Friday, January 18, 2013

Interpreting My Poem - VII

This blog owes its name to a couplet from this ghazal. You could read here about how this blog came to be named.

As in the previous posts, the credit for English translations goes to Archana Gupta.

लब-ए-ख़ामोश में पिन्हाँ हैं कोई राज़ नहीं

ज़िन्दगी साज़ है जिस में कोई आवाज़ नहीं
Beneath my silent lips are no deep secrets to avoid
Life is just an instrument of all music devoid

लब-ए-ख़ामोश = silent lips; पिन्हाँ = concealed

There is no secret to my silence.  My life is like an instrument that can make no sound when played -  or rather, I am not quiet because I have secrets to hide, I am quiet because I really have nothing to say.

क्यूँ न आग़ोश-ए-तख़य्युल में मैं उड़ता ही रहूँ

दर हक़ीक़त है मुझे ख़्वाहिश-ए-परवाज़ नहीं
In the arms of my imagination, why should I not touch the sky
So what if in reality, I have no urge to fly

आग़ोश-ए-तख़य्युल = embrace of imagination; दर हक़ीक़त = In reality; ख़्वाहिश-ए-परवाज़ = urge to fly
Why should I not fly in the safety of my dreams and imagination just because I have no urge to fly in reality?  Could also be an oblique reference to one's supposed lack of ambition and propensity to day-dream.

हूँ तो हरग़िज़ नहीं पाबन्द-ए-क़वाइद यारों

अपनी आवारगी पे मुझ को मगर नाज़ नहीं
I am absolutely not by nature to the rules bound
But of my delinquency, I am not proud

हरग़िज़ = never; पाबन्द-ए-क़वाइद = bound by rules

By nature I am not the one to stick to rules all too closely.  This is just a fact and I state it with no particular pride (or shame).   This is a matter-of-fact statement from the poet that while he is not completely tied down to rules and regulations, he is not the one to uphold complete unruliness or waywardness either.

मेरे किरदार में है नेकी बदी पर भारी

क्यूँ वो कर पाये बदी को नज़रअन्दाज़ नहीं
In my character, goodness outweighs the evil far more
Why could she not then my little flaws ignore

किरदार = character; नज़रअन्दाज़ = ignore
Like all humans, I have strains of gray in my character too -  I am not all good, nor all bad.  But why is he/she (perhaps a lover or a friend or even an enemy -  just someone) not able to see the good in me and is all focused on my negatives even when in my opinion I have more good in my character than bad.  It’s certainly an admission to imperfections in oneself but is also a lament against probably a lover for their inability to ignore those imperfections and cherish the positive aspects.

ये त’अल्लुक़ जो किया क़त’अ हुआ क़िस्सा तमाम

ये नई दास्ताँ का नुक़्ता-ए-आग़ाज़ नहीं
The end of this relationship is the end of the story for once and all
It’s not an excuse for a new beginning of a tale tall

त’अल्लुक़ = relationship, connection;  क़त’अ = cut-off; नुक़्ता-ए-आग़ाज़ = starting point

Literally, it means, "Once I have ended this relationship, that’s it -  it indeed is the end.  It’s certainly not a nuance of a new beginning".  One way to understand is that most emotional relationships leave some embers smoldering even after the supposed end -  embers that are capable of lighting the fire again but the poet is sure that once ended his relation will really end with no scope of reconciliation.  It could also mean that once I end this relationship, it’s like ending my capability to open myself to ANY emotional relationship at all -  so once/if this relation ends, there will never be another beginning.

रू-ब-रू आईने के जाऊँ तो दिखता है मुझे

अजनबी शख़्स जो हमशक्ल-ओ-हमआवाज़ नहीं
As I look in the mirror, a stranger there I see

Neither whose face nor voice, matches me

रू-ब-रू = face to face; हमआवाज़ = having similar voice

As I look at myself in the mirror, I see a reflection that does not look like me, nor does it sound like me.   This is certainly poet's comment on how much he has changed physically and more so emotionally or behavior-wise over time.  He no longer recognizes or correlates who he has become (or how he behaves outwardly) to who he believes he actually is deep down.  Another reference to maintaining an outward persona that is different from the actual essence of the personality he has.