Friday, October 7, 2016

Aakhiri Khat

We attempt to translate Faiz's 'Akhiri Khat' (The Last Letter).  We believe that the poem can be divided into three parts.  

In the first part the poet is lamenting about how his life has been useless as far love is concerned and that his end is near.  

Then in the second part he goes on to wonder about how She'd react on hearing about him dead and predicts two possible outcomes.  Either She will, on finding that he died of the travails of love, realize that he was deeply in love with Her and respect his grave and remember his cries for help.  Or She will be mocking him for his stupidity and disrespect his grave.

The third part is about the the fact that whatever She does, laments his death or laugh at him, it doesn't matter after all.  Thus this is the 'Akhiri Khat'. 

[Observation verse]
Vo waqt meri jaan bahut dur nahin hai,
Jab dard se ruk jaayengi sab zeest ki raahen,
Aur had se guzar jaayega andoh-e-nihaani,
Thak jaayengi tarsi hui naakam nigahen,
Chin jaayenge mujhse mere aanson meri aahen,
Chin jaayegi mujhse meri bekaar jawani

The time is not very far my dear,
When the pain will stop the flow of life,
And the hidden/internal pain will overwhelm me,
And my failed eyes will get tired,
And my tears and sighs will be taken away from me,
And so will be my useless youth. 

[Perhaps She'll understand my love verse]

Shayad meri ulfat ko bahut yaad karogi,
Apne dil-e-masoom ko nashaad karogi,
Aaogi meri gor pe tum ashq bahaane,
Nau-khez bahaaron ke hasin phool chadhaane

Perhaps you'll remember my affections,
And make your innocent heart sad,
And come to my grave to shed tears,
And offer the spring's newly sprung flowers

[Perhaps She won't change]

Shayad meri turbat ko bhi thukra ke chalogi,
Shayad meri be-sood vafaaon pe hasogi,
Is vaza-e-karam ka bhi tumhen paas na hoga,
Lekin dil-e-nakaam ko ehsaas na hoga

Perhaps you'll not acknowledge even my grave,
And laugh at my unrequited, futile affections,
And you'd not notice even this favor, [Meaning that she won't understand that she's doing him a favor by coming to his grave, like her other 'favors' that she didn't notice? :D] 
But my ineffective heart won't be able to feel it.

[Either way doesn't matter verse]

Al-qissa ma.aal-e-gham-e-ulfat pe haso tum,
Ya ashq bahaati raho, fariyaad karo tum,
Maazi pe nadaamat ho tumhe ya ki masarrat,
Khamosh pada soyega vamanda-e-ulfat

In short, you laugh at how the pain of unrequited love ended,
Or you cry and pray for atonement(?)
You regret the past or are proud of it,
Either way, I, tired of the loved, would sleep in silence.

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