Tuesday, May 9

"Yadaan Vichhre Sajan Diyan Aiyan"

"The memories of my love have come
there is a rainstorm in my eyes
Let separations drown in this world
there is a rainstorm in my eyes"

This qawwali is sung by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Co. at a performance in the U.K. in 1985. (The boy on the left of the stage is none other than Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, age 11, who was practically raised onstage from that time on. ) 

Trying to figure out the English translation of the lyrics of "Yadaan Vichhre Sajan Diyan Aiyan," as it's sung in the video, is not easy. The verse I posted above is from an introduction to a version of the same qawwali sung by Rahat when he was an adult.  

In response to a plea from a reader at, someone posted what seems to be the entire lyrics (in Punjabi) to the version of the qawwali sung by Ustad Nusrat & Co. But another poster at the same website, who is Punjabi, underscored the difficulties with translating qawwalis sung by Ustad Nusrat after he translated some of the lyrics for "Yadaan Vichhre Sajan Diyan Aiyan" into English:
==> i didn't heard some parts before, because Nusrat used to add some new/old parts of the song in each version. this is genius, the same song, always sung with different styles/vocalizes/lyrics/impro !!!
==> i used to translate it by listening the same songs for almost 15 years, i always discoverd news meanings and i love it. I also asked parents, friends to translate some words because this is not really the punjabi as talked in pakistan know [now?]. It almost lyrical/literal punjabi which is very rich as language.
In other words even people who are fluent in Punjabi can find it hard to come up with a precise translation of the lyrics in Punjabi, let alone English.

And so one is left to fall back on the heart's translation, which is the best anyhow.


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