Chandni ki Paanch Partein (Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena)

“Ye chand sa roshan chehra, zulfon ka rang sunehra”

“Chand chhupa badal mein, sharmake meri jaana”

“Mere saamne wali khidki mein ek chand ka tukda rehta hai”

“Channa mereya, mereya! Channa mereya, mereya!”

“Chandni raatein! Sab jag soye, hum jaage, taaron se karein baatein! Chandni raatein!”

“Raat shabhnami, bheegi chandni! Teesra koi, door tak nahin!”

“Chandni raat badi der ke baad aayi hai! Lab pe ek baat, badi der ke baad aayi hai.”

“Raat humari toh, chand ki saheli hai, kitne dino ke baad, aayi wo akeli hai!”

“Chanda re, chanda re, kabhi toh zameen par aa.. baithenge baatein karenge”

“Chand mera dil, chandni ho tum, chand se hai dur chandni kahaan?”

And the list of songs with the word ‘chand’ in them goes on and on!

In one of my earlier posts, Channa MereyaI spoke a lot about the moon and how it casually slips into our ideas of romantic. There are countless ways we fantasise about this floating piece of rock from outer space, and we rarely stop to think about its unique mention.

Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena‘s Chandni ki Paanch Partein is a gem in the universe of metaphors.

Frankly, I don’t know what this poem means. That’s the beauty about the written word and some unique writers. (Yes, SDS is a favourite since this happened!)

Here’s what I think:

Chandni ki Paanch Partein is a moment in the past and the present.
A boy feels more confident as he witnesses the glint in his lover’s eyes. And perhaps, neither of them know since each layer of the moonlight’s unaware of another.

It seems like there’s a lot he wishes to say, and it’s rather simple, but he cannot because he doesn’t know what and he doesn’t know how.

He then talks about all the he was, could have been, couldn’t have been, and what she wouldn’t let him- and the harrowing silence between them. It’s difficult for him to bear, yet here he is. Just like the glistening moonlight. All five layers unaware of each other.


Do watch Surekha Sikri ji’s marvelous performance in Hindi Kavita’s video below. It’s always heartwarming- no matter the weather outside. Enjoy this breather!


Chandni Ki Paanch Partein


Chandni ki paanch partein
Har parat agyaat hai

The moonlight has five layers
All of which are unknown


Ek jal mein
Ek thal mein
Ek neelaakash mein

Ek aankhon mein tumhaare jhilmilati
Ek mere ban rahe vishwas mein

There’s one in the water
Another on the earth

One in the sky

And one in your eyes, twinkling
Another in my belief which has started to strengthen


Kya kahun?
Kaise kahun?
Kitni zara si baat hai!

Chandni ki paanch partein
Har parat agyaat hai!

What do I say to you?
How do I say it?
It’s so.. insignificant

The moonlight has several layers
And one can’t identify any of them at all


Ek jo main aaj hun
Ek jo main ho na paaya
Ek jo main ho na paaunga kabhi bhi
Ek jo hone nahi dogi mujhe tum
Ek jiski hai humare beech ye abhishapt chhaya

There’s the one that I am today
Another that I could never be

One that I’ll never ever be even if I wish to
And yet another that you’d never let me turn into 
And finally, another- the one whose cursed shadow stands between us


Kyun sahun?
Kab tak sahun?
Kitna kathin aaghaat hai

Chandni ki paanch partein
Har parat agyaat hai!

Why should I bear it?
Until when?
It’s a difficult wound to recover from!

Yet there are five layers to the moonlight
And I don’t know any of them.. at all.



In Devnagri:

चाँदनी की पाँच परतें

चाँदनी की पाँच परतें
हर परत अज्ञात है।

एक जल में
एक थल में
एक नीलाकाश में।

एक आँखों में तुम्हारे झिलमिलाती
एक मेरे बन रहे विश्वास में
क्या कहूँ?
कैसे कहूँ?
कितनी ज़रा सी बात है।

चाँदनी की पाँच परतें
हर परत अज्ञात है।

एक जो मैं आज हूँ,
एक जो मैं हो न पाया,
एक जो मैं हो न पाऊँगा कभी भी
एक जो होने नहीं दोगी मुझे तुम
एक जिसकी है हमारे बीच यह अभिशप्त छाया।
क्यों सहूँ?
कब तक सहूँ?
कितना कठिन आघात है

चाँदनी की पाँच परतें
हर परत अज्ञात है।


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