Jaan Pehechaan Ho, Again

I’ve a tendency not to close my old posts. The way I see it, if someone finds something worth leaving a comment, then the age of the post really doesn’t matter. The nice reward for this is when I’m not only reminded of older topics, but inspired to do a newer post on the same or similar subject.

And so, when a reader named Sarah left a comment on a post from last August, I took it as a bit of a challenge. Obviously, she’s yet another fan of that fabulous slice of Bollywood awesome known to some as “Jaan Pehechaan Ho” (from the Indian horror-musical (?), Gumnaan) and known to most as the hyper-kinetic movie clip that inspires Thora Birch to cut loose during the opening credits of Ghost World. But specifically, she was wanting to know the rest of the lyrics. In English. Hmm.

Spooky.

The title of the original post was all I knew of the translation. “If I knew you, living would be easy.” But what comes after?

Well, the first good source for an answer to this question is Sepia Mutiny. Sepia Mutiny is a great blog that I don’t read nearly enough. After all, without them, I would’ve never heard about the music-stealing treachery committed by The Black Eye Peas. (For shame, Will.I.Am.)

So Sepia Mutiny’s take on it goes like this …

If I knew you,
living would be easy.
All you heart-stealers,
don’t hide your eyes too—
at least tell me your name.

Heart-stealers. That’s pretty awesome.

Elsewhere on the Interwebs, I’ve found another variation on the first couple of lines. The differences aren’t great, but interesting all the same.

If we come to know each other,
Life will be a little easier

But neither of these finds offers everything that we’re looking for. Translating a couple of lines is great, particularly when you’ve no grasp of the language what-so-ever. We’re still left on our own to wonder about the rest.

Luckilly, I’ve found a cached AOL Video page via Google that offers a lot more information. The original link is dead. Now, I have no reason to believe this translation is true. But I’ve no reason to believe otherwise, either.

Let’s get to know each other
Life would become easier
You who have stolen my heart
Do no be so elusive
At least tell me your name

May this wonderful evening
Not pass unavailed
For it will not return
On anyone’s call
Whether you speak or not
Your message is clear

The hard blow fell
Right on my heart
Stolen glances,
Impassioned looks
Let this small matter
Not become a huge tale

Now we’re getting somewhere. In fact, I was ready to call this quest over and done, but then I found one more trove of Hindi-English treasure. In a comment on a blog entitled There Is No Cat, someone seems to have taken the task of translating as a personal project. His (or her) output is very literal, but in light of the other attempts, it only adds to our understanding. So for the final word (or something close to it), on the meaning of this song, we turn to the mysterious “N.S.”

Jaan Pehchaan Ho (If There Would Be References (Contacts Or Knowhows))
Jeena Asaan Ho (Life Would Be Simple)
Dil Ko Churane Walo, Aankh Na Churao (Oh You Stealer Of Heart… Dont Avoid Eye Contact..)
Naam To Batao…. ((At Least) Tell Your Name..)
Haha Jaan Pehchaan Ho..

Haaye, Aaj Ye Shaam Jawa….(Oh, Today This Young Evening..)
Yun Na Chali Jaye….(May Not Go Away Just Like This (Redundantly))
Aaj Ye Shaam Jawa….(Today This Young Evening..)
Yun Na Chali Jaye….(May Not Go Away Just Like This (Redundantly))

Fir Se Na Aayegi Ye, Kisi Ke Bulaye… (It Will Not Come Back, By Anybodys Calling…)
Fir Se Na Aayegi Ye, Kisi Ke Bulaye… (It Will Not Come Back, By Anybodys Calling…)
Fir Se Na Aayegi Ye, Kisi Ke Bulaye… (It Will Not Come Back, By Anybodys Calling…)
Yeaaahh… Hooh Hooh Jaan Pehchaan Ho..

Bolo Ye Na Bolo Tum… (You Say This Or Not…)
Ho Gaye Ishare.. (Hints Have Been Passed..)
Bolo Ye Na Bolo Tum… (You Say This Or Not…)
Ho Gaye Ishare.. (Hints Have Been Passed..)

Seedhi Seedhi Chot Lagi, Dil Pe Hamare… (Straight Straight Harm Struck, To My Heart…)
Seedhi Seedhi Chot Lagi, Dil Pe Hamare… (Straight Straight Harm Struck, To My Heart…)
Seedhi Seedhi Chot Lagi, Dil Pe Hamare… (Straight Straight Harm Struck, To My Heart…)
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaa Huh Huh Huh Huh… Jaan Pehchaan Ho..

Oh, Chup Chup, Dekha Dekhi.. (Oh, Silent Silent, Watching, Watching…)
Nazren Diwani… (By The Mad Mad Eyes….)

Zara Si Ye Bat, Ban Jaye Na Kahani (This Little Talk, May Not Become A Story)
Zara Si Ye Bat, Ban Jaye Na Kahani (This Little Talk, May Not Become A Story)
Zara Si Ye Bat, Ban Jaye Na Kahani (This Little Talk, May Not Become A Story)
Haaaaye Ooh Ooh Ah Ah Ah… Jaan Pehchaan Ho…

So there you have it. The deeper meaning of Mohammed Rafi’s “Jaan Pehechaan Ho,” now filled with more longing and unrequited admiration than anyone ever thought possible.

Too much analysis? Would you rather just dance? Well, don’t let me stop you …

(This clip is part of a series called “Bollywood A Go Go,” all compiled by YouTube user BossBeat.)

  • Sarah

    Oh man, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I really appreciate it! I didn’t expect YOU to translate the WHOLE THING for me!

    If you don’t mind me asking, I take it you know Hindi? Because I really want to learn. I’ve wanted to for the longest time but could never find anything in my price range to self teach. And I’ve been looking in the language departments at colleges and can only find like, French and Spanish. When, isn’t Hindi a very common language?

    THANKS!!! :)

    Sarah.

  • http://www.grabbingsand.org Thomas

    Well, Sarah, you’re welcome … though I was not the one to do any of the translating. I just did the research through Google and so on. I know only enough Hindi to identify some select articles of Indian clothing.

    Learning Hindi? Hmm. There is a recent startup called Mango that is using Web 2.0 tech to make learning a new language easier. Hindi isn’t in their list just yet, but a scan through their forums reveals that a lot of their users would be all for it.

  • Sarah

    Thanks again!

  • http://www.aro2220.com Aro2220

    Awesome, I love this song. Thanks for the translation, literal and otherwise.

  • Ashok Nayak

    I came across this blog by chance and being Indian and knowing hindi, let me try giving a better translation. The last translation posted here is quite literal – and literally misses the flavour of the song. Please note that the chief problem in translating from Hindi to English is the difference in sentence structure. Also, the same word may have different nuances based on the context and there may be an implied meaning behind what the words literally say. Anyways, here’s my attempt at a more meaningful translation. Please note that I have included the implied meaning in curly brackets {} – even if they are not part of the actual sentence.

    Hindi:
    Jaan Pehchaan Ho
    Jeena Asaan Ho
    Dil Ko Churane Walo, Aankh Na Churao
    Naam To Batao

    English:
    I wish we knew each other a bit better
    Living {a pain!} would be a bit easier
    All you stealers of my heart, don’t steal your glances away {don’t be shy}
    At least, tell me your name {before you go away}

    Hindi:
    Haaye
    Aaj Ye Shaam Jawa
    Yun Na Chali Jaye
    (Aaj Ye Shaam Jawa
    Yun Na Chali Jaye)
    Fir Se Na Aayegi Ye, Kisi Ke Bulaye
    (Fir Se Na Aayegi Ye, Kisi Ke Bulaye)
    (Fir Se Na Aayegi Ye, Kisi Ke Bulaye)

    English:
    Haaye (an exclamation similar to OMG!)
    Tonight, the night is {still} so young
    Let it not go to waste
    – Repeat –
    It won’t come back, no matter who calls
    – Repeat –
    – Repeat –

    Hindi:
    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah!
    Jaan Pehchaan ho….

    English:
    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah! (dat’s obvious, right?!)
    (Main verse)

    Hindi:
    Bolo Ye Na Bolo Tum
    Ho Gaye Ishare
    (Bolo Ye Na Bolo Tum
    Ho Gaye Ishare)
    Seedhi Seedhi Chot Lagi, Dil Pe Hamare
    (Seedhi Seedhi Chot Lagi, Dil Pe Hamare)
    (Seedhi Seedhi Chot Lagi, Dil Pe Hamare)

    English:
    Whether you say it or not
    You did give me signs {that you do want me}
    – Repeat –
    You wounded me badly baby, Right on my heart
    – Repeat –
    – Repeat –

    Hindi:
    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah!
    Jaan Pehchaan ho….

    English:
    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah!
    (Main verse)

    Hindi:
    Chup Chup, Dekha Dekhi
    Nazren Diwani
    (Chup Chup, Dekha Dekhi
    Nazren Diwani)
    Zara Si Ye Bat, Ban Jaye Na Kahani
    (Zara Si Ye Bat, Ban Jaye Na Kahani)
    (Zara Si Ye Bat, Ban Jaye Na Kahani)

    English:
    Silent stolen glances
    Crazy loving glances
    – Repeat –
    Such a little matter {You temptress, beware!}
    May become a whole story {the start of a new relationship}
    – Repeat –
    – Repeat –

    Hindi:
    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah!
    Jaan Pehchaan ho….

    English:
    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah!
    (Main verse)

    I hope the above does justice to this great song. If anyone is into old style Bollywood rock and roll (basically the ’60s), I would be happy to introduce other such songs (along with the translations, of course!).

    Cheers!

    Ashok

  • Ing My Butt

    Awesome! Thanks for this post! :)

  • Pizzarodin

    How I love this clip/song but I always feel a need to rush to a chiropractor afterward! Thanks for the translation. Talk about some major lusting – who knew?

  • Chris

    I just became aware of this treasure. Thank you so much for locating the translation. Now that I have the melody stuck in my head, at least I know what it means! :)

  • Thanks For Being Cool

     Just chiming in because this post must not die (ever) and because you, main blogger-person, are a great writer. 

    Cool.

  • cat

    Thats so super cool!  I watch Ghost World every day and this song gets stuck in my head ALL! THE! TIME!  I love that I now know what he’s singing.  Super cool!!  THANX!!

  • Sarah

    Wonderful site!  Thank you so much for your great analysis!  I have a Bollywood radio show that I host at my college radio station, and I’m going to play “Jaan Pehechaan Ho” this week.  It’s great to know that I can share a little of its meaning to my listeners.  I’ll be sure to mention your blog!

  • Anonymous

    I am here because, I, as a result of the beer ad with Jaan Pehechaan Ho, became curious to know more about the song.  Love the dance scene from the movie with the song, and watched it 3 or 4 times in a row the day I found it.  Awesome.  Thanks for the info.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Found this awesome blog while searching for more info on Jaan Pehechaan Ho.   And, I am a huge Elbow fan, so imagine my joy in seeing the Bones of You lyric in your blog subtitle (Cramming commitments like cats in a sack).  Bonus points there.  My lucky day!

  • http://kittehboi.blogspot.com Breezy

    This song kicks butt!  It looks like the youtube account was shut down but there are other copies of the video there.

  • Prateek

    What kind of bollywood music you play at your station

  • Dtmooersiii

    How about a real translation seeing the Heineken is making big bucks off a great song.

  • Itzquiz

    Thank you so much iv’e been trying to find this for awhile…..Again thanks..

  • Shanakupipeworks

    There is a an English subtitled showing to the Movie here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HZ442KmeSE 

    The song starts at about 7 minutes.
    It has all the lyrics!

  • Stringerjaime

    I just saw this on a beer commercial like a year ago and I always liked it. I’m glad I found this translation. I was curious about the english lyrics.

  • chris

    That is awsome thank you so much for writing this.

  • Shanakupipeworks

    hmmm the link still works for me but to make sure the info gets in, here is a transcription in English:

    (musical intro)

    “lets know one another”
    “let your life be easy”

    “lets know one another”"let your life be easy”

    “One who stole my heart… don’t steal my gaze”
    “tell me your name!

    (repeat)

    “lets know one another”"let your life be easy”(musical refrain)”This vibrant evening should not be wasted”"This vibrant evening should not be wasted”"it will never come again, even if you call for it”"it will never come again, even if you call for it” ”it will never come again, even if you call for it” yeah…hu..hu”lets know one another”
    “let your life be easy”

    “lets know one another”"let your life be easy”

    “One who stole my heart… don’t steal my gaze”
    “tell me your name!”

    “lets know one another”"let your life be easy”(musical refrain)”accept it or not…there will be vibes”"accept it or not…there will be vibes” ”it directly pierced my heart”"it directly pierced my heart” ”it directly pierced my heart” hu ..huh..huh..huh..huh”lets know one another”"let your life be easy”"lets know one another”
    “let your life be easy”"One who stole my heart… don’t steal my gaze”"tell me your name!”"lets know one another”"let your life be easy”(musical refrain)”this covert eye contact makes my gaze crazy”"this covert eye contact makes my gaze crazy”"this trivial issue should not be the talk of the town”"this trivial issue should not be the talk of the town” ”this trivial issue should not be the talk of the town” ha-00 00 ha ha”lets know one another”"let your life be easy”"lets know one another”
    “let your life be easy”"One who stole my heart… don’t steal my gaze”"tell me your name!”I am sure the translation is lacking but it is another insight into this awesome song.

  • Amazing

    Thanks!  This song grabbed me from the commercial.  I was amazed to find it was recorded in the 60s..  Love both the original dance routine from the old movie and the commercial.  Amazed to find the translations.

    Energy and love the dancers!  Ted Lyons and his Cubs should be in the R&R Hall of Fame.

  • PATRICIA DUNWELL

    REALLY AND TRUELY I REALLY WOULD NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT,JAAN PEHECHAAN HO IT INA WATEVER I DONT EVEN UNDERSTAND SOMBODY PLZ HELP ME UNDERSTAND IN SHORT PLZ BCUZ IT IS REALLY CATCHY

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G2LMPRMSJYP5BENKUA5GWQ42U4 Dream

    Jaan Pehchaan Ho is a classic song from 1965 Indian Movie Gumnaam. Sung by the legendary singer Md. Rafi ( Gods own voice ), composed by Shankar-Jaikishan and writeen by Shailendra. The song is in Hindi language.
     The meaning of the title ”Jaan Pehchaan Ho” – Lets Know each other.”Jeena Aasaan Ho” –  so that life can become easier.”Dil Ko Churaane waale” – O the stealer of heart.”Naam To Batao” – Tell me your name”Here is the wikipedia page for the singer of this song http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Rafi

  • Nelson

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnBbjc5hmho

    I was surprised to see this add. This  is my father’s fav song.

  • Beatwise

    Get this CD compilation:

    http://www.amazon.com/Doob-Rama-Filmsongs-From-Bollywood/dp/B0000259DI

    “Jan Pahechan Ho” is the second song, but beyond that, this is also a killer set of some of the coolest Bollywood obscurata I’ve ever heard. The best one is really “Mujhe Maar Daalo” by Asha Bhosle — her voice is incredible.

  • Don Corleone

    I salute you and your efforts for such a wonderful song.

  • http://www.thebroadcastaways.com/ Yudou Nuomi

    Many thanks!

  • Dream Window

    Well I was looking beyond Jaan Pehchaan Ho, I mean where to head after this song and I found this list. Quiet interesting.

    http://samratvikram.blogspot.in/2013/02/where-to-head-after-jaan-pehchaan-ho.html