Discussion:
English Translation of Some Verses By Ghalib
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Afzal A. Khan
2012-07-13 17:49:15 UTC
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I think we have spent a good deal of time in discussing
Rendition/Translation and the inherent difficulties.


To sort of round off the discussion, here are some verses
of Ghalib, with their English translation. In each case,
more than one translation is available.

I have omitted the translators' names, as these will not
serve any useful purpose.


1. Dil-e-naadaaN tujhe huwa kya hai
AaKHir is dard ki dawa kya hai

O simple heart, what has befallen thee ?
What remedy can there be for thy pain ?

What is ailing thee, my simpleton heart ?
What is the remedy for your pain, eventually ?

My foolish heart ! What has become of you ?
No cure for this pain ? What can I do ?

What ails you, you silly heart ?
What could ease, this disease ?
And oh ! this pain
What could be its medicine ?


2. Sab kahaaN kuchh lala-o-gul men numaayaaN ho gayeeN
KHaak men kya soor'teN hoNgi jo pinhaaN ho gayeeN


Not all the forms of beauty
In the lovely flowers appear
O, hidden in the dust what a number
Of beauteous forms may be there.

Not all, but some have appeared as tulip and roses
Much beauty must there be concealed in the earth !

The tulip and the rose reveal the faces of a few
How many lie beneath the dust! those beauties that I knew ?

Of the multitude sliding into the dust below
Only a few could sprout as poppy and rose;
But the loveliness of those faces
That were laid in eternal rest, who knows !

What novel graces and beauties strange
Lie mouldering in the dust, who knows ?
In roses and in tulips, not all,
But only a few of them, it shows !


3. 'Ishrat-e-qatra hai dar'ya men fana ho jaana
Dard ka had se guzarna hai dawa ho jaana

Glory it is for the drop
To merge with the ocean
Pain ceases to be
Once beyond redemption

Water-bead ecstasy : dying in the stream;
Too strong a pain brings its own balm

The ecstasy of a drop is to annihilate itself into ocean
The pain going beyond bounds turns into its own panacea

To be annihilated in the sea
Is the delight of every drop
When pain exceeds the limit
It becomes its own remedy

Blessed is the drop
That loses itself in the sea;
Pain untold
Doth prove its own remedy


4. Jab mai'kada chhuTa to phir ab kya jagah ki qaid
Masjid ho, madrasa ho, koi KHaan'qaah ho


Once the tavern is renounced
Then for place what grouse ?
A mosque, a house of learning,
Or just any other house

On leaving the tavern, what restriction is there ?
It may be a mosque or a school, or a KHaan'qaah

When I have to leave the tavern
Why is there any need to go
To another place -- no matter
Whether mosque or school or monastery ?



Although one should not doubt the translators' honest or sincere
intentions, but the original beauty and grace of Ghalib's verses
are simply impossible to replicate.

While it may not be necessary to ponder over the inappropriate
words or expressions, it must be mentioned that, in the case of the
third sher above, all translators seem to have missed (perhaps
deliberately ?) the metaphysical sense of Ghalib's sher :

'Ishrat-e-qatra hai dar'ya men fana ho jaana
Dard ka had se guzarna hai dawa ho jaana

Maulana Altaf Husain Haali has explained it thus in his well-known
book "Yaadgaar-e-Ghalib" :

"Jab dard had se guzar jaayega to mar jaayeNge, ya'ni fana ho
jaayeNge (ya'ni waasil~billah ho jaayeNge). Goya qatra dar'ya
men khap jaayega aur yehi is ka (qatre ka) maqsood hai. Y'ani
dard ka had se guzar jaana, yehi is ka dawa ho jaana hai."




Afzal
Vijay Kumar
2012-07-13 21:50:39 UTC
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On Jul 13, 6:49 pm, "Afzal A. Khan" <***@privacy.net> wrote:
>       I think we have spent a good deal of time in discussing
>       Rendition/Translation and the inherent difficulties.
>
>       To sort of round off the discussion, here are some verses
>       of Ghalib, with their English translation. In each case,
>       more than one translation is available.
>
>       I have omitted the translators' names, as these will not
>       serve any useful purpose.
>
>       1.   Dil-e-naadaaN tujhe huwa kya hai
>            AaKHir is dard ki dawa kya hai
>
>                 O simple heart, what has befallen thee ?
>                 What remedy can there be for thy pain ?
>
>                   What is ailing thee, my simpleton heart ?
>                   What is the remedy for your pain, eventually ?
>
>                 My foolish heart ! What has become of you ?
>                 No cure for this pain ? What can I do ?
>
>                   What ails you, you silly heart ?
>                   What could ease, this disease ?
>                   And oh ! this pain
>                   What could be its medicine ?
>
>       2.   Sab kahaaN kuchh lala-o-gul men numaayaaN ho gayeeN
>            KHaak men kya soor'teN hoNgi jo pinhaaN ho gayeeN
>
>                 Not all the forms of beauty
>                 In the lovely flowers appear
>                 O, hidden in the dust what a number
>                 Of beauteous forms may be there.
>
>                     Not all, but some have appeared as tulip and roses
>                     Much beauty must there be concealed in the earth !
>
>               The tulip and the rose reveal the faces of a few
>               How many lie beneath the dust! those beauties that I knew ?
>
>                     Of the multitude sliding into the dust below
>                     Only a few could sprout as poppy and rose;
>                     But the loveliness of those faces
>                     That were laid in eternal rest, who knows !
>
>                What novel graces and beauties strange
>                Lie mouldering in the dust, who knows ?
>                In roses and in tulips, not all,
>                But only a few of them, it shows !
>
>       3.   'Ishrat-e-qatra hai dar'ya men fana ho jaana
>            Dard ka had se guzarna hai dawa ho jaana
>
>                       Glory it is for the drop
>                       To merge with the ocean
>                       Pain ceases to be
>                       Once beyond redemption
>
>                  Water-bead ecstasy : dying in the stream;
>                  Too strong a pain brings its own balm
>
>               The ecstasy of a drop is to annihilate itself into ocean
>               The pain going beyond bounds turns into its own panacea
>
>                   To be annihilated in the sea
>                   Is the delight of every drop
>                   When pain exceeds the limit
>                   It becomes its own remedy
>
>                          Blessed is the drop
>                          That loses itself in the sea;
>                          Pain untold
>                          Doth prove its own remedy
>
>      4.    Jab mai'kada chhuTa to phir ab kya jagah ki qaid
>            Masjid ho, madrasa ho, koi KHaan'qaah ho
>
>                    Once the tavern is renounced
>                    Then for place what grouse ?
>                    A mosque, a house of learning,
>                    Or just any other house
>
>               On leaving the tavern, what restriction is there ?
>               It may be a mosque or a school, or a KHaan'qaah
>
>                       When I have to leave the tavern
>                       Why is there any need to go
>                       To another place -- no matter
>                       Whether mosque or school or monastery ?
>
>      Although one should not doubt the translators' honest or sincere
>      intentions, but the original beauty and grace of Ghalib's verses
>      are simply impossible to replicate.
>
>      While it may not be necessary to ponder over the inappropriate
>      words or expressions, it must be mentioned that, in the case of the
>      third sher above, all translators seem to have missed (perhaps
>      deliberately ?) the metaphysical sense of Ghalib's sher :
>
>              'Ishrat-e-qatra hai dar'ya men fana ho jaana
>              Dard ka had se guzarna hai dawa ho jaana
>
>      Maulana Altaf Husain Haali has explained it thus in his well-known
>      book "Yaadgaar-e-Ghalib" :
>
>          "Jab dard had se guzar jaayega to mar jaayeNge, ya'ni fana ho
>           jaayeNge (ya'ni waasil~billah ho jaayeNge).  Goya qatra dar'ya
>           men khap jaayega aur yehi is ka (qatre ka) maqsood hai.  Y'ani
>           dard ka had se guzar jaana, yehi is ka dawa ho jaana hai."
>
>      Afzal

Here is one attempt by UVR sahib of 'dil-e-naddaN....'. I must say it
is more poetic than most posted here. But the point remains that
translating poetry one from language to another is a hopeless
endeavour:

Is there a cure for thy malady
What, oh piteous heart, ails thee?

Vijay Kumar
Afzal A. Khan
2012-07-13 22:53:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On 7/13/2012 4:50 PM, Vijay Kumar wrote:
> On Jul 13, 6:49 pm, "Afzal A. Khan" <***@privacy.net> wrote:
>> I think we have spent a good deal of time in discussing
>> Rendition/Translation and the inherent difficulties.
>>
>> To sort of round off the discussion, here are some verses
>> of Ghalib, with their English translation. In each case,
>> more than one translation is available.
>>
>> I have omitted the translators' names, as these will not
>> serve any useful purpose.
>>
>> 1. Dil-e-naadaaN tujhe huwa kya hai
>> AaKHir is dard ki dawa kya hai
>>
>> O simple heart, what has befallen thee ?
>> What remedy can there be for thy pain ?
>>
>> What is ailing thee, my simpleton heart ?
>> What is the remedy for your pain, eventually ?
>>
>> My foolish heart ! What has become of you ?
>> No cure for this pain ? What can I do ?
>>
>> What ails you, you silly heart ?
>> What could ease, this disease ?
>> And oh ! this pain
>> What could be its medicine ?
>>
>> 2. Sab kahaaN kuchh lala-o-gul men numaayaaN ho gayeeN
>> KHaak men kya soor'teN hoNgi jo pinhaaN ho gayeeN
>>
>> Not all the forms of beauty
>> In the lovely flowers appear
>> O, hidden in the dust what a number
>> Of beauteous forms may be there.
>>
>> Not all, but some have appeared as tulip and roses
>> Much beauty must there be concealed in the earth !
>>
>> The tulip and the rose reveal the faces of a few
>> How many lie beneath the dust! those beauties that I knew ?
>>
>> Of the multitude sliding into the dust below
>> Only a few could sprout as poppy and rose;
>> But the loveliness of those faces
>> That were laid in eternal rest, who knows !
>>
>> What novel graces and beauties strange
>> Lie mouldering in the dust, who knows ?
>> In roses and in tulips, not all,
>> But only a few of them, it shows !
>>
>> 3. 'Ishrat-e-qatra hai dar'ya men fana ho jaana
>> Dard ka had se guzarna hai dawa ho jaana
>>
>> Glory it is for the drop
>> To merge with the ocean
>> Pain ceases to be
>> Once beyond redemption
>>
>> Water-bead ecstasy : dying in the stream;
>> Too strong a pain brings its own balm
>>
>> The ecstasy of a drop is to annihilate itself into ocean
>> The pain going beyond bounds turns into its own panacea
>>
>> To be annihilated in the sea
>> Is the delight of every drop
>> When pain exceeds the limit
>> It becomes its own remedy
>>
>> Blessed is the drop
>> That loses itself in the sea;
>> Pain untold
>> Doth prove its own remedy
>>
>> 4. Jab mai'kada chhuTa to phir ab kya jagah ki qaid
>> Masjid ho, madrasa ho, koi KHaan'qaah ho
>>
>> Once the tavern is renounced
>> Then for place what grouse ?
>> A mosque, a house of learning,
>> Or just any other house
>>
>> On leaving the tavern, what restriction is there ?
>> It may be a mosque or a school, or a KHaan'qaah
>>
>> When I have to leave the tavern
>> Why is there any need to go
>> To another place -- no matter
>> Whether mosque or school or monastery ?
>>
>> Although one should not doubt the translators' honest or sincere
>> intentions, but the original beauty and grace of Ghalib's verses
>> are simply impossible to replicate.
>>
>> While it may not be necessary to ponder over the inappropriate
>> words or expressions, it must be mentioned that, in the case of the
>> third sher above, all translators seem to have missed (perhaps
>> deliberately ?) the metaphysical sense of Ghalib's sher :
>>
>> 'Ishrat-e-qatra hai dar'ya men fana ho jaana
>> Dard ka had se guzarna hai dawa ho jaana
>>
>> Maulana Altaf Husain Haali has explained it thus in his well-known
>> book "Yaadgaar-e-Ghalib" :
>>
>> "Jab dard had se guzar jaayega to mar jaayeNge, ya'ni fana ho
>> jaayeNge (ya'ni waasil~billah ho jaayeNge). Goya qatra dar'ya
>> men khap jaayega aur yehi is ka (qatre ka) maqsood hai. Y'ani
>> dard ka had se guzar jaana, yehi is ka dawa ho jaana hai."
>>
>> Afzal
>

> Here is one attempt by UVR sahib of 'dil-e-naddaN....'. I must say it
> is more poetic than most posted here. But the point remains that
> translating poetry one from language to another is a hopeless
> endeavour:
>
> Is there a cure for thy malady
> What, oh piteous heart, ails thee?
>
> Vijay Kumar
>



Yes, I agree, it does seem the best effort amongst all that have
been cited above. BTW, where exactly is Janaab UVR Saheb ? He
seems to have disappeared completely from ALUP (and other NGs
too). I do hope he and his family are in good health.

Afzal
Anil Kala
2012-07-18 04:48:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
>
> &#39;Ishrat-e-qatra hai dar&#39;ya men fana ho jaana
> Dard ka had se guzarna hai dawa ho jaana
>
> Maulana Altaf Husain Haali has explained it thus in his well-known
> book &quot;Yaadgaar-e-Ghalib&quot; :
>
> &quot;Jab dard had se guzar jaayega to mar jaayeNge, ya&#39;ni fana ho
> jaayeNge (ya&#39;ni waasil~billah ho jaayeNge). Goya qatra dar&#39;ya
> men khap jaayega aur yehi is ka (qatre ka) maqsood hai. Y&#39;ani
> dard ka had se guzar jaana, yehi is ka dawa ho jaana hai.&quot;
>
>
>
>
> Afzal

I always thought 'dard ka had se guzarna hai dawa ho jaana' meant reaching a state where one becomes immune to pain therefore 'dawa' ho jaana. In the book 'The Myth of Sisyphus' Albert Camus also conjectures that Sisyphus who was cursed to roll up a boulder uphill ceaselessly, eventually reaches a state of equilibrium where he is resigned to his fate and accepts it. Once he accepts the situation he is in state of peace.
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