Posts Tagged ‘Ghalib’

Finding peace in the desert of loneliness

June 16, 2017

​So I was on one of those rants of mine. My wife was on another end of the phone call. I was reciting Ghalib’s poetry, some couplets as I remembered them from memory.

Suddenly out of the blue, I changed the topic and told her, as if I was talking to myself, “Do you know I’m no more sad anymore..? Though I look sad all the time, I’m not. I’ve no regrets.” I started singing, “अजि मी ब्रह्म पाहिले, अजि मी ब्रह्म पाहिले..”

I was again talking to myself. “I’m mostly calm, content. I’m not sorry..” “You know that poem by Faiz?”

“dasht e tanhaai mein, aye jaan-e-jahaan..” 

Faiz is calm here. He stands in the desert of loneliness, still he’s so calm.. and see the beautiful words he uses.. “With so much love, oh sweetheart, your thought has touched my heart.. even though it’s the morning of separation, it feels like the day of separation has just ended, and here’s coming the night of togetherness..”

Even this coming together is not like how honeymooners will jump on each other.. it’s calm, serene.. more like when one dies in the lap of their beloved..

“Why don’t you find such calmness in Ghalib’s poetry?” I asked my wife (though I was actually asking myself). I tried to remember at least one shair by Ghalib where he talks of such serenity. I could recollect none.

I jumped on another poem, one by Sahir. “चंद कलियाँ निशात की चुनकर, मुद्दतों महवे यास रहता हूँ..” Sahir too is not a happy poet. He’s full of his own bitterness. Still he finds these “few moments of happiness”, I couldn’t find those in Ghalib’s poetry. (While I was talking to her about this little poem by Sahir, I was kind of afraid she’ll remember.. I generally refrain from talking about our days of courtship with her. These were the lines written on the first page of the diary wherein I would write so passionately about my longing for her.. I could never tell her of my feelings for her, so one fine day, on the 14th of April, 2006, as we returned from Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur, into my room at a hostel nearby, I handed her my diary and kept looking at her tiny face as she read her own story within it.)

So, cutting it short, I couldn’t remember even one serenely calm shair of Ghalib. Perhaps, he could never get even those few moments.. Do you remember any of his calm shair?

Ek dost bahut duur se aata hai..

October 4, 2014

Finally, I did go Bhopal yesterday.  The feeling that I could actually meet dear Shams bhai proved stronger than my laziness.

I reached Bhopal station and he came to pick me.  We went his home. We went out.  Visited places – the lakes, Taj-ul-Masajid (Crown of the Mosques), the shaheen (Eagle) of Iqbal, curfew waali maata, various historical structures in Bhopal, many of them in ruins, few maintained.  We rode on his bike on roads.  We had samovar tea.  We had lunch.

Me with Mr. Shams Adanan Alavi.

And we talked, talked, and talked –

of the city, it’s people, it’s structures and monuments, it’s literature, it’s language.  We talked of Maharashtra, it’s politics, the social movements of Maharashtra, and the literary movements thereof.  We talked of Mahatma Phule.  We talked of Sikandar Jahaan Begum.  We talked of Annabhau Sathe and Dr. Ambedkar.  We talked about the Dhamma Chakra Pravartan festival at Deekahsbhoomi, Nagpur.  We talked of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.  We talked of Maratha Seva Sangh.  We talked of Marathi ghazal.  We talked of poetic meter.  And then it was a time to finish the visit and come back!

Later I felt like I talked too much and made him listen all the time.  I had gone there to listen to him.  I noted a few times when he was talking about himself, I myself started talking.  Perhaps, I was so excited..  Perhaps some other time..

I came back.  Today, he posted a poem on his Facebook.. A poem dedicated to me.. “a friend comes from far away..” ek dost bahut door se aata hai.. Never believed someone would dedicate me a poem..

And I am overwhelmed.. almost in tears to read it!

Ek dost bahut duur se aata hai

Dedicated to Ganesh Dhamodkar
نذر گنیش دھاموڈکر

Ek dost bohat door se aata hai
arz-e-baraar٭ ki Khusbhu lata hai
kehta hai Marathi aur Urdu mein Ghazal voh
aur mujhe Chakbast** ka she’r sunaata hai
ab tak rabt tha us se
magar mulaqaat na thi
hoti thee.n baate.n magar shayad milne ki saa’at na thii
voh naujawaa.n jahaaN bhi jaata hai
saath Gahlib ka barqi diivaa.n le jaata hai
Ek dost bohat door se aata hai…
dhyaan se dekhe usne shahr ke dar-o-faseel
taal ke aks meiN nazar aayii use ‘Ambazari jheel’
hai kam-sukhan magar kamaal kar jaata hai
yakdam Taj Bhopali ke baare me.n savaal kar jaata hai
Ek dost bohat door se aata hai…
Uski aankho.n meN kuchh khwaab haiN
khamushi ke pas-e-pusht kaii inqelab haiN
apne kuchh Khwaab mujhe sunaata hai
ham se jab misra mauzoo.n nahi hota
voh jumla bhi ‘beher’ mein keh jaata hai
Ek dost bohat door se aata hai…

                                                                        Shams ‘Adnan’ Alavi

[Arz-e-Baraar=Land of Berar in today’s Maharashtra
٭٭Renowned Urdu poet late Brij Narayan Chakbast
barqi divaa.n=Diwan in file in computer/pen drive/pdf]

Ghalib – My Friend, Philosopher, Poet

June 13, 2014

Ghalib is “the” poet of the subcontinent. His ash’aar (couplets) have provided solace to millions. Thousands have interpreted him in their own way. Indeed, Ghalib’s shair (couplet) present themselves differently in different situations.

Ghalib has been a dear companion to me over years. His deewan has been a bible to me. There hasn’t been a day, and I mean it literally, when I’ve not thought of some of his shair. Ghalib accompanies me in my happiness and more so in my sadness.

I’m thinking of writing on Ghalib’s poetry – if my time permits and gives enough leisure to me. Nothing is fixed yet. Perhaps, I will, or I will not. I’ve been constantly prodded by one senior poet friend of mine to write about Ghalib. Though I’ve shown my interest, I haven’t committed anything yet.

I shall finish this post with one of Ghalib’s shair:

taaliif e nuskha haaye wafaa kar rahaa tha main
majmoo.n e khayaal abhi fard fard tha

Compiling the recipe of love I was; the ingredients of my thoughts were still in fragments and pieces.

Short letter to X

December 17, 2013

Dear X,

One shair of Ghalib for me, rather just one line of it. “ Aashiqui sabr_talab aur tamanna betaab..” Love asks for patience, and desires are uncontrollable. What shall I do of my heart until it ends all?

thinking of you,

Ganesh

Gone are the days when I used to…

May 31, 2012

I am not writing these days; not even little updates.  I am not feeling that urge.  Maybe, I have nothing to write, or maybe I am too busy to write, or maybe just because I am not happy with myself—I don’t know.  I am not writing these days.

Letters used to be a common means of conversation between Master and me.  I have written him letters as long as 40 pages.  About a month ago, I brought a new notebook and started writing him a 200-page letter—it is still at it’s 4th page.

I’m a very possessive nerd when it comes to writing.  I can’t write a single line if someone is around.  Maybe, I’m not left alone these days.

I’m ending this post on a very discordant note, with a couplet of Mirza Ghalib, one of the most accomplished and famous poet of the subcontinent.  It is certainly not as discordant with the post as I am with myself at this moment:

ग़ालिब वज़िफ़ाख्वार हो दो शाह को दुआ,
वो दिन गये के कहते थे नौकर नहीं हूं मैं

Ghalib, you are a pensioner now, bless the King;
Gone are the days when you used to say “I’m not your servant!”

I cannot stop writing

March 1, 2012

I often get a question:  “How do you write?”  It has a wide range of connotations:  “How do you get such thoughts?”; “How can you find time to write?”; or just “Why the hell you stress yourself after a workday? Don’t you get tired ?”  The answer is simple for me.  I write because I write; I cannot do otherwise.  I cannot live without writing.  It is not about writing a blog or writing online.  Writing online is kind of a perversion, because I cannot write on-paper for many reasons.  Writing online has its benefits too; I get a quick response and I can refine my thoughts if there is any odd thinking.

I never knew myself for years that I can write.  I was a reader; reading for my own pleasure.  I never understood at what time my reading changed from “just reading” to “a reading experience.”  At some point in my reading career, without even knowing myself, I started interpreting things in my own way.  And I started to realize whatever I had read until then was just a reading practice for the years to come.  Earlier, I used to devour hundreds of pages in a day, but it was just a preparation.  Till then, I hated poetry.  I had never brought a poetry book from library.  I never understood why people write poems.  It was all because I had never read good poetry, or I had not learnt interpreting things till then.  All this happened around my early twenties.  From around 19 through 21, I was turning from a “reading reader” to a “writing reader.”

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