Baazi hai ab ke jaan se badhkar lagi hui

April 7, 2006 at 7:37 pm 8 comments

Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Listen (to Falstaff read)

Sunne ko bheed hai sar-e-mahshar lagi hui
Tohmat tumhare ishq ki hum par lagi hui

Rindon ke dam se aatish-e-may ke bagair bhi
Hai maykade mein aag barabar lagi hui

Aabad karke shahar-e-khamoshan harek soo
Kis khoj mein hai teg-e-sitamgar lagi hui

Jeete the yon to pahle bhi hum jaan pe khelkar
Baazi hai ab ke jaan se badhkar lagi hui

"Lao to katlnama mera, mein bhi dekh loon
Kis kis hi muhar hai sar-e-mahzar lagi hui

Aakhir ko aaj apne lahoo par hui tamaam
Baazi miyan-e-kaatil-o-khanjar lagi hui.

That bet has now been placed on me
Translation by Agha Shahid Ali

The Day of Judgement is here.
A restless crowd has gathered all around the field.
This is the accusation: that I have loved you.

No wine is left in the taverns of this earth.
But those who swear by rapture,
this is their vigil:

they've made sure,
simply with a witnessing thirst,
that intoxication is not put out today.

In whose search is the swordsman now?
His blade red, he's just come from the City of Silence,
its people exiled or finished to the last.

The suspense that lasts between killers and weapons
as they gamble: who will die and whose turn is next?
That bet has now been placed on me.

So bring the order for my execution.
I must see with whose seals the margins are stamped,
recognize the signatures on the scrolls.

More than my life is at stake
Translation by Falstaff

The day of judgement has arrived.
A crowd has gathered to hear them proclaim:
I am accused of having loved you.

There is no wine left now;
But the thirst of the drunkards
Has kept the taverns burning.

Who is the tyrant's sword searching for?
Now that it has filled every graveyard,
Populated every silence?

I have lived this way before, it is true,
Playing games with death;
But this time more than my life is at stake.

So bring the order for my execution
Let me see who accuses me
Who signs his name to my death.

In the end,
This is all my life turns out to be:
A gamble between a killer and his sword
With my blood as the prize.

More Faiz on pō'ĭ-trē ,

[1] Raat Yun Dil Mein Teri
[2] Paon se Lahoo Ko Dho Dalo
[3] Aur Bhi Gham Hain Zamaane Mein
[4] Jinhe Zurm-e-ishq Pe Naaz Tha


Entry filed under: Black Mamba, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Urdu.

Israfel Cassandra, Iraq

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. How Many Roads  |  April 9, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    I like your translation more. It seems to have more clarity.

    Wouldn’t this line – “Rindon ke dam se aatish-e-may ke bagair bhi… – translate more as – ‘Even without the fire/heat of wine’?

    Or would that be too literal?

  • 2. Falstaff  |  April 10, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    hmr: thanks. though i think that takes us back to the debate between being literal and being ‘poetic’ in translation that we had on one of the earlier Faiz posts.

    And you’re right about the Rindon ke dam se line. Aaarrghh! Go pick on Flaubert, damn you, leave poor translators like me alone :-).

  • 3. How Many Roads  |  April 12, 2006 at 6:40 am

    Falstaff, which Faiz post would this be? Direct me please?

    And hey, I *liked* your translation, but you don’t expect anyone to pass up a chance like that now, do you? :D

  • 4. The Black Mamba  |  April 12, 2006 at 10:28 am

    hmr: You might want to check the comments on the post :
    'Paon se lahoo ko dho dalo'

  • 5. jus another pebble...  |  September 21, 2006 at 7:22 pm

    we loveee faiz ……..n this has been a revelation…think am completely hooked !loved the noor jehan link…n the kaifi azmi voice…n well all of falstaff’s translations!

    wud it be possible for this too?

    (presumptious of us?……dont knw….wud love for this to be recited…)

  • 6. sunne ko bhiiR hai sar-e-mahshar lagii hu'ii  |  May 25, 2007 at 5:19 am

    […] Translation by Agha Shahid Ali Courtesy: Audio Poetry […]

  • 7. David Mc Caldin  |  September 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for this blog. Please post more like this, with translations.

    One question though – what is the difference between the 2 versions of the translations? The first one is literal, and the second one a kind of explanation? Why does the second translation have an extra verse?

    David (Ireland)

  • 8. Rekhta Baab E Sukhan  |  December 12, 2014 at 11:34 am

    achchha hai dil ke sath rahe pasban-e-aql
    lekin kabhi kabhi ise tanha bhi chhoD de


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