Happy New Year 2015

•January 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I wish everyone reading this blog, a wonderfully joyous new year full of fulfillment hope and success.

One of my new year resolutions is to write this blog regularly. I am going to try once again to get my friends to comment, more or less regularly, and hope for the best.

In the mean time, here’s a latest she’r :-

दिल भरके चला जाए वो दिलबर
हौलेसे झुलसता रहे वो मेहबूब

دل بھرکے چلا جاے وھ دلبر
ہولےسے جھلستا رہے وہ محبوب.

Dil bharke chalaa jaaye vo dilbar
haulese jhulsta rahe vo mehboob.
(c) Max Babi

Transcreation :

After heart’s fill he leaves, he’s a heart-throb
One who burns slowly is the lover.
(c) Max Babi



A new she’r : qayamat-jannat

•December 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment



आती हो पलकों पे क़यामत ढाए हुए
जाती हो आँखों में  जन्नत समाये  हुए
              – मुश्ताक अली खान बाबी
You come shimmering in with Apocalypse under your eyelashes
You go away after absorbing the entire heaven in your eyes.
            – (c) Max Babi

Tamej khedo chho khetar…

•May 9, 2008 • 3 Comments

Tamej khedo chho khetar

Tamej shangaro chho jindagi

Marun shun kahun? Uklatat charu maan

Ek tapkun bhog, ek chaptee bandagi.

(c) Max Babi

Transcreated in English

You yourself plough the field

you yourself adorn a life

What can I say about myself? Inside a boiling cauldron

One drop of carnality, one pinch of worship.

(c) Max Babi


Angurke Baghaanki Hariyali Ud Chali…

•April 18, 2008 • 2 Comments

Angurke baghaanki hariyali

ud chali -ek thakaa-sa sannaata

zorotalbi kasé baitha hai.

Ankh milaao toh phati ankhsé

ghoorta hai, aur tavaarikhke bhaddé

ghair-insaafki musalsal jhalkian

dikhlata hai.

Kuchh yunh taktaa hai jaisé mainé hii

apné dimaaghsé baarbaar vaar karké

uski maasoom dunia ujaad di ho.

Khaufsé dil laraz jata hai-

kahin inn sukhi belon-ki sumsaam

bastiko zubaan phoot nikli toh…..

Meri kitaabon mein har labz saabunké

bulbuléki nimat phat jaega.

Chup rahunga mein sadion tak.

(c) Max Babi

Transcreation in English :

Greenery Of Vineyards Has Fled

Greenery of vineyards has fled-

an almost tired silence sits exercising

an ironclad reign.

If you look at it, well, it stares right back

and flashes myriad instances of ugly


It stares as if I only have, with mental strokes,

reduced its innocent world to an arid patch 


My world quakes with abject fear

lest this world of dried up vines sprout a tongue

Every word in my books would burst

like a soap-bubble. 

I would fall silent for centuries.

 (c) Max Babi




“Yeh Khamoshi…” by Ashika ‘Tanha’ duly transcreated

•April 16, 2008 • 3 Comments
Yeh khamoshi badi duur tak saath chali,
Dilke sumsaam kone mein katra katra gali,
Tere saathka sannata kuchh apna-sa tha,
Na jaane kyon woh ek pal sapna-sa tha,
Khaalipan mein pyar karna lazmi-sa hota hai,
Saans-ka ana jana teri tasbee-sa hota hai,
Tu mil kar na mil, gavaara hai humdum,
Teri yaad ka ek pal bhi zindagi hai sanam.
(c) Ashika ‘Tanha’
Transcreated in English :
This silence trudged along too far with us,
It dripped drop by drop into a deserted corner of my heart,
With you even your silence seemed as if mine,
Don’t know why that single moment was almost a dream,
In stretches of emptiness, to fall in love is nearly mandatory,
My breathing tends to become a litany of your name,
It’s fine with me if you  meet me but remain absent,
One memory of yours is like an entire lifetime, love.
(c) Max Babi

Transcreated Poetry

•April 16, 2008 • 3 Comments

Welcome everyone!

This is Max Babi’s weblog dealing with ‘Transcreated Poetry’.

Those of us who know more than one language have often felt saddened to see poor quality ‘translations’ because ‘word for word’ technique does not work. It leads at times to amusing, even eye-sore results.

A transcreated poem is written by a poet who has mastered at least two languages. I do that in four, by the way, and I wish to popularize this concept which has been liked immensely by poetry lovers who may be mono-lingual. I happen to have lots of poets as friends who write exceedingly well in their mother tongues but are hesistant to try their hand at translation, or do not like the whole business of word for word translation.

Here’s a randome example originally written by me in Urdu :

Akelapan ek aag hai,

soz-bhara ek raag hai /

Iss-ki agosh mein aa gaye agar,

Toh zindagi buss khaak hai.

(c) Max Babi 

Now lets see a word for word translation :-

Loneliness is a fire,

a sadness-filled melody,

If you fall in its embrace,

Life is just ash.

The brief nature of the translation, lends it an unintentional Haiku sort of flavour…

however to the English language reader with a different set of sensitivity and sensibility, the whole exercise may have no particular attractiveness.

How would I myself transcreate this into English ?

Solitude can blaze as a fire

even a melody stuffed with meloncholy,

when embraced even for a moment

life could turn to a heap of ash.

(c) Max Babi

This exercise can be done differently, and I would encourage all poets who may have got the drift of the idea, to try their hands. Often I have seen extraordinary suggestions flow in from readers.

Do feel encouraged to try…

Till next time,