Song Sketch

Naam Ada Likhna – I Am Spelt Grace – Yahaan

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The moment the song starts we feel as if we too, along with the lead pair Jimmy Shergill and Minissha Lamba, are in a boat rowing through the beautiful Jhelum. The song begins with Shaan’s lines. It gives almost a haunting feeling to the song. The resonance that it creates is simply stunning, feeling as if the notes have dashed against the silent, snow-clad mountains and echoed back.

Rakh saiya ni… rakh saiya ni
Rakh saiya ni jeeve, ab rakhwala jeeve

Poochhe jo koi meri nishaani
Rang heena likhna
Gore badan pe ungli se mera
Naam ada likhna
Kabhi kabhi aas paas chaand rehta hai
Kabhi kabhi aas paas shaam rehti hai

If they ask you my name, tell them
I am the colour of henna
As your fingers trace my fair skin
To write my name, I am spelt grace
Sometimes the moon wanders around me
And at times the dusky evening is embraces me into her arms

This story revolves around a Kashmiri girl Ada (Minissha Lamba) who falls in love with an Army officer Aman (Jimmy Shergill). She lives in the valley amid the high-tension atmosphere, yet is somehow untouched by it. She represents the few people in the region who are still hopeful of a change which would make their home a paradise again.
To add to woes, her brother is declared a terrorist by the army and she is torn between the two beliefs completely. Although a strong headed girl, she is scared to declare her love in front of others and meets her lover secretly. The hero teases her by saying that people have started asking him questions regarding his lady love and through this song she tells him what his answer should be if people ask him for her identity.

Aao naa aao naa Jhelum mein beh lenge
Waadi ke mausam bhi ik din toh badalenge
Kabhi kabhi aas paas chaand rehta hai
Kabhi kabhi aas paas shaam rehti hai

Come, she says, let us float on this beautiful Jhelum river. Why do you think about the tensed atmosphere which is created by humans? Enjoy the beautiful nature of the valley; it will be restored to its glory one day and love will find its right place. Till then enjoy what we have.

Aaun toh subah, jaaun toh mera
Naam sabah likhna
Barf pade toh barf pe mera
Naam dua likhna
Zara zara aag waag paas rehti hai
Zara zara kaangdi ki aanch rehti hai

When I arrive, call me morning
Write my name as night when I leave
When it snows, put my name as prayer in the fallen snow
Sometimes there is the blaze of the fire wrapped around me
And sometimes I am like the warm glow of the embers in the kangri

So beautifully a woman is described here. She is the morning, the night, the silent prayer of the soul. She sometimes is like the hot blaze of the fire; beware! Yet, at times she is like the soft warmth coming from the half-burnt coal in an earthen pot on a cold night.

Shaamein bujhane aati hai raatein
Raatein bujhane tum aa gaye ho

The night arrives and erases traces of the evening
But you have come in my life to erase the darkness of the night

Jab tum hanste ho din ho jaata hai
Tum gale lago toh din so jata hai
Doli uthaye aayega din toh
Paas bitha lena
Kal jo mile toh maathe pe mere
Sooraj uga dena
Zara zara aas paas dhoop rahegi
Zara zaea aas paas rang rahenge

When you laugh, my day fills up with sunshine
When you hide me in your embrace, the day sleeps into the arms of the night
And when the day comes like a newly-wed wife
Make me sit next to you, hold my hand
And if you happen to find ‘Tomorrow’
Let it shine like a Sun on my forehead

If they ask you about me, tell them that
Sometimes they will find that the sun shines around me
And at times I will be seen in the prism of colours of this nature

Only Gulzar can write a line which says “din so jaata hai” instead of “raat ho jaati hai.” The music by Shantanu Moitra is mind blowing. This entire album is surely one of his best and will remain so for a long time. The melody of this song slowly lulls you into its serenity and we find solace in the music, the words, the magic. The minimum use of instruments enhances the song to a different level altogether.
The silken voice of Shreya Ghoshal is in its full innocence, which was actually required for this particular character Ada. It is juxtaposed with Shaan’s matured voice something which is seen in the situation in the movie too. Moitra’s attention to these little details gives this song the ability to become a classic.

So just put yourself in the “kashti” of Gulzar saab and let it float aimlessly in Shantanu Moitra’s stream of music.


  1. Priteem

    August 10, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Although I understand Hindi, I couldn’t get the meaning of the song completely. With your translation and explanation, it is one of the most beautiful lyrics I have ever heard of.

    I thank you for this.

    • Aditi Thakur

      August 13, 2019 at 12:32 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words. We are glad you liked it 🙂

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