No confidant breaths here (Koi ham-nafas nahi hai)

– Performed by ghazal maestro, Ghulam Ali sb.

Translation:

No confidant breaths here, here no conservator exists…
Once a heart confided in me, now only a resenter exists…

At no other venue ever, such intense the tormentor exists…
Heart’s torment is royalty, mates, here no commoner exists.

From dull blacks of my eyes, inquire, true state of my soul,
One can only know a person real, when no performer exists.

Call a gaze to shower here, ask tresses to spare some shade.
Amidst this constant blaze of Sun, here no shelter exists.

Treading on these very pebbles, come closer if you may,
On a pathway to my home, no enchanted barrier exists…

– Dedicated to one that heart confides in…

ko_ii ham-nafas nahii.n hai ko_ii raazadaa.N nahii.n hai
faqat ik dil thaa apanaa so vo meharabaa.N nahii.n hai

kisii aur Gam me.n itanii Khalish-e-nihaa.N nahii.n hai
Gam-e-dil meraa rafiiqo Gam-e-raayegaa.N nahii.n hai

merii ruuh kii haqiiqat mere aa.Nsuo.n se puuchho
meraa majalisii tabassum meraa tarjumaa.N nahii.n hai

kisii aa.Nkh ko sadaa do kisii zulf ko pukaaro
ba.Dii dhuup pa.D rahii hai ko_ii saayebaa.N nahii.n hai

inhii.n pattharo.n pe chal kar agar aa sako to aao
mere ghar ke raaste me.n ko_ii kahakashaa.N nahii.n hai

– Original poem by Mustafa Zaidi.

Urdu version:

کوئی ہم نفس نہیں ہے ، کوئی رازداں نہیں ہے
فقط ایک دل تھا اپنا سو وہ مہرباں نہیں ہے

کسی اور غم میں اتنی خلش نہاں نہیں ہے،
غم دل مرے رفیقو! غم رائیگاں نہیں ہے

مری روح کی حقیقت مرے آنسوؤں سے پوچھو
مرا مجلسی تبسم مرا ترجماں نہیں ہے

کسی زلف کو پکارو ، کسی آنکھ کو صدا دو
بڑی دھوپ پڑ رہی ہے کوئی سائباں نہیں ہے

انہیں پتھروں پہ چل کہ اگر آ سکو تو آؤ
میرے گھر کے راستے میں کوئی کہکشاں نہیں ہے

مصطفی زیدی –

Also performed by famous ghazal singer Munni Begum, live in small gathering:
http://tune.pk/video/4633336/muni-begum-koi-hamnafas-nahein-hai-ptv-live-

Special thanks to both my mom and Miss Aima Jamal, for making me come to know more about this beautiful poem…

A path made through this hinge (Is Mod Se Jaate Hain)

– Originally created for celluloid by ecstatic combo of legends. Sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar, while lyrics penned by Gulzar, and when this couldn’t get any better, the music is by R.D. Burman. Song was a part of a poignant Hindi film of yesteryear: Aandhi (1975). The song was reportedly “shot at Pahalgam (Kashmir). Film’s most of the songs have architectural ruins as a backdrop, depicting brokenness.”

Translation:

A path made through this hinge,
towards few tracks tough to scale,
towards some slopes hard to drift…

For a sanctuary made of stone,
enclosed in house of sand – moving,
destined to meet the nest of straw,
a path made through this hinge.

A path made through this hinge!

Blazing like a dust storm,
the pathway seems to flee,
with all its shy and modesty,
descending from the feet…

On these pavements made of silk,
there must be a road indeed,
bordering your doorstep,
a path passing through this hinge.

A path made through this hinge!

Closing in from a far away,
turns right after neighboring,
bewildering lonesome way,
neither in halt, nor in pacing.

Thinking this, I’ve stayed in waiting,
there must be a road indeed,
bordering your doorstep,
a path passing through this hinge.

A path made through this hinge!

I’ve fastened myself to a center,
from which thousands of ways are diverging,
from each a new direction, seems to be drifting.
In a hope, a day would come,
you may come across this junction,
tilting your head, you’d ask:
“Towards where… ‘this’ path leads?”
(Where you and I could be)

– Dedicated to the pathways and hinges inclined to lead into surrendering…

Is Mod Se Jaate Hain
Kuch Sust Kadam Raste
Kuchh Tez Qadam Raahen

Patthar Ki Haveli Ko
Shishe Ke Gharaundon Mein
Tinkon Ke Nasheman Tak

Is Mod Se Jaate Hain

Aandhi Ki Tarah Udhkar
Ik Raah Guzarati Hai
Sharamaati Hui Koi
Qadamon Se Utarati Hai
In Reshami Raahon Men
Ik Raah To Vo Hogi
Tum Tak Jo Pahunchati Hai
Is Mod Se Jaati Hai

Is Mod Se Jaate Hain

Ik Dur Se Aati Hai
Paas Aake Palat-ti Hai
Ik Raah Akeli Si
Rukati Hai Na Chalti Hai
Ye Soch ke Baithi Hun
Ik Raah To Vo Hogi
Tum Tak Jo Pahunchati Hai
Is Mod Se Jaati Hai

Is Mod Se Jaate Hain

(Extended piece from original poem):

Us Mod Pe Betha Hun,
Jis Mod Se Jati Hai,
Har Ek Taraf Raahein,
Ik Roz To Yun Hoga,
Is Mod pe Aakar Tum,
Ruk Jaogi Kah Dogi,
“Woh Konsa Rasta Hai?”
(Jis Raah Pe Jana Hai)

– Original lyrics by maestro poet: Gulzar sb.

Urdu version:

اس مـوڑ سے جاتے ہیں
کچھـ سسـت قدم: رسـتے، کچھـ تیز قدم: راہیں

پتھر کی حویلی کو
شیشے کے گھروندوں میں
تنکوں کے نشیمـن تک
اس مـوڑ سے جاتے ہیں

آندهی کی طرح اڑ کر، ایک راه گـذرتی ہے
شرمـاتی ہوئی کویی، قدمـوں سے اترتی ہے
ان ریشمی راہوں میں، ایک راه تو وه ہوگی
تم تک جو پهنچتی ہے
اس مـوڑ سے جاتے ہیں

ایک دور سے آتی ہے، پاس آکے پلٹهتی ہے
ایک راه اکیلے سی، رکتی ہے نه چلتی ہے
یه سوچ کی بیٹهی ہوں
ایک راه تو وه ہوگی
تم تک جو پهنچتی ہے
اس مـوڑ سے جاتے ہیں

اس مـوڑ سے جاتے ہیں

اس مـوڑ پہ بیٹھا ہوں
جس مـوڑ سے جاتی ہیں
ہر ایک طرف راہیں
ایک روز تو یوں ہوگا
اس مـوڑ پر آ کر تم
رک جاؤ گی کہہ دو گی
وہ کون سا رسـته ہے؟

#گلزار –

Female only version in soulful voice of Ankita Sachdev:

Male only version, in a soft texture:

The Word

This poem is a response to a rhythmic one written by Miss Tayyeba Irum.

Pal Szinyei Merse, Lovers, 1869

My World,

Remember how you once,
imprinted on my soul,
like a word,
from the spirits and the angels…
breaking defenses,
forcing me into a submission.
Making me forgo of everything,
I did to replace an inevitable.

Remember how you once,
carried me on your lips,
like a word,
forming wishes,
and hefty prayers…
capturing me into a vial of existence.
Not leaving a moment from sight,
not letting it evaporate in thin-air.

Remember how you once,
made me carry, an instrument,
like a word,
to repel insurgents…
To bleed a river that would
never surrender,
but live to sail vessels that carried
the messages of love.

Remember how you once
kept me close to your chest,
like a word,
said but yet in a muffled texture.
Like a pendant unfolded in a secret,
to reveal two faces of one mirror.
Like a letter that is kissed,
right at the moment of its arrival.

Remember how we once,
used to savor each other,
like a word,
that lend strength,
to march forward,
to put on with the trials of the world.
To replenish on everything we loved,
to endorse all that mattered.

Remember how we once,
used to wear each other,
like a word,
that would command
even fumes of heavens
to be acquiescent.
For them to seek a resort,
in embraces we referred as our castle.

Remember them,
before you revisit how
we came to state,
where…

You dropped me
from your eyes,
like a word
of an aged sinner,
stilliciding from the walls of
a confession chamber.
I wish now just, to become,
your only redemption.

You erased traces of mine
from your tongue,
like a word,
of poison imbued curse…
Forsaking everything that
was responsible to make
you indulge in cadence.
Now, I live in pages, as a song,
waiting to be sung.

You uttered me,
like a word,
of an extinct language…
found only written
in crypts hosting
docile sarcophagus.
Leaving me in ruins,
like an echo restless,
forever sentenced to linger.

You eradicated me
from your memories,
like a word
of an alien dialect,
accidentally heard.
Now, I too seek an exile,
from contours of enslavement,
hoping a déjà vu may occur.

You lost me
from contours of your eyes,
from grips of your fingers,
like a word,
written in a book forbidden.
Now, where am I to be found,
if not in sand or in depths of the ocean.

You foreshadowed my demise,
like a word,
from Monarchs and Caesars,
self-fulfilling,
ceasing an air out,
planting a last nail in coffin.
Honor your word now, and return,
my shrine to your temple!

Give nomad a courtesy of last word... make me a part of your final touch!

Give nomad a courtesy of last word… let beloved leave on me a final touch!

– Dedicated to outcasts and exiled… the words, waiting to be said, waiting to be written.

Image Credits:

1. Lovers (Pal Szinyei Merse) 1869 [Blogspot]
2. The martyrdom of St. Sebastian (Hans Memling) [Flickr]

La Douleur Exquise

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This time, she visited his doorstep in veil. She found him happy like she always wished, like she still prayed, like she thought of him as right before passing out each night. This should have made her happy — but actually it didn’t.

It was like a gardener watching own garden from a distance… Watching plants, trees, all flowers flourish, right the way they’re supposed to, but still without presence of one who perhaps did everything to make it happen. Whole pain was centered around a singular moment, when whole world comes to a halting point. That aura of strangeness engulfing, feeling alienated to something you always considered yourself a significant part of…

She stood there still, watching him with a constant gaze, like he’s her’s still, but just behaving strange. She’s expecting a glimpse of torment. How come he be so happy, that his eyes are not yearning for her face… For all the happiness he can have, he was perhaps not allowed to be happy this much, that there’s no sign of agony for void she left… It’s often strange with women, they start to doubt their worth, for not what man’s going through, sadness or happiness, but when it happens to be without them.

The dream she weaved, had perhaps became a reality for him with someone else. No lament could compare the one where you don’t know you should either be happy or sad.  ‘It’s different, it can’t be’, she assured herself, as she watched him getting into his car. He fades from her sight, just to get more engraved in her memories.

Somewhere at the distance, the late grown lilies were watching grey clouds, floating far from them, they had missed the spring.

His car was standing outside the park they used to meet daily, where they used to read poems to each other, such young hearts – like all the art and literature in world was a sky and they were birds floating together and freely in it…

He’s engrossed in a book, that suddenly his hand reached the right pocket of his jacket, to pick the cell phone out, he read something and just started smiling, he began to admire the world around like some tree who had got a glimpse of a new spring. He soon re-engaged himself back in to the book he was reading… Book’s cover read: “Kafka on the Shore”.

He lifted his eyes again to watch in distance, something he noticed but didn’t pay heed to mere few moments ago… A silhouette of a woman standing alone, completely firm and still, like those statues in a cemetery that often relate more to alive than to the departed… He shifted back to his book again, but then in very next second, started to type something on his cell… pressed a button, looked one last time at his surrounding, and then left the park, driving his car far from it, leaving book he was reading right on the bench he was sitting.

The gusts of wind, played with the book, like it was their’s. They had its papers fluttering into rhythm of a thunderous sky, it was hard to know who’s complaining who.

In his car, he read the same text again….

“We can’t be together – forever, but God knows I wish you to be happy forever…”, it was her last message.

He opened the side window of the car, for his eyes to converse with breeze… He can pretend to be a happiest person in the world in all public places, but he was certainly a fail to copy the same in solitude…

His fingers traverse his cell phone, to open a folder of draft messages,
“Everything would become possible, if we’re together, forget all your fears, just be with me… ‘we’ can make it forever!”, the last draft read.

He presses the button, but not to send, assuring himself again, “she knows it already… she knows she has to make a choice… she knows there’s not a thing in this world that I won’t do for her…”

The wheels of the machine, were making sure he was reaching somewhere, but it was hard to figure if it was a direction, once wished.

“We will create plaques here holding our favorite poems…”, she once said to him in a park, not knowing, how it would come true…

Stillness_by_Eckhart_Tolle,_on_a_Park_bench_plaque,_facing_Sacramento_River,_Redding_CA[1]

– Dedicated to all the possibilities and impossibilities that we create ourselves, just to put up a fault in stars for them… “It’s never over, when you know, you’ve no valid reason.”

This piece goes along with a poem, posted few day ago: “The Yearning“.

Image Credits:

1. Anaïs Nin – Potrait
2. Stillness by Eckhart Tolle, on a Park bench plaque, facing Sacramento River, Redding CA.

 

The Yearning

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Heart yearns, for days and nights,
of that love and solace again…

Once used to whisper a name
with every gasp of a moment…
like some classic record
having a pin pressed.
Heart yearns now for
that open rib cage again…
To play like a gramophone,
a symphony without fail…
For how much longer, oh my breath,
from syncing a rhythm, you’d refrain…?

Once used to calm all volcanoes,
erupting beneath the skin…
like snow sheets covering mountains,
turning them into an inclined plane.
These dry eyes seek to reflect
that wet smile again…
To launch an avalanche that allows
rocks to catch the drift of the streams.
For how much longer, oh my sight,
from melting placid stone, you’d refrain…?

Once used to roll in the hair,
woke me from the slumber,
and put me into one with the same…
Now hands crave to hold,
those pale fingers again…
to dance along sea lines,
to compete with the waves…
For how much longer, oh beloved ocean,
from touching your shore, you’d refrain…?

Once used to emerge as words
fittingly dripped in grace,
and eloquence… carrying weight,
of air, softness of droplets.
These ears wait to catch
that voice, humming poetry again…
To linger on motion of walls,
where echoes leave the trails.
For how much longer, oh my serenade,
from breaking a silence, you’d refrain…?

Once used to show both the joy
and the pain, felt, everything,
like a journeyman traveling,
and ending up at a new place…
The soul longs for
such vulnerable body again…
so, that it can taste the pathos
of love, passion and attachment.
For how much longer, oh my life,
from facing a mirror, you’d refrain…?

Heart yearns, for days and nights,
of that love and solace again…

Maine-Monument-Central-Park-Reclining-Male-Nude-940x575[1]

– Dedicated to a yearning heart…

Note: First lines are shamelessly inspired from both Maestro Ghalib and Gulzar sb’s: “Heart yearns for days and nights of solace again” (“Dil Dhoondhta Hai Phir Wahi Fursat Ke Raat Din”).

Image Credits:
1. Sculpture in Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa Italy.
2. Sculpture in Blanca Valbuena, New York.

Blossom in your eyes, secrets a few from Eden (Aap Ki Aankhon Mein Kuch Mehke Hue Se Raaz Hai)

– Originally a duet by incomparable singers: Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar.
This sonnet is one that hints the season of spring in life… by all accounts: music, lyrics and of course the voice.

Translation:

Blossom in your eyes, secrets a few from garden of Eden…
While your beauty tempts, your aura tempts more even…

When you speak, your lips exude the fumes of jasmine,
One wonders, if your eyes ever accompany a shore with-in…
Your voice is magic, when your silence is no less even…

Some mischief sure these expressions of yours keep in run…
It’s never you to shower the felicitations without reason…
Sure I am, these are your plans to tease me more even…

– Dedicated to never so silent the flowers of jasmine…

Aap Ki Aankhon Mein Kuch Mehke Hue Se Raaz Hai
Aap Se Bhi Khubsoorat Aap Ke Andaaz Hai

Lab Hile To Mogare Ke Phool Khilte Hai Kahin
Aap Ki Aankhon Mein Kya Saahil Bhi Milte Hai Kahin
Aap Ki Khaamoshiyaan Bhi Aap Ki Aawaaz Hai

Aap Ki Baaton Mein Phir Koyi Sharaarat To Nahin
Bevajeh Taareef Karna Aap Ki Aadat To Nahin
Aap Ki Badmaashiyon Ke Yeh Naye Andaaz Hai

– Original lyrics by legendary Indian poet and lyricist: Gulzar

– A beautiful cover by a solo artist.

Weather and Whether…

img_119472_a549e400f7fa11c81e9ec3fb0e577300[1]

“Lets ride today to the east coast…”
whispered the wind, blowing in spree…
Perhaps,
Weather is today, pretty nice with me…

The clouds gathered around,
they too formed up a gang,
like a couch made of snow…
An invitation extended:
“Just lay on for a while, like a retiree…”
Weather is indeed, pretty nice with me…

And here I smell the earth
at its driest now,
yet there’s a hint of spring,
right before rain’s to perch
I hear, grains of sand iterating…
“Like a fume, set yourself free…”
Weather is a darling to me…

But tell me, my love…
How come weather is one needed now, to narrate this…?

What happened to days,
when our morning was about
watching the other rising from sheets,
uttering the playful words
in half-slept voice…

Your expressing the dreams,
my interpreting possibilities….
our paving the way for the stars,
just for them to sink
right into our grasps for kissing…

Poems we read each other,
whispering the name of other in between,
chasing dreams in time,
like moths chasing moonlight
besides a flowing stream…

Your warm embrace,
your stretched arms and glow,
like a cherry tree dripping,
a hallmark of the evening…
and mine becoming…
like a lost bird making it home,
after day spent in wandering…

When whole room was delighted,
just like soul with-in,
catching you hum,
lyrics of songs and eternal sonnets,
My smiling just gazing you do that,
your knowing this and biting your lips.

To that twinkle of your eyes,
that laughter in rejoice…
that made my heart beat up
like some orchestrated choir at church,
faithfully deepening…

Look how potent they’re,
that even weather reminds me
of those moments spent,
in your presence…

When our eyes, and
not the weather was one to tell us,
our conversations were like seeds,
moments born of them were fruits,
ripe enough for savoring…
to satiate our hunger for rare,
to fill our quota of belonging,
in a manner,
as though we were always one,
existences apart in life before
were mere colors,
awaiting to emerge as a rainbow.

But out in this weather,
I still feel a void… I seek…
fragrance that accompanied the wind…
countenance, that used to emerge in formation of clouds…
fumes, of drizzle, that used to freeze the time,
and rain that used to seize the moment…

I can’t drown in weather,
or the memory,
nor I can communicate with wind…
or follow-up with clouds,
or keep the rain’s avid timing….

I gather,
No sea can trace the depth of eyes,
and only drowning in them,
can sooth the volcanoes of heart,
that can never be calmed by wind,
clouds or the rains…

Though weather is nice today, my love,
I need you to show me,
how can I be nice to it…

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– Dedicated to an inviting weather and the reluctant subject…

Art Credits:

1. Rainy Weather – Painting by Victor Figol
2. ‘The Black Mountains’ – Freddie Ardley Photography