The Magic of Wine

शराब का जादू

مير تقی میر

शब को वो पिये शराब निकला
जाना यह की आफताब निकला

कुर्बान प्याला-ए-मै-नाब
जिस से की तेरा हिजाब निकला

The Charm of Wine

written by Mir Taqi Mir | tr. by Tejas Gupta

In the darkness of the night, she emerged, drinking wine
Know that it was as if the brightness of the sun appeared

I would sacrifice every cup of wine
To see you emerge uncovered and radiant

Direct transliteration of Urdu:

Sharaab ka jaadu
Shab ko vo piye sharaab niklaa
Jaanaa yeh kee aaftaab niklaa

Qurbaan pyaalaa-e-mai-naab
Jis sey kee tera hijaab niklaa

Brief Biography:

Meer was born in a village close to Agra. His father was a dervish. Meer began composing poetry in Persian very early in life. Later he switched to Urdu and became the most celebrated exponent of love. He migrated to Delhi in the hope of gaining patronage of the Mughal king and the city’s nobility. There he witnessed the devastation of the city at the hands of the Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Abdali, which he recorded in his autobiography Zikre- Meer. Meer often suffered bouts of acute depression. Having failed to make a living in Delhi he moved to Lucknow where rich Nawabs were known for their love of Urdu poetry. He died a pauper in 1810. His grave was later demolished to make space for the city’s railway station.

-Celebrating the Best of Urdu Poetry
by Khushwant Singh

Tejas Gupta

New York City, USA
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Tejas Gupta is a Princeton University student in the Department of Computer Science. He is currently studying at ETH Zürich.