Friday, November 17, 2006

Jigar Muradabadi's Aadmi Aadmi-se milta hai   [Urdu verse translation]

When one man another man   merely meets
the heart within the other man   he rarely meets

the ways she injures me   I keep on overlooking
with round simplicity   my soul she squarely meets

the weirdest thing!   the exact color of those flowers
today in the arbor of your smile   one clearly meets

O she's the sort you'll meet   but can never meet
till mere survival   the broken heart   barely meets


My rendering of Jigar's poem is based on a literal translation provided by Max Babi. The original Urdu poem is transliterated thus:
Aadmi Aadmi-se milta hai
Dil magar kam kisi-se milta hai
Bhool jaataa hun mein sitam uske
Voh kuchh iss saadgi-se milta hai
Aaj kyaa baat hai ki phoolon ka
Rang teri hansi se milta hai
Mil ke bhi joh kabhi nahin miltaa
Toot kar il us-hi-se miltaa hai


Blogger taamaraa said...

Hi, this is a beautiful poem. But I would translate it thus...

Even if one may easily meet other people,
It is difficult to find a soul-mate.

I forget her nuances, when she meets me with such compelling force.

I dont know what it is about today,
But the flowers all seem to be coloured like the glow and blush of her smile.

Even if one finds her, one cannot have her.
Yet, the broken-heart seeks only her.

The verb milna (conjugated as milta here) may have many meanings in Hindi-- to find, to seek, to meet, to have, to get, to be identical too...etc. So in each of the couplets, the verb is used with a different meaning. I then interpreted the lines to render them more understandable in English.

Fri Nov 17, 07:47:00 PM PST  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Dear Taamaraa,

I'm grateful for your translation, which gives much to think on. Perhaps I will attempt a new formal version of the poem, in light of the nuances and shades of sense your rendering of the lines brings forward.

Regrettably I am ignorant of Hindi/Urdu and cannot (at this stage of things) read the original at all. I have some hope of beginning to study Hindi (per se) next year, and Urdu (per se) sometime later; meanwhile, my enjoyment of the process of finding formally satisfying poetry springing from these foreign (to me) languages isn't delaying for such enlightenment as such proper study might eventually deliver; instead, I rely (for the present) on literal translations along with (sometimes) informative notes such as you've nicely and kindly offered here. I should be most grateful for your further remarks on any other such efforts of mine as you may note blogged so far, or to-be-blogged in future. For Max Babi and I are both keen to continue and advance in the collaborative translation effort that we've been dabbling at for some while.


Sat Nov 18, 11:43:00 AM PST  
Blogger Plus Ultra said...

I still like your translation (of course I dont know the orginal!) compared to taamaraa's ..Tama's translation makes easy reading and you catch on quite fast but your translations need thinking trough and is open to many more interpretations, perhaps that's where the romace of poetry lies..but praises to both ...

Mon Nov 20, 03:04:00 AM PST  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Thanks PU--
but the value for the likes of me, in a nuanced LITERAL translation (such as Taamaraa seems to provide) is considerable. The difference between a "literal translation" and a "poetic" one (sometimes otherwise called a "transcreation") is -- or should be -- as you've kindly noted above.

Tue Nov 21, 12:45:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please help I need english translations of urdu poet jigar mordachai my email is

Mon Jun 02, 12:30:00 AM PDT  

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