Saturday, August 05, 2006

"Never before"         [Urdu ghazal in translation]

Conversing with you was never before   so dramatic as this
convening with you was never before   so ecstatic as this

who is it   who has stolen away your patience?
O heart of mine!   you were never before   so erratic as this!

Only God could say   what magic her eyes have performed!
all I know is   I was never before   so emphatic as this!

the gaze of the Saki   has always been deadly keen
but its deadliness   had been never before   so vatic as this

O why are you always wrangling now with Zafar?
hey angel!   you had never before   such a habit as this!


My formal verse version of Bahadur Shah Zafar's ghazal ("Baat Karni Mujhe Mushkiil") is based on the literal translation (plus notes) rendered by my friend Max Babi, who also offers his own English transcreation of the Urdu ghazal.


Blogger Mohammed Shahid said...

Could you please intimate Mr Babi that he has wrongly rendered a 'sher' of zafar's. the first 'mesra' would end with:

"...merii dushman thii hameshaa lekin"

Sun Aug 06, 10:54:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Max Babi said...

Mr. Abdulla is right, I have indeed left out the word 'lekin' and put the other words in wrong sequence. I have edited my entry at accordingly.
Thanks a lot.

Sun Aug 06, 04:57:00 PM PDT  

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