This is a loose translation of a Hindi movie song in two parts sung by the male and female protagonists. You can hear the originals here and here


A gentle drench, the saawan rim-zim falls
And raindrops ring like rhythmic ankle bells
Inside a nascent fire softly calls
And restlessly an unknown longing wells

This year the tempest season strangely flows
The breeze intoxicated wildly runs
A half-hearted struggle unavailing goes
Our vests are wet, inside the fire burns

How shall sleepless distracted eyes perceive
The signs of a dream of nameless happiness
The names of hearts as one that feel and heave
How shall hesitant, wordless lips confess

The rim-zim rim-zim saawan gently falls
And raindrops ring like rhythmic ankle bells
Inside the fire wisps and softly calls
And endlessly the longing wells and wells


6 thoughts on “Monsoon

  1. Rhythm is iambic pentameter with variations in lines 4,7, 9, 10, 12. The runs/burns rhyme is loose, but still works.

    I tried to capture the onomatopoeia with “gentle drench” or “drenching gently”, but they are heavier than the delicate “rim-zim”. So I decided to enrich English with the latter which is culturally entrenched in India for its association to the monsoon rains in “saawan” (e.g. rima-jhima zarati” – and “shravanat ghana nila” –, in addition to the songs under translation).

    This translation is rather full of ponderous multi-syllable words. If lines 7, 9, and 12 can be made lighter, the overall quality will improve.

  2. Abhay says:

    रिमझिम गिरे सावन, सुलग सुलग जाये मन
    भीगे आज इस मौसम मे, लगी कॆसी यह अगन

    Nice translation. This song brings back memories.

  3. Alt 9: How shall sleepless eyes of youth ever perceive

    Alt 12: How shall hesitating wordless lips confess

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