Australia, India and the World: Anatomy of a Song

All the Stars Came Out in Search of the Moon.

Hollywood feature film Lion starring Dev Patel (some other movies Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi, The Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel) was released in 2016. It won a BAFTA award but not an Oscar.

Patel was born in the UK. His parents were born in Kenya. They hailed from India.

1. Lion, English, 2016Lion Dev Patel
The film is based on the real life story of Saroo (or Sheru, Lion in Hindi language), a 5 year old illiterate Indian boy who got lost while asleep in a train that takes him to Kolkata, almost a thousand miles away from central India. Later, his journey continues for another 9000 km to Tasmania, Australia with his adoptive parents. Kolkata is the metro city where holy Ganga (Ganges) meets sea after a two thousand kilometres long journey from Haridwar where it just enters plains.

Later as an adult, egged on by a visiting American friend and using Google online tools he embarks upon finding his native home in India.

In the early part of the film, while at night in an orphanage, children sing a Hindi lullaby ‘Chanda Ko Dhundhane Sabhi Taare Nikal Pade’ which is Hindi for ‘All the Stars Came Out in Search of the Moon’. In Lion, the song is actually sung by the actors who are on the screen themselves.

2. Why Was I Born? Tamil, 1972Naan_Yen_Pirandhen_wiki
About 25 years before Lion, in 1972, a Tamil language movie ‘Naan Yen Pirandhen?’ (English: Why Was I Born?), has a song named ‘Thambiki oru Pattu’ which is what the children of Lion are singing. The sad version was sung by M. S. Rajeswari and Anjali. The movie has a happy version too which is in an earlier scene. The happy version was sung by T. M. Soundararajan. The lyrics were by Avinash Mani, and the music director was Shankar Ganesh.

The English transliteration of lyrics is given below.

A song for my young brother!
A song for my dearest young sister!
To help being more confident in life,
I present a story now!

Once, a genius came out holding a lamp,
Where is man-kind?
I can’t find him,
I have been searching!

A man is not defined by birth or upbringing,
The ones who live by hearts, not origin,
are the real humans!

God created man with,
Two hands and two legs,
But with just one heart,
Since thoughts should not be wavering!

Some from the upper sections, are selfish,
So become the lowly ones in their stature!
While many working hard for livelihood,
Even while from the lowly sections,
are the esteemed due to their character!

The Lion song appears to hardly resemble – music or visuals – the Tamil one.

Sad version:

Happy version:

3. Wife and Children, Telugu, 1971Bharya_Biddalu_wiki
The Tamil movie was actually a remake of a Telugu language movie Bharya Biddalu (English: Wife & Children) released in 1971, a year earlier. There are almost 2 dozen official languages in India. One can see the close resemblance in the visuals of the Tamil movie to the original Telugu movie. But the music looks different. This was sung by P. Susheela. The happy version of the song was sung by Ghantasala. Lyrics by Acharya Aatreya and music by K. V. Mahadevan.

Sad version:

Happy version:

4. Path for Life, Hindi, 1969jeene_ki_raah_bollywoodmdb_poster
The Telugu movie can be considered to be a remake of an earlier Hindi language movie Jeene Ki Raah (English: Path for Life). One can listen to the complete Lion song ‘Chanda ko Dhoondhane Sabhi Taare Nikal Pade’ at 1:01:45 in the movie. This sad version was sung by Asha Bhosle, her sister Usha Mangeshkar, and Hemlata. The happy version, sung by Mohammed Rafi, is earlier at 11:40

The lyrics are –

All the stars came out in search of the Moon,
These ill-fated ones came out on the streets.

The one who has stolen the sight of their eyes,
The one who has stolen the support of their hearts,
The stars came out in search of the thief.

They had to burn in the dark night of sorrow,
They had to walk on thorns, instead of flowers.

The beloveds of the skies, had to tumble down on earth,
All the stars came out in search of the Moon.

Listening to their cries, this heart trembled,
Perhaps he also remembered his separated ones

You come home, our tears have come out.
All the stars came out in search of the Moon.

Sad version:

Happy version:


Bale Raman, Tamil, 1956Brathuku_Theruvu_wiki
This Hindi movie was preceded by the Tamil movie Bale Raman (1956). No image is available for the movie.

6. Livelyhood, Telugu, 1953
The Tamil movie was a version of the even older Telugu movie titled Bratuku Theruvu (English: Livelihood) released in 1953!

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