Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi - Jagjit Singh

This time I'll be translating one of the masterpieces of Mirza Ghalib. The name Ghalib is what comes in your mind whenever you think about urdu poetry. For some of the sher's you will find translations exceeding even a couple of pages but still you will have doubts regarding it's true meaning, such words describe the true talent of this great poet. This ghazal is sung by many but as Jagjit is one of my favourite, I will follow the lines that follows his voice.

Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle
Bohat nikle mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle

[khwaish = desire]
I have thousands of desires, which are such that each one of them is capable of driving every possible life out of me. That's the translation of the first line, but what follows leaves you ecstatic. He says, my some desires were fulfilled, or came out (the literal translation of the word 'nikle'), but still some were left unfulfilled. What a way of expressing the thought that my desires were left unfulfilled.

Nikalna khuld se aadam ka soonte aaye hain lekin
Bahot be-aabru hokar tere kooche se hum nikle

[khuld = heaven ; aabru = fame/honor ; kooche = street]
This relates to the story of Adam when he was thrown out of heaven. In the same way he relates his situation of being thrown out disrespectfully from the house (comparing it to heaven) to that of Adam. 

Mohabbat mein nahin hai farq jeenay aur marnay ka
Usi ko dekh kar jeetay hain, jis kaafir pe dam nikle

[kaafir = non-believers]
In love, there is no difference between living and dying. I began to live only after I saw her, that infidel over whom the breadth will depart.

Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle
Bohat niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle

Khuda ke waaste parda na kaabe se uthaa zaalim
Kaheen aisa na ho yaan bhi wahi kaafir sanam nikle

For God's sake, don't remove the veil off of the Kaaba the tyrant. What if my deceitful lover hides behind it?

Kahaan maikhane ka darwaaza Ghalib aur kahaan vaaiz
Par itna jaantay hain kal voh jaata tha ke ham nikle

[maikhana = place wher alcohol is serverd ; vaiz = preacher]

The preacher and the bar's entrance are way apart, yet I saw him entering the bar as I was leaving.

Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle
Bohat niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle...


  1. Great ghazal !!

    would like to add on something to the maikhana part..

    The preacher says that drinking is bad and its a sin..But despite all his teachings of abstinence,he too drinks..this is what the literal meaning is..n it implies that addiction to wine is universal..while people like Ghalib admit what they do..the preacher does not...he pretends that he does not need alcohol, while even he can't resist it..

    N yeah.. life is all about desires..when one desire is fulfilled, you start thinking of the others and so on..One life, is perhaps incomplete to fulfill all of them..
    But of all desires, love is the desire that one desires the most! Once you are in love, all other desires don't exist !!

    Cheers !!

    1. Wow, thanks Sonia. I truelly agree with your worlds. :)

    2. Thanks, Your explanation made me appreciate the song more than ever.

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