Zindagi kya hai jaane ke liye

Noted poet Gulzar and ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh comes together again in their latest venture “Koi Baat Chale ” (Let’s begin a conversation), seven years after the duo got together for “Marasim in 1999. My favorite song from this album is Zindagi kya hai jaanne ke liye. This song follows a pattern of three – lined form, called “Triveni”, which has been experimented for the first time in this album. The third line of the triveni often changes the meaning of the first two lines.


I had been trying to understand the depth of the lyrics and the relation between the trivenis. I searched the translation on the internet but didn’t get the meaning of the song anywhere. So, I decided to translate it myself. It may not be 100% right because the connection between few of the trivenis is still unclear to me. If anyone, has any suggestion/comments/correction,please post it.

Zindagi kya hai jaanne ke liye
Zinda rehna bahot jaroori hai
Aaj tak koi bhi raha to nahin

To know what life is, one has to be immortal. No one has been till date.

Meaning: No one knows the true meaning/essence of life

Saari waadi udas baithi hai
Mausam-e-gul ne khudkashi karli
kisne barood boya baagon mein

The whole valley is grieving. There is no spring season to be seen. Who has sown the seed of gunpowder?

Meaning: The whole atmosphere is sad. Who has sown the seed of hatred/fear? (or) There is no season of happiness in my life. Who is responsible for this?

Aao hum sab pehenle aaine
Saare dekhenge apna hi chehra
Sabko saarein haseen lagenge yahan

Let’s all put mirrors in front of us so that everybody can see his/her own face. They will feel all to be beautiful then

Meaning: People have become self-obsessed and selfish. No one looks beyond themselves. For them, what they do seem to only seem to be right. They would be happy if everybody agrees to them.

Hai nahin jo dikhaii deta hai
Aaine par chapa huwa chehra
Tarjumah aaine ka thik nahin

The views of faces in the mirror are not what they seem to be.The mirror itself is deceiving.

Meaning: It’s hard to tell who is right or who is wrong. Everybody seems to have a mask on.

Humko Ghalib ne yeh duwa di thi
Tum salamat raho hazar baras
Yeh baras to faqat dino mein gaya

The poet Ghalib had blessed me to prosper for thousand years. But, my years have passed in loneliness

Meaning: Though I’m blessed with many good things in life, my life has passed in loneliness (because you are not there)

Lab tere Mir ne bhi dekhe hai
pankhari ek gulab ki si hai
baat sunte to Ghalib ho jaate

The poet Mir has seen your petal-like lips. If he could hear u speak, he would have become Ghalib.

Meaning: Even the Poer Mir has admired your beauty. If he would have heard your voice , he would have become Ghalib.

Aise bikhre hai raat din jaise
Motiyon wala haar tuth gaya
Tumne mujhko pidoke rakha tha

My days and night have shattered like beads of a pearl-necklace are scattered when its thread is broken. You had held my life together just as the thread holds the beads together.

Meaning: My life is shattered now because you (the one who cared for me) are gone

Well some songs are hard to express than feel !


20 thoughts on “Zindagi kya hai jaane ke liye

  1. Hey Nice One, Thanks for the translation 🙂

    But I am in need of Urdu Version Lyrics (Can you help me out?)

    Reply back to ****** (If possible). Thanks,

    Please do not pass email ID – for your own privacy – thanks! 🙂 : BBB

  2. Urdu Lyrics of the song written in English is there in this blog entry itself. I don’t know if you mean in Urdu Version lyrics in Urdu script, which I don’t have. Anyway, thanks for visiting.

  3. WOW maaaan u ROCK, u said the right at the end “Well some songs are hard to express than feel ” in some ghazals there are some phrases u do understand bcoz u hav been going through to that phase of life and u r feeling exactly wat he is trying to say there…anyhow u translated well but i still cudnt get wat he is trying to say in that phrase “Lab terey mir ney bhi dekhey hain”

  4. zindagi tho zinadagi hai….
    jeeneke liye zindagi nahi zindagi jeeneke liye hai …

    yehi hai zindagi ka raaz ..jo samjha samjho jeeliya zindagi…
    warna kargaya bekaar zindagi…..

    chehre tho bahut dekhe hai…par aap jaisa nahi…
    aine pe kya hotha hai…jo kuch hotha hai woh dekhne waale aankhon mein hotha hai….

  5. well nice man bhot achi translation with meaning tashreeh to khoob ki huwi hain lekin conclusion bhi hota to zyada acha tha:) but bhot khoob or acha laga !

  6. Thats just Gr8 !

    I totally agree with Faham on what he said above 😀

    Thanks for sharing with translation and all that.

    Good luck, I’ll be waiting for more of these in future.

  7. Dear Tinkerbell….
    Cannot describe the happiness of having had this lovely piece of art translated inwhat you might percieve to be just another attempt ..but what I percieve as God send.These stalwarts (Jagguji and gulzarji) melt my brain with the heat of emotions and who can explain that better than themselves…but surely and surely you have done no less a job opening the horizons of my understanding of their lovely song ‘Zindagi kya hain jaane ke liye’
    May God bless you for this!!!

  8. u probably missed the reference in the verse “Lab tere Mir ne bhi dekhe hain ….”
    There is a very famous sher by Mir
    “Nazuki uske lab ki kya kahiye
    Pankhudi ek gulaab ki si hai”

    The aforementioned verse refers to this famous sher, and then elevates Ghalib to a much higher status in the world of Urdu poetry by saying
    “Baatein sunte to Ghalib ho jaate”

  9. rolling to disbelieve!!

    and aftr this .. wanna say

    “rangon se rangna kaagaz apney … tasveer koi ban jayegi…”
    “khayaalaat jo mehkenge tumharey..ruh tumahari khuda se robaroo ho jayegi..”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s