Love is probably the best feeling in the world and heartbreak the worst. Hence there are separate songs for both. And then, there are few songs that meticulously combine love with heartbreak. One such song is Soona Mann Ka Aangan from the film Parineeta. It is a song that intertwines the past with the present.
The serenade takes us on a journey with a heartbroken protagonist who is yearning for his beloved. The song starts with a few scenes from the present which quickly fast forwards to a scene where the protagonist violently plays the piano to a famous tune by Tagore. In utter pain, his fingers settle for the song that has many memories connected to his beloved.
As he plays, memories of the past fall upon him. The flashbacks begin with the lover meeting his beloved for the first time and then rolls forward to the present when he plays Parineeta‘s most loved song.
Soona…Soona mann ka aangan Empty… Empty courtyard of my heart
Dhoondhe payal ki woh chhan chhan (Is) Searching that jingling of the anklets
Sooni…Sooni mann ki sargam Empty… Empty tunes of my heart
Dhoondhe geet tera humdum. (Is) Searching your songs, O beloved!
When love leaves the heart, it is left with nothing but emptiness. And that emptiness delves into memories searching for all that it once had but has now lost. The empty heart of the lover misses the jingling sound of the anklets of his beloved who used to come running to him at his call. His heart searches for the songs that they used to sing and play together on the piano.
Mann mein sham ho ya savera Be it evening or morning in my heart
Laga teri hi yaadon ka dera Only your memories cloud in here
Toone bandhan kyun ye toda Why did you break this bond?
Toone kaahe ko muh moda Why did you drift away from me?
Kaho na, kaho na, kaho na… Tell me, tell me, tell me please…
These lines beautifully express the anguish of every lover’s heart. Right from the time we fall in love, we can’t stop our heart from thinking of our beloved day and night. And for the heartbroken lover, along with the memories of his beloved lingers a question in his mind—“Why did she leave him after all those sweet times they spent together?”
“Phool phool bhanwra dole Flower to flower the bees roam
Mann mein goonje teri yaad Heart only echoes your memories
Baag main papeeha bole In the garden the Cuckoo sings asking
Peehu, Peehu, Piyu kahaan… Where is my Beloved?
This is that mesmerising song which takes its tune from the famous song of Rabindranath Tagore’s “Phoole Phoole Dhole Dhole” and reinvents it with different lyrics. The four lines are not part of the original song, but were written in to portray the flashbacks that invade the protagonist’s mind in the movie. The four lines remarkably blend nature with love where a lover’s heart becomes one with the nature. The lover feels that nature too is calling his beloved; just as his heart is searching for her in every natural vista.
While playing the song “Soona Mann Ka Aagan” the hero remembers that he was playing Tagore’s song when he first met his beloved. After that, the song became their song. A tune which they sang together as they fell deeper in love. It is thus a happy song–of a lover’s heart that has met its beloved. It’s a sharp contrast to the sad song that the hero is playing now pining for his beloved. The intermingling of the two songs is a testament to the composer’s great talent.
After reminiscing, the song again returns to the original lyrics:
Kaise kaatein sooni raatein How to spend my lonely nights?
Kaho na… Kaho na. Please tell me… Tell me please!
Kaise bhoolein beete baatein. How to forget our past tête-à-tête
Kaho na… Kaho na… Please tell me… Tell me please…
When our hearts break, the first thing we wish to do is to forget all the sweet memories of our beloved. The best memories become the most painful ones. And on our lonely nights, the memories come back to remind us of the stark contrast between our past and present. Yet, our heart is unable to forget them as it doesn’t come with a ‘delete’ button.
The pain is unbearable.
So, the lover, in his desperation to relieve himself of the pain, asks his invisible beloved to tell him how to spend his lonely nights without her and forget all their past conversations.
Kaise thamein phir tera daman. How do I hold your hand once again?
Kaise mehke mann ka yeh aagan. How to aromatize my heart’s garden?
Kaise bhoolein preet teri saajan. Beloved, how do I forget your love?
Kaise bandhein toota yeh bandhan… How do I tie back this broken bond again?
Now the questions slowly shift to the rhetorical ones, suggesting how impossible it is to forget and move on. The lover can neither hold the hand of his beloved again for she is far away from him now; nor can he forget her love. His heart has lost all its fragrance without her and he knows not how to aromatize it again.
He sees no way to tie back their broken bond.
The next few lines are a repetition of the previous ones. The scenes quickly swing between the past and the present, till the story finally shifts to the past completely to narrate it as a series of flashbacks. The audiences’ curiosity that the song has managed to evoke is slowly tended to as the tale works backwards to reveal itself.
If movies are the reflection of life, then songs are the reflection of the soul. We find a part of ourselves in the songs as those forgotten memories surge back to us with the unfolding of the lyrics.
“Soona Mann Ka Aangan” evokes many emotions every time the song touches the shore of the heart. It brings forth bitter memories and sweet reminiscences in a single flash. Perhaps that gives us the right to call it the best song from Parineeta.
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