Kabhi Kabhie

Anyone who is fond of old Hindi songs has definitely heard Kabhi Kabhie (1975), and most of them have seen the film too. It is simply beautiful and heartbreaking.

Some of you might remember that there’s a poem that Amitabh recites when he meets Rakhee over an interview after many years have passed since their rendezvous.

Here’s the clipping (such.. emotions by the way):

*chokes*

What you see above is actually parts of a nazm published in Sahir Ludhianvi’s Talkhiyaan in the year 1960. A few words from Urdu have been modified and made simpler for understanding.

But hey.

*surprise*

Here’s the entire nazm by Sahir Ludhianvi titled Kabhi Kabhi.  I discovered this 3 years ago and I think it’s worth memorizing for the rest of my life.

Warning: Tissue box. NOW.

Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aataa hai
Ki zindagi teri zulfon ki narm chhaaon mein
Guzarne paati to shaadaab ho bhi sakti thi                  (shadaab: verdant, blooming)
Yeh teergi jo mere zeest ka muqaddar hai                    (teergi: darkness; zeest: life, muqaddar: fate)
Teri nazar ki shuaon mein kho bhi sakti thi                 (shuaon: rays)
Ajab na thaa ki main begana-e-alam reh kar           (begaana-e-alam: stranger to sorrow)
Tere jamaal ki ranaaiyon mein kho rehta                    (jamaal: beauty)
Tera gudaaz-badan, teri neembaz aankhein             (gudaaz-badan: delicate body)
Inhi haseen fasano mein main ho rehta

 

Pukarati mujhe jab talkhiyan zamane ki                  (talkhiyan: bitterness)
Tere labon se halavat ke ghunt pi leta                          (halavat: sweetness)
Hayaat chikhti phirti barehana-sar aur main           (barehana: bare)
Ghaneri zulfon ke saaye mein chhup ke ji leta

Magar ye ho na saka
Magar ye ho na saka aur ab ye aalam hai
Ki tu nahin, tera gham, teri justaju bhi nahi
Guzar rahi hai kuch is tarah zindagi jaise
Ise kisi ke sahare ki aarzoo bhi nahi
Zamane bhar ke dukhon ko laga chuka hun gale
Guzar raha hun kuch anjaani rahguzaron se
Muhib saaye meri simt badhte aate hain                      (muheeb: dreadful; simt: direction)

Hayaat-o-maut ke purhaul khaarzaaron se                (purhaul: frightful; khaarzaaron: thorn fields)

 

Na koi jaada, na manzil, na roshni ka suraag              (jaada: tracks)
Bhatak rahi hai khalaaon mein zindagi meri              (khalaon: spaces)
Inhi khalaon mein reh jaaunga kabhi kho kar
Main jaanta hun meri ham-nafas, magar yun hii
Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai..

 

Now play this, and hear it in Sahir’s own voice. Thank me later. For the rest of your life. I know.

 

I’m going to attempt to translate this heartwrenching piece of work. Forgive me if it’s horrible:

कभी -कभी  मेरे  दिल  में  ख़याल आता है 

कि  ज़िन्दगी तेरी  ज़ुल्फ़ों  की नर्म छाओं  में 
गुज़रने पाती तो शादाब हो भी  सकती थी 
ये  तीरगी जो मेरी ज़ीस्त का  मुक़द्दर  है
तेरी नज़र की शुआओं में खो भी सकती थी
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder
If I could have spent this life in the shadows of your locks
Then, maybe, it would have blossomed in some way
This darkness that has become the fate of my being
Could have drowned from the light of your eyes

अजब न था कि मैं बेगाना-ए-आलम रहकर
तेरे जमाल की रानाईयों में खो रहता
तेरा गुदाज़ बदन, तेरी नीमबाज़ आँखें
इन्ही हसीं फ़सानों में मैं खो रहता
It wouldn’t have been so strange that despite being a stranger to sorrow
I could have reveled in your beauty all along
Your fragile body, your intoxicating eyes
I could have spent my time being lost in you
पुकारती जब मुझे तल्खियाँ ज़माने की
तेरे लबों से हलावत के घूंट पी लेता
हयात चीखती फिरती बरहना सर और मैं  
घनेरी ज़ुल्फ़ों में छुप के जी लेता
 Even if the world’s bitterness were to keep calling for me
I could manage to drink the sweetness from your lips
Life would have screamed all over for me, and me
I could have simply hid in you and lived.
मगर ये हो न सका
मगर ये हो न सका और अब ये आलम है
कि तू नहीं, तेरा गम, तेरी जुस्तजू भी नहीं
गुज़र रही हैं कुछ इस तरह जिंदगी जैसे 
इसे किसी के सहारे की आरज़ू  भी नहीं 
 But it didn’t happen
But it didn’t happen and the situation is now such
That neither are you there, nor is the pain, nor is my pursuit
Somehow time is passing and I am living
In a way that I don’t need anyone anymore
ज़माने भर के दुखो को लगा चुका हूँ गले
गुज़र रहा हूँ कुछ अनजानी राहगुज़ारों से
मुहीब साए मेरी सम्त बढ़ते आते हैं
हयात-ओ-मौत के पुरहौल खाज़ारों से
 I have embraced the world’s sorrows
And I’m crossing some unknown paths
Dreadful shadows are moving towards me
From across the dead and the dreadful fields of thorns

न कोई जादा, न मंज़िल,  न रौशनी का सुराग
भटक रही है ख़लाओं में ज़िन्दगी मेरी
इन्हीं  ख़लाओं में रह जाऊँगा कभी खो कर
मैं जानता हूँ मेरी हमनफ़स.. मगर  यूँ  ही
 Nor is there any track to a destination nor a spec of light
I am lost in these empty spaces of life
Maybe I will get lost in these spaces forever
I know, my lover.. but still

कभी-कभी मेरे दिल में ख़याल आता है!
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder.
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