Tag Archives: Mirza Ghalib

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

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

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


Filed under Ghazal, Poetry