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I have tried to translate the famous “Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein” for Sami.

I feel ashamed about the translation. It appears quite rude and harsh due to my shortcomings of knowledge of the languages.

I will try to provide explanation (rather excuses) where I think I am unable to do justice to the feelings .

Notes to translation :

Usages of Hindi language ,particularly in songs and ghazals, are profusely influenced by Urdu language. Urdu is language of poetry of romance and uses different words for one thing depending on the situation.

So I have tried translate the song, not literally, but tried to be more near to the feelings

I believe Kabhi Kabhi can be simply put as ‘Sometime’.

[1st verse]
In this song first line of the title verse gives me enough trouble. Now, Dil can be translated as heart. But then idea or thought comes to mind, or it can come to heart also? Again how do we translate Khayal, is it idea or thought. Here we have to remember that we are talking about love , romance, about human relations. Suppose, I see someone and I love her, then ‘feeling’ of love comes to my heart, not ‘thought’ of love comes to my mind. When you feel that someone is made for you , then that ‘feeling’ comes to your heart not in mind. So should I use ‘feeling’ for khayal instead of ‘thought’ or ‘idea’ ?

[3rd verse]
In third verse one can simply translate Badan as ‘body’. But badan really means ‘human body’, even that does not convey the feelings. Alternatively ‘Flesh” can be used for ‘Body’ . I prefer ‘Flesh’ over ‘Body’. (Please, make some suggestion here)

Next, in same verse Amanat can mean ‘property’ or ‘belongings’. But that is too harsh , here no one is claiming ownership over lover’s body or arms, and they are not be treated as tangible possession also, but it goes more deeply. It is something more like treasure, a treasure for someone, nothing for others. Like, for a child his toy, however cheap or broken, is treasure for him. Such treasure gives you feeling of being rich, not worldly but heavenly rich. So I take liberty to use ‘Treasure’ for Amanat leaving worldly meanings behind.

[5th verse]
To understandshehnahi check this out. In India this instrument is played during many auspicious occasions. However, it has been more related with marriage. So here ‘shehnai bajna‘ relates to marriage prospect.

[6th verse]
Suhag raat means first night of newly wed couple. How do I translate it? ‘Wedding night’ seems only option. (check these photographs for better understanding of an Indian weddings. When bride covers her head with red garment that is called ‘ghoonghat’)

[8th verse]
This is climax of the song. When one feels that there is someone who is made for him, and he feels intense love for her, and then he realized that she is not for him, she is stranger. Imagine the mountainous pain of the lover. This verse conveys the feeling superbly.

N.B. I enjoyed translating the song. Of course, I cant claim the translation to be perfect or near to it. But I am exhausted while translating the song. So I am posting now without putting more efforts, and request you for feedbacks and suggestions for translating it in better , with more appropriate translation. I will alter and add more description later.

(1)
Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai,
ke jaise tujko banaya gaya hai mere liye
.

SOMETIME IDEA COMES TO MY HEART,
AS IF YOU ARE MADE FOR ME

(2)
Tu ab se pehle sitaron mein bas rahi thi kahin,
tuje jamin pe bulya gaya he mere liye.

BEFORE THIS YOU WERE LIVING IN STARS SOMEWHERE ,
YOU ARE CALLED ON EARTH/LAND FOR ME

(3)
Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai,
ke ye badan ye nighanon meri amanat hai,

SOMETIME IDEA COMES TO MY HEART,
THIS FLESH, THESE EYES ARE MY TREASURES.

(4)
Yeh geshuon ki ghani chhaon hai meri khatir,
ye hothon aur yeh bahen meri amanat hai.

THIS DENSE SHADE OF HAIR IS FOR ME,
THESE LIPS , THESE ARMS ARE MY TREASURES.

(5)
Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai,
ke jaise bajti hai shenhaiyan si rahon mein,

SOMETIME IDEA COMES TO MY HEART,
AS IF SHEHNAI IS PLAYING IN THE WAY

(6)
Suhag raat hai ghoonghat utha raha hoon mein,
Simat rahi he tu sharma ke meri bahon mein.

ITS WEDDING NIGHT I AM REMOVING VEIL,
YOU ARE COMING TO MY ARMS BLUSHINGLY.

(7)
Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai,
jaise tu muje chehagi umrabhar younhi.

SOMETIME IDEA COMES TO MY HEART,
AS IF YOU WILL LOVE ME WHOLE LIFE LIKE THIS,

(8)
Utthegi meri taraf pyaar ki nazar younhi,
main janta hun ke tu gair magar younhi.
Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai,

AFFECTIONATE GLANCE WILL LOOK UP TO ME LIKE THIS,
I KNOW YOU ARE STRANGER BUT JUST LIKE THIS,
SOMETIME IDEA COMES TO MY HEART.


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