That which is past, is gone (जो बीत गई सो बात गई) by Harivansh Rai Bachchan

There was a star in life
agreed, it was much loved
when it sank, it did sink.
Look at the sky’s vastness,
so many stars have broken away
so many loved ones it has lost
the lost ones, were they ever found?
But tell me, for the broken stars
does the sky ever grieve?
That which is past, is gone.

There was a flower in life
which, I doted everyday on
when it dried, it dried away.
Look at the garden’s breast,
dried, many of its saplings have
welted, many of its flowers have
that which welted, did it ever bloom?
But tell me, for dried flowers
does the garden create an uproar?
That which is past, is gone.

There was a cup of wine in life
which, you gave your heart and soul for
when it broke, it did break.
Look at the winehouse’s courtyard
shaken, where many cups are
fall, and merge with the ground
that which fall, do they ever rise?
But tell me, for broken cups
does the winehouse ever regret?
That which is past, is gone.

Soft mud, we are made of,
wine drops do tend to fall.
A short life, we have come with,
winecups do tend to break.
Yet, inside the winehouse
there is a winepot, there are winecups.
Those, struck by intoxication
do splurge away on the wine.
He’s a raw drinker,
whose affection escapes no cup,
one who has burnt from true wine
does he ever shout, or scream?
That which is past, is gone.

Note: Please comment below if you know who translated this into English. Following is the original.

हरिवंश राय बच्चन द्वारा जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में एक सितारा था
माना वह बेहद प्यारा था
वह डूब गया तो डूब गया
अम्बर के आनन को देखो
कितने इसके तारे टूटे
कितने इसके प्यारे छूटे
जो छूट गए फिर कहाँ मिले
पर बोलो टूटे तारों पर
कब अम्बर शोक मनाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में वह था एक कुसुम
थे उसपर नित्य निछावर तुम
वह सूख गया तो सूख गया
मधुवन की छाती को देखो
सूखी कितनी इसकी कलियाँ
मुर्झाई कितनी वल्लरियाँ
जो मुर्झाई फिर कहाँ खिली
पर बोलो सूखे फूलों पर
कब मधुवन शोर मचाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में मधु का प्याला था
तुमने तन मन दे डाला था
वह टूट गया तो टूट गया
मदिरालय का आँगन देखो
कितने प्याले हिल जाते हैं
गिर मिट्टी में मिल जाते हैं
जो गिरते हैं कब उठतें हैं
पर बोलो टूटे प्यालों पर
कब मदिरालय पछताता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

मृदु मिटटी के हैं बने हुए
मधु घट फूटा ही करते हैं
लघु जीवन लेकर आए हैं
प्याले टूटा ही करते हैं
फिर भी मदिरालय के अन्दर
मधु के घट हैं मधु प्याले हैं
जो मादकता के मारे हैं
वे मधु लूटा ही करते हैं
वह कच्चा पीने वाला है
जिसकी ममता घट प्यालों पर
जो सच्चे मधु से जला हुआ
कब रोता है चिल्लाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई।।

In the Stillness of a Word by Amrita Bharati

are so alike –
his earth
my sky
I wanted
to follow him
wherever he went

But our paths
were so different –
he was on one
I on the other
with a line between us –
and mine

were one
in our soul
he walked
on the low peaks of the earth
And I
in the high chasms
of the sky

these two paths
will turn
one day
in my poetry
so we may walk together
in the stillness of a word

Note: Translated into English by Lucy Rosenstein and The Poetry Translation Workshop. Following is the original poem in Hindi. 



Here by Gagan Gill

in her bones
she hides herself
fleeing from her flesh

she collapses
with grief
escaping from herself

claws out
body and soul

Clutching at straws
she searches through
poetry —

this is the very stone
they will touch:

she the fish
and she the non-fish

Both will sink
in this very place

Note: Translation into English by Lucy Rosenstein and the Poetry Translation Workshop at Following is the original in Hindi.

here by Gagan Gill in the original Hindi language

After Midnight (तीसरा पहर) by Mohan Rana

I saw the stars far off –
as far as I from them:
in this moment I saw them –
in moments of the twinkling past.
In the boundless depths of darkness,
these hours
hunt the morning through the night.

And I can’t make up my mind:
am I living this life for the first time?
Or repeating it, forgetting as I live
the first moment of breath every time?

Does the fish too drink water?
Does the sun feel the heat?
Does the light see the dark?
Does the rain too get wet?
Do dreams ask questions about sleep as I do?

I walked a long, long way
and when I saw, I saw the stars close by.
Today it rained all day long and the words were washed away
from your face.

Note: Translated from the Hindi by Bernard O’Donoghue. Following is the original.

मैंने तारों को देखा बहुत दूर
जितना मैं उनसे
वे दिखे इस पल में
टिमटिमाते अतीत के पल
अँधेरे की असीमता में,
सुबह का पीछा करती रात में
यह तीसरा पहर

और मैं तय नहीं कर पाता
क्या मैं जी रहा हूँ जीवन पहली बार,
या इसे भूलकर जीते हुए दोहराए जा रहा हूँ
सांस के पहले ही पल को हमेशा !

क्या मछली भी पानी पीती होगी
या सूरज को भी लगती होगी गरमी
क्या रोशनी को भी कभी दिखता होगा अँधकार
क्या बारिश भी हमेशा भीग जाती होगी,
मेरी तरह क्या सपने भी करते होंगे सवाल नींद के बारे में

दूर दूर बहुत दूर चला आया मैं
जब मैंने देखा तारों को – देखा बहुत पास,
आज बारिश होती रही दिनभर
और शब्द धुलते रहे तुम्हारे चेहरे से

“Brother, I’ve seen some” by Kabir

Brother, I’ve seen some
     Astonishing sights:
A lion keeping watch
     Over pasturing cows;
A mother delivered
     After her son was;
A guru prostrated
     Before his disciple;
Fish spawning
     On treetops;
A cat carrying away
     A dog;
A gunny-sack
     Driving a bullock-cart;
A buffalo going out to graze,
     Sitting on a horse;
A tree with its branches in the earth,
     Its roots in the sky;
A tree with flowering roots.
This verse, says Kabir,
     Is your key to the universe.
If you can figure it out.
Note: Translated from Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. If you know the original in Hindi, please leave a comment.

If only he was not Binayak Sen (काश के वो बिनायक सेन ना होता) by Rizvi Amir Abbas Syed

If only he were a murderer of Sikhs, or involved in the massacre in Gujarat
If only he were one of the malpractitioners at a private hospital
If only he were an agent for a multinational company
If only he were a merchant of national property

If only he were a member of violence inciting Salwa Judum
If only he could conduct a Rath Yatra in the name of language, religion, mosque, or a temple
If only he were a corrupt police officer
If only he were an agriculture minister letting the grain produced by hardworking farmers rot

If only he were a religious guru distributing Trishools to people
If only he were a hate spewing Mullah on TV channels
If only he were a minister uprooting forests to make way for mines
If only he were a nationalist who feels proud about tortures committed by the armed forces and the police

If only he would make a public statement on sacrificing humanity for one’s pride
If only he didn’t have any compassion or empathy in his heart
If only he didn’t leave his cozy life and went to villages to serve the marginalized
If only he was a sleeping citizen like you or I

If only he was happily immersed in his family and businesses
If only he would mock Gandhi’s ideals
If only he wouldn’t follow the Hippocratic oath
If only he would surrender to corruption, injustice and bullies

If only he were a security guard letting terror enter India for a bribe
If only he would deliver news to distract people from the issues of the poor and the farmers
If only he would sing and dance with the Nobel Peace Prize winner Mr. Obama
If only his heart wouldn’t beat for human rights

Then today
Binayak wouldn’t be called a villain in this country
There wouldn’t be any prosecution, nor a charge for treason
He would be free and far from the chains of life imprisonments, and well respected
If only though, if only.

काश के वो सिखों का हत्यारा होता, या गुजरात के नरसंघार में शामिल होता
काश के वो प्राइवेट अस्पताल के लुटेरे डाक्टरों में से एक होता
काश के वो किसी मल्टीनेशनल कंपनी का दलाल होता
काश के वो राष्ट्रीय धरोहर को बेचने वाला बनिया होता

काश के वो हिंसा प्रेरित करने वाले सलवा-जुडूम का सदस्य होता
काश के वो भाषा, धर्म, मस्जिद, मंदिर के नाम पर रथ यात्रा निकाल पाता
काश के वो घूसखोर पुलिस का अफसर होता
काश के वो किसान की मेहनत से उपजे अनाज को सड़ाने वाला कृषि मंत्री होता

काश के वो त्रिशूल बाँटने वाला धार्मिक गुरु होता
काश के वो टीवी चेन्नलों पर नफरत फैलाने वाला कठमुल्ला होता
काश के वो जंगलों को उजाड़ कर खदान बनाने वाला मंत्री होता
काश के वो पुलिस और सेना के अत्याचार पर गर्व करने वाला राष्ट्रवादी होता

काश के वो अहम् की खातिर इंसानियत की बलि चढ़ाने वाले वक्तव्य देता
काश के उसके हृदय में करुना और दया नाम की कोई चीज़ न होती
काश के वो अपने सारे सुख और चैन तो त्याग कर गाँव की सेवा में ना जाता
काश के वो भी हम आप जैसे सोये हुए नागरिकों में से एक होता

काश के वो भी अपने परिवार और व्यापार में व्यस्त और मस्त होता
काश के वो महात्मा गाँधी के आदर्शों का मज़ाक़ उड़ा पता
काश के वो डाक्टरों द्वारा ली गयी शपथ का पालन नहीं करता
काश के वो भ्रष्ट अन्यायपालिका और दबंगों के आगे घुटने टेक देता

काश के वो घूस लेकर आतंक को भारत में प्रवेश देने वाला सुरक्षा कर्मी होता
काश के वो देश को गरीबों और किसानो की समस्या से बहकाने वाली न्यूज़ सुनाता
काश के वो नोबेल शांति पुरूस्कार के विजेता ओबामा साहब के साथ नाचता गाता
काश के उसका दिल मानवाधिकार के लिए नहीं धड़कता

तो आज
बिनायक देश का खलनायक नहीं कहलाता
न कोई कार्यवाही होती, न ही देशद्रोही का इलज़ाम गढ़ा जाता
उम्र क़ैद की जंजीरों से दूर वो भी सम्मानीय और स्वतंत्र होता
काश, काश, काश !!!

Note: Translated into English from the original Hindi by the poet himself.

In Her Neighbourhood by Giriraj Kiradoo


descending into her body is going from my narrow lane to her wide open square

her body smells of the neighbourhood around the butchery
of goats and trussed-up roosters
her body has the blue yellow black colors of kites
the beat of daflis
the creaking of chairs come for repair
the gurgling of the hookah

the language I love her in
does not stay mine when written
the language she loves me in
does not stay hers when spoken
now and then
we stumble in the dialects of this city

circling around language
we see each other
touching each other’s clothes


I cannot hear or understand the prayers buried in her body
I search my body
and find no prayer there

“your body has the murmur of the last namaaz”
“that kaafirs cannot hear”

she wears my wishes like clothes to cover herself
I descend into the prayers buried in her kaafir’s body


her body grows into the whole neighbourhood
in which
I wander like a lost child among strange salons and paan-shops
in which
her mother is sorry for not yet having repaired my dafli
in which
I drink tea at her father’s shop

he wants to wash the glass I used
I wash the glass under a tap
he keeps the money in a gullak

he looks at me startled at the respect I grant him
I run from the neighbourhood or from embarrassment and fall into my room

she straightens her kurta


her father walks in the lane by my house almost lost
he has not been able to see properly for years
he has even lost his slippers
wandered far from the namazis

(tears from her eyes fall like words
on my clothes my hands)

at that very moment he passes under my rooftop room


her father checks the stitches on the dafli one last time
her mother embroiders last winter’s remembered flowers on someone else’s sheets

on their rooftop hidden among a group of kite-flying loafers
I sit drinking a beer

the night before Sahira is bathing in the open

Note: Translation into English by Rahul Soni.

Giriraj Kiradoo's poems in Hindi

Ek ladki ko dekha by Javed Akhtar

Saw a girl then it felt like this
Saw a girl then it felt, as if

a blooming rose, as if
a poet’s dream, as if
a bright ray of light, as if
a deer in the woods, as if
a moonlit night, as if
a softly whispered sentence, as if
a lamp burning in the temple, O!
Saw a girl then it felt like this!

Saw a girl then it felt like this
Saw a girl then it felt, as if
a form of dawn, as if
sunlight in winter, as if
a twang of the veena*, as if
the life in colors, as if
the swaying vines, as if
the play of waves, as if
the cool breeze carries fragrance, O!
Saw a girl then it felt like this

Saw a girl then it felt like this
Saw a girl then it felt, as if
a dancing peacock, as if
a silken thread, as if
a symphony of fairies, as if
a fire built of sandalwood, as if
the sixteen ornaments of beauty, as if
a fountain of nectar, as if
slowly rising intoxication, O!
Saw a girl then it felt like this
Saw a girl then it felt like this!

*a veena is a stringed musical instrument.

Note: I did this English translation.

हो ओ … एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा
एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा, जैसे
खिलता गुलाब, जैसे
शायर का ख्वाब, जैसे
उजली किरन, जैसे
बन में हिरन, जैसे
चाँदनी रात, जैसे
नरमी बात, जैसे
मन्दिर में हो एक जलता दिया, हो!
ओ… एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा!

हो, एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा
एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा, जैसे
सुबह का रूप, जैसे
सरदी की धूप, जैसे
वीणा की तान, जैसे
रंगों की जान, जैसे
बलखायें बेल, जैसे
लहरों का खेल, जैसे
खुशबू लिये आये ठंडी हवा, हो!
ओ… एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा!

हो, एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा
एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा, जैसे
नाचता मोर, जैसे
रेशम की डोर, जैसे
परियों का राग, जैसे
सन्दल की आग, जैसे
सोलह श्रृंगार, जैसे
रस की फुहार, जैसे
आहिस्ता आहिस्ता बढ़ता नशा, हो!
ओ… एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा!
एक लड़की को देखा तो ऐसा लगा!

“Chalo ik baar phir se” by Sahir Ludhianvi

Come, let us be strangers again, you and I.

I shall no longer hope for any favours from you
Nor shall you look upon me with eyes askance.
And my words shall tremble no more with my heartbeat
Nor the secret of your struggle be betrayed in a glance.

Come, let us be strangers again, you and I.

You too have hesitated to give yourself completely
I too wear disguises, or so I am told
The disgraces of my past are my constant companions
And you too are possessed by the nights of old.

When involvement becomes illness it is best forgotten
When a relationship oppresses it is best to break it
When the adventure you are embarked on cannot be completed
One must find a beautiful way out, and take it.

Come, let us be strangers again, you and I.

Note: translation by Falstaff

चलो इक बार फिर से, अजनबी बन जाएं हम दोनो
चलो इक बार फिर से …

न मैं तुमसे कोई उम्मीद रखूँ दिलनवाज़ी की
न तुम मेरी तरफ़ देखो गलत अंदाज़ नज़रों से
न मेरे दिल की धड़कन लड़खड़ाये मेरी बातों से
न ज़ाहिर हो तुम्हारी कश्म-कश का राज़ नज़रों से
चलो इक बार फिर से …

तुम्हें भी कोई उलझन रोकती है पेशकदमी से
मुझे भी लोग कहते हैं कि ये जलवे पराए हैं
मेरे हमराह भी रुसवाइयां हैं मेरे माज़ी की – २
तुम्हारे साथ भी गुज़री हुई रातों के साये हैं
चलो इक बार फिर से …

तार्रुफ़ रोग हो जाये तो उसको भूलना बेहतर
ताल्लुक बोझ बन जाये तो उसको तोड़ना अच्छा
वो अफ़साना जिसे अंजाम तक लाना ना हो मुमकिन – २
उसे एक खूबसूरत मोड़ देकर छोड़ना अच्छा
चलो इक बार फिर से …

“Bas ek chup sii lagii hai” by Gulzar

bas ek chup sii lagii hai, nahii.n udaas nahii.n,
kahii.n pe saa.Ns rukii hai, nahii.n udaas nahii.n,
bas ek chup sii lagii hai

ko_ii anokhii nahii.n aisii zi.ndagii lekin
khuub na ho
mili jo –
khuub milii hai.
nahii.n udaas nahii.n
bas ek chup sii lagii hai …

sahar bhii ye raat bhii dopahar bhii milii lekin
hamii.n ne shaam chunii
hamii.n ne –
shaam chunii hai
nahii.n udaas nahii.n
bas ek chup sii lagii hai …

vo daasataa.N jo hamane kahii bhii
hamane likhii
aaj vo –
khud se sunii hai
nahii.n udaas nahii.n
bas ek chup sii lagii hai

Note: I translated this one.

A quietness has taken over, No, not sadness
Somewhere, my breath is trapped, no, not sadness
A quietness has taken over

Not extraordinary, but a life that
is not splendid
the one that I have found
is plenty.
No, not sadness
A quietness has taken over

I was given dawn, this night too, also the day, but
I am the one who chose the evening
I am the one
who chose evening
No, not sadness
Just, a quietness has taken over

That story that I spoke of,
I wrote,
Today, I
heard it from myself
No, not sadness
A quietness has taken over

Tum pukar lo by Gulzar

Tum pukar lo, tumhara intezaar hai,
tum pukar lo.

Khwaab chun rahi hai raat, beqarar hai
Tumhara intezaar hai
Tum pukar lo

Honth pe liye hue dil ki baat hum
Jaagte rahenge aur kitni raat hum
Muqtasar si baat hai, tum se pyaar hai
Tumhara intezaar hai
Tum pukar lo

Dil bahal tho jaayega is khayal se
Haal mil gaya tumhara apne haal se
Raat ye qaraar ki beqarar hai
Tumhara intezaar hai

Tum pukar lo

Note: Translated by me. Any help is appreciated, please comment.

Connect with me, I am awaiting you,
Connect with me.

The night is choosing its’ dreams, it is restless
Awaiting you
Connect with me.

Carrying on my lips the thoughts of my heart
How many more nights will I stay awake?
It is a concise matter, I love you
Awaiting you
Connect with me.

My heart will be entertained with this thought
That at least our circumstances met
This night of rest is restless
Awaiting you

Connect with me

Yeh Hai Meri Kahani by Unknown

Note: This song is sung by Strings & John Abraham. If you know the lyricist/poet, please leave a comment. I believe it is Anwar Maqsood, if you know otherwise, please let me know.

yeh hai meri kahani
khamosh zindagani
sannata keh raha hai
kyun zulm seh raha hai

ek dastaan purani
tanhayi ki zubani
her zakham khil raha hai
kuch mujh se keh raha hai

chubtay kantay yadoon ke daaman say chunta hoon
girti deewaron ke aanchal mai zinda hoon

bass yeh meri kahani
benishaan nishaani
ek darr beh raha hai
kuch mujh se keh raha hai

bajay pyaar ki shabnum mere gulistaan mein
baraste rehte hain har simt maut ke saye
siyahiyon se ulajh padti hain meri aankhein
koi nahi .. koi bhi nahi jo batlaye
main kitni der ujalon ki raah dekhoon gaa
koi nahi hai koi bhi nahi
na pass na durr

ek pyaar hai
dil ki dharkan
apni chahat ka jo ellan kiye jaati hai
zindagi hai jo jiye jaati hai
khoon k ghoont peay jaati hai
khwaab kaanton se siye jaati hai

ab na koi paas hai
phir bhi ehsaas hai
siyahiyon mai uljhi padi
jeene ki ek aas hai

yadoon ka jungle yeh dil
kaanton se jal thal yeh dil

chubtay kantay yadoon ke daaman say chunta hoon
girti deewaron ke aanchal mai zinda hoon

English Translation by Ayesha Khanna:

this is my story
my voiceless existence
where even silence questions
why I bear such injustice

an ancient tale
hearsay of solitude
where each wound blossoms
to whisper softly to me

where I pick the thorns of my memories
and live behind the veil of falling walls

this, this is my story
my unremarkable mark
where fear trickles down
to whisper softly to me

the dew of love glistens
yet death haunts every corner
eyes weary of inky shadows
but no one … no one to tell
how long till light appears
no one … there is no one
not near, not far

this is love
this heartbeat
that keeps announcing its presence
life is validated by living
that continues persevering
dreams are woven by dreaming

and still i sense
entangled in darkness
an inchoate desire to live

jungle of reminiscences, this heart
strewn with thistles, this heart

where I pick the thorns of my memories
and live behind the veil of falling walls