Gani Dahiwala, born August 17, 1908 was a Gujarati poet with numerous soulful gazals to his credit. I heard this particular gazal being hummed by my father when quite a child. Baba even met Mr. Dahiwala at his residence in Surat sometime in the early 70s (Dahiwala died on March 5, 1987). Recently, the lines from Divaso judaai naa were quoted by a friend on a social-networking site. Years show things in different, if not better, light and now I could appreciate the melancholy of the song much better. What's more, on You Tube, I found it sung by Md. Rafi...
It has been immensely challenging to even attempt a translation and I have been putting away the idea for a good few months now. Last evening, though, things started moving and today, I have here with me an English translation. It is not literal, and it is in a way in which the words make meaning to me.
The stanza "Tame raank na chho ratan..." was particularly hard. I asked my father for help but I could not relate to his interpretation and so, here it is in the form that makes sense to me.
This translation is a super-micro effort to make Gujarati poets / works more accessible on the net. It was disappointing that there aren't many online archives to document Gujarati poets and authors. This observation, though, I admit, is limited to the Google search I did for Dhoomketu, Gani Dahiwala and Kavi Kalapi... But I take the risk of assuming that yes, database on Gujarati works is limited — translations rarer.
Here goes the translation:
Divso judaai na jaye chhe
Ae jashe jaroor Milan sudhi
Maro haath jhali ne lai jashe
Muj Shatruo j swajan sudhi
I am certain the days of separation will lead to union;
With my hand in theirs, my enemies will lead me to my loved ones...
Na dhara sudhi na gagan sudhi
Na unnati na patan sudhi
Fakt aapne to jau hatu
Ek mek na man sudhi...
I didn’t aim for the earth or the sky,
Nor did I want to witness the abyss that comes after a pinnacle.
All I wanted was for us to know each other’s hearts.
Tame raank na chho ratan samaa
na malo ey aansuo dhool ma
Jo araj kabool ho aatli
to hriday thi jaao nayan sudhi
You are like a jewel desired by the destitute, (so) those tears of disappointment are vain...
If only you could accept this little request, try knowing first by the heart and then with eyes...
Tame raaj rani na cheer sam
Ame rank naar ni chundi,
Tame raho tan par ghadi be ghadi
Ame saath daiye kafan sudhi...
You are like the attire of a queen, I am the rags worn by a tramp.
You stay on the body but momentarily, I accompany till the grave.
Jyare hriday ni aag wadhi Gani,
Khud Ishware j kripa kari
Koi shwas bandh kari gayu
Ke pavan na jaye agan sudhi...
When it became too unbearable, God himself came to my rescue,
Someone cut off my life breath, or no one’s stoking my desires any more...
Translated by Gauri Gharpure, July 28, 2010
If you like this, also read and listen to my English translation of Bela Bose by Anjan Dutt