Mere Dil! Mere Musaafir! / O Traveller! My Heart!

Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Mere Dil Mere Musaafir
Huaa Phir Se Hukm Saadir

Ke Vatan Badar Hon Ham Tum
Den Galii Galii Sadaayen

Karen Rukh Nagar Nagar Kaa
Ke Suraag Koii Paayen

Kisii Yaar-E-Naamaabar Kaa
Har Ek Ajanabii Se Puuchhen

Jo Pataa Thaa Apane Ghar Kaa

Hamen Din Se Raat Karanaa
Kabhii Is Se Baat Karanaa

Kabhii Us Se Baat Karanaa
Tumhen Kyaa Kahuun Ke Kyaa Hai
Shab-E-Gam Burii Balaa Hai

Hamen Ye Bhii Thaa Ganimat

Jo Koii Shumaar Hotaa
Hamen Kyaa Buraa Thaa Maranaa

Agar Ek Baar Hotaa

Mere Dil Mere Musaafir
Huaa Phir Se Hukm Saadir

O Traveller! My Heart!
Translation by A K Mota

The decree was passed for us,
To leave this beloved land,
To Cry and weep in distant lands.
Sitting in alien cities,
We search for the postman
to bring us letters from our land.
From every stranger we seek
The fate of our left over dwellings.
In this land of unknown people
We have been ordained to spend our days and nights.
O Heart! Pass this time by talking to this or that fellow.
Do not ask us the pangs and agony of
This terrible evening of sorrow.
Even this living was better Heart!
If only we were made to know for how many days more.
For us even death was not unwelcome
Should it visit once only?
O Traveller! My Heart!

My Heart, My Traveler
Translation by Hamid Rahim Sheikh

My heart, my fellow traveler
It has been decreed again
That you and I be exiled,
go calling out in every street,
turn to every town.
To search for a clue
of a messenger from our Beloved.
To ask every stranger
the way back to our home.

In this town of unfamiliar folk
we drudge the day into the night
Talk to this stranger at times,
to that one at others.

How can I convey to you, my friend
how horrible is a night of loneliness *
It would suffice to me
if there were just some count
I would gladly welcome death
if it were to come but once.

* Adapted from a couplet by Ghalib [Comment by Ahkam]

Maray Dill Maray Musafar,
Hwa Phir Ye Hukam Sader.

Such is the beauty of the poem in Urdu.

How can I convey to you, my friend?
How horrible is a night of loneliness

A very beautiful poem indeed. The last verse is not by Faiz but by Ghalib:

I would gladly welcome death
if it were to come but once.

It seems that Faiz has written the poem with reference to this beautiful verse by Ghalib. In Urdu poetry this technique is called Tazmeen. Great Urdu poet Ibne Insha has also used this technique to elaborate the main idea of the beautiful verses by Meer, Called the Godfather of Urdu poetry.

Source -1 & Source -2. About the poet. A few words about the artist, Tina Sani. Video. With English Translation. Another version HERE

Ghazal: Illicit unattainable love

The ghazal not only has a specific form, but traditionally deals with just one subject: Love. And not any kind of love, but specifically, an illicit and unattainable love. The subcontinental ghazals have an influence of Islamic Mysticism and the subject of love can usually be interpreted for a higher being or for a mortal beloved. The love is always viewed as something that will complete a human being, and if attained will lift him or her into the ranks of the wise, or will bring satisfaction to the soul of the poet. Traditional ghazal love may or may not have an explicit element of sexual desire in it, and the love may be spiritual. The love may be directed to a man or a woman.

The ghazal is always written from the point of view of the unrequited lover whose beloved is portrayed as unattainable. Most often either the beloved does not return the poet's love or returns it without sincerity, or else the societal circumstances do not allow it. The lover is aware and resigned to this fate but continues loving nonetheless; the lyrical impetus of the poem derives from this tension.


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