Saturday, 13 March 2010

Faiz - Paas raho

This heart-tugging nazm by Faiz, which appeared under the title 'Paas raho' in his 1965 work dast-e-tah-e-sang, seems like a good way to resuscitate this long comatose site.

In the longish interregnum since the last post, I notice that Google has added a way to type urdu script from the English keyboard (though one doesn't have the facility directly within blogger yet). The system is somewhat buggy, and doesn't work anywhere as smoothly as the transliteration into devnagri - understandably, given the far more idiosyncratic and less phonetic nature of Urdu script. But for what it's worth, I'm adding a (somewhat imperfect) Naskh version. Would have much preferred a Nata'liq font - for aesthetic enjoyment, if nothing else - but I can't get one to work on Blogger!

A visitor on one of the earlier posts had suggested that it would be helpful to also have a transliterated version in Roman script, hence that is included too...

tum mere paas raho
mere qaatil, mere dildaar, mere paas raho
jis ghaRii raat chale
aasamano.n ka lahu pee kar siyah raat chale
marham-e-mushq liye, nashtar-e-almaas liye
bain karatii hui, hansti hui, gaatii nikale
dard ke kaasani paazeb bajaatii nikale
jis ghaRii sino.n me.n doobe huye dil
aastiino.n me.n nihaa.n haatho.n ki rah takne lage.n
aas liye
aur bachcho.n ke bilakhane ki tarah qul-qul-e-may
bahr-e-naasudagi machle to manaaye na mane
jab koi baat banaaye na bane
jab na koi baat chale
jis ghaRii raat chale
jis ghaRii maatamii, sunsaan, siyah raat chale
paas raho
mere qaatil, mere dildaar, mere paas raho

तुम मेरे पास रहो
मेरे क़ातिल, मेरे दिलदार, मेरे पास रहो
जिस घड़ी रा चले
आसमानों का लहू पी कर सियह रात चले
मरहम-ए-मुश्क़ लिए, नश्तर-ए-अल्मास लिए
बैन करती हुई, हंसती हुई, गाती निकले
दर्द के कासनी पाज़ेब बजाती निकले
जिस घड़ी सीनों में डूबे हुए दिल
आस्तीनों में निहां हांथों की रह तकने लगें
आस लिए
और बच्चों के बिलखने की तरह कुल-कुल-ए-मय
बह्र-ए-नासूदगी मचले तो मनाये न मने
जब कोई बात बनाए न बने
जब न कोई बात चले
जिस घड़ी रात चले
जिस घड़ी मातमी, सुनसान, सियह रात चले
पास रहो
मेरे कातिल, मेरे दिलदार, मेरे पास रहो

تم مرے پاس رہو
مرے قاتل مرے دلدار مرے پا
س رہو
جس گھڑی رات چلے
آسمانوں کا لہو پی کے سی سسیہ رات چلے
مرہم مشک لئے نشتر الماس لئے
بین کرتی ہو ی ہنستی ہو ی گاتی نکلے
درد کے کاسنی پازیب بجاتی نکلے
جس گھڑی سینوں میں ڈوبتے ہوئے دل
آستینوں میں نہاں ہانتھوں کی رہ تکن
ے لگیں
اور بچچوں کے بلاکھنے کی طرح قل-قل-مے
بہر ناسودگی مچلے تو مناے نہ منے
جب کوئی بات بناہے نے بنے
جب نہ کوئی بات چلے
جس گھڑیرات چلے
جس گھڑی ماتمی سنسان سسیہ رات چلے
پاس رہو
مرے قاتل مرے دلدار مرے پاس رہو

stay close to me
my assassin, my beloved...stay close to me
(at) the moment when night sets out
(when), having drunk the blood of skies, the inky night sets out
(armed) with a diamond-lancet, carrying the salve of musk
(as she) passes by, wailing..., laughing..., singing...,
(as she) passes by, tinkling (her) lilac anklets of pain
(and) when hearts (that lie) sunken in chests
start looking out for hands concealed within sleeves
with hope...
and the gurgling of wine (being poured) is like the sobs of children
inconsolable in their restlessness
when no endeavours can be made to succeed
when conversation flags
when (only) night stalks
when the gloomy, silent, inky night stalks
stay close to me
my assassin, my beloved...stay close to me

In the charged political firmament of mid-60s Pakistan, these words were inevitably seen as an incisive commentary on the state of affairs, as they were undoubtedly meant to be. However, even without any contextual props, what a hauntingly desperate plea it is, isn't it?

'almaas' is Farsi for a diamond, also used in adjective form to describe something shaped into angles or facets (as a well-cut diamond), and hence a fitting description for a lance. In this case, of course, the diamond-lancet evokes a starry night... a night that perversely also carries fragrant ointments to soothe the wounds it has set out to inflict.

'Kaasnii' is the white chiccory (Cichorium endivia), and hence also describes the lilac colour of the chiccory flower:

The colour is often used to figuratively describe the bluish tinge that finely wrought silver wears.

The characterisation of hearts searching, with forlorn hope, for 'hands that lie hidden in sleeves' evokes not just a conspiratorial image of concealed daggers about to be whipped out, but also harks back to the stylised chak-e-girebaan imagery.

'Bahr' is a Farsi preposition that is used in the sense of 'on account of' or 'for the sake of'. 'Naasuudgii' is the negated form of 'aasuudgii', which connotes contentment, ease, tranquility, etc.


Shweta said...

Welcome back. Great one to start with.
aasamano.n ka lahu pee kar siyah raat chale
What a line. Faiz is the poet of dusk.

deewaan said...


Yes, he's really in his elements when glooming in the gloaming, isn't he?! :-)

codeto ergo sum said...

Vow! Thanks a ton that you are back. It has been sometime that I have been going through this blog. Brilliant job! It has introduced me to this beautiful language and its great poet.For a novice like me it helps a lot especially when you explain the context. And the translation is also awesome and very creative too.
Please do not stop posting.An eager fan

deewaan said...

Thanks, Codeto! Welcome to the site!

musiq said...

Thanks deewaan dear, you know I love Faiz :)

just thinking that this one is about the defeat of the sky (hope/vision) by the night (despair/all the hidden powers). Yet one walks with one's assassin only when one has the strength to face it- a political message, yes, but also a personal one

deewaan said...

Musiq: Yes, I know you do! Which is what keeps me convinced about your good taste - despite your uncalled for puns over the years! :-)

The qaatil here is very ambiguous - so walking with her, or sheltering in her arms, could have infinite layers of meanings. But yes, it is certainly very personal, very intimate - almost unbearably so.

musiq said...

Well, I think I learnt a fair amount of wordplay from YOU :) the only way to survive Deewaan's witticisms and general Deewaan-ness :)