Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The saddest poem ever written - leaf from the past diaries 2

When it comes to pathos and 'ishq' (I am still unable to find an English equivalent of this word) nothing beats the Urdu poets. Its almost difficult to believe that a language (and hence its litterature) which is just about 3 centuries old can be so rich and robust. Once again in my past diaries, I found something which I felt can be reproduced for you. Its a translation of (as the name suggests) one of the saddest poems Ive ever read from this side of the world.
Israr-ul-Haq Majaaz was one of the leading poets of the pre-independence days. He went mad after experiencing the gore of partition and spent his last days in an asylum! Below is a nazm by him called 'Awaara'...the pain soaked helplessness the poet's cry is unfathomable. I got exposed to it for the first time from a Talat Mehmood's (that playback singer from yesteryears) rendition of it and then later by an excellent Jagjit Singh's rendition of it from Kahkashaan. Ever since it has been one of my all time favorites so I tried to do justice to my passion by translating it for the larger audience of my friends...

Shahar kii raat aur mai.n naashaad-o-naakaaraa phiruu.N
Jagamagaatii jaagatii sa.Dako.n pe aavaaraa phiruu.N
Gair kii bastii hai kab tak dar badar maraa phiruu.N
Ai Gam-e-dil kyaa karuu.N,
Ai vahashat-e-dil kyaa karuu.N

Ye roopahalii chhaao.N ye aakaash par taaro.n kaa jaal
Jaise suufii kaa tasavvur jaise aashiq kaa Khayaal
Aah lekin kaun jaane kaun samajhe jii kaa haal
Ai Gam-e-dil kyaa karuu.N
Ai vahashat-e-dil kyaa karuu.N

Raaste me.n ruk ke dam le luu.N merii aadat nahii.n
LauT kar vaapas chalaa jaauu.N merii fitarat nahii.n
Aur koii ham-navaa mil jaae ye qismat nahii.n
Ai Gam-e-dil kyaa karuu.N ai vahashat-e-dil kyaa karuu.N

Ik mahal kii aa.D se nikalaa vo piilaa maahataab

Jaise mullaah kaa amaamaa jaise baniye kii kitaab
Jaise muflis kii javaanii jaise bevaa kaa shabaab
Ai Gam-e-dil kyaa karuu.N ai vahashat-e-dil kyaa karuu.N

Night has fallen in the city, and I roam disappointed and defeated
On dazzling, lit streets, I roam, a vagabond
It is not my neighborhood, how long can I loiter like this
Anguished heart, desperate heart, what should I do?

These beautiful shadows, this net of stars on the sky
Like a Sufi’s contemplation, a poets thought
But aah, who is to narrate my heart’s tale
Anguished heart, desperate heart, what should I do?

To stop and rest on the way is not my habit
To admit defeat is not my styleTo find a companion, is not my fate
Anguished heart, desperate heart, what should I do?

From behind a palace, emerged the yellow moon
Like a mulla’s robe, like a money lender’s ledger
Like a poor man’s youth, a widow’s beauty
Anguished heart, desperate heart, what should I do?

For those who do not know, Israr Ul Haq Majaz was the uncle of Javed Akhtar and brother-in-law of the famous Jaan Nisaar Akhtar (one who wrote the lyrics for many old movie songs, including the classic 'Aankhon Hi Aankhon Mein Ishaara Ho Gaya).
Am taking a break from Blogsville for a period of 10 days as I have a busy holiday ahead. Until then...


Anonymous said...

truly divine, one request i kindly translate the song from Bazaar,"dekha e di yeh yun, ke bekhud ki yaad"

meraj said...

its an excellent piece one by the classical and difficult poet 'meer taqi meer'. will try my best to do justice to it...which means i shall be translating it but cant give you a deadline on that one...

btw, who are you?

Anonymous said...

i look forward to the translation. Will be really thankful to u as i have been wanting know th exact meaning of the song.

Anonymous said...

u say this was a talat??? hmm...never come across it...keep these posts coming...they're a god-sent for someone like me who's knowledge of urdu is next to nothing...nice exposure...thanx..thanx a lot
cheers, Bianca.

meraj said...

you are totally welcome, Bianca...will be posting more of these stuff as and when it occurs to my whim...got to translate 'dikhaaye diye you....' one of these days.