Bargain of the Stubborn

I know it sounds ridiculous from the get go. But as friends do what they do… and all they do is spoil you…
One friend challenged me to write a response to my last translation… The epic poem “Bazeecha-e-Atfal” by Mirza Ghalib.

Ghalib Statue and Fans

Ghalib – Of many an idol, and an ideal for many…

I know, it won’t gel well with any Ghalib aficionado, much less even myself. Yet an image of Ghalib himself even in his departed (yet more alive) status spending as much as his (priceless) laugh at this attempt was too tempting for me. Though I know, even possibility of that is like residing in a hell and searching for an angel.  Still, as a spoiled brat I’m… there’s no remedy to that. So, bear with me… here is a result of my tempted reluctance…

Context: Ghalib’s original words in poem.. “Bazeecha-e-Atfal” are considered to be written in Ghalib-ed (Dominated) state. Engulfed by an ecstasy. This response comes from an eager soul, that’s still waiting for such an experience.

Like an exchange of reluctance it is,
the life in front of me…
Each day feels more shy now
to disrobe in front of me…

Moon – a harsh mistress,
Sun too flirtatious for me.
Night remains mysterious,
Dusk too subtle, in front of me.

Everything in a substance,
retains an essence from me.
Nothing except charade,
is magical, in front of me.

Sea-shell becomes keep,
disregarding fragrance of me.
Atom smiles universe,
well – an ocean, in front of me.

Cannot annul probing…
what happened behind me.
Sighting the enigmas-enigmas
dwindling, in front of me.

Traditions, customs, tests
sanity, culture, finesse in me.
What happens to be in asymmetry?
the fruit’s forbidden, in front of me.

True, when they pronounce..
“literary” behind their back to me.
Sea is a pool of water,
Moon – just a rock, in front of me.

Hope – a cheap – resort in
despair’s an expensive in me.
What could be an outcome of
sucking a tree dry, in front of me.

Curious I am, spoiling
the riches is natural in me.
Even a vamp becomes a
priestess, in front of me.

Sheathed weapons
excite another breath into me.
Calling mistakes an exception,
depreciating world, in front of me.

Crowning a blind prince,
laughs a follower in me.
Heart seeks the wine
that creates wine, in front of me.

Heard.. No true affection
no attachment;  pity on me.
They erect monuments,
and statues, in front of me.

Warm crest of white prominence,
night in desert – a gift for me.
Perhaps kindness, perhaps revenge
remains oblivious, in front of me.

When for one blinds,
many arouse an infidel in me.
Vice, virtue, love, temptation,
all dance, in front of me.

Though restless is heart,
still there’s a patience in me.
Let snake commence
a fore-play, in front of me.

Compassionless callings…
honesty – an opinion – to me.
They call this prosaic
an alluring (Sohani), in front of me.

– Dedicated to the likes of me, ones still yearning and aching for something that can dominate or engulf (Ghalib) them in an ecstatic experience.

The title of the poem is reference to an old PTV play based on my beloved writer Ashfaq Ahmed‘s novel: “Man Chalay ka Sauda” (Bargain of the stubborn), themed on Tasawwuf (Sufi/ Mystic concept).

Image Credits: TheHindu.com

Update: 11/20/2013 – On a feedback of few dear friends, I’ve made starting couplets much softer, choosing words with same intent but lighter tone. I hope it grants poem a more fluidity…🙂

11 thoughts on “Bargain of the Stubborn

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