I had to post this before National Poetry Month ends. I really heard the song ‘Zindagi ka Safar’ for its meaning in the past year, when I came across a rare live performance of Kishore Kumar as he sang it.
Of course, and unfortunately, those who speak Urdu or Hindi will be able to reap the meaning better, but I’ll try my best to translate. It’s the second verse in particular that nearly makes me numb from how beautiful the wording is.
The song was sang by Kishore Kumar, composed by Kalyanji Anandji, and the lyrics were written by Indeevar. The audio is provided below with the translation of the verse I wish to share, which begins at 2 minutes 20 seconds into the video:
“Aise jeevan bhi hain
jo jiye hi nahin
Jin ko jeene se pehle hi maut aa gayi
Phool aise bhi hain
jo khile hi nahin
jin ko khilne se pehle khiza kha gayi”
“Such lifetimes exist too
that were never experienced—
ones that were taken by death before they could even be lived.
Such flowers exist too
that never did open up—
ones that were eaten by autumn before they could even bloom.”