Thursday, March 16, 2006

Jinhe zurm-e-ishq pe naaz tha

Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Listen (to Falstaff read)

Tere gum ko jaan ki taalash thi, tere jaan nisaar chale gaye
Teri rah mein karte the sar talab, sar-e-rehguzaar chale gaye

Teri kaj-adai se haar ke shab-e-intezar chali gayi
Mere zabt-e-haal se rooth kar mere gumgusar chale gaye

Na saval-e-vasl na arz-a-gum, na hikaytein, na shikaytein
Tere ahad mein dil-e-zaar ke sabhi ikhtiyar chale gaye.

Yeh humi the jinke libaas par sar-e-ru siyahi likhi gayi
Yahi daag the jo saja ke hum sar-e-bazm-e-yaar chale gaye.

Na raha junoon-e-rukh-e-vafa, ye rasan, yeh dar, karoge kya
Jinhei zurm-e-ishq pe naaz tha, voh gunehgaar chale gaye.

Faiz broke away from the idea of the Beloved, the archangel of urdu poetry. Yes, he puts her on the pedestal too, as tradition seems to demand. Only to build another pedestal (/tradition), equally exquisite, for all things just as precious.

"aur bhii dukh hai.n zamaane me.n mohabbat ke sivaa
raahate.n aur bhii hai.n vasl kii raahat ke sivaa
mujh se pahalii sii mohabbat merii mahabuub na maa.Ng"

"There are other sorrows in this world,
comforts other than love.
Don't ask me, my love, for that love again."

Posting poems by Faiz without the translation by Shahid Ali has always sparked interesting discussions on translation( [1], [2], unlike [3]). So here, we have two translations. One by Shahid Ali and the other by Falstaff. Compare, contrast, critique, appreciate...

Those once proud to be accused of love
(tr. by Agha Shahid Ali)

Your sorrow in search of someone
willing to spill his blood
but they who once lined the roads

ready to give up this life
at a moment's notice
for you

have left
no longer to be found

the night waited with me for you
at dawn it admitted defeat and left

my consolers also departed
hurt to find my eyes
without tears

let down that I held back my grief

Nothing's left now
no possibility of the night of love
and no way to show even a glimpse of pain

there's no room for complaints
no margins allowed for suggestions

it's your era
the restless heart's lost its every right

It was me
it was my shirt
that was printed

with blood on the streets
darkened there with inks of accusation

I declared these stains a new fashion
and went to mingle with the guests
at my lover's home

Nowhere anymore
that abandon of passion

no one wear's fidelity's raw fabrics

what will you do with that rope?
who's asked you to build the scaffold?

those once proud to be accused of love
they all have vanished.

And the other,

Those who were proud to be accused of love
(tr. by Falstaff)

Your sorrow came, searching for life,
But those who would have died for you are gone,
Those who would have bowed their heads when you passed
Have all gone their own ways.

And the night is gone too,
Annoyed with you for keeping it waiting;
And those who came to console me have left,
Angry with me because I would not cry.

There is no question of love now,
I cannot complain, cannot say what grieves me,
I have no suggestions to make
In the tyranny of your love
My heart has lost all its rights.

I was the one
Whose shirt turned red with the blood from the streets;
These are the stains that I wore proudly
All the way to my beloved's house.

But passion is out of style now,
And this rope, these gallows, are no longer needed;
Those who were proud to be accused of love
Have all vanished like criminals.


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