Yeh na thee hamari qismat keh wisaal-e-yaar hota
Agar aur jeete rahtay yehi intezaar hota
Tere waade par jiyee ham to yeh jaan jhoot jana
Keh khushi se mar na jaate agar intezaar hota
Yeh kahaan ki dosti hai bane hain dost naaseh
Koi chaarasaaz hota koi ghamghuzar hota
Kahoon kis se main keh kya hai shab-e-gham buri balaa hai
Mujhe kya bura tha marana agar aikbaar hota
Huay mar keh ham jo ruswa huay kyun ka gharq-e-dariya
Na kabhi janaza uthata na kahin mazaar hota
Yeh masaael-e-tasavvuf yeh tera bayan ghalib
Tujhe ham wali samajhate Joh na badaakhwar hota.
T R A N S L A T I O N
E N G L I S H
It was never in my fate to meet my beloved.
Even if more years of life was to me allocated, I would have been still awaiting the prize cherished.
If you think that I had been living on your promise, it is a lie.
For, if I had faith in you, would not of joy I would die.
Woe betide, my friendship, that the friends give pious advice and sermons they deliver.
I need someone on whose shoulders could I weep, who could allay my grief and my fears.
Whom should I tell that the night of sorrow is full of pangs.
I would not have resented the death, if it comes only once.
Disgraced, as I was after my death, why didn't I drown in a river or sea.
Neither, there would have been a funeral, nor tomb erected for me.
The marvels of ethical problems and your statements full of meanings.
I would have counted you, "Ghalib" amongst dearest friends of God; if only, you had not been a lover of drinks.
This is the translation of one of Ghalib's ghazals by Mansurul Hoda, author of the Urdu book "Dusra Rookh." He is one of the scholars of Ghalib poetry. He has translated many Ghalib ghazals and also published many articles on different Urdu poets and their poetry. He can be reached via e-mail