Just Like That


मधुर प्रतीक्षा ही जब इतनी, प्रिय तुम आते तब क्या होता?

मौन रात इस भांति कि जैसे, कोई गत वीणा पर बज कर,
अभी-अभी सोई खोई-सी, सपनों में तारों पर सिर धर
और दिशाओं से प्रतिध्वनियाँ, जाग्रत सुधियों-सी आती हैं,
कान तुम्हारे तान कहीं से यदि सुन पाते, तब क्या होता?

तुमने कब दी बात रात के सूने में तुम आने वाले,
पर ऐसे ही वक्त प्राण मन, मेरे हो उठते मतवाले,
साँसें घूमघूम फिरफिर से, असमंजस के क्षण गिनती हैं,
मिलने की घड़ियाँ तुम निश्चित, यदि कर जाते तब क्या होता?

उत्सुकता की अकुलाहट में, मैंने पलक पाँवड़े डाले,
अम्बर तो मशहूर कि सब दिन, रहता अपने होश सम्हाले,
तारों की महफिल ने अपनी आँख बिछा दी किस आशा से,
मेरे मौन कुटी को आते तुम दिख जाते तब क्या होता?

बैठ कल्पना करता हूँ, पगचाप तुम्हारी मग से आती,
रगरग में चेतनता घुलकर, आँसू के कणसी झर जाती,
नमक डलीसा गल अपनापन, सागर में घुलमिलसा जाता,
अपनी बाँहों में भरकर प्रिय, कण्ठ लगाते तब क्या होता?

This one is also by Dr. Harivansha Rai Bachchan.

Literal Translation (To the extent I could do it)

When waiting itself is so sweet, what would have happened, had you come here?

The night is silent as if some tune has just been played on Veena and it is now sleeping or lost with its head on the pillow of stars. And living echoes are coming from all the directions. If I could hear your song, what would have happened?

When did you promise that you will come during the silent night? But it is exactly at such a time that my heart goes mad. I count the moments of uncertainty with each breath. If you had fixed the time of meeting, what would have happened?

My eyes are open with the anxiety of curiosity. The sky is famous for remaining awake all the time, but for whom is this merry group of stars waiting. If my silent hut could see you coming, what would have happened?

I sit here, imagining, and the sound of your foot-steps come from the roads. Life comes in every part of my body and it falls down like a drop of tear. Intimacy melts like a lump of salt and gets mixed with the sea. If you had embraced me, what would have happened?

(The translation is not exactly literal. Nor is it exactly representative of the theme of the poetry. It’s only a very rough guide.)


3 thoughts on “Just Like That

  1. जयाजी,
    युँ तो कविताओं का चयन उत्तम रहता है । परन्तु बच्चनजी की मधुसरिता का अंग्रेजी में अनुवाद हाला के प्याले में सोडावाटर डालने जैसा हो सकता है। फिर भी प्रयास संभावित है ।

  2. The purpose of these translations is not create a great translation as such; it is simpler than that. I have couple of friends/readers who would like to read it but the Hindi words might be confusing/difficult to them. A literal translation helpes overcome that barrier.

    The original form is, of course, the best for those who can enjoy it as such.

  3. No, Translation kills all the beauty. It can be felt most when one partially able to understand the language.

    As I was wathing “Khamosh Pani” (pakistan made movie in sindhi). I was able to understand only 70% dialouges. rest of them i have to read in subtitels. So, I found in translation gravity of expression was totally lost.

    One example from the movie:

    “farm de farm bhare jho”


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