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Rambling on: bullah revisited

Sunday, July 09, 2006

bullah revisited

translation in a bit of kafiana style (bullah kee jaana main koon)

Bullah who am I, what do I know?

Neither in mosques an orthodox acolyte
Nor in any blaspheming rite
Nor pure amongst the defiled, recondite
Neither Moses am I, nor Pharoah

Bullah who am I, what do I know?

I am not in any vedic tome
Nor in heady drinks afoam
Nor in tipplers who legless roam
Neither in wakefulness, nor in slumber aglow

Bullah who am I, what do I know?

Neither in conjugal joy, nor in the sad
Neither in purity, nor in defilement clad
Neither of water, nor of dust begad
Neither fire am I, nor windflow

Bullah who am i, what do i know?

I'm neither arab, nor from Lahor
Nor from the Indian town Nagor
Neither Hindu, nor turk from Peshaur
Nor in Nadaon do I stow

Bullah who am i, what do I know?

The essence of religion I haven't got
Neither by Adam, Eve was I begot
Nor my name know or sought
Neither settled, nor on the go

Bullah who am i, what do I know?

First and last, only know I
Knowing every other I deny
To greater wisdom none qualify
Bullah, who's the inner one on show

Bullah who am I, what do I know?

copied without permission
"Masterworkds of Punjaabi Sufi Poetry"
"Bulleh Shah Within Reach"
"Volume 1"
Muzaffar A. Ghaffar
Ferozsons (Private) Limited

http://www.ferozsons.com.pk/

each kafi has detailed commentry and both the books (Bulleh Shah & Shah Hussain) have been purchased by yours truly last month

there maybe a proofing error in the following...I have added in brackets & hope i am right & this was not intention on the past of the translator

The essence of religion I haven't got
Neither by Adam, Eve was I begot
Nor my name know(n) or sought
Neither settled, nor on the go

3 Comments:

Blogger Checkmate said...

Beautiful !

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Adil Najam said...

Thanks for posting this... dying to get my hands on these Ferozsons volumes of translations

Must confess, in general I am not a fan of translations that also try to rhyme (the tendency is to compromise on the quality of the translation in order to get the mtre and rhyme right).... however, I must confess this one is good..... though my gut instinct is that the original from Bulleh Shah is so strong that it is nott easy to do a bad translation of it ;-)

Kind of like singing Faiz... no matter how bad you sing, the poetry itself will carry the song!

4:10 AM  
Blogger Deevaan said...

adil, i feel the same way about translations done in ryhme and this is what the makes the two publications on bulleh shah and shah hussain so interesting that you can feel that the translation is a labor of love meticulously improved upon over years spent while the research on the book went on....

what is interesting is that the ferozsons publications stick to strict rules of presentation...multi-lingual approach in terms of original being in shah-mukhi and then gur-mukhi, then for each kafi translation, then transliteration and then commentary & detailed analysis

the preface tells of punjabi sangat meetings held regularly since 1973 and the book shows that it is not the work of a single man and that input from several sources has been incorporated

for plugging ferozsons i should be getting a commission

:)

7:54 PM  

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