In Praise Of The Taj Mahal

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Found the following gems in the Sacred Space section of today’s Times Of India -

Kingly power is like a cruel bolt of thunder, 
Let that fade away like the blood-red sky at dusk.
Let just one eternal sigh remain like sadness in the sky.
Wasn’t that all you’d ever asked for?
The glittering jewels cast their spell like an eternal magical mystery.
But even if that does vanish,
Let just one tear drop roll down the cheeks of Time;
The pure light of Taj Mahal.

Rabindranath Tagore
(May 7 1861 – Aug 7 1941)
poet, playwright, philosopher, composer, artist
won Nobel prize for literature in 1913

These gardens and the banks of the Jamuna,
These turrets and these forts,
These carved doors and walls,
An emperor mocks the simple love of the poor.

Sahir Ludhianvi (Abdul Hayee)
(Mar 8 1921 – Oct 25 1980)
urdu poet, lyricist

If You Can…

Thursday, May 1, 2008

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too
…..

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same; …..

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch; …..
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run
,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son !

“If” by Rudyard Kipling

Shaheed : Rang De Basanti Cholaa

Friday, December 28, 2007

…badaa hee gehraa daag hai yaaron jis kaa ghulaami naam hai.
deep is this scar, this scar called slavery.
us kaa jeenaa bhi kyaa jeena jiska desh ghulam hai.
how utterly shameful to continue to live a shackled life.
seenay mein jo dil thaa yaaron, aaj banaa woh sholaa.
the heart that flickered in me has exploded today into flames.
mayraa rang de basanti cholaa, maae rang de basanti cholaa…
color me the color of martyrdom, o great mother, color me the color of martyrdom…

Gulzar : Raah Pe Rahtay Hain

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This is such a deep lyric that a literal translation does no justice at all.  Through so few words, Gulzar Saab paints a picture as big as the sky itself.  Of course, RD’s haunting melody works like magic here as well….

…jal gaye jo dhoop mein to saayaa ho gaye
LITERAL : when burnt in the harsh sun, I became a shadow
INTERPRETED : the tough lessons of life I learnt well, so others later may pass in peace

aasamaan kaa koi kona oda so gaye
LITERAL : I covered myself with some corner of the sky and slept
INTERPRETED : I found solace in the smallness of me

jo guzar jaatee hai bas uspe guzar kartay hain…
LITERAL : that which passes, on that alone I manage
INTERPRETED : through it all, I feel lucky to have lived at all…

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