"Indian Song" (1904, before his European stay)

taraanah-e hindii

Published in baa;Ng-e daraa (The Sound of the Bell) (1924)
From: kulliyaat-e iqbaal urduu (Lahore: Shaikh Ghulam 'Ali and Sons Publishers, 1973 (and later reprints), p. 83

a *ghazal*; *meter*: = = - / = - = = / = = - / = - = =

Urdu spellings reflect adjustments made for the sake of the meter.
See the 'script bar' at the bottom of the page for viewing choices.

Here's *the Urdu text*; here's *a serial glossary*.
   
1)
saare jahaa;N se achchaa hinduusitaa;N hamaaraa
ham bulbule;N hai;N us kii vuh gulsitaa;N hamaaraa
 
1) better than the whole world, our Hindustan
2) we are its nightingales, it [is] our garden
 
Here it's to be pronounced not 'gu-lis-taa;N' as usual, but 'gul-si-taa;N', to suit the meter.
   
2)
;Gurbat me;N ho;N agar ham , rahtaa hai dil va:tan me;N
samjho vuhii;N hame;N bhii dil ho jahaa;N hamaaraa
 
1) if we would be in 'an alien place', the heart remains in the homeland
2) consider us too [to be] right there where our heart would be
 
;Gariib can mean either 'poor', or 'strange' (as in ((ajiib-o-;Gariib ); thus ;Gurbat is a state of foreignness, not merely living abroad but with an extra sense of alienation thrown in.
   
3)
parbat vuh sab se uu;Nchaa , hamsaayah aasmaa;N kaa
vuh santarii hamaaraa , vuh paasbaa;N hamaaraa
 
1) that tallest mountain, a neighbor [=shade-sharer] of the sky
2) that [is] our sentry, that [is] our door-guard
 
The English 'sentry' and the Persian paasbaa;N form an enjoyably balanced pair.
   
4)
godii me;N kheltii hai;N us kii hazaaro;N nadiyaa;N
gulshan hai jin ke dam se rashk-e janaa;N hamaaraa
 
1) in [her] lap play all her thousands of rivers
2) thanks to which our garden is the envy of Paradise
 

The word order of the second line: jin ke dam se hamaaraa gulshan rashk-e janaa;N hai .

   
5)
ay aab-ruud-e gangaa ! vuh din hai;N yaad tujh ko ?
utaraa tire kinaare jab kaaravaa;N hamaaraa
 
1) oh river [=water-flowing] Ganges! do you remember those days?
2) when our caravan descended on your bank
 
The first line could also be read as a question, or an exclamation; it's nicely phrased so that it can appeal to almost any Indian's historical vision. In the second line, tire kinaare is oblique because there's really a 'ghostposition' par that's been colloquially omitted but still has its effect. And it's tire instead of tere as a permissible spelling change, to suit the meter.
   
6)
ma;zhab nahii;N sikhaataa aapas me;N bair rakhnaa
hindii hai;N ham , va:tan hai hinduusitaa;N hamaaraa
 
1) religion does not teach [us] to keep enmity with each other
2) we are Indian, our homeland is Hindustan
 
Until very recently, historically speaking, hindii was much more likely to mean 'pertaining to Hind' in general-- and thus 'Indian'-- than to refer to a particular modern language.
   
7)
yuunaan-o-mi.sr-o-romaa sab mi;T ga))e jahaa;N se
ab tak magar hai baaqii naam-o-nishaa;N hamaaraa
 
1) Greece and Egypt and Byzantium all became erased from the world
2) but until now our identity [=name and sign] lives on
 
Since mi;Tnaa is an intransitive verb, there's no agent involved, and thus no indication of how they became erased.
   
8)
kuchh baat hai kih hastii mi;Ttii nahii;N hamaarii
.sadiyo;N rahaa hai dushman daur-e zamaa;N hamaaraa
 
1) there's something, that our existence does not become erased
2) [for] centuries the cycle of time has remained our enemy
 
There's another 'ghostposition' after .sadiyo;N , which explains its oblique plural form. It's here pronounced '.sad-yo;N', for the meter.
   
9)
iqbaal ! ko))ii ma;hram apnaa nahii;N jahaa;N me;N
ma((luum kyaa kisii ko dard-e nihaa;N hamaaraa !
 
1) Iqbal, there is no [intimate] friend of ours in the world
2) what does anyone know of our hidden pain?
 
The closing-verse of a ghazal often contains the poet's pen-name, and thus has occasion to reflect on the rest of the poem, but still, after this very upbeat ghazal, the sudden bleakness comes as a shock.
   

 


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