Listening to : Meera (1979)

If there was a popularity poll for Indian Saints, I reckon Meerabai (1498-1547) would do very well indeed! Her story has all the makings of a blockbuster – a beautiful princess, a handsome prince – or is he a heartless husband?, an evil priest, a conspiring sister-in-law, political machinations and war, murder attempts, rebellion, devotion, music and poetry  written so beautifully that they are still on the lips of Indians after 500 years – not historians and academics, but on the lips of the average man and woman.

There had been a Tamil film made in 1945 on Meera featuring the Carnatic singer M.S.Subbulakshmi as Meera, later dubbed in Hindi. My mother used to sing Meera bhajans from this film. I learnt चाकर राखो जी and पग घुँघरू बाँध मीरा नाची रे as an 8 year old at school. As I grew, I became attached to Lata Mangeshkar’s Meera bhajans as they were broadcast over morning radio in Delhi. Even now, I catch myself murmuring some bhajans to myself quite often. These songs have formed a musical background to my life.

So when Meera came out in 1979, I was very eager to see the film. The music was written by the renowned Ravi Shankar, the songs sung by Vani Jayaram, and the part played by Hema Malini. It seems interesting to me now that my filmi associations of Meera, a Rajasthani pricess, are with MSS, Hema and Vani – all Tamilian ladies. An example of national integration?

Unfortunately, the film fails, mainly I think because Hema is wrongly cast as Meera. The other cast are more impressive, Vinod Khanna in particular (well, I have a weakness for him!).  The music is excellent, I will not hesitate to recommend this album. The tracks are as follows:

  • Mere to giridhar gopal Open-mouthed smile
  • Jago bansiwale Smile
  • Pyare Darshan Dijo Smile
  • Bala main bairagan hoongi I don't know smile
  • Karna Fakiri Sad smile
  • Jo tum todo piya Open-mouthed smile
  • Karuna Suno Shyam Open-mouthed smile
  • Badal Dekh dari Sad smile
  • Main Sanvre ke rang ranchi Smile
  • Mere to giridhar gopal (duet) Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Shyam mane chakar rakhoji Smile
  • Ranaji main to govind Open-mouthed smile
  • Ayri main to prem diwani Open-mouthed smile

I have found most of the lyrics online, please see footnote. I have yet to confirm if the film version matches the lyrics as listed on the site.

I present my favourite song (please ignore the subtitles, they don’t seem well done). I realised after I selected it that Vani Jayaram won a Filmfare award for this song; very well deserved!

Mere to giridhar gopal–Vani Jayaram

मेरे तो गिरधर गोपाल दूसरो न कोई |
जाके सर मोर मुकुट मेरे पति सोयी ||
मेरे तो…..
अंसुवन जल सींचि-सींचि प्रेम-बेलि बोई।|
अब तो बेल फैल गयी आणंद फल होई ||
मेरे तो…..
तात मात भ्रात बन्धु आपनो न कोई |
छांड़ि दई कुलकी कानि कहा करिहै कोई॥ ||
मेरे तो……
चुनरी के किये टूक ओढ़ लीन्ही लोई |
मोती मूंगे उतार बनमाला पोई |

The only one for me is Giridhar Gopal (=Krishna the cowherd, who held up a mountain)
the one with the crown of peacock feathers is my husband.

I watered the creeper of love with my tears,
now that the creeper has spread, there are flowers of happiness.

Father, mother, brother, friend – I have no one who is mine,
I have left the honour of my family, what can anyone do.

I have forsaken my head scarf and wrapped myself in rough clothing,
I have shed my jewels (pearls & ??) and wear a garland of forest flowers.

I transcribed it myself and then later found the site below which confirms my lyrics. There are a couple of words that I do not know, please do comment with the correct translation if you know it.


Footnote (lyrics):

Here are the some of the lyrics of bhajans in this film from the site www.kavitakosh.org

Jago Bansi Wale :

जागो बंसी वारे जागो मोरे ललन।
रजनी बीती भोर भयो है घर घर खुले किवारे।
गोपी दही मथत सुनियत है कंगना के झनकारे।
उठो लालजी भोर भयो है सुर नर ठाढ़े द्वारे ।
ग्वाल बाल सब करत कोलाहल जय जय सबद उचारे ।
मीरा के प्रभु गिरधर नागर शरण आया कूं तारे ॥

Pyare Darsan Dijyo :

प्यारे दरसन दीज्यो आय, तुम बिन रह्यो न जाय॥
जल बिन कमल, चंद बिन रजनी। ऐसे तुम देख्यां बिन सजनी॥
आकुल व्याकुल फिरूं रैन दिन, बिरह कलेजो खाय॥
दिवस न भूख, नींद नहिं रैना, मुख सूं कथत न आवै बैना॥
कहा कहूं कछु कहत न आवै, मिलकर तपत बुझाय॥
क्यूं तरसावो अंतरजामी, आय मिलो किरपाकर स्वामी॥
मीरां दासी जनम जनम की, पड़ी तुम्हारे पाय॥

शब्दार्थ :- रजनी =रात्रि। सजनी =दासी। कलेजो खाय = बिरह कलेजे को मरण जैसी पीड़ा पहुंचा रहा है। बैना = बचन। पाय =चरण।

Bala Main Baragan Hoongi :

बाला मैं बैरागण हूंगी।
जिन भेषां म्हारो साहिब रीझे, सोही भेष धरूंगी।
सील संतोष धरूँ घट भीतर, समता पकड़ रहूंगी।
जाको नाम निरंजन कहिये, ताको ध्यान धरूंगी।
गुरुके ग्यान रंगू तन कपड़ा, मन मुद्रा पैरूंगी।
प्रेम पीतसूँ हरिगुण गाऊँ, चरणन लिपट रहूंगी।
या तन की मैं करूँ कीगरी, रसना नाम कहूंगी।
मीरा के प्रभु गिरधर नागर, साधां संग रहूंगी।

Jo Tum Todo Piya :

जो तुम तोडो पियो मैं नही तोडू। तोरी प्रीत तोडी कृष्ण कोन संग जोडू
॥ध्रु०॥
तुम भये तरुवर मैं भई पखिया। तुम भये सरोवर मैं तोरी मछिया॥ जो०॥१॥
तुम भये गिरिवर मैं भई चारा। तुम भये चंद्रा हम भये चकोरा॥ जो०॥२॥
तुम भये मोती प्रभु हम भये धागा। तुम भये सोना हम भये स्वागा॥ जो०॥३॥
बाई मीरा कहे प्रभु ब्रजके बाशी। तुम मेरे ठाकोर मैं तेरी दासी॥ जो०॥४॥

Karuna Suno Shyam Mori :

करुणा सुणो स्याम मेरी, मैं तो होय रही चेरी तेरी॥

दरसण कारण भई बावरी बिरह-बिथा तन घेरी।
तेरे कारण जोगण हूंगी, दूंगी नग्र बिच फेरी॥
कुंज बन हेरी-हेरी॥

अंग भभूत गले मृगछाला, यो तप भसम करूं री।
अजहुं न मिल्या राम अबिनासी बन-बन बीच फिरूं री॥
रोऊं नित टेरी-टेरी॥

जन मीरा कूं गिरधर मिलिया दुख मेटण सुख भेरी।
रूम रूम साता भइ उर में, मिट गई फेरा-फेरी॥
रहूं चरननि तर चेरी॥

शब्दार्थ :- बावरी =पगली। सुणी =सुनी। जोगण = योगिनी। नग्र बिच = नगर में भभूत =भस्म, राख। यो तन =यह शरीर। टेरि-टेरि = पुकार-पुकारकर सुख भरि = सुख देने वाले। रूम-रूम =रोम-रोम। साता =शांन्ति। फेरा-फेरी =आना-जाना, जनम-मरण।

Badal Dekh Dari :

बादल देख डरी हो, स्याम, मैं बादल देख डरी
श्याम मैं बादल देख डरी
काली-पीली घटा ऊमड़ी बरस्यो एक घरी
जित जाऊं तित पाणी पाणी हुई सब भोम हरी
जाके पिया परदेस बसत है भीजे बाहर खरी
मीरा के प्रभु गिरधर नागर कीजो प्रीत खरी
श्याम मैं बादल देख डरी

Chakar Rakho Ji :

स्याम! मने चाकर राखो जी
गिरधारी लाला! चाकर राखो जी।
चाकर रहसूं बाग लगासूं नित उठ दरसण पासूं।
ब्रिंदाबन की कुंजगलिन में तेरी लीला गासूं।।
चाकरी में दरसण पाऊँ सुमिरण पाऊँ खरची।
भाव भगति जागीरी पाऊँ, तीनूं बाता सरसी।।
मोर मुकुट पीताम्बर सोहै, गल बैजंती माला।
ब्रिंदाबन में धेनु चरावे मोहन मुरलीवाला।।
हरे हरे नित बाग लगाऊँ, बिच बिच राखूं क्यारी।
सांवरिया के दरसण पाऊँ, पहर कुसुम्मी सारी।
जोगी आया जोग करणकूं, तप करणे संन्यासी।
हरी भजनकूं साधू आया ब्रिंदाबन के बासी।।
मीरा के प्रभु गहिर गंभीरा सदा रहो जी धीरा।
आधी रात प्रभु दरसन दीन्हें, प्रेमनदी के तीरा।।

Ranaji Mhain Tho :

राणाजी, म्हे तो गोविन्द का गुण गास्यां।
चरणामृत को नेम हमारे, नित उठ दरसण जास्यां॥

हरि मंदर में निरत करास्यां, घूंघरियां धमकास्यां।
राम नाम का झाझ चलास्यां भवसागर तर जास्यां॥

यह संसार बाड़ का कांटा ज्या संगत नहीं जास्यां।
मीरा कहै प्रभु गिरधर नागर निरख परख गुण गास्यां॥

शब्दार्थ :- गास्यां =गाऊंगी। दरसण जास्यां =दर्शन करने जाऊंगी। निरत =नृत्य। झाझ =जहाज। ज्या =जिस।

Mere Tho Girdhar Gopal full version :

मेरे तो गिरधर गोपाल दूसरो न कोई॥
जाके सिर है मोरपखा मेरो पति सोई।
तात मात भ्रात बंधु आपनो न कोई॥
छांड़ि दई कुलकी कानि कहा करिहै कोई॥
संतन ढिग बैठि बैठि लोकलाज खोई॥
चुनरीके किये टूक ओढ़ लीन्हीं लोई।
मोती मूंगे उतार बनमाला पोई॥
अंसुवन जल सींचि-सींचि प्रेम-बेलि बोई।
अब तो बेल फैल गई आणंद फल होई॥
दूधकी मथनियां बड़े प्रेमसे बिलोई।
माखन जब काढ़ि लियो छाछ पिये कोई॥
भगति देखि राजी हुई जगत देखि रोई।
दासी मीरा लाल गिरधर तारो अब मोही॥

शब्दार्थ :- कानि =मर्यादा, लोकलाज। अंसुवन जल = अश्रुरूपी जल से। आणद =आनन्दमय। फल =परिणाम। राजी =खुश। रोई =दुखी हुई।

9 Comments

Filed under Bhajan, Bollywood 70's Music, Vani Jayaram

9 responses to “Listening to : Meera (1979)

  1. jay

    Hello there. Nice post but the lyrics here seem to be quite different from those in the movie. Pretty strange. See for example

    Bala main bairagan hoongi – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxXeIU2e974

    Karuna suno Shyam mori – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8Pry7E4bvg&feature=player_detailpage

    • You are right Jay. I did not have time to check out word for word every song when I wrote the post but I noticed the differences anyway. That’s why I had written on my post that the words are not verified. I think for the film they might have made some modifications, replacing some Rajasthani words with some Hindi ones for example or changing words slighly to fit the tunes.

      • jay

        But ma’am they appear to have made serious modifications to the lyrics. In most songs there seem to be nothing in common beyond the first one or two lines. I suppose this was for commercial reasons, probably the original meera lyrics would be too much(heavy) for audiences even replacing rajasthani words. I suppose we have to take what we get.

  2. Narasimha Raj

    Suja, I was reading your ‘posts’ on Bhajans. I’d love (& I’m sure a lot more would too) to read your ‘post’ on the Kabhirdas Bhajan “Bhajore Rama Govinda Hari .. .” sung by MSS – which I listen to every morning as one of the tracks in the Devotional Songs on my Media Library.
    God Bless you.
    Raj

    • This is such a coincidence! I was listening to a katha (upanyasam) by Vishaka Hari and she starts with this bhajan ! I will feature this song one of these days, thank you for the suggestion!
      Cheers. Suja

  3. rajesh chowdhury

    Bala mein bairagan is originally composed by ravi shanker or is it a old folk tune for hundreds of years?

    • Welcome to my blog Rajesh. In the officially released CD (I own it), the credit for all the songs is to Ravi Shankar. I do not know if there was a folk tune; even then as the music director is in overall charge of all the instrumental arrangements etc, he still gets credit for the composition.

  4. Mohak

    Loi is kind of thick cloth or raw cloth

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