Wednesday, December 10, 2008

As though someone asked... [Faraz V]

Aur tere shahar se jab rakhte-safar baandh liya
Daro-deevar pe hasrat ki nazar kya karte
Chaand kajlai hui shaam ki dahleez pe tha
Us ghadi bhi tere majboor safar kya karte
Dil thahar jaane ko kahta tha magar kya karte

"Hamne jab vaadi-e-gurbat mein kadam rakkha tha"
Jis tarah yaad-e-vatan aaiee thi samjhane ko
Kuch isi tarah ki kaifiyat-e-jaan aaj bhi hai
Jis tarah koi kayamat ho guzar jane ko
Jis tarah koi kahe phir se palat aane ko

- Ahmed Faraz

Translation (mine):

And being prepared to depart from your city
What had we to do with the sight of these rooms?
A mascaraed night, the moon at her threshold;
At that hour, journey-bound, what could we do?
Though our hearts said stay, what could we do?

"When we had stepped into the valley of exile"
And the memory of home came back to explain.
My condition today seems almost the same -
As though some calamity were about to pass
As though someone asked that I return again.

Note: Line 6 and 7 are from Bismil - the original reads: "hamne jab vaadi-e-gurbat mein kadam rakkha tha / door tak yaad-e-vatan aai thi samjhane ko". You can read the full poem here.


Space Bar said...

What you should do is link to the other four translation in the series at the end of this post.

Anonymous said...


km said...

"chaand kajlai hui shaam ki dahleez pe tha"

Stupendous. Thanks for posting this, Falstaff.

Falstaff said...

SB: True. Or I could just add a label for 'Translations' and let you click on that.

Anon: Really? I always though it was more like homelessness. But I could be wrong.

km: You're welcome.

Partho said...

In line 7, shouldn't it be "memory of home came back to to persuade" rather than "explain"?
Mucho gracius for posting this.

Anonymous said...

And having packed our bags from your city
Why these longing looks at the walls?
The moon waits at the threshold of a mascaraed evening
At that hour, how would your slaves journey on ?
Our hearts said stay, but what could we do.

"When we had stepped into the valley of poverty"
Like the memory of home coming back to explain...
My life is in a similar state-
As though there is a calamity to be gone through
As though someone asked that I turn back, again.

(in the original poem, "yaad-e-vatan" comes to explain to him that he
was fated to neglect and grief; here, similarly, it appears to him
that someone is asking him to stay back, and undergo another

POV, of course.

elizabeth said...

These are great, thanks for posting.

Gurbet/gurbat seems to be one of those slippery loanwords that acquires different connotations as it passes through Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Urdu, Turkish, it definitely means exile/homelessless, in the sense of being far from one's native land.

Amit Malhotra said...

In fact, "ghurbat" in India (whether it's the Urdu meaning or just colloquial meaning, I can't confirm) also means "poverty" .. but of course the connotation in Faraz' (and Bismil's) poem is completely different. I didn't know this line appeared somewhere else, I know Bismil heavily inspired song writers in India with his poetry whenever it comes to writing patriotic songs.