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.


“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 …

Smita and I by Deepti Naval

Always on the run
Chasing our dreams
We met each time

At baggage claims
VIP lounges
Check- in counters

Stood a while together
Among gaping crowds
Spoke, unspoken words

Yearning to share
Yet afraid, afraid
Of ourselves

All around us
People cheering, leering
And we, like spectacles
Amidst all the madness

Trying to live a moment
Of truth
A glance, a touch
A feeling to hold on to
And move on…

The last time we sat together
Waiting for a flight
I remember I’d said,

‘There must be another way
Of living this life!’

For a long time
You remained silent


Without blinking
Without turning

‘There isn’t’

You are gone, and
I’m still running…

Still trying
To prove you wrong

“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