Spilling colors in flowers, breeze of new spring continues (Gulon mein rang bhare baad-e-naubahaar chalay)

- Live rendition by Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan saheb.


Spilling colors in flowers, breeze of new spring does continue.
Come along you too so that business of garden does continue.

Crimson cage is in the gloom from morning, please request the wind.
For sake of God, somewhere remembrance of beloved must continue…

For once at least Oh morning, let corners of your lips be my excuse to flourish.
For once at least allow night to slip under fragrance of your tresses to continue…

Whatever befell over me I kept hold, still in a night of separation,
At least my eyes in your respect, allowed my tears to continue…

So what, even if the arrow did cross the eye for a moment?
State to ponder is, when piercing the chest it lives to continue…

In court of the beloved, exhibits of affection are requested.
Watch me, how tying the torn collars together, I continue…

Nor one’s here a Christ, nor holds any resemblance to Mansur,
For what then, towards a gallows, push of people gets continue?

Not a place matched the bar worthy to behold a solace (Faiz),
Leaving lane of beloved, right to gallows one would continue.

- Dedicated to the vacuum that’s left in heart due to a beloved’s absence…

Gulon mein rang bhare baad-e-naubahaar chalay
Chale bhi aao ke gulshan ka kaarobaar chalay

Qafas udaas hai yaaron sabaa se kuchh tau kaho
Kahin to bahr-e-Khuda aaj zikr-e-yaar chalay

kabhi tau subah tere kunj-e-lab se ho aaghaz
Kabhi to shab sar-e-kaakul se mushakbaar chalay

Jo hum pe guzri so guzri magar shab-e-hijraan
Hamaare ashk teri aaqibat sanwaar chalay

Hua jo teer-e-nazar neem kash to kya hasil
maza to jab hai ke sinay ke aar paar chalay
(contributed for singing rendition by Faiz Saheb’s friend: Kunwar Mohinder Singh Bedi Sahar)

huzuur-e-yaar huyii daftar-e-junuun kii talab
girah men le ke girebaan kaa taar taar chalay

ham na iisaa na Sarmad o Mansur
log kyuu.n le ke suu-e-daar chalay
(not part of original, another couplet for singing rendition)

Maqaam Faiz koi raah mein jacha hi nahin
Jo kue yaar se nikle to suu-e-daar chalay

Urdu version:

گلوں میں رنگ بھرے، بادِ نو بہار چلے
چلے بھی آؤ کہ گلشن کا کاروبار چلے

قفس اداس ہے یارو، صبا سے کچھ تو کہو
کہیں تو بہرِ خدا آج ذکرِ یار چلے

کبھی تو صبح ترے کنجِ لب سے ہو آغاز
کبھی تو شب سرِ کاکل سے مشکبار چلے

جو ہم پہ گزری سو گزری مگر شبِ ہجراں
ہمارے اشک تری عاقبت سنوار چلے

چلا جو تیر نظر نیمکش تو کیا حاصل؟
مزا تو جب ہے که سینے کے آر پار چلے
(مهندر سنگهـ بیدی)

حضورِ‌ یار ہوئی دفترِ جنوں کی طلب
گرہ میں لے کے گریباں کا تار تار چلے

مقام فیضؔ کوئی راہ میں جچا ہی نہیں
جو کوئے یار سے نکلے تو سوئے دار چلے

- Original poetry by esteemed Urdu poet who needs no introduction, Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Mehdi Hassan’s play-back version:


Urdu Alfaz – Gulon Mein Rang Bhare

One Night

Let moon be full and its silver be abound. Let us meet under its glory to never be found.

Let moon be full and its silver be abound.
So we meet in its glory to never be found.

One night he rose from a sleep
grasping her scent while breathing…
Night he desired to rub the flowers on her,
To breed the petals in her mold,
and to paint her garden within.

One night he sleep walked to the moon
like a glow bug but found there nothing…
Night he desired the moonlight
to bask her in,
so he may paint her sky within.

One night he woke to a song and traced an origin,
found a nest yet no bird in it.
Night he desired a moment
to listen her singing, a poem of his…
So he may carry her symphony within.

One night he found himself lying beside her
hunting brightest star in a ceaseless ceiling.
Night he desired to trace
lines on her palm, his blessings,
so he may find a hope within.

One night he found himself interlocked
in her tresses beguiling…
Night he didn’t care to know
whether he was awake or sleeping…
he didn’t want to escape
a dream alive within.

- Dedicated to a dream – a midnight view.

Art/ Image credits: Stock image – a wallpaper.

The Gift

Like a garden full of flowers, I wish you a state full of fragrance...

Like a garden full of flowers, I wish you a state full of fragrance…

They say, you wish one a world, one who is a world to you.
Well, I wish I can truly do something that close for you.

It is your birthday and I can’t think of any gift that I can find you…
There isn’t anything in world that you don’t already have.
Yet for all what you have given me I must gift you something.

So I wish you here, not just happiness or good future, my love,
but means to create a state of perpetual one.

Here, I wish…

Your heart to be brim with passion and compassion,
where living is worth more than continuance for existence.
Where enabling and empowering positive impact matters more
than counting breaths for mere survival.
Where contentment of spirit sustains life,
than chase of lights in gloss and glimmer.
Where like a burning sun passion propels its power in self-reliance,
and casts the net of hope all over not just on own shelter.
Where hope leads to drive, to ethically disciplined action,
and each act is backed by love and constant inner radiance.

I wish your mind to wonder…
with inquisitiveness of a learner,
to ponder with rationale and reason,
to choose with due-diligence,
and to plan for generations
than a transitory period.
I wish you hold the eager eyes of a yearner,
child-like curiosity of a toddler,
to discover new planes, to embark on new adventures,
to earn and gather a value worth experience.
I wish you contemplation of a monk,
seeking the truth behind a curtain,
one who desires more than a cursory experience.

I wish you a voice, freedom of expression,
one that leashes peaks of the mountains,
and touches a depth of the canyons,
one that echoes in minds as much
as it floods the heart’s defensive chambers.
Songs that summon the clouds,
poems that bend the river.
An expression ruling the pulse,
inviting in realm of trance,
critical thought and reflection.

I wish you a stance unbiased and undazzled.
One that is steadfast on its values and its spirit.
One that would put through a lot but never give up
to fight for what’s right and what’s clear.
One that would work for a justice,
and struggle for an independence
from bias, non-reason, prejudice and indifference.
A stance that would keep itself in check
reviewing timely what matters.
Like a journeyman traveling
keeping track of weather and his condition…
while never forgetting the mission.

I wish you a freedom – independence
from shackles of conformity -
rules of yesteryear,
that bogs one down,
and pushes them in trap of temporary security
than a permanent freedom;
And freedom from all overrides
that impedes one’s growth -
one’s chances of reaching height of relevance
and creativity’s pinnacle.

I wish you be as free as a breeze
carrying scent of the gardens,
one that carries fragrance from flowers,
leaking a joy in atmosphere,
and like of free birds who know not of the
boundaries sketched on papers,
as they are oblivious of
man-made jurisdictions
and all artificial restrictions,
such as those that try to snub a birth right,
or those that try to cage the spirit,
or those that clip the feathers.

I don’t know what else to give you
as a birthday present, my love…

But it never ends at making a wish,
does it?
With each wish coming out from the heart
it requires a commitment from a wisher…
to be ready, to do their part,
to always do what it takes to see it through.

So, I gift you, my love…
my dream,
my passion and my promise -
I will be along,
to become a state in my own
that I wish to see in you.

Happy Independence Day!

- Dedicated to a dear love.

Art/ Image credits:
Flag-Art-with-Grass – mosthdwallpapers.com


Student artist, Joanna Bassi on her current show, 'Hallowed Degeneration'

Pages are used to wrap the loaf..
Loaf is used to attract the votes.
Paper is used to exhibit a worth.
Worth is used to mark the culprits.

Innocence is used to make a trade.
Men are used to sharp the blade.
Flowers are used to honor the dead.
Dead are used to cover mistakes.

Water is used to leave a color.
Air is used to choke the inhaler.
Heart is used in exchange for a life.
Life is used to buy meal for a time.

Music is used to sedate the brains.
Opinions are used to kill the taste.
Words are used in eulogy of departed.
Silence is used to push injured to death.

Walls are used to reflect echoes of praise.
Praise is used to accumulate more praise.
Images are used to kill the imagination.
History is used as art of social dictation.

Years are used to count the survival.
Minutes are used to buy the patience.
Friends are used to climb the steps.
Steps are used to suppress the brilliance.

Systems are used to keep the inheritance.
Inheritance is used to bury the competence.
Routine is used to declare the efficiency.
Efficiency is used to step-over effectiveness.

Sentiments are used to create a trust.
Trust is used to negotiate an advantage.
Art is used to garner the popularity.
Popularity is used to settle the facts.

Distant planets are used to wish for a home.
Earth is used as picnic and vacation place.
Labels are used to veil the substance.
Substances are used to reach the mystics.

Resources are used to please the divinity.
Religion is used to avoid all scrutiny.
Science is used to measure the emotions.
Emotions are used to skip all objectivity.

Flowers are judged by intensity of colors.
Gardens are used to decorate the palaces.
Height is used to measure the greatness.
“How it happens” is used to skip the logic.

Measures are used as goals and targets.
Targets are used for an excuse of a process.
Dreams are used to avoid the reality.
Reality is used to discard the marvels.

Ears are used to savor the “Yes”.
Eyes are used to judge the beauty.
Tongue is used to taste a toxic.
Skin is used to create a dress.

Oceans are used to test the menace.
Skies are used for birds of vengeance.
Education is used to increase the distance.
Stars are used to blame perils of existence.

Rules are used to judge the artistry.
Standards are used to pass conformity.
Familiarity is used to asses creativity.
Weapons are used to suppress hostility.

Fireworks are used to hide the decay.
Fear is used to keep up the display.
Pictures are used to skip the word,
Words are given to skip the day.

Student artist, Joanna Bassi on her current show, 'Hallowed Degeneration'

- Dedicated to the societies and civilizations of name.

Art/ Image Reference: Artist, Joanna Bassi from her show, ‘Hallowed Degeneration


Nobody leashed their eyes restless to me (Kisi Ne Bhi To Na Dekha)

- Rendered by a popular ghazal singer Pankaj Udhaas saheb.


Someone would greet with a smile, that’s a desire.
Somewhere beats would be aligned, that’s a desire.
(Not a part of original ghazal, but a singing rendition.)

Of all resting, nobody leashed their eyes restless to me.
Today too a day passed leaving a shade of sadness to me.

Not even a wind sang me the news of the close ones.
Hummed it only the humid tales of coldness to me.

Forgive me for being a stranger to the gathering.
New are locales and paths of non-wilderness to me.

So deep an anguish, neither can I sink, nor emerge out.
Evaporating of a flow might earn now stillness to me.

- Dedicated to a sadness that often entraps people and makes them do something destructive rather than creative.

Yeh Aarzoo Thi Ke Haskar Koi Mila Hota
Kahin To Humse Kisi Ka Dil Aashna Hota
Not a part of ghazal, but a singing rendition)

Kisi Ne Bhi To Na Dekha Nigaah Bhar ke Mujhe
Gaya Phir Aaj Ka Din Bhi Udaas Kar ke Mujhe

Saba Bhi Laayi Na Koi Payaam Apno Ka
Suna Rahi Hai Fasaane Idhar Udhar Ke Mujhe

Muaaf Kijiye, Jo Main Ajnabi Hoon Mehfil Mein
Ke Raaste Nahin Maaloom Is Nagar Ke Mujhe

Woh Dard Hai Ke Jisse Seh Saku Na Keh Paaun
Milega Chain To Ab Jaan Se Guzar ke Mujhe

- Original lyrics by Urdu poet and lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri


This hails from a day (Ye Jab Ki Baat Hai)

- Composed and sang by famous ghazal singer Talat Aziz in a private gathering.


This hails from a day when not
even your shadow was around me.
Traces of your fragrance were in
course to always surround me.

Scattered was my gaze,
dwindling were my footsteps.
These eyes were hunting you
within your dream’s maze.
Forlorn wanderer met its destination,
as your embrace found me.

In each night a solace used to surround
like your tresses.
In each dawn a glow used to be found
like your kisses.
In essence of mine, your beauty
was there always to bound me.

- Dedicated to a serendipity that is found in one’s essence way before one meets it physically.
I found this beautiful poem too in Talat Aziz saheb’s radio program: Caravan-e-Ghazal quite like that.

Yeh jab ki baat hai tum bhi na thay nigahon mei
Tumharay naam ki khushbu thi meri raahon mei.

Bikher rahi thi nigahein, bathak rahay thay qadam.
Tumhi ko doondh rahay thay, tumharay khwaab mei hum.
Hui talaash muqamal tumhaari baahon mei…

Har ek shab mei thi narmi tumharay baalon si
Har ek subha thi roshan tumharay gaalon si
Tumhara husn tha shamil meri wafaon mei…

- Original poem by great Indian Urdu Poet Nida Fazli saheb, written specially for Talat Aziz.

Can’t push the heart (Ji Nahi Chahta)

Out of melancholic circumference, can't push the heart.

Out of melancholic circumference, can’t push the heart.

Oh Rose, to depart from your fragrance,
can’t push the heart.
To linger  forever in petals as nuisance,
can’t push the heart.

Preserved the hem from drops
of crescent for ages.
To emerge from river of adolescence,
can’t push the heart.

Dissolved post each union,
like there was no beginning.
To kill before battle gets commence,
can’t push the heart.

In night of separation,
I wedded a queen of longing.
To embrace in night of presence,
can’t push the heart.

What’s wrong in asking few sips,
from chalice of poison?
To pretend a state of abstinence,
can’t push the heart.

In quest of seeking a meaning
to life, wilderness possessed.
To vanish in city’s effervescence,
can’t push the heart.

Raced to the peak of passion,
only to find no soul.
To move ahead of continuance,
can’t push the heart.

Worshiped the sky entire life,
to sight a miracle of clouds.
To drench in perch of heavens,
can’t push the heart.

Swimming birds in air acquired,
an attitude of humans.
To keep floating in sea of vigilance,
can’t push the heart.

Fumes in proximity narrate,
an arrival of spring.
To let go of autumn’s adherence,
can’t push the heart.

Self-weaving a shroud of future,
being indifferent of time.
To accept, wounds heal in patience,
can’t push the heart.

Lost it all, yet never stopped
losing self in dreams.
To rest in world’s acceptance,
can’t push the heart.

A gaze gets frozen on
wet cheeks of the messenger.
To taste salt of correspondence,
can’t push the heart.

From day of inception the saint
observed denial of love.
To compose yet another sentence,
can’t push the heart.

Amidst a crowd made Farhad,
claim for the love majestic.
To fly here off the self-acquittance,
can’t push the heart.

- Dedicated to the heart that always has its own song to sing… Sometimes a pleasure in longing, often a lament in holding back.

To ease the clouds of remembrance, can't push the heart.

To ease the clouds of remembrance, can’t push the heart.

Ghulab teri khushbu se bicharney ko ji nahi chahta.
Un kaliyon mei bhi muqeem honay ko ji nahi chahta.

Bachaliya daman ko roshni ki boondon se umr bhar,
Rait ke darya se bahar aanay ko ji nahi chahta.

Fanna huay har mulaqat mei k goya ibtida na rahi,
Azsar-e-Khayal bhi ji marnay ko ji nahi chahta.

Hijr mei ki mulaqaat malka-e-teergi se humnay,
shab-e-wasl ab hijab giranay ko ji nahi chahta.

Kyun na karein Jaam-e-Zehr ki farmaish ab unsay?
Zabt ki jhoothi kasm khanay ko ji nahi chahta.

Khoj Maqsad-e-Zindagi mei vehshat ne thama haath,
Shehr-e-shor k rang mei rachnay ko ji nahi chahta.

Choti-e-junoon par hua mukaam, raha na saaya saath,
Ab waqt se aagay nikal janay ko ji nahi chahta.

Mudato ki aasmaan se guzarish ghanay baadlon ki,
khultay falsafo mei bheeg janay ko ji nahi chahta.

Fiza mei tertay parindo ne dhaaliya ruup-e-insaan.
Is samandar mei aur theharnay ko ji nahi chahta.

Khushbu-e-pehlu se gumaan hota hai aagayi bahar,
rang-khizaan se alvida honay ko ji nahi chahta.

Uun-e-zeest buntay hein aap, waqt k nahi mohtaj,
zakhm bharjaatay hein, bhoolnay ko ji nahi chahta.

Loota kar bhi sab rehtay thay sapnon mei khoye,
Pa kay sab zindagi mei sonay ko ji nahi chahta.

Deed hogayi munjamid rukhsaar-e-paigamber par,
Khat se namak chakhnay ko ji nahi chahta.

Hosh-e-awal se dekha farishtay ne mohabbat jhutlana.
Jawaab-e-inkaar darj karnay ko ji nahi chahta.

Sar-e-hujoom kia Farhad ne dawa-e-ulfat Sohani,
Hum hein k yaha shanakt khonay ko ji nahi chahta.

To deny the use of love as substance, can't push the heart.

To deny use of love as substance, can’t push the heart.

- Another dedication to my favorite film: Wong War Kai’s “In the Mood for Love“. A film that subtly and very beautifully defines feeling of age-old acquaintance and longing for the love amidst two strangers.

Special thanks to Maria Imran, for reviewing and editing the Urdu part, since my Urdu is pretty weak.

Art/ Image Credits:
(1 and 3) Screen caps from film: “In the Mood for Love”.
(2) A stock image.