Monday, September 7, 2015

Translation: Mere Hum-Nafas by Shakeel Badayuni

There are songs in Urdu and Punjabi that I don't fully understand, but fall in love with them regardless. Not satisfied by just loving them, I spend days trying to understand them fully- it becomes like a challenge. And when I finally get them fully, I want to translate them into the language I know best- English. So, here is the result of one such challenge. The translation is nothing great as compared to the beauty of the original Urdu ghazal, but I think it is good enough to send to my unrequited love!

Mere hum-nafas, mere hum-navaa, mujhe dost banake daGaa na de
mai.n huu.N dard-e-ishq se jaa.N_valab, mujhe zindagii kii duaa na de
Your counting me as a friend, when I consider you my life itself, feels nothing short of a betrayal
This love has brought me to the brink of a beautiful death, don't, oh please don't pray that I stay well. 

Mere daaG-e-dil se hai raushnii, usii raushnii se hai zindagii
mujhe Dar hai aye mere chaaraagar, ye charaaG tuu hii bujhaa na de
It's true that my heart burns, but the light of my burning heart is the only light I know
I am afraid that your kindness may put it out and shroud my world in a dark shadow. 

Mujhe ae chho.D de mere haal par, teraa kyaa bharosaa hai chaaraagar
ye terii nawaazishe muKhtasar, meraa dard aur ba.Daa na de
Leave me to my plight, please, I don't trust your offer of healing
Who knows your cursory sympathy might just increase my suffering. 

Meraa azm itnaa bala.nd hai ke paraaye sholo.n kaa Dar nahii.n
mujhe Khauf aatish-e-gul se hai, ye kahii.n chaman ko jalaa na de
My resolve is very strong, I don't for a moment fear the intentions of an enemy from outside
But I am terrified that my garden will burn to ground by the indifference of the beloved inside.  

Wo uThe hai.n leke khum-o-subuu, arey o ‘Shakeel’ kahaa.N hai tuu
teraa jaam lene ko bazm me.n koii aur haath ba.Daa na de
She (he) has arisen with a filled glass in her (his) hands, where are you oh Shakeel?
Come quick before someone else raises their hand to accept this coveted offering. 

Listen to this beauty here: 
Begum Akhtar singing this ghazal 

I took some help from this site to understand some tough words: