Nirmal has been visiting this blog and requesting for more translations of Parveen Shakir. I have found some on the Internet and here they are. Translations cannot do justice to the original pieces. Nuances are lost and metaphors change their shape. However, some of these are quite creative!
First the playful ghazal- Ku Ba Ku.. by Umair Raja
Petal to petal, spore to spore
Rumors of love, spread, door to door
Like the sweet scent, of a blooming rose
He courted me, ever so slow
How can I say, he has left me
He is here, no more
The infamy of this truth
I cannot ignore
Wherever he went; he returned
He came back to me
His fickle virtue is enough
To keep me happy
May, he, be in your arms
The one, you adore
May, the night of separation
Never knock on your door
As he lay his healing palm
On my torrid brow
A feeling of rejuvenation
Reached deep into my soul
A few more from here
Call him a cloud or a star or a breeze.
He seemed elusive in the substance of her being.
Your attitude toward me has been like
a seasoned diplomat’s toward a young journalist
—every statement heedful of its implications
and possible repercussions,
every word carefully weighed
(the issue lost in the quagmire of quotations).
Nothing that he says should turn out to be
an arrow recoiling on himself
(which he may have to repent).
The eyes downcast,
the tone enervated,
sentences uttered in fragments,
lashes covered in dust
and sunburnt face.
Bowing his unkempt head has come a long lost friend.
The heart is tempted to take hold of his hand,
to rush immediately to kiss his brow,
and never allow him to go back alone.
But deep within me someone whispers:
all this is feigned, phantasm, facade,
Don’t ever believe!
Don’t ever believe!
I am the bride whom on the first night
someone unveils and tells:
“All I have is yours alone
save only my heart”.
Resting his head on my shoulder today
he wept for someone to his heart’s content
A whole lifetime is required to know fully
what beauty is,
For girls do not reveal themselves in
PutjhaD kay mausam maiN tujhko
kon say phool ka tohfa bahijooN
mera aangan khali kay
lekin meri aankhoN maiN
naik duaooN ki shabnam hay
shabnam ka har tara
tera aanchal tham kay kehta hay
khushboo,geet,hawa,pani aur rang ko chahnay vali laDki!
jaldi say acchi hoja
subh-e-bahar ki aankhaiN kabsay
teri narm hansi ka rasta dekh rahi haiN
There are no more flowers left
in the burning garden of my desires
this is the season of the falling leaves.
Yet a dew of sincere wishes
still fills my eyes
like shining stars that enlighten
the dark alleys you walk through
silently whispering into you listening ears
wishing you well
You that love the fragrance of newly blossomed flowers
and the sprightly breeze,
the gently flowing clear water of silent rivers
and the bright colors of life
Get well soon for there waits for you
a new morning of the spring season
waiting to catch a glimpse of your smiling eyes.
Translation by Saleem A Khanani
And finally two short poems translated by Asad Khan
Woh jaa chukaa hai
Magar judaai se qabl kaa
Ek narm lamha
Thehar gayaa hai
Miri hatheli ki pusht per
Pehli kaa chand bun ker
He is gone.
But a tender moment,
from when he was here
On the back of my hand
(and) in my life
like a crescent.
For your dancing partner
the one upon whose shoulders you rest your head
i too was once in his safeguard.
the difference is that i
was abandoned before dark,
and you shall remain consumed in this false sense of security till dawn.