Video of the Day: “Bhaage Re Mann” from Chameli (2003)

I had the pleasure of escaping to Puerto Vallarta again this year from Minnesota’s extra long winter. During my recent trip I met a lovely Indian couple from Michigan, Sheela & Chaitanya.  I saw a man several times in the hotel’s lobby who looked like Sanjay Dutt.  Of course it wasn’t him, but when I saw this couple I knew they would perhaps understand my glee.  “Hey, have you seen that guy who looks like Sanjay Dutt? It’s not him, but he looks a lot like him!” They kindly tolerated my Bollywood obsession, and never once called me a pagli gori. I asked Sheela-ji for her movie recommendations and upon her advice I watched Chameli.

Chameli is the story of a prostitute, (Kareena Kapoor). Aman Kapoor (Rahul Bose) an investment banker, lost his wife in a car accident on a rainy night. Neha was pregnant with their child. The accident left him depressed and lonely. He drowned his grief with alcohol or smoking. Chameli was sold to a brothel by her uncle when she was young. She is now a tough, street smart girl. On one rainy night, Aman and Chameli, two strangers, meet each other in Mumbai. The story shows how their relationship develops and how each other’s lives change. (wikipedia)

Kind hearted Chameli sponsered a little street urchin and upon finding out he was chewing tobacco, she threatened to give him the “tight slap to the face.”

Lately I’ve noticed that there are eunuchs who are sometimes prostitutes in many of the Bollywood movies I’m seeing: Jodhaa Akbar, Water, Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, and Raja Hindustani to name a few. Chameli had one too!

The Kapoor dynasty magic! As Chameli, Kareena is so strong, yet so vunerable:

So on a rainy night, I watched this movie of a rainy night and was particularly fond of the tune “Bhaage Re Mann” with music by Sandesh Sandilya and lyrics by Irshad Kalimby. The fantastic playback singer is Sunidhi Chauhan,  and the song is picturised on Kareena Kapoor and Rahul Bose

Lyrics in Hindi.  English lyrics are included in the comments below.  Many thanks to TheBollywoodFan.

For more on Sunidhi Chauhan, read Dr. Mandar’s article at cinema sangeet.

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11 thoughts on “Video of the Day: “Bhaage Re Mann” from Chameli (2003)

  1. How come the name of this blog is bollywood food and you say you love Indian cinema and food, but there is no post about Indian food?

    I was trying to find out if there are any discussions about what type of Indian foods “gori’s” like :) whether “pagli” or not :)

  2. Namaste Indian Healthy Recipe,
    Thanks you for stopping by. Yes, you have a point about the name being a bit confusing.

    Here are all food related posts:

    My co-blogwallah developed and named the blog. For the time being, while food posts are light, think of the title as a more metaphorical thing; with Bollywood being the khana aur amrit (food and nector) that feeds the soul! This is how I think of it :) . As for this gori, I go bilkul pagli over all Indian food. It would be hard to place a plate or banana leaf down in front of me full of it and for me NOT to like it!

    Your site is very nice:

  3. A very very nice song! I’ll forever remember the soundtrack to Chameli as Sunidhi Chauhan’s coming out party. This and the soundtrack to Shaadi Ka Laddoo, also from 2004, was when Sunidhi became one of my favorites. In addition to the dance songs that she is most well known for, I think her vocal skills are equally impressive in songs such as this, or ‘Woh Kaun Hai’ from Shaadi Ka Laddoo (at

    As for the translation of Bhaage re Mann in English, I couldn’t resist giving it a shot. Here is my attempt:

    The soul flows somewhere, [1]
    To where, I know not,
    Someone stop it right here. (a wish)

    The soul runs somewhere forward,
    Where the soul goes to I know not.

    A cool breeze flows,
    And with it my soul too flows ,
    Where should I search for it?
    Someone tell me!

    That yes, yes, yes, rey!
    My soul runs somewhere forward,
    Where it goes to I know not.

    O where again will the season be the same?
    Let me live it whole-heartedly [2]
    A little whole-heartedly in the ‘saawan’ [3]

    O listen, listen, listen,
    My soul runs somewhere forward,
    Where to I know not.

    1: In first person, referring to ‘my’ soul, but simply the word ‘mann’ is used, not ‘mera mann’ as in ‘my soul’, so I’ll stick to the words used.
    2: Speaking to the self.
    3: Saawan is a calendar month that falls in the July-August time frame (which coincides with monsoon in India). It is often referred to as the season of love, almost like we tend to refer to spring here.

  4. How wonderful! Thanks for taking the time do translate these lyrics. What a great surprise. Thanks for those footnotes too. Very useful. I hadn’t heard of saawan. I too like Sunidhi Chauhan’s voice as much as I like Shreya Ghoshal’s voice. Their voices sound similiar to me, when Sunidhi is using her softer non-dance tune style.

  5. Great songs in Chameli Sitaji, I do agree. Kareena is a bit miscast as a prostitute though- doesn’t look like any of the street walkers I’ve seen hanging out in front on Bombay VT station :)

  6. Yes, Kareena looks altogether too wholesome to be a prostitute here. In fact, she looks so healthy she inspires me to get down to the gym, try some stretching exercises, or get a new face pack at the very least!

    Thanks for sharing this clip with us. I find I am liking Kareena more and more.

  7. K, (& any locals in the twin cities) let’s plan on trying to catch Tashan that weekend and maybe I’ll post it as an “event”. I’ll email you and we can set a time.

    Sweta & Joss, I did think her smoking helped to roughen up her look and make her more prostitutey. I liked the movie, didn’t love it, but just like Joss wrote, I’m also getting to really like Karina. I have seemed to not want to like Karina from some of her other work, but now after watching her in Omkara, and Jab We Met and now Chameli, she’s getting to be a favorite. The same was true for me with Karishma and Katrina Kaif; I just needed to see them first in a role I like and now I love them too.

  8. Thanks Richard, I think I got those broken links fixed. I went and checked out the song from Fiza that you posted, very cool. Another movie to see! Sunidhi is sure a versatile singer.

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