Thursday, July 19, 2012

Taj Mahal by Sahir Ludhianvi: a new translation















Taj Mahal 
by
Sahir Ludhianvi

Taaj tere liye ek mazaar-e-ulfat hi sahi
Tumko is vaadi-e-rangeen se aquidat hi sahi
Mere mehboob kahin aur milaa kar mujhse

Bazm-e-shaahi mein gareebon ka guzar kya maani
Sabt jis raah pe ho satwat-e-shaahi ke nishaan
Us pe ulfat bhari roohon ka safar kya maani

Mere mehboob paas-e-pardah-e-tasheer-e-wafaa
Tu ne satwat ke nishaanon ko to dekhaa hotaa
Murdaashaahon ke maqaabir se behelnewaali
Apne taareeq makaanon ko to dekhaa hotaa

Anginat logon ne duniyaa mein muhabbat ki hain
Kaun kehtaa hai ki saadiq na the jazbe unke
Lekin unke liye tasheer ka saamaan nahin
Kyonki who log bhi apni hi tarah muflis the

Yeh imaarat-o-maqaabir, yeh faseelein, yeh hisaar
Mutalqulhukm shahenshaahon ki azmat ke sutoon
Daaman-e-dehr pe us rang ki gulkaari hai
Jisme shaamil hain tere aur mere ajdaad ka khoon

Mere mehboob, unhe bhi to muhabbat hogi
Jinki sannaaee ne bakshi hai ise shakl-e-jameel
Unke pyaaron ke maqaabir rahe benaam-o-namood
Aaj tak un pe jalaayee na kisi ne qandeel

Yeh chamanzaar, ye jamunaa ka kinaaraa, yeh mahal
Yeh munaqqash dar-o-deewaar, yeh mehraab, yeh taaq
Ik shahenshaah ne daulat kaa sahaaraa lekar
Hum gareebon ki muhabbat kaa udaayaa hai mazaaq

Mere mehboob kahin aur milaa kar mujhse


Taj Mahal
translated by
Mustansir Dalvi

For you, my love, the Taj
may well be the quintessence
of ardour; while full well
may you regard
this exquisite vale. Even so,
dear one, let us meet
someplace else.

What worth, these lowly ones,
loitering in the halls of the lords,
where on every path lie etched
remains of pomp and glory?
What worth then, the passing
of lovelorn souls?

My love, behind the veils
of love’s proud proclamations,
did you see the signs
of imperious grandeur?
You, who revel
in mausoleums of dead kings,
did you not heed the dark hovels
that fostered us?

Beyond count are those, in this world
who have lived and loved.
Could anyone deny the truth
of their passions?
But they, like us, stay destitute,
without the means
to erect monuments to their love.

These edifices, these tombs,
these battlements, these forts,
haughty relics
of the conceit of emperors,
are left behind like resilient creepers
on the face of the world,
seeped in the blood
of our forefathers.

My love, those artful hands
who created this beauty
would have lived
and loved too; but their lovers
are long gone, nameless,
without a trace.
To this day, no one has lit
a candle in their memory.

The lush gardens and palaces,
the Yamuna’s edge;
the exquisitely carved portals,
the arches and niches,
the handiwork of the one
emperor who, buttress’d
by infinite wealth
has mocked our very love,
our impoverish'd, destitute love.

Even so, my love,
let us meet
someplace else.




© 2012, translation and transliteration by Mustansir Dalvi, all rights reserved.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Teri aankhon ke siwaa duniyaa mein rakhkhaa kya hai: Love songs by Faiz Ahmed Faiz


Mujh se pehli si muhabbat mere mehboob na maang 
by
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
from Naqsh-e-Fariyaadi (1943)

Mujh se pehli si muhabbat mere mehboob na maang
Maine samjhaa tha ke tu hai to darakhshaan hai hayaat
Tera gham hai to gham-e-dehar ka jhagdaa kyaa hai
Teri surat se hai aalam mein bahaaron ko sabaat
Teri aankhon ke siwaa duniyaa mein rakhkhaa kya hai
Tu jo mil jaaye to taqdir nigoon ho jaaye
Yoon na thaa maine faqat chaahaa thaa yoon ho jaaye
Aur bhi dukh hai zamaane mein muhabbat ke siwaa
Raahatein aur bhi hain vasl ki raahat ke siwaa
Anginat sadiyon ki taareeq bahemaanaa tilism
Resham-o-atlas-o-kamkhwaab mein bunvaaye hue
Ja-ba-ja bikte hue koochaa-o-baazaar mein jism
Khaak mein lithade hue, khoon mein nehlaaye hue
Jism nikle hue amraaz ke tannooron se
Peep behti hui galte hue naasooron se
Laut jaati hai udhar ko bhi nazar, kya keeje?
Ab bhi dilkash hai tera husn, magar kya keeje?
Aur bhi dukh hai zamaane mein muhabbat ke siwaa
Raahatein aur bhi hain vasl ki raahat ke siwaa
Mujh se pehli si muhabbat mere mehboob na maang



My love, do not ask from me the love we shared before 
translated by 
Mustansir Dalvi

My love, do not ask from me
the love we shared once before.
If you were here, I always thought
life would shine, eternally.

We share our grief, so why argue
over the sorrows of the world?
Your countenance is the assurance
of perennial spring, everywhere.

For what is the worth of this world
but the sight of your eyes?
If only I found you, the fates
would be enthralled.

This wasn’t how it should have been,
except that I wanted it to be;
there are more sorrows in this world
beyond the anguish of love.

There is more to happiness
than the relief of reunion;
the blight of dark magic
of years beyond counting,

while draped in silk,
satin and brocade; everywhere,
in alleys and marketplaces,
young flesh is up for sale.

Dragged in the dirt,
bathed in blood, bodies
emerge from furnaces
of pestilence.

Pus flows untapped
from leaking ulcers.
My eyes can't look away,
what should I do?

Your beauty still allures, but
what can I do?
There are sorrows in this world
beyond the pleasures of love.

There is more to happiness
than the relief of reunion;
so my love, do not ask from me
the love we shared once before.






Dasht-e-tanhaai 
by 
Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Dasht-e-tanhaai mein ai jaan-e-jahaan larzaan hai
Teri awaaz ke saaye, tere honthon ke saraab

Dasht-e-tanhaai mein doori ke khas-o-khaak kitne
Khil rahe hain tere pehloo ke saman aur gulaab

Uth rahi hai kahin qurbat se teri saans ke aanch
Apni kushboo mein sulagti hui madhdham madhdham

Door ufaq par chamakti hui qatraa qatraa
Gir rahi hai tere dildaar nazar ki shabnam

Kis qadar pyaar se ai jaan-e-jahaan rakhkha hai
Dil ke rukhsaar pe is waqt teri yaad ne haath

Yoon gumaan hotaa hai garche hai abhi subhaa-e-firaaq
Dhal gayaa hijr kaa din, aa bhi gayi vasl ke raat



In the wasteland of my loneliness 
translated by 
Mustansir Dalvi

In the wasteland of my loneliness,
O love of my life, lie quivering
wraiths of your whispers,
your delirious lips.

In the wasteland of my loneliness,
there, in the dirt and ashes
of distance, blossom roses
and jasmines of our intimacy.

The warmth of your breath
exhaled, from somewhere close,
smoulders, softly, gently
in its own fragrance,

while glistening,
from a distance, the enchantment
of your glance falls like dew,
drop by drop.

O! the gentleness, my love,
with which the hand
of your remembrance strokes
the cheek of my desire.

While it still may seem
like the first light of our parting,
the day of separation has waned, 
the eternal night of union is upon us.






Translation and Transliteration (c) copyright Mustansir Dalvi, 2012, all rights reserved..