Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib: The World is a Playground


Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib (1797-1869) was one of the most famous Urdu Poets of Mughal India, 19th Century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirza_Ghalib Ghalib's poems are not like his contemporaries such as Mir Taqi Mir, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir_Taqi_Mir, as they are highly Persianised. I wanted to present one poem which I find fascinating. Many interesting angles, turns and flows which will inspire us all in looking at our world in a different way.


The World is a Playground

Baazi-cha-aie-Atfal Hai Dunia, Mere Aage
Hota Hai Shaboroze Tamasha Mere Aage
Ik Khel Hai Aurang-e-suleman, Mere Nazdeek
Ik Baat Hai Ajaaz-a-Maseehah, Mere Aage
Juz Naam, Nahin Surat-a-aalam Mujhe Manzoor
Juz Vaham, Nahin Hasti-e-ashiya, Mere Aage
Hota Hai Nihan Gard Mein Sahra, Mere Hote
Ghista Hai Jabin Khak Pe Dariya, Mere Aage
Mut Poochh, Ki Kya Haal Hai Mera, Tere Peeche
Tu Dekh Ki Kya Rung Hai Tera, Mere Aage
Sach Kehte Ho Khudbeen-o-Khuddara Hun, Kyon Na Hun?
Baitha Hai Butt-a-Aaeena-Seema, Mere Aage
Phir Dekhiye, Andaz-e-Gul-Afshani-e-Guftaar
Rakh De Koyee Paimana-o-Sahba Mere Aage
Nafrat Ka Guman Guzre Hai, Mein Rushk Se Guzra
Kyonkar Kahun, Lo Naam Na Unka Mere Aage
Iman Mujhe Roke Hai, To Khenche Hai Mujhe Kufra
Kaba Mere Peeche Hai, Kalisa Mere Aage
Aashiq Hun, Per Mashook-Farebi Hai Mera Kaam
Majnun Ko Bura Kehti Hai Laila Mere Aage
Khush Hote Hain, Pur, Vasl Mein Yon Mur Nahin Jaate
Aayee Shab-a-Hijran Ki Tamanna Mere Aage
Hai Moujzan Ik Kulzum-e-Khun, Kaash, Yahi Ho
Aata Hai, Abhi Dekhiye, Kya Kya, Mere Aage
Go Hath Mein Jumbish Nahin, Aankhon Mein To Dum Hai
Rahne Do Abhi Sagar-O-Meena, Mere Aage
Humpesh-O-Hummastrab-O-Humraaz Hai Mera
"Ghalib" to Bura Kyon Kaho, Accha Mere Aage

English Translation

I perceive the world as a playground
Where dawn and dusk appear in eternal rounds
In His Universal form is a plaything the throne of Solomon
The miracles of the Messiah seem so ordinary in my eyes
Without name I cannot comprehend any form
Illusionary but is the identity of all objects
My anguish envelopes the entire desert
Silently flows the river in front of my floods
Ask not what separation has done to me
Just see your poise when I come in front of you
Truly you say that I am egotistical and proud
It is the reflection, O friend, in your limited mirror
To appreciate the style and charm of conversation
Just bring in the goblet and wine
Hatred manifests due to my envious mind
Thus I say, don't take his name in front of me
Faith stops me while temptations attract
Inspite of Kaaba behind and church ahead
I am the Lover, yet notorious is my charm
Thus Laila calls names to Majnu in front of me
"Dies" not one though the union is a delight
In premonition of the separation night
Alas, this be it, the bloody separation wave
I know not what else is in store ahead of me
Though the hands don't move, the eyes are alive
Wine and goblet, let them stay in front of me
Says "Ghalib"
Conscience is companion and trusted friend
Don't pass any judgments in front of me.

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