Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ye arzoo thi tujhe --- Haider Ali 'Aatish'

Wonderfully sung by both Amanat Ali and Abida Parveen.

Ye arzoo thi tujhe gul ke rubaroo karte
Hum aur bulbul-e-betaab guftgoo karte

I wished that I could make you face a flower
And then try to talk to the flustered nightingale
[In Urdu poetry, Nightangle and Flower are considered lovers. The writer is saying that She's so beautiful that the nightingale will get confused between Her and the flower and that he'll then enjoy talking to the nightingale.]

*Payaambar na *mayassar hua to khoob hua,
Zaabaan-e-*gair se kya *sharh-e-arzoo karte

It's good if a messenger couldn't be afforded
How would I have conveyed my heart through a stranger

Humesha maine *girebaan ko chaak-chaak kiya,
Tamaam umra *rafookar rahe rafoo karte

I always got my collar torn (metaphor for public disgrace)
And the cloth-menders spent their lives mending it
[Meaning that I got myself in trouble constantly and my friends always tried to salvage the situation]

Meri tarah se *mah-o-*mehr bhi hein aawaara,
Kisi *habeeb ki ye bhi hein justjoo karte

The sun and the moon also loiterers like me.
They are also, like me, trying to find a lover
[The relative rotation of the sun and moon around the earth is compared to loitering]

Jo dekhte teri zanjeer-e-zulf ka aalam
*Aseer hone ki aazaad aarzoo karte

If only they witness the charm of being 'fettered' by Your tresses
The Free would wish to be captured

Na pooch *aalam-e-barghashta-taala'i 'Aatish'
Barasti aag jo *baaraan ki arzoo karte

Don't even ask about the ill fortune of "Aatish"
It rained fire when he wished for rain.
[I think there's wordplay in this couplet. Aatish, the writer's nom de plume means fire (a common metaphor for desires), so he's wishing for rain, meaning fulfilling his desires? But instead, the rain Gods rain fire, giving him more desires. We get reminded of Momin's:
Maanga karenge ab se dua hijr-e-yaar ki,
Aakhir ko dushmani hai asar ko dua ke saath

Henceforth I'll pray for separation from my love,
Prayer and dispensation are deep hostile after all

--- Haider Ali 'Aatish'

payaambar : messenger
mayassar : afforded
gair : stranger
sharh : describe
rafookar : one who mends torn clothes
mah : moon
mehr : sun
habeeb : lover
aseer : captives
aalam-e-barghashta-taala'i : caprice of ill fortune
baaraan : rain

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Khushi ne mujhko thukraya hai

Another gem by Beghum Akhtar. Written by Ali Ahmed Jalili.

An attempt at a literal translation.

Khushi ne mujhko thukraya hai, dard-o-gham ne paala hai
Gulon ne be-rukhi ki hai, toh kaanton ne sambhala hai

Happiness deserted me while pain accommodated,
Flowers snubbed me while the thorns supported

Mohabbat mein khayaal-e-sahil-o-manzil hai naadaani,
Jo in raahon mein lut jaaye, wahi taqdeer waala hai

Looking for shore in the ocean of love is immaturity,
Lucky are those who drown during their journey

Charagan kar ke dil behla rahe ho kya jahan waalon,
Andhera laakh roshan ho, ujaala phir ujaala hai

Why are people trying to ward off darkness (sorrow) by lighting candles?
There's only so much artificial lighting can do when compared to natural light

Kinaaron se mujhe ae naakhudaaon door hi rakhna
Wahan lekar chalo toofan jahan se uthne waala hai

Keep me (my ship) away from the safe shores, dear Captain (Naakhuda)
Take me where a storm is about to rise

Nasheman hi ke lut jaane ka gham hota to kya gham tha
Yahan toh bechne waale ne, gulshan bech daala hai

If only I was sad for just having my nest ripped off,
The sellers here, have sold the whole garden.

--- Ali Ahmed Jalili

Tabiyat in dinon

This is one of my favorite ghazals by Jigar. The whole ghazal is about depression in my opinion. It's a very complex emotional condition and Jigar describes it very elegantly. It has been sung rather nonchalantly by Beghum Akthar who has a flair for singing melancholic ghazals quite effortlessly, perhaps because she lived a life which was much more sad. I try to give an interpretive translation to it.

Tabiyat in dinon begana-e-gham hoti jaati hai,
Mere hisse ki goya har khushi kam hoti jaati hai

I have been forgetful of my sorrows of late,
The last few friends I had are also deserting me now  

Sahar hone ko hai, bedaar shabnam hoti jaati hai,
Khushi minjumala-o-asbaab-e-maatam hoti jaati hai

It's almost morning and the Dew is awake now,
Happy times are about to become the reason of sadness

[I think that he's showing how the objects of sadness and happiness are often the same. Like the dew, which looks beautiful in the night evaporates off in the morning heat causing sadness :)]

Qayamat kya, ye ae husn-e-do-aalam hoti jaati hai,
Ki mehfil to wahi hai, dilkashi kam hoti jaati hai

What's doomsday, it's just another trifle O 'beauty of both worlds'
The gathering is exactly the same, my interest recedes

 [In the first line, he seems to be giving an example of how much he's lost interest in the world, that apocalypse seems trivial to him.]

Wahi mai-khaana-o-sehbaa wahi saagar wahi sheesha
Magar aawaaz-e-nausha-nosh maddham hoti jaati hai

The same tavern, the same wine, the same is my globlet
But where is the the jubilation of drinking?

Wahi hai shaahid-o-saaqi, magar dil bujhta jaata hai,
Wahi hai shamma lekin roshni kam hoti jaati hai

The same is my sweetheart, the same cup-bearer, but my heart aches
The torch burns the same but the brightness retreats

Wahi shorish hai lekin jaise mauj-e-tah-nashin koi,
Wahi dil hai magar aawaaz maddham hoti jaati hai

Life's chaos has become like an undercurrent in an ocean,
My heart's the same, but the sound of heartbeats lowers

[Notice how a beating heart is compared to confusion in life.]

Wahi hai zindagi lekin 'Jigar' ye haal hai apna,
Ke jaise zindagi se zindagi kam hoti jaati hai
[This is depression explained in two lines :)]

My life is the same, nothing changed
I keep living, but the life in me is diminishing

begana-e-gham : without sorrow
goya : as if
minjumala : along with
asbaab: reason
maatam: mourning
husn-e-do-aalam : beauty of the two worlds
aawaaz-e-nausha-nosh: the calls of 'Cheers' while drinking
maddham: low
shaahid: witness, lover
saaqi: cup-bearer
shorish: confusion
mauj: wave
tah-nashin : under the surface

Full ghazal taken from here