As I return home from a month of travel and reach the last day (and letter of the alphabet) of the A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge, I offer the word zindagi, meaning life or existence in Hindi-Urdu. A Hindi synonym is the word jeevan. It’s fitting to end the month with a non-English word, since many different languages are echoing in my ears. Here’s zindagi in the Arabic script: زندگی, and here, in Devanagari: ज़िन्दगी.
It is a staple in Indian and Pakistani film songs, and has given its name to no less than five major movies over the years, including Zindagi (1940) the classic directed by P. C. Barua. It was the highest-grossing Indian film that year, with music by Pankaj Mullick and starring K. L. Saigal, who plays an unemployed university graduate. Here’s So Jaa Raajkumari, one of the most popular songs in the movie (another being Jeevan asha hai). The film poster pictured here is from Zindagi (1964), directed by Ramanand Sagar.
There are too many songs to list with zindagi in their title, but here’s Zindagi Hai Kya Sun Meri Jaan, sung by Mohammad Rafi, from the super-hit Bombay classic movie Maya (1961), directed by D.D. Kashyap, with music by Salil Choudhury, starring Mala Sinha, Dev Anand, Lalita Pawar & Amjad Khan.
So, as my travels come to an end—for now, at least—here’s to life, and all that comes with it.