Song Sketch

Dheemi Dheemi Bheeni Bheeni – Your Subtle, Supple Fragrance – 1947 Earth

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This song is about Hasan (Rahul Khanna) and his feelings for Shanta (Nandita Das). Hasan, a masseur by profession, probably understand and sees things in his kind of way. For Hasan, Shanta is fragrance and her fragrance spreads everywhere; just like the oil spreads its aroma once lit. He is in love with Shanta and thinks about her all the time. But he is shy and all his emotions are buried in his heart, just like aromatic oil in a bottle.

Dheemi dheemi bheeni bheeni khushabu hai tera badan
Sulage mehke, pighale daehke kyon na behke mera mann

Your body exudes subtle, supple fragrance
It melts and fills the air as your beauty lights it
It makes my mind sway with intoxication

This song is from the movie 1947: Earth (1998). It is sung by Hariharan and the music is composed by A.R. Rahman while the lyrics are written by Javed Akhtar.

It starts with Hariharan’s humming and subtle sounds of chirping birds. It gives the feeling of dawn, the beginning of love. There are very less instruments used in this song and yet the notes cast a spell. What a way to string the wonderful words to the tune!

Wo chali hawa ke nasha ghula
Hai sama bhi jaise dhuan dhuan
Tera roop hai ke ye dhoop hai
Khule baal hain ke hain badaliyaan
Tu jo paas hai, mujhe pyaas hai
Tere jism ka ehasaas hai

Look, now the wind blows and the fragrance just fused in it
And the smoke from that lit fragrance has enveloped this moment
Is this the sunlight or is it the luster of your beauty!
Are these dark clouds or did you just open your dark, curly tresses
Your closeness makes me thirsty for love
And makes me aware of your fragrant body

Hariharan makes this song his. He rules in this one like the king of romantic melody. Soft, subtle and fragrant (just like the song).

Saans bhi jaise ruk si jaati hai
Tu jo paas aye to aanch aati hai
Dil ki dhadakan bhi mere seene mein ladakhadaati hai
Ye tera tan badan kaisi hai ye agan
Thandak hai jism tu woh aag hai
Balakhaati hai jo tu laharaati hai jo tu
Lagata hai ye badan ek raag hai

My breath falters and I feel the blaze when you come near me
My heartbeat loses control of itself and it trips inside my chest
What kind of a fire is your body? Your body is just like a cool fire
When you surge and sway, it feels as if your body is like a melody

The second stanza was not featured in the film. It is a little different from the first stanza in terms of tunes. It is livelier than the first and we can even hear it in the singer’s voice. The lyrics too are a little lighter as compared to the first stanza (which was more romantic).

Visually, the song is simple. Rahul Khanna plays his part well in the song; the way he looks at the heroine, his shyness and his smile go well with the character he plays. Nandita Das looks apt in the character of Shanta, the ayah. She is perky and energetic and completely oblivious to Hasan’s feelings (or at least she shows that she is).

The song ends in a sweet whistle, like the evening bird sings while returning to his nest. Overall, a romantic, sweet song, which I’m sure you’ll hum for days after listening to it.

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