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.


The Introvert said...

Nice translation! it must have earned you admiration at the conference.

There is something about adolescence that only urdu/hindustani can best express. It's not a comment on your effort, and it's perhaps because we are Indians, that a mention of 'titli' and 'gudia' touches us to the core, while 'butterfly' and 'dolls' don't have that much of an effect!

The Illusionist said...

I don't know about admiration. I wouldn't be around during the conference :)

I agree with you.. in fact i believe poetry in english if far more difficult because in hindustani even simple expressions sound poetic and the poem appears to imapct one easier.

Saif Ali said...

i really like the fact that your translations are very accessible and lucid and still remain elegant. and disconnectedly ... I find I can connect to Urdu poetry much more intimately than English.

integratedchaos said...

mesmerised !!