Teri umeed tera intezaar jab se hai...
By Faiz Ahmed Faiz
[Interpretive Translation by Siyaah]
Teri umeed tera intezaar jab se hai,
Na shab ko din se shikaayat, na din ko shab se hai...
This hope, this wait for you - that I now have,
The night and the day no longer complain about each other...
Kisi ka dard ho karte hain tere naam raqam,
Gilaa hai jo bhi kisi se tere sabab se hai...
The pain from one and all - in your name I register,
You are the reason for all my complaints about any other...
Huwaa hai jab se dil-e-naa'saboor be-qaaboo,
Kalaam tujh se nazar ko bare adab se hai...
Ever since this impatient heart has turned unrestrained,
This gaze addresses you with a new respect altogether...
Agar sharar hai to bharke, jo phool hai to khile,
Tarah tarah ki talab tere rang-e-lab se hai...
That which is a spark - turns wild, the blossom - blooms,
Your lips' color arouses desires of one kind or another...
Kahaan gaye shab-e-furqat ke jaagne-waale,
Sitaara-e-sahari hum kalaam kab se hai...
Where are those gone - who would stay awake through the night of separation?
The morning star alone converses - it seems forever...
Finished a translation after a long time - one that had been growing at the back of my mind for long. My favorite in terms of the uniqueness of Faiz's idea here is couplet . The last couplet was the most difficult to translate - the last line has to be written in a way that it can capture two meanings: the morning star as the only conversation companion left for the poet; but also perhaps the morning star conversing with none but itself (in this sense the poet may identify with the star).
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan has sung this is a way that I really like- lending it a strange and very slight melancholy quality - that is always there in every line but never goes out of control...as if one is resigned to this fate; the singing is an interpretation in itself.
A different style - surprisingly lesser known - is enjoyable in the older rendition by Ustad Amaanat Ali Khan.