Saturday, October 25, 2008


I have to admit that the first time I heard this Ghazal sung was in the opening credits for the Spike Lee movie, "Inside Man" in March of 2006. The tune was really loud and catchy and everyone in the thearter was enjoying the song, eventhough it was being sung in Urdu. Inside Man was a 2006 crime-drama film directed by Spike Lee. It stared Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Willem Dafoe and Jodie Foster. I later discovered from my Indian friends that the song was from the Movie "Dil Se" and had an amazing video to go with it. Dil Se (Hindi: दिल से, Urdu: دل سے, translation: From the Heart) is a 1998 Hindi film directed by Mani Ratnam. I was so taken by the photography and the lyrics that I wanted to understand them. I studied numerous translations of the original "Urdu" and came up with a version that makes the most sense to me in english. It isn't a literary translation, but an attempt to convey the meaining of the poem in english. As-Salāmu `Alaykum (السلام عليكم) by Gulzar music by A. R. Rahman wandering inside love’s shadow with heaven beneath my feet. my head inside the shadow of love... walking within these shadows. floating inside heaven, walking within love's light. there is a friend who hangs on the air like the sweetest perfume, whose utterances are Urdu, a divine language of poetry, she is my evening, my night, my existence. this friend is my beloved! my beloved flirts like a flower, so fragrantly that you may catch her delicate scent. having now transformed into a charm, I hold her near to heart and skin. a simple miracle that sometimes becomes manifest. she is my song, my sacred declaration of faith she resembles a sacred treasure. her song... an ultimate affirmation of devotion... she appears like the dew on morning grass and walks with the garden of heaven beneath her feet, sometimes in the midst of branches, sometimes among the scattered leaves I catch drift of her trail upon the wind! I exist within her gorgeousness. for she is so unpredictable, moving shamelessly from sunlight into shadows. changing her brightly colored garments; I learn to follow this as well. If you aren't a regular fan of Hindi Movies I suggest you broaden your viewing to include of few now and then, and 'Dil Se' would be one I would put on your list. English version by Dochong, JDPSN

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