Dehleez

Jab dehleez par bhi phisalne lage
To nazar padi us ghise hue pathar pe
Jo saalon se hamaare kadmon ka saath diye thi
Mujhe maaloom hai uska haal
Aksar, uske saath, na andar na baahar,
Main hi jo khadi thi

Bhitar ki khilhilaati khokhli raunaq
jab dhakelti thi door
Aur baahar ki kadkadaati chubhan
lagti bahut kroor
Is-hi dehleez ka kaandha liye
Rahe, apna sambhaale guroor.

Na apne hue, na paraaye kabhi
Dil-o-dimaag ki dehleez pe
Paanv ghiste rahe
Nischchitti pe sanshay dhare
Majdhaar mein phir khade
Rukh lehron se liye

Kisi ne bulaaya bhi jo agar
Haq se kaise jaayein udhar
Bin bulaaye to kabhi
Raasta aaye na nazar
Paeron mein thi jaan naveli
Daure aise, vahin khadi rahi akeli

Bura na tha dehleez ka sahaara
Sab taraf se kar paati thi kinaara
Goonjan sab dishaon ki yahin se guzarteen
Yaheen pe tham ke sab aahein thi bharti
Khade vaheen sab ki kahaani suni
Khade vahin khud kabhi na kahaani bani

Khadi us dehleez pe apna kaandha lagaaye
Jaan pada ki dehleez hi apna kaandha ban jaaye
Kaandha liye kitne bahaane bun paaye
Bas, jaate hue yehi kaandha mil jaaye
Par ab dehleez hui puraani thi
Uske hone lagi khatm kahaani thi
Jab badal ke chaukhat nayi lagvaayein
Us ko hum paar kaise, kab kar paayein…

Translation:

Dehleez (threshold)

Jab dehleez par bhi phisalne lage
To nazar padi us ghise hue pathar pe
Jo saalon se hamaare kadmon ka saath diye thi
Mujhe maaloom hai uska haal
Aksar, uske saath, na andar na baahar,
Main hi jo khadi thi

When we started slipping on the threshold
Then we noticed the smoothened stone
That had supported our steps for years
I knew its state
Often, in its company, neither in nor out
It was I who stood.

Bhitar ki khilhilaati khokhli raunaq
jab dhakelti thi door
Aur baahar ki kadkadaati chubhan
lagti bahut kroor
Is-hi dehleez ka kaandha liye
Rahe, apna sambhaale guroor.

When the musical hollow happiness indoors
Pushed me far away
And the sharp extremes of the outside
Felt too cruel
I’d take the support of this threshold
And stay, holding on to my pride

Na apne hue, na paraaye kabhi
Dil-o-dimaag ki dehleez pe
Paanv ghiste rahe
Nischchitti pe sanshay dhare
Majdhaar mein phir khade
Rukh lehron se liye

Never anyone’s own, never a stranger
(I) stood at the threshold of head and heart
Rubbing my feet (working it, to no avail)
Holding on to uncertainty about certainty
Midstream, I stood again
Taking my direction from the current

Kisi ne bulaaya bhi jo agar
Haq se kaise jaayein udhar
Bin bulaaye to kabhi
Raasta aaye na nazar
Paeron mein thi jaan naveli
Daure aise, vahin khadi rahi akeli

Even if someone called me to him/them
How could I go there as if by right?
Without being called, ever/sometime
The path was not visible
My feet had found new life
They ran so, I found myself still standing there alone

Bura na tha dehleez ka sahaara
Sab taraf se kar paati thi kinaara
Goonjan sab dishaon ki yahin se guzarteen
Yaheen pe tham ke sab aahein thi bharti
Khade vaheen sab ki kahaani suni
Khade vahin khud kabhi na kahaani bani

It wasn’t bad, the support of the threshold
I was about to escape every thing
The echoes all around would pass through here
Everyone would pause here to take a deep sigh
Standing there, I heard everyone’s stories
Standing there, I never became/had a story

Khadi us dehleez pe apna kaandha lagaaye
Jaan pada ki dehleez hi apna kaandha ban jaaye
Kaandha liye kitne bahaane bun paaye
Bas, jaate hue yehi kaandha mil jaaye
Par ab dehleez hui puraani thi
Uske hone lagi khatm kahaani thi
Jab badal ke chaukhat nayi lagvaayein
Us ko hum paar kaise, kab kar paayein…

Standing there with my shoulder on the threshold
It felt as if the threshold had become my shoulder
With its support(shoulder), I’d made/knitted so many excuses
A wish, while going (in death), to get this shoulder (for the bier)
But now this threshold had grown old
Its story was almost over
When they change it and place a new sill
I wonder, how and when I’ll be able to cross that one…

(Threshold here cd stand for many things – a literal one, of course. Or it could be a pattern that one gets trapped into, a belief system. Or it could stand for the inability to commit to anything.. Or.. well, I’ll leave that to you, dear readers)

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