Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Inna Ankhiyaan Ch Pava Kivne Kajla

I hesitate as I post this piece here. I was not aware of this song as being a Shiv Batalvi number till someone wrote in requesting for a translation. Then of course, I did a quick internet search and found it attributed to Shiv in more than one place. He was a versatile writer and I know for a fact that “Shaukan Mele De” - that other folksy number made popular by Surinder Kaur, is definitely by him. The Inna Akkhiyan Ch song is lovely and features in last year’s Abhay Deol starrer Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. When Surinder Kaur sings it in her koel of Punjab voice it comes across as a hauntingly beautiful melody but when I render it in English I find it is not as rich in metaphor and imagery as other Batalvi pieces and does not seem to contain that familiar inflection of pain either. It comes across as a bit flat in the transcreation. However, I’m posting it anyway. Chances are not all my transcreations will make for beautiful stand-alone pieces – many will remain simply as tools – a compass, a map, a torch, a rope – some help along the way as the reader makes his own journey into the heart of the original song.

How do I put kajal in these eyes?

How do I put kajal in these eyes?
You reside in there
My face is always turned towards you
Your name is ever on my lips
You live in my eyes, beloved
You are in the parting of my lips
as they break into a smile
When I laugh
you are the laughter
inside my laugh

Though the distance was long
You came nearer and nearer
You came in through the eyes
and began to live in my heart
When I talk of love
You reply oh so gently
How do I put kajal in these eyes
When you reside in there?

Bit by bit my life
Has taken the colour of love
I only ask to live it with you
Happiness has dawned
Sadness has fled from me
How do I put kajal in these eyes
When you reside in them?

and here's the full version:


  1. अच्छी प्रस्तुति....बहुत बहुत बधाई...
    मैनें अपने सभी ब्लागों जैसे ‘मेरी ग़ज़ल’,‘मेरे गीत’ और ‘रोमांटिक रचनाएं’ को एक ही ब्लाग "मेरी ग़ज़लें,मेरे गीत/प्रसन्नवदन चतुर्वेदी"में पिरो दिया है।
    आप का स्वागत है...

  2. Thanks Manjul ji for writing the translation of Shiv Kumar Batalvi's amazing piece of work as people of my generation who are not fluent in punjabi will get to know more about their mother tongue and will get to know about amazing work done by the legend.
    As you are a writer and poet urself, one thing I want to ask is that how a person can pursue writing if he/she is not from literature field but can do good work. Is there any platform for budding poets/writer so that they can get to know where they stand in the crowd?

  3. Prasan Vadanji,

    Thank you for your visit.


    Thanks for the appreciation. there are many online writers forums like caferati and aap ka nazrana, as well as where emerging writers/poets can post their work and become part of the community by giving and receiving feedback from fellow writers. A google search should help you locate them. Also depending on the city you are in there are also different groups of poets and writers who meet to read aloud their work to each other. Do join one - I've found it a good away to begin to enjoy one's own writing.