Breathless (1998) is a hit Hindi pop song written by the renowned contemporary poet Javed Akthar. It was sung by Shankar Mahadevan, in an apparently unbroken stream of song. They later released a sequel Breathless - The reprise, which resumes at the point where the original ends.

Here is my humble attempt at translating this wonderful song (including the sequel):

Breathless:

When I found her, it felt as if 
My whole world was filled with 
A season of song
A rain of color
A storm of scent.

All the breezes seemed fragrant, 
Winds confused
Directions misplaced
My notions changed.

Hope, uplifted; 
Heart, racing; 
Breath, a typhoon; 
Song on my lips, 
In my eyes, 
In dreams
Past moments when 
She came,  enveloped my vision, filled my heart.

How can I tell you, how I'd found her... 
Tresses, scattered across her face, 
A dewy flower blooming in the mist; 
A moon hidden by clouds
Peeping from curtain of night, A dawn 
Bright 
Eyes, shining with an ocean of dreams
Where love shimmers like a carpet of stars
Speech, like pearly rain, 
The ringing of distant silver anklets
The tinkling of broken glass
A sitar played softly, on a moonlit night
A gentle call to draw closer.

Those sweet meetings, when 
I learned how a look can 
Melt a heart 
Fulfill a hope
How, when the moon descends upon earth, 
It seems indeed, heaven itself

She told me: 
"To love, our fate.
To bloom, A flower's destiny.
Bound across lifetimes"

Words of nectar filled my ears, dreams filled my eyes, 
Exquisite 
Dreamscape 
Elusive.

Shattered dreams opened my eyes. 
She who'd enveloped my vision, merged into my heart, left me
A heart in longing, without 
Hope
Intention, 
Dreams.

Tears, and hurt, and scars fill my days and nights. 
Nothing is mine, 
Except memories of a love lost.

 


Breathless, The reprise:

My heart's drowned in a sorrowed darkness, 
My world's encircled by pain
All songs should end in a sigh
Dazed, I wander, I stumble across those walks where 
I had seen her, 
I had loved her. 
Where I had laughed, and later cried. 
Where I had found, and later lost.

Where the blossom had cast their shadow, 
Where the fragrant spring had transformed steps into a dance. 
Where the days shone bright
Where the moon shone tender
Where my dreams had seen their destination, 
Where my boat had reached its shore. 
Where I had sheltered in someone's eyes. 
Where my arms had held her. 
Where my eyes only beheld her
Where yesterday, there was tenderness, love, and hand held hand
Where I had sung songs of love, watched dreams, told stories. 
Where once, we made vows of life and death, had broken all the world's rules. 
Where the clouds of love had showered, I had sheltered someone. 
Where for the first time I had gone mad.

Streets: deserted. 
Heart: anxious. 
Alone, I wander. 
Alone, I wonder. 
Where went the carnival of my dreams?

As a star echoes in distant skies, 
A sound echoed through me.
A call. I turned. 
Back.
She stood there, a little disheveled, a little distracted, a little distraught 
Moist eyes look askance, asking for solace.

A flicker of yes: she's mine. 
Just as the seasons change, sorrow disappears
World spins, winds dance, mind rocks. 
Shh! Listen to our song of love, dancing on the wind.

 


Many thanks to The Debutante for her help with soft links and making this translation work in the first place.

Breath"less (?), a.

1.

Spent with labor or violent action; out of breath.

2.

Not breathing; holding the breath, on account of fear, expectation, or intense interest; attended with a holding of the breath; as, breathless attention.

But breathless, as we grow when feeling most. Byron.

3.

Dead; as, a breathless body.

 

© Webster 1913.

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