I’ve spent the past couple of hours listening to a ghazal in loop – Ghulam Ali Khan’s Chupke Chupke! If you are unfamiliar with ghazals, maybe you should read this poem by Dajena. She as written a beautiful one in English.
I am only used to reading ghazals in Urdu and the way Urdu touches my heart, no other language can. And the poetry in Chupke Chupke is sheer genius. I must have heard this ghazal being sung by Ghulam Ali Khan sahab (sir, in Urdu) a million times but I am still as amazed by his poetry as I was the first time I heard it. Ghazals are often sung in notes from classical Hindustani music and the music only adds to its persona.
In Chupke Chupke, the poet remembers his passionate days of love and writes about the small moments he remembers having spent with the woman he loved. Several ghazals have been written for and about the unattainable muses but none as poignant. I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to write a few lines (that I find most beautiful) and translate them into English…maybe you can appreciate it as much as I do!
Chupke Chupke raat din aansoo bahana yaad hai
Humko ab tak aashqui ka vo zamana yaad hai…
(I remember those tears shed day and night in secrecy
I still remember the days of our love…)
Dopahar ki dhup me mere bulane ke liye
Vo tera kothe pe nange paav aana yaad hai…
(In the heat of the mid-day sun, just to call me
I remember you walking over to our patio bare feet…)
Berukhi ke sath sun-na dard-e-dil ki daastan
Vo kalai me tera kangan ghumana yaad hai…
(I remember how dispirited, you would listen to the stories that caused me heart-aches
I remember how you twirled that bangle around your wrist…)
Gair ki nazron se bachkar sabki marzi ke khilaf
Vo tera chori chhupe raaton ko aana yaad hai…
(Against the wishes of all and without being spotted by them
I remember you secretly coming to visit me each night…)
Waqt-e-rukhsat alvida ka lafz kehne ke liye
Vo tere sukhe labon ka thar-tharana yaad hai…
(When the time came for us to say good bye
I remember how your parched lips trembled…)
I think the last couplet is my favourite. I am not too proud of these translations. Translations never ever do the original emotions justice! Maybe you should listen to this recording of one of the concerts of Khan sahab on YouTube to appreciate the music, if the words don’t reach out to you because of language barriers!
Have a peaceful day/night…
I am still listening to this…