December 01, 2014

Lyrics & english translation of 'Ham Ke Thehre Ajnabi' written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz..

Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote 'Ham Ke Thehre Ajnabi' in 1974 after his return from the newly separated state of Bangladesh.

For those uninitiated, apart from being one of the greatest poets of our times, Faiz was a political activist and had been involved in Pakistani politics during Zia-ul-Haque's dictatorship and had also spent many years in exile.

The renowned poet visited independent Bangladesh for the first and last time with then Pakistani Prime Minister  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (they came with a Pakistani mission as advisor on culture).

Faiz was surprised when he got an absolute cold shoulder. Because of his failure to protest the killings of Bengali intellectuals (like Munir Chowdhury and Shahidullah Qaiser), his literary friends of Bangladesh refused to meet him.

Afsan Chowdhury, a well-known Bangladeshi media specialist and admirer of Faiz, once asked, "Why Faiz kept quiet during the 1971 war when the Pakistani army and Islamist groups were massacring Bangladeshi students and intellectuals, including revolutionaries and admirers of Faiz himself? Why did he choose Pakistan after Partition?"

During the Dec 1971 crackdown, Bhutto watched Dhaka burning from the rooftops of the Intercontinental Hotel. Probably, Faiz decision to accompany Butto would have cost him many remaining friendships in Bangladesh.

Faiz was heart broken after his Bangladesh visit and wrote this beautiful master piece. This was his reaction to what pakistanis call as the 'FALL OF DHAKA', which marked the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan. From this poem, he explains his disappointment on losing Bangladesh and the trust of Bangladeshi people in Pakistan.

Here are the lyrics and english translation of this poem:

Hum ke thehre ajnabi itni madaaraaton ke baad..
Phir banege aashna kitni mulaaqaaton ke baad..

हम के ठहरे अजनबी इतनी मदारातों के बाद
फिर बनेंगे आशना कितनी मुलाक़ातों के बाद

We stand estranged, after so many hospitalities..
How many meetings will it take for us to get acquainted again

Kab nazar mein aayegi bedaag sabze ki bahaar..
Khoon ke dhabbe dhulenge kitani barasaaton ke baad..

कब नज़र में आयेगी बे-दाग़ सब्ज़े की बहार
ख़ून के धब्बे धुलेंगे कितनी बरसातों के बाद

When will we behold unblemished bloom of green fields..
How many rains will it take to wash away the blood stains..

Dil toh chaahaa par shikast-e-dil ne mohalat hi na di..
Kuch gile shikve bhi kar lete munaajaaton ke baad..

दिल तो चाहा पर शिकस्ते-दिल ने मोहलत ही न दी
कुछ गिले-शिकवे भी कर लेते, मुनाजातों के बाद

Though I wished, the breach of heart did not allow it..
To share grievances, after the formalities

The bahut bedard lamhe khatm-e-dard-e-ishq ke..
Thi bahut bemehar subahe meharabaa raaton ke baad..

थे बहुत बे-दर्द लम्हे ख़त्मे-दर्दे-इश्क़ के
थीं बहुत बे-मह्‍र सुब्हें मह्‍रबाँ रातों के बाद

The moments of severance abounded in mercilessness..
Unforgiving mornings followed nights of kindness..

Unn se jo kahane gaye the 'Faiz' jaa sadakaa kiye..
Anakahi hi rah gayi woh bat sab baaton ke baad..

उनसे जो कहने गए थे 'फ़ैज़' जाँ सदक़ा किए
अनकही ही रह गई वो बात सब बातों के बाद

That what Faiz went to say, offering his life..
Remained unsaid, buried in all things that have passed

-K Himaanshu Shukla...


Anonymous said...


Rahul Sharma said...

Wonderful ghazal and wonderful translation.
Thank you Himanshu ji for the background and translation of this beautiful ghazal.

Unknown said...

Excellent translation. Thanks!

shreyas said...

Really nice translation, thank you.

Prateek said...

Very nice. Thanks

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