Thursday, March 26, 2009

Intensity and a bit of Pamuk

I first heard Apne honton par sajana a few years ago (they were my pre-computer days. So, it must be roughly eight-nine years). I was charmed by the intensity of its lyrics by Qateel Shifai. Jagjit Singh’s voice worked its own magic (being one of my all time favourites). Scouted for the album for months before spotting it in a cassette shop in Ernakulam.

apane hoTho.n par sajaanaa chaahataa huu.N 
aa tujhe mai.n gunagunaanaa chaahataa huu.N 
koii aa.Nsuu tere daaman par giraakar 
buu.Nd ko motii banaanaa chaahataa huu.N 
thak gayaa mai.n karate-karate yaad tujhako 
ab tujhe mai.n yaad aanaa chaahataa huu.N 
chhaa rahaa hai saarii bastii me.n a.Ndheraa 
raushanii ho ghar jalaanaa chaahataa huu.N 
aaKharii hichakii tere zaano.n pe aaye 
maut bhi mai.n shaayaraanaa chaahataa huu.N 

Loose translation:

I wish to decorate on my lips/come I wish to hum you.

By dropping a few tears on your shawl/wish to convert droplets into pearls

I’m tired of remembering you/now I wish to be remembered by you.

The whole locality is engulfed in darkness/wish to burn my home to brighten it up.

My last hiccup should come on your lap/wish my death also to be poetic.

PS: the 3rd stanza is missing in the video. The fourth one is my favorite.                                                                                                       

Now a beautiful passage from Istanbul: Memories of a City by Orhan Pamuk:

At least once in a lifetime, self-reflection leads us to examine the circumstances of our birth. Why were we born in this particular corner of the world, on this particular date? These families into which we were born, these countries and cities to which the lottery of life has assigned us – they expect love from us, and in the end, we do love them, from the bottom of our hearts – but did we perhaps deserve better? I sometimes think myself unlucky to have been born in an ageing and impoverished city buried under the ashes of a ruined empire. But a voice inside me always insists this was really a piece of luck. If it were a matter of wealth, then I could certainly count myself fortunate to have been born into an affluent family at a time when the city was at its lowest ebb (though some have ably argued the contrary). Mostly I am disinclined to complain: I’ve accepted the city into which I was born in the same way I’ve accepted my body (much as I would have preferred to be more handsome and better built) and my gender (even though I still ask myself, naively, whether I might have been better off had I been born a woman). This is my fate, and there is no sense arguing with it. This book is about fate…. 

There are two reasons for this post:

1. To push the embarrassing previous post to the second place.
2. To fight the superstition that I can’t finish reading a book if I copy a quote or passage before completely reading it.


Alexis said...

Nice song and excellent translation. too love the song. An regarding the superstition, I am hearing it for the first time. But I always quote and write down the line that I like from books I read. So far it has not stopped me from finishing the book :-)

harimohan said...

tks paresh for the lyrics in english and pamuk/jagjit my 2 favourites

Amrita said...

I 've got a whole collection of Jagjit 's ghazals. It was a phase. I like them sometimes. Real good poetry.

Are you voting for Shashi Tharoor. I am his fan.

Amritorupa Kanjilal said...

Excellent translation of a lovely ghazal. and thanks so much for the passage from pamuk... it brought back so many memories.

i hope you fought that jinx and completed Istanbul. its a fantastic book. have you read' my name is red'?

first time here. loved it very very much. hope to keep coming back for more.

take care. do visit.