Friday, April 30, 2010

Do kadam aur sahi.

For the past week, I have been watching this old DD series Mirza Ghalib based on Ghalibsaab's life on youtube. T. told me about it. Unlike T., who hails from Lucknow and learned Urdu in school and can read, write and speak it (as far as I can tell), my introduction to Urdu comes mostly from whatever Gulzar and Javed Akhtar wrote down in the songs that Bollywood fed us over the years. Therefore, my relationship with the language is somewhat tenuous. But I sense the beauty and grandeur of it. And it makes me long to learn the words. Even though I may never master the script, I can still read it as written in good old Devanagari. Watching my best friends struggling with French, I realised I may never have a thing for the Romantic languages but intricate Indian tongues endlessly fascinate me.

Maybe, just maybe, Italian is captivating (becoz of my fascination for Latin mostly, or perhaps my fascination for Italian men, whichever). But thats about it for the Europhiles and me.

For now, Ghalib's delicately created poetry is inspiring me to dive headlong into these lovely sounding, resonatingly beautiful new words.

Starting with his mostly widely known poem, I just want to have this on my blog. So I'm stealing it off of my veritable friend T. 's blog. I know he wudnt mind.

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi Ki Har Khwaish Pe Dam Nikle

- मिर्जा गालिब (Mirza Ghalib)

हजारों ख्वाहिशें ऐसी कि हर ख्वाहिश पे दम निकले
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमाँ, लेकिन फिर भी कम निकले

डरे क्यों मेरा कातिल क्या रहेगा उसकी गर्दन पर
वो खून जो चश्म-ऐ-तर से उम्र भर यूं दम-ब-दम निकले

निकलना खुल्द से आदम का सुनते आये हैं लेकिन
बहुत बे-आबरू होकर तेरे कूचे से हम निकले

भ्रम खुल जाये जालीम तेरे कामत कि दराजी का
अगर इस तुर्रा-ए-पुरपेच-ओ-खम का पेच-ओ-खम निकले

मगर लिखवाये कोई उसको खत तो हमसे लिखवाये
हुई सुबह और घर से कान पर रखकर कलम निकले

हुई इस दौर में मनसूब मुझसे बादा-आशामी
फिर आया वो जमाना जो जहाँ से जाम-ए-जम निकले

हुई जिनसे तव्वको खस्तगी की दाद पाने की
वो हमसे भी ज्यादा खस्ता-ए-तेग-ए-सितम निकले

मुहब्बत में नहीं है फ़र्क जीने और मरने का
उसी को देख कर जीते हैं जिस काफिर पे दम निकले

जरा कर जोर सिने पर कि तीर-ऐ-पुरसितम निकले
जो वो निकले तो दिल निकले, जो दिल निकले तो दम निकले

खुदा के बासते पर्दा ना काबे से उठा जालिम
कहीं ऐसा न हो याँ भी वही काफिर सनम निकले

कहाँ मयखाने का दरवाजा 'गालिब' और कहाँ वाइज़
पर इतना जानते हैं, कल वो जाता था के हम निकले

चश्म-ऐ-तर - wet eyes
खुल्द - Paradise
कूचे - street
कामत - stature
दराजी - length
तुर्रा - ornamental tassel worn in the turban
पेच-ओ-खम - curls in the hair
मनसूब - association
बादा-आशामी - having to do with drinks
तव्वको - expectation
खस्तगी - injury
खस्ता - broken/sick/injured
तेग - sword
सितम - cruelty
क़ाबे - House Of Allah In Mecca
वाइज़ - preacher


Agien said...

I'd suggest if you haven't already discovered it

Tangled up in blue... said...

I hadnt. I loved it. Thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

Broken link dikha raha hai :(

Tangled up in blue... said...

leo, it shows a broken link coz its actually

if u go to google and type kavitakosh like i did, it'll show u the correct page..and its pretty fantastic.

Agien said...

Yes it is!
Tangled, I am glad you loved it. It has flavoured many of my days.

Pranab Chatterjee said...


Thanks for posting one of my fav works... to be frank, I do not understand too many of these verses, but this one simply touches the chords (?cords) of my heart!!!

T. said...

Oh, I dont mind u uthaoing at all! I actually uthaoed it myself from a Hindi blog called 'Prayogshala' that has some Hindi poetry too if you're interested! :)

Very incisive isnt he though?

JD said...

For the last month, I've often visited "I love three men named Pablo", been unceremoniously told that this blog doesn't exist, and wondered where the hell you went :)

I'm glad you're back!

Deeksha said...

i want to tell you something embarrassing. I still don't entirely get it. :(

Tangled up in blue... said...

Okay, Dee, I think this is a terrible idea, but I'm gonna try to paraphrase it now..altho that may not be what he's really trying to say (I'm not too sure) since the poem isnt exactly straightforwardly written by Ghalib, and its more difficult since its personal to him even..but this is what I got out of it..its not a literal translation, just what I think it means..

I have thousands of desires, each strong enuff to consume my life
My dreams, while I have experienced many intensely, are too few for this lifetime.

Why does my murderer fear that hangs around her neck the consequence of the blood that has been flowing as tears from my wet eyes all my life. (Basically, he says, dont cry for me, my love, I have suffered more pain in my life than that which you have inflicted upon me.)

I had heard a lot about Adam's disgrace when he was thrown out of heaven (it actually literally means ejected from the womb like the shame of birth or something, but maybe Eden was the womb). But I have borne much shame and had my dignity stripped when I was forced to leave your house.

My tormentor, the allure of your offending enchanting tresses can only be exposed completely if you will release them from the turban of high stature and power that you wear.

If her admirers wish to write paeans in her honour, then they shud ask me to write her a letter.
Becoz every day I leave home with a pen behind my ear (He claims to be so in love with her that everyday he is prepared to praise her).

During this period (of loving the woman he's addressing the poem to) I knew such strong intoxication, that the world, after this time has ended, seems passionless and empty.

I turned to him (I think this Him is God here or maybe its a friend) to seek solace for my heartbreak and the pain you caused me. But it turns out that even he pined for you and was tormented by his broken heart more than I was.

This love makes me see no difference between being alive and being dead. I draw each breath of life only after looking upon, if only from afar, this traitorous infidel who kills me.

I used all my strength to prise out the arrow of love that pierced my heart, so that when it left it took my heart with it, and when my heart left, so did my life leave with it. (Literally, he says his last breath has left him.)

For God's sake, cruel one, dont lift that veil which obscures this face. Stop before you find me to be as unfaithful and traitorous like you once were (with me).

Ghalib (addressing himself he says) how can you compare the door of the winery with that of the drugstore? Only now she has entered, but I have already left. (He means, she has returned to him and asked him to love her back, but his love for her is finished and he is too intoxicated to be able to love her faithfully.)

Its like they're in revolving doors, never in love with each other at the same time.

Even I dont entirely get it. But I think Ghalib meant it that way. What do you think?

Deeksha said...

OMG ~weepy~ I can't believe you translated the whole thing for me! Thank you so much. That means much more to me than the poem. Which,of course,means so much and is so complicated. There's a reason why Ghalib is Ghalib.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Dee, *hugs* :) I actually did want to see if I was upto the task myself, to test if I've understood it too..but you know, the poetry and the magic feels a little lost in translation. I totally agree. It is very complicated. :)