Saturday, 29 November 2008

Youth, Life and the World Around Us

Abhi to Main Jawaan Hoon
I am still young

One of my favorite poems by the famous Pakistani poet Hafeez Jallandhari. Most famously sang by Malikha Pukhraj, below sang with her daughter Tahira Syed. The translation below is by Ayesha Khanna.

Here are a few words of commentary by my good friend Saba Sajid;

"This poem is not about asserting ones youth. It's more a call to those who are unaware of the wonders of life and earth's bounties. It's about embracing the wonders and the riches all around you and to take them in with a complete awareness and understanding. Its about opening your heart and let yourself be filled in what life offers to you.

Its about understanding that the desire for salvation and the ever after shouldn't keep you away from what else is there for u too. One doesn't negate the other. Also one mustn't die before ones time and life is to be lived as long as u have it.

But there is an element of sadness where it looks like the poet is not all absorbed in the wonders himself and is rather trying to forget his sorrows and pains which have taken his hope away. He doesn't care for the stories of existence or existentialism. All he is doing is to try to get his hope back and also lose a bit of himself in it if it can take his heartache away. He also knows that the world inside you may be in chaos and a complete mess but the wonders outside stay just as bright and just as wonderful.

He then wants all these wonders to become a part of him, to exhilarate and excite him as they promise to do, so he may imbibe them and forget what he has been through."

Havaa bhi kushagavaar hai, gulon pe bhi nikhaar hai
tarannume.n hazaar hai, bahaar purabahaar hai
The air is delicious, flowers are blooming
Melodies are in the air, spring is everywhere

kahaa.N chalaa hai saaqiyaa, (idhar to lauT idhar to aa)
are, yah dekhataa hai kyaa? uThaa subuu, subuu uThaa
Where are you going, wine-giver?
Ay, Come back here
Why do you wait? Bring the pitcher of wine

subuu uThaa, piyaalaa bhar piyaalaa bhar ke de idhar
chaman kii simt kar nazar, samaa to dekh beKabar
Bring the pitcher, fill my cup
Observe, the world is blissfully unconcerned

vo kaalii-kaalii badaliyaa.N, ufaq pe ho ga_ii ayaa.n
vo ik hajuum-e-maikashaa.n, hai suu-e-maikadaa ravaa.n
Those dark clouds that are now on the horizon
How they sway like inebriated taverns

ye kyaa gumaa.n hai badagumaa.n, samajh na mujhako naatavaa.n
Kayaal-e-zohd abhii kahaa.N?
abhii to mai.n javaan huu.N
What suspicions you have!
Don’t judge me so feeble
Why should I think of abstinence?
I am still young

ibaadato.n kaa zikr hai, nijaat kii bhii fikr hai
junuun hai savaab kaa, Kayaal hai azaab kaa
All this talk of worship, this worry about salvation
These rewards in heaven, those torments in hell

magar suno to sheK jii, ajiib shay hai.n aap bhii
bhalaa shabaab-o-aashiqii, alag hue bhii hai.n kabhii
Dear Shaikh (Mullah), how strange you are
Surely you know, youth and passion dance together

hasiin jalavaarez ho.n, adaae.n fitanaaKez ho.n
havaae.n itr_bez ho.n, to shauq kyuu.N na tez ho.n?
Beautiful women, resplendent and full of mischief
Brought to me by the wind, how can I resist?

nigaarahaa-e-fitanaagar, koii idhar koii udhar
ubhaarate hai.n aish par, to kyaa kare koii bashar
Those playful lovers, some there, others here
When they so arouse, what is a man to fear?

chalo jii qissaa muKtasar, tumhaaraa nuqtaa-e-nazar
durust hai to ho magar, abhii to mai.n javaan huu.N
All right then, my story will be short
Critical looks abound
You are probably right but ...
I am still young

ye Gasht kohasaar kii, ye sair juu-e-vaar kii
ye bulabulo.n ke chahachahe, ye gularuKo.n ke qahaqahe
These wandering mountains with gushing rivulets
Chirping nightingales, this laughter of lovely maidens

kisii se mel ho gayaa, to ra.nj-o-fikr kho gayaa
kabhii jo vaqt so gayaa, ye ha.Ns gayaa vo ro gayaa
I met someone, and fled all worry of anguish
Time stood still, there was some laughter, a few tears

ye ishq kii kahaaniyaa.N, ye ras bharii javaaniyaa.N
udhar se meharabaaniyaa.N, idhar se lantaraaniyaa.N
The stories of passion, youth filled with sweetness
Some kindness there, a little boasting here

ye aasmaan ye zamii.n, nazzaraahaa-e-dilanashii.n
une hayaat aafarii.n, bhalaa mai.n chho.D duu.N yahii.n
This heaven, this earth, these wonderful sights of His
Demands He a life well spent, my sins for me to leave

hai maut is qadar qarii.n, mujhe na aaegaa yaqii.n
nahii.n-nahii.n abhii nahii.n, nahii.n-nahii.n abhii nahii.n
abhii to mai.n javaan huu.N
That death could be so near, I cannot believe
No, not yet, not yet,
I am still young

Gam kushuud-o-bast kaa, bala.nd kaa na past ka
na buud kaa na hast kaa, na vaadaa-e-alast kaa
Not concerned am I with proximity or distance, zenith or nadir
My status or my existence, the promise of man’s creation

ummiid aur yaas gum, havaas gum qayaas gum
nazar se aas-paas gum, hamaa.n bajuz gilaas gum
I have lost hope and despair, reason and self-awareness
My vision is blurred, even my goblet have I misplaced

na may me.n kuchh kamii rahe, kadaa se hamadamii rahe
nishast ye jamii rahe, yahii hamaa.n hamii.n rahe
Let the wine not fail me, the friendship with the tavern grow
The evening remain the same, the gathering live on

vo raag chhe.D mutaribaa, tarab-fizaa, alam-rubaa
asar sadaa-e-saaz kaa, jiGar me.n aag de lagaa
Crooner, sing a melody, exhilarate me, snuff my ire
Influences of song and dance, set my soul on fire

har ik lab pe ho sadaa, na haath rok saaqiyaa
pilaae jaa pilaae jaa, pilaae jaa pilaae jaa
abhii to mai.n javaan huu.N
Everyone is imploring, don’t stop this flow of wine
Keep on pouring, keep on pouring
I am still young...

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