BEGUM AKHTAR, mere ham nafas.

29 Sep

This is Shakil badayuni’s famous ghazal. It is in very simple language and can be related to by us all.

I like the translation offered by ‘Rekhta’ very much, as it is it self poetry. Never the less I would take liberty to expand a little here and there.

The link to ‘Rekhta” is

First listen to it by Begum Akhtar

image shayari for mere ham-nafas mere ham-nawa mujhe dost ban ke dagha na de main hun dard-e-ishq se jaan-ba-lab mujh...


My explanation.

  1. O my friend, though we breathe together and our voices echo together, please do not betray me feigning friendship.

The burning love has brought me near death, do not if you will wish me well.

  1. My wounded soul glows and the light it emits keeps me alive,

I fear you, though my healer, might end up blowing the flame out.

  1. O my healer, leave me alone if you will, I have little confidence in your healing

Your brief attention might actually cause my malady to worsen.

  1.  (Here a bulbul (bird) is speaking, worried about the garden which is her abode) I am confident that any fire from outside will not touch it, but I have a real fear that the “fire” from the roses might ignite and burn down the garden.
  2. Lo and behold the beloved is ready to dispense favour, O Shakil, where are you,

What is yours might be usurped by someone else I fear.

[Literally: Where are you O  Shakil, Your lover is up, ready with wine and cup,

I fear that the peg of wine which is yours someone else might put a hand on it.]









Posted by on September 29, 2016 in adab and literature, Urdu Poetry, videos


4 responses to “BEGUM AKHTAR, mere ham nafas.

  1. Nandini

    September 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Dear Sir, I like your translation so much better 🙂 Thank you for taking all that trouble for my sake. This is really precious. For some reason I liked Farida Khanum’s version better and Begum Akhtar’s -Woh joh hum mein tum mein qaraar that…She sings that so well.Wow!

    • shakilakhtar

      September 29, 2016 at 10:42 pm

      I am happy you liked it. you are welcome.

  2. Carolyn Page

    September 30, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Yes, I have to agree with Nandini ~ your translation is beautiful, Shakil.
    There is certainly a wonderful poet residing within you…

    • shakilakhtar

      September 30, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      Sheela Nandini in her e-mail, wanted she would like to see my own translation as she said the one in the Rekhta left her unsatisfied. I could not but comply even though I liked the Rekhta translation so much. Then I decided to post it here also. Rekhta is teeming with hundreds of ghazals. Thank you Carolyn for your support.


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