Nit Khair Manga - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Translation

Saw Asif Ali Khan Qawall in NY in March. They rocked Carnegie Hall by singing the words of the sufis with great fervor and intensity. This being NY, the crowd was mixed. Benetton could have shot an ad. The version of Qawalli they sang required a deep understanding of the words and tradition. This Qawall party was able to transcend that.

One of the songs they played was Nit Khair Manga - a poem by Badar Ali Saheb Ansari. I have heard Nusrat's version, but never truly understood it (pathetic, I know). I did some digging around and came across Gurmeet Manku's tremendous effort to translate the song. As he mentions the poem is about love. The poem is written from a woman's perspective who is seeking the well-being of her beloved. I took Gurmeet's translation, enlisted Shaukat Ali's help and took it for a spin.

As some Punjabi speakers will attest, the translation does not do complete justice to the breadth and beauty of the words. That said, as my friend Shaukat put it -  "some things can be understood by the mind, some experienced by the heart and the rest is a gift for the worthy".

The translation is timed to this Nusrat rendition.

0:43

Hor ki mangna main Rab kolo, ik khair manga tere dam di
Baaj sajan lajpaal tere, main kohjiyaa kede kam di

What else should I ask God? I ask only for your well-being (long-life)
Without you, my beloved, I am worthless, I am of no use

 

1:15

Pal pal maane sukh ve hazaaraa, ghadi vekhe na koi alam di
Badr hamesha Maula rakhe, dholaa tain te nazar karam di

 In every moment may there be lots of joy, may grief never touch you
May God always keep a kind an eye on you, my beloved (Badr (the poet) wishes this)

 

1:35

Nit khair manga sohneya main teri, dua na koi hor mangdi
Tere pairaanch akheer hove meri, dua na koi hor mangdi

Everyday, my beloved, I pray for your well-being, I pray for nothing else
At your feet I wish for my end, I pray for nothing else

 

3:52

Dam Dam Khair Kare Rab Teri, Manga Roz Main Sajan Duaawa!
Sadka, tiera … mein jindreee … lakhvali dhol gomawan
Peer Shabeer Da Sadkaa Dhola, Tainu Lagan Na Garam Hawaava!
Juj jug, jewain shala tu teiri aye mei mar jawan

Breath after breath, may God take care of you; every day this, my beloved, I pray for
A giving for your life, I swing  my dhol hundreds of times (?)
With the good wishes of Peer Shabeer, may hot winds never touch you (may you never face difficult times)
Dearest, you live hundred lives even if i die for you (?)

 

4:26

Nit khair manga sohneya main teri, dua na koi hor mangdi

Everyday, my beloved, I pray for your well-being, I pray for nothing else

 

4:58

Tere pyar ditta jado da sahara ve, mainu bhul gaiya maiya jag saara ve
Khushi eho mainu sajna batheri, dua na koi hor mangdi

 Ever since your love supported me, I forgot the world around me
This joy is sufficient for me, my love, I pray for nothing else

 

 6:05

Tere pairaanch akheer hove meri, dua na koi hor mangdi

At your feet I wish for my end, I pray for nothing else

 

6:37

Tu mileya te mil gayi khudai ve, hath jode aakha paayi na judai ve
Mar jaawaangi je ankh metho pheri, dua na koi hor mangdi

 When I found you, I experienced oneness, with folded hands I pray that we never separated
I will be no more if you turn your eyes away from me, I pray for nothing else     

 

7:35

Tere pairaanch akheer hove meri, dua na koi hor mangdi

 At your feet I wish for my end, I pray for nothing else

 

7:48

Nit khair manga sohneya main teri, dua na koi hor mangdi

 Everyday, my beloved, I pray for your well-being, I pray for nothing else

 

 8:35

Pavan wastavi khalai chud javein na, hasa maino kidda jug da banavi na (?)
Shala jula na judai (?), dua na koi hor mangdi

(?), don’t leave me alone
(?),  I pray for nothing else

 

11:16

Tere pairaanch akheer hove meri, dua na koi hor mangdi
Nit khair manga sohneya main teri, dua na koi hor mangdi

 May I be at your feet in my last moments. I ask for nothing else
Everyday, my beloved, I pray for your well being. I ask for nothing else

 

11:36

Khairan dam dam dholla manga teriyan, shala lag jan tenu savan merian
Mein te mar ke vi rehna mahiya teri,

 I ask, my beloved, for your well-being, (?)
I will be yours, my beloved, even after death

  

12:15

Dua na koi hor mangdi
Tere pairaanch akheer hove meri
Nit khair manga sohneya main teri, dua na koi hor mangdi

 I pray for nothing else
At your feet I wish for my end
Everyday, my beloved, I pray for your well being. I ask for nothing else

  

13:53

Eho rub kol mangi duawain wai
Allah karai terei aye, marjawan main
Akhe Badr banwai sadi theeri (?)

These are the prayers I have asked God
When your turn comes, I wish God to take me
(?)

 

14:50

 Tere pairaanch akheer hove meri, dua na koi hor mangdi
Nit khair manga sohneya main teri, dua na koi hor mangdi

At your feet I wish for my end, I pray for nothing else
Everyday, my beloved, I pray for your well-being, I pray for nothing else

 

[Would love help with improving this, especially the bits where there is a "(?)"]