Bulleh Shah – Ni Main Kamli Haan

(A big thank you to Deepanshi for massive help with the translation)

Oh let me know in the city of Lahore,
How many windows and how many doors?

Speak also to me of the bricks’ state,
How many lie intact and how many disintegrate?

Tell me, in Lahore, the number of salty wells
And also the number in which sweetness dwells?

Ponder hard, and return with my answer embedded
How many women are betrothed and how many still unwedded?

Let me tell thee now, in the city of Lahore,
There are lakhs of windows and lakhs of doors.

The bricks that felt the Lover’s step lay broken
The one’s that didn’t lay intact, unawoken.

Those wells alone that Lovers touched bore a sweetness divine
Those wells that shared not a similar fate remained ever saline.

Those seated alongside their lovers alone are truly married
And those with a destiny alternate have solitary tarried

Doth people not go to pilgrimage, visit the Holy Shrine?
Thou art my Mecca, Ranjha, Thou art my voyage divine

For I am crazy.

One that flows away with tears, what use of that kohl?
What significance of that ornament that with a blow shatters?
Why wear colours that with droplets are washed away whole?
The lover that meets with cold affront, doth life to him matter?

Yea, for I am crazy.

O instantly, Ranjha, my whole being is yours
Though father attempts to part us by force

Yea, for I am crazy.

If God was to be found by ablution,
He would enlighten toads and fish
If God was to be found by renunciation,
He would be a Cattle’s relish
If Mosques were the site of true salvation
He would be a Bat’s fetish

O Bulleya, God is found in those whose intentions are true!

Yea, for I am crazy.

Thou mays’t have read books aplenty, erudite!
But on thine own self, shed thee no light?

Thou mays’t have oft entered mosques and temples galore
But is thine heart not unvisited, under locked doors?

O human, battlest thou thine demons in vain,
‘Tis not them but your instincts that are thy bane.

Says the saint Bulleh Shah, thou wouldst catch hold of the skies infinite,
But never a care for thine heart and the one it holds within it.

Yea, for I am crazy.


The original:

Daal dus khaan shehar Lahore e ander
Bai kinnein boohey tay kinnian barian nein?

Naley das khaan aothon dian ittaan
Kinnian tuttian tay kinnian saaran nein?

Daal dus khaan shehr Lahore e andar?
Khooian kinnian mithian tey kinnian khaarian nein?

Zara soch key dewien jawaab meinoon
Aothey kinnian viyaeyan tay kinnian kunvarian nein?

Daal dassaan mein shehr lahore e ander
Bai lakhaan boohey tay lakhaan e baarian nein

Jinnaan ittaan tay tahar gaey paer aashiq
O heoon tuttian tay baqi saarian nein

Jinnaan khooian toun paher gaey mashooq paarrein
O heon mithi te baaki khaariya nein

Jerian behendian apnein naal sajraan dey
O heon viyaiyan teh baaqi kunvarian nein

Haji lok makkey nun jandey
Mera ranjha mahi makkah

Nein main kamli haan

Ho kajjal da ki pawana keh jeda athro wagan rurh jawey
Kach da key pehnana jera thece lagey tutt jawey
Rung da key lawaran keh jera boond pawey khurr jawey
Aashiq noun key maarran keh jera cheherk dawey mur jawey

Nein main kamli haan O!

Ho mein tan mung ranjhan di hoean to ranjha
Mera babul dainda e thaka

Nein main kamli haan

Jey rab milda nahatian tohotian
They milda daddoan machian
Jey rab milda jungle bailey
Tan milda gaoan wachian
Jey rab milda wich maseetee
Tan milda chaam charikian

Bullia rab aonan nu milda Bullia! Bhai neetaan jinhan dian sachian

Nein main kamli haan

Parh parh main hazaar kitabaan
Kadee aprain aap noun perhia nahein

Jaan jaan warrdey mandar maseetee
Kadee mun aprrain wich warian nahein

Aewein larrnaein shaitaan dey naal bundia
Kadee nafs aprrain naal larria nahein

Aakhay peer Bulleh Shah aasmaani pharr naen
Jeda mann vich basda phadiya naen

Nein main kamli haan.


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