An attempted translation of a qawwali

Over the past few months, an old malady resurfaced…. if it can be termed that but I have no other word to describe it. This is the Compulsive Translation Syndrome (CTS) I am subject too and you may have seen the result quite regularly here. However, let me not spend to much time in the background and go to the issue right away.

After I succeeded in translating a small ditty, I set my sights much higher/Ek qita’at ke tarjume ko anjaam dene ke baad mere koshish ek badhe mansube ke jaanib huyi.   I thought of translating a qawwali  into English/Maine tay kiya ke ek qawwali ko Angrezi mein kar diya jaaye. I thought first of one of my favourite qawwalis to test my mettle on but then settled for another one to experiment/Pehle mere zehn mein aaya ki apni sabse pasandida qawwali par apni qabiliyat dikhayun lekin phir socha ke kisi aur pe ijad kiya jaye.

It was no easy going, not easy at all…./Yeh muhim bilkul asaan na thi, bilkul asaan nahi. It took me well over a week and several agonising moments – several times I was sorely tempted to throw in the towel/Mujhe is kaam mein ek hafte se bhi ziadah laga aur is mein kashmakash bhare pal the – kai bar to main hathyar dalne ki naubat par tha. But I persevered and finally by Sunday, the 30th of May, I more or less I completed it/Lekin maine himmat nahi haari aur laga raha aur natija, Itwaar, May 30, ko is kaam ko mukammal anjaam diya.

The qawwali was “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Sharabi” rendered by Aziz Nazan is his slightly nasal voice/Yeh qawwali thi “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Sharabi” jo Aziz Nazan ne apni halki naak se nikalne waali awaaz mein ada ki hai. The lyricist is Naza Sholapuri/Bol Naza Sholapuri ke hain.

I must also add that some of the lines became quite funny in translation, hence I have also marked this post in the category of humour/Ek baat aur yeh bhi hai ke tarjuma karte huye, mujhe yeh ehsaas hua ke kuch sher kuch mazahiya ban gaye hai, isi liye maine ise tanz-o-mazahiya qaraar diya hai.

Aap khud hi dekhen baraye karam/You do see it for yourself.

Na haram mein, naa sukoon milta hai butkhaane mein
Chain milta hai to Saaqi tere maikhaane mein

No respite is there in the pure sanctuary nor in the holy shrine
If there is any solace anywhere, O Saqi, it is the house of wine

Jhoom, jhoom, jhoom
Jhoom baraabar jhoom sharaabi, jhoom baraabar jhoom
Kaali ghata hai, aa aa…, mast fazaa hai, aa aa…
Kaali ghata hai mast fazaa hai, jaam uthaakar ghoom ghoom ghoom
Jhoom baraabar …

Sway, sway, sway
Sway in rhythm, O Drinker, Sway
Rain clouds are overhead, the atmosphere is divine
Rain clouds are overheard,the atmosphere is divine
Pick up the drink of wine, ecstasy display
Sway in rhythm, O Drinker, in your joy sway

Aaj angoor ki beti se mohabbat kar le
Sheikh saahab ki nasihat se baghaavat kar le
Iski beti ne uthaa rakhi hai sar par duniya
Yeh to achchha hua ke angoor ko beta naa hua
Kamsekam soorat-e-Saaqi ka nazaaraa kar le
Aake maikhaane mein jeene ka sahaara kar le
Aankh milte hi jawaani ka mazaa aayega
Tujhko angoor ke paani ka mazaa aayega
Har nazar apnii basad shauq gulaabi kar de
Itani peele ke zamaane ko sharaabi kar de
Jaam jab saamne aaye to mukarna kaisa
Baat jab peene ki aajaye to darnaa kaisa

Romance today the daughter of the worthy grape
From the Sheikh’s advice, let obedience escape
The daughter has alone created a great sensation
Its well a son to the vine was denied by creation
Bestow a glance at least on the Saqi’s radiant face
Come to the tavern and take support for life’s race
As the eyes mingle, you’ll feel the youth’s pleasure
The grape-water’s thrill you’ll find in full measure
Make every sight of yours pleasantly rosy-pink hued
Drink to the extent the entire world appears stewed
When the goblet is there, Why let the hand be stayed?
When the matter is now of drinking, why be so afraid?

Okay so far?

To be continued…..


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kedar on November 17, 2013 at 21:33

    Thanks for a great translation. Made my day!


  2. Posted by Mumtaz Aziz Naza on February 23, 2014 at 11:57



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