Sunday, June 26, 2016

After the Party

The party's over
It's time to call it a day
They've burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away

It's time to wind up
The masquerade
Just make your mind up
The piper must be paid

The party's over
The candles flicker and dim
You danced and dreamed through the night
It seemed to be right just being with him

Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party's over
It's all over, my friend

The party's over
It's time to call it a day

Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party's over
It's all over, my friend
It's all over, my friend

The Party's Over 
by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Jule Styne

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Gateway to Oblivion

for a man who did not want to be born
and having been born
wanted life to end early
and who continues to shout
about these or at least one of these

to unceasingly pry
into the origin of all possible life
in all possible parts of the vacuum
in which on a piece of a minor star
mostly called the earth
I am still alive

the path is alluring
the gate is blindingly illuminating
enough is enough
has been already forever
time to go

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Meghdoot: The Cloud Messenger

you, the first clouds of the monsoon
you overwhelm me with awe
as you do the earth and everything on it
I have a million requests for you to carry
but most important is my message of longing 
to my beloved

(inspired by Kalidas's Meghdoot)

Kalidas, the great classical Sanskrit poet and playwright (5th C. AD), wrote an extended poem called Meghdoot, The Cloud Messenger, describing the journey of a cloud as it carries a message from a Yaksha, a divine being, to his beloved.

The Hindi film Meghdoot was released in 1945. Jagmohan, a well-known actor-singer of the time, sang the following song from the film, "O Varsha ke Pehle Badal" (O first cloud of the rainy season).

In 1960, the Government of India released a postage stamp honoring Kalidasa:

Thursday, June 09, 2016

The First Breeze of Spring

let the flowers fill with colour, let the first breeze of spring blow;
and you, you also come, so that the garden can begin to bloom

there is sadness in this prison, friends; say something to the breeze:
let me hear the name of my beloved, for God's sake, at least somewhere

just once, let the sun rise from the corner of your mouth
and let the night be filled with the scent of musk from your hair

the bonds of pain run deep; this heart is impoverished;
let people come to comfort me, only because of what you mean to them

whatever I have suffered, is done with; but may my tears on the night of separation
not be wasted, but adorn your future

my frenzied desire to be with my beloved
I tied in the rags of my collar

no place held allure for me;
after being separated from my beloved, I went straight to the gallows

-- Faiz Ahmed Faiz (a loose translation by me,  of Gulon Mein Rang Bhare)

image shayari for gulon men rang bhare baad-e-nau-bahaar chale
chale bhi aao ki gulshan ka karobar chale
tumhaare na...

This ghazal by Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-84) was most famously sung by Mehdi Hassan.

 Many others have also sung it, including Jagjit Singh.  Recently, an English singer, Tanya Wells, recorded the first two couplets, in a very simple and beautiful rendition:

Bhashwati wrote:
Ah what lovelies you have put.
The photograph, the ghazal by mehdi hassan, the translation by you and the rendering by Tanya.
That gave me goose pimples

Its like a rainbow riding a breeze!