Archive for the ‘translations’ category

January 19, 2017


If Love’s shade lies overhead
Then on heaven do your feet tread.
Come hither then, wayfarer
Let’s seek Love’s shelter together.

Like the fragrance of a flower, she
The music in Urdu’s poetry
My dusk and dawn, my night and morn
My life, my world, to Love belong

The little minx, smiling saucily
Decked in flowers, hides from me
But knows she not, does she?
That with her scent, her I will see

Someday, somewhere, I’ll stumble upon her
Like lost words in a prayer, suddenly remembered
And wear her like a charm, forever
In my heart, cherished and treasured

Like a dew drop, gliding silently
In the garden of Eden, lives she
I search, leaf by leaf in tree after tree
For a clue to find where she might be

Dazed and dizzy, bewitched by her beauty
I see her here, there and everywhere
In a new face and form each time, I swear
Her changing colours drive me crazy

Yet if Love’s shade lies overhead
Then surely on heaven, do we tread.
So search for her I will, through night and morn
Till one day to me, my Love belongs

– A translation of Gulzar’s Chal Chaiyyan in Dil se


Let the words out

November 19, 2016


Let the words out, unobstructed by doubt.
Let the words flow. If trite, be they so.
Let the words pass, between lonely hearts.
Carving a road, to freedom’s abode
For that prisoner, trapped in their corners.

– An inspired translation of Swanand Kirkire’s Hone do batiyan from Fitoor

For just a little while

September 2, 2016

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For just a little while, come be my friend
For just a little while, forget how t’will end
For just a little while, come stand by my side
And then if you wish, as a stranger wave goodbye

A translation of M.Aziz’ s Zara si dosti from Happy Bhaag Jayegi


The scent of rain

June 18, 2016

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The scent of rain is in the air
The start of a song in my heart
Beautiful little dreams everywhere
With smiles split my blushing face apart

My day begins when you’re around
For with you, the sun’s rays are bound
Closer than arm’s reach, with me stay
And my fears with your love, brush away

Your silhouette at my heart’s door
Tinges each thought with joy and more
So sure am I of you now that I even dare
To pretend that I do not a whit, care
Because I know you’ll always be there
For me

– Inspired by J. Kaikini’s Mazhe Bharuvaa Haagide from Moggina Manasu

A bad case of Love

June 4, 2016


You’ve got a bad case of Love
A worse one I haven’t seen, by Jove!
You’ve got a really bad case of Love

A bite from this fiend makes you thirsty
Not for water but for whiskey.
Friends kicked away and God, to Hell
While you burn under your beau’s spell

You may float with clouds, light and airy
But when you fall, you’ll fall hard and heavy.
Hard and heavy, oh, so heavy.

It doesn’t spread with touch exactly
Tis the eyes you’ve to watch out for, really.
Rots the brain first after an easy fight
And plagues the heart with mush and blight

With the face of a new born babe,
This ruthless hunter searches for its prey.

– Mistranslations of Amitabh Bhattacharya’s Mohabbat buri bimari from Bombay Velvet

As you are

June 1, 2016



As you are, so stay you
A little ache in my heart
That is comforting too

A breeze gentle at start
That into a gale blew
As you are, so stay you.

Soft and harsh in part
My dear, are you
Yet as you are, so stay you.

In a rage or while tranquil
Be you what you will
With fragrance, my life you fill

So change not, dearest
Come to me, instead
Just as you are, unaltered.

Drench me in your rain
Burn me in your flame
Do what you will
I’ll love you just the same

To walk on, hand in hand
On the right, together
Both can’t be

Yet give me your hand
We’ll walk on together
Left and right, right and left
Trust me

– A translation (with poetic license) of P. Joshi’s Rehna Tu in Delhi 6


February 21, 2016

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I’ll ask you something
Answer me truly
What song, do you think
I ought to be singing ?

A little too late
For a poem passionate
A little too early
For a mother’s lullaby

I’ll ask you something
Answer me truly
What song, do you think
I ought to be singing ?

The song that I hum
When on my own
In company, is mum
And stubbornly alone.

To find words to set free
The feeling the heart has felt
Is not at all easy
For a novice like me

I’ll ask you something
Answer me truly
Do you think I’ll ever sing
The song I want to sing ?

Mistranslations of Kannadasan’s Unnai Ondru Ketpen