Monthly Archives: August 2013

Your Visage… تیرے جیسی ماه جبیں خوبرو

I have always been interested in seeing. By that I mean seeing things, people, events and everything else that this wondrous world has to offer. Of course, it also means that some of things I get to see are quite ordinary or even unappealing but that has not stopped me from seeking out what can be extraordinary! 🙂 I guess that has been a large part of the reason why I wander from place to place seeking new things and perhaps vainly trying to see that which cannot be seen. I am quite sure that there are still places left on the planet unseen by the human eye (yes I know about Google earth) but perhaps there is a cave on an island in the Pacific that no one has seen yet! 🙂 As I thought on the subject of what has been seen and what has not, a poor ghazal formed in my mind that I present below.


تیرے جیسی ماه جبیں خوبرو، کس نے دیکھی؟

تجھے پانے کی میری جستجو، کس نے دیکھی؟

Your visage, beautiful

Who has seen it?

My desire to find you

Who has seen it?


پیامِ  وعدہ  خلافی  آیا  تو  با  زبانِ  رقیب

الہی اس طرح کی گفتگو! کس نے دیکھی؟

A curt message

Sent through her friend

Lord Almighty!

What a way to talk


جسے   دیکھا   بس  طالبِ  دنیا  دیکھا

حیاتِ منتظر کی آرزو، کس نے دیکھی؟

Everyone seems to be

A seeker of worldly gains

Who seeks

The awaiting reality?


کبھی دیکھا تجھے تو پسِ پردہ دیکھا

جانِ آفریں روبرو؟  کس نے دیکھی؟

If I ever saw her

It was behind a veil

Who has seen

That beauty unveiled?


تاریکیوں  کے  شکوے  چھوڑ  کے بتا

حق کی روشنی چارسو کس نے دیکھی؟

Quit complaining

About the darkness

Do you not see

The light of truth surrounding you?


سفرِ بندگی  تو  استاد نے اکیلے ہی کیا

اس کی عبادت دوبدو کس نے دیکھی؟

And who has seen me

Walk the path?

I feel

That I walk unseen


Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

Was it something I said?

لفظ  کوئی مجھ سے خطا ہو گیا ؟

الہی  وہ کیوں  آج  خفا  ہو  گیا ؟

Did i say

A word misspoken?

Dear God!

What made her angry today?


داغِ قبا تیری محفل نے دیکھے

رازجو  نہاں تھا،  فشا  ہو  گیا

Your friends

Saw what I was hiding

My secrets were revealed

To my embarrassment


ربط  و  مراسم  مانندِ ابر  بکھرے

وو ساتھ چلتے پھرتے، جدا ہو گیا

We separated

As clouds do

Walking by my side

She walked away


اور کس حد تک چاہوں اسے

جو  آرزو  تھا،  دعا  ہو  گیا

How far am I to go?

In loving her

She was once my desire

And now my prayer


نہ جانے کیا آئی اس کافر کے دل میں

کل  تک  انسان تھا،  اب  خدا  ہو گیا

And what came into her heart

Till yesterday

She was human

And now behaves as a god?


بےادب خدا کی بات کرتا ہے کیوں؟

فرضِ  بندگی ترا،  کب  ادا  ہو گیا ؟


You speak of God!

Have you discharged

Your duties to her?


اپنی ہستی سے بڑھ گیا استاد

درِ بو  تراب کا ، گدا  ہو  گیا

I became more

Than what I was

I became a beggar

A Faqir


آج تیرے سوا کسی کا خیال آیا

نہ جانے کیسے، یہ دغا ہو گیا

Today I thought

Of someone other than you

I do not know

How I betrayed you

1 Comment

Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

A Friend to the Angels… یارِ ملائک

Shams Tabraiz was one of the many influences on Rumi. I do not think it is possible to describe how difficult it was to write that sentence since the relationship between Rumi and Tabraiz is one of the most complicated ones with regard to theology, mysticism and even poetry. I am actually afraid to write anything about the two (other than using the poetic license of verse) since I would not presume to put anything down which seeks to explain one of the most beautiful connections that ever existed. Rumi of course, is one of the great masters of mysticism and esoteric knowledge. Quite literally a source of inspiration for generations of poets and writers from the East as well as the West. Tabraiz being his master/teacher/guide/friend/supporter (the number of slashes only show the jumble in my own thoughts concerning the two!) also holds his own place in the hearts of Eastern writers.

I recently reread some words by Rumi concerning death and rebirth into a higher from which in the original persian sound tremendously beautiful. I also found a related verse by Shams which was as follows; “Ma ba falak budaym yar e malaik budayum”, which in English means, I was living in the heavens, I was friends with the angels. The essential idea being that before we were born we were in the heavens as spirits therefore death will only take us back to the place which is our essential home. Of course, neither Rumi nor Shams had a death wish but I do feel that their poetry and words have an understanding of death as moving to a higher plane of existence.

I have been told that some of my poetry can be quite morbid as it deals with subjects such as death or growing old but I would like to explain that it is simply a move from one plane of existence to another. As Iqbal put it, “Maut kia shay hay? Faqat alam-e-maani ka safar” (what is death but a journey to a different plane of meanings). That, I believe has to be remembered as the essence of what poetic death means and quite a few orders of sufi as well as esoteric schools of thought agree with that idea. With the notion of remembering and forgetting, I present this poor effort for your amusement below.


باخدا   ہمیں   اب  وہ  رات   یاد  نہیں

اس رات میں کہی کوئی بات یاد نہیں

I do not recall that night

I do not recall anything

That was said

That night


سادہ دل لوگ ہیں، جشنِ آزاد مناتے ہیں

جیت انہیں یاد  ہے،  کوئی مات یاد نہیں

They are a simple people

They are celebrating their freedom

They remember a victory that took place ages ago

They do not remember recent defeats


موارخ  سے یہی  پوچھا  کرتا ہوں میں

کمالِ مغرب یاد ہیں، خرافات یاد نہیں؟

Is ask my historian friend

You easily recall the wonders of civilisation

You forget

Its discontents


کس جوش سے مانگتے ہیں اسلامی ریاست

خلافت  تو یاد  ان  کو،   مساوات  یاد  نہیں

With fervor he asks for

The power to govern

He remembers ruling others

Not being equal to the ruled


پھر عشق کی رہ چلے؟ آفریں حافظے پے

رنگِ  عشق   یاد   ہے،  آفات  یاد  نہیں؟

You are walking the path of love again?

What a wondrous memory my friend!

You recall the beauty of love

Not its miseries


ما  با  فلک   بودیم،  یارِ  ملائک   بودیم

استاد تجھے تبریز کی یہ بات یاد نہیں؟

I was living in the heavens,

I was friends with the angels.

Do you not remember

These words of Tabraiz?

Leave a comment

Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

Look upon my own deeds… حساب آیا

Poetry and rhythm are deeply connected particularly when we consider persian and urdu poetry that have a long history of melodic voices transferring the message of the poet to the audience. in certain cases, the voice itself added new meaning to the words particularly with regard to the works of poets such as Urfi, Rumi, Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz. I say that because I feel that their poetry has layers of meanings and especially in the case of the Urdu poets Iqbal and Ghalib (more so than Faiz) because of the multiple meanings for words borrowed from Persian, Arabic or Sanskrit.


I am pretty sure I could write volumes (mostly filled with flawed information) with regard to various renditions of different verses by various artists but that might be a boring exercise for anyone who reads this. Nevertheless, I did try to work with a specific structure in this shoddy ghazal I present below. The commas in the line with the kafia should pleasantly present the structure (poorly made as it is) with regard to the ghazal itself.

نہ جانے شاعر کو پھر کیا خواب آیا

دلِ وحشی،  سکوں فاسق،  عذاب آیا

Another poetic prophetic dream

Has made my heart wild

Robbed me of calm

Placed me in misery


لوٹے یوں بھی کبھی درِ یار سے ہم

سوالی کو،  مایوس کن،  جواب آیا

And there were times

I came back from her door

Just as if

A beggar had been turned away


حالتِ جان یوں بھی کبھی بدلی یاروں

ویرانے میں، اچانک سے، گلاب آیا

And such was the turn of moods

As if a full bodied rose

Dropped into

A wasteland


ولولے تھے ہمیں دامنِ یزداں کے بہت

شرمندہ ہوے،  روزِ حشر،  حساب آیا

I had made plans

To reach for God’s apron

But I was ashamed

To look upon my own deeds


کسی خوشفہمی میں سفر ختم کر بیٹھے

منزل نہیں، نشان بھی نہیں، سراب آیا

A poor mistake to end the journey

You’re not at your detination

Not even close

It is a mere mirage


دورِ مطاہر تیرے دولت کدے میں

محفل سجی، شراب ائی، کباب آیا

I see happy times at your

House of wealth

There is wine

And good food


کچھ زاہدوں کے آج عقیدے بدل گئے

ماہ جبیں وہ، جواں ہوئی، شباب آیا

Certain pious men

Changed their beliefs today

The lady with a body like the moon

Has come of age


کوئی جستجو استاد کو پیاسا رکھے ہے

ورنہ وہ، ہر چشمے سے، سیراب آیا

There is something

That keeps him thirsty

Although he has had his fill

From many watering holes


Filed under Uncategorized

Not in your house… گھر میں نہیں

Some time ago, I heard a couplet that has (like many others) stuck in my mind. It often comes back to mind when I consider what our parents do for us and what certain religions demand we do with regard to our ancestors. I believe there are some faiths that even accept/encourage the idea of ancestor worship. Nevertheless, the couplet follows as:

دنیا    بڑی     باوری،   پتھر    پوجنے    جائے

گھر کی چکی کوئی نا پوجے، جس کا پسا کھاے

Dunya bari bawri pathar poojnay jaye

ghar ki chaki koi na poojay jiss ka peesa khaye


Which in translation (in my opinion) means:

The world is quite mad, It goes to temples to worship stones

No one worships the grindstone at home, without which there would be no food


This simply brings to my mind our parents who treated us well and fed us well throughout our childhoods. Exceptions aside, for the most part our parents gave us the best they could and did all they had to for our benefit. Personally, I believe that I was raised in a manner where (perhaps just short off) whatever I blurted/barked out of my mouth was provided to me by my parents. For that, I am ever in their moral debt and feel quite sad that I have done little to pay them back even in a small measure. The return on investment for my parents, I must confess, has been limited due to my own shortcomings. Heck, even on my education a large fortune was spent and the return to be them (at best) has been marginal. If you’re reading this… Sorry Dad! 🙂

The indulgence in self deprecation aside, the verse did get me thinking towards what is present in the home and what is not and that eventually led to the sordid ghazal I present below:


اب صداِ حق  کسی  گھر  میں  نہیں

سوزِ آرزومندی کسی جگر میں نہیں

I do not find the voice of truth

In any house in my land

The desire for wish fulfillment

Is not found in any heart


دلِ شکستایم بے شک مسکنِ یزداں

بقولِ رومی وہ تیرے گھر میں نہیں

A broken heart is indeed

The house where god lives

As Rumi told us

Gods are not in temples


سنبھال کے رکھ، اپنے  آبا  کی  کتابیں

کے ایسے ہیرے  تو  بہر و بر  میں نہیں

Take good care of the books

Of your ancestors

Those jewels

Are not found in seas or sands.


شاہی سے بڑھ کے ہے ترابی فقیری

ویسا جلال تو کسی سکندر میں نہیں

The ways of a Turabi faqeer

Are better than kingly ways

Such majesty

Is not found in any Alexander


ضبطِ حال کر کر کےاس راز کو پایا

جزاِ اشک نوشی، چشمِ تر میں نہیں

With patience

I found a secret

Swallowing your tears

Can be more intoxicating than shedding them


کس ترا بھول  جاؤں اسے  کے وہ

نورِ نظر تھا جو اب نظر میں نہیں

How can I forget that friend

Who was once

The light of my eyes

But lost from sight today


آ پھر کچھ  دیر  ہم  تم  تنہا  ہو  لیں

کے لطفِ جدائی ترے برابر میں نہیں

Let us part for a while

Since the joys of separation

Can not be found

While I am beside you


اک مسکان سے توں بہل جائے گا

تیرا علاج اشکِ متواتر میں نہیں

All it will take is a smile

To cure your sorrows

Your cure

Will not come from crying continuously


چھوڑ  دے  بد زات  بوتل  کو  اب  استاد

رنج تو دل میں ہے تیرے ساغر میں نہیں

Let go of the bottle

It is of no use

The sorrow is in your heart

Not in your cup

Leave a comment

Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

The way of the ancestors… طرزِ اسلاف

منھ سے معاف کر دیا، دل صاف تو نہیں

یہ انصاف  ہے کیا؟  یہ انصاف تو نہیں

You say you forgive me

Your heart does not say it

Is that justice?

It is not


ڈھیل  دی  ہے  رب  نے ظالم تجھے

خوش نہ ہو نادان، توں معاف تو نہیں

You have been given

A little time to fix yourself

Do not be amused

You are not forgiven yet


مقصدِ حیات  کوئی ہے تو بس انسانیت

آسان سی بات ہے، سورہِ کاف تو نہیں

The purpose of life

Is to help others

Its quite simple really

Not a complicated chapter of scripture


تیری  نگا ہ میں  کچھ  دیکھ  پوچھتا ہوں

میری آرزو تیری مرضی خلاف تو نہیں؟

I see something

In your eyes

Which makes me wonder

Is my desire against your wishes?


ہاں غلطیاں  بھی ہوئی  ہیں مجھ سے

ادنا آدمی ہوں، صاحبِ الطاف تو نہیں

Yes I have made

Some mistakes

I am but a man

Not a man of virtue


کس شوق سے عزت گنواتا ہے استاد

یہ طورِ نو تیرا، طرزِ اسلاف تو نہیں

How gleefully

You lost your honors

This new behavior

Was not the norm for your ancestors

Leave a comment

Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

The search for death… تلاشِ مرگ

تلاشِ مرگ ابعث، شہرِ جاناں سے چلنا سہی ہے

یاں  توں  ہی بتا اے دل،   در در  پھرنا سہی ہے؟

The search for death

Is useless

Or tell me my heart

Is it ok to go from door to door searching for it?


کتنی بہاریں اور دیکھنی ہیں اداس آنکھوں سے؟

دورِ خزاں  ہے عمر کا،  جہاں  سے چلنا سہی ہے

How many more springs

Will you see with your sad eyes?

Fall has arrived

Its time to leave the world


اس کے ہمنشین ہونے سے، آج  نشہ سا ہو گیا

نشے میں غلطی ہوئی، نشے میں گرنا سہی ہے

I felt intoxicated

While sitting with her

We made mistakes while intoxicated

I fell when I was inebriated


پاواشِ جرمِ عشق  میں   پھر  عدالت  گئے تو

حکمِ قاضی یہی تھا کے، تیرا مرنا سہی ہے

I was accused of falling in love

By the courts and the qazi

The punishment as always

Was death


ہاتھوں میں وہ خنجر لئے گھومتی پھرتی ہے

ابھی کچھ دیر ٹک بیٹھ، چھپے رہنا سہی ہے

She stalks you

With daggers drawn

Sit down here

Hide for a while


نفسِ امارہ و مطمین یکجان بھی ہوتے ہیں

کچھ  غلط  بات تو نہیں، انکا ملنا سہی ہے

The heart that seeks

And the one which is happy

Can be possibly found

In the same body


کیا  کیا  نہ کہا  انہوں  نے  آج  ہمارے  آگے

ہم نے بس اتنا ہی کہا، آپ کا کہنا سہی ہے

What was I not accused of

By her today

And all I could say was

You are right


فطری  سے تو احکام  ہیں تیرے  مذہب  کے

دل جانتا ہے تیرا, کیا غلط اور کیا سہی ہے

The orders of your faith

Are quite natural

And your heart knows

Right from wrong


تعرف  ہمارا اس طرح  سے دوست  کرتے  ہیں

استاد ذرا دیوانہ سا ہے، آدمی ورنہ سہی ہے

My friends introduce me

By saying

He is a little mad

But otherwise he is a good man


Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

I walk behind her… میں چلا پیچھے پیچھے

بلایا گھر کے سامنے، ملا پیچھے پیچھے

جہاں لے گیا وہ، میں چلا پیچھے پیچھے

I was called to the front of the house

He met me at the backdoor

Wherever he took me

I went without question


کارواںِ محبت کی ترتیبِ مستقل یہ ہے

ستمگر آگے تو دل جلا پیچھے پیچھے

The caravan of love

Has this eternal order

The heartbreaker walks ahead

The broken hearted follow


حیات تو عفریتِ عشق سے لڑتے گزری

میں تھا آگے آگے وہ بلا پیچھے پیچھے

I spent my life fighting

The beast called love

I ran from it

And it kept chasing


اطوارِ جہانِ فن تو فنکاروں سے سیکھ

شوشا آگے آگے تو کلا پیچھے پیچھے

The ways of the world of art

You should learn from actors

Glamor seems to come before

Any semblance of art


اشتیاقِ ملن کی آگ یوں سرد ہوئی یاروں

میں ہوا آگے تو  وہ بولا پیچھے پیچھے

The desire to be with her

Was thus cooled down

I went towards her and

She asked me to leave


طرزِ غالب، استاد کو بھی  اک ستم پیشہ ملی

اب بھی رکھتی ہے، مال اچھا پیچھے پیچھے

Like the old master Ghalib

I met a lady who tortured me

And she still

Does not give away what is valuable


Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

She turns day into night… وہ دن میں رات ملاتے ہیں

شیخ  اب  سچائی میں،  لعنت  ملاتے ہیں

خدا کے پاک ناموں میں،  لات ملاتے ہیں

Preachers mix truth

With falsehood

In the names of God

They include false gods


دو  کروڑ  لوگ ملک میں،  سید کہلاتے ہیں

کون لوگ سوچو کس سے، ذات ملاتے ہیں

Millions of people

Claim a lineage to the prophets

What people

Claim a lineage to whom?


صلحِ  کل  کے  قائل  تو  ہیں  ہم  پھر  بھی

طیش آتا ہے جب رقیب سے، ہاتھ ملاتے ہیں

Although I believe

In love for all hatred for none

I still get angry

When I greet her boyfriend


حسین  ادا سے چہرے  پے  ڈال کے زلفیں

کس کمال سے وہ دن میں، رات ملاتے ہیں

With a beauteous gesture

She covers her face

With strands of her hair

Seemingly mixing day and night


قائل ہوے عدو بھی آج،  تیری زباں کے

واہ! استاد کیا بات سے، بات ملاتے ہیں

Even your opposers

Admit your skills and exclaim

You make new words

From words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized