Tag Archives: Urdu poetry

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?

Advertisements

5 Comments

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

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized