Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Faraz - II (and a bonus Faiz)


Vo chaand mera ham safar thaa
doori ke ujaar jangalon mein
ab meri nazar se chhup chukaa hai

Ek umr se mai maloolo-tanha
zulmat ki rahguzaar mein hoon
mai aage badhoon ki laut jaoon

Kya soch ke intezaar mein hoon
koi bhi nahin jo ye bataye
main kaun hoon kis dayar mein hoon.

- Ahmed Faraz

English Translation (mine):


That moon traveled with me
in this barren forest of distances
now it's hidden from my sight.

For ages now, I, sad and alone,
have walked in darkened ways.
Shall I go on, or return?

What thought makes me stay?
There is no one here to tell me
Who am I? What is this place?


Khaamosh ho kyon

Khaamosh ho kyon daade-jafaa kyon nahin dete
Bismil ho to qatil ko duaa kyon nahin dete

Vahshat ka sabab rozan-e-zindaa to nahin hai
Mehero-maho-anjum ko bujhaa kyon nahin dete

Ek ye bhi to andaaze-ilaaje-gam-e-jaan hai
Ay charah-garo, dard badhaa kyon nahin dete

Munsif ho agar tum to kab insaaf karoge
Mujrim hain agar hum to sazaa kyon nahin dete

Rahzan ho to haazir hai mataa-e-dilo-jaan bhi
Rahbar ho to manzil ka pataa kyon nahin dete

Kyaa beet gayi ab ke 'faraz' ahle-chaman par
Yaraane-qafas mujhko sadaa kyon nahin dete

- Ahmed Faraz
English Translation (mine):

Why are you silent?

Why are you silent? Why don't you praise injustice?
Wounded, why don't you bless the executioner?

Your solitude is not some prison chandelier
Why don't you put it out? Extinguish moon, stars, sun?

This is another way to cure life's sadness
O, doctors! Why don't you increase the pain?

If you are just, when will your justice be done?
If I am guilty, why don't you render punishment?

If you're a highwayman, take both my money and my life
If a guide, why don't you tell me where this road will end?

What has come over this garden and its inmates, Faraz,
Why don't my friends from prison call out to me?

Two more Faraz poems. To really appreciate the latter, of course, you have to read it in the context of this Faiz ghazal [1]:

Be-dam hue beemar dawaa kyon nahin dete
Tum acche maseeha ho shifaa kyon nahin dete

Dard-e-shab-e-hijra ki jazaa kyon nahin dete
Khoon-e-dil-e-vahashi ka silaa kyon nahin dete

Mit jayegi makhlook to insaaf karoge
Munsif ho to ab hashra uthaa kyon nahin dete

Paiman-e-junoon haathon ko sharmayega kab tak
Dilwalon, gareeban ka pataa kyon nahin dete

Barbaadi-e-dil-jabr nahin 'Faiz' kisee ka
Voh dushman-e-jaan hai to bhulaa kyon nahin dete.

- Faiz Ahmed Faiz

[1] that I'm afraid I don't have the energy to translate. Maybe some other day.


Space Bar said...

In 'Khwab', your translation:

first stanza last line. Is there a reason you've left out the 'now'?

last stanza, last two lines. In general, 'Who am I' sounds better when it's a question. I can see why you'd want to retain the word order that's in the Urdu, but it doesn't sound right - not without an intrusive punctuation that doesn't exist in the original.

Falstaff said...

SB: Hmmm. Good point about the 'now'. I'm not sure why I overlooked that - I guess it just felt superfluous. Have added it now.

I'm not sure about the last stanza. I would argue the intrusive punctuation is there anyway - Faraz may not actually use a question mark, but there's an implied gap between main kaun hoon and kis dayar main hoon. So the translation as it stands works for me.

Still, if you'd like an alternative, just replace the last line with:

who I am and in what place.

equivocal said...

The translation of Khwab, especially, is very, very nice-- so clear and well turned. As regards who am i? it works for me as verse, the inversion not so much a problem because of the line break.

With Khamosh ho kyon, what I'm missing is melody. I can't quite comment on whether that exists in the original of course, but often the problem is that in translation the lines become statements (without a sense of melody to carry the aching longing that is behind the lines)

Your translation of "Go" does carry melody, as with Kwhab, but the last line seems a little awkward...?

my 3 cents. Looking forward to more.

Incidentally, I'm trying to understand what it is I'm hearing as melody: it might have something to do with the play of vowel-length.

Falstaff said...

equivocal: Thanks. Agree about Khamosh ho kyon missing melody - what it needs, I think (beyond just a fair amount of tweaking to make it read better - I was too tired to do that last night) is an alternative to the 'why don't you' formula that seems natural in the original but jarring in the translation. One alternative would be just to drop that entirely, but I always feel that a ghazal, even in translation, should have some sense of repetition. I need to think about another way of posing the question at the end of every couplet.

drifting leaf said...

hey fal... i like how these sound.