Saturday, January 03, 2009

For J

Here's an attempted translation...

Aate hai.n ghai'b se ye mazaamee.n khayaal mein,
Ghalib sareer-e-khwama, nava-e-sarosh hai

They occur from the obscure
These conceptions in the mind
The scraping of Ghalib’s pen
Is expression of the divine

9 comments:

J. said...

This is a beautiful, I think you handled the words very well;
somehow I don't think I was too used to the use of the word "ghai'b" in this sense, but it seems to fit.

And I feel so good seeing the title of the post!! :)

Thank you!

Kumail said...

Wow, Sadia. That was just poetry.
Bohot Khoob.

The Illusionist said...

J: you are welcome :)

Kumail: Ghalib ko milo to kabhi poochna.. unhe kaisa laga ;)

Kumail said...

Meer Lucknowi ka ek sheyr yaad aata hai..." Aa ke sajjaada nasheeN Quais hu'a mere baad, na rahee dasht meiN Khaali koi jaa mere baad...." Chacha bhi yahi kahenge.:)

Siyaah said...

Ghalib commenting on his own poetry couldn't have been easy to translate...great job! Somehow I read the "ghaib" as "Unseen"...implying the supernatural as well...

The Illusionist said...

Siyaah: Yes i read the 'ghaib' as unseen and supernatural too. i thought obscure kind of related the unseenness or the hiddenness :)

Arfi said...

browsing the older posts,

cannot it be, that 'ghaib' here refers to 'mazaameen', rather than a hidden obscure domain as interpreted ?

would make it even more interesting, don't you think, the nature of the divine ?

The Illusionist said...

Arfi: that is an interesting interpretation! so if ghai'b refers to mazameen then ghalib is not attributing his work to the grandeur of the divine and humbling himself; instead he is infact getting grandiose and in the second line saying that look u people my words are divine revelations, which borders on blasphemy almost...hmmm having read some read some of ghalib's work and his biography, i wouldn't put him past such egocentricity, but then i wouldn't put him past the humility implied in the former interpretation either. Guess we need an expert here :) and also we need to know the context in which this couplet was conceived...
there are some other couplets by ghalib too which lend themselves to different interpretations of the same nature... hmm this could be a research subject :)

The Illusionist said...

Ok there's something more that comes to my mind. Maybe i'll do some research and post it :)