Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Poetry for the Day: Lovers and Longing


My favorite Urdu poet...Mirza Ghalib....

Hazaron khvahishen aisi kih har khvahish pe dam nikle
Bahut nikle mere arman lekin phir bhi kam nikle

***

My longings were in thousands,
To fulfill each I could die.
Though many were fulfilled,
Others were a far cry.

***
It is said that Mirza Ghalib wrote this poem for his dearly beloved courtesan, Mughal Jaan. Even though he was married to Umrao Jaan, it was part of Mughal culture to frequent the courtesans. In the YouTube clip you can see Mughal Jaan singing the ghazal.


ye na thee hamaree qismat ke wisaal-e-yaar hota
it was not in my fate to meet my lover
agar aur jeete rehte yahee intezaar hota
had I lived longer, this would still be my only desire

tere waade par jiye ham to ye jaan jhoot jaanaa
to live on your promise is to make my life a lie
ke khushee se mar na jaate agar 'eitabaar hota
would I not have died of happiness if i trusted it

teree naazukee se jaana ke bandha tha 'ehed_booda
from your frailty I learnt that the promise was delicate
kabhee too na tor sakta agar oostuwaar hota
it would not stand broken had you been determined

koee mere dil se pooche tere teer-e-neemkash ko
someone ask me about your half-drawn arrow
ye khalish kahaan se hotee jo jigar ke paar hota
would i even feel this pain if it had pierced my heart

ye kahaan ki dostee hai ke bane hain dost naaseh
what kind of friendship is this, that friends are now advisers
koee chaarasaaz hota, koee ghamgusaar hota
someone should ease my pain, someone sympathize with me

rag-e-sang se tapakta wo lahoo ki phir na thamta
from every nerve drips blood without restraint
jise gham samajh rahe ho, ye agar sharaar hota
as if that which you think is anguish is but a spark

gham agarche jaan_gulis hai, per kahaan bachain ke dil hai
threatening as love is, there is no deliverance from the heart
gham-e-ishq gar na hota, gham-e-rozgaar hota
if not the torment of love, it would be the torment of life

kahoon kis se main ke kya hai, shab-e-gham buree bala hai
whom shall I narrate the pangs of these evenings of sorrow
mujhe kya bura tha marna agar ek baar hota
i would have not resented this death, had it come only once

hue mar ke ham jo ruswa, hue kyon na gharq-e-dariya
that I died and was disgraced, why was I not just drowned
na kabhee janaaza uthata, na kaheen mazaar hota
never was there a funeral, no where was a tomb erected

usay kaun dekh sakta ke yagaana hai wo yaktaa
who can see him since his Oneness is without peer
jo dooee ki boo bhee hotee to kaheen do chaar hota
even the scent of his duality would be an introduction

ye masaail-e-tasawwuf, ye tera bayaan 'Ghalib'!
this mysticism, these statements of yours Ghalib
tujhe ham walee samajhate, jo na baada_khwaar hota
you would be a saint, if only you were not inebriated

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