Wandering With Words

Random musings of a reckless soul.


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Nazm.

O. Henry was known for his strong portrayal of simple things in his stories.
For those who know Gulzar – legendary Indian/Urdu Poet – here’s his outstanding poem from the movie, Raincoat which is
loosely based on “The Gift of Magi”. It’s a simple story of two people who meet one rainy afternoon and reflect back on things that could have been.

This nazm evokes a lovely imagery of lonely, rainy afternoons. There’s an English translation for those who do not understand Urdu but needless to say, Gulzar Sahab’s version remains unmatched.

~ Kisi mausam ka jhonka tha jo is deewar par latki
hui tasweer tirchi kar gaya hai
gaye sawan mein ye deewarein yun seeli nahin thi
na jane kyon is dafa inme seelan aa gayi hai,
dararein par gayi hain
aur seelan is tarah bahti hai jaise,
khushk rukhsaaron pe geele aanso chalte hain.
ye baarish gungunati thi isi chath ki munderon par
ye baarish gungunati thi isi chath ki munderon par
ye ghar ki khidkiyon ke kaanch par ungli se likh
jaati thi sandese
girti rahti hai baithi hui ab band roshandano ke peeche.
dupehrein aisi lagti hain,
bina muhron ke khaali khaane rakhein hain
na koi khelne waala hai baazi
aur na koi chaal chalta hai
na din hota hai ab na raat hoti hai sabhi kuch
ruk gaya hai
wo kya mausam ka jhonka tha
jo is deewar par latki hui tasweer tirchi kar gaya hai. ~

Translation:

~ Was it a whiff of the season
That skewed the portrait hanging listlessly.
Last season, the walls were not so moist
Who knows why it’s moist now…
Why the cracks appeared…
And the damp shows
Like the tears on a face so blank.
The rain once sang on these
rooftops,
It used to write on the windowpanes.
Alas it weeps away behind a cage now.
And the afternoons are so
Like a chess without the pieces
There’s no one to play , no bets laid.
Neither the day breaks, nor night snows.
Everything seems forever stopped.
Perhaps t’was a whiff of the season,
That skewed the potrait on this wall. ~