Ek Akela Is Shahar Mein
Raat Mein Aur Dopahar Mein
Aabodaana Dhoondta Hai Aashiyana Dhoondta Hai
Din Khali Khali Bartan Hai Aur Raat Hai Jaise Andha Kuan
In Sooni Andheri Aankhon Mein Aansoon Ki Jagah Aata Hain Dhuan
Jeene Ki Vajah To Koi Nahi Marne Ka Bahana Dhoondta Hai
In Umar Se Lambi Sadkon Ko Manzil Pe Pohonchte Dekha Nahin
Bas Daudti Phirti Rahti Hain Humne To Theherte Dekha Nahin
Is Ajnabi Se Shahar Mein Jaana Pehechana Dhoondta Hai
An old classic, so why we listen to it now? Simply. Also partly because of an interesting conversation with some friends on the “Khali Bartan” i.e. empty vessel metaphor. Some friends remarked at the funny side of the literal translation. However, the deeper meaning was merely in the eyes of the beholder, as one would say. Each one to his own interpretation.
I would read it as, “the day is loud but hollow (like an empty vessel) and the night is a bottomless abyss (andha kuan)” The melancholy continues with “In the blank dark eyes, even the tears are replaced by smoke / there is no reason to live, trying to find an excuse to die”
The movie was one of the classics from the 70’s. The other version of this song, the happier “Do Deewane Shaher Mein” starts with hope and happiness and now “Ek Akela Is Shahar Mein” reflects the change in the situation for protagonist.
This is one of the main points of the Golden Age. The story of the film can be discerned from the sound track.