Translation - Kisi Ko De Ke Dil Koi (Ghalib)

kisee ko de ke dil koee nawaa_sanj-e-fughaan kyon ho?
na ho jab dil hee seene mein to fir munh mein zubaan kyon ho?

Line 1/2 - When one has given his heart away, why would one lament and be a singer of pain and distress? When there is no heart in the body itself(for it's lost), then how must there be tongue in the mouth? (to cry and grieve). The poet says why must you grieve after you willingly gave away your heart. Why this waling now? If there is no heart left, then why must the tongue continue to cry! Isn't lament and sorrow part of the deal of falling in love. Then why this anguish? You signed for it!

woh apnee khoo na chodenge, ham apnee waz'a kyon badlein?
subak_sar banke kya poochein ki ham se sar_giraan kyon ho?

Line 3/4 - She would not leave her habit, why should I change my behavior? Should I become light-headed and ask her 'why are you so arrogant with us?'. The poet obviously irritated with the beloved's angry temperament says she will not change her mood, so why should I change my behavior and abandon my self-respect Light-headed and easy going should I, ask her as to why is she so proud. The second line can be said by either of them, but then nobody says it. They both are hopelessly in their molds and stuck together, deserving each other.

kiya gham_khwaar ne ruswa, lage aag is muhabbat ko
na laaye taab jo gham ki, woh mera raazdaan kyon ho?

Line 5/6 - The comforter/sympathizer(eater of grief) has disgraced me, to hell with this love! The one who does not have  strength/courage during grief, why would he be my confidant? Ghalib says that my sympathizer has betrayed me, to hell with this love which made my sympathizer uneasy and weak so as to reveal our secret. He who did not have strength to endure this grief, how did he became my confidant.

wafa kaisee? kahaa ka ishq? jab sar phodna thehra
to fir 'ei sang_dil tera hee sang-e-aastaan kyon ho?

Line 7/8 - What loyalty? Which love? When my head smashing has been decided upon to settle these questions. Okay then, o-stone hearted and merciless one, why then it has to be the stone at your threshold? The poet says if I am to smash my head to settle the question of love and loyalty, then why it has to be your door-sill stone.Why would I choose that one, I could very well smash myself against any stone lying around. Why would I endure more bitterness going to your door, o stone-hearted cruel!

qafas mein mujh se roodaad-e-chaman kehte na dar hamdam
giree hai jis pe kal bijlee woh mera aashiyaan kyon ho?

Line 9/10 - Don't be scared of telling me my dear friend, the state(report) of the garden, even though I am in a prison. Why must that little nest be mine, where a lighting struck yesterday. The poet, a little caged bird, implores another bird, tell me my friend - don't be scared, tell me the state of the garden for I can't see it for myself. Why would the little nest that was destroyed in yesterday lightning strike be mine? Why would it be my nest? A true metaphysical question? The garden is our world and the cage is our life. Why the sorrow had to hit me? of all the people why God choose me for this grief? What did I wrong? A sense of disbelief and despair as well, for it must not have be my nest? Absolutely Brilliant!!

ye kah sakte ho "ham dil mein naheen hain" par ye batlaao
ki jab dil mein tumhee-tum ho to aankho se nihaan kyon ho?

Line 11/12 - You can say "aren't we in your heart", but tell me this if you are one and only in the heart, then why are you hidden from the eyes? Here the beloved complains to the lover "aren't we in your heart", to which the lover says tell me when you are so firmly in my heart then my are you not visible to my eyes. The lover a bit provoked, says you are complaining if you see me in your heart, but let me assure you that you are firmly there, but then why not in front my eyes.

ghalat hai jazba-e-dil ka shikwa, dekho jurm kiska hai
na khincho gar tum apne ko kashaakash darmiyaan kyon ho?

Line 13/14 - The complaints about the desires of the heart were wrong. But see whose fault was it? If you do not pull yourself away, then why would there be a struggle between us. The lover says I agree that those my complaints about desires of love were improper, but then whose fault is it. You draw me towards yourself. But you pull your self away. If you do not pull yourself away, then why would there be a struggle between us.

ye fitna aadmee ki khaana_weeraanee ko kya kam hai?
hue tum dost jiske, dushman uska  aasmaan kyon ho?

Line 15/16 - This calamity/affliction is sufficient to lay waste a person's home. Who ever is you friend, why would sky be his enemy? The lover says that calamity that this friendship with you is (beloved), is more than enough to destroy a person's home. Why would sky be his enemy for he has friends like you.

yahee hai aazmaana to sataana kis ko kehte hain?
`adoo ke ho liye jab tum to mera imtihaan kyon ho?

Line 17/18 - If this a test or a trial, then I don't know what a torment is? If you have already moved your loyalty to my enemy, then why is it examination or trial of mine? The poet says I wonder if this is a test, for it does not look like one, it looks more of a torment. I wonder what torment is in my beloved's dictionary. If you are already committed to my enemy, then why this examination of mine. The beloved probably with his new love purposefully in front of the poet and the poet wonders if this is a test or torment and wonders why he is still under test for she is no longer his?

kaha tumne ki "kyon ho ghair ke milne mein ruswaaee?"
baja kehte ho, sach kehte ho, fir kahiyo ki "haan kyon ho?"

Line 19/20 - You say that "why would there be disgrace/dishonor in meeting the other". You say it correct, you say it truthfully, say it again that "surely why would there be?". The lover says that you(beloved) say what harm is there in meeting the rival, where is there any disgrace in it? Yes, you are right, you speak truth, my dear - can you say it again "why would there be?". The lover in a hint of sarcasm and mocking his beloved asks her to echo her reasoning again.

nikaala chaahata hai kaam kya taa'anon se too 'ghalib'
tere be_mehar kehne se wo tujh par meharabaan kyon ho ?

Line 21/22 - What purpose do you wish to achieve with these taunts, Ghalib. Why would she oblige you, when you keep saying unkind words to her. The lover has been saying flattering words to his beloved, but that has not helped his cause. So now he has taken to saying unkind words to her in the hope she does the exact opposite (i.e. to be kind to him), but again this scheme does not work.

Meaning of difficult words -
nawaa_sanj = singer
fughaan = cry of pain or distress
khoo = habit
waz'a = conduct/behavior
subak_sar = light headed/unsteady
sar_giraan = arrogant/proud
gmam_khawaar = comforter
taab = courage/patience
raazdaan = friend
sang_dil = hard hearted/merciless
sang-e-aastaan = threshold
qafas = cage/prison
roodaad = report/statement
nihaan = hidden
jazba = desire/feeling
shikwa = complaint
kashaakash = struggle/dilemma
darmiyaan = between
fitna = quarrel
khaanaa_weeraanee = ruining of home
'adoo = enemy
imtihaan = examination
ruswaaee = disgrace
baja = right/correct
taa'an = taunter
be_mehar = unkind/repulsive

Read more posts on Ghalib.


  1. Very nicely translated... :D Such translations will help people non-Urdu speaking population to follow Ghalib

  2. woh apnee khoo na chodenge, ham apnee waz'a kyon badlein?
    subak_sar banke kya poochein ki ham se sar_giraan kyon ho?

    Here, "khoo" is stubbornness, "Zid", "Ainth"
    Sargiraan = Upset, "Khafaa", "Naraaz"
    Subak-sar is innocent, to pretend to be innocent.

    So, "subak-sar banke kya poonhein ke hum se sargiraan kyon ho?" = I know, you are being stubborn, I am not going to play innocent and ask you, why you are upset with me.

  3. @Unknown - Thanks for the correcting it out.

  4. ghalib,,,, sach kaha tha kisi ne,,, duniya kehti hai ghalib delhi ka karz kaise utaarenge,,, mein sochta hun ki ye kaayenaat Ghalib ka karz kaise utaar paaegi,,,