Languid Shadows

Translation of a ghazal by Adil Mansuri.

Languid shadows have sprawled across the city
Where else can they escape, entrapped in thoughts?

From east, my path takes me towards west
Her journey is from south to north.

Whether it’s distasteful narrative, or harsh news
She’ll understand if explained using rosy metaphors.

The parents sit quietly and don’t say a thing,
The children are spoilt with too much care.

Look at the colors reflect on the floor of the room,
Look how the glass shield parries the attack of rays.

There is no signs of tears in the eyes.
Now with her handkerchief, clean the shoes.

Her downcast face and distressed curls.
Now only God can save her enemies from coming ruin.

Again the waters reflect the shadows of silver bells,
Again the night sparkles on the silver plate.

Notes: Day 30 of NaPoWriMo 2016.  Today’s prompt was to try translating a poem from another language.  I picked an Urdu poem by Adil Mansuri, a fellow Gujarati, who also wrote in Gujarati.  I wonder if he wrote in English as well – as I do in three languages.  This was third year in last four that I have attempted 30 poems in 30 days.  First time, I got to 30 in 30 days.  Feels good!

Here’s the original poem in Devanagari:

फैले हुए हैं शहर में साए निढाल से
जाएँ कहाँ निकल के ख़यालों के जाल से

मशरिक़ से मेरा रास्ता मग़रिब की सम्त था
उस का सफ़र जुनूब की जानिब शुमाल से

कैसा भी तल्ख़ ज़िक्र हो कैसी भी तुर्श बात
उन की समझ में आएगी गुल की मिसाल से

चुप-चाप बैठे रहते हैं कुछ बोलते नहीं
बच्चे बिगड़ गए हैं बहुत देख-भाल से

रंगों को बहते देखिए कमरे के फ़र्श पर
किरनों के वार रोकिए शीशे की ढाल से

आँखों में आँसुओ का कहीं नाम तक नहीं
अब जूते साफ़ कीजिए उन के रुमाल से

चेहरा बुझा बुझा सा परेशान ज़ुल्फ़ ज़ुल्फ़
अल्लाह दुश्मनों को बचाए वबाल से

फिर पानियों में नूक्रई साए उतर गए
फिर रात जगमगा उठी चांदी के थाल से

 

 

Terrace

I remember sleeping on the terrace on hot summer days
I remember regaling cousins and siblings with made up stories –
stories of parees, apsaras, rakhasas and devas
And of interpid adventurers visiting Shangri La or the Spice Isles through the Malacca straits.
I remember as the night advanced, arrested summer breeze finally blowing to provide relief from unrelenting summer heat
I remember drifting off to sleep and waking up to chirping birds, the rising sun
I remember waking up to damp cotton mattress and blanket.  Did I pee? Only to realize dew was the culprit. Phew!
I remember later in January, flying kites, and the sky covered in the colors of the rainbow
And when your own kite stash was gone, running the drifting kites and hoisted them up, little wings catching the winter draft again
I remember as the night fell, hanging a lantern to the kite and whole sky lit up as if with fireflies.

Notes: Day 29 of NaPoWriMo 2016.  Prompt was to write a poem with “I remember” as an anaphora.  With watching Blazers win in 1st round against the Clippers, not much time other than to do this quick work.  This prompt definitely deserves another look and more time.

Wordlist: Parees – fairies.  Apsaras – celestial nymphs.  Rakhasas – demons.  Devas – gods.