Regional Scoop

Navavadhu Priya Mi Baawarte – The Metaphorical Bride – Non Film

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There’s always a reason why a song imprints on your mind and becomes a memory. Sometimes you fall in love with the melody, or the way the singer has sung the song, or in some cases how it is picturized. There are times when we are in a situation which the song describes correctly and many more.

Then there are times that you understand the real meaning of a song (even if you have heard it n number of times before). This is the moment that you look at the song in a completely new light and the meaning changes altogether. I call such moments as the ‘Aha moment’ where you are dumbfounded and cannot utter a single word.

This song comes under that category. Here, if we listen to the song we feel as if a new bride is singing this song for her husband. She is scared to enter the new world and leave everything she knew and thought was hers. She is scared to cross the road and go beyond her world to where she actually belongs.

Very few people know that this song is actually about a soul talking to the Almighty. The soul (referred as the newlywed wife) has experienced death and has left the body. But it is still on this earth, wandering aimlessly.
The ‘navavadhu’, meaning the bride, is used as a metaphor. Now, when we hear the song after knowing the real meaning, it takes an entirely new meaning.

This song was penned by noted Marathi poet B. R. Tambe (Bha Ra Tambe). It was turned into a song by composer Vasant Prabhu and Lata Mangeshkar lent her voice for the same. It comes under the category of Bhaavgeet, but many feel it should be categorized as Bhaktigeet because it is in a way a plea to God to help rescue the soul.

Navavadhu priya mi baawarate
Laajate, pudhe sarate, firate

Like a newly wedded wife, I wander baffled
I’m a little shy, yet I inch forward little by little

Kale mala tu praan sakha jari
Kale tuch aadhaar sukha jari
Tuj waachuni sansaar fuka jari
Man jawal yaawaya gaangarate

I know that you are my life
I know that you are the reason for my happiness
There is no meaning to my world without you
Yet, my mind falters to come near you

Mala yethala laagala lalaa
Saasari nighata daatato galaa
Baag bagicha yethala malaa
Sodita kase man characharate

I love my world; the one which I knew before knowing you
My heart becomes heavy and a lump comes to my throat
When I think of leaving my world
This beautiful garden of which I think I am a fruit

Jeev manichya mani talamale
Waate bandhan karuni mokale
Palat nighaawe tujajawal pale
Pari kaay karu ? Uri dhadadhadte

It feels as if my soul is trapped in this place and I am restless
I want to break all the shackles and run towards you, to be with you
But what can I do as my heart pounds at the slightest thought of doing so

Ata tuch bhay laaj hari re
Dheer deuni ne navari re
Bharot bharatil netr jari re
Kal palabhar maatr khare ghar te

Now only you can save me from this
Hold my hand and make me fearless
Even if the eyes are filled with tears
This pain, though enormous, would be momentary
But take me to my real home where I will find eternal happiness

Look at the careful selection of words and the order in which each stanza follows the other, pure genius! There is a definite flow to it and as the story (of the soul) moves towards its ultimate destination, so does the song. The poet manages to deceive us at every step and we naively believe that it is a new bride’ romantic appeal to her husband.

Even the music director becomes a part of this charade and sets a tune so alike a romantic song. Furthermore, the arrangement of the song, the instruments and the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the song make us feel like we are listening to a sweet, romantic song. Gee, what a song!

This song also shows us about that we are so entangled in our world (which is just a mirage) that we do not see that our ultimate destination is union with the Supreme Being. These attachments make us weak and show us how feeble our thirst to unite with our maker is!


  1. Sanjeev C. Bhatkar

    April 2, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    To be frank I too knew true meaning of this song today at this moment. Indeed entire song happens to be ” deceptive ” due to use of newly wed bride , ( her thouht-process and her obvious behaviour ) in order to bring similarity to the symptoms / behviour usually shown by person at ” the End ” of his / her life ( just before eternal SOUL leaves body and experienced by us (who can be called survivors but who are certain to leave this world sooner / later after that dead person ). I am grateful to you for considaring this eternal song for enlightening me and others like me about ultimate truth of our life. Regards.

    • Aditi Thakur

      April 2, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      Thank you so much Sanjeev ji for your kind and encouraging words. We try our best to bring good and entertaining content for our readers.

  2. Rashmi B.

    April 3, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Very beautifully explained,the true meaning of this song.Readers of both generations,who grew up with this song and now who are listening to it will be very happy to understand the real meaning.I remember my mother had told me the spiritual meaning of this song,but i had discarded the meaning,now after reading it i really felt,how foolish i was that time,but okay…the age was like that.Thanks Aditi for sharing real meaning.Now with a new understanding i will listen it again.Thanks once again.

    • Aditi Thakur

      April 5, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Thank you for your appreciation. Some songs have a story of their own to tell and carry a strong message. This one definitely had a strong one. I’m glad you liked it.

  3. Mohan

    April 15, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    What was the age of the poet when he penned it down? Your interpretation does create that sort of dilemmas in the double meaning, but to me it does not appear to be so. Mr. Tambe was a romantic poet, and later turned more devotional. (Ref: madhu ghatachi rikame–)
    Most important,ly a devotee by his own choice and very hard meditation wants union with God, It happens after years of penance with the help of Guru, and when that happens will be absolutely very very happy and no question of tears or sort of grief of losing anything.

  4. Amogha

    January 28, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    What a beautiful explanation. Although I was raised a maharashtrian, its sad that my Marathi is not good. I remember singing this at my cousin’s wedding, all the while not knowing what it meant. Thank you so much for this beautiful explanation <3

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