Hindi Language Blog

3 Romantic Bollywood Films Hindi Lovers Can’t Miss Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Hindi Language, Uncategorized

This week, we’ll talk about some famous Bollywood films that feature love in major ways so we can learn how to express this vital emotion in Hindi!

Umrao Jaan (1981)

उमराव जान

This classic film stars the bombshell Rekha or रेखा (yes, she’s one of those actresses who only needs one name to go by). In 2006, this film was remade starring Aishwarya Rai (ऐश्वर्या राय), another famed beauty, in the title role. Both versions of the film are adaptations of a novel named Umrao Jaan Ada (1905) by Hindi-Urdu writer Mirza Hadi Ruswa. The novel and the films tell the story of a young girl who is kidnapped and later becomes a courtesan in Lucknow known as Umrao Jaan. She becomes famous for her extraordinary skill in classical music, dance and, most importantly, her heart-rending Urdu poetry, or ghazals (ग़ज़ल). Here are some memorable love-related lines and words from the film’s songs:

  • One of the most famous songs in the film is called, “दिल चीज़ क्या है?/आप मेरी जान लीजिए/Dil Cheez Kya Hai/Aap Meri Jaan Lijiye” or, in English, “What is this thing (called) a heart?/Please take my life (instead).” “दिल/Dil” (masc. noun) or “heart” is arguably one of the most important words in the Hindi language. “जान/Jaan” (fem. noun) can mean life or spirit but can also refer to one’s sweetheart.

  • Another famous song from this film is called, “इन आँखों की मस्ती के/मस्ताने हजारों हैं/In Aankhon ki Masti ke Mastaane Hazaaron Hain” (“In the intoxication of these eyes, thousands have become drunk”). This phrase contains a few basic words you should know. “आँख/Aankh” (fem. noun) means “eye” and becomes आँखें/Aankhen in the plural. “मस्ती/Masti” (fem. noun) is also an important word that means “intoxication, passion or delight”; “मस्त/Mast,” a variation of “मस्ती” can also be used in Hindi slang similarly to the way we use the words “awesome” or “cool” in American English slang.

Ishaqzaade (2012)


This popular film courageously tackles the issue of “honor killing.” This is a phenomenon that occurs in and outside of South Asia when a couple marry and/or have a relationship outside of their own caste, religion and/or community. The lovers in this film not only practice different religions, Hinduism and Islam, but they are also the children of rival political families. If you are wondering about the title, it is a combination of a rural pronunciation of “इश्क़/Ishk” or “passionate love” and the Persian word “ज़ादे/Zaade,” which means “son/child of.” Thus, the film title as well as the title song literally mean “Children of Love.” This is a good opportunity to talk about the four main words for “love” in Hindi:

  • इश्क़/Ishk (masc. noun): Originally an Arabic word, this noun connotes “passionate love” with a tinge of “craziness” or “obsession” about it. Other connotations of this word include spiritual love that is beyond physical attraction. That’s why this word can be used in religious contexts (namely in Sufism, which is a spiritual strain of Islam) for the love a devotee holds for God.

  • मोहब्बत/Mohabbat (fem. noun): This word also comes to Hindi via Arabic and then Persian. It means “love” and “affection” and most often connotes romantic love. This word refers to a more worldly, physical type of love.

  • प्यार/Pyaar (masc. noun): Probably the most common word for love, at least as far as modern Hindi cinema and music go, this is a word indigenous to the subcontinent and means “love” and “affection” as well. Therefore, this word could refer to the feelings between lovers or the affection between a mother and child, etc.

  • प्रेम/Prem (masc. noun): A Sanskrit word, this also means “love” and “affection” and can refer to both platonic and romantic love. This word can also be used in a Hindu religious context to refer to the love a devotee has for his/her deity(ies).

Devdas (1955, 2002)


This film is based on a 1917 Bengali novel of the same name. Devdas’ compelling story has been made into a film many times, both in Hindi and Bengali as well as other regional language cinemas in India. The most recent film was a lavish production by famed director Sanjay Leela Bhansali (संजय लीला भंसाली) and starred a trio of huge box office names: Shahrukh Khan (शाहरुख़ ख़ान), Aishwarya Rai (ऐश्वर्या राय) and Madhuri Dixit (माधुरी दीक्षित). These three characters are bound together by a tragic love triangle. Now, let’s look at some love-related song lyrics from the film:

  • One of the most memorable and heart-wrenching songs from the film is called, “हमेशा तुमको चाहा/Hamesha Tumko Chaha” (or, “I have loved you forever”). “हमेशा/Hamesha” is a very useful word meaning “forever” and “चाहना/Chahna” is a verb that literally means “to want,” but it can also be used in a more figurative sense to mean “to desire, like or love.”

  • The song refers to a “बारात/Baaraat” in the following line: “सजधज के बारात है आयी/Sajdhaj ke Baaraat hai aayi” or “a splendid wedding procession has arrived.” A “बारात/Baaraat” or, pronounced by most people as “बरात/Baraat” refers to the wedding procession in mostly North Indian, Hindu weddings of the bridegroom and his family and friends as they travel to the bride’s house. Traditionally, the bridegroom is supposed to make the journey in style on a white horse.

Vocabulary List (शब्दावली की सूची):

  1. दिल/Dil (masc. noun): heart
  2. जान/Jaan (fem. noun): life, spirit, beloved
  3. आँख/Aankh (sing.)/आँखें (pl.) (fem. noun): eye/eyes
  4. मस्ती/Masti (fem. noun): intoxication, passion, delight
  5. इश्क़/Ishk (masc. noun): passionate love, craze/obsession (can be used in spiritual contexts)
  6. मोहब्बत/Mohabbat (fem. noun): love, affection (most often for worldly, romantic love)
  7. प्यार/Pyaar (masc. noun): love, affection (can be used both for romantic and platonic love)
  8. प्रेम/Prem (masc. noun): love, affection (can be used for romantic and platonic love as well as spiritual love)
  9. हमेशा/Hamesha: always, forever
  10. चाहना/Chahna: literally, to want. Figuratively, to desire/like/love
  11. बारात/बरात/Baaraat or Baraat (fem. noun): marriage procession of the bridegroom to the bride’s house   
  12. Extra phrases: I love you: मैं तुमसे प्यार करता/करती हूँ/Main tumse pyaar karta/karti huun । Do you love me? (क्या) तुम मुझसे प्यार करते/करती हो?/(Kya) tum mujhse pyaar karte/karti ho? I’ve fallen in love with you: मुझे तुमसे प्यार हो गया है/Mujhe tumse pyaar ho gaya hai । I’ll love you forever: मैं हमेशा तुमसे प्यार करूँगा/करूँगी/Main hamesha tumse pyaar karuunga/karuungi ।  

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a melody from the skilled songstress Asha Bhosle (आशा भोंसले) in Umrao Jaan, with the title role performed by Rekha:


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About the Author: Rachael

नमस्ते, मेरा नाम रेचल है/السلام علیکم، میرا نام ریچل ہے۔ Hello, my name is Rachael, but I also on occasion go by Richa––an interesting story for another time :) My two great loves are Hindi and Urdu. I first traveled to India (Jaipur, Rajasthan) in college on a Hindi study abroad program. A little over a year later, I returned to the same city to study Hindi in a yearlong program. I've also spent a summer in Kolkata, West Bengal learning Bengali, and I studied Urdu at the University of California, Berkeley, where I was a graduate student in South Asian Studies. I hope to share with you the fascinating world of Hindi and Urdu literature, society, culture and film through my blogs!


  1. R.G.Menon:

    It would have been wonderful if the entire song is given and its meaning explained. It would have helped us who hindi generally but not the literary word, Urudo words and their meanings. entired interpretation would enlarge the knowledge and help one to appreciate the richness of the lyrics.

    • Rachael:

      @R.G.Menon मेनन जी, ज़रा बताइएगा कि किस गाने का ज़िक्र कर रहे हैं? फिर, मैं ज़रूर उस के पूरे शब्द अौर मतलब दे दूँगी । आपकी फ़रमाइश के लिए बहुत शुक्रिया 🙂
      Menon ji, could you kindly tell us to which song you refer? Then, I will certainly provide you with the full lyrics and their meanings. Thank you very much for your request!