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

 

 

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In the night

“You are the dove-soft train whistle in the night,”
That echoes and slow erodes sand castles in the night.

You listened carefree, every pun and double entendres
And my humorous telling made you chortle in the night

On the living room sofa, reminiscing the years gone by,
In the kitchen, tea boiling in the kettle into the night.

Dancing in dance halls, gnoshing at happy hours,
feeling alive in the city’s hustle and bustle of the night.

The giggles start small, then they come fast and furious,
Then nonstop: effects of empty wine bottle in the night.

Notes: Day 27 of NaPoWriMo 2016. Off-prompt today. Using a line from Billy Collins’ Canada for this ghazal.