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'tukde tukde din beeta' by Meena Kumari


tukde tukde din beetaa, dha'ji dha'ji raat mili
jiska jitna daman tha, utni hi saugaat milijab chaha dil ko samjhena, hansne ki aawaaz mili
jaise koi kahta ho, lo phir tumko maat mili
dil saa jab saathi  paayaa, bechaini bhi saath mili


In fragments the day was consumed|
And in broken bits was the night|
Whatever the size of one’s requirements|
Just that much charity was received;|
When I tried to understand my heart|
I also heard the mocking sound of laughter|
As if somebody was saying|
Look, you are defeated again;|
If I found a companion of my liking|
I found restlessness with it too.

~Translation by Vinod Mehta, from his year 1972 book titled Meena Kumari.
( Urdu lines: scan of a page of the book, but urdu in english script may be a bit off  )

These lines perhaps sum up her life.

You can listen to Meena Kumari sing these lines in a little video collage I put together here:


Song is from the wonderful album 'I Write, I Recite' - a collaboration between Khayaam and Meena Kumari.

You can notice that in this song she uses the word 'aanchal' instead of 'daaman', line 'dilsa saathi jab paya' instead of 'dilsab jab saathi paya' and the line 'maaten kaisi, ghaaten kya, chalte rehnaa aath pahar' is missing from the verse quoted in the book. These alterations were probably made by her for the recording of this beautiful song .

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