Posts Tagged ‘Sahir Ludhianvi’

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?

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From melancholy to happiness: Three solo songs by Lata Mangeshkar

March 5, 2012

Life has gotten like a musical; I find a song for every situation.  I wonder sometimes whether these song make my mood or my mood brings up these perfectly fitting songs.

I was feeling so low for the whole last week, feeling like I am good-for-nothing, and was singing “na kisi ki aankho.n ka noor hoon…” all the time.  Indeed, it is one of the most depressing songs we have.  Penned by Muztar Khairabadi (Javed Akhtar’s grandfather) and filmed over the last Mughal emperor Bahadurshah Zafar for the 1960 movie “Lal Quila”, Mohd. Rafi’s rendition is heart-wrenching.  For those who don’t know it, it goes like:

Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon
Na kisi ke dil ka qaraar hoon
Jo kisi ke kaam na aa sake
Main wo ek musht gubar hoon

Neither am I a sparkle to someone’s eye
Nor I am a solace to someone’s heart
I am a fistful of dust—good for nothing!

If you need a strong dose of melancholy, go and get it!  “Why shall someone come and pray on my grave?  Why shall someone bestow flowers?” etc. etc.

Okay, today I am not here to dip you in that melancholy.  I am here with springs of joy!

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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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