another item that, as far as I know, does not have a western / English equivalent.

I think the descriptions above cannot be applied to cream. You can churn it to get butter, or you can process and freeze it to get ice cream. The above is my understanding, and I do welcome comments on the above.



Sudhir ji,

The process of making ghee in our house is thus,(this is practically same anywhere in Maharashtra)-
Everyday the cream from the boiled and cooled milk is collected in a vessel. When the vessel is almost full,then a dash of sour curd is added to it and kept for another 2 days. When it is curdled,then it is put in mixer and thick white butter is collected from the top of the buttermilk. This white butter is then heated to obtain Ghee,which can last for years. Infact the older the Ghee,its Ayurvedic uses are unique.

There must be different ways of getting ghee finally from basic Cream. Its like different religions. All end up with One God.



I am liking this discussion. Aaj toh hum ko halwai bannane ki training mil gayi. So now we ve recipe a day😉 and my method (personally speaking matches arunji’s)☺
And I ve heard of mava but fried mava, recipe toh banta hair sirji.
Lastly ghee is translated as clarified butter in English cook books




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