The Wandering Lover's Ballad


I usually wait till the end of the story to tell you how that story came together, but for this one I'm going to have to break my own rule and share the story behind this story first.

In 2012, I was sitting in a plane, going from somewhere to somewhere. There was no internet on the plane, so to pass some time, I opened up my laptop and started browsing through old files. During that search I found an old folder from college titled 'plays'. In this folder were a few finished and unfinished plays I had written in college when I was studying playwriting. This folder hadn't been touched in 3 years. For the rest of my flight I wondered about why I hadn't re-visited those stories, and what was stopping me from getting back to them.

That story I just shared above, is the origin story of how I came up with the idea of Launchora. I've told it so many times that it actually feels like history - by which I mean that I remember it as a story and not as an incident. And here's why that's a good thing - we forget reality, but stories stay with us. Because they have meaning, a message, something we remember so we know what we would do the next time we came across a similar situation.

With all that being said, I have a confession to make. History seems to have repeated itself.

Yesterday, I was sitting at a local Starbucks here in Gurugram, browsing through some files on my laptop. And lo and behold, something unexpected happened. Something I did not expect at all. I found a file titled 'The Wandering Lover Song'. Something I apparently wrote two years ago and never published.

If you were me, you would understand how shocking this is. You see, for the past 4 and a half years, everything I have created in story-form has been published on Launchora. Every single word. So the fact that there was this song just sitting there made no sense. I had forgotten that I ever wrote it.

I haven't written a new story since August's A Memory That Will Never Be. If you listen to my podcast Storytalking With Lakshya, you'd know how I don't like that and am actually working on a new story right now. But given how that story will seemingly take a while, I am actually quite happy to be posting this one right now. It'll make me feel better when I see my Launchora profile.

So, with all that backstory out of the way, let me tell you what this ballad you're about to read is about.

In November of 2016, I published what I still consider to be the story closest to my heart - a story called The Wandering Lover. After I wrote that story, for some reason that I can't remember, I wrote a poem in the voice of the title character Prem. The ballad below is that poem, written on January 12, 2017, word for word. I've written each stanza in Hindi/Urdu first, and then translated it into English. That too was done by 2017 me, so everything below has honestly not been edited by 2019 me.

P.s. You don't have to have read The Wandering Lover story to read this, but it wouldn't hurt :) Hope you like it!

Maine suna tha ki, pyaar ek manzil hai

umar ki tarah yeh bhi, sabr se hi haasil hai

I had heard once, that love is a destination

Like aging, you attain it with patience

dhoondta raha main chala, uske liye

raaste banata main chala, uske liye

raaste jaleh aur bhujne lage,

raaste bikharte chale, bhikarta main raha, uske liye

I kept on looking for something, for it

I kept on making new roads, for it

the paths kept appearing and disappearing,

the paths started to scatter, and I scattered along on them, for it

ek din mila main waqt se, lekin woh waqt bhi anjaan sa laga

mere raaste pe bhi, woh tha musafir sa chala

one day I came upon time, but time felt like a stranger too

along my own path, time too roamed like a wanderer

din ban gaye lamhe, unn lamhon mein main beedtha gaya

Har insaan ki tarah main bhi, saanson ka shikar banta chala

Days turned into moments, and in those moments I passed

just like every human being, I became a victim of breathing

pyaar ko bhulta main chala, pyaar se mukafir main chala

har muskurahat, jhalak, aur chaahat ko, dosti ka naakab dikhata chala

I roamed around unknowing love, becoming a disbeliever in love

to every smile, glance, and desire, i showed the mask of friendship

Jaane kya dhoondta main chala, pyaar ko badalta main chala

manzilon ki fikr mein, kaafir bana main chala

I don’t know what I searched for, but I kept on changing the meaning of love

In the worry of finding my destination, I kept roaming as a disbeliever

Jo mehfilein chodta main chala, unmein mere kisson ki gungunhat sajti rahi

dilwaalon ke jashn mein, beedhta main chala, kahaani banta main chala

The gatherings I entertained and left, they remembered my stories for ages

In the land of lovers, I got spent, becoming just a story for them to tell

ek din jab mere pyaar ki mulakaat mujhe hui, waqt mujhe bula chuka tha

uss waqt se maine jo izahat maangi, waqt aage badh chuka tha

one day when my love did find me, time had given me my invitation

when I asked time for my freedom, time had moved on to its next victim

waqt ne jaate huey kaha mujhe, ae musafir kyun paagal bana

maine kaha waqt se, majnu ban gaya hun main, kaafir na mujhe phirse bana

as Time left it asked me, O wanderer, why have you become so mad

I said to time, I’ve finally become a lover, don’t make me a disbeliever again

kya yahi pyaar hai, maine waqt se poocha

agar yahi pyaar hai, maut se bacha mujhe zara,

jeene de mujhe kuch pal apne pyaar ke saath

Is this what love is, I asked time

If this is what love is, spare me this death,

let me live a few moments with my love

Par waqt aur maut ki iss saajish mein, pyada main mahesha se hi tha

ant mein, apni manzil, apne pyaar ke liye, lawaaris daastaan bann chuka tha main

But in this game between time and death, I had always been a pawn

In the end, to my destination, to my love, I had already become a lost ballad.

ye thi daastaan, ek musafir premi ki

jo abhi bhi ghum hai, aur ab amar bhi.

This was the ballad of the Wandering Lover

Who is lost as before, but is now immortal.

22 Launchers recommend this story
musafir hi sahi hun...aye waqt.. agar pyar mil gaya to main main na rahunga.... Beautiful Poem by you :) Thank You for sharing this with us
Also to mention ..Thanks a lot for creating such an amazing platform for all of us to share our writings..
launchora_imgLakshya Datta
5 years ago
Thank you for reading it! I'm glad you found our platform :)
launchora_imgNeko Kagami
5 years ago
That was great!!! ? I really enjoyed it. I find myself elated since love is something I did not believe in for a lot of times then believe it now for quiet some time.
launchora_imgLakshya Datta
5 years ago
Thanks, Neko! Love is an interesting subject to write about, because it is a universal experience, even if the writer or the reader don't agree on its meaning.
launchora_imgNeko Kagami
5 years ago
Totally agree, sir ?
launchora_imgAnkita Paul
5 years ago
Wow sir, just amazing. We all wish to read more and more stories from you. They are all wonderful, always.
launchora_imgLakshya Datta
5 years ago
Thank you!
launchora_imgLaunchora User
5 years ago
This is very beautiful, and very deep. So glad that you discovered such a gem! ❤
launchora_imgLakshya Datta
5 years ago
Thanks, Ananya!
missing your stories,very powerful,I love those lines?❤
launchora_imgLakshya Datta
5 years ago
Thank you, glad you liked them :)
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The Wandering Lover's Ballad

833 Launches

Part of the Poetry collection

Updated on February 12, 2019

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