What’s the ‘Doha’ style poetry in Hindi movies?

Answer by Juhi Singh:

To begin with, those who don’t know what a Doha is?

Doha: is a form of 2 – 4 liner rythmic poetry; mostly in Hindi and in Urdu as well. Many Hindi poets wrote epics in form of Dohas & Chaupais (another form of poetry); best of its examples are – Tulasidas’s Ramcharitmanas; a popular version created of epic Ramayana. Doha culture was popularized by some of the popular bhakti saints who preached in languages of common (like awadhi & braj) because the vedas & other literatures of ancient time being in sanskrit or prakrit weren’t reaching commons (as some classes like shudras were denied of Sanskritic education) Important Bhakti saints who popularized Dohe were Tulasidas ji, Rahimdas ji, Kabirdas ji, Surdas ji, Jamiluddin aali, etc. Another important fact about Bhakti saints was Hindu & Muslim saints equally wrote praises of krishna, ram & other hindu gods which shows integrity of our culture. To this date, both Hindus and Muslim claim that Kabir Das ji belong to their religion only to forget that he chose to be a person who doesn’t follow religion but follows GOD!

Now back to question, Doha style of poetry in Hindi movies: Surely, I don’t know all but I know few of them.

1. Bade badayi na kare song from Aankhiyo ke Jharokho se: (one of my favorites so I do remember). There is this song featuring Sachin & Ranjeeta in form of a competition. Its a beautiful song showing their fight and then friendship happening 🙂  I am also trying to translate the same so that everyone can enjoy the essence of these dohas


a. “Bade Badai na Kare, Bade na bole bol;

Rahiman heera kab kate lakh taka mere mol.” (By Rahim das ji)

Translation: Great men don’t boast about their greatness, its only when the occasion comes their greatness is shown; Just like a Diamond which never boasts that its worth millions but when its cut out, everyone knows its worth!

b. “Jo baden ko laghu kahe, nahi Rahim ghati jaye;

Girdhar muralidhar kahe, Kachu dukh manat nahi” (By Rahim das ji)

Translation: Great men aren’t demeaned if they aren’t praised. Lord Krishna who plays his flute, says don’t let anything (small or big) affect peace of your mind

c. “Gyani se kahiye kaha, kahat kabir lajaye;

Andhe aage nachte, kala akarat jaaye” (By Kabir das ji)

Translation: Knowledgeable saints shouldn’t waste their pearls of wisdoms in front of fools, because dancing in front of fools is a sheer waste of one’s knowledge and talent (ALSO expressed as bhais ke aage been bajaye, bhais khadi paguraye i.e. if you play flute in front of buffaloes, they will still grunt)

d. “Aisi bani boliye, man ka aapa khoye;

Auran ko seetal kare, apahun seetal hoye kabira .. apahun seetal hoye” (By Kabir Das ji)

Translation: Speak in such a manner to those who are angry that helps in calming them down rather enraging them further. Do good to others and good will come back to you, give happiness to others and happiness will come back to you

e. “Avatahin harse nahi, nainan nahi saneh;

Tulsi tahan na jaaiye, kanchan barse meh” (By Tulasi das ji)

Translation: All in this world don’t have the power to see love with their eyes, we shouldn’t shower love on such people who don’t see love which falls in form of tears from one’s eyes i.e. shower your love only on people who value it

f. “Bura jo dekhan mai chala, bura na milaya koy;

Jo dil khoja aapna, mujhse bura na koy kabira .. mujhse bura na koy” (By Kabir Das ji)

Translation: I travelled in search of wickedness in this world, but I didn’t find any. When I sat down to see through my own heart, I found all the wickedness was lying there

g. “Bigadi baat bane nahi, lakh karo  kin koye;

Rahiman bigarey doodh ko, mathe na maakhan hoye” (By Rahim das ji)

Translation: If you have used wrong words for others, you can’t take it back; even if you try a million times. If the milk goes sour, you can’t get butter out of it.

h. “Rahiman dhaga prem ka, mat todo chatkai;

Toote se phir na jure, jurei ghath pad jaaye”  (By Rahim das ji)

Translation: Rahim das ji says don’t break the auspicious thread (bond) of love in a moment of rage or for small misunderstandings, if you do so and try to mend it again, the thread can’t be tied again and if its tied it will still have knots. 

P.S. When I was a child and I needed to remember/ write Dohas for my Hindi classes I used to listen to this song again and again and all was sorted

2. Kahat kabir suno bhai Sadho from Dus Numbari:


Well, clearly the song is not in form of Doha but it does take that plot. The lines “Kahat Kabir Suno bhai Sadho” were used while singing Kabir das ji’s dohe as lokgeet i.e. to preach his teachings in form of songs to commons.

3. Dulhan hum le jaayenge – Mandir scene: Ya, rite, even this movie has some dohe 😀

There is a song “Murali Manohar Radhika Kanha” which features Salman in a temple and he sings this song to impress Karishma’s Pandit Mama. After that song, when Pandit mama leaves the two alone, apparently for exchange of heavenly thoughts (gyan ki baaton ka aadan – pradan – as he puts it :P), there is a small dialogue in form of dohe which happens between them.

Salman says “Duniya badi baawari, Pathar pujan jaaye;                        Ghar ki chakki koi na puje, jaako piso hi khaye

Translation: The world is crazy that goes to places to worship stone idols, but none cares about the flour grinder (traditional one which was a must in every Indian household) which helps to fill your family’s belly

Karishma says “Pothi padh – padh jag mua, bhaya na pandit koy                          

Dhai akhar prem ke padhe jo pandit hoy

(QUITE A POPULAR ONE IN HINDI MOVIES) Translation: The world is going crazy reading huge piles of books, no one has still attained that wisdom. But one who understands the meaning of simple word love is the epitome of wisdom P.S. Sorry for bad translation of 1st Doha, couldn’t come up with better one 😀

4. Dhai Akshar prem ke – Movie: Well the movie name has been derived from the above doha but the movie to the best of my memory doen’t have a dailogues related to this Doha.

However, this Doha has been used in many Hindi movies

Well these are to the best of my memory from all the movies I have watched. Please feel free to help me remember more and I will happily add and translate them for you 🙂 Any correction in translation is also welcomed 🙂

What’s the ‘Doha’ style poetry in Hindi movies?


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