Writer's Blog

Transient Thoughts

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Rafi and Ghalib: The original combo

On a summer's day more than 8 years ago, I was first properly introduced to Ghalib, through Ghazals in Rafi's voice that someone had stored on the computer I was working on. Now that I have re-discovered those awesome songs on youtube - I realize that I had forgotten how well Rafi had sung them. I am wondering if these are not the best sung Ghalib ghazals that I have ever listened to.

Perhaps what sets Rafi apart from all other talented singers is the humility, the humanity, the emotion he has packed into these Ghazals.

Anyway, here are the links:

Dard minnat-kash-e-dawa na hua
Muddat hui hai yaar ko mehmaan kiye hue
Nuktacheen hai gam-e-dil

Kitni rahat hai dil toot jaane ke baad

The Ghazal in the last link is not by Ghalib, but was one of the Ghazals on that comp. And it is very nice too.

In Muddat hui hai look for that sher made more famous by Gulzar: Ji dhoondata hai phir wahi phursat ke raat din, baithe rahe tassavur-e-jaana kiye hue.

In Nuktacheen hai gam-e-dil look for that immortal sher: Ishq par zor nahin hai yeh woh aatish Ghalib, jo lagaye na lage aur bujhaye na bane.


For, Dard minnat kash-e-dawa na hua , in the absence of any famous shers, I provide here my prose translation :-)

dard minnat_kashe-davaa na huaa
mai.n na achchaa huaa, buraa na huaa
[minnat_kashe-davaa=obliged to medicine]

"It's good that I did'nt get well, at least I am not indebted to the medicine!" Ghalib is consoling himself that it is good that his lady love is not 'alleviating his pain'.

kitane shiirii.n hai.n tere lab ke raqiib
gaaliyaa.N khaake bemazaa na huaa

"My love, the sweetness of your lips have taken the sting out of the galis that you are hurling at my rival!" Ghalib has convinced himself that his lady love and his rival are not on talking terms, and it is only her sweet lips that are diluting the effect of her harsh words to his rival.

kyaa vo namaruud kii Khudaaii thii
ba.ndagii me.n meraa bhalaa na huaa
[namarud=Nimrod=a king who used to say that he was God]

"My devotion (to God) has'nt done me much good. Was it that Namrud was right in calling only himself God?"

kuchch to pa.Dhiye ki log kahate hai.n
aaj 'Ghalib' Gazal_saraa na huaa

"Just read out something, anything, Ghalib, people are saying that you are not your usual poetic self today"