Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jaach Mainu Aa Gayi

This is a transcreation (again not a literal translation) of Shiv Batalvi's poem Jaach Mainu Aa Gayi.

I Have Learnt Now

I have learnt now
how to feed upon sorrow
and console the heart
by sipping at tears
o so slowly.
It is good that
you became another’s
The demon of possessing you
has left me.
I would willingly surrender
my breaths
but death too extracts
a price from the living.
I have no wish
to live on borrowed breaths
After I’m gone
who will repay them?
don’t look for a cure
for Shiv’s grief
The rascal is in the mood
to cry today.

As sung by Chitra Singh:


  1. Loved it, thanks.

    Could you also tell me where I could find literal translations and/or meanings for individual words?

  2. Thanks Shreyas - glad you liked it. I really don't know where to guide you for meanings (a Punjabi-English dictionary perhaps?) Then Suman Kashyap has done translations of Batalvi's work - in the top righthand corner of this blog - under Resources - you'll find a link to those.


  3. Great work ! i am amazed at the depth of the words and Batalvi's other poetry ! I cant begin to imagine how he did not get the honour he deserved when he was alive ! He died at a very young age i have read a lot abt him and the more i try to find out and read thru third party accounts the more i want to learn and link his poetry to his life.

  4. "Marte Jaan Par Daar Hai, Damma Waleyo,"
    what is the literal meaning of this specific line ? Could you help ?

    This comes just before "Dhart Wi Bikdi Hai, Mulh Sham Shan Di"

  5. Thanks for the the appreciation. Shiv actually didn't do too badly on laurels while he lived -he read to full houses and many,many fans and he won the Sahitya Akademi prize at the age of 28, I think. It was an intense and tragic life but he didn't suffer for the lack of admirers.

    Marte Jaan = I would die... Par Daar Hai = But I am scared.... Damma Waleyo = those with breaths.