The Moon — A Poet’s Delight

Image by Bingo Naranjo from Pixabay

The moon with its waxing and waning has lent itself to many a poem over the millennia. The world over, the moon has been a symbol of romance. From the crescent moon to the full moon, each phase has brought out poets, musicians, and artists galore to depict their version of the moon.

From tidal pulls to howling wolves, the moon is a symbol of love, life, mystery, mystique, and yes, hope!

Little wonder then, that back home in the Hindi film world of India (Bollywood), thousands of songs have been composed with the moon as the central theme. Here I take you through some of my favorite songs by providing translations for a few lines. You will see how beautifully each composer has interlaced the moon into the mood of the song.

From old, slow, and melodious black & white songs of the 1960s to the colorful songs of today, you will see a range of emotions being expressed using the moon as a beautiful aid.

Chaudvin ka chand ho

Movie: Chaudvin ka chand

Are you the full moon, or the Sun
Whatever you may be, I swear to God, you are wonderful

This one is an old classic. Notice the painfully slow movements, the timeless beauty of the heroine by moonlight, the subtle art of wooing the heroine, and the beautiful way in which she is described. The lyrics are perfect and describe her in an achingly beautiful way. Such a lovely throwback to the romance of yesteryears.

Khoya khoya chand

Movie: Kala bazar

The lost lost moon
The open sky
The whole night will fly before our eyes
How can you fall asleep

This song has a mystical and dreamlike quality to it. Again a throwback to the good old B/W cinema days. A simple and gentle number with the hero wooing the heroine without too much fuss. A reminder of authentic times when meaningful lyrics and simplicity were the order of the day.

Ruk ja raat tehere ja re chanda

Movie: Dil ek mandir

Stop o night, stop o moon
May this moment of togetherness not pass
Today in the land of the moonlight
There is a festival of feelings

The song starts after the 1st minute in the clip above. The stage is being set. The hero is not sure when he will see her again. So he wants to see her as she looked on the night of their wedding. She dresses up like a bride and the song attempts to capture their moments together in time.

Chanda re chanda re

Movie: Sapney

Oh moon, oh moon
Come down to the earth sometime
We will sit and talk
If you feel shy come here
Cover yourself with dense clouds when you come

Movies became more colorful, but the moon had its steady place in the songs.

This song is special to me because I sang it a lot (I pity my neighbors) when my daughter was born. For some reason, I identified with this song for the first couple of weeks after my little girl was born. Maybe I felt she was delivered to me on a moonbeam. Who knows how the mind works.

Chand ne kuch kaha

Movie: Dil to pagal hai

The moon said something
The night heard something
You too listen, you are so unaware
Fall in love, o o o, fall in love

As times became modern, more color, more movement, more drama appeared in the songs. The moon still held its own and continued to inspire many songs.

Gali mein aaj chand nikla

Movie: Zakhm

You came, and with it, I remembered
The moon rose on our street
God knows after how many days
The moon rose on our street

This is one of those songs that make me cry. I have no idea why. I haven’t watched the movie. So I have no clue about the circumstance of the song in the movie. But the tune, the heroine’s emotions, the lyrics, all of these move me beyond understanding. I always have a knot in my throat when I hear this song.

The moon appeals to so many people in so many ways. It has an allure that is hard to describe. In spite of living off borrowed light, the moon has such an important place in all our lives.

Read this poem about The Yellow Orb.

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