Sunday 29 November 2015

[Translation] Nazir Kazmi's Ye bhi kya sham-e-mulaqat ayee

This is one of my favourite ghazals by Syed Nazir Raza Kasmi (1925-1972) Nazir was born in India and migrated to Pakistan during the partition. The ghazal presents the pain and the desperation of love.

I sincerely thank Murtuza Furniturewala for working closely with me to bring forth this translation.


Aankh khulte hi chhup gaye harshar
Aalme bekhudi mein kya kuchh tha
Laakh rahe thi laakh jalwe the
Ahedi awargi me kya kuchh tha
Yaad hai marhale mohabbat ke
Haye us bekhudi mein kya kuchh tha
Kitni beete dino ki yaad aayi
Aaj teri kami mein kya kuchh tha

ye bhi kya sham-e-mulaqat ayee
lab pe mushkil se teri bat ayee
 subah se chup hain tere hijr nasib
 haye kya hoga agar rat ayee
 bastiyan chod ke barse badal
kis qayamat ki ye barsat ayee
 koi jab mil ke hua tha rukhsat
 dil-e-betab wahi rat ayee
 saya-e-zulf-e-butan main 'Nasir’
ek se ek nai rat ayee

On waking, I realized my abandonment
Though disoriented, stark indeed was the clarity
Many paths lit up with splendorous lights
In my lonesome wanderings, what not did I see
Reminiscences of the pain of passion I did see
Though inebriated, my clear vision, an irony
Recalled I, several blissful days spent in harmony
Alas, what contrast, to this present ignominy

O hark! the dawn of evening heralds thoughts of you my darling
I can barely speak of you without my voice breaking
I fall silent all morning
Recalling our forked destines
Oh how I dread the night 
Ridden with anxieties
The tears flow, the barriers come undone
Does this deluge augur the end of times?

The emptiness which comes 
When a loved one meets and parts
 I feel that same restless emptiness now, upon this night

Oh Nazir! how lost you were in that beauteous form
and in the shadow of those tresses
Ah! how wondrous the delight
Meeting night after night, 
As new groom and as bride

Now listen to this song rendered by Penaz Masani.

Lyrics Credits:

Monday 23 November 2015

[Poem] Don’t Talk to Me of Rising Intolerance

Don’t talk to me of rising intolerance

A word I hear repeatedly only from

Elite Lips

Lips that get food served

In royal style

By many toiling hands

So you can rave and rant all day

To pass the time

In fighting

A causeless cause

Feeding your inherent need

To pamper an ego diseased

Don’t talk to me of rising intolerance

Your childish tantrums are much tolerated

Don’t threaten to leave

Those with intent

Rarely flaunt the thought

Stay you certainly will

Save yourself the shame

Where else would you get your money and fame?

Don’t talk to me of rising intolerance

Returning your awards

Perhaps in your heart of hearts

You find yourselves


Don’t talk to me of rising intolerance

My house needs cleaning

The light bulb needs fixing

Clothes need mending and washing

Children have to be readied and sent to school

In public buses and trains …

A million men and women

Wake up every day

And set to work

So life on the street feels ok

Tolerant smiles everywhere

Tolerant speech and tolerant acts


There should be a growing intolerance

For the filth in the streets


The corruption that bleeds

But would you dirty your hands with garbage disposal?

Isn’t it a lot easier

To badmouth the government in power

If you can’t clean the streets

At least clean your hearts and heads

Of the grime bilge and slime

Don’t talk to me of rising intolerance

For tolerance too

Has a limit on how much it can tolerate

[Translation] ஆண்டாளின் நாச்சியார் திருமொழி - கற்பூரம் நாறுமோ

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