Sunday, September 23, 2007

Translation: Your own nation: yeh jo desh hai tera

This is your nation, own nation -
This is a tie that cannot be broken.

How will you forget the perfume of this earth?
You might go anywhere, you will return to this earth.
In the new paths, in muffled sighs,
To your lost heart, someone will say:
This is your nation, own nation -
This is a tie that cannot be broken.

You life questions thee,
You have acquired it all, yet what ails thee,
Though you have all the pleasures with you
Yet your own home is far away from you
Why don't you return, o madman
To a place where someone calls you his own
Calls out to you, invites you back that nation
This is your nation, own nation -
This is a tie that cannot be broken.

This is the moment, which hides in it
A lost century, whole life story,
Don't ask in the way, WHY?
You've reached a fork in the way
You are the one to figure which one to follow
You are the one who will decide
In which way shall proceed this nation:
This is your nation, own nation -
This is a tie that cannot be broken.
(Ye jo des hai tera, swades hai tera, tujhe hai pukaara…
Ye woh bandhan hai jo kabhi toot nahin sakta) -2

Complete lyrics:
Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, music by AR Rehman (AR Rahman), from the film Swades;
You can the watch the video of the song on youtube; one of the working link is:


Vivek Sharma said...


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Vivek Sharma comments: on 25 Sep 07 08:10:00 AM
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Scent definitely saves some syllables Geometrix, but as I see it scent doesn't give idea of khushboo... burying in English is always said to be going to earth... and since its a translation that attempts in preserving the meaning, the content, and transposing it into English idiom, I guess I could have worked it out better by not worrying about the last word rhymes at all.

Except for French or Spanish or German translations, most poetry in translation is read by people in only one language, and so when readers form an idea about a poem, it is based entirely on what they get out of translated verse.

Thanks for pointing the things out. At times, I may appear to disagree, but I do remember the critique, and incorporate things in both revisions and in my style while revising. Translating songs is a simple way of practicing translation of poems, and I know I am still learning the nuances of doing that, so thanks for pointing out how careful I need to be in choosing syllables and rhythms.

Geometrix comments: on 24 Sep 07 06:40:00 AM
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Vivek, I liked the spirit behind this translation, but couldn't find the life breathed into it to become an organic poem. It happens with translations/transversions/transliterations all the time, when the rhythm is lost you lose the atmosphere so much important to convey the message. Poetry has many elements, among them poetry of the eye, of the mind and of the ear is important. The last one is most ancient, and carries the emotional complex of the N (narrator), while as a word to word translation it's a decent job though the occassional sonic hiccups plays spoilsport! You could have replaced "perfume" to "scent" (saving a syllable can help), and "earth" to "land". Debs

vandana1982 comments: on 24 Sep 07 02:54:00 AM
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ati uttam !

dee_maini comments: on 23 Sep 07 22:19:00 PM
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nicely done.

Deepak Maini

Anonymous said...

Hi Vivek!!!!!
I just read your translation.....
i just want to say ... when translating a poem i feel the idea should be convey the feeling...... not the meaning of the word .......
check this link