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Ghazel by Kazi Nazrul Islam (translated by Farida Majid)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on January 17, 2011

… with reference to radio show “Raga CDs of the Months: NAZRUL SANGEET – THE REBEL POET
broadcasting (premiere): 17th January 2011 (11:00 p.m. CET)

with courtesy to Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq
Kingdom of Bahrain)

Nazrul Ghazel

by Kazi Nazrul Islam

(Translated from the Bangla by Farida Majid)

Striding down the road, if ever by any wild chance,
We meet, my dear heart,
Please look at me with those eyes drunk with longing,
Like you used to in the days past.

On that day, if tears well up in your eyes,
Do not hide them by any pretense.
That endearing name you used for me,
For one last time, please call me by that name.

And if the present lover be by your side,
Do not fear; he would be dear to me too.
I’d tell him, “Love my Beloved, please,
More than I was ever able to.”

Perchance you are pained seeing me so lovelorn,
I’d move myself away.
Lest I be a thorn in your way,
I’d beg, and I’d pray
For your alms of oblivion.

* * * * * * * * *

Translator’s Note:

I have chosen these songs not only because they have been well known to me since childhood, but also because they are performed rarely these days by current artists.

In the variety of their form, content and musical genre, we get a glimpse of Nazrul’s many-faceted compositional talent.

Banka chokhe chaahe o ke” (The Bird-Hunter’s Song), a very popular light-hearted tune in my childhood, is rarely heard today. Perhaps it is too sensuous for today’s falsely puritanical taste. The other two songs were in my grandfather, Kabi Golam Mustafa’s regular repertoire all his life. One of the last two songs he sang, just before he had the stroke that eventually took his life, was the Nazrul ghazal, “Patho chalite jodi chakite.” The other was a rabindrasangeet.

About this exquisite ghazal, I would like to say a few words. In both the musical composition (Mishra Kafi, Dadra/tal ferta) and the significance of the lyrics, this is “signature Nazrul.” The lover of the song has become a “Majnun” maddened by the pain of lost love. As he wanders the streets and parks of the city distraught in his angst, he imagines a chance meeting with his beloved, perhaps accompanied by her current lover. Then Majnun’s fantasy stretches even further – he expects his beloved to remember her love for him with tears in her eyes, to look at him longingly, and to call him by endearments! Extraordinarily, our Majnun is not jealous, but entreats his rival to love his beloved more than he himself was ever able to.

How Bangalee is this Majnun? His forebears are obviously found in Arabic Quasida and Farsi poetical conventions. But such is the power of artistic synthesis of Nazrul’s creative treatment, that the Majnun in this ghazal becomes our very own “biraha-bidhur” Bangalee khyapa. In fact, he is our very own Nazrul.

2 Responses to “Ghazel by Kazi Nazrul Islam (translated by Farida Majid)”

  1. […] (translation from the Bangla by Farida Majid (source:, speaker: ElJay Arem) […]


  2. […] (translation from the Bangla by Farida Majid (source:, speaker: ElJay Arem) […]


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