Translation: Parveen Shakir

Posted on October 29, 2006
Filed Under >Naveed E., People, Poetry, Urdu, Women
27 Comments
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Guest Post by Naveed E.

Perveen Shakir died young. Her legend lives on.

She is arguably the most popular poetess of the literary history of Pakistan. She expressed the sensibilities of young lovelorn girl with the innocence of a girl next door and innovation of an adept poet. Her romantic poems and ghazals stirred the sentiments of youthful readers.

She enlivened the tales and traditions of love in a manner that her first book “Khushboo� met an instant and incredible success. Within a span of seventeen years she wrote three more books of poetry, titled, “Sud Berg�, “Khud Kalamie� and “Inkar�.

“Barish Ki Nazmein� are very sentimental poems from “Sud Berg�.

On a rainy night, while posted in a far flung area of Pakistan, I was deeply touched with the enchantment of these poems.

My translations, below, are a tribute to the magic of Perveen.

A Poem of Rain
Barish mein kia tanha bhegna larki!
usay bula jis ki chahat mein
ttera tun mun bhega hai
pyar ki barish say barh kr kia barish ho gi
aur jub is barish kay baad
hijr ki pehli dhoop khilay gi
tujh per rang kay ism khulein gay

Why to soak alone in the rain, O! Girl
Beckon him in whose love
Your mind and body are drenched
There is no rain more than the rain of love
And when after this rain
The first sunshine of separation would glow
The mysteries of hues you’d know

Another poem of Rain
Peron ki mehndi mein nay
Kis mushkil say chhuraie thi
aur phir bairon khushboo ki
kaisi kaisi binti ki thi
pyari dheray bol
bhra ghar jag uthay ga
lekin jub us kay aanay ki ghari hoi
subah say aisi jhari lagi
umer mein pehli bar
barish achhi nahin lagi!

The henna on my feet
I scrubbed away so hard
And to insolent fragrance
Intensely I had begged
Dear speak lowly
Lest the full house might wake up
But when the time of his arrival came
Since morning the rain so set in
First time in my life
Rain didn’t amuse me!

Yet another poem of rain
Barish ab say pehlay bhi kai bar hoi thi
kia is bar meray rangrez nay chunri kachchi rangi thi
ya tan ka hi kehna such keh
rung to us kay honton mein tha!

It had rained often before
Did my dyer badly colored the scarf this time?
Or my torso had told the truth that
The colour was in his lips.

Naveed E. is a former civil servant, with a passion for poetry and writing.

27 Comments on “Translation: Parveen Shakir”

  1. Aziz Akhmad says:
    October 29th, 2006 5:57 pm

    Here is another couplet of Parveen Shakir, again about rain. Those of you who have lived in a tin-roofed house in the North of Pakistan will readily identify with it.

    MaiN sard raat ki barkha say kiyoon na piyaar karooN
    Yeh rut tau hai meray bachpan ki saath khailay hooyi

    A rough translation:
    I love the sound of rain on a winter night
    I have been hearing it since my childhood

  2. October 29th, 2006 6:09 pm

    I could not figure out a way to imbed this in the post, but you can listen to Parveen Shakir reading a nazm here (it is then followed by Runa Laila singing a famous ghazal by Parveen.

    One of her most famous ghazal’s (..meiN samandar daikhti houN, tum kinara daikhna), as sung by Tahira Syed, can be heard here.

  3. falcon says:
    October 29th, 2006 6:26 pm

    I remember hearing a story about her, that when she sat down to take some exam (academic or civil service), one of the poems she had to write about was her own.

  4. Mast Qalandar says:
    October 29th, 2006 6:10 pm

    “Tooti hai meri neend magar…” has also been bautifully rendered by Tasawar Khanum. I heard it once on a PIA flight. I wonder if any one could put his/her hands on it and post it here.

  5. Karachiwala says:
    October 29th, 2006 6:29 pm

    Parveen Shakir had an MA in English Literature and joined the Pakistan Customs Service, where she was posted to Islamabad. Had she not died in the car crash in 1994, she would have been 54 years old this November.

    Read her complete profile here.
    To read one of the most authoratative articles on her work, peruse the illumating piece along with equally brillint translation of her poems by Prof. CM Naim in The Annual of Urdu Studies:
    My favorite:

    Instead of keeping me tucked away
    In some safe corner of your heartâ€

  6. Yousaf says:
    October 29th, 2006 10:40 pm
  7. October 30th, 2006 10:25 am

    Yousaf,
    Thank you so much for sharing wonderful website about Parveen Shakir,s poetry in her own voice.

  8. Adnan says:
    November 3rd, 2006 11:19 am

    Not only Pakistan, but rather sub-continent and the Urdu literature of Pakistan and India. Along with Kishwar Nahid and Fahmida Riaz, she is regarded as the poetess who added a new dimension to Urdu poetry.

  9. az says:
    November 26th, 2006 11:23 am

    Sorry but I don’t think that Perveen Shakir is a legend. Neither I found her poetry very attractive.

  10. Baber says:
    December 8th, 2006 1:04 pm

    @az
    “Neither I found her poetry very attractive. ”

    Just because you din’t find her poetry very attractive doesn’t mean She can’t be a legend.
    She is a legend, does anybody know what happend to her and how she died?
    She will always be remembered as a great poet of Urdu and Pakistan.

  11. Hina Zafar says:
    December 10th, 2006 1:15 am

    [quote comment="15099"]@az
    “Neither I found her poetry very attractive. ”

    Just because you din’t find her poetry very attractive doesn’t mean She can’t be a legend.
    She is a legend, does anybody know what happend to her and how she died?
    She will always be remembered as a great poet of Urdu and Pakistan.[/quote]

    Parveen Shakir captured the emotions of a young girl beautifully in “Khushboo”, her first compilation and probably her best and most honest work. That was the book which made me fall in love with poetry as a young girl. Her later compilations spoke about more than simple romanticism but were probably not as effective as it wasn’t her core strength.
    Coming back to the question, she is reported to have died in a car accident. This was the same year we lost Nusrat Fateh Ali, Lady Diana and Mother Teresa. I can still recall the shock my friends and I were in when we heard the news. And then to offer our small token of appreciation we wrote a per on her life and poetry with translation as part of our degree assignment. Like any sensitive soul, I think life’s cruelty seeped too deep into her soul and too soon.

  12. February 22nd, 2007 3:05 am

    [...] An email from a Pakistan based writer friend made me recall Parveen Shakir. The poem, Tomato Ketchup, written most probably in the memory of Sara Shagufta (the modernist Pakistani poet who committed suicide in the footsteps of Sylvia Plath). [...]

  13. tina says:
    July 1st, 2007 11:13 am

    From my standpoint, I think these poems must be losing a great deal in translation, or perhaps they haven”t found the right translator for English yet. Karachiwala’s favorite translated by Naim is the only one that even makes any sense. It is sweet, and a simple testament to how actions are worth more than words, but no classic.

  14. M.Tanveer says:
    July 11th, 2007 12:05 am

    si,Im a research scholer in jawaharlal nehru university in new delhi my topic,parween shakir ke sheri majmua’INKAR’ka tanquidi mutala.plz help me.Thank you

  15. atif says:
    November 27th, 2007 1:53 am

    she was greatest poet.my lover inspiar her poetry and she is started poetry for me .this credit goes to parveen shakir

  16. December 1st, 2007 3:12 pm

    Parveen shakir was, without saying, a great poetess of urdu. She inspired young generation in pakistan by her poetery that reflects deep feelings of an extra ordinary woman. She set new trends in urdu poetery and peaved a way for urdu poets and poeteses for all times to come. Infact, she brought new ideas in her poetic endeavours and thus impressed all the intellectuals of the contemprary times. Her untimely death is great loss to the urdu poetery but the asset she has left in the shape of her collections would remain evergreen like her charismatic personality. Ghulam Mustafa Solangi.

  17. December 1st, 2007 3:14 pm

    Parveen shakir was, without saying, a great poetess of urdu. She inspired young generation in pakistan by her poetery that reflects deep feelings of an extra ordinary woman. She set new trends in urdu poetery and peaved a way for urdu poets and poeteses for all times to come. Infact, she brought new ideas in her poetic endeavours and thus impressed all the intellectuals of the contemprary times. Her untimely death is great loss to the urdu poetery but the asset she has left in the shape of her collections would remain evergreen like her charismatic personality. Ghulam Mustafa Solangi.

  18. hafeez says:
    May 28th, 2008 3:36 am

    plz parveen shakir is ghazal international ghazal send me plz

  19. ishra says:
    November 26th, 2008 8:23 am

    plz can u give me apni taqdeer gazzal plzZ…!

  20. ishra says:
    November 26th, 2008 8:28 am

    wafa ruswa nhi krna ,
    mughy tanha nhi krna,
    meri in jheel si ankho ko kabhi sahra nhi krna,
    judai bhi jo aa jaye to dil chota nhi krna,
    bohat musroof hai jana mughy socha nhi krna ,
    muqadar phir muqadar hai koi dava nhi krna,
    bharoosa bhi zaruri hai magar sab ka nhi krna,
    jo likha hai wahi hoga kabhi shikwa nhi krna…!

  21. Adnan Ahmad says:
    June 11th, 2009 8:52 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ISs4VVrW0E&feature=related&pos=0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3RzaawOD3w&feature=related&pos=0

    A documentary on Parveen Shakir with some incredible footage.

    ye haseen shaam apni abhi jiss mein dhal rahee hey terey perahun ki khushboo
    zara der ka hey manzar

  22. Dr Aftab says:
    December 30th, 2009 11:10 am

    Shikan chup hai
    Badan khamosh hai
    Gaalon pe waisi tantamahat bhi nahin, lekin
    Main ghar se kaise nikloon gi
    Hawa, chanchal saheli ki tarah bahar khari hai
    Dekhte hi muskuraye gi
    Mujhe choo kar teri har baat paa le gi
    Mujhe tujhse chura le gi
    Zamaney bhar se keh de gi
    Main tujhse mil ke ayi hoon!
    Hawa ki shokhiyaan yeh
    Aur mera bachpana aisa
    Ke apne aap se bhi main
    Teri khushboo chupati phir rahi hoon!

  23. Dr Aftab says:
    December 30th, 2009 11:15 am

    Khushbuu hai vo to chhuu ke badan ko guzar na jaaye
    jab tak mere wajuud ke andar utar na jaaye

    Khud phuul ne bhii honth kiye apane niim-vaa
    chorii tamaam rang kii titalii ke sar na jaaye

    is Khauf se vo saath nibhaane ke haq mein hai
    khokar mujhe ye ladakii kahiin dukh se mar na jaaye

    palkon ko us kii apane dupatte se ponch duun
    kal ke safar mein aaj kii gard-e-safar na jaaye

    main kis ke haath bhejuun use aaj kii duaa
    qaasid havaa sitaaraa koii us ke ghar na jaaye

    (Parveen Shakir)

  24. Dr Aftab says:
    December 30th, 2009 11:17 am

    pyar k deep jalane wale kuch pagal hote hai
    apni jaan se jane wale kuch kuch pagal hote hai
    hijr k ghary zakhum mile to mugh ko ya ehsas hua
    pagal ko samjhny wale kuch kuch pagal hote hai
    jaan se pyare logon se bhi kuch kuch parda lazim hai
    sari baat batane wale kuch kuch pagal hote hai….

  25. Dr Aftab says:
    December 30th, 2009 11:21 am

    Ay moaj-e-Hawa
    Tu hi batta !!
    Wo dost Hamara kesa he?
    Jo bhool chuka hai hamain kab sey !
    Wo jo jan se pyara kesa hai?

    Kya us ky Jeevan
    Lamhon mein…
    Koi Lamha mera baaqi Hai?

    Kya us ki jaagti ankho mein,,,
    meri Yaad abhi bhi baqi hai?

    Agr aisa nahi to!!!
    Tu hi Batta,,,
    Hum yad ussey kyun kartey hain?

    Wo Hum se bichar k khush he agar!
    Tu pal pal kyun hm marttay hain?

    Ay “moj-ehwa” tu hi bata,,

  26. Dr Aftab says:
    December 30th, 2009 11:25 am

    vo to Khushbuu hai havaaon men bikhar jaayegaa
    masalaa phuul ka hai phuul kidhar jaayegaa

    ham to samajhe the ke ek zaKhm hai bhar jaayegaa
    kyaa Khabar thii ke rag-e-jaaN men utar jaayegaa

    vo havaaon kii tarah Khaanaa_bajaaN phirataa hai
    ek jhonkaa hai jo aayegaa guzar jaayegaa

    vo jab aayegaa to phir us kii rafaaqat ke liye
    mausam-e-gul mere aaNgan men Thahar jaayegaa

    aaKhirash vo bhii kahiin ret pe baiThii hogii
    teraa ye pyaar bhii dariyaa hai utar jaayegaa

    Parveen Shakir

  27. Dr Aftab says:
    December 30th, 2009 11:27 am

    kamaal-e-zabt ko Khud bhii to aazamaa_uuNgii
    main apane haath se us kii dulhan sajaa_uuNgii

    supurd kar ke use chaaNdanii ke haathon
    main apane ghar ke aNdheron ko lauT aa_uuNgii

    badan ke karb ko vo bhii samajh na paayegaa
    main dil men rouuNgii aaNkhon men muskuraa_uuNgii

    vo kyaa gayaa ke rafaaqat ke saare lutf gaye
    main kis se ruuTh sakuuNgii kise manaa_uuNgii

    vo ik rishtaa-e-benaam bhii nahiin lekin
    main ab bhii us ke ishaaron pe sar jhukaa_uuNgii

    bichhaa diyaa thaa gulaabon ke saath apanaa vajuud
    vo so ke uThe to Khvaabon kii raakh uThaa_uuNgii

    ab us kaa fan to kisii aur se manasuub huaa
    main kis kii nazm akele men gun_gunaa_uuNgii

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