Posts Tagged ‘Urdu’

Sailing on the breeze

November 3, 2014

I see many recurring themes occurring in my writings – like reading, writing, loneliness, love, and such. I don’t know what I need to do about this. Does it suggest that my life is revolving around these themes only? And if it does, do I need to make any change in how I live and what I think? Am I going good, or I am just revolving around something nothing? I don’t know.

In fact, I don’t know what I am? Am I just one of the ninety five persons around me? Or I am one of the remaining five? Or is it that I am none of them? I know I should not make abnormal estimates about myself. It would be better if I can fit myself somewhere on the line.

I usually don’t make any sense. All I do is to keep chattering about the vanities that make me, then again I fall silent till the next revelation. That’s why my talks are so absurd. That’s what makes my life so “be-tarteeb.”

Be-tarteeb (noun), Urdu – without any arrangement or sequence; chaos. This word defines the most of me. Most of the time, I am sailing on the breeze, without any specified plan of action. I start a book not to finish it. I sing songs, but not to become a singer. I open a blank page without knowing I would write anything or not. I know this is not something to take pride in. It’s rather something that demands a serious thought. Is it a right way to pass one’s life?

Okay, I am getting philosophical. I should leave it here only.

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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.

Song without a voice

May 31, 2014

He was struggling. Don’t know for how long, but for the past week – when he had been ill and lying in bed all the day and night – he had been struggling – not only with the fever and the vertigo it brought – but also for the something that was still elusive, still out of his reach. What was it that he took birth for? The thumping in his skull – which lingered even after the fever was gone – was somehow from his own pain.

“mera dard naghma e be_sadaa..”, he murmured. Faiz’s poem. My pain is a song without a voice. Why? Song? Without a voice? He again fell back into his headache – feeling awful like Gregor Samska.

Headache – or this feeling like pressure – like a lot is stuffed pack into the hollow skull – what? A song? Where’s the voice? He felt miserable, utterly miserable.

Many thought he was sad. Many others thought he should not be. But this song stuck in head finding no voice to come out, and not be sad? Not having a song is okay – you have a whole skull empty to fill with happiness, but now this something is not finding a way out – where to keep the happiness?

“What’s the default state of human mind?”, he again fell into a philosophy. Happiness? If it is, then I’m certainly not at equilibrium. Equilibrium.. the ability to see a coffee pot like a coffee pot..

“mere dard ko jo zubaa.n mile, mujhe mera naam o nisha mile..”, he was still not out of Faiz. If my pain gets a voice; I’ll get my own identity. His headache.. “mujhe daulat e dono.n jahaa.n mile..”, fever, falling asleep. I’ll get the worth of whole world.

The song, voiceless, kept thumping on the inner skull.

Again, National Book Fair, Kasturchand Park, Nagpur

September 30, 2012

Some 10 months ago, I had written about the National Book Fair held at Kasturchand Park, Nagpur.  I had bought 11 books—bulky 1800 pages—back then.  I read some of them, and I left a few.  And here comes back the National Book Fair again.  It’s currently being held at the same place.  It has become an integral part of my being in Nagpur and I have been visiting it consistently for 10 years now.  My patterns of reading have changed; the trends of my book-shopping have changed; what has not changed is the same enthusiasm with which I rush myself to the fair as soon as I know of it.

People enjoying going through books at National Book Fair Nagpur.  This fair has become an integral part of reading culture in Nagpur over the years.

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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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Bless me O God!

November 10, 2011

Morning!  I started the PC and was about to start work.  I usually keep humming all the time, may be it at home, at work, while riding a bike, or while doing nothing (no one has ever enlightened me on how to do nothing).  And I started humming an abhanga by Tukaram:  हेची दान देगा देवा तुझा विसर न व्हावा, विसर न व्हावा तुझा विसर न व्हावा!!  “Bless me O God; I shall never forgot thou, never, never ever!”  How couldn’t I love these words, how couldn’t I!! Oh God, bless me, I shall never forget thou, never ever!

I knew a similar couplet by Bashir BadrWo bada rahim o karim hai mujhe ye sifat bhi ata karein, tujhe bhulne ke duaa karoon to meri duaa mein asar na ho.”  He is really a kind one, He should grant me a wish–if I ever wish to forget you, I wish must never be granted.  And I loved these lines too, but this time Tukaram took my heart away!

In case of Bashir Badr, he wishes he should never forget his beloved one.  And Tukaram?  For him, the God is his beloved, and he is asking the God never to let him forget Him.

I was humming it all over the day, it was constantly going in my head while all the work was going:  हेची दान देगा देवा तुझा विसर न व्हावा, विसर न  व्हावा तुझा विसर न व्हावा!!

For a moment I thought did Tukaram mean that God should always keep us unhappy that we must not forget him?  Nay, it cannot be such.  Tukaram didn’t mean it that way.  May be it was the case with Bashir Badr, certainly not with Tukaram!

Be with me! Never let me go! Hold me to your heart!! And how can I forget you?  Isn’t it what Tukaram means?  Never let me go!

Tukaram made my day today!!

Notes:
Tukaram (1608-1650) was a Marathi seer poet and is considered the zenith of the Warkari tradition, which sought salvation for all irrespective of caste and creed.  Tukaram wrote poetry in the form of abhangas (literally something that cannot be broken).  Tukaram is considered as one of the best poets the language has ever produced.  Tukaram’s abhangas are still played in the households of Maharashtra.

Bashir Badr is a contemporary Urdu poet, one of my favorite.

A musical ride: A journey from Amir Khurso to A. R. Rahman

October 16, 2011

I usually don’t prefer plugging my earphones in while I am riding a bike.  But as I was coming back from a Sunday-evening ride, and as I was in a not-so-sad mood, I plugged them in, adjusted the volume, and set the player on random shuffle.  It took me about 25 minutes to come back home; what my player played in those 25 minutes was a beautiful musical ride!  It was a wide range of music and poetry from the 13th century Amir Khurso, to the beautiful poetry by Gulzar in the 1960s and early 1970s, to the ultra-modern melody of A. R. Rahman.  I had no choice to select what my player is playing, just out of what I had in it, it was a beautifully random mixture of a broad musical spectrum.

I had five songs in those 25 minutes.  The first one was Naa Jiya laage naa.. from movie Anand.  It’s a beautiful song penned by Gulzar, sung by Lata Mangeshkar.  I had got this song in my cell as one of the bunch of Gulzar songs I had downloaded.  It is based on some classical Raaga (and I understand nothing of Indian classical music).  Wonderful song, silent, melodious, treat to listen.  As always, great lyrics by Gulzar: Jeena bhule the kahaan yaad nahii, thuj ko payaa hai jahaa saans phir aayi wahi (Don’t know where had I forgotten my life; I got my breath back where I found you); and blame me for poor translation.

Second song brought me directly back to 2011.  Te Amo from Dum Maro Dum, reprise solo male version sung by Mohit Chauhan.  Again, wonderful job by Pritam, beautiful use of Mohit Chauhan’s voice.  And Jaideep Sahni is as good as usual in his lyrics.  This slow, melodious song, takes me back to my heart with deep feelings of love.  Te Amo…

Amir Khusrow surrounded by young men. Miniatur...

Amir Khusro (Image via Wikipedia)

The next one, this song always make me move with from very first beat.  Zihal e miskin makun taghaful was an experimental poem by a 13th century Indian scholar Amir Khurso.  Amir Khusro is one of the most important figure in the cultural history of medieval India.  He is widely known as a pioneer of Urdu language and Urdu poetry as such.  Zihal e miskin is a bilingual poem, first line inPersian the second one in Hindavi/Urdu and such goes on.  With an air of Sufi mysticism, this poem revolves around love — may be love with the Almighty or with a beloved one.  Zihal e miskin is particularly famous in the subcontinent and is composed and sung multiple by a wide variety of singers from Mukesh to Abida Parveen to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and so on.  I have the Abida Parveen version.  Her powerful voice and the mighty percussion of dholak won’t let you without moving.

The fourth song, title song of Tamil film Alaiypauthey (2001), composed by A. R. Rahman (ARR) in Carnatic Classical music.  I don’t know the language.  I don’t know what lyrics Varaimuthu has written for this song (otherwise, he is excellent.  See Enge enathu kavithai).  This is kind of a devotional song (I don’t know, Sirish had told me; he’s native Tamil).  But this song is really treat to listen.  Just you need good earphones, and this can be one of the best songs to make you feel serene.  And the steady buzz of tambora in the background is awesome.  A must listen if you love light melody!

The fifth and the last one was again an A. R. Rahman composition.  Boondon se baate (talking to raindrops) from Takshak.  Frankly, I had never listened this song in my cell, though I had it for long. Still, without doubt, wonderful composition as usual by ARR, and beautiful lyrics by Mehboob.  Sung my some unknown-to-me female singer, this song is no less beautiful from the above four.

Such was a marvelous musical ride, stretching over the period of around 800 years, from Sufi Qawwali to Indian classical to Carnatic classical to modern guitar beats; Persian, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil; exploring a wide spectrum of the subcontinental music.  Two out of five Gulzar songs, two out of five ARR compositions, two out of five devotional songs (if we count zihal e miskin as devotional; and still I am a proud atheist; really no one loves the God as an atheist does).

So thus was my playlist for this Sunday evening.  I can’t imagine of a more bizarrely varied playlist than this one.  I know I am a bit odd in my musical taste (not less than my literary taste), but still if you love anyone of these songs, please let me know.  I bet we can have a good friendship with each other.  If you haven’t listened anyone of them (and probability of this to happen is too much on a higher side), please get then, and I again bet you won’t be disappointed.

Looking ahead for your thoughts 🙂

I will be back soon :)

April 25, 2011

This is really frustrating yaar 😦 I had written really a long long post and wordpress has eaten it up. It is not possible to write everything again in the same way. I had written everything from the gloomy morning, tweet reply by Javed Akhtar, a long long day, a fleeting evening, the plans for tomorrow (with every detail of where I would be at what time), about the music I have to face at home, and again finally that “I will be back soon”! Everything has just vanished and my post just shows “I had a lot” and finished! I really hate this thing. The post is not even in the thrash 😦

And I can write everything else again, but what about what I wrote about the evening and all those things. I cannot write them now as I wrote them then. It’s is not a science class, just mug up and write down!

This is really, really, really bad! The worst! I was really happy about what I wrote, I had properly hyperlinked everything, Nandura, Manegaon, twitter page of Javed Akatar, even to the facebook profile of Raju (He’s gonna drop me at the station tomorrow morning)!

Hmm 😦 I am not gonna do all that stuff again. It’s past 11 p.m. now and I must try to get some sleep. I will have to get up at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning. Just copy-pasting the reply by Javed Akhtar here again for documentation purpose:

And haa, I will be back soon 🙂 (not as much smiling as it was for the first time)