LOST in Translation

What worth holds the heart


Qateel Shifai

Pen Name(s)


Translation in Rhyme

What worth holds the heart that prays not for union’s delight,
God forbid, living on with your absence in sight.
Your love, an enduring companion through life’s fleeting flight,
Yet life, unfulfilled, would dim its own light.
Though separation spares not a mortal’s breath,
Pray, Lord, keep us bound, never tempting death’s theft.
Love whispers prayers for the wounded heart’s refrain,
Silent in pain, yet bearing love’s lasting stain.
Destiny dims the moon of love’s ardent glow,
Eyes bereft of light, lost in a shadowed flow.
The world tests him, his endurance they strain,
Qateel, silent in suffering, would forfeit life’s chain.

Translation in Prose

What good is the heart that does not pray for union,
God forbid I continue living after having forgotten you.
Your love will continue to stay with me through the passage of life,
It’s another thing if my life fails to keep its promise.1
It’s true that one does not die from separation,
But Lord, let not one separate from another.
We have heard that love offers prayers for one,
Who bears scars on the heart but doesn’t complain.
My destiny has extinguished the moon of my love,
The light of my eyes shines no more.
The world has thoroughly seen and tested him, 
Qateel would give up his life before uttering complaint.


 vo dil hī kyā tere milne kī jo duā na kare 
maiñ tujh ko bhūl ke zindā rahūñ Khudā na kare 
rahegā sāth terā pyār zindagī ban kar 
ye aur bāt merī zindagī vafā na kare 
ye thīk hai nahīñ martā koī judā.ī meñ 
ḳhudā kisī ko kisī se magar judā na kare 
sunā hai us ko mohabbat duā.eñ detī hai 
jo dil pe chot tho khā.e magar gila na kare 
agar vafā pe bharosā rahe na duniyā ko 
to koī shakhs mohabbat kā hausla na kare 
bujhā diyā hai nasīboñ ne mere pyar kā chānd 
koī diyā merī palkoñ pe ab jalā na kare 
zamāna dekh chukā hai parakh chukā hai ise 
‘qatīl’ jaan se jā.e par iltijā na kare 

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