Tuesday, July 31, 2007

O Dusk of Grief: A Translation

O Dusk of Grief
[By Firaq Gorakhpuri. Translated from the Urdu by Siyaah]

O dusk of grief- somewhat of that graceful gaze, let’s talk
Unconsciousness increases- of the secret, let’s talk [1]

This graceful silence, this rupturing of the heart’s veins
In silence, somewhat of that organ’s defeat, let’s talk [2]

Somewhat from the cage’s bars- something like light filters through
Somewhat of the skies, somewhat of the desire to fly, let’s talk [3]

The fragrance of hair tousled, tale of dusk of grief
Till dawn- in this very style, let’s talk... [4]

Translator's Notes

I have tried to convey the poet's words and ideas while leaving the interpretations somewhat open in places, as in the original.

[1] nigaah-e-naaz: gaze of grace / one with the graceful gaze / graceful gaze

[2] sukoot: silence; ragon: blood vessels - I have used veins for poetic effect; shikast-e-saaz: defeat of (musical) instrument - I have used organ as it carries the meaning of musical instrument and also connects to 'heart' in the previous line.

[3] qafas: cage; noor: light, typically with deeper positive connotations often of a spiritual nature; fazaa: atmosphere / skies / space, also suggesting the conditions of these i.e. the weather; hasrat-e-parwaz: desire to fly

[4] nakhat: breath of air / fragrance; zulf-e-pareshaan: hair that is tousled / disarrayed, typically invoking beauty and mystery.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Shaam-e-Ghum: Firaq

[By Firaq Gorakhpuri]

Shaam-e-ghum kuchh us nigaah-e-naaz ki baatein karo
Bekhudi badhti chali hai, raaz ki baatein karo

Ye sukoot-e-naaz, ye dil ki ragon ka tootna
Khamoshi mein kuchh shikast-e-saaz ki baatein karo

Kuchh qafas ki teeliyon se chhan rahaa hai noor saa,
Kuchh fazaa kuchh hasrat-e-parwaaz ki baatein karo

Nakhat-e-zulf-e-pareshaan dastaan-e-shaam-e-ghum
Subho hone tak isi andaaz ki batein karo

This is one of my favorite ghazals from Firaq's repertoire, rendered so well by Vinod Sehgal. I'm trying to translate this...let's see how it turns out...