A Thousand Desires Such / Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi

Thousand desires such that at every desire occurs another death
Many of them I have realized, yet I yearn for moreWhy should my killer (lover) be afraid? No one will hold her responsible
For the blood which drips from my eyes for my entire life

We have heard about Adam’s dismissal from heaven
With humiliation, I am leaving the street on which you live

Your true nature will be known to all, you tyrant
If the curls of my hair slip through my turban

If someone wants to write a letter to her, make me write it
Because in the morning, I leave my house with a pen behind my ear

At this time, I turn to drinking
And then comes the time, when my whole world is occupied by alcohol

From whom I expected praise for my weakness…
They are even more hurt with the same cruel sword

In love there is no difference between living and dying
We survive by looking at that infidel who we are willing to die for

Put some pressure on your heart to remove the arrow of cruelty
For when the arrow comes out, so will your heart and your life

For God’s sake, don’t remove the shades from any places
In case my infidel lover turns out to be behind them

Where is the door for the preacher and where is the door for the bar
But I know as much that she entered and I left

Thousand desires such that at every desire occurs another death
Many of them I have realized, yet I yearn for more…

-Ghalib
Translated by Rabeya Jawaid

Mirza Ghalib was a classical Urdu (spoken in Pakistan) and Persian poet from the Mughal Empire during British colonial rule. Most notably, he wrote several ghazals during his life. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. Ghalib, the last great poet of the Mughal Era, is considered to be one of the most popular and influential poets of the Urdu language. Ghalib today remains popular not only in Pakistan and India but also amongst diaspora communities around the world.

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Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle
Bohat niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikleDaray kyon mera qaatil? kya rahega us ki gardan par?
Voh khoon, jo chashm-e-tar se umr bhar yoon dam-ba-dam nikle

Nikalna khuld se aadam ka soonte aaye hain lekin
Bahot be-aabru hokar tere kooche se hum nikle

Bharam khul jaaye zaalim! teri qaamat ki daraazi ka
Agar is tarahe par pech-o-kham ka pech-o-kham nikle

Magar likhvaaye koi usko khat, to hum se likhvaaye
Hui subaha, aur ghar se kaan par rakh kar qalam nikle

Hui is daur mein mansoob mujh se baada aashaami
Phir aaya voh zamaana, jo jahaan mein jaam-e-jaam nikle

Hui jin se tavaqqa khastagi ki daad paane ki
Voh ham se bhi zyaada khasta e tegh e sitam nikle

Mohabbat mein nahin hai farq jeenay aur marnay ka
Usi ko dekh kar jeetay hain, jis kaafir pe dam nikle

Zara kar zor seene par ki teer-e-pursitam niklejo
Wo nikle to dil nikle, jo dil nikle to dam nikle

Khuda ke waaste parda na kaabe se uthaa zaalim
Kaheen aisa na ho yaan bhi wahi kaafir sanam nikle

Kahaan maikhane ka darwaaza Ghalib aur kahaan vaaiz
Par itna jaantay hain kal voh jaata tha ke ham nikle

Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle
Bohat niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle…

-Ghalib

 

3 thoughts on “A Thousand Desires Such / Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi”

  1. Its impossible to translate a minor Urdu joke into English, however, your brave attempt has lost Ghalib in the Translation. I loved your attempt, but believe me there is a lot more in this ghazal. Regards

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