Sweetness of Pooran Poli in this melodious love song !

Avinash Vyas - Geeta Dutt
Not many music lovers are aware of the fact that Geeta Dutt has sung close to a hundred songs in Gujrati. Her association with Gujrati film (and some non-film music) is not as prolific as with the Hindi film songs. Still it is a fact that she has sung more songs in Gujrati as compared to her mother tongue Bengali. She was the number one playback singer for Gujrati films for 3-4 years and many of the films starring Nirupa Roy had songs by Geeta Roy, many of which had music composed by the great Avinash Vyas. The reason behind this is that the Gujrati films were being made in Mumbai (then Bombay) and young Geeta Roy was a favorite singer of composer Avinash Vyas.Young Geeta was extremely talented and very good at picking up new languages. She must have picked up Hindi, Gujrati and Marathi during the initial years
of struggling life in Mumbai before getting the break in the year 1946. This part is described very aptly and in great details in the book “Geeta Dutt : The Skylark” written by Haimanti Banerjee.

Coming back to this song “Oh rang rasiya”! It is more like the celebration of womanhood where she describes how she is going to shower her love on the man she wishes to chose her life partner. This song is all about the declaration of love this lady has for the man she wishes to marry, to be a wife and homemaker. it is about how she will take care of him. For her, it is not about the riches and materialistic joys of the world but the simple little pleasures of life and care she desires to give to her “prince of dreams”.

The simplicity of Avinash Vyas’s lyrics coupled with his mesmerizing tune makes it a memorable song. The song is so traditional (note the references to the “Ghoonghat”, fetching water from the river, singing like a Koyal) yet so contemporary (expressing the feelings for her would be life partner, weaving dreams of her lover, serving Paan). The reference to pooranpoli (which are the sweet rotis made with tuar dal and jaggery/sugar) is the highlight of this song. The universal truth “A way to man’s heart goes through his stomach” is used here to describe how she will take care of her man. In general a young man will relish this sweet made by his mother, and this girl is promising to her lover that I will take care of you just like your mother used to. Serving freshly made hot pooran poli with ghee
(clarified butter) is (or at least was) considered the best treat! The lyricist is so musically inclined that he has captured the feelings of a young (probably teen aged) girl with so much of ease. Though not a native Gujrati speaker, Geeta glides through the tune leaving her magical touch to the song.

We are thankful to our friend Bhavita for help with understanding the meaning of this lovely song and the transliteration.

Original song in Gujrati script:

ઓ રંગ રસિયા કહે ને
હું તારી શું છઉં
તું મારો વર ને હું તારી વહુ

નથી થવું મારે રાજાની રાણી
મારે મન આટલું બહુ
કે હું તારી વહુ

ઓ રંગ રસિયા કહે ને….

બની તારા ઘરની રાણી
ઘૂંઘટડો તાણી હું પનઘટ
પાણી ભરવા જઈશ રે

તુજને ભાળી નૈના ઢાળી
મારા એ આવ્યા, એ આવ્યા
એવું કહીશ રે

છાનું રે છપનું સપનું સરજું
તને કહું કહું ને રહી જઉં
કે હું તારી વહુ

ઓ રંગ રસિયા કહે ને….

પૂરણપોળી ઘીમાં ઝબોળી
તને જનની જેમ જમાડીશ

થઈ નટખટ નારી
લ્યો પાનસુપારી,
કહી સંગે રંગ રમાડીશ

તારા મન ઉપવનની કોયલ થઈ
તને ટહુકી ટહુકી કહું
કે હું તારી વહુ
ઓ રંગ રસિયા કહે ને….

English transliteration :

O rang rasiya
keh ne hoon tari shu thau?
Tu mharo war ne hoon tari wahu

O rang rasiya
tell me – what am I to you?
You are my beloved
and I your wife…

Nathi thavu mhare
rajani raani
mhare man aatlu bahu ke
hoon tari wahu

I do not wish to be a king’s queen
as for me it is enough that I am your wife

Bani taari gharni raani
ghunghatdo taani
hoon panghat paani bharwa jaish re

As the queen of your house
donning the veil
I will go to the river bank
to fetch water

Tujhne bhali naina dhali
mhara ‘e avya, e avya’
avu kahish re

And when I see you
through my downcast eyes
I will softly utter “he has arrived, he has arrived”

Chanu re chapnu sapnu sarju
tane kahu kahu ne rahi jau
ke hoon taari wahu
o rang rasiya

Secretly I weave a dream that I will be your wife,
and I try, my beloved, to share it with you
but refrain…
O rang rasiya

pooranpoli ghee ma jhaboli
tane janani jem jamadish
thayi natkhat naari
lyo paan supari
kahi sange rang ramadish

pooranpoli (a dessert), dipped in ghee (clarified butter)
I shall feed you like a mother
and then, like a naughty lass
playfully serve you paan supari…

Thara man upavanni koyal thayi
tane tahuki tahuki kahu
ke hoon taari vahu

In the gardens of your heart / soul / mind
I will become the koyal (cuckoo)
and like the koyal I will sing
that I am your wife / beloved…

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4 Responses to “Sweetness of Pooran Poli in this melodious love song !”

  1. ruby says:

    I have heard this song on Geeta Dutt’s collection on ‘spotify’….but could not understand the words…..so a big thank you for the translation….yummy indeed….!!!!!

  2. hildebrand says:

    great translation by bhavita. Nice post.

  3. simplefable says:

    Lovely !! Actually Pooran poli is called Poornam or Poli out here in Andhra Pradesh. It is indeed a very cherished dessert…Needless to say, the song is a pleasure now sweetened with Geeta ji’s rendition.. 🙂
    Thanks to Bhavita.

  4. V.C.Mago says:

    Great love song, dripping with honeyed sentiments and sung beautifully by GD. I have noted before GD’s ability to cross the language barrier like an Olympics high jumper who always lands softly on her feet and straight. She sounds exactly like a native Punjabi in her Punjabi renditions , and my Gujarati friends tell me she sounds exactly like a native Gujarati in her Gujarati songs. She leaves behind her native Bengali as easily as one takes off a hat when entering someone else’s home. Generally, the crossover into Hindi is easier for most Bengali singers, but GD does it with perfect ease into any language.
    The translation by Bhavita is very skillful and enhances the joy of listening. Thanks.

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