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Why Did Gulzar Write ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ and Not ‘Dil Dhak Dhak Kare’?

“Dil hoom hoom kare” is a famous song from the film Rudaali (1993).

“Dil hoom hoom kare” is a famous song from the film Rudaali (1993). The song beautifully captures the longing the woman feels for her lover. In the song, she describes how his love has rejuvenated her and asks him how can she hide the love which the society forbids. The sound ‘hoom hoom’ is supposed to denote the beating of the heart.
Here is why Gulzar used “hoom hoom” to denote the heartbeat against the commonly used “dhak dhak”, as told by him in the book 100 Lyrics.
The heart makes many a demand, but only one sound: ‘dhak-dhak’. Be it the heart of Madhuri Dixit, or of Shammi Kapoor. The language has kept changing with the times but the heart’s sound has always remained the same in our film songs. Particularly Hindi film songs.
Suddenly I came across this Assamese folk song where the sound the heart makes is described as ‘hoom-hoom’. I just loved it. It is much more romantic than ‘dhak-dhak’. There were some apprehensions but I insisted on using the phrase ‘hoom-hoom’ in this song, since the entire tune was based on the same Assamese folk song, only the lines changed according to the situation.
Dil hoom hoom kare (Rudaali, 1993)
Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye
Ghan dham dham kare, darr jaaye
Ek boond kabhi paani ki mori ankhiyon se barsaaye
Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye


Teri jhori daaroon sab sukhe paat jo aaye
Tera chhua laage, meri sukhi daar hariyaaye
Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye
Jis tan ko chhua tune, us tan ko chhupaaoon
Jis man ko laage naina, voh kisko dikhaaoon


O more chandrama, teri chaandni ang jalaaye
Teri oonchi ataari maine pankh liye katwaaye
Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye
Ghan dham dham kare, darr jaaye
Ek boond kabhi paani ki mori ankhiyon se barsaaye


Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye…

—Gulzar
 
Translation:
The heart rumbles and mumbles
dark clouds of worries roar and thunder
and yet I keep yearning
for even a single drop of tears
to burst forth from my eyes
 
I know your touch can sprout life
in these shrivelled stumps of my existence
and in this hope I gather and preserve
all the wilted leaves of my life
 
Your love
that has touched my body
is difficult to hide
but your touch
that has impinged itself on my soul—
how do I bare it to you?
 
You are my moon, and yet
your soothing rays scorch my skin
your perch is high
and my wings freshly clipped
the heart rumbles and mumbles . . .
—Translated by Sunjoy Shekhar
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