Why English translations of Bollywood songs ruin the fun

Bollywood should be consumed in VERY small doses IMHO.  Otherwise, one risks becoming angry, irritated, etc. with it’s vacuous portrayals of women, recycled plotlines, and banal dialogue.  A FEW films rise above the junk, to be fair to the industry.  The more Bolly movies I see, the more I understand.  It’s cool, BUT sometimes the songs (esp. when translated) are… cheesy.  Okay, VERY cheesy! 

Do YOU like cheese?  Then read on (for some good laughs)!

A still from Devdas; my mom’s impression: “Oof, that movie hurts my eyes!” (It’s VERY bright, colorful, and melodramatic.)


“A thousand Romeos have been made crazy for love of me.” -Soniye Mil Jaa (Aaja Nachle)

This is my FAVE line from a Bolly song, ever!  Not many ladies can say this-  Elizabeth Taylor maybe? 


“You’re reaching the stars of my heart.  You tell me, after meeting you, why wouldn’t someone lose their life and love to you?” –Tauba Tumhaare Yeh Ishaare (Chalte Chalte)

 What the heck are the stars of someone’s heart!?


“Your heart says beat, beat; my bangles say jingle, jingle.  My god, my god, love has made me helpless.” –Tu Mere Samne (Chori Chori) 

This is one of my fave Bolly songs; the movie resembles While You Were Sleeping.


“Look at this crazy girl- she is ignorant of this world.  A gust of wind will come, and with it- her lover.” –Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka (Devdas)

Yup, that’s how my fam says about me!  LOL!


“You are the flower of his arms.  I am just the dust of his footsteps.” -Dola Re Dola (Devdas)

Chandramukhi (th courtesan in love w/ Devdas) sings this to Parbati (the virgin in love with Devdas); it sounds SAD here in English.  See, you can get affected by this stuff!


“Even if a mirror pays you compliments, my heart says I should break it.” –Tune Zindagi Mein (Humraaz)

This movie is about jealousy; the last half hour is EXACTLY like A Perfect Murder.


“My bracelets say, my bangles say I have become yours, my lover.  Without you in my life, I will die.” –Bole Chudiyan (Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham)

Another one of my fave Hindi songs; this movie is HUGE and all-encompassing (of themes) in typical Bolly movies.  The songs in it are REALLY good!


“The sun dims into twilight; the moon beams shimmer brightly.  I stand still as the earth moves around me.” –Suraj Hua Maddham (K3G)

This isn’t SO bad- it’s romantic. 


“Very troublesome, buddy, very troublesome- a fair, fair face with a dark, dark mole.”  -Badi Mushkil (Lajja)

Yes, I was nearly ROFLMAO when I realized what it meant!!!



Poster for Lajja, a movie that tried to show feminist sensibility, BUT failed miserably!

One thought on “Why English translations of Bollywood songs ruin the fun

  1. I actually thought Lajja wasn’t as bad as most other Bollywood films. It *attempted* to address issues, at the very least. The women spoke up, tried to change their circumstances, etc.

    ***SPOILER AHEAD for anyone who hasn’t seen it and plans to***

    I was annoyed to no end with Rekha’s rape, however. It seems I’ve been seeing Rekha get raped for years in Bollywood movies. I liked some of the twists and such as well. But keeping in mind that progressive films out of Bollywood are in their infancy stage, I was glad I saw it. I do love Manisha Koirala, though, so I might’ve gone into it *wanting* to like it. 🙂

    Thanks for the fun post.


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