Tag Archives: pavan verma

Rooh dekhi hai kabhi


I heard this poem in the voice of Gulzar himself at a li-tfest in Bangalore. His baritone voice made the visuals that he writes about ever more alive.

As a poet Gulzar has a rare talent of creating lingering visuals using his words, this along with the flowing easy to read words, make him a beloved shayar to millions of poetry lovers.

Being in his presence, you can feel a calm and radiant aura so alike a mystic.

I especially like the word Kundan in the last line of this poem…..a word used to denote the Dalai Lama himself.

If you would like to listen to more such poems in his voice, you can find them at this link here.

Transliteration

Rooh dekhi hai, kabhi rooh ko mahsoos kiya hai?

Jaagate jeete hu e doodhiya kohre se lipatkar
Saans lete hu e is kohare ko mahsoos kiya hai?

Ya shikaare mein kisi jheel pe jab raat basar
aur paani ke chapaakoon pe baaja karti hon taliyaan
subkiyaan leeti hawaoon ke kabhi bain sune hain?

Chodhaveen raat ke barfaab se ek chaand ko jab
dher se saaye pakarne ke liye bhaagate hain,
tum ne saahil pe khare girje ki deewar se lagkar
Apni gahnaati hui kokh ko mahsoos kiya hai?

jism sau baar jale tab bhi wahi mitte ka dhela
rooh ek bar jalegi to woh kundan hogi

Rooh daekhi hai, kabhi rooh ko mahsoos kiya hai?

Translation

Have you seen the soul, ever sensed it?
Have you ever felt the mist, alive, alert,
Soaked yourself in its breathing, milky whiteness?

Or else, when ripples of water tinkle
While on a boat on a lake on the onset of night
Have you ever heard the sobbing wind wail?

When a great many shadows run
To catch the full moon on a snow white night
Standing against the wall of a church on the shore
Have you sensed your womb resounding?

The body, burnt a hundred times, is still a clod of earth
The soul, burnt once, becomes gold

Have you seen the soul, ever sensed it?

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The inspiration


Original in Urdu:

کانٹے والی تار پی کسنے گیلے کپڑے تانگے ہے

خون ٹپکتا رہتا ہے اور نالی میں بہ جاتا ہے

کیوں اس فوجی کی بیوہ ہر روز یہ وردی دھوتی ہے

—-Gulzar

 

Transliteration:

Kaante wali taar pe kisne gile kapdhe taange hai

Khoon tapakta hai Aur Naali mein beh jaata hai

Kyun iis fauji ki bewa har roz yeh wardi dhoti hai.

 

Translation by Pavan Verma

Who has hung these wet clothes on the barbed wire?

Blood drips and flows into the gutter

Why does this soldier’s widow wash his uniform every day…