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

Kyun pyaala chhalakta hai

Posted on: February 11, 2013

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

Pandit Narendra Sharma came to the film industry after having excelled in the field of academics and Hindi Literature as an author, teacher, editor and publisher. His songs have a simplicity, yet they are woven with such chaste choice of words from Hindi language. Listening to his poetry and his writings from films is like a shower of fresh flowers – soft, fragrant and very pleasing to the heart and mind. The sounds of “Yashomati Maiyyaa Se Bole Nandlala”, (‘Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram’, 1978) or “Bhanwre Ne Khilaaya Phool Phool Ko Le Gayaa Raaj Kunwar” (‘Prem, Rog’, 1982), or “Tum Aasha Vishwaas Hamaare” (‘Subah’, 1982) are very endearing to the heart. And even before, looking at the earlier decades, the songs like “Mann More Huaa Matwaala” in the voice of Suraiyya from the film ‘Afsar’ (1950), and “Kahaan Udd Chalen Hain Mann Praan Mere” from the film ‘Bhaabhi Ki Choodiyaan’ (1961) come from his pen.

Or even earlier, songs like “Saanjh Ki Belaa, Panchhi Akelaa” from the film ‘Jwaar Bhaata’ (1944) and “Mein Un Ki Bann Jaaun Re” from the film ‘Hamaari Baat’ (1943) are creations of lasting impressions. And of course, who can ever forget the song that has become the de-facto icon of the cultural values of our country, the quintessential “Jyoti Kalash Chhalke” also from ‘Bhaabhi Ki Choodiyaan’ (1961) – a song that does not fail to send a tingle down the spine, and make one look up with pride. Such is the body of work and the legacy that Pt. Narendra Sharma has bequeathed to this industry and to this nation.

Pt. Narendra Sharma left for his heavenly abode, this day, in 1989, after a long stint of more than 45 years of being associated with the film industry, and a much longer stint with the literature and academics in this country.

‘Phir Bhi’, is a film from 1971 that many would remember as one of pioneering efforts towards parallel cinema in the industry. It was in the very late 60s and early 70s that a wave of such films were produced in India. This film was produced under the banner of Chhavi Bhaarti, Bombay and was directed by Shivendra Sinha. The cast of actors includes Urmila Bhatt, Bambi, Pratap Sharma, Meenal Mehta, Deven Srivastava, and Rajeshwar Nath etc. The film has three songs, one of them from the pen of Dr. Harivanshrai Bachchan, and the other two are written by Pt. Narendra Sharma.

The music for this film is composed by Raghunath Seth. All the three songs became popular with the listening public, and are well remembered today.

The song presented in this post is rendered by Manna Dey. The poet talks about the innate disquiet and restlessness that lives deep inside every person. This restlessness appears unique to every individual, but as the poet points out, this restlessness lives at the basic level of life itself.

A very deeply philosophical set of verses, that raise the questions that have haunted the human mind since life began. Listen to this very thought provoking poetry, composed and rendered so well.

(NOTE: Both audio and video links are provided. The video link is not complete.)

kyun pyaala chhlaktaa hai, kyun deepak jaltaa hai
donon ke mann mein kahin anhonee vikaltaa hai

And so it is,
A cup runneth over
And a lamp burns (in anguish)
Wonder why?
Maybe there ferments
An unexpressed discontent

pathar mein phool khilaa, dil ko ik khwaab milaa
kyun toot gaye dono is kaa na jawaab milaa

dil neend se uth uth kar kyun aankhen maltaa hai. . .
A flower appeared
In the midst of stones
And the heart begins to dream
Of unfathomed possibilities
But the flower faded soon
And so did fade the dreams
Wonder why?
No answers are discerned
And the heart
Wakes up time and again
From a fitful sleep
Rubbing its eyes
Wonder why?

hain raakh ki rekhaayen, likhti hai chingaari
hain kehte maut jisey, jeene ki tayyaari
jeeven phir bhi jeevan jeene ko machaltaa hai

(Life is but)
Lines drawn in the ashes
Etched out by the shining embers
And what we call death
Is indeed the beginning of life
And yet the living
Being alive
Persists pining to live

NOTES: The words of this poem are very deep and very thought provoking. The poet makes us question the very validity of our comprehension of life and the living.

In the first verse, the poet initiates the thought that every person, everything in this world has a deep seated restlessness and sense of incompleteness – “. . . Mann Mein Kahin, Anhonee Vikaltaa Hai”.

In the second verse, the beginning of life is represented as a flower that appears amongst the rocks. And the human mind, with its limited sense of proportion, and a limited view of this entire creation, celebrates this appearance, and starts to build dreams and plans. But oh so soon, the flower withers away and the life is snuffed out. And yet, life awakens, again and again and again, from the slumber of the real (?) existence somewhere, makes yet another appearance as a flower in the rocks, is snuffed out yet once again. But the cycle continues. “. . . Dil Neend Se Uth Uth Kar, Kyun Aankhen Maltaa Hai”. This thought has such a strong congruence to the cycle of birth and death that is part of our culture and belief system. And this thought once again, links back to the first verse. The mind, the living entity is seeking the truth, the answers, but is not able to. It goes from one cycle of birth and death to the next, still seeking the answers. And hence, “. . . Mann Mein Kahin, Anhonee Vikaltaa Hai”.

In the third verse, the poet describes what life is. A tiny ember of living consciousness that we call the ‘Aatma’ or the soul, powers this body made of the five elements, which is nothing but dust and ashes. Our exertions, our endeavors are nothing but lines etched out in dust by this ember of consciousness, “. . . Hain Raakh Ki Rekhaayen, Likhti Hai Chingaari”. What we call the state of being alive, is nothing but a momentary existence in a cycle that has other levels of existence that we are not aware of while being in this life. And death is the event that we dread the most, the event that most people want to keep away and not talk about. And yet, the poet says, death is just another step, another way stop in the larger scheme of existence, for it is in death that we are born into new life, as this current bundle of ashes withers away amongst the rocks. But when you ask this bundle of ashes, it continues to crave this life, like a small child crying for a toy.

What a wonderful expression, what a thoughtful representation of the schema of life, and the living. And said in such simple words and so succinctly, it takes your breath away.



Song-Kyun pyaala chhalakta hai (Phir Bhi)(1971) Singer-Manna Dey, Lyrics-Narendra Sharma, MD-Raghunath Seth


kyun pyaala chhlaktaa hai
kyun deepak jaltaa hai
donon ke mann mein kahin
anhonee vikaltaa hai
kyun pyaala chhlaktaa hai

patthhar mein phool khilaa
dil ko ik khwaab milaa
patthhar mein phool khilaa
dil ko ik khwaab milaa
kyun toot gaye dono
is kaa na jawaab milaa
dil neend se uthh uthh kar
kyun aankhen maltaa hai. . .
kyun pyaala chhlaktaa hai

hain raakh ki rekhaayen
likhti hai chingaari
hain kehte maut jisey
jeene ki tayyaari
jeeven phir bhi jeevan
jeene ko machaltaa hai

kyun pyaala chhalaktaa hai
kyun deepak jaltaa hai
donon ke mann mein kahin
anhonee vikaltaa hai
kyun pyaala chhlaktaa hai

Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

क्यों प्याला छलकता है
क्यों दीपक जलता है
दोनों के मन में कहीं
अनहोनी विकलता है
क्यों प्याला छलकता है

पत्थर में फूल खिला
दिल को इक ख्वाब मिला
पत्थर में फूल खिला
दिल को इक ख्वाब मिला
क्यों टूट गए दोनों
इसका न जवाब मिला
दिल नींद से उठ उठ कर
क्यों आँखें मलता है
क्यों प्याला छलकता है

हैं राख़ की रेखाएं
लिखती है चिंगारी
हैं कहते मौत जिसे
जीने की तैयारी
जीवन फिर भी जीवन
जीने को मचलता है

क्यों प्याला छलकता है
क्यों दीपक जलता है
दोनों के मन में कहीं
अनहोनी विकलता है
क्यों प्याला छलकता है

3 Responses to "Kyun pyaala chhalakta hai"

Whether the actors on screen Urmila Bhatt and Bambi are real life Mother and daughter ???


Thanks Sudhir ji for this ‘philosophical’ post and the discussion on song. The poetry – simply great , and Manna da’s singing makes it even more beautiful for us to listen it, savor it, pause and reflect on the ‘scheme of life and living’ as rightly put up by you. a very very beautiful & creative post which takes us away from our daily routine to the world of Pt.Narendra Sharma’s legacy.



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