Monday, May 6, 2013

Poem by Mirza Ghalib--Translation by Sunil Uniyal--India

Urdu original poem by Mirza Ghalib

Wo firaaq aur wo visaal kahaan?
Wo shabo-rozo-maaho-saal kahaan?

Fursat-e-kaarobaar-e-shauq kise?
zauqe-nazzaaraa-e-jamaal kahaan?

Dil to dil wo dimaagh bhi na rahaa,
Shaure saudaa-e-khatto-khaal kahaan?

Aisaa aasaan nahin lahoo ronaa,
Dil me taaqat jigar men haal kahaan?

Hamse chhootaa kimaar-khaanaa-e-ishq,
Vaan jo jaaven, girah men maal kahaan?

Fiqre-duniyaan men sar khapaataa hoon,
Main kahaan aur ye bawaal kahaan?

Muzmmahil ho gaye kuwaa Ghalib,
Wo anaasir men aitdaal kahaan?

Translation by Sunil Uniyal, India

Where are those meetings and those partings now?
Where are those days and nights, months and years now?

Who has time to fall in love nowadays,
Where's delight in gazing at the Beauty now?

That heart is gone, that mind is no more, too,
Where's imagination's revelry now?

The tears of blood are indeed hard to weep,
Where's the strength in heart and liver now?

Love's gambling house is out of reach,
Where are the pennies in my pocket now?

I'm troubled by the concerns of the world,
Where do I fit into this pell-mell now?

All the power, Ghalib, I have lost,
Where's harmony in my elements now?

Sunil Uniyal ( born 1953-) is a poet and translator based in New Delhi, India. He has been writing haiku and poems for over thirty years and many of these have appeared in e-journals like Muse India, Kritya, AHA Poetry, Poetica Magazine, Sketch Book, Notes From the Gean, A Hundred Gourds and Haiku Dreaming Australia. His work in translation includes, 'The Target is Behind the Sky -Fifty Poems of Kabir', brought out by the Low Price Publications, Delhi in February 2012.


  1. Hello Sunil, I too feel the despair of the world and have experienced the sadness and anxiety you describe so well here. I can really relate to it and I'm sure many others will feel the same. Thank you for sharing this extraordinary work with us. Best wishes, Carolyn D

    1. Thank you, Carolyn, for appreciating this translation. Ghalib has voiced his despair so movingly in many of his ghazals. It's however, quite difficult to translate him and the translator himself feels much despair in the process.


  2. Down memory lane, the the carefully chosen words take the reader as well.Wonderful poem.

  3. Dear Sunil -

    That heart is gone, that mind is no more, too,
    Where's imagination's revelry now?

    Those lines of the broken spirit stun me. Whether by age, or war, or poverty, or disease, hopelessness breaks the heart. Thank you so much for the translation.