Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Ghazal by Mirza Ghalib

(With gratitude toward the authors of these two blogs for helpful translation and commentary)

This famous poem by Asadullah Khan Ghalib was partly rendered by Chitra Singh for the soundtrack of the TV series Mirza Ghalib.

ये ना थी हमारी किस्मत के विसाल-ए-यार होता
अगर और जीते रहते यही इंतज़ार होता

It was not my destiny to have met my beloved
To have lived on would just have been more of this waiting.

तेरे वादे पे जिए हम तो ये जान झूठ जाना
कि खुशी से मर ना जाते अगर ऐतबार होता

Consider it false, o beloved, that I lived on your word
I would have died of joy had I really believed you.

तेरी नाज़ुकी से जाना कि बांधा था अहद बोदा
कभी तू ना तोड़ सकता अगर उस्तुवार होता

Your delicateness gave away the fragility of your promise
You could never have broken it had it been strong to begin with.

कोई मेरे दिल से पूछे तेरे तीर-ए-नीमकश को
यह ख़लिश कहाँ से होती जो जिगर के पार होता

Ask my heart about the arrow of your casual glance
It would not have caused this pain had it gone through, killing me.

ये कहाँ की दोस्ती है कि बने हैं दोस्त नासे
कोई चारासाज़ होता, कोई गमगुसार होता

What kind of friendship is this, that friends have turned sagacious counselors?
I wish there was one who was a healer, one who was a comforter.

रग-ए-संग से टपकता वो लहू कि फिर ना थमता
जिसे गम समझ रहे हो ये अगर शरार होता

If what you consider as my sorrow was instead a spark of fire
It would have melted rocks and endlessly flowed as their blood

गम अगरचे जां-गुसिल है पर कहाँ बचें कि दिल है
गम-ए-इश्क अगर ना होता गम-ए-रोज़गार होता

Agreed, sorrow makes life difficult, but there is no escaping the heart and its pain
If not for the pain of love, there would have been the pain of tedium.

कहूं किस से मैं कि क्या है, शब्-ए-गम बुरी बला है
मुझे क्या बुरा था मरना अगर एक बार होता

How to describe to another the ordeal that is a night of pain
I wouldn't have minded this death if it was to be only once.

हुए मर के हम जो रुसवा, हुए क्यों ना गर्क-ए-दरिया
ना कभी जनाज़ा उठता, ना कहीं मज़ार होता

My death revealed my pain. Why did I not just disappear down a river?
Then there would have neither a burial nor a tomb for me.

उसे कौन देख सकता कि यगना है वो यकता
अगर दुई की बू भी होती तो कहीं दो-चार होता

Who can behold the incomparable, for it is unique!
If it was indeed common and easily imitated, an encounter would have happened by now.

ये मसाइल-ए-तसव्वुफ, ये तेरा बयां ग़ालिब
तुझे हम वली समझते जो ना बादा-ख्वार होता

These mystical riddles, these descriptions from you Ghalib!
We could have mistaken you for someone important, if you weren't such a drunk.

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