A lot of queries regarding the lyrics so putting them here, with translation. Also included is the additional verse which is now a part of ‘Jaag Musaafir’ track on the album here.

Song video: (with captions)


Ujadi riyaasat lutey Sultan

Adhmari bulbul, aadhi jaan,

Aadhi sadi ki aadhi nadi mein,

Aadhi sadak pe poori shaan…

(Devastated Kingdom, demoralized King,

Injured bird, with half a soul,

Half a century & half-dried river later,

Full arrogance on half-broken roads.)

Aadha aadha jod ke banta,

Poora ek fitoora…

Aur aadhe bujhe charaag ke talley,

Poora Kaanpoora…

(Sum of the parts, misfit & odd,

Make up this madness,

And under the half-lit lamp,

Lives this city of Kanpur.)


Hatiya khuli, sarafa bandh,

Jhaade raho CollectorGanj,

Baat-baat pe phantom ban-na,

Chhodo baith ke maaro tanj…

(One market’s open, another closed,

Collectorganj traffic’s always jammed,

So stop behaving like Phantom,

Just sit and make fun of the world.)

Arre Angrejan toh bisar gaye,

Aur gaiyya road pe pasar gayi,

Andu-baksai karte karte

Bachi-khuchi sab kasar gayi.

(The British left long ago,

And the cows colonized the roads,

Aimless gossiping for long hours,

Finishes any hopes of a comeback.)

Kasar gayi aur bhasar machi hai,

Chaat ke laal dhatoora…

Aadhe bujhe charaag ke talley,

Poora Kaanpoora…

(Hope is over-rated when,

‘Dhatoora’ can keep you happy,

And under the half-lit lamp,

Lives the city of Kanpur.)

Jeb pe paiband, mijaaz sikandar,

Dher madaari, ek kalandar,

Tooti si jaadu ki chhadi,

Ek ruki si ret ghadi,

(Torn pockets, dance of monkeys,

And still the air of smugness.

A broken magic wand,

A stuck sand-clock.)

Aage dekh ke peechhey chalta

Shahar yeh poora ka poora

(Looking forward, walking backwards,

This city’s ways are strange & cute.)

(Additional verse)

Ped pe machhli paani mein bandar

Bhoosey ke mahalon ka sookha samandar

Dulhe pe ghodi, haalat ajeebi

Har koi lagta Rashid ki Bibi.

Aur bibi ji ke nek haath mein

ek haath ka chhoora,

Aur aadhe bujhe chiraag ke talley

Poora Kaanpoora.






One thought on “Kaanpoora

  1. Dear Mr. Grover, Just wanted to say that as a lecturer in criminology, I really enjoyed your lyrics in Udta Punjab and Katiabaaz. It’s a great job of understanding and analyzing social problems and putting them in verse, without losing the seriousness of the issue or the jibes (quite a tightrope!). Keep up the great work and also thank you – it makes my classes a bit more alive!

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