Song Sketch

Luka Chhuppi – A Tearful Game This! – Rang De Basanti

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This song from the film Rang De Basanti (2006) is a very emotional song. It takes you through the journey of a mother who has lost her son while serving his motherland. The song starts with a somber note and instantly we know that we are in for a tearful ride. A mother (Waheeda Rahman) is seen waiting for her son (R. Madhavan). There are tears in her eyes as she is going to meet him after a long time, but the tears are not of joy as her son has come back wrapped in the Indian Flag never to meet her again.

She is handed over the flag and she is shattered. The last rites are being performed in front of her eyes and she stands there stunned, in complete disbelief. A hope flickering in her heart that maybe all this is untrue and that her son has gone only to come back to her as usual.

Luka chuppi bahut hui
Saamne aa ja naa
Kahan kahan dhoondha tujhe
Thak gayi hai ab teri maa
Aaja saanjh hui mujhe teri fikar
Dhundhla gayi dekh meri nazar
Aa ja naa

You have played this game of hide and seek with me for a long time,
But now it is enough, come in front of me
I have searched for you everywhere
And now I am tired
It’s evening and I’m worried about you
Look my eyesight has become hazy
Come to me my dear child

Aren’t these the usual lines that we all have heard from our mothers? They seem so usual and a day-to-day conversation. But delving deep we understand the meaning of these lines and it brings a tear to the eyes. How deeply the mother is shocked and is expecting her son to come back and urging him to do so! She beseeches him that she has become old (aaja shaam hui) and that her eyesight has now become hazy. Now is the time that the son should take care of her. But her son has given his life for his motherland and has achieved martyrdom (of which his mother is proud, but she has not come to terms with it fully, as yet).

Kya bataoon maa kahan hoon main
Yahan udne ko mere khula aasman hai
Tere kisson jaisa bhola
Salona jahaan hai yahan sapno waala
Meri patang ho befikar udd rahi hai maa
Dor koi loote nahin beech se kaate naa

Maa, how should I tell you where I am
Here I have the open, endless sky to fly
Just like in your stories
This dream world here is innocent
Maa, my kite is flying high here
And no one can cut its strings and rob me off my joy

The son here, who is dead, is trying to reach out to his mother; to consol her that he has reached a better place than the earth. He explains that he has a beautiful, limitless sky to fly and it is very similar to the stories that his mother had told him when he was a young boy. No one can hurt him there. That she should not worry about him anymore. He is very happy now.

The lyrics are so delicately put that one becomes afraid of singing it as you cannot stop the tears rolling from your eyes and keep on wondering how to get rid of that lump in your throat! To top it, A.R. Rahman waves his wand and spins magic. It does not stop there; he lends his own voice along with the queen of melody Lata Mangeshkar.

Teri raah takke aakhiyan
Jaane kaisa kaisa hoye jeeya
Dheere dheere aangan utre andhera
Mera deep kahan
Dhalke suraj kare ishara
Chanda tu hai kahan
Mere chanda tu hai kahan

My eyes are waiting for your mere sight
My heart is going through a wave of emotions
The darkness of the evening is creeping in slowly
Where are you, my bright light?
The setting sun is telling me subtly that the night is here
But the moon has not risen yet
My moon, where are you!

No matter what reasons we give, does the mother ever listen? Then how will she listen to you when you have gone forever! She still tells him that her eyes only long for his sight. Her heart aches for him, she is scared that he has not come back still. The sun of her life has set and the moon is nowhere to be seen, leaving her in complete darkness. Oh, how she longs for her moon…

The preludes and interludes, although sound simple, are actually very tricky. They sound as though it is a lullaby and are made up of happy notes, but they are juxtaposed with the emotional notes and combined with the sentimental lyrics and suddenly we find ourselves lost in a wonderland, alone and sad.

Kaise tujhko dikhaon yahan hai kya
Maine jharne se pani maa
Todh ke piya hai
Guchcha guchcha kar khwaabon ka
Uchal ke chhuva hai
Chaya liye bhali dhoop yahan hai
Naya naya sa hai roop yahan
Yahan sab kuch hai maa phir bhi
Lage bin tere mujhko akela

How do I show you this place!
I have quenched my thirst from a waterfall
I’ve collected and drunk that
I have made a bunch of my dreams and
I’ve jumped and touched them
There is sun shining yet there is a cool shade everywhere
Everything is new here
This place has everything, maa
But, I feel lonely without you

The son tells her that the place where he has reached is very beautiful and he is enjoying the new things over there. He has actually realized all his dreams at once. The sun there never sets yet there is the pleasant shade everywhere, making the place mesmerizing, yet, he feels lonely as his mother is not there.

Every mother who sends her child in the armed forces is a lioness. She knows what is coming her way. Yet, when the day arrives, she is shattered into million little pieces which no one can collect. From accepting the tricolor to going through the son’s belongings she goes through a rollercoaster ride of emotions that no one can even imagine.

Aaja saanjh hui mujhe teri fikar
Dhundhla gayi dekh meri nazar
Aa ja naa

It’s evening and I’m worried about you
Look my eyesight has become hazy
Come to me, my dear child

All she can do is hope that her child comes back, whereas somewhere in the corner of her heart she knows the truth that he will never come back to her.

This one is dedicated to all those mothers who are brave at heart and have given birth to such brave men and women of whom the entire nation is proud of.

1 Comment

  1. Navneet Raj

    November 6, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Beautiful explanation! A great command over the language.

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