Dil hi toh hai na sang-o-khisht – A Translation of Ghalib’s Ghazal

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

The original:

Dil hi to hai na sang-o-khist, dard se bhar na aye kyu,
Royenge hum hazar baar, koi humein sataye kyu?

Dair nahi haram nahi dar nahi aastan nahi,
Baithe hain reh guzar pe hum gair humein uthaye kyu?

Quaid-e-hayat o band-e-gham asl main dono ek hain,
Maut se pehle admi gham se najaat paye kyu?

Haan wo nahi khuda parast jao wo bewafa sahi,
Jisko ho deen-o-dil aziz uski gali main jaye kyu?

Ghalib-e-khast ke bagair kaunse kaam band hain,
Roeeye zaar zaar kya keejiye haye haye kyu?


‘Tis a heart’s, neither brick’s nor stone’s domain,
Why wouldn’t it overflow with pain?

I will cry a thousand tears of woe,
Must they disturb my sorrowful strain?

I pollute not houses of worship, not gates or doorsteps;
I sit on common passageways, must they ask me to move again?

The prison of life is no different from the fetters of woe;
Why, then, ere he dies, should man be freed from sorrow’s chains?

Granted, he has lost his faith, certainly, he is disloyal;
Those who hold religion or love dear, must they then loiter in his lanes?

Has the absence of Ghalib hindered the world in any way?
If not, then why weep so bitter, why this loud refrain?


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