How would one reveal (Koi yeh kaise bataye)

– Another ghazal from one of my favorite Hindi films, no-nonsense and art-house cinema masterpiece: Arth (1982) by film-maker Mahesh Bhatt. Rendition presented above is part of a film, performed by non other than Ghazal maestro: Jagjit Singh.
Special thing to note about video of song is, Shabana Aazmi (the daughter of Ghazal’s original poet) is so brilliant in her character performance that with her understated emotions, she manages to out match all artists in a frame together. Mesmerizingly, her eyes alone precipitate poetry more sharper than words…

How could one
deserted to wilderness
ever express,
what banality is such?
Or show how one who
bonded at once,
is estranged now forever,
for what adversity is such?

If such happens to be
a manner of this world,
I wonder,
what civility is such?
If this is the way it
happens to be,
it’s supposed to be,
what destiny is such?

On mere a single step’s reach,
our hands would tangle…
In beloved’s chest
echo they’d make loud,
my heart-beats restless.
When this much is a state of proximity,
then what an animosity is such?

From wilderness of the heart,
one has yet not escaped totally…
Visiting an abandoned nest,
someone still keeps humming…
For one whom hopes have diminished,
if yet keeps dreaming,
what propensity is such?

Call it what you may,
a bond of happiness,
or an ensemble of sadness…
They do say: “Bond of love,
is one that is forever,
one that is ceaseless”…
If lasting forever is
bar of true essence,
then, what contrariety is such?

– Dedicated to unsolved riddles…

Koi ye kaise bataye k wo tanha kyun hai
woh jo apna tha aaj kisi ka kyun hai,
yehi duniya hai to phir aisi yeh duniya kyun hai
yehi hota hai to phir aisa hota kyun hai.

ik zara haath barha lain to paker lay daman
uss k seenay main sama jai humari darhkan
itni qurbat hay to phir faasla itna kuun hay

dil-e-barbaad se nikla nahi ab tak koi
ik lutay ghar pay dia kerta hay dastak koi
aas jo toot gai phir se bandhata kuun hay

Tum masarat ka kaho isay ya ghum ka rishta
kehtay hein pyaar ka rishta hai janam ka rishta
hai janam ka jo yeh rishta to badalta kyun hai?

– Original poem by Indian Urdu poet and lyricist: Kaifi Azmi

Urdu version:

کوئی یہ کیسے بتائے کہ وہ تنہا کیوں ہے
وہ جو اپنا تھا وہی اور کسی کا کیوں ہے
یہی دُنیا ہے تو پِھر ایسی یہ دُنیا کیوں ہے
یہی ہوتا ہے، تو آخر یہی ہوتا کیوں ہے

ایک ذرا ہاتھ بڑھا دیں تو پکڑ لیں دامن
اس کے سینے میں سما جائے ہماری دھڑکن
اتنی قُربت ہے تو پِھر فاصلہ اِتنا کیوں ہے

دلٍ برباد سے نِکلا نہیں اب تک کوئی
ایک لُٹے گھر پہ دیا کرتے ہے دستک کوئی
آس جو ٹُوٹ گئی پِھر سے بندھاتا کیوں ہے

تم مسرّت کا کہو یا اِسے غم کا رِشتہ
کہتے ہیں پیار کا رشتہ ہے جنم کا رِشتہ
ہے جنم کا جو یہ رِشتہ تو بدلتا کیوں ہے

# کیفی اعظمی –

Excellent cover by a young talent who goes by name of Himalayan Hermit:

An unplugged harmonium only rendition by Vishal Joshi:

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