You are dealers and town-merchants. You don’t know 1
what is gain and loss in the transactions of love, or 2
what is the price of the heart and the cost of dreams. 3
You will never know how one pays with one’s life, 4
how lovers can meet, how flowers can bloom, 5
why glances give in, why is there a breathtaking pause, 6
how new roads emerge on horizon, how conversations begin. 7
You won’t understand the language of love. 8
You don’t feel the communion between lovers
You don’t understand the crazy state of lovers torn apart. 9
You don’t admire beauty as a force of enchantment,
for you don’t know the innermost core of love. 10
You are inflicted with the disease of expediency
You have faith in a calculated and rational remedy.* 11
You won’t know when it is time to take a risk.* 12
You won’t understand the connection
between wounds and fruition,.
between scars and a burning sensation, 13
between pain and affection.
You don’t know what makes one weep. 14
You won’t understand the wailing and the tears,
or the blisters of lovers who walk in a desert. 15
You don’t understand the sighs and lamentations of love. 16
I know that you have deep appreciation for poetry. 17
It is the art and expression of a refined personality, 18
yet you choose a few words and hear a few sounds. 19
What connects the words with sounds, you won’t learn. 20
Translator: Mabel Khawaja
See new interview with online fashion and art magazine on south asian culture, CLICK HERE. Interview also pasted below.
No. I love words and I love reading how authors experiment with them in order to evoke something artistic. I think I’m a storyteller. I think I sometimes don’t have the vocabulary or the courage to describe life with words. And I think to do so is important. So my habit in reading tends to be a search for my own narratives of life; found somewhere between the words of these authors.
I also love to share these poems with others. The problem with the Urdu language in poetry, unlike perhaps Spanish poetry, in that its English translation lack the resonances and nuances necessary to understand lyrical and silent emotion. I feel that the English translations fail to translate the silences present in Urdu poetry; and the very fact of their silences make it quite difficult for the English language to substitute it with words, without eventually adding more to it —– I use the word “silences” because I think Urdu was meant for the ear and not the eye. There is a lot in the culture of India and Pakistan that is communicated orally through language. So in this oral communication the silences are recognizable to the hearing ear, but invisible in texts, to the eye.
How accurate are your dances to the lyrics of a song?
It depends on what song and my consciousness during its performance. I think, however, I have never ever in my life lived up to a song. Sometimes I think it is impossible for an amateur to capture the nuances in vocals, the mixture of musical instruments and rhythm all at the same time.
That aside, any translation of a piece in dance divorces the piece from its former existence. Hermeneutics, which is a discipline in the method and theory of interpretation, is a subject that fascinates me. From this I understand that from my reading (dancing) of text, I am making certain choices about what a word or sentence means to me. I also make certain choices about how to articulate them through dance. So as I work with a text, I am myself giving it a life of its own. Thus it has an independent yet derivative existence. So to answer your question, my dances seek accuracy yet performs inaccurately. It is accurate and inaccurate. Continue reading
Raaj Kumar tucks a note between her toes.
“Aap ke paon dekhey, bahut haseen hain, Inhen zameen par mat utariyega, mailey ho jayengey”. Pakeezah (1972)
“I saw your feet, they are very beautiful. Don’t place them onto the ground. They will get soiled”
Meena in this film is a courtesan. Courtesans in India dance mujra kathak, using heavy anklets. Kathak captures for its use of intricate footwork. So it is interesting that he, unbeknownst to this, says “Don’t place them onto the ground. They will get soiled”. What a line!
I cannot type because of severe tendonitis. I cannot eat with my hands as well. Its awfully painful. Brush teeth, wash hair, hold plates, hold phone. All pains. I have not worked for a whole week and have to remove myself from the computer (less I work). My therapy has always been to dance because I wave my finger joints and stretch my tendons in positions that break the claw pose (when my hands are on the computer.) So this week I have spent all my afternoons at the bookshop and all my nights dancing, to keep myself from checking and answering work emails. It has been a good week :)
This is all I can type for today. The last two posts left me crying at night for mama to massage my hands.
I leave you this dance video for all my readers who keep asking. I thank you for being part of my growth.
This video contrasts two different kinds of dance. I dislike and not good in choreography. Both were done impromptu: The first one is more focussed on the spins. But it is lyrical, gentle, floating, – it is smooth like the vocal terrain. The second one is more performative. Demonstrative, sharp, strong in movements and its mess (thrashing about, erratic), lends to the heady combination of music altogether (el ritmo de flamenco, harmonium, sharp, fast strums).
mere haath mein tera haath ho
Saari jannatein mere saath ho
Tu jo paas ho phir kya yeh jahaan
Tere pyaar mein ho jaayuun fanaa