Monday, April 30, 2012

Faiz, Bano & me

Every now and then Faiz Ahmad Faiz comes and speaks to me. Sometimes, in the wee hours of the morning and sometimes, deep in the night. Yesterday, for a change, he came in the afternoon along with the great singer Iqbal Baano. Both the greats talked to me over a few G&Ts. What follows is an excerpt from yesterday along with the lady’s brilliant rendition of it.

Dasht-e-tanhaai mein,
Ai jaan-e-jahaan, larzaan hain
Teri avaaz ke saaye, 
Tere honthon ke saraab 

In the desert of my solitude,
Oh love of my life, quivers
The shadows of your voice, 
The mirage of your lips
Dasht-e-tanhaai mein, 
Duri ke khas-o-khaak tale 
Khil rahe hain tere pehlu ke saman aur gulaab

In the desert of my solitude, 
Beneath the dust and ashes of distance
Bloom the jasmines and roses of your proximity

Uth rahi hai kahin qurbat se 
Teri saans ki aanch 
Apani khushbuu mein sulagti hui 
Maddham maddham 

From somewhere very close,
Rises the warmth of your breath
Smouldering in its own aroma,
Slowly, bit by bit.

Dur ufaq par chamakati hui 
Qatra qatra
Gir rahi hai teri dil daar nazar ki shabnam 

Far away, across the horizon,
Glistens drop by drop
The falling dew of your beguiling glance

Is qadar pyaar se hai jaan-e jahaan rakkhaa hai , 
Dil ke rukhsaar pe 
Is vaqt teri yaad ne haath

With such tenderness, O love of my life
On the cheek of my heart,
Has your memory placed its hand right now
Yun guman hota hai 
Garche hai abhi subah-e-firaaq 
Dhal gaya hijr ka din 
Aa bhi gaye vasl ki raat 

That it looks as if
(though it's still the dawn of adieu)
The sun of separation has set
And the night of union has arrived.

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