Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hum Ke Thehre Ajnabi

Whew! the reign of guilt comes to an end. This is how I would describe the process of this translation. I have only short of had nightmares about Faiz questioning me as to what I think I was doing with his poem.
More than ever I now believe in what A.K. Ramanujan said: A translation is like a wife, it can either be beautiful or faithful. (I'm not quoting because I could have jumbled some words but the effect is right. My knowledge of the same=courtesy Bali-a good friend).
Now as most men, I have succumbed to greed and I want both at the risk of getting neither. In any case here is the outcome.
The original followed by the translation:

Hum ke Thehre ajanabii itane madaaraato.n ke baad
Phir bane.nge aashnaa kitanii mulaaqaato.n ke baad

Kab nazar me.n aayegii bedaaG sabze kii bahaar
Khuun ke dhabbe dhule.nge kitanii barasaato.n ke baad

Dil to chaahaa par shikast-e-dil ne mohalat hii na dii
Kuchh gile-shikave bhii kar lete munaajaato.n ke baad

The bahut bedard lamhe.n Khatm-e-dard-e-ishq ke
Thii.n bahut bemahar subahe.n meharabaa.N raato.n ke baad

Un se jo kahane gaye the "Faiz" jaa.N sadaqaa kiye
Anakahii hii rah ga_ii vo bat sab baato.n ke baad

Hospitalities exchanged, yet we who strangers stay
With how many encounters, shall amiability display?

After how many rains, shall the blood stains fade,
And when, in our sight, shall unspotted fields sway?

All that the heart desired, its breaking permitted not,
No grievance did those contained praises betray.

Merciless were moments, that witnessed the end of pain,
Benevolent nights brought in a cruel break of day.

That which, on your life, you determined to convey
Unspoken on your lips, Faiz, the decided words lay

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

BALOGHAT (Adolescence)

For the past two weeks Nyela (my sister) and I have been creatively busy. This was on account of some work that we are almost glad we did: translating the poems of contemporary urdu poet Abdul Ahad Saaz to be presented in an international poetry conference to be held recently. We translated three of them. I shall however post the translation that I am happiest with.
While I was at it I have been playing around with translating a ghazal of Faiz too. Hopefully that would comprise the next post.
For the time, here is the original and the translation of the poem “Baloghat” by Abdul Ahad Saaz:


Meri nazm mujh se bahot chhoti thi

Khelti rehti thi pehr o aagosh mein meri
Aadhe adhoore misre, mere gale mein bahein dale
Jhoolte rehte the

Zehen ke gehvaar mein humakte
Dil ki farsh pe rote machalte
Nok-e-kalam par shor machate, zid karte
Mani ki titliyon ke peechhe daudte phirte the alfaaz

Meri nazm mujh se bahot chhoti thi

Jaane samay kab beet gaya
Gudyo.n ke par nikle aur who pariyo.n si aazaad hui
Lafz javaan hokar izhaar ki raah chal nikle

Aur main tanha,
Apni parayi aankhon se ye dekh raha hoo.n
Meri ungli thaam ke chalne waali nazm
Ab apne pairo.n pe khadi hai

Meri nazm- mujh se badi hai


My poem, just an infant

In my embrace for hours played
Fingers of verses half-composed
Playfully around my neck laid

Words and phrases-
Restless, in the cradle of my mind,
On the floor of my heart, weeping,
Stubborn, on the tip of my pen,
Chasing butterflies of meaning

My poem was younger to me,

And how now the time has passed,
Wingless dolls like fairies have flown
Adolescent words tread paths of expression
And I here, detached, alone

Watch with my distant gaze,
The poem, that once needed my hand,
Now strong upon its feet stays

My poem is now, bigger than me.