Poetry in Bollywood: Ajeeb Daastaan hain yeh

Lost Love

So this is something new I am trying out. Last night when I was listening to some old songs on Youtube, it suddenly struck me that it will be an interesting exercise to translate them into English poems or mood pieces. Now there are tens of websites which transliterate Hindi songs into English (e.g. Bollymeaning.com). These do a good enough job of conveying the meaning. But I’ve not been able to find good enough translations that make an effort to preserve the spirit of the song as well.

Also, I’ve long wanted to improve my poetry from abysmal (where it is now) to something resembling good. So this could be both fun and useful, if done well.

I am starting with ‘Ajeeb Daastaan hain yeh’ from Dil Apna aur Preet Parai (1960)

Video

Hindi Lyrics

English ‘Translation’

Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Yeh
Kahan Shuru Kahan Khatam
Yeh Manzile Hai Kaunsi
Na Voh Samajh Sake Na Hum

.

Yeh Roshni Ke Saath Kyoon
Dhuaan Utha Chiraag Se
Yeh Khwaab Dekhti Hoon Main
Ke Jag Padi Hoon Khwaab Se

.

Mubaarakein Tumhe Ke Tum
Kisi Ke Noor Ho Gaye
Kisi Ke Itne Paas Ho
Ke Sab Se Door Ho Gaye

.

Kisi Ka Pyaar Leke Tum
Naya Jahan Basaaoge
Yeh Shaam Jab Bhi Aayegi
Tum Humko Yaad Aaoge

.

Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Yeh
Kahan Shuru Kahan Khatam
Yeh Manzile Hai Kaunsi
Na Voh Samajh Sake Na Hum

Here is a tale, unheard of, unseen
Where does it end? Where does it begin?
What is it that we both hunger for?
Neither he nor I can tell for sure

.

The flame that burns ever so bright
Spreads more smoke than delight
In the gloom my eyes thinly sing
Psalms of awakening

.

I bless your gay new world, dearest
With love, joy, grace and zest
Though you may find one distant day
That I’m far, too far away

.

We must part; the sun has fallen
The night’s young, yet barren
Alas, this song of you and me
Is but a fond memory

.

Here is a tale, unheard of, unseen
Where does it end? Where does it begin?
What is it that we both hunger for?
Neither he nor I can tell for sure

The beauty of a translation is that the translator has a certain degree of freedom in how he or she interprets the original. If you agree or disagree with how I’ve written it, or if the song moves you to write something down too, please do in the comments below.

Image Courtesy: Lost All Love

Comments

  1. Beautifully written!!! Amazed at the use of apt vocabulary. Proud of the fact that my senior is married to sum1 so talented.

    Like

    • Hi Apurva,

      Welcome to the blog. I am glad you liked this. It was with a lot of anxiety that I posted it. Poetry doesn’t come naturally to me, and I am fighting it by taking baby steps, one at a time 🙂

      Like

  2. nice translation but I will hum this song in Hindi 🙂

    Like

  3. This explains . I loved the term ‘translation in spirit’.
    You have translated this song with keeping the pathos of wistfulness and longing at second layer. On the first layer ,it feels like a resigned parting. Well done.

    Like

  4. I would say “Good job” best fits this idea;

    Like

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