qafas-basta taa’er-Maya Angelou-shahed

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the tabs marked “Roman” or “Notes”.

قفس بستہ طائر ۔ مایا اینجلُو

اُردو ترجمہ ۔ سید محمّد شاہد

۱

طائر کہ جو اُڑتا ہے پروں کو پھیلائے

ہوائیں پشت پہ اپنی ہوں اُٹھائے

دریا میں ہواؤں کی، بہتا ہی چلا جائے

سورج کی سنہری کِرنوں میں، پر اپنے ڈبوتا

زرّین رنگوں میں پھر اُن کو ہے رنگتا

جہاں جہاں بھی پَوَن پر سوار جاتا ہے

وہاں وہاں ہی وہ حق اپنا یوں جتاتا ہے

۲

طائر جو ہے قفس میں، بے سود جُستجُو میں

ڈھونڈے رہِ رِہائی، اُڑنے کی آرزو میں

مایوسیوں کا عالم، آنکھیں نہ دُور دیکھیں

ہے پار سب اندھیرا، پیشِ نظر سلاخیں

پر کاٹ کر ہیں رکّھے

اور پَیر بھی ہیں باندھے

لاچار کیوں نہ نکلیں، ہیں گیت یا کہ نالے

۳

طائر اسیر جو ہے، وہ یوں ہے نغمہ گر

نالہ کرتا ہے تو پھٹتا ہے جگر

اندیکھے نشیمن کے گاتا ہے وہ جو گیت

آس ساون کی، قفس میں جو گیا بیت

گونجتے اُس کے یہ نالے ہیں وہاں بھی

دور پیڑوں میں جو اُڑتا تھا کبھی

طائر جو ہے پر بستہ، سناتا ہے جو نغمہ

پرواز کی بندش کا، در اصل ہے وہ نوحہ

۴

ہے طائرِ آزاد کی کچھ اور ہی ہوا

چمن کے سرسراتے ہوئے پتوں کی صدا

سبزا زاروں میں دمِ صبح جو ملتی ہے غذا

کیا ذکر اِس زمیں کا، ہے آسماں پہ دعوا

۵

طائر جو قفس بستہ، مردہ خوابوں پہ کھڑا

اُس کا سایا بھی ہے اِک خوابِ پریشاں کی نِدا

پر کاٹے ہیں اور پاؤں بھی ہے بادندھا ہوا

حلق آزاد ہی چھوڑا کہ سُنائے نغمہ

۶

طائر اسیر جو ہے، وہ یوں نغمہ گر

نالہ سنتے ہیں تو پھٹتا ہے جگر

اندیکھے نشیمن کے گاتا ہے وہ جو گیت

آس ساون کی، قفس میں جو گیا بیت

گونجتے اُس کے یہ نالے ہیں وہاں بھی

دور پیڑوں میں جو اُڑتا تھا کبھی

طائر جو ہے پر بستہ، سناتا ہے جو نغمہ

پرواز کی بندش کا، در اصل ہے وہ نوحہ

 

क़फ़स-बस्ता ता’एर – माया एन्जलू

उर्दू तर्जुमा – सय्यद मोहम्मद शाहेद

ता’एर के जो उढता है परौं को फैलाए

हवाएं पुश्त पे अपनी हों उठाए

दर्या में हवाऔं की बहता हि चला जाए

सूरज कि सुनहरी किरनौं में, पर अपने डुबोता

ज़र्रीन रंगौं में फिर उन को है रंगता

जहां जहां भी पवन पर सवार जाता है

वहां वहां हि वो हक़ अपना यूं जताता है

ता’एर जो है क़फ़स में, बे-सूद जुस्तजू में

ढूंडे रह-ए रेहाई, उढने कि आर्ज़ू में

मायूसियौं का आलम, आंखें न दूर देखें

है पार सब अंधेरा, पेश-ए नज़र सलाख़ें

पर काट कर हैं रक्खे

और पैर भी हैं बांधे

लाचार क्यूं न निक्लें, हैं गीत या के नाले

ता’एर असीर जो है, वो युं है नग़्मा-गर

नाला करता है तो फटता है जिगर

अंदेखे नशेमन के गाता है वो जो गीत

आस सावन की, क़फ़स में जो गया बीत

गूंजते उस के ये नाले हैं वहां भी

दूर पेढौं में जो उढता था कभी

ता’एर जो है पर-बस्ता, सुनाता है जो नग़्मा

परवाज़ कि बन्दिश का, दर-अस्ल है वो नौहा

है ता’एर-ए आज़ाद कि कुछ और हि हवा

चमन के सरसराते हुए पत्तौं कि सदा

सब्ज़ा-ज़ारौं दम-ए सुबह जो मिलती है ग़िज़ा

क्या ज़िक्र इस ज़मीं का, है आस्मां पे दावा

ता’एर जो क़फ़स-बस्ता, मुर्दा ख़्वाबौं पे खड़ा

उस का साया भी है एक ख़्वाब-ए परेशां कि निदा

पर काटे हैं और पाऊं भी है बांधा हुआ

हलक़ आज़ाद हि छोड़ा के सुनाए नग़्मा

ता’एर असीर जो है, वो युं है नग़्मा-गर

नाला करता है तो फटता है जिगर

अंदेखे नशेमन के गाता है वो जो गीत

आस सावन की, क़फ़स में जो गया बीत

गूंजते उस के ये नाले हैं वहां भी

दूर पेढौं में जो उढता था कभी

ता’एर जो है पर-बस्ता, सुनाता है जो नग़्मा

परवाज़ कि बन्दिश का, दर-अस्ल है वो नौहा

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. Maya Angelou (1928-2014), poet, writer, activist, civil rights and women’s rights icon. Numerous awards including Poet Laureatte. This poem has echoes of black prisoners shut up for long and unjust terms as well as unjustly accused and convicted. shahed (1944-living) late comer to urdu after a long career in engineering. He re-composed this nazm as a part of the celebration of Black History Month.
1
taa’er1 keh jo uRta hai paroN ko phailaaye
havaa’eN pusht2 pe apni hoN uThaaye
darya meN havaaoN ki, bahta hi chalaa jaaye
suraj ki sunahri kirnoN meN par apne Dubota
zarriin3 raNgoN meN phir, un ko hai raNgta
jahaaN jahaaN bhi pavan4 par savaar5 jaata hai
vahaaN vaahaN hi vo haq6 apna yuN jataata7 hai     
1.bird 2.back 3.golden 4.air 5.riding 6.rights, ownership 7.assert, claim
The bird that flies, wings outspread, carried on the back of the breeze, floating away on a river of air, dipping its wings in the golden rays of the sun and colouring them gold. Wherever it goes riding on air, there it claims its right of ownership.

2
taa’er1 jo hai qafas2 meN, be-sood3 justaju4 meN
DhoonDe rah-e-rehaaii5, uRne ki aarzu6 meN
maayoosiyoN7 ka aalam8, aaNkheN na duur dekheN
hai paar sub andhera, pesh-e-nazar9 salaaKheN10
par kaaT kar haiN rakkhe
aur payr bhi haiN baandhe
laachaar11 kyuN na nikleN, haiN geet ya keh naale12    
1.bird 2.cage 3.profitless, useless 4.search, effort 5.path to release/freedom 6.desire, yearning 7.disappointments 8.condition 9.before the eyes 10.(cage/prison) bars 11.helpless 12.wails
The caged bird, in useless effort, searches a way out in the yearning to fly. Disappointment is such that it cannot see far. It is dark beyond, on cage-bars before its eyes. They clipped his wings, tied its feet. In its helplessness why should it not cry out. Are they songs or wails!

3
taa’er1 asiir2 jo hai, vo yuN hai naGhma-gar3
naala4 karta hai to phaTta hai jigar5
andekhe6 nasheman7 ke gaata hai vo jo geet
aas saavan ki, qafas8 meN jo gaya beet9
goonjte us ke ye naale4 haiN vahaaN bhi
duur peRoN meN jo uRta tha kabhi
taa’er1 jo hai par-basta10, sunaata hai jo naGhma11
parvaaz12 ki bandish13 ka dar-asl14 hai vo nauha15    
1.bird 2.captured 3.singing 4.wails 5.liver/heart 6.unseen, hidden 7.nest 8.cage 9.spent 10.tied/clipped wings 11.song 12.flight 13.hindrance, prohibition 14.in reality 15.mourning
The bird that is caged, such is its song that it rends to heart to hear it. It sings of the nest it can no longer see, of the longing for the spring spent in the cage. Its wails echo over there, among the trees where it used to fly. The bird with clipped wings, the song that it sings, is a mourning wail for flight that is denied.

4
hai taa’er-e-aazaad1 ki kuchh aur hi hava2
chaman ke sarsaraate3 hue pattoN ki sada4
sabza-zaaroN5 meN dam-e-sub’h6 mile us ko Ghiza7
kya zikr8 is zamiN ka, hai aasmaaN pe d’aava9    
1.free bird 2.condition, status 3.rustling 4.sound 5.grassland, meadow 6.(time of morning) dawn 7.meal, food 8.mention 9.claim
The free bird has a different breeze (or has a different air/attitude about it), like the gently rustling leaves of the garden. It gets its meals in the meadow at dawn. Not just the earth it claims ownership of the sky.

5
taa’er1 jo qafas-basta2 hai murda3 KhwaaboN4 pe khaRa
us ka saaya bhi hai ek Khwaab-e-pareshaaN5 ki nidaa6
par kaaTe haiN aur paauN bhi hai baandha hua
halaq7 aazaad hai chhoRa keh sunaaye naGhma8      
1.bird 2.closed/imprisoned in cage 3.dead 4.dreams 5.nightmare 6.cry 7.throat 8.song
The caged bird stands on its dreams that are dead. Even his shadow frightens it, like a scream of a nightmare. They have clipped its wings and tied up its feet. Only the throat is left untied to make it sing.

6
taa’er1 asiir2 jo hai, vo yuN hai naGhma-gar3
naala4 karta hai to phaTta hai jigar5
andekhe6 nasheman7 ke gaata hai vo jo geet
aas saavan ki, qafas8 meN jo gaya beet9
goonjte us ke ye naale4 haiN vahaaN bhi
duur peRoN meN jo uRta tha kabhi
taa’er1 jo hai par-basta10, sunaata hai jo naGhma11
parvaaz12 ki bandish13 ka dar-asl14 hai vo nauha15    
1.bird 2.captured 3.singing 4.wails 5.liver/heart 6.unseen, hidden 7.nest 8.cage 9.spent 10.tied/clipped wings 11.song 12.flight 13.hindrance, prohibition 14.in reality 15.mourning
The bird that is caged, such is its song that it rends to heart to hear it. It sings of the nest it can no longer see, of the longing for the spring spent in the cage. Its wails echo over there, among the trees where it used to fly. The bird with clipped wings, the song that it sings, is a mourning wail for flight that is denied.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014), poet, writer, activist, civil rights and women’s rights icon.  Numerous awards including Poet Laureatte.  This poem has echoes of black prisoners shut up for long and unjust terms as well as unjustly accused and convicted.  shahed (1944-living) late comer to urdu after a long career in engineering.  He re-composed this nazm as a part of the celebration of Black History Month.
1
taa’er1 keh jo uRta hai paroN ko phailaaye
havaa’eN pusht2 pe apni hoN uThaaye
darya meN havaaoN ki, bahta hi chalaa jaaye
suraj ki sunahri kirnoN meN par apne Dubota
zarriin3 raNgoN meN phir, un ko hai raNgta
jahaaN jahaaN bhi pavan4 par savaar5 jaata hai
vahaaN vaahaN hi vo haq6 apna yuN jataata7 hai

1.bird 2.back 3.golden 4.air 5.riding 6.rights, ownership 7.assert, claim

The bird that flies, wings outspread, carried on the back of the breeze, floating away on a river of air, dipping its wings in the golden rays of the sun and colouring them gold.  Wherever it goes riding on air, there it claims its right of ownership.
2
taa’er1 jo hai qafas2 meN, be-sood3 justaju4 meN
DhoonDe rah-e-rehaaii5, uRne ki aarzu6 meN
maayoosiyoN7 ka aalam8, aaNkheN na duur dekheN
hai paar sub andhera, pesh-e-nazar9 salaaKheN10
par kaaT kar haiN rakkhe
aur payr bhi haiN baandhe
laachaar11 kyuN na nikleN, haiN geet ya keh naale12

1.bird 2.cage 3.profitless, useless 4.search, effort 5.path to release/freedom 6.desire, yearning 7.disappointments 8.condition 9.before the eyes 10.(cage/prison) bars 11.helpless 12.wails

The caged bird, in useless effort, searches a way out in the yearning to fly.  Disappointment is such that it cannot see far.  It is dark beyond, on cage-bars before its eyes.  They clipped his wings, tied its feet.  In its helplessness why should it not cry out.  Are they songs or wails!
3
taa’er1 asiir2 jo hai, vo yuN hai naGhma-gar3
naala4 karta hai to phaTta hai jigar5
andekhe6 nasheman7 ke gaata hai vo jo geet
aas saavan ki, qafas8 meN jo gaya beet9
goonjte us ke ye naale4 haiN vahaaN bhi
duur peRoN meN jo uRta tha kabhi
taa’er1 jo hai par-basta10, sunaata hai jo naGhma11
parvaaz12 ki bandish13 ka dar-asl14 hai vo nauha15

1.bird 2.captured 3.singing 4.wails 5.liver/heart 6.unseen, hidden 7.nest 8.cage 9.spent 10.tied/clipped wings 11.song 12.flight 13.hindrance, prohibition 14.in reality 15.mourning

The bird that is caged, such is its song that it rends to heart to hear it.  It sings of the nest it can no longer see, of the longing for the spring spent in the cage.  Its wails echo over there, among the trees where it used to fly.  The bird with clipped wings, the song that it sings, is a mourning wail for flight that is denied.
4
hai taa’er-e-aazaad1 ki kuchh aur hi hava2
chaman ke sarsaraate3 hue pattoN ki sada4
sabza-zaaroN5 meN dam-e-sub’h6 mile us ko Ghiza7
kya zikr8 is zamiN ka, hai aasmaaN pe d’aava9

1.free bird 2.condition, status 3.rustling 4.sound 5.grassland, meadow 6.(time of morning) dawn 7.meal, food 8.mention 9.claim

The free bird has a different breeze (or has a different air/attitude about it), like the gently rustling leaves of the garden.  It gets its meals in the meadow at dawn.  Not just the earth it claims ownership of the sky.
5
taa’er1 jo qafas-basta2 hai murda3 KhwaaboN4 pe khaRa
us ka saaya bhi hai ek Khwaab-e-pareshaaN5 ki nidaa6
par kaaTe haiN aur paauN bhi hai baandha hua
halaq7 aazaad hai chhoRa keh sunaaye naGhma8

1.bird 2.closed/imprisoned in cage 3.dead 4.dreams 5.nightmare 6.cry 7.throat 8.song

The caged bird stands on its dreams that are dead.  Even his shadow frightens it, like a scream of a nightmare.  They have clipped its wings and tied up its feet.  Only the throat is left untied to make it sing.
6
taa’er1 asiir2 jo hai, vo yuN hai naGhma-gar3
naala4 karta hai to phaTta hai jigar5
andekhe6 nasheman7 ke gaata hai vo jo geet
aas saavan ki, qafas8 meN jo gaya beet9
goonjte us ke ye naale4 haiN vahaaN bhi
duur peRoN meN jo uRta tha kabhi
taa’er1 jo hai par-basta10, sunaata hai jo naGhma11
parvaaz12 ki bandish13 ka dar-asl14 hai vo nauha15

1.bird 2.captured 3.singing 4.wails 5.liver/heart 6.unseen, hidden 7.nest 8.cage 9.spent 10.tied/clipped wings 11.song 12.flight 13.hindrance, prohibition 14.in reality 15.mourning

The bird that is caged, such is its song that it rends to heart to hear it.  It sings of the nest it can no longer see, of the longing for the spring spent in the cage.  Its wails echo over there, among the trees where it used to fly.  The bird with clipped wings, the song that it sings, is a mourning wail for flight that is denied.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
1
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
2
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
3
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
4
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
5
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
6
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

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