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Ali Sardar Jafri (1916-2000)

Ali Sardar Jafri (1916-2000)

Ali Sardar Jafri (1913-2000) was a prolific and versatile Urdu writer from India. He was also a poet, critic and film lyricist.
Mera Safar ( My Journey) is one of his outstanding poems which resonate an interesting perspective to life. Melancholic yet full of hope.
 
Mera Safar
Phir aik din aisa aayega
aankho key diye bujh jaayengey 
haathon key kanwal kumhlaayenge 
My Journey ( Translation)
That day will come without fail:
the lamps of the eyes will go out,
the lotuses of the palms will wilt.
aur barg-e-zabaan sey nataq-wa-sadaa 
ki har titlee urh jaayegi
From the leaf of the tongue
the butterflies of speech 
will flutter away forever.
ik kaaley samandar ki tah mein 
kaliyon ki tarah sey khilti hui 
phoolon ki tarah sey hansti hui
saari shaklein kho jaayengi
In the depths of the darkest sea.
blooming like buds,
Still laughing like myriad blossoms,
all faces will fall and scatter
khoon ki gardish, dil ki dharhkan
sab raaginyaan so jaayengi
The strife of blood, the throb of heart
and every melody will go mute.
aur neeli fazaa ki makhmal par 
hansti hui heerey ki yeh kani 
yeh meri jannat, meri zamein 
iss ki subhain, iss ki shaamein
bey jaaney huey, bey samjhey huey 
ik musht ghubaar-e-insaan par
shabnam ki tarah ro jaayangi 
On the blue velvet of space
that luminous crystal of diamond,
and these—my heaven and earth,
the nights and the mornings all
without knowing, without understanding
on the human handful of dust.
will shed tears of dew
har cheez bhula di jaayegi 
yaadon key haseen but khaaney sey
har cheez utha di jaayegi 
phir koi nahiN yeh puchhega 
SARDAR kahaan hai mehfil mein
Every cherished thing will go, plucked
from memory’s fine pagan shrine.
And then no friend will ask a friend:
“Why don’t we see Sardar today?”
lekin mein yahaan phir aaoonga
bachchon key dahan sey boloonga
chirhyon ki zabaan sey gaaonga
Yet I will return here yet
to speak out of the mouths of babes,
to warble with the tongues of birds.
jab beej hanseingey dharti meiN 
aur konpleiN apni ungli sey
mitti ki tahon ko chherheingi
mein patti patti, kali kali 
apni aankheiN phir kholoonga
sar sabz hatheli par ley kar 
shabnam key qatrey tolooNga 
When in the earth seeds burst out laughing
and green-fingered sprouts tease the soil
I, leaf by leaf and bud by bud,
will open all my eyes,
balancing on green palms drops of dew.
mein rang-e-hena, aahang-e-ghazal
andaaz-e-sukhan ban jaaooNga
rukhsaar-e-aroos-e-nau ki tarah 
har aanchal sey chhan jaaonga
I will take on the hue of henna,
the harmony of a ghazal.
And like a young bride’s virgin cheek,
I’ll glow through every bridal veil.
jaarhon ki hawaaein daaman meiNn
jab fasal-e-khazaan ko laayengi 
rahroo key jawaan qadmon key taley
sookhey huey patton sey merey 
hansney ki sadaayein aayengi
When chilly winds bring on their tails
the season of desolation,
 
under the traveler’s young feet
my laughter will resound in the dry leaves.
dharti ki sunhari sab nadiyaan 
aakash ki neeli sab jheelein
hasti sey meri bhar jaayengi 
All the gold rivers of the earth,
all the blue lakes of heaven
will brim with my existence.
aur saraa zamaanah dekhegaa
har qissah mera afsaanah hai
har aashiq hai sardaar yahaan
har maashooqan sultanaah hai
The world will see under my star
every tale become my story,
where every lover is Sardar
and every love is my Sultana.
main aik gurezaan lamha hoon 
ayyam key afsoon khaaney mein
main aik tarhapta qatrah hoon
masroof-e-safar jo rahta hai
maazi ki suraahi key dil sey
mustaqbil key paimaney mein
I’m but a fleeting moment’s flop
in time’s uncanny magic-room,
I’m but a vacillating drop
on its brief trip through light and gloom,
as from the goblet of the past
into the future’s cup I flow.
main sotaa hoon aur jaagta hoon
aur jaag key phir so jaata hoon
sadyion ka puranaa khel hoon main
main mar key amar ho jaata hoon
I sleep and wake up as I go,
I wake and fall asleep as fast,
a centuries-old game: the breath
of immortality in death.
 
 

 

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