Thursday, August 27, 2009

Music and lyrics

If a continental youth wants to declare his love to a girl, he kneels down, tells her that she is the sweetest, the most charming and ravishing person in the world, that she has something in her, something peculiar and individual which only a few hundred thousand other women have and that he would be unable to live one more minute without her. Often, to give a little more emphasis to the statement, he shoots himself on the spot. This is a normal, week-day declaration of love in the more temperamental continental countries. In England the boy pats his adored one on the back and says softly: "I don't object to you, you know." If he is quite mad with passion, he may add: "I rather fancy you, in fact."

-George Mikes, How to be an Alien

It's that season of the year again when one tends to get a wee bit soppy. More the continental in the above context, if you will. It also helps when it's pouring outside, one's child has the half-yearly exams coming on, and mummy has taken full control of affairs. Going out is ruled out by exam and weather, and having gotten hold of a half-decent Maths tutor ensures one is rendered fairly redundant in the household. Having a dram of ol' Scotland in stock can't hurt. What does one do, under the circumstances? One can listen to one's favorite ghazals, watch the rain yonder through the window panes, and ponder. Quite a nice way to be!

Ladies and gentlemen, I then present you, what I've been listening to.

Kabhi yun bhi aa meri aankh mein ke meri nazar ko Khabar na ho
Mujhe ek raat nawaaz de magar uske baad sehar na ho

Woh badaa rahiim-o-kariim hai mujhe ye sifat bhi adaa kare
tujhe bhulne ki dua karoon to dua mein meri asar na ho

Mere bazooomein thakee thakee abhi mehr-e -khab hain chandni
Na uthe sitaron ki palki abhi aahaton ka guzar na ho

Woh firaaq ho yaa visaal ho, teri yaad mahakegi ek din
Woh gulab ban ke khilega kyaa, jo chirag ban ke jalaa na ho

Kabhi din ki dhoop mein jhoom ke kabhi shab ke phool ko choom ke
Yun hi saath saath chalein sada kabhi khatm apana safar na ho

If I have a problem with the the original poetry of Bashir badr, it is that the ghazal doesn't have a suitable climax. It fails to really build on the first two brilliant couplets. However the matla' alone is enough to make it count as an all time favorite. While I simply love the Hussain Brothers' version, the same, alas, I can't say about Jagjit Singh's. He seems to have taken a beautiful love song and turned into a wailing in pain directed towards the divine. I can understand the grave personal trauma he was going through at the time when he recorded the song in 1991, but still.

For months now, I've wanted to translate the poetry. From my lame attempts in the past, you'd know my bad propensity towards doing it in rhyme. Here, then. Promise not to make fun.

Appear in my vision once, just so

Naïve eyes do not need to know

Stay with me but a night, just so

Dawn never breaks on the morrow.

Praise be to God, may He please

Bless me with a virtue so rare

Pray I might, make me forget you

He must never answer my prayer

Wrapped in my arms, one kind dream

Lies still a pale and tired moon

The stars won’t fade out just yet

Heartaches won’t fall asleep so soon

Together, or far apart, your thought

Like incense, on my mind 'll grow

Flourish like a blossom how can he

Burning in flame who’s yet to know?

Basked in a bright summer sun

Kissed by the night in full hue

Strolling forever hand in hand

May our odyssey ever continue

p.s. I've since managed to embed the song sung by The Hussain Brothers.


narendra shenoy said...

Nice translation! And superb poetry. Enjoyed!

Partho said...

Ah you're kind. But come back then, I've managed to embed the number!

Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }
[Editor- Children’s Poem & Adult’s Poem]

Anonymous said...

simply awesome! Your work as well as the poetry. May be I could relate too much! Was stuck with this for quite some time. Pondering over each lines.

"Pray I might, make me forget you

He must never answer my prayer"

The feel.I could just sit quiet and think.

Sorry for being redundant in comments. ;) You get the point right? :)

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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