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!