Friday, 12 October 2007

Faiz - Tum aaye ho naa

It's been months! Sorry. Have been busy moving home and hearth - across continents - which doesn't leave one in a frame of mind for poetry. But, there's been unconscionable laziness too, of course...!

Thought this lovely Faiz ghazal would be a good way to restart. The first sher remains one of my all time favourites. As does the last one.

tum aaye ho naa shab-e-intezaar guzrii hai

talaash mei.n hai sahar baar-baar guzrii hai

तुम आये हो ना शब्--इंतज़ार गुज़री है
में है सहर बार-बार गुज़री है

You haven't come, nor has the night of waiting passed
the dawn is in search (of something); it has passed by again and again

Delightfully evocative! One can almost see the anguished lover tossing about in his bed restlessly...sleeplessly... telling himself at regular intervals - 'oh good, it's finally morning'... only to realise a moment later - 'no, it isn't. Not quite as yet.' To later explain these various 'imagined dawns' as the morning having actually passed by
on the street outside, without stopping - as it seemingly went back and forth in search for someone or something... now that's poetry!!

junoon mei.n jitnii bhii guzrii bakaar guzrii hai
agarche dil pe kharaabii hazaar guzrii hai

जूनून में जितनी भी गुज़री बकार गुज़री है
अगरचे दिल पे खराबी हज़ार गुजरी है

whatever came about in the madness (of love) was worthwhile
although the heart did endure a thousand anguishes

A rather nice one again. To savour suffering, even be redeemed by it, is what love is all about in the Ghazal world, isn't it?


hui hai hazrat-e-naaseh se guftaguu jis shab
vo shab zaruur sar-e-kuu-e-yaar guzrii hai

हुई है हज़रत-ए-नासेह से गुफ्तगू जिस शब्
वो शब् ज़रूर सर-ए-कू-ए-यार गुज़री है

Every evening on which there was a discussion with the advisor,
(that) evening invariably passed through the lane of the Beloved

A little more cryptic, this one. 'Naaseh', you would recall, is the well-meaning but officious friend or acquaintance who exhorts the Poet to cure himself of his pointless infatuation with the Beloved. The Sher seems to be thumbing its nose at such advice, and highlighting its ineffectualness, by pointing out that whenever the Advisor offers his gratuitous counsel, the lover invariably ends up in the Beloved's neighbourhood... the use of 'hazrat' - a respectful qualificative - adds to the ironical scorn implied in the sher.

vo baat saare fasaane mei.n jis kaa zikr na thaa

vo baat un ko bahut nagawaar guzrii hai

वो बात सारे फ़साने में जिसका ज़िक्र ना था
वो बात उनको बहुत नागवार गुज़री है

The issue that didn't (even) find mention in the entire saga
that's the one she has found completely unacceptable!

Ha! The capriciousness of the Beloved! To imperiously blow her top at completely imagined slights comes quite naturally to her, after all!

na gul khile hai.n, na un se mile, na mai pii hai

ajeeb rang mei.n ab ke bahaar guzrii hai

ना गुल खिले हैं, ना उनसे मिले, ना मय पी है
अजीब रंग में अब के बहार गुज़री है

the flowers haven't bloomed, (I) haven't met her, nor has the wine been drunk
(how) strangely the spring has passed this time!

Lovely...just lovely! This defies further comment!!

chaman mei.n gairat-e-gulchii.n se jaane kyaa guzrii

qafas se aaj sabaa beqaraar guzrii hai

चमन में गारत-ए-गुल्चीं से जाने क्या गुज़री
कफ़स से आज सबा बेकरार गुज़री है

Who knows what's occurred in the garden with the flower-picker's pillage
(but) it's an uneasy breeze that's passed through the cage today!

One returns to the standard 'chaman-qafas' stylisation here. The bird, caged away from his garden, has somehow heard that the garden has been ravaged by the flower-picker. He doesn't know the details of what passed... but the breeze - that carrier of moods, smells and information - seems, to him, to wear a palpably anxious 'air' as it wafts through the cage!! Hauntingly chilling, isn't it? Reminds me of an even more stomach-churning one by Ghalib, based on the same stylisation:

qafas mei.n mujh se rudaad-e-chaman kahte na Dar hamdam

girii hai jis pe kal bijlii vo meraa aashiyaa.n kyo.n ho

कफ़स में मुझसे रुदाद-ए-चमन कहते ना डर हमदम
गिरी है जिसपे कल बिजली वो मेरा आशियाँ क्यों हो

don't hesitate while giving me the account of the garden, my friend
the one on which lightning has fallen yesterday, why should it be my nest?

Meaning, of course, something like 'I know that lightning has fallen on a nest yesterday... but don't worry, there's no reason why it should necessarily have been mine'. There's such desperation in that confidence - but we can sense why the 'ham-dam' (another bird who's flown over from the chaman...?) is hesitating, can't we? Sends shivers down one's spine everytime one reads it...


Shweta said...

Hey welcome back! Lovely as usual.
Hate to draw attention to my mediocre attempts here but that first sher, especially your interpretation of it was so much like something that I have most recently put up that I was really struck by the coincidence:

Umr bhar karvate badlein hain asvi
Neend jab bhi khuli savera nahi tha

Also, the Na gul khili hai one reminds me of another sher by Saeed Rahi's which I quite like-

Tum nahi gham nahi sharaab nahi
asi tanhaayee ka jawab nahi

deewaan said...

Hi there! Have responded on YOUR blog, too!

You are right - the coincidence is rather remarkable...might i dare to wonder if Faiz's soul could have wandered Hyderabad-wards...??? :D

Hadn't read Saeed Rahi so far (have just heard, some of his stuff that's been sung). Thanks for the pointer.

Anonymous said...

Amazing of the best I have seen till ow on Urdu poetry...learnt a lot...just to add a small point...that walk in bazaar point refers to incident when Faiz was taken to prison on a chariot..this is documented in faiz's rendition of this poem on you tube..

Vikram Singh said...

absolutely phenomenal.