Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Daag Dehlvi: Saba Sajid and Noor Jehan
I'm getting awfully political lately and that's now officially bothering me. So I've started back in the library on the ol' thesis front. Deadlines looming and even though it is all going to plan, so far, Noor Jehan keeps distracting me. I keep finding these old live shows of hers on YouTube and being totally mesmarised.
I read recently this beautiful anecdote on a blog which brought everything back into perspective, Rabia al-Adawiyya, the famous female mystic from Basra, Iraq (717-801AD), was consumed by love and desire for God. Rabia was found running while carrying a fire torch in one hand and a pail of water in the other. When people asked the meaning of her actions, she replied, “I am going to burn paradise with the fire and dampen the fires of Hell with this water so that people love God for the sake of God and not for want of paradise or the fear of Hell. I think we lose sight of beauty, love and God when we start inflicting politics on ourselves. I am just as much to blame as others and so we must thank singers like Noor Jehan who constantly remind us to seek love and God, not politics and self glory for the latter leaves us empty and the former full of spiritual worth.
Nawab Mirza Khan (Urdu: نواب مرزا خان) (b. 1831 - d. 1905), commonly known as Daagh Dehelvi (Urdu: داغ دہلوی) was an outstanding Indian poet famous for his Urdu ghazals and belonged to the Delhi school of Urdu poetry. He wrote poems and ghazals under the takhallus (Urdu word for nom de plume) 'Daag Dehlvi' (the meanings of 'Daag', an Urdu noun, include stain, grief and taint while 'Dehlvi' means belonging to or from Delhi). I stole that bio from Wikipedia:)
This is one of Daagh's famous ghazals, 'Lutf woh ishq mein paye hain ke jee janta hai' (Urdu original above). I was finding it difficult to render this into English and so I consulted a dear friend of mine who happened to come across my love of poetry through this blog and contacted me. It just goes to show how one meets people for a reason in their lives. Saba Sajid (see picture) has offered her understanding of this beautiful ghazal and Noor Jehan has sung this live in a concert. I've also included one of Saba's favorite paintings by the Argentinian artist Fabian Perez, lady smoker, I've named it:) There is a moment in between where Noor Jehan says that the following verse is her favorite, 'Muskurate hoe woh majmaa agiyar ke saath, Aaj youn bazm mein aaye hai hain ke jee janta hai...' I'll let you figure out its meaning.
Lutf woh ishq mein paye hain ke jee janta hai
Ranj bhi aisay uthaye hain ke jee janta hai...
Only the heart/soul knows the ecstasy of this love
only the heart/soul knows the pain of this love
Jo zamane ke sitam hai woh zamana jane
Tu ne dil itne dukhaaye hain ke jee janta hai...
What the world did are mere wordly cares
But the hearts that you hurt, only the heart knows
Muskurate hoe woh majmaa agiyar ke saath
Aaj youn bazm mein aaye hai hain ke jee janta hai...
The way he/she has come smiling with a horde of strangers
Only the heart knows what and how it is
Inhi qadmoN ne tumhare inhi qadmo ki qasam
Khaak mein itne milaye hain ke jee jaanta hai
These feet, I swear by these feet of yours
How many have been trampled only the heart knows
Saadgi, bankpan, agmaaz, shararat, shokhi
Tu ne andaz woh paaye hain ke jee janta hai...
Simplicity, sassiness, pride, naughtiness, impudence
You have a style that only the heart knows
Kaaba-o-deer mein pathra gayi dono ankhein
Aisay jalwe nazar aaye hain ke jee janta hai...
Between the house of God and stone, the eyes turned to rock
What they saw and how they have seen, only the heart knows
Tum nahin jaante ab tak ye tumhare andaaz
Wo mere dil mein samaaye hain ke jee jaanta hai
So you know not how your styles
live deep in my heart, only the heart knows
Dosti mein teri, darparda hamare dushman
Is qadar apne paraye hain ke jee janta hai...
In your friendship hide my enemies
And the close ones are strangers how only the heart knows
'Daag'-e-warafta ko hum aaj tere kooche se
Is tarah khainch ke laye hain ke jee janta hai.
What it took to drag away this love crazy Daag of yours
from your path, its only the heart that knows