Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My first translation

In my earlier post, I mentioned that I randomly selected a poem and translated it. That is not true. I picked the first one in the list. And it had to be one by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

The poem is - "aaye kuchh abr kuchh sharaab aaye". If you follow Urdu, you can read the original from here.




First came clouds, then came wine, much later the curse came.
Every night, moon set from my terrace, and sun rose from my glass.

Warm blood gushed through my heart when I saw her again.
On every page of my life was there, a chapter of her love and sacrifice.

Sitting idle, I was counting what I have lost and I thought of her.
Her pain hadn’t left me, everyday it brought in me fresh thunderstorms.

Many a happy gatherings have I ruined, when I came in,
My silence echoed, from every nook and corner, my yearning for her.

O’ Faiz, but the path I took was my goal,
And where I reached, I was always welcomed by success!!


Just like one should never explain a joke, a poem also shouldn't be explained. To each one his own interpretation. During the translation I was imagining a person who had to left his loved one to pursue material goals. The last two lines were difficult for me to comprehend. Later I got to know from my father-in-law that the last line should have been something like - " I had no goal and the journey was my destination, and so, whatever came my way, I took it as success" Here I'm trying to learn the nuances of translation and the Urdu language. if there is any reader who can correct me, I will be happy to know his interpretation.

8 comments:

milieu said...

Sorry, I can't correct you since I know just enough Urdu to appreciate the beauty of the language. Urdu is definitely the language of the nawaabs! What grace, what style! I may be biased but it must be the most lyrical language in the world.

manju said...

if there is any reader who can correct me, I will be happy to know his interpretation.

Maybe you need to keep blogging to attract that kind of readers. My so-called top posts statistics show my readership is overwhelmingly Malayali. And my statistics also reveal I have a "niche" readership!

Dmitrii said...

Dear SHE, thank you, I've been looking for a translation of just this ghazal! Have you seen another (but incomplete) one: http://hubpages.com/hub/Faiz-ahmed-faiz ?

SHE said...

Thanks, Dmitrii.

I hadn't seen the translation you pointed out. The beauty of comparing two translations of the same poem lies in the places they differ.

If you don't mind sharing, I would be interested in knowing your interest in Urdu ghazals.

Dmitrii said...

Dear SHE,
In that topic I have given a partial answer to you question.
As far as "Aaye kuchh abr kuchh sharaab aaye" is concerned, I have been introduced to it through Begum Akhtar's rendition and I like it very much. If you don't mind, I have a lot of questions yet, concerning the meaning of certain words and frases there.

SHE said...

Hello Dmitrii,

I will be glad to discuss with you the meanings and phrases of words. I'm by no means an expert and am a new learner.

I have a couple of more translations waiting to be posted. I will also keep a footer with some difficult words translated to English.

Dmitrii said...

Oh, I'm glad that you don't mind! Well, then let's begin from the very first line. What do you think about these "clouds" (abr)? I understand that them must be not treated literally (as well as almost every word in the urdu ghazal), it is rather a multi-layered symbol treated individually by each reader, but after all, what is your understanding? Or, may be you know some traditional associations connected with this word in urdu poetry?

Sheharyar Sajid said...

Very nice poetry.
I am sharing some of my favorite urdu poetry here.

Wo kon tha jo mujhy aisy mila k koi gham na raha,
Jo dour reh kr b mujsy dour na raha,

Jany kab sy hamy uski talash thi.
Jb btana chaha usy tou koi lafz na raha,

Usy dakhny ki chah me nighahen tarsi hy meri
Or jb nigha mili tou waqt hi na raha ,

Lamha lamha uski yado me hi guzar jata hy.
….Sagar…..
Wo tabir tou hy meri lekin ab koi khuwab na raha..!