My beloved, do not ask me for that love again (Mujh se pehli si muhabbat mere mehboob na maang)

Most beautiful recitation I found of this eternal poem is by equally timeless Madam Zohra Sehgal (The Granny – As known by in Bollywood). It’s a sheer pleasure to see her energy and passion along wisdom and patience, and way she weaves them all together to recite this poem. If you haven’t seen this before, I am sure this will be a best thing you will see today.

Translation:

My beloved, ask me not for the love, that once we shared before…

I aspired, should you be along, life would be nothing but serene…
Thinking of you, who would even care, what rest are contemplating?
Countenance of yours holds the bar for the springs in entire universe…
What in world would ever come close to way your eyes do immerse…

Should you be right beside me, heavens and stars would realign to my course…
But, tis happened not, a mere wish it was, no more than a pre-thought.

Endless are there, the pathos in a world,
other than love’s resonance.
Countless are, the comforts in a world,
except a union’s preeminence.

Dark-sorcerous affliction scribbling an uncounted time trail.
Wrapped softly in silk, satin, brocade and velvet…
Wherever leads a sight, alleys-markets having flesh for sale.
Bodies soaked in the dust and sunk in the blood like a pellet…

Bodies emerging from the pits of disease and plague furnace…
And pus flowing out of rotted ulcers and incurable ailments.
My eyes catch such glimpses too my dear, what can I do?
Though still your beauty allures too, but what can I do?

Endless are there, the pathos in a world,
other than love’s resonance.
Countless are, the comforts in a world,
except a union’s preeminence.

My beloved, ask me not for the love, that once we shared before…

– Dedicated to the beloved urging the lover, to shower the love like before…

Mujh se pehli si muhabbat mere mehboob na maang

Maine samjhaa tha ke tu hai to darakhshaan hai hayaat
Tera gham hai to gham-e-dehar ka jhagdaa kyaa hai
Teri surat se hai aalam mein bahaaron ko sabaat
Teri aankhon ke siwaa duniyaa mein rakhkhaa kya hai

Tu jo mil jaaye to taqdir nigoon ho jaaye
Yoon na thaa maine faqat chaahaa thaa yoon ho jaaye
Aur bhi dukh hai zamaane mein muhabbat ke siwaa
Raahatein aur bhi hain vasl ki raahat ke siwaa

Anginat sadiyon ki taareeq bahemaanaa tilism
Resham-o-atlas-o-kamkhwaab mein bunvaaye hue
Ja-ba-ja bikte hue koochaa-o-baazaar mein jism
Khaak mein lithade hue, khoon mein nehlaaye hue
Jism nikle hue amraaz ke tannooron se
Peep behti hui galte hue naasooron se

Laut jaati hai udhar ko bhi nazar, kya keeje?
Ab bhi dilkash hai tera husn, magar kya keeje?
Aur bhi dukh hai zamaane mein muhabbat ke siwaa
Raahatein aur bhi hain vasl ki raahat ke siwaa

Mujh se pehli si muhabbat mere mehboob na maang

– Original verses written by none other than one of the world’s greatest Urdu poets, Faiz Ahmad Faiz saheb. So delicately he puts the words here and so wonderfully structured the poem is, that one can’t help but stay amazed. Requesting the beloved to stop being so nostalgic, he’s here narrating a character arc, building the fantasy in the starting couplets and then in verses that follows it, he slowly sheds it down with the pieces of reality, of what happens to be the world around. Beautifully portraying his helplessness in dividing an attention, between eternal love of his life, and injustice and corruption rampant.

Urdu version:

مجھ سے پہلی سی محبت مری محبوب نہ مانگ

میں نے سمجھا تھا کہ تو ہے تو درخشاں ہے حیات
تیرا غم ہے تو غمِ دہر کا جھگڑا کیا ہے
تیری صورت سے ہے عالم میں بہاروں کو ثبات
تیری آنکھوں کے سوا دنیا میں رکھا کیا ہے؟
تو جو مل جائے تو تقدیر نگوں ہو جائے
یوں نہ تھا، میں نے فقط چاہا تھا یوں ہو جائے

اور بھی دکھ ہیں زمانے میں محبت کے سوا
راحتیں اور بھی ہیں وصل کی راحت کے سوا

ان گنت صدیوں کے تاریک بہیمانہ طلسم
ریشم و اطلس و کمخاب میں بُنوائے ہوئے
جابجا بکتے ہوئے کوچہ و بازار میں جسم
خاک میں لتھڑے ہوئے خون میں نہلائے ہوئے

جسم نکلے ہوئے امراض کے تنوروں سے
پیپ بہتی ہوئی گلتے ہوئے ناسوروں سے
لوٹ جاتی ہے ادھر کو بھی نظر کیا کیجے
اب بھی دلکش ہے ترا حسن مگر کیا کیجے

اور بھی دکھ ہیں زمانے میں میں محبت کے سوا
راحتیں او ربھی ہیں وصل کی راحت کے سوا

مجھ سے پہلی سی محبت مری محبوب نہ مانگ

– فیض احمد فیض

Other than the narrations, this poem has been adapted as a song and has been lend a voice of another legendary woman Madam Noor Jehan.

On a very same tune, Farhan Zameer has provided a male version, nothing short of pure brilliance…

Anther good recital of the poem:

Reference:
Translation of Mustansir Dalvi – Mujh se pehli si mohabbat mere mehboob na mang

Spilling colors in flowers, breeze of new spring continues (Gulon mein rang bhare baad-e-naubahaar chalay)

– Live rendition by Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan saheb.

Translation:

Spilling colors in flowers, breeze of new spring does continue.
Come along you too so that business of garden does continue.

Crimson cage is in the gloom from morning, please request the wind.
For sake of God, somewhere remembrance of beloved must continue…

For once at least Oh morning, let corners of your lips be my excuse to flourish.
For once at least allow night to slip under fragrance of your tresses to continue…

Whatever befell over me I kept hold, still in a night of separation,
At least my eyes in your respect, allowed my tears to continue…

So what, even if the arrow did cross the eye for a moment?
State to ponder is, when piercing the chest it lives to continue…

In court of the beloved, exhibits of affection are requested.
Watch me, how tying the torn collars together, I continue…

Nor one’s here a Christ, nor holds any resemblance to Mansur,
For what then, towards a gallows, push of people gets continue?

Not a place matched the bar worthy to behold a solace (Faiz),
Leaving lane of beloved, right to gallows one would continue.

– Dedicated to the vacuum that’s left in heart due to a beloved’s absence…

Gulon mein rang bhare baad-e-naubahaar chalay
Chale bhi aao ke gulshan ka kaarobaar chalay

Qafas udaas hai yaaron sabaa se kuchh tau kaho
Kahin to bahr-e-Khuda aaj zikr-e-yaar chalay

kabhi tau subah tere kunj-e-lab se ho aaghaz
Kabhi to shab sar-e-kaakul se mushakbaar chalay

Jo hum pe guzri so guzri magar shab-e-hijraan
Hamaare ashk teri aaqibat sanwaar chalay

Hua jo teer-e-nazar neem kash to kya hasil
maza to jab hai ke sinay ke aar paar chalay
(contributed for singing rendition by Faiz Saheb’s friend: Kunwar Mohinder Singh Bedi Sahar)

huzuur-e-yaar huyii daftar-e-junuun kii talab
girah men le ke girebaan kaa taar taar chalay

ham na iisaa na Sarmad o Mansur
log kyuu.n le ke suu-e-daar chalay
(not part of original, another couplet for singing rendition)

Maqaam Faiz koi raah mein jacha hi nahin
Jo kue yaar se nikle to suu-e-daar chalay

Urdu version:

گلوں میں رنگ بھرے، بادِ نو بہار چلے
چلے بھی آؤ کہ گلشن کا کاروبار چلے

قفس اداس ہے یارو، صبا سے کچھ تو کہو
کہیں تو بہرِ خدا آج ذکرِ یار چلے

کبھی تو صبح ترے کنجِ لب سے ہو آغاز
کبھی تو شب سرِ کاکل سے مشکبار چلے

جو ہم پہ گزری سو گزری مگر شبِ ہجراں
ہمارے اشک تری عاقبت سنوار چلے

چلا جو تیر نظر نیمکش تو کیا حاصل؟
مزا تو جب ہے که سینے کے آر پار چلے
(مهندر سنگهـ بیدی)

حضورِ‌ یار ہوئی دفترِ جنوں کی طلب
گرہ میں لے کے گریباں کا تار تار چلے

مقام فیضؔ کوئی راہ میں جچا ہی نہیں
جو کوئے یار سے نکلے تو سوئے دار چلے

– Original poetry by esteemed Urdu poet who needs no introduction, Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Mehdi Hassan’s play-back version:

References:

Urdu Alfaz – Gulon Mein Rang Bhare

In Desert of My Solitude (Dasht-e-Tanhai Mein)

– Performed by Meesha Shafi on platform of Coke Studio (Latest and most popular rendition till date)

Translation:

In wilderness of my desolation,
Oh my beloved, lingers…
silage of your whispers,
and mirage of your lips.
In wilderness of my desolation,
beneath soil of distance, blooms…
charm of your embrace,
as jasmines and tulips.

Ascents warmth of your breaths,
close – somewhere,
Being simmered in its own fragrance,
softly, bit by bit.
Far away glimmering on the azure
canvas, tear by tear,
Perches like a glance of your love,
a dew, heaven-lit.

With such love and benevolence,
Oh my beloved, settles…
the memory of yours, its hand
on bosom of my heart, here now.
It feels as if,
(though it’s time of lonesome dawn),
Sun of rapture is soothing down,
Moon of union is to cast spell here now.

– Dedicated to a desert of solitude that transforms into an oasis of remembrance…

Dasht-e-Tanhai Mein
Aye Jaan-e-jahaan, Larzan Hai
Teri Aawaaz Ke Saaye
Tere Honton Ke Seraab.
Dasht-e-tanhaayee Mein
Doori Ke Khas-o-khaak Talei
Khil Rahe Hain Tere Pehlu Ke
Saman Aur Gulaab.

Uth Rahi Hai Kahin Qurbat Se
Teri Saans Ki Aanch
Apni Khushboo Mein Sulaghti Huee
Maddham, Maddham…
Door Ufaq Paar Chamakti Hui
Qatra Qatra…
Gir Rahi Hai Teri Dildaar
Nazar Ki Shabnam.

Is Qadar Pyaar Se
Aye Jaan-e-jahaan Rakkha Hai
Dil Ke Rukhsaar Pe Is Waqt
Teri Yaad Ne Haath.
Yunh Ghumaan Hota Hai
Garj Hai Abhi Subh-e-firaaq
Dhal Gaya Hijr Ka Din
Aaa Bhi Gayi Wasl ki Raat.

– Originally written by poet of far excellence and sheer brilliance Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

This is a very famous and equally cherished poem by Faiz saheb. It’s widely known for its rendition by Iqbal Bano and later by Tina Sani and Meesha Safi. Out of which Iqbal Bano’s rendition is still most beloved to me. And as it happens, there are many translations of it on internet. Yet, since it portrays the genius of the poet, it’s very close to my heart. I was bound to personalize it in some way.

Notice the symmetry along the rhythm and flow in it (the rhymes are intricately woven with free verse here). See how metaphors are played with here, the solitude of the lover is presented as desert, and his melancholy as dessert’s nature. Yet everything representing despair in desert converts into a garden of hope and love, which he explains later in last verse that it’s due to remembrance of love of his life. He starts to take everything in wilderness as positively just because he’s along the memory of the beloved.

I have tried my best here to keep the original’s subliminal structure intact in translation, along all the metaphors by the way they are introduced in one line just to be ascended in another. Faiz saheb’s this poem is really a sheer work of brilliance, and of course this translation can never justify it completely. Yet I am glad, that I made an attempt to exhibit my love.