LOST in Translation

Your letter


Dagh Dehlvi

Pen Name(s)


Translation in Rhyme

Your letter brought forth a mention anew, who dared intrude?
If not my rival’s hand, then whose, in truth?
After my fate’s decree, she queries, her tone tight-spun,
Whose deed is this? Whose mischief, begun?
“I’ll be loyal, I’ll commit,” pled the earnest mask,
Remember whose vows once danced, a hopeful task?
That heart’s absence leaves an ache, an echo that claimed,
Who now resides where once love’s fire flamed?
No clamor arose, no queries flew in the air’s motion,
Whose praises filled your gathering’s devotion?
Silent fell the crowd, with a collective sigh’s hum,
Tell me, whose name lingered, incomplete, mum?
You tore my words, a gesture curt, unheeding,
Yet whose message captured your mind’s heeding?
Why hold back fury, why let the enemy roam?
For whose sake did you temper the storm?
That chapter closed, whom should I trust, confide?
Whose memory lingers, refusing to hide?
Pressured to indulge, the admonisher’s beckoning brink,
Whose desire mingled with mine to share a drink?
Despite admirers aplenty, whose dreams did shatter?
Whose presence crumbled before your gaze, tattered?
Who accused me of faithlessness, with a venomous tone?
Whose misguided notion, whose folly, was it known?
From such love untamed, tis said stems fame,
If love like others, who’d recall any name?
She proclaims my disloyalty, Dagh’s infamous decree,
Ask her: whose captive was he, forever not free?

Translation in Prose

Your letter contained a new mention; who was it?
If it wasn’t my rival, then who was it?
After carrying out my execution, she ask everyone,
Whose doing is this? Who was this?
I’ll be faithful, will commit, do whatever you ask,
Do you even recall who said these words?
That heartless one remains in the heart no more, yet the pain remains,
Who has found a home, for whom the home was built?
There was no inquiry there, no cry, no commotion,
For whom was the adoration in your assembly yesterday?
The whole assembly became silent upon hearing,
Say, whose unfinished mention was that?
You ripped my letter into pieces, without even reading it,
Yet whose message did you listen with all attentiveness?
Why not raise hell in the vicinity of the enemy?
In whose consideration were you holding back in time?
That time is long gone, whom should I confide in?
Whose thoughts consumed my mind day and night?
The insistence of the admonisher lead me to drink,
Whose intention was it to drink together?
Even though you had many admirers,
Whose being was it that was ruined in front of you?
Who was it that found you unfaithful,
Whose naive notion, whose madness was this?
It is through these traits that one becomes famous,
If this love had been like any other, who would find fame?
She tells others how unfaithful was Dagh,
Someone ask her: whose slave was he?


tumhāre khat meṇ nayā ik salām kis kā thā 
na thā raqīb to ākhir vo nām kis kā thā 
vo qatl kar ke mujhe har kisī se pūchte haiṇ 
ye kām kis ne kiyā hai ye kām kis kā thā 
vafā kareṇge nibāheṇge bāt māneṇge 
tumheṇ bhī yād hai kuch ye kalām kis kā thā 
rahā nā dil meṇ vo bedard aur dard rahā 
muqīm kaun huā hai maqām kis kā thā 
na pūch-gach thī kisī kī vahāṇ nā āo-bhagat 
tumhārī bazm meṇ kal ehtimām kis kā thā 
tamām bazm jise sun ke reh ga.ī mushtāq 
kaho vo tazkira-e-nā-tamām kis kā thā 
hamāre khat ke tho purze kiye padhā bhī nahīṇ 
sunā jo tū ne ba-dil vo payām kis kā thā 
uthā.ī kyūṇ na qayāmat adū ke kūche meṇ 
lihāz āp ko vaqt-e-ḳhirām kis kā thā 
guzar gayā vo zamāna kahūṇ to kis se kahūṇ 
khayāl dil ko mere subh o shām kis kā thā 
hameṇ tho hazrat-e-vā.iz kī zid ne pilvā.ī 
yahāṇ irāda-e-sharb-e-mudām kis kā thā 
agarche dekhne vāle tere hazāroṇ thay 
tabāh-hāl bohut zer-e-bām kis kā thā 
vo kaun thā ki tumheṇ jis ne bevafā jānā 
khayāl-e-khām ye saudā-e-ḳhām kis kā thā 
inhīṇ sifāt se hotā hai ādmī mash.hūr 
jo lutf aam vo karte ye nām kis kā thā 
har ik se kahte haiṇ kyā Dāġh bevafā niklā 
ye pūche un se koī vo ġhulām kis kā thā 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top