Whimsical Post #12: A charming ditty (and the challenge of translating it)

It was many years back that I read this charming ditty by Scottish author, poet and scholar, Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh (1861-1922). The short six line poem is titled “Wishes of an Elderly Man Wished at a Garden Party, June 1914″ from his fine book “Laughter from a Cloud” (1923) and I long used to chuckle over it.

It used to be in my mind intermittently but suddenly a couple of days back, burst out in all its splendour …. possibly as some recent events have caused me to identify with it all the more strongly. Let me share it with you:

I wish I loved the Human Race;
I wish I loved its silly face;
I wish I liked the way it walks;
I wish I liked the way it talks;
And when I’m introduced to one,
I wish I thought “What Jolly Fun!”

But that is not the end of the story. As I repeatedly chanted it, I had a sudden idea…. how would it sound translated in Urdu? As happens with me often, once an idea comes into my mind, it is very difficult to rest before I implement it.  A power cut when I reached home last night offered an excellent opportunity as it prevented me from reading. Notwithstanding the problem of doing so without the aid of paper, I tried doing out in my head.

Sab se pehle yeh masla tha ke yeh kis sinf mein jachega. Apni jhukao ke hisaab se maine ise ghazal ke sanche mein dhalne ki koshish lekin khawatin-o-hazraat, saaton jannat ko par karna ziada asaan sabit hota ke iska raadif-qafiya bandha. Phir yeh khayal aaya ke nazm bana ke dekhte hain aur har sher ki tukbandi ki jaaye. Kuch der baad yeh natija saamne aaya aur main aap sab ke nazar karne ka khwaishmand hoon. Aap dekhen ke mera ijaad kahan tak safal hua hai. Mulaiza farmaye…..

Kaash mujhe zaat-e-Adam se hoti kuch mohabbat
Kaash uske ahmaqane paikar ki achi lagti sohbat

Kaash mujhe pasand aata jis andaz se woh chal bharti
Kaash mujhe pasand aata jis tarah se woh baat karti

Aur jab mera is zaat ke koi shakhs se hota taaruf
Kaash mere dil mein ubharta kuch lutf-e-maaruf


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