Friday, May 10, 2013

Dil ko khush rakhne ko, Ghalib, yeh khayaal achcha hai (translated by Mustansir Dalvi)

a Ghazal by 
Ghalib

Husn-e-maah garche ba-hangaam-e-kamaal achchaa hai
Us-se mera maah-e-kursheed jamaal achcha hai

Bosa dete nahin aur dil pe hai har lehzaa nigaah
Jee mein kehte hain ki muft haath aaye to maal achcha hai

Aur bazaar se le aaye agar toot gayaa
Saagar-e-Jam se mera jaam-e-sifaal achcha hai

Betalab dein to mazaa usme sivaa milta hai
Woh gadaa jis mein na ho khu-e-sawaal achcha hai

Unke dekhe se jo aati hai munh par raunaq
Woh samajhte hain ki beemaar ka haal achcha hai

Dekhiye paate hain ushshaaq buton se kya faiz
Ek Barheman ne kahaa hai yeh saal achcha hai

Hamsukhan teshe ne Farhad ko Shireen se kiya
Jis tarah kaa bhi kisi mein ho kamaal achcha hai

Qatraa dariyaa mein jo mil jaayen to dariyaa ho jaaye
Kaam achcha hai jo jiska ma’aal achcha hai

Khizr Sultaan ko rakhkhe khaaliq-e-akbar sar sabz
Shah ke baag mein yeh tazaa nihaal achcha hai

Hum ko maaloom hai jannat ki haqeeqat, lekin
Dil ko khush rakhne ko Ghaalib yeh khayaal achcha hai



This thought’s not bad. Not bad at all.
translated by
Mustansir Dalvi

It’s all very fine, from time to time,
to bask in the beauty of a blossoming moon,
but my beloved’s face, like day for night
is brilliance no less, and dazzles eternally.

You won’t kiss me, but always keep
my heart captive in your cold eyes,
and then surmise: if it’s free after all,
that’s not bad. Not bad at all.

Should it perchance shatter, you could
buy one from the bazaar another day.
Better than Jamshed’s bejewelled goblet,
is it not? This, my ignoble cup of clay.

Nothing gives greater pleasure
than to receive without having to ask.
Even a panhandler's presence is preferable
if silently, he goes about his task.

Each time I get a glimpse of her
a slow radiance rises on my face.
She sees me glowing thus, and thinks:
why, this invalid's all better again!

Let’s see what gains lovers accrue
prostrating before such wanton icons.
Well, here’s a Brahmin who has decreed:
this year'll be a good one.

It took a workman’s shovel to bring
Shirin and Farhad to speak of love.
Do not look down upon this.
Every humble skill has its worth.

Each drop that falls into the sea
is subsumed to make the sea itself.
Every endeavour is praiseworthy
if it succeeds in its conclusion.

O Great Creator, let Sultan Khizr
flourish and thrive. This fresh sapling
in the garden of the emperor
may bring good fortune to us all.

I know the truth about paradise, but
you will agree Ghalib, if this fable
provides cold comfort, then
the thought’s not bad. Not bad at all.


Translation and Transliteration © Mustansir Dalvi, 2013, All rights reserved.