Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lie down and Listen

Abeeda, bless her soul, is easily one of my five most favorite singers. She of the wild headshakes and the late Fatty Ali Khan Sahab (No offense; just terms of endearment.) This blogger is completely floored by her power, style and range. Alas, it's her inimitable style, that today I'm about to make a weeny-teenie complaint on. You see, it's like this. Whenever Abeeda opens her mouth and lets forth the first notes of her song, she is in communication with divinity. It's a great thing when she's singing sufi. I mean it's overpowering. It makes an agnostic like me go into trances and have visions of a Supreme Being. Take Raqs-e-bismil.

Now consider her singing a simple song of love. She is still talking to Almighty.

Woh Jiski Deed Mein
Woh Jiski Deed Mei...

Don't get me wrong here, this song also is a big favorite. It's still an awesome rendition and all. It's just that whilst listening to it all these years, I had a foolish notion the poet had meant to convey delicate things about God, in those lines. Thanks to Abeeda's power singing and my proficiency in Urdu. It's only recently I've learnt , that Janab Faiz Ahmad Faiz sahab actually wrote this fine ghazal while hanging out by the wayside and ogling at the beauty queen of Sialkot as she walked by. For all we know. I wanted to translate it, but later realized that like much of great poetry, it's not about what the poet is saying but how he says it. And that, unfortunately, is impossible to translate.

Nuff chitchat. Listen to the song. Browse the lyrics, courtesy schwetank. I've included meanings of certain words and expressions. I had looked for them here and here, while attempting the translation. Thought it might come in useful for people with prolific Urdu, like me.

Woh jiski deed mein laakhoun masarratein pinhaan

Woh husn jiski tamanna mein jannat pinhaan

Masarrat: Happiness, Joy; Pinhaan: Concealed, Hidden

Hazaar fitney tah-e-paa-e-naaz khaak-e-nasheen

Har eik nigaah khumar-e-shabaab se rangeen

Tah : Plait, fold, multiplicity, perplexity; Fitnaa: Sedition, Mischief, Quarrel, Revolt, Temptation, Wickedness

Naaz : coquetry, amorous playfulness

Shabaab jis se takhaiyul pe bijliyaan barsein

Waqaar jiski rafaqat ko shokhiyaan tarsey

Shabaab: Juvenility, Youth ; taḵẖaiyul : imagination, fancy ; Waqaar : Solemnity ;

rafāqat : companionship, society, friendship ; Shokhiyaan : Coquetry, Mischief, Restlessness

Ada-e-laghzisheiy paa par qyamatein qurbaan

Bayaz-e-rukh pey sahar ki sabahatein qurbaan

Laghzish: Blunder, Lapse, Mistake, Tottering ; Bayaaz: Album, Handbook, Notebook, Vade Mecum

Sahaba : Wine, Esp. Red Wine ; Rukh : Face, Cheek, Side

Siyaah zulfoun mein badaaon sa nikhatoun ka hujoom

Taweel raatoun ki khwabeedah raahatoun ka hujoom

Siyaah :Black, Dark ; Baadaa : Booze, Wine ; Nikhat: Fragrance;

Hujoom: Assault, Attack, Crowd, Onset, Throng, Tumult ; Taweel: Extended, Lengthy, Long ;

Raahat : Quiet, rest, repose, ease, tranquillity

Woh aankh jiski banao pe khaliq dey raae

Zabaan-e-shair ko tareef kartey sharmaae

Banaao : Appearance, form, shape, colour, Adornment; ḵẖāliq : The Great Creator, the Originator

Gudaaz jism qaba jispe sajke naaz karey

Daraaz qad jisey sarw-e-sahi namaz karey

Gudaaz: Well-Mixed, Well-endowed ;Daraaz : Long, tall; Qaba: Gown, Long Coat Like Garment

Sarw : Affluent, Opulent, Rich, Wealthy; Sahi : A religious mendicant, a Mohammadan faqīr;

Kisi zamaney mein is rah-guzar sey guzraa thaa

Ba-sad guroor-o-tajammul idhar sey guzraa thaa

Tajammul : Dignity, pomp, splendour, magnificence; guroor : pride, vanity, haughtiness,

Ba-sad : by a hundred

Aur ab ye raah guzar bhi hai dilfareb-o-haseen

Hai uski khaak mein kaif-e-sharab-e-sair makeen

Dil fareb : Alluring, Beautiful, Charming, Enticing; Sair : Walk, Excursion, Stroll

Makeen : Firmly fixed; well-established;--in a high station; Kaif: exhilaration, Happiness, Intoxication, Joy

Hawa mein shokhi-e-raftaar ki adaaein hain

Faza mein narmi-e-guftaar ki sadaen hain

Fiza ; Atmosphere, Environment; guftaar : discourse, conversation ; Raftaar: Going, motion, walk, gait, pace

Shokhi : Playfulness, fun, mischief; pertness, sauciness; coquetry, wantonness

Garaz vo husn is raah ka juzu-e-manzar hai

Niyaz-e-ishq kou eik sajda gaah maiyassar hai

Garaz: An object of aim or pursuit, or of desire; aim, end, object, design, view, purpose;

Manzar: Aspect, Countenance, Landscape, Scene, Visage ; Niyaz : Petition, supplication, prayer; Mayassar: easy, feasible, practicable; favourable


Isolde said...

Interesting comment here : "It's only recently I've learnt , that Janab Faiz Ahmad Faiz sahab actually wrote this fine ghazal while hanging out by the wayside and ogling at the beauty queen of Sialkot as the walked by."

Do you have the source please, and do you know any more about Faiz, or Alys, please?
I'd be grateful for any comment.

Partho said...

Oh my! Are you by any chance offended by that comment? Then I'm sorry. The comment was made in jest. Positively no offense was meant. I actually know nothing about the origin of that ghazal. For that matter, I know very little about Faiz and Alys that a quick google search would not throw up. But I'm a big admirer of Faiz Sahab's poetry, as big as a man with but a smattering of Urdu can be. By the mood of the poem, it sounds purely like an eulogy of exceptional beauty from a smitten man. The rest is surmise and deduction. I believe this was one of Faiz Sahab's earlier works. The poet evidently spent his early years in Sialkot before coming to Lahore and then on to Amritsar.

It doesn't seem the reference is of Alys, unlike in, say, mujh se pehli si mohabbat meray mehboob na maang.

But I'm making an ass of myself again. You sound like you know more than this. Enlighten me if you do.

Isolde said...

Not at all! I can't see any reason for offence but do enlighten me please if I am wrong :)

I am co-writing/researching a book on Faiz and his wife Alys, that is all. Any possible source I come across is potentially useful so that is the reason I left the question.

Many thanks :)

Sud said...

musicindiaonline is great, found some stuff there I couldn't even get at rhythm house