If you think there is a glaring mistake in the title of this post, you have to blame Mumbaikar8 for it. She only gave me the idea for this post. Don’t ask me what is her good name, please. If she is not disclosing it, I am also not disclosing it. As you know she is living in the US, but I am living in India only. Therefore, when she is writing mail to me, I am sleeping; and when I am writing to her, she is sleeping. I have reverted back to her many times. But, some things one can talk clear clear only face to face. But, she will be coming to India during vacations only. She cannot prepone her visit for very small small things. However, she suggested some very good good songs for the post. Therefore, I had to do the needful and I am posting it now. The date April 1 is purely coincidental. I hope Mumbaikar8 understands. Little little things often cause big big misunderstandings.
Dear readers, you are still not understanding fully fully? Don’t worry. Once my co-brother’s cousin sister’s son was visiting me to discuss his career plans. He had passed out from the IIT with flying colours. I asked him some very ordinary ordinary things, but he could understand only slowly slowly. You are finding it awkward? You are foreign-returned or what? Just start thinking in Hindi or your mother tongue, everything will be clear clear.
Enough of this tomfoolery. Some English usages, which are unique to Indians, might flummox the foreigners, but our bright kids would continue to pass out from college with flying colours, after which many of them would have arranged marriages, though now a large number is having love-marriage. And, in their professional lives, they would continue to prepone meetings and revert back with replies. Our VVIPs would continue to airdash to disaster sites. These usages are so pervasive that these would be, in due course, accepted as a variant of English.
Such usages have their origin in our native languages and cultural practices. Thus, it makes sense to ask, What is your good name please (आपका शुभनाम क्या है?), because, like Bengalis, most of us have a daak naam and a bhaalo naam. However, one ubiquitous usage in our languages, i.e. repeating words, does not lend itself to such adaptation. Hum Saath Saath Hain, or Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai or Chhoti Chhoti Baatein are very common in Hindi (हम साथ साथ हैं; कुछ कुछ होता है; छोटी छोटी बातें etc), and, I am sure, it must be in other Indian languages too. But, We Are Together Together, Something Something Happens, or Small Small Things would evoke laughter. Repeat words illustrate the limits of such linguistic/cultural transplants.
You would think there can be hardly anything funny in the use of repeat words in Hindi. But the classic comedy film Chupke Chupke (1975) creates great humour in this scene around repeat words. Om Prakash is already at the end of his tether with his ‘driver’ Dharmendra’s fetish for shudh Hindi, when he notices the latter hiding behind the curtains while Sharmila Tagore is singing. Listen to this dialogue between an exasperated Om Prakash, and the impossibly irritating driver:
Om Prakash (to Dharmendra): तुम वहां खड़े खड़े क्या कर रहे हो?
Dharmendra: खड़ा खड़ा कुछ नहीं कर रहा हूं, साहेब. आके आके खड़ा हुआ हूं.
Om Prakash: अन्दर आओ, ऐ इधर आ. ये आके आके क्या होता है? दो बार आके आके का क्या मतलब?
Dharmendra: साहेब, जब आपने खड़े खड़े का दो बार प्रयोग किया तो हमें बहुत अच्छा लगा. तो हमने उसी छ्न्द में आके आके बोल कर कविता का रस ले लिया.
Scene from Chupke Chupke (01.17 to 2.00)
Since repeat words are used so commonly, with a little probe, one would find them in all Parts of Speech. Hindi grammar has eight PoS, English has the same eight, or nine including the Article. Let me explore the songs of some of the main PoS.
Narad Muni always announced his arrival by repeating Narayan, Narayan. In our Bhakti tradition, great importance was given to chanting of names a hundred or a thousand times. No wonder Manna Dey chants Ram Krishna Hari a number of times in the song Kaal ka pahiya ghoome bhaiya.
1. Saanware Saanware kaahe mose karo jora jori by Lata Mangeshkar from Anuradha (1960), lyrics Shailendra, music Pt. Ravi Shankar
Here is a song where Saanware Saanware, though an adjective (for black), is used as a proper noun for Lord Krishna.
As is evident, common nouns are far more than proper nouns. Daane daane pe likha hai khanewale ka naam; Patta patta boota boota haal hamara jaane hai (this has two sets of repeat words) – our readers like KS Bhatiaji, Arvinder Sharmaji and Hans would surely flood us with their discoveries. Here is a very nice Rafi song not yet posted on SoY.
2. Hai kali kali ke lab par tere husn ka fasana by Rafi from Lala Rukh (1958), lyrics Kaifi Azmi, music Khayam
3. Piya piya piya mera jiya pukaare by Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle from Baap Re Baap (1955), lyrics Jan NIsar Akhtar, music OP Nayyar
My post on the best songs of Asha Bhosle by OP Nayyar included Piya piya na laage mora jiya (Phagun). OP Nayyar adds a third ‘Piya’ to great effect in this song.
Repeat pronouns are infinitely more challenging than nouns to find. Hum kaale hain to kya hua dilwaale hain/ Hum tere tere tere chahnewale hain has figured earlier on SoY. KS Bhatia recently posted an interesting song, Jahan tu tu tu wahan main main main, by Mukesh from the film Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh (1960), composed by Hansraj Bahal. There must be more; I am leaving it for our intrepid readers to discover them, and moving on to adjectives.
We are a society of putting emphasis, thus adjectives present the difficulty of choosing from the plenty available.
4. Do naina tumhare pyare pyare by Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt from Shrimatiji (1952), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music S Mohinder
The eyes are not only lovely, but they are pyare pyare in this song.
We must be one of the most colour-conscious societies in the world. In the matrimonials everyone desires absolutely fair, pure gori or white-skinned, besides convent-educated, professional, smart as well as homely girl. We must be the only country where celebrities sell men’s fairness cream. Thus, we have Gore gore, O baanke chore. Its converse is a desirable property for zulfein or baadal.
5. Kaare kaare baadra ja re ja re baadra by Lata Mangeshkar from Bhabhi (1957), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Chitragupt
There are more songs on Kaale kale baadal, such as, Ho, kaale kaale baadal chhaye piya by Mukesh and Shamshad Begum from Apni Chhaya (1950). Kaali kaali is also a frequently used adjective for ‘night’ or ‘eyes’: Kaali kaali raat re dil bada sataye (Lata Mangeshkar; Sainya 1951; Sajjad Husain).
6. Laal laal gaal, jaan ke hain laagu by Rafi from Mr. X (1957), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music N Datta
But the colour is also an adjective for emphasis without any negative connotation. My post on the best Asha Bhosle songs by Shankar-Jaikishan gave a prominent place to Laali laali doliya mein laali re dulhaniya. Here is a fun song with repeat of red colour.
7. Laal laal othwa se barse lalaiya ho ki ras chuwela by Talat Mahmoood & Lata Mangeshkar from Laagi Naahi Chhote Ram (1963), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Chitragupta
The lady with rosy cheeks must have red lips. Here is a fabulous song from a Bhojpuri film, composed by the great Chitragupta.
8. Oonchi oonchi duniya ki deewarein sainya tod ke main ayi re by Lata Mangeshkar from Nagin (1954), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Hemant Kumar
Let me conclude the Adjective with a couple of songs with non-colour emphasis. Each of the dozen songs of Nagin (1954) was a smashing hit. This one is fast-paced in which the girl breaks free from high high walls of societal barrier.
9. Jhuki jhuki si nazar beqaraar hai ke nahi by Jagjit Singh from Arth (1983), lyrics Kaifi Azmi, muisc Jagjit Singh
English has only downcast eyes, but in Hindi Ye jhuke jhuke naina, ye lat bal khaati cast a seductive spell – To dil kyun na mera deewana ho tera. The downcast eyes at times also create a sombre mood, but in that case the nazar would be jhuki jhuki. This also helps conceal love inside, though दबा दबा सा सही.
Looking for repeat verbs is like Ali Baba getting dazzled by the riches in the cave which opens on Khul ja sim sim. Chalte chalte mere ye geet yaad rakhna; Rote rote guzar gayi raat re; Chale ja chale ja chale ja jahan pyar mile; Jap jap jap jap jap re – the list is endless.
10. Chal chal re naujawan, chalo sang chale hum by Ashok Kumar & Leela Chitnis from Bandhan (1940), lyrics Pradeep, music Ramchandra Pal
Here is a vintage song which became a rallying song in the freedom movement.
11. Chalte chalte yun hi koi mila gaya tha by Lata Mangehskar from Pakeezah (1972), lyrics Kaifi Azmi, music Ghulam Mohammad
‘While I was walking someone met me’ is bland. But what if chalte chalte I happen to meet someone dear?
12. Ja ja ja mere bachpan kahin ja ke chhup nadaan by Lata Mangeshkar from Junglee (1961), lyrics Shailendra, music Shakar-Jaikishan
Shankar-Jaikishan used Ja (Go) thrice in Ja ja re ja baalamwa, but it was interspersed with a re. In Junglee, when the situation demanded, they removed the re as the chirpy Sara Bano shook off her innocence.
Adverb is a force-multiplier for a verb or an adjective. As per Newton’s laws of motion, the force can act in both ways – along the motion or against the motion. When the heart is beating fast in love, expecting the arrival of a dear one, it needs to be calmed down.
13. Dheere dheere machal ae dil-e-beqaraar by Lata Mangeshkar from Anupama (1966), lyrics Kaifi Azmi, music Hemant Kumar
14. Dheere dheere se meri zindagi mein aana, dheere dheere se mere dil ko churana by Kumar Sanu & Anuradha Paudwal from Aashiqui (1990), lyrics Rani Malik, music Nadeem Shravan
There was a famous Don who didn’t like two kinds of women: those who made themselves available too soon and those who came too late. The romance is enhanced when the beloved approaches you धीरे धीरे.
15. Sarakati jaaye hai rukh se naqaab aahista aahistaa by Jagjit Singh (non-film ghazal 1979), lyrics Ameer Minai, music Jagjit Singh
Same is the case with the alluring veil. Though you want the veil to come off, it is beautiful slipping off आहिस्ता आहिस्ता, because that gives the feeling of the moon (lovely face) coming out आहिस्ता आहिस्ता.
16. Uthegi tumhari nazar dheere by Lata Mangeshkar from Ek Raaz (1963), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri
If you thought dheere dheere had to be slow-paced, one of the most talented music directors, Chitragupta, composes this fast-paced dance song, picturised on an unknown starlet, Jeevankala. Chitragupta maintains his sugary-syrup sweetness in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice.
17. Do dil mil rahe hain magar chupke chupke by Kumar Sanu from Pardes (1997), lyrics Anand Bakhshi, music Nadeem-Shravan
I started with a clipping from Chupke Chupke. Let me end with a beautiful song where two hearts meet chupke chupke. Shahrukh Khan is an emissary for his benefactor’s son, but if he sings so beautifully with the guitar in his hand, no wonder Mahima Chaudhary falls for him instead.
P.S. No man’s land
After I had finished the post, I realised there are a number of repeat words that lie in a no man’s land. Which parts of speech are balle balle or anh unhu anh unhu of bhangra. I used to think Lara lappa lara lappa are similar nonsensical words, but later I came to know that these are proper words in Punjabi. But what about Adi dappa adi dappa lai rakhda, or Dum dum diga diga? And Shammi Kapoor’s exultation Ho lalla ho lalla ho lalla ho lalla, after he had declared himself Budtammez kaho ya kaho janwar? You might say nonsensical words have to be kept out of this discussion. But in this song, Chitragupt obliterates the distinction between sense and nonsense:
18. Daga daga vai vai vai ho gayi tumse ulfat ho gayi by Lata Mangeshkar from Kali Topi Laal Rumal (1959), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Chitragupta
We all know Daga means ‘betrayal’ as in Mohe daga daike sautan ghar jana or Dekhoji dekho mera dil le ke daga nahi dena. But can anyone please tell me what on earth is Daga daga? And Chitragupt compounds it with vai vai vai.
Now I have started believing that vai vai vai must be some word in a language which Chitragupta understood, because he uses the word again in this song:
19. Tujhko main jan gayi maan ya na maan vai vai by Lata Mangeshkar & Rafi from Zabak (1961), lyrics Prem Dhavan, music Chitragupt
If you are strong in counting, you can try – in the two songs together, Chitragupt uses ‘vai’ 83 times.
I have covered all the major Parts of Speech. If you enjoyed the post, thanks are due mainly to Mumbaikar8 whose idea it was.