Writer's Blog

Transient Thoughts

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Na gavao navak-e-neem kash


Found the above translation and explanation of Faiz's "Na Gavao Navak-e-neem kash" that I am listening to to these days - sung by Farida Khanum (easily available on youtube). I am also copy-pasting the translation from the same link, in case the link becomes unavailable later. More commentary is available on the link. The translation is by Anis Zuberi, and the blog is by Raza Rumi. I don't know either Anis or Raza, but I hope they'll forgive my copy pasting in the larger interest of aficionados of Faiz and urdu poetry.

If you are leading a comfortable life, reading and listening to Faiz, with his leftist ideals, can be a bit of a strain on the conscience. However, this ghazal can also be read in a romantic light, and of course enjoyed for its rich poetic values alone. A bit like eating meat and not bothering about where it came from. My favourite is the third verse "Karo kaj jabeen pe....". Wah! Delicious.


Na ganvao navak-e-neem kash, dil-e-reza reza ganva dia
Jo bachay hain sang samet lo, tan-e-dagh dagh luta dia

Do not waste (your) half drawn arrow, (I have already) lost (broken pieces of my) heart.
Collect and save the left-over stones, (my) injured or wounded body is (already) wasted

Mere charagar ko naveed ho, saf-e-dushmana ko khabar karo
Woh jo qarz rakhtay thay jaan par, woh hisab aaj chuka dia

Let my health giver know, let the procession of foes know
He whose soul was indebted, has settled his dues today

Karo kaj jabeen pe sar-e-kafan, mere qatilon ko guman na ho
Ke ghuroor-e-ishq ka baankpan, pas-e-marg hum ne bhula dia

Keep the burial shroud atilt on (my) forehead, lest my assassin may have misgivings
(that) Pride of self-importance or arrogance of love, I forgot after death.

Udhar aik harf ki kushtni, yahan laakh uzr thaa guftni
Jo kaha toh sun ke ura dia, jo likha toh parh ke mita dia

On that side there was one word ‘kill’, on my side there were hundred thousand reasons (to explain why I behaved the way I did)
What (I) said (you) heard, not paid attention ; what (I) wrote (you) you read and erased

Jo rukay toh koh-e-garan thay hum, jo chalay toh jan se guzar gaye
Rah-e-yaar hum ne qadam qadam, tujhay yadgaar bana dia

(I am) mountain when I stop; (I am) beyond life when I walk
I have, (turned) every step on the path of the beloved into a memorial