Translation requested by Ikhtara. (Here is the link to the song)
This song is from a 1965 Lollywood (Lahore film industry) movie – Zamin, written by Mushir Kazmi and sung by the legendary ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan. You may recognize Mushir Kazmi from his famous song “chandni raatein”. I typically like to know the situation of the song in a movie which helps with the translation, but there was not much I could find about this song or the movie. No clue what it is all about. However I found a few old Pakistani movie songs in the process and now I am hooked (Thanks Ikhtara). More about that later, probably in another post. First the lyrics and translation for this song.
Shikwa na kar gila na kar,
ye duniya hai pyaare, yahan gham ke maare tadapte rahe
There is no point in complaining or lamenting
This is the world O dear, the ones who hold on to sadness are the ones who suffer relentlessly
Khizaan is gulistaan mein aati rahi hai,
Hawa sookhe patte udaati rahi hai
Yahan phool khilke bahaaron se milke bichadte rahe
Autumn keeps visiting this garden, (never misses its turn)
The winds keep blowing away the leaves,
The flowers keep meeting spring and parting with it.
(Flowers bloom and wilt as spring comes and goes)
Yahan tere ashkon ki qeemat nahi hai
Rehem karna duniya ki aadat nahi hai
Kisi ne na dekha yahan khoon ke aansoon dhalakte rahe
Your tears are worthless here,
This world is not accustomed to compassion
No one notices the overflowing tears of blood (from your eyes.)
(The world is so indifferent that even shedding blood from your eyes will not really move anyone – some exaggeration may be but it is also true to some extent.)
Yahan ka hai dastuur, khamosh rehna
Jo guzari hai dil pe kisi se na kehna
Ye din kaat has ke yahan log bas ke ujadte rahe
It is customary to remain silent here (in this world)
It is best to keep your sob story to yourself
Just spend your days with a smile, people settle down here and are also uprooted everyday.
(In short no one really cares about your problems and worries, so there is no point sharing them. The world will just continue as it did, new people will show up while the old ones will just wear out and die as they do)
This is indeed some heavy stuff. Going by just the lyrics, it seems like it comes from a person who has seen the hardships of life, the ugly face of the world and its people and has very little hope or happiness or faith to hold on to. The central theme tends towards a pessimistic almost cynical point of view that the whole world is a big sham, good times are followed by bad times (autumn after spring, destruction after settlements) and the cycle continues. There is not much one can do about it.
So there is really no point in crying or complaining, because guess what? no one cares and no one is listening. If you still decide to hold on to your misery, all you will do is suffer. Instead it is better to spend the little time you have smiling, because the world and the people who live in it are created and ruined (live and die) everyday and one has literally no control over either.
That is in a sense true. We all have this false sense of control over our lives – if we plan well ahead of time, there will be no problems, if we work hard enough, we will keep our jobs and be happy, if we save money, we will secure our future etc. etc., when in reality no amount of planning can escape the cycle of life. Good times go hand in hand with the bad ones. There will be unforeseen situations both good and bad, and planning may not necessarily prepare us to face them.
Then there is this false pretense of care and love. Even though it may seem like people care, there is no true selfless love, only selfish intentions disguised as help or care or love. (I have often wondered, isn’t charity as much for the benefit of the one being helped as it is for the satisfaction of the one helping out?)
Oh boy! I sound so skeptical and pessimistic – it is probably the song talking, but the song also seems very close to reality with no rosy beginnings and no happy endings just a circle of life with a beginning and an end and back to the beginning again- happy or sad, no one really knows, no one really cares and in the grand scheme of things doesn’t really matter. 🙂