Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Divaso judaai na- Gani Dahiwala- A translation

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


YOSEE said...

Truly soulful. A "Sufi"esque quality in the melancholic sweetness permeating the lines.

There is so much richness in all our languages and occassional "jhalaks" ,like this one, from a language one is not familiar with, make one yearn for more exposure to them. The National Book Trust, Sahitya Academi etc are supposed to bring out translations regularly ( from all Indian languages), but their reach seems to be very limited because the efforts are neither publicised nor made available freely.

Gauri Gharpure said...

thanks Yosee... completely agree that there should be more and more translations, that too available at an affordable price. would really help us Indians to gauge and appreciate the rich diversity of our country and consequently urge us come out of our regional shells.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gauri! I stumbled upon your blog and found it wonderful. I ket reading your blog & wonderful poetry n lovely recipes all day long. U r so full of life. To me it seems like u enjoy n live each moment to the fullest. Keep up the spirit. God bless u.

-- Nithu

Gauri Gharpure said...

Thanks a lot Nithu.. I feel so good when I get encouraging feedback like yours.. Keep reading and keep in touch.

Chandrika Shubham said...

Thanks for sharing such a unique post with us. :)

Enjoyed reading it. :)

hitch writer said...

Just recently have been hooked to a few gujarati gazals... infact one has been sung by mukesh... I have just started discovering this world... I think I heard this one too...

I love the one, Taari aankh no afini... have you heard it ??

Dibakar Sarkar said...

Listen to this song and keep quiet...

Anil P said...

This is so nice to learn about. The first time that I've heard of him and his works. So crucial to understand the language to be able to enjoy its nuances.

Indrani said...

Great effort by you.
Well done.

Anonymous said...

Wah-wah :) Thanks for the translations Gauri.My father-in-law listens to some of Gujarati songs and they always are a pleasure to hear :)

kishor said...



kishor said...

when rafi saheb song this gazal before he
went to gani saheb with purshottam upadhyay and got the full meening of lyrics after he song the gazal
so this gazal is beautiful

kishor upadhyay

Gauri Gharpure said...

Thanks Kishorbhai. And everyone else who appreciated the effort.