Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sarfaroshi ki tamanna

It is rather a shame that I had forgotten all about this poem all these years. I'd read of Kaakorikaand and Ram Prasad Bismil in history lessons in school - however the passion that ignited young men of his ilk to sacrifice their all for their country was something I could never understand, much as I tried.

I could never put myself in the place of these young people who perceived within them a concept of India that is almost irretrievably lost to me (and most others I know).

It is not that I am not patriotic. It is not that I do not feel a surge of pride when I see the tricolour flutter proudly in places where the Union Jack once stamped its authority upon us, the conquered people. It is not that I do not feel a flutter within when I see a young man in green fatigues, rifle in hand, to ensure that the tricolour continues to fly high for all eternity. It is just that I have not ever felt the kind of fervour people like Azad, Bose and Ashfaqullah Khan must have felt just sixty years ago.

It is just that it takes a song from a movie to remind me of this rousing bit of poetry. It is just that it takes a movie to arouse within the feeling of being a stakeholder of my country. It is just that it is but rarely I think beyond mundane, petty divisions of the concept of Indianness.

I paste below an excerpt from the poem Lalkaar, penned by a man who has long passed beyond the veil, having sacrificed his life in the name of freedom, humanity, and all else that is noble. Do we have it within us to appreciate the magnitude of his sacrifice today?

hai liye hathiyaar dushman taak mein baitha udhar
aur hum taiyyaar hain seena liye apna idhar
khoon se khelenge holi gar vatan muskhil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai


haath jin mein ho junoon katt te nahi talvaar se
sar jo uth jaate hain voh jhukte nahi lalkaar se
haath jin mein ho junoon katt te nahi talvaar se
sar jo uth jaate hain voh jhukte nahi lalkaar se
aur bhadkega jo shola-sa humaare dil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

hum to ghar se nikle hi the baandhkar sar pe qafan
chaahatein liin bhar liye lo bhar chale hain ye qadam
zindagi to apni mehmaan maut ki mehfil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

dil mein tuufaanon ki toli aur nason mein inquilaab
hosh dushman ke udaa denge humein roko na aa
duur reh paaye jo humse dam kahaan manzil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai


My Hindi is rather rusty, but I shall still attempt a rough translation into English for those of you who do not speak Hindi. (If there are any errors, as I am sure there will be, I request native speakers to point them out to me. :) )

The enemy waits out there, his weapons at the ready,
But we stand here, without a qualm in our hearts,,
There will flow a maelstrom of blood if the country is in trouble,
The desire to sacrifice our all now resides in our hearts.

Hands which hold the power of righteous anger can never be chopped by swords,
Heads held up in pride shall never shirk a challenge,
Hands which hold the power of righteous anger can never be chopped by swords,
Heads raised in pride shall never shirk a challenge,
And the righteous fire that burns strong in our hearts shall erupt,
The desire to sacrifice our all now resides in our hearts.

We walked out of our homes, shrouds tied around our heads,
We have taken these steps, filled with desire (I’m not too sure about this),
Life is our guest at the party hosted at the doorstep of death,
The desire to sacrifice our all now resides in our hearts.

Storms rage within our hearts, and the revolution flows through our veins,
We shall blow the enemy away, do not come to stop us,
Nobody dares stay away from us,
The desire to sacrifice our all now resides in our hearts.
The desire to sacrifice our all now resides in our hearts.

I think this is the first post in a long, long time where I have not attempted to be funny. For it is not often that I write when in a meditative mood. It is not often that I am so strongly affected by just three stanzas of verse.

2 comments:

Saibaskar said...

Thanks for the English translation of this poem. Being from a non-Hindi speaking state i found it difficult to entirely understand this poem.

sajith bose said...

dear can u get it Malayalam transalation..