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When a Punjabi filmi song becomes part of my dua

Some days, a Punjabi filmi song becomes a lament, a prayer. Women used to sing devotional songs when weaving at the spinning wheel. For me, this was a refrain while sweeping the floors today – a reed song of separation.

سانوں نہر والے پل تے بلا کے
ہورے ماہی کتھے رہ گیا

ساڈی اکھاں وچوں نیندراں اڈا کے
ہورے ماہی کتھے رہ گیا

Sanu nehar waley pul tey bulaey key
Te khorey mahi kithey reh gaya
Sadi ankhaan wicho needra udha key
Te khorey mahi kithey reh gaya

My beloved invited me to the bridge over the canal
But I don’t know why he’s not here with me
He stole the sleep from my eyes
And I don’t know why he’s not here with me

Udhda duppatta mera mal mal da
Dil utte zor channa nayiyo chal da
Awen te manawagi mein haath jod key
Mahi ve tou ghussa kita kedi gal da
Sade peraan vich beriyaa pa key
Te khorey mahi kithey reh gaya

My muslin dupatta flutters in the breeze
And I’ve got no control over my heart
When you come at last, I’ll plead with folded hands
Beloved, after all what was it that vexed you and turned you away?
He put shackles on my feet
And now I don’t know why he’s not here with me

Thak gaiyan paniyaa nu pun pun key
Galan is dil diyaan sun sun key
Dada sanu keta ai tu tang sajna
Badley lawa gi teton chun chun key
Sanu pyaar wali pori tey charha key
Te khorey mahi kithey reh gaya

I’m tired of playing with water
I’m weary of my heart’s reproaches
You’ve tried me sorely, Beloved
But I’ll get back to you for every grief you gave me
He boosted me up to climb the ladder of love
and I don’t know why He’s not here with me

Rut tere pyaar wali rang rang di
Dil tenu chum da te ankh sang di
Mul kera paya we tu sadey pyaar da
Har wale mein teri kheraan mangdi
Sanu pyar de pulaikhe wich pake
Te khorey mahi kithey reh gaya

The season of your love scatters colors around
My heart kisses the memory of you, my eye seeks you
What price did you put on my love?
Still I seek your good all the time
He took me into the forgetfulness of love
and I don’t know why he’s not here with me

Translation mine. Lyrics from here.

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