Reconciling with fate

ये ना थी हमारी किस्मत

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

I was never destined to be united with my beloved
Even if I would’ve had a greater life, I would still have continued to wait.

तेरे वादे पर जिये हम तो ये जान झूठ जाना
के ख़ुशी से मर न जाते अगर इंतज़ार होता

If my hope was kept up by your promise, it was only because I knew it to be a lie
If I really would’ve believed in it, I would rather have died.

ये कहाँ की दोस्ती है बनें हैं दोस्त नासिह
कोई चारासाज़ होता कोई ग़मगुज़ार होता

What sort of friendship is this, that friends must preach piety and sermonize?
I rather long for someone who lends his palms to my tears and lessens my suffering.

कहूं किस से मैं के क्या है शब-ऐ-ग़म बुरी बला है
मुझे क्या बुरा था मरना अगर एक बार होता

Who will hear from me of the night of sorrows and its evil?
I would have preferred death if it was meant to be only once…

हुये मर के हम जो रुसवा हुये क्यूँ न ग़र्क़-ऐ-दरिया
न कभी जनाज़ा उठता न कहीं मज़ार होता

Better to drown in an ocean than to be disgraced
Neither the pretence of a funeral, nor the burden of a tomb **

ये मसाल-ऐ-तसव्वुफ़ ये तेरा बयान ‘ग़ालिब’
तुझे हम वली समझते जो न बदख्वार होता

What marvellous visionary metaphors and how wonderful is your speech!
*Ghalib, you would’ve been God’s best friend, if you were not such an alcoholic.


*I absolutely love Mirza Ghalib’s verse. He’s finds a way to bring out the humor in tragedy which is a mark of wisdom. Ghalib means a witness. It is the pseudonym of Mirza Asadulla Khan, a court poet of King Bahadur Shah ‘Zafar’.

**I have translated the fifth verse hyper-subjectively, as it is absurd to some extent. I have relied on my experience with Ghalib. If anyone has a better translation, please feel free to contribute.


~ by Bombadil on June 18, 2011.

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