Songs of the stars

Now that the full moon and the solar eclipse and the clouds have all had their day, it is time to bring out the stars! Stars are defined as a luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity. But a star is so much more than that!

carl sagan

Stars light up the night sky and the very first people who looked up and realized that some of the dots were twinkling and some were not , were the first astronomers who had just recognized planets within the solar system as being something different.

milky way

In fact Pythagoras, (whose theorem has tormented every student of geometry), theorized that the stars and planets revolving around the Earth (pre Heliocentrism) made a continuous sound. He called this the music of the stars. When asked how come the resulting sounds, which would be insanely loud, were not being heard by us, Pythagoras and his followers surmised that, because it was continually sounding, humans had no point of comparison—no real sense of silence or difference—and therefore could not distinguish it from our known idea of silence.

The nearest star to the Earth (after the Sun of course) is currently Alpha Centauri which is a three star system and is 4.2 light years away. Which means what we see today is the light that was set out from them 4.2 years ago. Amazing or what?!

Stars have a life cycle that goes into billions of years but is fascinating to read about since one of those pathways leads also to black holes. Those mysterious objects that do not allow even light and gravity to escape and have been speculated to be the pathways to parallel universes.

Our own Sun is a midsized star and is likely to end up as a white dwarf. Of course, hopefully humans would have moved on somewhere else outside the solar system by then since life on Earth as we know it would die out during the red giant phase.


Reality check–It is billions of years away. No excuse to miss your cardio routine today 🙂

Stars are an inspiration for poets as well as scientists and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the two! After all, we are made of the same stardust– poets, philosophers, physicists and all.


In a smooth segue, here are some exquisite old songs with the Stars of Bollywood from the black and white era that also evoke the stars in such a romantic way!

  1. Yeh hawa, yeh raat, yeh chandni ,from Sangdil based on Jane Eyre. What a crackling chemistry between Madhubala and Dilip Kumar and Talat Mehmood’s silken voice.


  1. Yeh raat, yeh chandni, phir kahan? Dev Anand playing a guitar under a tree. Hemant Kumar singing. Does it get any better? The film is Jaal and Dev Anand plays a mysterious man who turns up in Goa and of course Geeta Bali falls in love with him despite the misgivings of her blind older brother (KN Singh).


3. Aaja sanam, madhur chandni mein hum. A romantic duet from Chori Chori. Starring Nargis and Raj Kapoor, it is a remake of ‘It Happened One Night’ and was remade again as Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin. This track is based on the Italian folk tune Tarantella Napoletana

  1. Tere Bina Aag Yeh Chandni—from Awara, and apparently the first ‘dream sequence’ scene in Hindi films. It is also known as Ghar Aya Mera Pardesi.




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