Itne bazoo, itne sar…

One of my favourite songs, ever, is from the Hindi film Main Azaad Hoon. Itne bazoo, itne sar brings tears to my eyes, just about every time. This song is right in line with El pueblo unido jamás será vencido and The Internationale. In fact, you can see the references (certainly to the latter). Itne bazoo, itne sar was written by Kaifi Azmi — one of India’s leading leftist poets of recent times. Javed Akhtar (his son-in-law) wrote the screenplay, and I’m certain he had a hand in the lyrics of the song as well. Amar-Utpal composed the music.

Yet, it’s very hard to find good copies of the video or the song. But just last night, or, to be more accurate, this morning, I found some clips from the film (including the song in a couple of iterations) on YouTube. I also found a high quality mp3 of the song elsewhere. This was really serendipitous.

I’m presenting the clips here with my transcription and (awful) translation of the song — please feel free to correct or help me.

In this scene, the mill workers are demonstrating for a whole set of demands, and the owner — Dhaalchand — is unwilling to grant any of them. He threatens to lock them out, unless they come in and get to work — the workers decide to go on strike (but after a couple of guys almost scab, only to be stopped by one of their wives — this is reminiscent, to say the least, of Salt of the Earth). There are students in the crowd as well, cooperating with the workers. The song begins at about -2:15 (4:10):

itne bazoo itne sar
ginle dushman dehaan se x2
haarega woh har baazi
jab khelen hum jee jaan se x2

All these arms, all these heads
Let the enemy count them closely
He’ll lose every single battle
When we play with our hearts and lives

aao aajayo (jee jaan se!)
jag pe chhaajayo (jee jaan se!) x2

Come, come on (With hearts and lives!)
Overwhelm the world (With hearts and lives!)

maalik ka dhan jo baraye
(jee jaan se!)
mill ka indhan banjaye
(jee jaan se!)
kyon na ek din larjaye
(jee jaan se!)

Those who increase the wealth of the boss
(With hearts and lives!)
Let them become the fuel for the mill
(With hearts and lives!)
Why not take one day to stand and fight?
(With hearts and lives!)

aao aajayo (jee jaan se!)
jag pe chhaajayo (jee jaan se!)

Come, come on (With hearts and lives!)
Overwhelm the world (With hearts and lives!)

ek dunya sang hai
yeh haq ki jang hai x2

A world is with us
This is the war of truth

zaalim se takrana hai
(beshak takrayenge!) x2
jinko jhukna aata hai
(saare sar katjayenge!) x2

We have to collide with the oppressor
(No doubt, we’ll collide!)
Those who know how to bow down
(All their heads will be cut!)

aao aajayo (jee jaan se!)
jag pe chhaajayo (jee jaan se!) x2

Come, come on (With hearts and lives!)
Overwhelm the world (With hearts and lives!)

In this scene, Azaad (Amitabh Bachchan) who, in part, helped inspire and organize the strike, upon listening to the hungry pleas of the children of striking workers, is doubting himself and whether or not what he’s promised the workers will become a reality. The reporter Subhashini (Shabana Azmi — Kaifi Azmi’s daughter), who was jaded and cynical until she saw the sincerity and passion Azaad brings with him, reminds him that she had forgotten what it meant to have ideals and principles until she met him. But, he says, when a hungry child is crying in the night, the night seems very, very dark. The night, she reminds him, is darkest indeed right before dawn.

And, indeed, the next day the workers and students go straight to the people to ask for their help in supporting the strike with money and food, as they sing, at -2:50 (2:47):

itne bazoo itne sar x2
ginle dushman dehaan se
haarega woh har baazi
jab khelen hum jee jaan se

All these arms, all these heads
Let the enemy count them closely
He’ll lose every single battle
When we play with our hearts and lives

itne bazoo itne sar
ginle dushman dehaan se x2
haarega woh har baazi
jab khelen hum jee jaan se x2

All these arms, all these heads
Let the enemy count them closely
He’ll lose every single battle
When we play with our hearts and lives

aao aajayo (jee jaan se!)
jag pe chhaajayo (jee jaan se!) x2

Come, come on (With hearts and lives!)
Overwhelm the world (With hearts and lives!)

(???) ne kuch na samjhi
hum mill bharon ki boli
janta ke paas pohonchi
tab jaake apni dholi

(???) didn’t understand
When the language of us mill workers
Reached the people
Then we got a beat
*

jab janta yeh saat hai
to maidan apne haat hai

When the people are with us
Then the [battle]field is at hand

hum ne sadaa lagayi
(jee jaan se!)
janta madat woh aayi
(jee jaan se!)
aa jeet lo yeh larayi
(jee jaan se!)

We put out our voice
(With hearts and lives!)
The people came to help
(With hearts and lives!)
Come and win this fight
(With hearts and lives!)

itne bazoo itne sar
ginle dushman dehaan se
haarega woh har baazi
jab khelen hum jee jaan se x2

All these arms, all these heads
Let the enemy count them closely
He’ll lose every single battle
When we play with our hearts and lives

*Yeah, I have no idea how to translate this verse. I can’t make out the first word, either.

  del.icio.us this!

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Sheila said,

    October 22, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

    When we play with our hearts and lives!!

  2. 2

    pavan srivastava said,

    January 10, 2008 @ 11:43 am

    Its an awesome song and the movie is just greatttttttttttttttttttttttt :) ….. can u send me the song if possible in mp3 format. I have the movie but need the song in mp3 format.
    Thanks in advance

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Say your words