Nazar (with translation)

Voh ik nazar jis par umr hui guzar,
Aisi umr ka kya bhala jab uth gayi nazar

Subah jiska uthna, jhukna shaam hua
Phirte hi, lo dekho, hamaara din tamaam hua

Na tujh se liye hain vaada, na karein koi jafa
Nazaron ka vaasta tha, nazarein hui khafa

Nazarein utha chale ho to phir na milaana tum
Varna is sailaab mein ho jaoge tum bhi gum

Nazaron ke uthne phirne ke silsile chalte rahein
Inhi nazaron ke kahe pe kai baar nikal padein

Nazaren yoon laagaane pe kisi ki aisi nazar lagi
Zara nazar jo hati to dekha ki hawa hi badal chali

Nazaron ke pher vaale, tujhko kya nazar karein
Piroye the kuchh gile, kuchh sile- tere daaman ko bharein

Ik nazar dekh lete jee bhar ke, ham kadam
Umr bhar ka pee lete, jee lete ek-dam

Translation:

Voh ik nazar jis par umr hui guzar,
Aisi umr ka kya bhala jo uth hi gayi nazar

(Let’s talk of) That one look on which we (I) spent our entire life
What good is such a life, when that look(attention/love) has gone away

Subah jiska uthna, jhukna shaam hua
Phirte hi us nazar ka, dekho, din tamaam hua

It became morning when it rose, it’s falling was (my) evening
As it turned (away), look, the day has ended

Na tujh se liye hain vaada, na karein koi jafa
Nazaron ka vaasta tha, nazarein hui khafa

I have taken no promises from you, nor have I been faithless
Our eyes (look) had a connection, Our eyes are annoyed

Nazarein utha chale ho to phir na milaana tum
Varna is sailaab mein ho jaoge tum bhi gum

Now that you have lifted (away) your eyes, now don’t join them again
Or in this flood, you too will get lost

Nazaron ke uthne phirne ke silsile chalte rahein
Inhi nazaron ke kahe pe kai baar nikal padein

The turning (away) and returning of our eyes is a tale that goes on and on
Listening to the say of these eyes, we have often traveled far

Nazaren yoon laagaane pe kisi ki aisi nazar lagi
Zara nazar jo hati to dekha ki hawa hi badal chali

On getting attached to you, some one put the evil eye
I just looked away for a second and the wind had changed

Nazaron ke pher vaale, tujhko kya nazar karein
Piroye the kuchh gile, kuchh sile- tere daaman ko bharein

You of the eyes that turn/trick, what shall I gift (present to your eyes) to you
I’d strung some complaints, some (deserved) revenge, let me fill your heart with that

Phir bhi,

Ik nazar dekh lete jee bhar ke, ham kadam
Umr bhar ka pee lete, jee lete ek-dam

Even so,

One last time I would have liked to see you, you who stepped in time with me
I would have drunk my fill for a life time, I would have lived (it in) one- breath

Comments:

These verses play on the word Nazar that literally mean eyesight, but have various idiomatic meanings.

In the first verse here, it stands for attention, love.

In the second verse, it is implied – not mentioned. Though the modified verse in the translation includes it – again to imply interest/attention.

In the third verse Nazar is used in the sense of look/connection.

In the fourth verse, the word Nazar is used in the absence, or lifting of the look, implying disaffection at the least, or alienation of affections.

In the fifth verse, Nazar is the signaller of intent, it directs action – sending the protagonists down the path of commitment or back.

In the sixth verse, Nazar invokes the evil eye. The first Nazar is about attraction and attachment (when eyes meet and get attached, attracted to each other), but this also attracts the evil eye – which is the second usage of Nazar in the first line. The third usage of Nazar is about looking away – a bit of inattention and its consequences.

In the seventh verse, Nazar builds on the previous meaning but the proximity of the word ‘pher’ implies trickery, almost intentional. This is a bitter verse, and the Nazar is the tool of that illusory game. The second time the word Nazar is used in the sense of ‘gift’.. something that is presented to the receiver’s attention/eye.

The eighth verse, wistful, even traditional – Nazar becomes not just the last long look at one’s lover but also the vessel in which the memory of affection is stored, enough to last a lifetime.

There is a bit of word play built elsewhere too – for example in the last words – ek-dam. It could either mean ‘one breath’ or it could mean ‘now/instantly’.. The phrase could thus either mean – “I’d live for one instant’, or “I’d live my whole life in that instant’ or “I’d live my whole life on (the memory of/the filled breath of) that instant. It either means instant death, or a constant life – whichever way you read it.

As ever, thank you for reading. I am grateful for the chance to play with the gems that are these words.

Acknowledgement: ( Inspired by a tweet by @akhtar978 – ‘Ek nazar ke liye umr bhar ! umr bhar ke liye ek nazar !! :-)’.. the tweet resonated for a couple of days and became these verses)

(c) Meeta Sengupta

For those who like such wordplay, here is one in English that I had written a while ago: Score http://thepointofatangent.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/score/

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One thought on “Nazar (with translation)”

  1. JagjitSingh ki gazal ki kuch panktiyaan …..

    Rishta kya hai Tera mera
    Main hoon shab aur tu hai savera

    Or #Youprefer

    Kabhi yun bhi to ho
    sooni har mahfil ho, koi naa mere saath ho
    aur tum aao
    kabhi yuN bhi to ho

    kabhi yuN bhi to ho
    ye baadal aisaa TooT ke barse
    mere dil ki tarah milne ko, tumhaara dil bhi tarse
    tum niklo ghar se
    kabhi yuN bhi to ho
    tanhaai ho dil ho, booNde hoN barsaat ho aur tum aao
    kabhi yuN bhi to ho

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