Each one of us has been asked that pesky question at least once – “What is your favorite song?”. Personally, I don’t have “one” favorite. How can you just have one song? So I have deftly avoided answering this question thus far. So when a friend quizzed me about it a few months back, I of course did not answer the question. But his relentless persuasion eventually made me think and I chose one, purely because I was coerced into choosing one. So here it goes, the one song that truly moves me every time I listen to it is – “Mann re tu kaahe na dheer dhare..” from the 1964 movie “Chitralekha”, sung by Mohammed Rafi to Roshan’s music and Sahir Ludhianvi’s excruciatingly beautiful words.

While all aspects of the song are superlative (in my opinion, of course), the poetry is what resonates the most with me. I think, it works for me primarily because outwardly I might look like a patient and composed person, but internally I am like a ball in a pinball machine. So these words with their honest practicality combined with the slow, yet sure-footed pace of the composition helps settle me down a bit.  (I am analyzing myself and my choices which can be wrong, maybe those who know me can explain it better.)

(I am not going to attempt to translate the lyrics)

mann rey too kahe naa dheer dhare
woh nirmohi moh naa jane jinka moh kare
mann rey too kahe naa dheer dhare

iss jivan kee chadhtee dhaltee, dhup ko kiss ne bandha
rang pe kisane pehre dale, rup ko kisane bandha
kahe yeh jatan kare, mann rey too kahe naa dheer dhare

utna hee upkar samajh koyee, jitna sath nibha de
janam maran kaa mel hai sapna, yeh sapna bisra de
koyee naa sang mare, mann rey too kahe naa dheer dhare
o nirmohee moh naa jane jinka moh kare
ho mann rey too kahe naa dheer dhare