Tag Archives: Ghalib

What I can not find…

پارسا تو ملتے بہت، انساں نہیں ملتا

اس جیسے ملتے بہت، عثماں نہیں ملتا

 

روسیاہ ہی ہو گے راکھ کرید کے

جلتے ہوے گھر سے ساماں نہیں ملتا

 

جب ملا ہم کو سات پردوں میں ملا

رازِ حیات ہمیں، عریاں نہیں ملتا

 

وضو کیا تو کیا؟ سجدہ کیا تو کیا؟

یوں سر پٹخنے سے، ایماں نہیں ملتا

 

بہت دنوں سے ہے تلاطم کی جستجو

ہر طرف سکوت ہے، طوفاں نہیں ملتا

 

منفرد ہیں میر، غالب، فیض و فراز

ایک سے دوسرے کا، دیواں نہیں ملتا

 

ایک اور سبکی استاد نے برداشت کی

تیری طرح ضبط کا خواہاں نہیں ملتا

Pious people are everywhere

Yet I can not find a man

I find many like him

But not him

 

This search

This inquisitiveness is useless

You can not find your belongings

In a house that burnt down

 

And whenever I discovered the secret

It was shrouded in many layers

I could not find

The naked truth

 

I performed the rituals

Abulutions

Slammed my head against the floor

And could not find faith

 

I seek the tumult

Been searching for it

Stillness everywhere

Not a storm in sight

 

The poets and the thinkers

The guides

All have their uniqueness

Unquestioned

 

And so he suffers

Another insult

I find none like him

Who preach patience

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Similarities

And yet again

We make similar mistakes

Akin to Ghalib, I too

Love that faithless beauty

 

So I went to the tavern

With a mask on my face

And I found that even the pious

Can lose their clothes in ecstasy

 

Therefore do not be annoyed

When they accuse you

Of being in love

They are merely jealous

 

I will tell you as a friend

I could make little of people

Some of them make you

Others seek to unmake you

 

And I got a lot of advice

Opinions, Voices, Thoughts

Yet I only

Listen to you

 

Though you are a stone

I have seen you tremble

I have seen you in pain

With tears in your beautiful eyes

 

I of course, Am in love

But you my dear

Why do you

Suffer her insolence?

 

لو پھر اک بار  وہی  غلطیاں کرتے ہیں

مانندِ غالب، پھراسی بیوفا پے مرتے ہیں

 

میکدے  میں  با نقاب گئے تھے پر

واں تو شرفا کے کپڑے اترتے ہیں

 

برا  نہ  مانیے  اس دشنامِ عشق  کا

لوگ تو حاسد ہیں یونہی جلتے ہیں

 

کچھ نا بنا لوگوں سے ہمارا یاروں

کچھ  بناتے  ہیں  تو کچھ بنتے ہیں

 

مشورے تو بہت سے ملے ہم کو

ہم  تو  بس  آپ  کی  سنتے  ہیں

 

صنم آپ کو بھی لرزاں دیکھا تھا

کے آپ کے بھی اشک بہتے ہیں

 

ہمیں تو ہے خیر اس ظالم سے عشق

استاد آپ کیوں یہ سب سہتے ہیں؟

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Then I cried a lot…

میں  درِ رحماں  گیا،  جا  کر بہت رویا

پھر واپس میکدے میں، آ کر بہت رویا

I went to the house of worship

I cried a lot there

Then I came back to the tavern

And cried a lot there

 

جب آے یاد مجھ کو، گناہ سارے کل کو

خدا کے آگے سر، جھکا  کر بہت رویا

And yesterday

I recounted all my sins

I bowed my head before God

And cried a lot for forgiveness

 

اقرارِ  عشق  پے  وہ  کچھ  بدل سی گئی

جو بات نہ سنانی تھی، سنا کر بہت رویا

On the confession of love

Things changed

The words I was not supposed to say

Made me cry a lot once I had said them

 

جو  ترے  سامنے  رونا  ممنوع ٹھہرا

تو میں چراغِ  شام، بھجا کر بہت رویا

And hopelessness

Is forbidden before you

So I turned out the lights

And cried in the darkness

 

قسم  یاد تھی ان کے آگے نہ رونے کی

ان  سے  اپنا چہرہ ، چھپا کر بہت رویا

I swore

I would not cry

Before her

So I hid my face before shedding tears

 

جو  تجھ  سے  دوری ہی  میرا مقدرٹھہرا

میں اپنے ہاتھ اپنا کفن، سجا کر بہت رویا

If I am destined to be

Away from you

I will decorate my burial shroud

And cry as I do it

 

جانتا  تھا  کے  اسی راستے سے آئیں گے

سرِ رہگذر ان سے نظر، ملا کر بہت رویا

I knew she would walk

Upon this path

I wept uncontrollably

When I met her gaze

 

امتحانِ عشق ہی تو تھی میری جاں طلبی

وہ  یوں  میرا عشق، آزما  کر بہت رویا

And he wanted

To take my life as a test of love

He cried a lot

After testing my love

 

کیسے اسے معاف نہ کرتا؟ دل صاف نہ کرتا؟

کے وہ کافر ادا میرا دل،  دکھا  کر  بہت رویا

And how could I not forgive him?

How could I hold a grudge?

He cried a lot

After hurting me

 

عاشقی صبر طلب سہی غالب پر میں تو

شکوہ کر، شکایت کر، گلہ کر بہت رویا

As per the words of Ghalib

Love demands patience

Yet I cry a lot

With laments, complaints, plaints

 

ایک دریا لیے پھرے، استاد اپنی آنکھوں میں

ان  کو  اپنا  زخمِ  دل،  دکھا  کر  بہت  رویا

You’ll find a river in his eyes

As he cries

While he shows

The wounds on his heart

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The complaint

Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was one of the greatest poets who ever lived in the Mughal Empire. More than his poetry, it is his life and love for life that I find quite inspiring. Undoubtedly, his words have inspired generations of poets that followed him and I still find his diwan (collection of poetic writings) to be quite delightful. The first couplet of the diwan is reproduced below:

نقشِ فریادی  ہے  کس کی  شوخیِ تحریر  کا

کاغذی    ہے   پیرہن    ہر  پیکرِ  تصویر  کا

Naqsh-e-faryaadi hai kis ki shaukhi-e tehreer ka

Kagazi hai pairahan har paikar-e tasveer ka

A rather simplified meaning of this couplet is:

This sign made by the one who complaints

Is it a mischief through writing?

Every image worthy of being admired

Wears paper thin clothes

Obviously, different thinkers and critics have applied their own meanings to the words and a very powerful as well as detailed explanation (along with criticism) can be found at the Ghalib index maintained by Columbia University. I suggest you read it if you’re so inclined. It does explain a lot of the difficulty in translating poetic thought, particularly from languages such as Persian and Urdu. As I reflected on Ghalib’s words, a rather dismal ghazal formed in my mind, of which the hasil-e-ghazal (primary meaningful verse) is the second couplet.

ان مناظر  پے  اب  دھیان کون کرے

ترے سامنے تعریفِ جہاں کون کرے

These vistas

Are immaterial

Am I to waste time praising the world?

Or should I admire your beauty?

j

شوخیِ تحریر تو جرم  ٹھہری یاروں

فریادی  موجود پر، نشان کون کرے

And it is a crime to write

Or to make a mark

The injured party is there

Who registers the complaint?

j

دیوانگی میں افسردگی؟  ہنسی اتی ہے

ہم ہنسے  رقیب ہنسے،  فغاں کون کرے

A sense of sadness

With a hint of insanity

It makes me and him laugh

But who cries?

j

کیوں  صدائیں  اپنی جدا  ہو گئیں

آج تجھ کو میرا،  ہمنوا کون کرے

And for some reason

We now have different beliefs

Who today

Will make us sing in harmony

j

فیضی ضبطِ حالی، اقبالی کم نصیبی

اب  تیرے  در کو،  آستان  کون  کرے

Faiz like patience

Poor timing as Iqbal

Now who shall make your house

A dwelling

j

کوئی تو  ہے یہاں,  جو من میں  آتا ہے

یوں میری جان کو، جانِ جان کون کرے

You are creeping further

Right into my heart

Turning my life

Into the life of your life

j

رنگے مرے ہاتھ اسی کے لہو سے

اب مرے ہاتھوں کو، حنا کون کرے

And my hands are soaked

In her blood

Who shall now

Put henna on my hands?

j

یہ  شہر  تو تیرے  اسیروں کا ہے

جو  قید توں کرے، رہا  کون کرے

This city belongs to those

Who have been ensnared by your tresses

And who can free

Whom you have captured

j

عجب بے دلی سی ہے سرِ شام

جفا  ہوتی نہیں،  وفا کون کرے

Without her

The evening feels sad

I am accused of being faithless

Who can be faithful?

j

بس   کر یہ فتوے   بازی   او قاضی

جنہے  رب اک  کرے، جدا کون کرے

Please stop

Passing judgements and sentences

Individuals who are made to think alike

Are alike in action

j

کچھ سبب تو ہے، کے خاموشی ہے

اک  راز پنہاں ہے،  آیاں کون کرے

There must be a reason

For this silence

A secret, hidden

Who makes it obvious?

j

ہے تو استادِ بے باک جو سچا ہے

جراتِ گناہ اسکے سوا کون کرے

And it is only I

Who says the truth

This courage to sin

Belongs to none other

j

اَلصَّلاَةُ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ النَّوْمِ سنا صبحِ ازل

ایسی  پر  سوز  اذان  کون  کرے؟

With first light I heard

Worship is better than sleeping

Who said

Those beautiful words?

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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

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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

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An Apology to Ghalib… دیر و حرم و آستاں

I was driving (getting on the highway ramp) when I saw a sign that basically meant that non-motorized vehicles or pedestrians were not permitted to use the ‘path’ meant only for cars. It triggered a rather philosophical idea in my mind that paths were first made by the footsteps of man/animal and walking on roads used to be an essential means for us to get around until Von Otto went about creating the infernal contraption which eventually led to our present evolution of suburbia. In this day and age, if we simply sat down by the highway, in a few minutes (or perhaps hours) a cop would roll by and ask us to move. Essentially defying the question asked by Ghalib in the very famous verse

Dair Nahi Haram Nahi Dar Nahi Asstaan Nahi

Baithein hein Rahguzar pay hum, ghair humay uthay kyon?

Which in loose translation means;

Its not a temple, nor a mosque, nor a doorway nor a hermitage

I sit by the wayside, why should someone ask me to move?

I confess, sitting on the side of a road and watching people go by is one of my favorite wastes of time. Particularly on a nice day with a reasonable cup of coffee and a laptop to get some work done (yes there are bills to pay!). But obviously, as opposed to Ghalib, we can no longer reasonably engage in that activity everywhere. That led me to thinking about being asked to move or being asked to get out of the way of cars which made me tap out a few verses (parked on the side of the highway no less) which I present below.

دیر  و  حرم  و آستاں تو دور کی بات

یاں تو رہگزر سے بھی اٹھا دیتے ہیں

Temples, mosques and hermitages

Are a distant concern

They would move you

Even from the wayside

سچ گواب بچتے ہیں سب کی نگاہ سے

کے لوگ اب سچائی کی سزا دیتے ہیں

Those who speak the truth

Often have to hide

People punish you

For saything the truth

کس خوش گوئی سے کج کلام ہیں وہ

ذرا سی بات کہ کے دل جلا دیتے ہیں

With eloquence,

She says biting words

With a few sentences

She can set my mind to flame

ریا و سیاہ کاری میں ہماری عمر کٹی

سفرِ آخر پے کیوں سفید قبا دیتے ہیں؟

I spent my life in sin and hypocrisy

My black deeds cover me

Yet on my final journey

I’ve been given a white shroud

آؤ مانندِ موسیٰ  کسی طور پے چڑھیں

سنا کے رب جلوہ بھی دکھا دیتے ہیں

Let us go you and I

To a mount like the one Moses climbed

I hear that it is possible

To see the sight of God

عمر بھر  کسی نے قدر نہ  کی ہمری

بعدِ موت کیا ہیرا سمجھ دبا دیتے ہیں؟

I held no value for anyone

While I lived

But now

They bury me as I were a treasure

خاموشیِ بتاں  پے توں دل برا مت کر

حسین خامشی سے ہی رضا دیتے ہیں

If the idol remains silent

Do not despair

I hear that the beauteous

Give approval through silence

غمِ عشق  پے روتا  ہے  کیوں  استاد؟

اس کھیل میں غم بھی مزہ دیتے ہیں

The sorrow of love

Should not move you to tears

In this game even sorrows

Bring joy

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