Monday, 25 February 2008

Faiz - Neem-Shab, Chaand, Khud-Faraamoshee

While 'Night-Time' has been celebrated in virtually every poetic tradition, I don't think the idea of night has ever been worshipped – even romanticised - quite as hauntingly as in this lovely nazm from Naqsh Fariyaadii. A truly sublime nocturne, it was titled, quite appropriately, 'saruud-e-shabaanaa' or 'music of the night'. Faiz has packed in such beauty in his choice of words here that even translations, howsoever inadequate, end up sounding a trifle poetic...!

Niim-shab, chaand, khud-faraamoshii
mehfil-e-hast-o-buud veeraan hai
paikar-e-iltija hai khamoshii
bazm-e-anjum fusurdaa saamaan hai
aashbaar-e-sukoot jaarii hai
char suu bekhudii sii taarii hai
zindagii juzv-e-khvaab hai goyaa
sarii duniyaa saraab hai goyaa
so rahii hai ghane darakhto.n par
chaandanii kii thakii huii aawaaz
kahkashaa.n neem-vaa nigaaho.n se
kah rahii hai hadees-e-shauq-e-niyaaz
saaz-e-dil ke khaamosh taaro.n se
chhan rahaa hai khumaar-e-kaif-agiin
aarzuu, khwaab, teraa ruuh-e-hasiin

नीम-शब, चाँद, खुद-फरामोशी
महफ़िल-ए-हस्त-ओ-बूद वीरान है
पैकर-ए-इल्तिजा है खामोशी,
बज़्म-ए-अंजुम फुसुर्दा सामान है
आब्शार-ए-सुकूत जारी है
चार सू बेखुदी सी तारी है
ज़िन्दगी जुज़्व-ए-ख्वाब है गोया
सारी दुनिया सराब है गोया
सो रही है घने दरख्तों पर
चांदनी की थकी हुई आवाज़
कहकशां नीम-वा निगाहों से
कह रही है हदीस-ए-शौक़-ए-नियाज़
साज़-ए-दिल के खामोश तारों से
छन रहा है खुमार-ए-कैफ-अगीन
आरज़ू, ख्वाब, तेरा रूह-ए-हसीन

Midnight...the moon...the forgetting of oneself...

The assemblage of being & existence lies abandoned,
silence is the embodiment of supplications,
the gathering of stars the stuff of melancholy,
a quietitude cascading down.

In (all) four directions, there's a sort of dark insensibility,
as if life is (but) a fragment of dream,
as if the entire world is (but) a mirage.

Somnolent on dense trees,
(is) the weary voice of moonlight,
(as if) the Milky Way, with drooping eyes,
recounts fables of (those with a) a taste for submission...

(And) from the silent strings of the heart's lyre
filters through, a blissful intoxication...

...desire...dreams...your beautiful face.

Nice, na?

Some niceties - the 'hast-o-bood' of the second line actually means something like 'what is and was' (it is almost a technical term - used in account books to indicate a comparison of past and present figures), and hence the 'assembly' that is described as desolate in the line is not just that of the denizens of the present night, but also of nights gone by.

The 'aabshaar-e-sukoot' merits attention - a nicely antithetic juxtaposition of contrasts, aabshaar describing a torrential waterfall, while sukoot denotes peacefulness, quietness, silence.

The 'hadees-e-shauq-e-niyaaz' is also interesting - hadees is specifically used for fables describing the experiences of the Prophet; while niyaaz, which in ordinary language is used to denote an abject, self-abasing supplication or worshipfulness, is also used more specifically to describe the alms to the indigent, offered usually in the form of food, in the memory of the Prophet. Shauq, of course, means something like 'fondness or taste'... hence, the entire expression links up quite beautifully in an allusive sense.

In the second-last line, while Khumaar and kaif both indicate inebriation, the latter (a contraction of 'kaifiyat') is more specifically a 'happy, beatific' sort of intoxication...while 'aageen' means something like 'full of'. Hence, the composite expression translates to something like 'a dulcet drunkenness...'

P.S. - Sorry for missing the weekend deadline. The internet connection at home, after spluttering fitfully for most of the week, finally kicked the bucket on Saturday...and it required much cajoling of the ISP rascals over the phone for them to do something about it today...


musiq said...

this one is something i keep coming back to, its so haunting, isnt it? should we do a series of 'night' poetry across the poets?

SK said...

Hey brother yo are great, very suttle translation