Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kehna Usey

The buds have sprouted on the bough again
Do tell her
She has never understood, and never will, still,
Do tell her.

The torrent of time swept away every bit of everything
Such lonesome is this existence
Do tell her.

Leaving me alone for whom she has walked away
Wouldn’t offer her the solace that stranger
Do tell her.

My lips tremble at the heaviness of my heart
Still laughing, this skill has destroyed me
Do tell her.

Who with wounds filled my ‘Shahazaad’ heart
With a smile would find the destination
Do tell her.

The above is a rather poor attempt to translate the Mehdi Hassan Ghazal into English. There are certain words I don’t understand; so I have replaced them with my rather unimaginative choice of words. I’m not trying to prove anything. Just a pointless exercise.

The original verse has a defined rhyme scheme, where last word of every stanza ends with the ‘R’ sound: magar, rehguzar, sim-o-zar, hunar, charaagar… My translation couldn’t just achieve it.

The Original Shayari by ‘Shahazaad’, and Performed by Mehdi Hassan:

...konpalein phir phuut aayin shaak par
kehna usey
wo na samajha hai na samjhega, magar
kehna usey

waqt ka tuufaan har ik shay baha kar le gaya
itani tanha ho gayi hai rahaguzar
kehna usey

ja raha hai chhod kar tanha mujhe jis ke liye
chain na de paayega woh sim-o-zar
kehna usey

ris raha ho kuun dil se lab magar
hansate rahe kar gaya barbaad mujhako yeh hunar
kehna usey

jisne zakmon se mera ‘Shahazaad’ sina bhar diya
muskara kar aaj pyaare chaaraagar
kehna usey...


  1. Anonymous12:42 AM

    A non-poetic translation for a better sense (perhaps):

    A bud has once more bloomed open on the branch, do tell them
    They have not understood nor shall they but do tell them

    The tempest of time has, every object, carried away
    So much loneliness has come on the wayfarer, do tell them

    He leaves me all alone and departs for that
    Which can bring no peace, riches (silver or gold), do tell them

    Blood is dripping from my heart but my lips continue to laugh
    I have been ruined by this ability, do tell them

    He who has filled my 'poetic' heart with these wounds
    Smilingly, do tell them, is the doctor

    1. Wow! It reads so much better. Thanks a lot for sharing this.