Translation: Again on that Roadway | Ahmad Faraz


Phir Usi Rehguzar Par Shaayad – By Ahmad Faraz

Translation: Again on that Roadway – By Aashish Vaidya




फिर उसी रहगुज़ार पर शायद

हम कभी मिल सकें मगर शायद

Phir usi rehguzar par shaayad

hum kabhi mil sakein, magar shaayad

Again on that roadway, maybe

We’ll bump into each other, maybe.



जान-पहचान से भी क्या होगा

फिर भी ऐ दोस्त ग़ौर कर शायद

Jaan pehchaan se bhi kya hoga

phir bhi ai dost ghaur (गौर) kar, shaayad

When is mere acquaintance enough?

But friend, be keen, just in case.



जिन के हम मुंतज़िर रहे उन को

मिल गए और हम-सफ़र शायद

Jinke hum Muntazir rahe unko

mil gaye aur hum-safar shaayad

For whom I was waiting all along

They’ve found another fellow traveller, maybe.



अज्नबिय्यत की धुँद छट जाए

चमक उठ्ठे तिरी नज़र शायद

Ajnabiyat kii dhund chat jaa.e

Chamak uthe tirii nazar shaayad

Hope the fog of unfamiliarity lifts,

Is that a glint of recognition in your eyes, maybe?



ज़िंदगी भर लहू रुलाएगी

याद-ए-यारान-ए-बे-ख़बर शायद

Zindagi bhar lahuu rulaaegii

Yaad-e-yaaran-e-bekhabar shaayad

Am I doomed to shed tears of blood

Due to forgetfulness of friends? Maybe.



जो भी बिछड़े वो कब मिले हैं ‘फ़राज़’

फिर भी तू इंतिज़ार कर शायद

Jo bhi bichhde hain cab mile hain “Faraz”

phir bhi tu intizaar kar shaayad

Separated friends ’Faraz’ don’t ever meet

Even then, hope that they do, maybe.


Notes: This simple ghazal by Ahmad Faraz, interestingly turned out fairly difficult to translate.  Since the translation had to maintain or convey the same sort of simplicity in phrasing, while catching the nuances as well.  As usual ghazal translations are hard to translate the rhyme (qafiyah).  So, I only maintained the refrain (radiff).

This ghazal was rendered very melancholically by Jagjit Singh.

Phir ussi rehguzar – Jagjit Singh

And here is another version by Ghulam Ali.

Phir ussi rehguzar – Ghulam Ali

Fruit of Afonso’s Cultivar


Double-looped pony tailed, she rests
Under the mini grove of a banyan tree

Tiny tired shoulders slouch
Under the weight of book-laden khaki satchel.

Her hands balance a plate,
Made of dried leaves and twigs

On it: saffron-yellow fleshed slivers.
“Transported fresh from Ratnagiri”, said the fruit-seller.


Bites into sweet slices of sunlight,
Send shock waves of ecstasy –

Starting on the tongue, and coursing through her veins
At the speed of thought.

Salt mingles with sugary juice
With every lick of sweaty fingers.

She clicks her tongue- “tsk”
Thinking of morning lesson in class about Eve.

Thrown out of Eden for an apple – “tsk”,
If exiled for mango, now that she can believe.

In distant future, in a distant land,
In a cool cafe, sipping a frappe,


She will recall those fleeting moments.
And her tongue will tingle in holy reverie

Of those succulent slices of manna.
But now, girding her resolve, she walks

In a daze, in a haze skipping
Simmering mirage of water puddles.

Having bought and savored the smooth and
Buttery fruit of Afonso’s cultivar,

Means no bus fare left
for ride home.