My apologies, Sona by Gulzar

My apologies, Sona.
Journeying through the terrain of my verse
in these rains,
inconvenienced you
Unseasonal are the monsoons here.
The alleyways of my poetry are frequently damp.
Water gathers often in the ditches.
If you trip and fall here, you run the risk
of spraining a foot.

My apologies, however . . .
You were inconvenienced
because the light in my verse is somewhat dim.
The stones at my threshold
are imperceptible, as you pass.
I have often cracked a toenail against them
As for the streetlamp at the crossroads,
it has remained unlit for aeons
You were inconvenienced.
My apologies, my heartfelt apologies.

Note: Salim Arif is the translator of this poem into English. Following is the original in Urdu.

My apologies, Sona in Urdu

Come, let us build a night by Gulzar

Come, let us build a night

On the marble edifice of silence
let us swathe ourselves in the sheets of darkness,
and ignite the twin candles of our bodies . . .
When dew arrives on tiptoe,
let it not discern even the whisper of our breaths

In the silken fragrance of mist,
entwined let us lie, like fragrance itself —
Draped in the earthy aroma of our bodies,
Let us, like spirits, rustle forever . . .

Note: English translation by Salim Arif.

 Come, let us build a night by Gulzar in Urdu (Arabic script)

Breathing (Saans lena :: सांस लेना) by Gulzar

What kind of a habit is breathing
What kind of a tradition is it to keep on living
Not even a slight movement in the body anywhere
No shadow in the eyes
The feet are stunned, they keep on moving
There is a journey, that keeps on flowing
For how many years, how many centuries
Keep on living, keep on living

Habits are such strange things…

Note: I translated this poem into English above. If you have the original in the Arabic script instead of the Devanagiri script in Urdu, please let me know.

सांस लेना भी कैसी आदत है
जीये जाना भी क्या रवायत है
कोई आहट नहीं बदन में कहीं
कोई साया नहीं है आँखों में
पांव बेहिस हैं, चलते जाते हैं
इक सफ़र में जो बहता रहता है
कितने बरसों से कितनी सदियों से
जीये जाते हैं जीये जाते हैं

आदतें भी अजीब होती हैं…

Recitation from Aastha by Gulzar

जिसे तुम भटकना कहती हो न, मानसी,
मैं उसे और जानने की तलाश कहता हूँ|
एक दूसरे को जानने की तलाश|
मैं इस ज़मीन पे भटकता हूँ कितनी सदियों से|
गिराह-ए-वक़्त से भटके लम्हा उसकी तरह|
वतन मिला, तो गली के लिए भटकता रहा,
गली में घर का निशाँ ढूंढता रहा बरसों|
तुम्हारी रूह में अब जिस्म में भटकता हूँ,
तुम ही से जन्मूँ तो शायद मुझे पनाह मिले|

Note: The English translation below is by myself.

What you call wandering, Manasi,
I call it a search to know more.
To know each other more.
I have been wandering this earth for so many centuries.
A lost moment from a knot of time, like that.
Found my Nation, then kept searching for my street,
Kept searching for a sign of home in the street for years.
Now I wander in your soul, in your body,
Maybe if I take birth from you, I will find refuge.


“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

unconcluded by Gulzar

Note: Translated by Rina Singh. If you know the original verse, please let me know through a comment.

On a white bed
lies a body
a forsaken body
they forgot to bury.
They left
as if death was not
their business.

I hope they come back,
and recognize;

bury me
so I can breathe.

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

Nazm uljhi hui hai seene mein by Gulzar

nazm uljhi hui hai seene mein
misare atke hue hain hothon par
udate phirte hain titaliyon ki tarah
lafz kaagaz pe baithate hi nahin
kab se baithaa hun main jaanam
saade kaagaz pe likh ke naam tera
bas tera naam hi mukammal hai
is se behtar bhi nazm kyaa hogi

Translation (Translator unknown):

A poem
entangled in my chest,
fastened on my lips,
like butterflies
won’t sit still on paper.
I sit
for so long
with your name
on this blank paper.
Your name
just your name exists;
could there be
a better poem?

Absence by Gulzar

Beyond glass doors,
between thick branches of trees
in spring,
the rain falls, quietly.There are noises,
there are people;
they are talking.

Beyond the noises of their talking,
somewhere within me,
on another surface
falls your absence, quietly,
very quietly.

Author: Gulzar