[personal profile] naad
here's an abhang by Sant Tsokhamela. [the more common spelling is Chokhamela, but i'm following my ideology of transcribing rather than transliterating proper nouns and un-translatable words - and 'tsa' to my mind more accurately denotes the Marathi sound which is the pronunciation of the letter commonly Romanised as 'cha'. think of 'tsar' and you'll be pretty close.]

[original Marathi in Devanaagari]
ऊस डोंगा परि रस नोहे डोंगा | काय भूललासी वरलिया रंगा
कमान डोंगी परि तीर नोहे डोंगा | काय भूललासी वरलिया रंगा
नदी डोंगी परि जल नोहे डोंगे  | काय भूललासी वरलिया रंगा
चोखा डोंगा परि भाव नोहे डोंगा | काय भूललासी वरलिया रंगा

[transliteration in Roman - long vowels doubled, short ones single]
Oos Dongaa Pari Rasa Nohe Dongaa | Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa
Kamaan Dongee Pari Teer Nohe Dongaa | Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa
Nadee Dongee Pari Jala Nohe Donge | Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa
Tsokhaa Dongaa Pari Bhaav Nohe Dongaa | Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa

[partial translation in Roman-script Hindi]
gannaa tedhaa hogaa par ras kharaab nahin hai | kyaa bhool gaye ho 'varaliyaa rangaa'
kamaan kuroop hogaa par teer tedhaa nahin hai | kyaa bhool gaye ho 'varaliyaa rangaa'
nadee tedhee-medhi hogee par paani tedhaa nahin hai | kyaa bhool gaye ho 'varaliyaa rangaa'
tsokha badsoorat hogaa par uska bhaav bhrasht nahin hai | kyaa bhool gaye ho 'varaliyaa rangaa'

[partial translation in Roman-script English - the second half of each line has been omitted]
A sugar-cane may be twisted and ugly, but the juice is not, it's still sweet
The quiver may be disfigured and misshapen, but the arrow is still straight and true
A river may be twisting and contorting, but its waters are not so
Tsokha may be grotesque and repulsive, but his mind is not impure

i couldn't find any translations on the Net of the second phrase in each line - "Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa" - if anyone has any clue how to translate it, please comment. as far as i can tell: 
kaaya = what (Hindi: kyaa)
bhoolalaasi = have forgotten (Hindi: bhool gaye ho / bhool gayaa hoon)
rangaa = color-something??

you can hear a modern rendition of it via the 'Music:' link.

deepad: black silhouette of woman wearing blue turban against blue background (Default)
[personal profile] deepad
I'm writing a bunch of posts about books and languages and literature and so on over at my blog, and while I was talking about the film-maker and lyricist Gulzar, I tried to translate one of his earliest songs. Here's my attempt at it -
Devanagri lyrics )

Roman transliteration )

My translation to English )

The song, picturised on the incomparable Nutan, from the film Bandini:
esperante: (Default)
[personal profile] esperante
समाधी - लेख

रस तो अनंत था, अंजूरी भर ही पिया
जी में वसंत था, एक ही फूल दिया

मिटने के दिन आज मुझको यह सोच है
कैसे बड़े युग में
कैसा छोटा जीवन जिया.

-- भारत भूषण अग्रवाल

hindi transliteration )


The nectar flowed freely, yet I tasted only a drop
Spring flourished in my heart, yet there bloomed only a flower

On this day of departure it occurs to me
it was a time for such greatness
and yet, I led such a trivial life.

-- Bharat Bhushan Agrawal


Last semester, I took a class on Translation Theory and Practice at my university, and for the 'practice' part of the course our professor insisted that each person in the class translate one poem (from any language, into English) everyday and read it aloud. Poems are the hardest and best ways to understand the joys and pains of translation, he said, and he was right. Reading aloud is of course, the best way to enjoy poetry, and the class discussions that followed would be about the specific problems to each language and to the poem in question. Though mostly we talked about how the cadences and vocabulary of English were often so utterly inadequate for the idioms of Indian languages, and how really we were doing English a favour by leaving some words untranslated, or forcing English into specific-language!rhythms ;)

Our prof has worked on translating poems by the Hindi poet Bharat Bhushan Agrawal (he might have published a book, iirc) and he said 'Samadhi Lekh' had been the greatest thorn in his side. He has it up on a poster in his office, and he offers to students in each batch who are comfortable with Hindi as a challenge. This was my effort for class, and he said it was pretty good, but I'm still not happy with it overall. The effect of its sharp, succinct images and its epic sentiment is so hard to capture in English. Ah, well - I guess the only thing to do is to keep talking to poems like these, and be amazed anew each time.

[thank you to [personal profile] azuire for making me finally post poem, and [personal profile] dhobikikutti for typing up all versions of the poem]
[personal profile] naad
In Avadhi as far as I can remember...

Hindi, Devnagri -
राम नाम अवलंब बिना परमारथ की आस
बरसद बारिद बूंद गहिन चाहत चढन अकास

Hindi, Roman -
raam naam avalamb binaa, paramaaratha ki aas
barasada baarid boond gahin, chaahat chadan akaas

English Translation, Roman -
[my own translation, so inaccurate and non-poetic]
aspiring to attain the Ultimate Truth, without meditating upon Raam's name
is like trying to climb to the sky, with a ladder made of raindrops
[personal profile] naad
In Avadhi as far as I can remember...

Hindi, Devnagri -
एक भारोसो एक बल एक आस बिसवास
एक राम घनश्याम हित चातक तुलसीदास

Hindi, Roman -
(with diacritical marks to indicate pronunciation - hyphen over a vowel means the long form of that vowel)
ek bharoso, ek bal, ek ās viśhvās
ek rām ghanshyām hit, chātak tulsidās

English Translation, Roman -
[my own translation, so inaccurate and non-poetic]
one (object of) faith, one (source of) strength, one (object of) belief and refuge...
there is only the one Rām for Tulsidās, just as there is only the raincloud for the chātak bird.

this is based on a कवि सत्य (kavi satya) i.e. poetic truth, which is a particular phenomenon or fact broadly accepted as true within the writer/poet community of Hindi literature. it may or may not be scientific fact. in this case, the kavi satya being referenced, is that the chātak bird, a particular species of bird, refuses to drink any water 'from the earth', and waits for the monsoon clouds to slake his thirst. For marginally more details, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobin_Cuckoo#In_culture
dhobikikutti: earthen diya (Default)
[personal profile] dhobikikutti
I was going to throw these up for people to listen to, but my internet is borked, so you will have to find the songs on your own. Meanwhile, here are some transcriptions in Devnagari, with the caveat that the songs are in Bhojpuri and Avadhi and various other dialects that I don't know too well, so there are some words there that I have only taken a guess at.

I'll eventually throw up a transliteration and a translation as well, time permitting.

Happy Diwali!

Shubha Mudgal sings in Deepavali Vol. 2

मंगल दीप – शुभा मुद्गल )
[personal profile] naad
परिचय की वो गाँठ

यों ही कुछ मुस्कुराकर तुमने
परिचय की वो गाँठ लगा दी!

था पथ पर मै भूला भूला
फूल उपेक्षित कोई फूला
जाने कौन लहर थी उस दिन
तुमने अपनी याद जगा दी।

कभी-कभी यों हो जाता है
गीत कहीं कोई गाता है
गूँज किसी उर में उठती है
तुमने वही धार उमगा दी।

जड़ता है
जीवन की पीड़ा
निष्तरंग पाषाणी क्रीड़ा
तुमने अनजाने वह पीड़ा
छवि के सर से दूर भगा दी
परिचय की वो गाँठ लगा दी!

-- त्रिलोचन

trilochan: parichay ki wah gaanth

(That bond of intimacy)

Just like that, by smiling
You snared me with the bonds of intimacy!

I wandered on my path
apathetic, disentranced
A blossom blooming unseen by all
Who knows what magic was in the air that day
You rekindled my memories of you...

Sometimes it happens
Someone, somewhere hums a tune
And it echoes in someone else's heart
Such is the hidden spring of the water of life
That you tapped in me

Stagnation is the bane of life
Inanimate, ossified, petrified functioning
You obliterated that pain
With a single arrow of your beauty
And snared me with that bond of intimacy...

-- Trilochan (Trans. <user name=dhobikikutti> & <user name=naad>)

Note: "Parichay ki voh gaanth" translates more literally as "that knot of knowing (someone)".
[personal profile] nh4ever
This is the original in Hindi by Avinash Dharmadhikari

The translation (done by me) goes something like this

(If I am going to stay with someone) Ill stay with that tiger
(Who) makes my garden into a jungle
O of what use is that cat
Who eats food from my hands

p.s Ive taken one liberty in this translation, wich is to replace 'sher' with 'tiger' instead of 'lion' wich is what sher means, as upon advice given the connotations of 'tiger' are truer to the connotations of 'sher' which the poet intended to convey.
esperante: (Default)
[personal profile] esperante
Paash was an Indian revolutionary poet of the 70's who wrote mainly in Punjabi. I haven't been able to find the Punjabi originals anywhere online yet, but here are the Hindi and English translations of one of his poems that I've always been in awe of.

अपनी असुरक्षा से )

English translation: )

This poem feels particularly burning and relevant to me as an Indian right now, as the government is getting ready to launch 'Operation Green Hunt', a massive military operation against Maoist rebels in Central India (read link for more). It is a horrifying, sickening thought, the thought of a state mobilising its coercive might against it's own people, and it's very obvious motivations behind it.


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