lost in translation


the librarian at the tiny union council library feica and i hit everyday to swot for the exams has the annoying habit of pronouncing the urdu “yeh” as “yah“. kind of like the effect you would get if you crossed arif lohar with martin lawrence. which is why his yeh lo (take this) comes out like yal-lo (colleagues, did the face of a former coworker, mustachioed and bespectacled, suddenly flash before your eyes?). and that is probably what was on my mind when i looked up from the variance analysis to see all the oldies (who apparently have nothing better to do than read the newspapers) staring at me. i realised then that i had been humming to the tune of the sixties beatles number, we all live in the yellow submarine. and to those of you desis who’ve heard it the stress on the “yallow” will have you laughing your asses of when you realise the pure english accent screws up the yellow the same way some of our brethren do it. fortunately this is more or less restricted to yellow. i shudder to think what my reaction would be if a gora said “twankle twankle leetal sitar/ hoe i wander whut you are” in the same way that the kids did in this really old mohammad ali/zeba starrer i saw on tv when it was not yet totally uncool to not have a dish antenna.

its interesting how the beatles got away with the stupendously ridiculous lyrics of the song. imagine timberlake trying to pull it off. not that justin is in the same league as john and paul but you get the picture. the same however does not apply to whoever writes the lyrics for the playback singers of modern day pakistani movies. consider for example the following lyrics from sarkar, one of the more successful flops of 2005, a movie i would deny having seen if asked.

badan badan pey khoya lapaitway
mein tujh pe laitoon
tu mujh pe laitway

(wrap [a certain kind of sweetner made from milk] over bodies
i’ll lie on top of you
you lie on top of me)

at least thats what it sounded like. the sound was drowned out to a major extent by the hooting and catcalls of the classy cinegoers (i was watching it at a cinema named nargis in quaidabad of all places – but thats another story). now that is simultaneously nonsensical and vulgar enough (especially when coupled with the dance? moves of laila and urooj) to be one more never to be forgotten piece of music in my book. like afzal rambo pretending to be michael jackson in the early 90s movie, prince, while dancing on a dining table no less.

aap nay yaad kiya
agaya mein
na dikhaye mujh se zyada koi ack-shun
i am michael jaaik-sun

you don’t want me to translate this one.

and no there was no intended point to this post. just felt like writing. fudge says i make more sense when i aim to come up with nonsense than when i’m being serious.

hmmmm. there may actually be something to that.


6 Responses to “lost in translation”

  1. You’re funny. :D. And thats the best compliment I can give to anyone.

  2. in that case, thanks. πŸ™‚

    you just made my day.

  3. this “Fudge” person is soooooo right..
    you DO make more sense when you write nonsense!

  4. Hahahahhahah!! Now, that is a real “tafrih” post!

  5. @ mahwash: that does it. from now on i’ll just keep saying “kee nog stan” to whatever anyone asks me.
    “how are you today?”
    kee nog stan.
    kee nog stan.
    “what the heck does that mean?”
    kee nog stan.

    and so on so forth. i’m sure that will seem oh so plato-esque to you and fudge. πŸ™‚

    @ unaiza:

    glad you liked it. πŸ™‚

  6. ahahhah–>

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