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

Ho rassa ssaayang re

Posted on: January 24, 2013


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog.

When one thinks of a bolt of lightning, it recreates in the mind the crackling sound of particles in the air subjected to currents of extremely high voltage, streaks of very very bright light zig-zagging across the sky, the rumbling sounds of thunder that follow the flash of light in a matter of few seconds. People who have witnessed bolts of lightning at very close quarters recount the intensity of both the sound and the flash of light. Sound of the crackling air, the sound of thunder, the blinding flash, and the rush of moving air at very close quarters. Whether from a distance, or a close quarters, this display of light and sound and movement is a gripping experience, for those who have an appetite for it.

And then, there are people whose mere presence serves the same experience. There is a sizzle in the personality, there is an urgency in movements, there is a whiplash streaking through the eyes, there is electricity in the gestures, in the touch – all together serving the experience of being in the presence of a bolt of lightning. We have all had this experience, we have all known some such people who will electrify the ambience with their presence.

Ah yes, the folks who are familiar with this song may have guessed where I am headed with this line of thought. Yes, I refer to Helen, and to Shammi Kapoor. Each one an electric personality on the screen.

Helen, the charming butterfly of the Hindi films. Scores of scorching songs have been performed by Helen on the Hindi film screen. One can literally feel a bolt of lightning go through the heart, as she appears on screen to perform some of the most exquisite and lovely dance numbers.

Shammi Kapoor, the eternal zestful young lover of the Hindi film screen, oozing with so much energy that the entire frame is electrified as soon as he appears. The slew of quickfire and yet so controlled movements, from the tiniest twitch of the fingers, to the athletic calisthenics he could perform. His presence on screen is a sure bet that the storyline, the people, the situation – everything will start speeding up their movements.

And then, you put together these two bolts of lightning in a single frame. That is a sure recipe for an unprecedented sound and light show which does not have a tardy moment for all the time that it lasts. Yes, I refer to the few occasions that these two have appeared together in song and dance numbers on the screen. All these numbers have an associated experience that is incomparable, and inimitable – and the comparison to the criss-crossing bolts of lightning is the closest one can come to describe that experience.

In the period from 1955 to 1974, these two electric performers have appeared together in 14 films. And the number of songs that they have done together is even less. As I tried to track down their duet performances, the ones I have been able to identify are “Yamma Yamma Yamma Tu Parwaana Mein Shamma” from the film ‘Chinatown’ (1962); the quintessential “O Haseena Zulfon Waali” from ‘Teesri Manzil’ (1966); “Muqaabla Hamse Na Karo” from ‘Prince’ (1969) which is actually a three way song performed by Helen, Shammi Kapoor and Vijayntimala; “Kab Se Dhari Hai Saamne Botal Sharaab Ki” from ‘Sachaai’ (1969). Then there are other songs in which both are within the frame, but both are not doing the singing. The film ‘Junglee’ (1961) has the fun song “Suku Suku” , in which both are on stage together and only Shammi Kapoor sings. Then there is a dance sequence from ‘Paglaa Kahin Kaa’ (1970) which is performed together by Helen and Shammi Kapoor accompanied by Prem Chopra on the guitar. The remaining films in which these two appear together are ‘Miss Coca Cola’ (1955), ‘Sipahsalaar’ (1956), ‘Coffee House’ (1957), ‘Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya’ (1963), ‘Jaane Anjaane’ (1971), ‘Preetam’ (1971) and ‘Chhote Sarkar’ (1974). So far as I could track, I have not been able to identify any other song that these two have performed together. I would request other knowledgeable readers to add to the above compilation.

Of all their songs together, my humble choice of their best together is “O Haseena . . .” , “Yamma Yamma . . .” , and “Suku Suku” .

And now remains one more, the song for this post. The film is ‘Singapore’ (1960), and next only to the celestial charmer from ‘Teesri Manzil’ (1966), this song is their best performance together, in my opinion.

‘Singapore’ is a crime suspense thriller, which is produced by FC Mehra under the banner of Eagle Films and is directed by Shakti Samant. There are 8 songs of this film, that come from the pen of Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. This particular song is by Hasrat Jaipuri. The music is by Shanker Jaikishan. The star cast of the film includes Shammi Kapoor, Padmini, Maria Menado, Shashikala, KN Singh, Madan Puri, Gautam Mukherjee, Lillian, Helen, Agha, Rajan Kapoor, Ratan Gaurang, Avtar Singh, Musa, S Gopal, Balaram, Hanuman, Babu R, Bhagwan, Mohan Badodia, Dwarka Diwecha etc.

The scenario is that Shammi Kapoor is being chased by the gangsters, and he is trying to reach the police. But he gets stuck in a local fair, with the gangsters behind his back. In the beginning of this clip, he tells his friend (played by Ratan Gaurang) that he should go and inform the police. His friend also expresses fear that he cannot go because of the gangsters team all around them. Then they hit upon an idea (what else to expect in a Hindi film) to do a song and dance sequence, and then make their way out as all the people around, including the gangster’s team, are engrossed in this entertainment. And thus starts the song.

This song has a very interesting genesis behind it. It is based on a very old and very famous traditional folk song of the Malay people. The songwriter has borrowed the mukhdaa, the first four lines of the original, adapted it to this song, and then has added the three antaraas which are original. As I searched for the correct words in the lyrics, I took help from Harmandir ji who kindly provided me with the words of the first stanza from the original booklet of the film. Another friend, an old colleague, who is now based in Singapore, is the other source I contacted to get help for deciphering the lyrics of the first stanza. And the results are very interesting.

The first four lines of the original Malay song are

Rasa sayang, hey!,
Rasa sayang sayang hey,
Hey lihat nona jauh,
Rasa sayang sayang hey!

And its literal English translation is

I’ve got that feeling of love, hey!,
I’ve got that feeling of love, hey!,
See that girl in the distance,
I’ve got that feeling of love hey!,

But when I listened closely to the film song, and also cross checked the lyrics that Harmandir ji has provided me, I find that the first paragraph in the film song goes like

ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
e neea de na de naal
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

It was at this point that I wrote to my friend in Singapore, and he gave me the following response, after cross checking with his local circle of people of Malay origin.

The lines “rassa ssaayang ssaayang hey” are of course have the meaning “I’ve got that feeling of love”.

The interesting response came regarding the third line. The third line “e neea de na de naal”, actually is not words. It is simply a filler line, just like “la la la la la la”. So from the original Malay song, the only line really used is “rassa ssaayang ssaayang re”.

At the end of the song, there is a very interesting set of sounds that Shammi Kapoor (in the voice of Rafi) makes as the last part of the chorus is being performed. Hard as I could try, I am not able to catch the words, they go by very fast. I would appreciate other knowledgeable readers with keener ears, to kindly help.

And so here is one the best of the combined performance by these two electric performers. One viewing of this song will certainly confirm how true this assessment is. Shammi Kapoor’s presence in the frame gives a strong feeling of a wound down spring, with a lot of energy under tight control, simply raring to go. And the delicate Helen, as always, seem to be able to move any part of herself with such effortless ease that it is mesmerizing. A really fun filled wonderful song by the best in this category. Enjoy.

(NOTE: with extreme apologies to all readers; I had semi prepared this write up earlier, but missed the important occasion to post it i.e. 21st October (2012) which is the common birth anniversary for the two artists. With this post coming in now, I am posting this (now) completed write up for this song, plus my research into the lyrics.)


Song-Ho rassa saaayang saayang re (Singapore)(1960) Singers-Lata, Rafi, Lyrics-Hasrat Jaipuri, MD-Shankar Jaikishan
Chorus
Rafi + Chorus
Lata + Rafi

Lyrics(Provided by Atif M)

ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
e neea de na de naal
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
e neea de na de naal
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
hai pyaar ka hi naam
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

ho rassa ssaayang re
rasa ssaayang ssaayang re
hai pyaar ka hi naam
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

ek to cheeni gudiya
aur ik japaani doll
hote hote donon mein
pyaar hua anmol
dheere dheere aakhir
rangeen zamaana aaya
honthon par donon ke
ek geet suhaana aaya

phir kya hua
pyaar ki manzil ke
woh donon ban gaye saathi
pyaar ki manzil ke
woh donon ban gaye saathi
phir shaadi ki
phir bachche huye
arre ek nahin do nahin baarah

rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
e neea de na de naal
rassa ssaayang ssayang re
o rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
hai pyaar ka hi naam
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa saayang ssaayang re
hai pyaar ka hi naam
rasasa ssaayang ssaayang re

dariya ka kinaara
aur woh ujli bahaar
khadi thhi ek ladki
aankhon mein leke pyaar
khoyi khoyi uski
nigaahen kuchh na poochho
teer khaayi hirni
ki aahen kuchh na poochho
phir kya hua
waada thha kisi ka
ke aayenge hum milne
waada thha kisi ka
ke aayenge hum milne
woh tadpa ke
aaya na koyi
yoon raat gayi din gaya saara
o rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
hai pyaar ka hi naam
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

ho raasa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
e neea de na de naal
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
hai pyaar ka hi naam
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

milti hain jab aankhen
to kho jaata hai dil
ulfat ke jahaan ki
anokhi hai mehfil
kar deti hai ghaafil
yeh aankhon ki sharaab
albeli adaayen
aur honthon ke gulaab

achha
yeh baat hai

ulfat kar ke dekho
to jaanoge yeh baaten
ulfat kar ke dekho
to jaanoge yeh baaten
yeh duniya hai
dil waalon ki
aur sab ka ye hi naara
rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
e neea de na de naal
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
hai pyaar ka hi naam
rasa sayang sayang re
ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
e neea de na de naal
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
hai pyaar ka hi naam
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
e neea de na de naal
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
ho rassa ssaayang re
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re
hai pyaar ka hi naam
rassa ssaayang ssaayang re

———————————————————-
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————————————-
हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
ए नीय दे ना दे नाल
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
ए नीय दे ना दे नाल
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
है प्यार का ही नाम
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
है प्यार का ही नाम
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

एक तो चीनी गुड़िया
और इक जापानी डौल
होते होते दोनों में
प्यार हुआ अनमोल
धीरे धीरे आखिर
रंगीन ज़माना आया
होठों पर दोनों के
इक गीत सुहाना आया

फिर क्या हुआ
प्यार की मंज़िल के
वो दोनों बन गए साथी
प्यार की मंज़िल के
वो दोनों बन गए साथी
फिर शादी की
फिर बच्चे हुये
अरे एक नहीं दो नहीं बारह

रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
ए नीय दे ना दे नाल
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
ओ रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
है प्यार का ही नाम
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
है प्यार का ही नाम
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

दरिया का किनारा
और वो उजली बहार
खड़ी थी इक लड़की
आंखों में ले के प्यार
खोई खोई उसकी
निगाहें कुछ न पूछो
तीर खाई हिरनी
की आहें कुछ न पूछो
फिर क्या हुआ
वादा था किसी का
के आयेंगे हम मिलने
वादा था किसी का
के आयेंगे हम मिलने
जब तड़पा किए
आया न कोई
यूं रात गयी दिन गया सारा
ओ रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
है प्यार का ही नाम
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
ए नीय दे ना दे नाल
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
है प्यार का ही नाम
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

मिलती हैं जब आँखें
तो खो जाता है दिल
उल्फ़त के जहां की
अनोखी है महफिल
कर देती है गाफिल
ये आँखों की शराब
अलबेली अदाएं
और होठों के गुलाब

अच्छा
ये बात है

उल्फत कर के देखो
तो जानोगे ये बातें
उल्फत कर के देखो
तो जानोगे ये बातें
ये दुनिया है
दिलवालों की
और सब का ये ही नारा
रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
ए नीय दे ना दे नाल
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
है प्यार का ही नाम
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
ए नीय दे ना दे नाल
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
है प्यार का ही नाम
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
ए नीय दे ना दे नाल
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
हो रासा स्सायांग रे
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे
है प्यार का ही नाम
रासा स्सायांग स्सायांग रे

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5 Responses to "Ho rassa ssaayang re"

“Rasa Sayang” is Malay for “feeling of love” ‘Singapore’ was a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Shammi Kapoor was at his dashing debonair handsome best. Padmini was at her bewitching best. Every song penned by Hasrat Jaipuri and set to scintillating music by Shankar-Jaikishan is still so fresh! Special mention must be made of Mario Menado who portrayed a ‘bad girl’ with such elan! ‘Singapore’ was one movie that never bored anyone!

The song takes inspiration from the folk song tune claimed equally by Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore and their own. Even Chinese have composed songs on this tune.SJ beautifully transformed it into Hindustani Film Song.

Mani ji, Rajendra ji,

Thanks for your inputs. The write up for this song has now been updated with a significantly expanded version, that also contains the results of my explorations for getting to the meaning of the the mukhdaa (leading lines) of this song.

This is a write up that was intended to be posted on 21st October last year, the birth annivesary of both Helen and Shammi Kapoor. I could not complete it on time, and then it got delayed further. Recently, Atul ji suggested that we should go ahead and post it, and not wait for 21st October of this year. 🙂

Also, message to all friends to check out this song once again.

Rgds
Sudhir

Cannot thank you enough for the correct and precise lyrics, that too in Devanagari script!!!! I am ever so grateful
Best regards
Shikha

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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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