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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wierd Couplet by Meer!

Aatish e Ishq ne Raawan ko Jala kar maara
jab ke lanka sa tha us deo ka ghar paani mien!

the couplet is interestingly obscure because of associating Raawan with Ishq. Is he talking of Raawan burning with Ishq or of Ram's love for Sita that led to the killing of Raawan. Another interesting thing is that Meer uses 'deo' in the conventional and not the literal sense. Deo in old delhi is a word used for a monster, rather than for Dev, which means a demi-god in Hindu culture. Also observe the play on Aatish e Ishq killing Raawan inspite of his living in the watery Lanka. The couplet presents a lot of interesting routes for the readers mind.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Three new couplets by classical ustads

It was a pleasure recently to hear three incredible couplets from a colleague and a friend. It is always nice to chat up with learned people, you get to hear some very fresh poetry. So here they are for all of you to read and comment on...

Faarigh hain kash ma kash se jahaan ki shikasta dil
kab pahunche haath shaane ka cheeni ke baal ko!

the incredible thing about this couplet is the mixing of different discourses in two lines. 'Shikasta' is a word for 'broken', the broken heart is free of the troubles of the world. The word 'shaana' is used for the shoulder as well as for the hair. A hair is also what a crack in the cup looks like and in the popular idiom the crack in the cup is also called 'baal padhna'. Cheeni means bone china. What the poet means to say is that a broken heart is comparable to delicate china ware and celebrates the fact that this 'baal' or crack cannot be straightened by the comb and that the 'worldly comb' can never reach it. The couplet is also interesting in presenting the old debate between aestheticism and realism. The comb that straightens the hair can be compared to mundane, dry reality that cannot touch or appreciate the intricacies of the cracks in chinaware.

The second one is by a poet called 'Nasikh', was a known wrestler and later became a poet.

Aaram se wahi hain jo pheren khuda se moonh
dekho hai murgh e qibla numa izteraab  mein!

The second line proves the first line. Seemingly atheistic, the couplet actually talks about the plight of the people who stick to the right path and are always baffled (izteraab) like the weather cock(murgh e qibla numa). The interesting fact is that the weather cock always has to face adverse winds in order to stick to its north south position. It would be a lot easier for it if the weather cock could also go with the changing times.
and finally a beautiful one with a sweet (literally) image:

rashk e sheereen hai mera sheereen dehn o farhaad
thook dewe wo jahaan howen bataashe paida!

Is sher mein sheereeni koot koot ke bhari hai. Look at the play on sheereen/farhaad. The image of the spit of the beloved is aptly compared to the bataasha (the sweet wafer that the christians eat at communion). This is also of the tradition of scoring a point over the legendary lovers, as the poet claims that even sheereen is envious of the sweetness of his beloved.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Baffling Couplet by Meer Taqi Meer- from khisht to khum!

I'm sorry for the unintended suspense about the baffling couplet but it has to do with the typing window not giving me the opportunity to share anything with you....the couplet was read out to me by a friend and both of us were initially unable even to follow the literal import of it....but the couplet stuck in my mind and i think i could give a convincing interpretation... I would appreciate if someone would challenge this interpretation with a better one. This is how the couplet goes..

Zamaane ne mujh jurrah kash ko nadaan
kiya khaak aaw khisht e sar khum kiya

the urdu script has a wow-alif in the second line which could have been a misprint, it could also be only a wow.

jurrah kash is a word used for someone who drinks in small sips...one who dwells over what he takes in...it would mean figuratively understanding the concepts of the world in parts...small measure. nadaan is a version of naa daan, which means someone who does not have understanding enough so it gels well with the claim to jurrah kashi. kash is the same as the 'kash' of a cigarette.
The second line introduces a beautiful muhavara or an idiom ' khisht e sar ko khum karna" and it has the key to deciphering the couplet. The poet says that when i came into the world i took it in in small measures and why because i did not have enough 'interior' space for the world outside. This is the state of a person when one is born one observes and every observation makes new space...reminds me of 'karat karat abhyas ke jarh mati hot sujaan/Rasri aawat jaat te SIR PAR PARAT NISAAN! The relationship that the couplet describes is that of every sense perception and experience making a small dent that has been beautifully rendered by "JURRAH KASH". But the world eventually reduces the self that has an agonistic relationship with it to dust, 'kiya khaak' and by reducing the self to 'khaak' the head that was born as 'khisht' that is, the head that was but a stone that had an antagonistic relationship with the world outside was transformed, in time, to "khum" that is the pyala or the cup. It is this movement from the primary, outward oriented movement of the mind to the birth of interiority that the couplet traces. It is beautiful how Meer charts the growth of man from khisht to khum in a couplet, a philosophical movement that would have taken the philosophers pages to explain.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

some newly found couplets from meer!

you find Meer's poetry everywhere on the net but it is often the same ghazals that seem to be doing the rounds, i'm proud of the fact that my blog would give the readers couplets that they might not find easily on the net. i hope the readers will appreciate the effort and keep me going with their comments.

Meer bhi dehr ke logon hee ki si kehne laga
kuch khuda lagti bhi kehta jo musalman hota

This one is about those who 'let the market decide', repeating what they hear from the media, not having any opinion of their own...it is about the subjects of discourse who have lost all ability to intervene in the discourses.

mera sar naz'aa mien zaanon pe rakh kar yun laga kehne
ke ai beemaar mere tujh pe jald aasan ho mar jaana
I wish i had the abilities to draw a picture of this, this one is almost comic in its irony in portraying the obliviousness of the beloved. naz'aa is a word for the time of death, zaan is shoulder.

khanjar e bedaad ko kya dekhte ho dam ba dam
chashm se insaaf ki seene hamare dekhiye!

jahaan se tu rakht e iqaamat ko baandh
ye manzil nahin, be khabar! raah hai!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ahmad Faraaz for you!

Ahmad Faraaz has been one of the better poets in urdu, his recent loss is yet another nail in the yet unfinished coffin of urdu poetry. There aren't many poets now, who can boast of a flowing and natural style of poetry that makes genuine art seem effortless. Here are some of the couplets from his ghazals that i cull out for my readers.
wahshaten badhti gayin, hijr ke aazaar ke saath
ab to ham baat bhi karte nahin ghamkhwar ke saath

the next one is undoubtedly in dialogue with meer's "phirte ho meer khwar koi poochta nahin/ is shayari mein izzat e saadat bhi gayi." dastaar=head gear, a mark of self respect, saadaat is the plural of syed, the most respected people amongst the muslim drawing lineage from the prophet, via hazrat Ali PBUH

ab to ham ghar se nikalte hain to rakh dete hain
taaq par izzat e saadaat bhi dastaar ke saath

is qadar khauf hai is sheher ki galiyon mein ke log
chaap sunte hain to lag jaate hain deewar ke saath!

ham ko us ahd mein taameer ka sauda hai jahan
log memaar ko chun dete hain deewar ke saath

Two couplets from the other ghazal
talaatum=tempest, me'maar= mason, creator
ab tum aaye ho meri jaan tamaasha karne
ab to dariya mein talaatum na sakoon hai, yun hai

shayari taaza zamaanon ki hai me'maar faraaz
yeh bhi ek silsila e kun fa ya koon hai yun hai!

Friday, April 9, 2010

ALLAMA IQBAL'S " DIALOGUE WITH THE INHABITANTS OF THE OTHER WORLD"

mehr e raushan chchup gaya, uththa naqaab e ru e shaam
shana e hasti pe hai bikhra hua gesu e shaam
mehr e raushan=bright sun, naqaab e ru e shaam=the veil over the face of the evening
shaana e hasti=the shoulder of existence, gesu e shaam=the hair of the evening

yeh siya poshi ki tayyari kisi ke gham mein hai
mehfil e qudrat magar khursheed ke maatam mein hai
siya poshi=dark dress, weeds, khursheed=sun, nature mourns the fall of the sun

kar raha hai aasman jadoo lab e guftaar par
sahir e shab ki nazar hai deedah e bedaar par

ghota zan darya e khamoshi mien hai mauj e hawa
haan magar ek door se aati hai aawaz e dara
ghota zan=diver, the air dives into the sea of silence, one can only hear a distant bell (of the cattle?)

dil ke hai be taabi e ulfat mein duniya se nafoor
khench laya hai mujhe hangama e aalam se door

manzar e hirmaan naseebi ka tamashai hoon main
ham nasheen e khaftgaan e kunj e tanhai hoon main
manzar e hirmaan naseebi= the sight of someone's disappointment or loss
i am a companion of the one's who have been locked into silence.

tham zara be taabi e dil baith jaane de mujhe
aur is basti pe chaar aansoo girane de mujhe

ai mae ghaflat ke sarmaston kahan rehte ho tum
kuchch kaho us des ki aakhir jahan rehte ho tum

woh bhi hairat khaana e imroz o farda hai koi?
aur paikaar e anasir ka tamaasha hai koi?

aadmi wan bhi hisaar e gham mein hain mehsoor kya?
us wilayat mein bhi hai insaan ka dil majboor kya?

waan bhi jal marta hai soz e shama par parwana kya?
us chaman mien bhi gul o bulbul ka hai afsaana kya?

yaan to ik misre pe pehloo se nikal jaata hai dil
sher ki garmi se kya waan bhi pighal jaata hai dil?

rishta o paiwand yaan ke jaan ke aazaar hain
us gulistaan mien bhi kya aise nukeele khaar hain?

is jahaan mien ik maeeshat aur sau uftaad hain
rooh kya us des mien is fikr se aazaad hai?

kya wahaan bijli bhi hai, dehqaan bhi hai, khirman bhi hai
qafile wale bhi hain, andesha e rahzan bhi hai?

tinke chunte hain wahan kya aashiyan ke waaste?
khisht o gil ki fikr hoti hai makaan ke waaste?

waan bhi insaan apni asliyat se begaane hain kya?
imtiyaaz e millat o aayin ke deewane hain kya?

waan bhi kya faryaad e bulbul par chaman rota nahin?
is jahan ki tarha waan bhi dard e dil hota nahin?

baagh hai firdaus ya ek manzil e aaram hai?
ya rukh e be parda e husn e azal ka naam hai?

kya jahannum ma'asiyat sozi ki ik tarkeeb hai?
aag ke sholon mien pinhaan maqsad e taadeeb hai

kya ewaz raftaar ke is des mein parwaaz hai?
maut kehte hain jise ehl e zameen, kya raaz hai?

iztiraab e dil ka saamaan yaan ka hast o bood hai
ilm e insaan is wilayat mein bhi kya mehdood hai?

deed se taskeen pata hai dil e mehjoor bhi?
lan tarani keh rahe hain ya, wahan ke toor bhi?

justujoo mein hai wahaan bhi rooh ko aaram kya?
waan bhi insaan hai qateel e zauq e istehnaam kya?

aah woh kishwar bhi taareeki ki kya ma'amoor hai?
ya muhabbat ke tajalli se, saraapa noor hai?

tum bata do raaz jo is gumbad e gardaan mien hai
maut ek chubhta hua kaanta dil e insaan mein hai
gumbad e gardaan= grave, mound of earth

poochte hain woh ke ghalib kauh hai...

My photo
Senior assistant professor at Zakir Husain Delhi College (Eve.) of the Delhi University

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wierd Couplet by Meer!

Aatish e Ishq ne Raawan ko Jala kar maara
jab ke lanka sa tha us deo ka ghar paani mien!

the couplet is interestingly obscure because of associating Raawan with Ishq. Is he talking of Raawan burning with Ishq or of Ram's love for Sita that led to the killing of Raawan. Another interesting thing is that Meer uses 'deo' in the conventional and not the literal sense. Deo in old delhi is a word used for a monster, rather than for Dev, which means a demi-god in Hindu culture. Also observe the play on Aatish e Ishq killing Raawan inspite of his living in the watery Lanka. The couplet presents a lot of interesting routes for the readers mind.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Three new couplets by classical ustads

It was a pleasure recently to hear three incredible couplets from a colleague and a friend. It is always nice to chat up with learned people, you get to hear some very fresh poetry. So here they are for all of you to read and comment on...

Faarigh hain kash ma kash se jahaan ki shikasta dil
kab pahunche haath shaane ka cheeni ke baal ko!

the incredible thing about this couplet is the mixing of different discourses in two lines. 'Shikasta' is a word for 'broken', the broken heart is free of the troubles of the world. The word 'shaana' is used for the shoulder as well as for the hair. A hair is also what a crack in the cup looks like and in the popular idiom the crack in the cup is also called 'baal padhna'. Cheeni means bone china. What the poet means to say is that a broken heart is comparable to delicate china ware and celebrates the fact that this 'baal' or crack cannot be straightened by the comb and that the 'worldly comb' can never reach it. The couplet is also interesting in presenting the old debate between aestheticism and realism. The comb that straightens the hair can be compared to mundane, dry reality that cannot touch or appreciate the intricacies of the cracks in chinaware.

The second one is by a poet called 'Nasikh', was a known wrestler and later became a poet.

Aaram se wahi hain jo pheren khuda se moonh
dekho hai murgh e qibla numa izteraab  mein!

The second line proves the first line. Seemingly atheistic, the couplet actually talks about the plight of the people who stick to the right path and are always baffled (izteraab) like the weather cock(murgh e qibla numa). The interesting fact is that the weather cock always has to face adverse winds in order to stick to its north south position. It would be a lot easier for it if the weather cock could also go with the changing times.
and finally a beautiful one with a sweet (literally) image:

rashk e sheereen hai mera sheereen dehn o farhaad
thook dewe wo jahaan howen bataashe paida!

Is sher mein sheereeni koot koot ke bhari hai. Look at the play on sheereen/farhaad. The image of the spit of the beloved is aptly compared to the bataasha (the sweet wafer that the christians eat at communion). This is also of the tradition of scoring a point over the legendary lovers, as the poet claims that even sheereen is envious of the sweetness of his beloved.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Baffling Couplet by Meer Taqi Meer- from khisht to khum!

I'm sorry for the unintended suspense about the baffling couplet but it has to do with the typing window not giving me the opportunity to share anything with you....the couplet was read out to me by a friend and both of us were initially unable even to follow the literal import of it....but the couplet stuck in my mind and i think i could give a convincing interpretation... I would appreciate if someone would challenge this interpretation with a better one. This is how the couplet goes..

Zamaane ne mujh jurrah kash ko nadaan
kiya khaak aaw khisht e sar khum kiya

the urdu script has a wow-alif in the second line which could have been a misprint, it could also be only a wow.

jurrah kash is a word used for someone who drinks in small sips...one who dwells over what he takes in...it would mean figuratively understanding the concepts of the world in parts...small measure. nadaan is a version of naa daan, which means someone who does not have understanding enough so it gels well with the claim to jurrah kashi. kash is the same as the 'kash' of a cigarette.
The second line introduces a beautiful muhavara or an idiom ' khisht e sar ko khum karna" and it has the key to deciphering the couplet. The poet says that when i came into the world i took it in in small measures and why because i did not have enough 'interior' space for the world outside. This is the state of a person when one is born one observes and every observation makes new space...reminds me of 'karat karat abhyas ke jarh mati hot sujaan/Rasri aawat jaat te SIR PAR PARAT NISAAN! The relationship that the couplet describes is that of every sense perception and experience making a small dent that has been beautifully rendered by "JURRAH KASH". But the world eventually reduces the self that has an agonistic relationship with it to dust, 'kiya khaak' and by reducing the self to 'khaak' the head that was born as 'khisht' that is, the head that was but a stone that had an antagonistic relationship with the world outside was transformed, in time, to "khum" that is the pyala or the cup. It is this movement from the primary, outward oriented movement of the mind to the birth of interiority that the couplet traces. It is beautiful how Meer charts the growth of man from khisht to khum in a couplet, a philosophical movement that would have taken the philosophers pages to explain.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

some newly found couplets from meer!

you find Meer's poetry everywhere on the net but it is often the same ghazals that seem to be doing the rounds, i'm proud of the fact that my blog would give the readers couplets that they might not find easily on the net. i hope the readers will appreciate the effort and keep me going with their comments.

Meer bhi dehr ke logon hee ki si kehne laga
kuch khuda lagti bhi kehta jo musalman hota

This one is about those who 'let the market decide', repeating what they hear from the media, not having any opinion of their own...it is about the subjects of discourse who have lost all ability to intervene in the discourses.

mera sar naz'aa mien zaanon pe rakh kar yun laga kehne
ke ai beemaar mere tujh pe jald aasan ho mar jaana
I wish i had the abilities to draw a picture of this, this one is almost comic in its irony in portraying the obliviousness of the beloved. naz'aa is a word for the time of death, zaan is shoulder.

khanjar e bedaad ko kya dekhte ho dam ba dam
chashm se insaaf ki seene hamare dekhiye!

jahaan se tu rakht e iqaamat ko baandh
ye manzil nahin, be khabar! raah hai!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ahmad Faraaz for you!

Ahmad Faraaz has been one of the better poets in urdu, his recent loss is yet another nail in the yet unfinished coffin of urdu poetry. There aren't many poets now, who can boast of a flowing and natural style of poetry that makes genuine art seem effortless. Here are some of the couplets from his ghazals that i cull out for my readers.
wahshaten badhti gayin, hijr ke aazaar ke saath
ab to ham baat bhi karte nahin ghamkhwar ke saath

the next one is undoubtedly in dialogue with meer's "phirte ho meer khwar koi poochta nahin/ is shayari mein izzat e saadat bhi gayi." dastaar=head gear, a mark of self respect, saadaat is the plural of syed, the most respected people amongst the muslim drawing lineage from the prophet, via hazrat Ali PBUH

ab to ham ghar se nikalte hain to rakh dete hain
taaq par izzat e saadaat bhi dastaar ke saath

is qadar khauf hai is sheher ki galiyon mein ke log
chaap sunte hain to lag jaate hain deewar ke saath!

ham ko us ahd mein taameer ka sauda hai jahan
log memaar ko chun dete hain deewar ke saath

Two couplets from the other ghazal
talaatum=tempest, me'maar= mason, creator
ab tum aaye ho meri jaan tamaasha karne
ab to dariya mein talaatum na sakoon hai, yun hai

shayari taaza zamaanon ki hai me'maar faraaz
yeh bhi ek silsila e kun fa ya koon hai yun hai!

Friday, April 9, 2010

ALLAMA IQBAL'S " DIALOGUE WITH THE INHABITANTS OF THE OTHER WORLD"

mehr e raushan chchup gaya, uththa naqaab e ru e shaam
shana e hasti pe hai bikhra hua gesu e shaam
mehr e raushan=bright sun, naqaab e ru e shaam=the veil over the face of the evening
shaana e hasti=the shoulder of existence, gesu e shaam=the hair of the evening

yeh siya poshi ki tayyari kisi ke gham mein hai
mehfil e qudrat magar khursheed ke maatam mein hai
siya poshi=dark dress, weeds, khursheed=sun, nature mourns the fall of the sun

kar raha hai aasman jadoo lab e guftaar par
sahir e shab ki nazar hai deedah e bedaar par

ghota zan darya e khamoshi mien hai mauj e hawa
haan magar ek door se aati hai aawaz e dara
ghota zan=diver, the air dives into the sea of silence, one can only hear a distant bell (of the cattle?)

dil ke hai be taabi e ulfat mein duniya se nafoor
khench laya hai mujhe hangama e aalam se door

manzar e hirmaan naseebi ka tamashai hoon main
ham nasheen e khaftgaan e kunj e tanhai hoon main
manzar e hirmaan naseebi= the sight of someone's disappointment or loss
i am a companion of the one's who have been locked into silence.

tham zara be taabi e dil baith jaane de mujhe
aur is basti pe chaar aansoo girane de mujhe

ai mae ghaflat ke sarmaston kahan rehte ho tum
kuchch kaho us des ki aakhir jahan rehte ho tum

woh bhi hairat khaana e imroz o farda hai koi?
aur paikaar e anasir ka tamaasha hai koi?

aadmi wan bhi hisaar e gham mein hain mehsoor kya?
us wilayat mein bhi hai insaan ka dil majboor kya?

waan bhi jal marta hai soz e shama par parwana kya?
us chaman mien bhi gul o bulbul ka hai afsaana kya?

yaan to ik misre pe pehloo se nikal jaata hai dil
sher ki garmi se kya waan bhi pighal jaata hai dil?

rishta o paiwand yaan ke jaan ke aazaar hain
us gulistaan mien bhi kya aise nukeele khaar hain?

is jahaan mien ik maeeshat aur sau uftaad hain
rooh kya us des mien is fikr se aazaad hai?

kya wahaan bijli bhi hai, dehqaan bhi hai, khirman bhi hai
qafile wale bhi hain, andesha e rahzan bhi hai?

tinke chunte hain wahan kya aashiyan ke waaste?
khisht o gil ki fikr hoti hai makaan ke waaste?

waan bhi insaan apni asliyat se begaane hain kya?
imtiyaaz e millat o aayin ke deewane hain kya?

waan bhi kya faryaad e bulbul par chaman rota nahin?
is jahan ki tarha waan bhi dard e dil hota nahin?

baagh hai firdaus ya ek manzil e aaram hai?
ya rukh e be parda e husn e azal ka naam hai?

kya jahannum ma'asiyat sozi ki ik tarkeeb hai?
aag ke sholon mien pinhaan maqsad e taadeeb hai

kya ewaz raftaar ke is des mein parwaaz hai?
maut kehte hain jise ehl e zameen, kya raaz hai?

iztiraab e dil ka saamaan yaan ka hast o bood hai
ilm e insaan is wilayat mein bhi kya mehdood hai?

deed se taskeen pata hai dil e mehjoor bhi?
lan tarani keh rahe hain ya, wahan ke toor bhi?

justujoo mein hai wahaan bhi rooh ko aaram kya?
waan bhi insaan hai qateel e zauq e istehnaam kya?

aah woh kishwar bhi taareeki ki kya ma'amoor hai?
ya muhabbat ke tajalli se, saraapa noor hai?

tum bata do raaz jo is gumbad e gardaan mien hai
maut ek chubhta hua kaanta dil e insaan mein hai
gumbad e gardaan= grave, mound of earth