Gulon Mein Rang Bhare - Lyrics and Translation of Mehdi Hassan Ghazal


Listening and meditating upon this beautiful ghazal by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, beautifully composed by Mehdi Hassan. It is one of my favorite ghazals of Mehndi Hassan which I first heard in a ghazal baithak at my uncle's home in the late 80s.  Lyrics and three translations below. I love the one by Mustansir Dalvi the best.  It is truly compact and innovative. Lyrics include 7 shers; the 6th one was usually not sung by Mehndi Hassan; one of the translations does not include it.  

gulon mein rang bhare, baad-e-naubahaar chale
chale bhi aao ki gulshan kaa karobaar chale 

qaffas udaas hai yaro, sabaa se kuchh to kaho
kahin to bahr-e-Khudaa aaj zikr-e-yaar chale 

kabhi to subh tere kunj-e-lab se ho aagaaz
kabhi to shab sar-e-kaakul se mushkabaar chale 

bada hai dard ka rishtaa, ye dil garib sahi
tumhaare naam pe aayenge gam gusaar chale 

jo ham pe guzari so guzari magar shab-e-hijraa
hamaare ashk teri aaqabat sanawaar chale 

huzoor-e-yaar hui daftar-e-junoon ki talab
girah mein leke garebaan kaa taar taar chale 

maqaam ‘Faiz’ koii raah mein jachaa hii nahiin
jo kuu-e-yaar se nikale to suu-e-daar chale 


Gulon Main Rang Bhare 

Translation by Mustansir Dalvi

Like the new breeze of spring
that grants blossoms their hue,
come forth love, grant the garden
leave to go about its business.

This birdcage is forlorn.
Call upon the gentle wind, friends
to petition the Lord, if it will,
to speak of my beloved.

Let the dawn, for once, arrive
through the archway of your lips.
Let the dusk spread its perfume
like musk from your tresses.

This impoverished heart
is privileged to suffer
and, hearing your name,
to swell, leaving comfort behind.

What is done is done
but, sundering night,
know that your passing
is adorned with our tears.

So insatiable is my vehemence
to be in your presence, my love,
I bunch up my shirt in a knot
and rip its collar to shreds.

No destination along the way
has any appeal for Faiz,
a step away from his beloved’s street
is a giant leap to the gallows pole.

Another Translation with Vocabulary and Quotes


1. Gulon mein rang bhare baad-e-naubahaar* chale
Chale bhi aao ke gulshan** ka kaarobaar chale

गुलों मे रंग भरे, बाद-ए-नौबहार चले
चले भी आओ कि गुलशन का कारोबार चले

Let the breeze of a new spring, flow and Fill the flowers with colours
Please do come so that the garden can get on with its daily business

Gul गुल گل = flower

shammaa parvaanaa hon ke Gunchaa o gul
zindagii kis ko raas aa.ii hai #Shakeel badayuni

baad-e-naubahaar बाद-ए-नौ-बहार
بادِ نوبہار =breeze of new spring
Baad= here it means breeze , wind, air but also means afterwards , subsequent )
Gulshan , गुलशन
گلشن = garden/ rose garden

ai nau-bahaar-e-naaz terii nikhaton* kii KHair (*khushbu)
daaman jhaTak ke nikle tere gulsitaan se ham #Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi

Kaarobaar ,कारोबार , کاروبار = business, affair, kaamkaaj
kaarobaar-e-jahaan sanvarte hain
hosh jab be-KHudii* se miltaa hai Jigar Moradabadi ( Being besides Oneself, Intoxication, Rapture, Senseless)

2. Qafas* udaas hai yaaron sabaa** se kuchh tau kaho
Kahin to bahr-e-Khuda*** aaj zikr-e-yaar chale

कफ़स उदास है यारों सबा से कुछ तो कहो
कहीं तो बह्र-ए-खुदा आज ज़िक्र-ए-यार चले

The prison is sad, friends ask the breeze to say something
At least somewhere for God’s sake, let there be discussion of the beloved

Qafas क़फ़स قفس = cage, prison ( emphasis on ‘f’)

qafas mein jii nahiin lagtaa kisii tarah
lagaa do aag koii aashiyaan men #Altaf Hussain Hali

Sabaa सबा صبا = a gentle breeze

KHush-buu pighalte lamhon kii saanson mein kho gaii
KHush-buu kii vaadiyon mein sabaa le gaii mujhe
#Iffat Zarrin

Bahr e Khuda बहर-ए-ख़ुदा بہر خدا = khuda ke liye, for God’s sake
zikr-e-yaar ज़िक्र-ए-यार ذکرِ یار = mehboob ki baatein , mention of the beloved

maahaul saaz-gaar karo main nashe mein huun//
zikr-e-nigaah-e-yaar karo main nashe mein huun
Ganesh Bihari ‘tarz’

3. kabhi tau subah tere kunj-e-lab* se ho aaghaz**
Kabhi to shab sar-e-kaakul se mushakbaar *** chale

कभी तो सुब्ह तेरे कुन्ज-ए-लब से हो आगाज़
कभी तो शब् सर-ए-काकुल से मुश्कबार चले

At least once let the morning start from the corner of your lips ( a gentle morning kiss/touch)
At least once let the night be filled with the musky smell of your tresses

Kunj e lab कुन्ज -ए-लब کنج لب = kunj=corner. Lab =lips here it refers to a smile or a touch/ kiss
سرِ کاکل Sar e kakul सर-ए-काकुल = tresses
आग़ाज़ AaGaaz beginning, commencement,start, genesis

Ibtidaa* ishq kii hai dekh ‘amaanat’ hushyaar
ye vo aaGaaz** hai jis kaa ko.ii anjaam nahii.n (both mean beginning, start, commencement but aaghaaz also used for genesis #Amaanat Lukhnavi

Aaghaaz karna= Commence, Start
Aaghaaz hona= start
Din ka aaghaaz = start of day
Mushk-baar मुश्क-बार مشکبار = scented like musk

kah sabaa vo khulii hai zulf kahaa.n
tujh me.n buu mushk-naab* kii sii hai ( smell of pure, unadulterated musk )
#Sher Mohd Imaan

4. Jo hum pe guzri so guzri magar shab-e-hijraan*
Hamaare ashk** teri aaqibat*** sanwaar chale

जो हम पे गुज़री सो गुज़री मगर शब्-ए-हिजरां
हमारे अश्क तेरी आक़िबत संवार चले

Whatever befell me, I endured but at least on the night of separation
My tears adorned your future

Guzri — ‘z’ not ‘j’
Shab e hijraan शब-ए- हिजरां شبِ ہجراں = the night of separation ( shab = night| hijr = separation)
Ashk अश्क اشک ( k not q ) = aansoo, tears
Aaqibat आक़िबत عاقبت = the end, conclusion , future life
And aaqabat (conclusion, future, future life, life after death, other world),
http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/conclusion
future 2) other world 3) life after death 4) conclusion

5. huzuur-e-yaar huyii daftar-e-junuun* kii talab
girah men le ke girebaan kaa taar taar chale

हुज़ूर-ए-यार हुई दफ़्तर-ए-जुनूँकी तलब
गिरह मे लेके गरेबां के तार-तार चले

The beloved has summoned me to her court with my documents of infatuation
I have only my torn to tatters collar, which I take tied in a knot

Daftar e junuun دفتر جنوں = literally multitude of frenzy/ but here documentation of infatuation

Roz-e-hisaab jab mera pesh ho daftar-e-amal
Aap bhi sharmsaar ho, mujh ko bhi sharmsaar kar #Iqbal

daftar didn’t originally mean office .It was a colloquial term 4 file/folder The clerk looking after them in govt offices was called daftari, a Class IV position in govt offices.

girah गिरह گرہ = here it means a knot, but is also used for one-sixteenth of gaz(yard)
the famous song “dil ki girah khol do, chup na baitho koi geet gao”.
girebaan गरेबां گریبان = literally means the collar,the opening of breast portion of a garment
apne girebaan mein jhank kar dekho = self introspection
chaak-e-garebaan = collar torn to bits in amorous frenzy.
Girebaan-geer= adj.: accuser, one catching by neck or collar, plaintiff

aashiq hain magar ishq numaayaa’n nahiin rakhte
ham dil kii tarah chaak girebaan nahiin rakhte Bekhud dehalvi

kaanTon ko bhii ab baad-e-sabaa chheD rahii hai
phuulon ke hasiin chaak girebaan se guzar ke #Ali Jawwad Zaidi

6. Maqaam* Faiz koi raah mein jacha** hi nahin
Jo ku e yaar*** se nikle to su e daar**** chale

मक़ाम फैज़ कोई राह मे जचा ही नही
जो कू-ए-यार से निकले तो सू-ए-दार चले

No place attracted Faiz, en-route
After leaving the Beloved’s lane he headed for the gallows

Maqaam मक़ाम مقام = dwelling,occasion,place,position ( here place)
جچا जचा jacha = liked
Kuu e yaar कू-ए-यार کوئے یار = yaar ki gali , lover’s street

kitnaa hai bad-nasiib ‘zafar’ dafn ke liye
do gaz zamiin bhii na milii kuu-e-yaar me.n

yaaro kuu-e-yaar kii baate’n kare’n
phir gul o gul-zaar kii baate’n kare’n
Akhtar Shiraani

Suu e daar सू-ए-दार سُوئے دار = towards the gallows ( suu-e = towards / suu = evil, bad |
daar = gallows as here but also means house ,place )

ham na iisaa na Sarmad* o Mansur(name of a Sufi saint who was hanged for saying “I am God”)
log kyuu.n suu-e-daar le ke chale (* hanged for heresy by Aurangzeb) #Naushad Ali


Another Translation


gulon mein rang bhare, baad-e-naubahaar chale
chale bhi aao ki gulshan kaa karobaar chale 

The flowers need to flush with color,
The winds need to blow in the change,
Love, would waft in like the spring?
The flowers, they need to bloom again.

qaffas udaas hai yaro, sabaa se kuchh to kaho
kahin to bahr-e-Khudaa aaj zikr-e-yaar chale 

The cage around us is still, and silent,
Please, speak of kindness into the breeze
For god’s sake, fill the quiet around us,
With beautiful descriptions of my lover.

kabhi to subh tere kunj-e-lab se ho aagaaz
kabhi to shab sar-e-kaakul se mushkabaar chale 

Someday, somewhere, my day will start
From the corner of your smiling lips,
Someday, somewhere, my day will end
With the heady perfume of your hair.

bada hai dard ka rishtaa, ye dil garib sahi
tumhaare naam pe aayenge gam gusaar chale 

The bond that pain forges is strong,
Though we, alone, have broken, weak hearts,
But we will wait, in anticipation of you,
Your call pulling us through the haze.

jo ham pe guzari so guzari magar shab-e-hijraa
hamaare ashk teri aaqabat sanawaar chale 

What we have felt, and we have borne,
Will end as this evening of separation will,
Maybe my tears will drip on your soul,
And washed it clean for your next life.

huzoor-e-yaar hui daftar-e-junoon ki talab
girah mein leke garebaan kaa taar taar chale 

We welcomed them as friends, but their
Greed was a vast, unquencing thirst,
And they tied us up, preparing our bodies
For how they carved us out into pieces.

maqaam ‘Faiz’ koii raah mein jachaa hii nahiin
jo kuu-e-yaar se nikale to suu-e-daar chale 

Unfortunately, Faiz could not find any
Solace in this exiled wanderings, home
Was nowhere to be found, nor love, and
So, I chose to find death at the gallows.

9 Comments

  1. Thank you Shivpreet Singh saheb for your translation. Until the time of this writing I have heard this ghazal umpteen times and have enjoyed it each time that I have heard. But with this translation I am sure to enjoy it numerous times more.

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    Replies
    1. Its indeed an absolutely beautiful ghazal with deep sufiana meaning!

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  2. Thank you for different meanings as a single meaning cannot suffice

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  3. Dear mohtaram Shivpreet Singh saheb.
    I do not how I can express my appreciation to your work and service to the mankind. You are extending the great messages of the Honorable Gurus did. The Gurus message (paigham) was 'paigham-e-insanyat'. Your efforts are the reflections of their paigham.
    With very high regards.
    Dr. K. Khan

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  4. I am listening to this ghazal for years. Its charm is endless. I was enjoying the sweet tune in main. But after going through all these translations, I will enjoy the ghazal much more. Thanks for giving the opportunity to go into the depth of message of the song as well.

    ReplyDelete