Heart craves once more (Dil dhoondhta hai phir wahi)

Another one of my very favorite songs, once again something written by the poetic genius of Gulzar sb. Simply in-comparable the way rhythm of the song, words of the poem flow, it’s beyond marvelous. Rendition above is from the film and it is sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Bhupinder Singh.

The song is from Gulzar sb’s own written and directed film: Mausam (1975). Literal meaning of the film’s name is ‘Season’, and it’s this very song in which he has covered the gist of the film: ‘The nostalgia of seasons (Fall, Summer and Winter) as they once used to be in presence of a first love’. This song is indeed one hell of a time-traveling machine. One more thing very special about this sonnet is that Maestro (Guru ji) Gulzar sb actually borrowed the first verse from the Grand Maestro (Dada Guru) Ghalib‘s ghazal, to start this one. What an awesome and rare combination once again to create such a masterpiece. More than a year ago I too under a similar spell and same tradition, tried to give a tribute to both of them via a poem: “The Yearning” (but of course, I can never be in any way get close to an imitation let alone a justice).


Heart craves
once more
such moments relaxed…
when time did
use to fill with
thoughts of a dearest…

Under a soft sun of the fall,
lounged inside the courtyard,
that covering my eyes,
stretching a scarf of yours…
staying lazed on a floor,
in a carefree rest.

Or in the nights of summer,
in chilling gusts of zephyr,
Keeping ourselves up
draped in cold white linens…
Settled on a terrace till late,
just to have all stars gazed.

As amidst a chilling winter,
hiked onto any mountain,
listening to a hush contagious,
echoing from valley and plains…
keeping ourselves hinged to
a passing moment with eyes wet.

Heart craves
once more
such moments relaxed…
when time did
use to fill with
thoughts of a dearest…

– Dedicated to the nostalgic times, when love and leisure were inseparable…

Original Lyrics:

Dil dhoondta hai,
phir wahi
fursat ke raat din
baithe rahein
kiye huye…

Jaadon ki narm dhoop
aur aangan mein lait kar
aankhon pe kheench kar
tere aanchal ke saaye ko
aundhe pade rahe
kabhi karwat liye huye

Yaa garmiyon ki raat
jo purwaiyan chalein
thandi safaid chaadaron pe
jaagein hum der tak
taaron ko dekhte rahein
chhath par pade huye

Barfilee sardiyon mein
kisi bhi pahaad par
waadee mein goonjtee huyi,
khamooshiyaan sunein
aankhon mein bheege bheege se
lamhe liye huye

– Original lyrics by poetic genius Gulzar sb.

Another awesome and deservedly well-known rendition of the same song, in a very different form, but from a very same film, it’s a male-only version – performed just by Bhupinder Singh.


Like a HicCuP beloved comes to me (Aave Re Hitchki)

One of the sneakingly heart-touching “I Miss You” song, with flavors of folk romance and moonlit melancholy, sung beautifully by Shankar Mahadevan in Gulzar Sahib‘s penned adaptation of Mirza-Sahiban folklore as a film: Mirzya (2016).


Amidst deep slumber of mine,
who’s started to miss me again…?
keeping me teased whole night…
pangs of love keep me awake…
Here heart becomes – restless…
like a dancing wick on a candle…
And here it comes to me,
like the hiccups…
Like a HicK-cuP beloved comes to me!

No news has came so far,
for wet letters I have sent…
Amidst a very spring,
I observe Autumn’s blend…
My land has dried now,
fields have drought now,
my inside has now a thirst in-satiated,
And here it comes to me..
Like the hiccups…
Like a HicK-cuP beloved comes to me!

On a turf of a scorching stew,
rides a bright red rim…
Eating my all shade,
and rest with-in…
How may I cross this land of distance in between,
when my feet are swelling from the heat…?
My land has dried now,
fields have drought now,
my inside has now a thirst in-satiated,
And here it comes to me..
Like the hiccups…
Like a HicK-cuP beloved comes to me!

Oh my dear beloved…
next time when eve is to settle its wings,
and moon gets to climb the heavens.
Don’t make me howl in pain…
Promise me on my life…
You won’t be missed again…
Pangs of love keep me awake…
Here heart becomes – restless…
like a dancing wick on a candle…
My land has dried now,
fields have drought now,
my inside has now a thirst in-satiated,
And here it comes to me..
Like the hiccups…
Like a HicK-cuP beloved comes to me!

– Dedicated to the Hic-cups that duly arrive when lovers miss each others fondly…

Original Version:

Nidra mein kisne yaad kiyo re
Nidra mein kisne yaad kiyo re
Jagaye saari raina re
Piya jagaave, jiya jagaave

Aave re hitchki (x3)
Aave re hitchki (x3)

Sandesha aayo na
Chithiya bhi jaayi
Saavan mein sookhe naina re

Talaiya sookhi
Kikhad sookha
Kikar sookha re

Aave re hitchki (x3)

Dhoop mundhere chadh gayo dhola
Jal gayo saari chhav re
Aangan paar karoon main kaise
Talve jale mere paanv ke

Talaiya sookhi
Kikhad sookha
Kikar sookha re

Aave re hitchki (x3)

O meri janniya re
Sham dhale jo
Chand chadhe toh
Phir na rulaiyo re
O meri janniya re

Meri jaan ki saugandh hai
Yaad na aaiyo re
O piya jagaave, jiya jagaave
Diya jagaave re

Talaiya sookhi
Kikhad sookha
Kikar sookha re

Aave re hitchki (x3)
Hitchki aave re
Hitch.. hitch aave re
Hitchki aave re
Aave re, aave re
Aave re hitchki
Aave re hitchki
Jagaye saari raina re

Talaiya.. kikhad..
Bhitar sookha re

– Original poem put very charmingly by my guru-ji (Gulzar Sb).

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.”


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

Towards a sanctuary made of stone,
inside a house of glass – moving,
destined to meet the nest of straw,
a path’s made through this hinge.

A path’s 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’s 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’s made through this hinge!

I have fastened myself to a center,
from which thousands of ways are diverging,
from each a new direction emerges,
and escalates into a drifting.
In hope, a day would come,
you may come across this junction,
tilting your head, you’d ask me:
“Where that path is…”
(Where you and I could be)

A path’s made through this hinge!

– 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 Brinda Roy Chowdhury:

Male only version, in a soft texture:

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.


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 Hein
Aap Se Bhi Khubsoorat Aap Ke Andaaz Hein

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 Hein

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

– Original lyrics by legendary Indian poet and lyricist: Gulzar

Urdu version:

آپ کی آنکھوں کچھ بہکے ھوۓ سے خواب ھیں
آپ سے بھی خوبصورت آپ کے انداز ھیں

لب ھلیں تو موگرے کے پھول کھلتےھیں کہیں
آپ کی آنکھوں میں ساحل بھی ملتے ھیں کہیں
آپ کی خاموشیاں بھی آپ کی آواز ھیں

آپ کی باتوں میں پِھر کوئی شرارت تو نہیں
بے وجہ تعریف کرنا آپ کی عادت تو نہیں
آپ کی بدمعاشیوں كے یہ نئے انداز ھیں

#گلزار –

– A beautiful cover by a solo artist.

My Master is one and only (Saahib mera ek hai)

This is my first attempt to translate a mystic poetry written in vernacular Hindi by a famous Indian Sufi poet Kabir.
For Kabir it’s said, he was illiterate yet a master of mystics of his time, simple living saint, his poetry expresses this, the profound imagery married with mystic meanings and earthly anecdotes is all rooted in simplicity.

My special thanks to Miss Maria Imran to point me towards his couplets while influencing me for translating and Miss Sidra Kamal for editing and reviewing. I truly believe mystic poetry in no way can be justified or bound to a single meaning, but following is just my humble try to relay its great essence and feeling.

– Beautiful and ecstatic rendition by one of the most internationally renowned artist of Sufi music Abida Parveen, presented by famous Indian lyricist and poet Gulzar saheb.

Saahib mera ek hai, duja kaha na jaaye,
Duja Saahib jo kahun, saahib khadda rachaaye.
My Master is one and only, comes close to him no sublime.
Should I speak of the other, master is one still to show sign.

Maali aavat dekh ke, kaliyaan kare pukar,
Phool phool chun liye, kaal hamari baar.
Looking at arriving gardener, such echoes of buds are.
Picked are ones that are blossomed, our day is too not far.

Chhah gayi chinta miti, manva beparvah
Jinko kuchhu na chaiye, woh hi Shahenshah.
Since worries dispersed as ashes, this heart is totally free!
For those who wish nothing, are indeed the ruler of destiny!

Het preet sun jo mile, ta ko miliye dhaaye
Antar raakhe jo mile, taase mile balaaye.
For those who talk of love, you will meet such countless…
For those who talk of an essence, are truly a breed rare….

Kabira te nar andh hai, guru ko kehte aur,
Har roothe Guru chhod hain, Guru roothe nahi chhod.
Kabir, truly blind are those, who have not yet got their master known…
For their discontent is forgiven by Him, but His displeasing has no cure.

Karta tha to kyun raha, ab kahe pachhtaye,
Bove peir babool ka, aam kahan se hoye.
Since time of deeds you paid no heed, why there now regrets high?
Sowed by you were seeds of a gum tree, how come mango would ripe?

Sab Dharti kaagad karun, lekhan sab ban raaye,
Saat samand ki muss karun, Guru gun likha na jaye.
Let earth serve as writing tablet, forests carve an instrument to write.
Let seven seas become an ink then, no way yet Master can be defined.

Ab guru dil mein dekheya, gaavan ko kachhu naahin,
Kabira jab tum gaavate, tab jana Guru nahi.
Since in your heart appeared the Master, what remains for you to sing…?
When you used to sing of mysteries, you didn’t know your Master a bit…

Main laaga uss ek se, ek bhaya sab maahin,
Sab mera main saban ka, tihan doosara naahin.
To one and only I give my heart whole, in one I find all there that is….
When all belongs to me, I breath in everything, who else can reign within?

Ja marne se jag dare, mere man anand,
Kab mar hun kab paahun, puran parmanand.
Where people are afraid of killing self, I am sound and relaxed.
For as soon as I kill my image from self, I will find truth ultimate.

Sab ban to chandan nahi, shoore ke dal nahi,
sab samundra moti nahi yun Sadhu jag mahi.
Not every tree smells like sandalwood, not all teams relay tales of bravery.
Nor each sea has hidden a gem beneath, that’s how not all monks are piously.

Jab hum jag mein pag dharyo, sab hanse hum roye,
Kabira ab aisi kar chalo, paache hansi na hoye.
When I stepped in this world transient, everyone laughed while I cried.
Now let’s do something as such Kabir, that we leave everyone with smile.

Agun kiye to bahu kiye, karat na mani haar,
Bhaven banda bhakshe, bhaaven gardan maar.
Once ridden on a path of miss conducts, not for once I broke a cold sweat.
Since I’ve known Master, in blessing I am assured, for disapproval – not upset.

Sadhu bhukha bhaav ka, dhan ka bhookha naahin,
Dhan ka bhookha jo phire, so to Saadhu nahi.
Saint has a hunger for love only, never did saint seek the wealth.
Those who crave wealth and assets, should never be called a Saint.

Saahib sun sab hott hai, bande te kachhu naahin,
Rai te parbat kare, parbat rai mahi.
Along Master each thing is living, chasing folks serves nothing.
Seed becomes mountain for him while mountain worths nothing.

Jyun til mahi tel hai, jyun chakmak mein aag,
Tera Sain tujh mein base, jaag sake to jaag.
Like in sesame exists oil, in crucible dwells wildness of fire…
Your Master too exists within you, should you seek in true desire.

-Dedicated to those of us who seek their Master.


1. Kabir song english translation by Alka P.

Once, I recall, an eve was strange (Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi)

– Performed mesmerizingly by Kishore Kumar, the music is given by Hemant Kumar.


Once, I recall, an eve was strange,
Eve today too is quite different.
Once, I recall, she was here,
today too it feels, she isn’t distant…

In those eyes shying away,
perhaps my image was lingering.
In those lips giving away,
certain beauty was in blooming.
Way I gathered it,
she was humming my name along.
Once it felt to me like,
she’s smiling all along…

My shadow is breathing still,
in those eyes down gazed.
Blooming are her lips too,
hinting of a passion suppressed.
I know for sure now,
my name is being hummed along.
The thought persists now,
she is sure coming along…

– Dedicated to strange eves, where distance is not a distance any more.

Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi,
yeh shaam bhi ajeeb hai,
Woh kal bhi paas paas thi,
woh aaj bhi kareeb hai…

Jhuki hui nigaahon mein,
kahin mera khayaal tha,
Dabi dabi hansi mein ek,
haseen saa gulaal tha,
Main sochta tha,
mera naam gunguna rahi hai woh,
Na jaane kyon laga, mujhe,
ke muskura rahi hai woh…

Mera khayaal hai abhi,
jhuki hui nigaah mein,
Khuli hui hansi bhi hai,
dabi hui si chaah mein,
Main janta hoon, mera naam,
gunguna rahi hai woh,
Yahi khayaal hai, mujhe,
ke saath aa rahi hai woh…

– Original lyrics penned by non other than famous Indian poet and lyricist Gulzar saheb. Song belongs to classic Hindi film: Khamoshi – 1969.

The Structure


So far we’ve come, that we’ve lost our way back…

Have you noticed how far we’ve come?
Have you observed the prize?

Do you look back on how we built
the walls that exist here?
We built them brick by brick,
so that cold doesn’t hit us.
But look at us now,
we have no idea of
warmth of the surrounding anymore.

Do you remember how we built
the roof on our head?
We built it one strand at a time
So that sun doesn’t overwhelm us.
Look at us now,
we don’t know
when night gets over.

Do you remember how we built
the chandelier of our place?
We built it layer by layer.
So that the light brightens our whole world.
Look at us,
we’re oblivious of gloom
inside now.

Do you remember how we built
the staircase that lead us here?
We built it step by step.
So that we can rise together.
Look at us now,
we don’t know from where
we started it all.

Do you recollect how we built
the house for us to live?
We built it one item at a time.
So that we’ve what we need to carry on.
Look at us now,
we carry no idea of
what’s living anymore.

Do you remember “the How”… ?
Do you recall “the Why”… ?

– Dedicated to those who advance, but forget their foundations. Those who swear by what’s current, yet forget that everything has to evolve further. And then they recall what they have gained and what they’ve lost thanks to pleasing the world.

Art Reference: Photograph detail from image in the forthcoming book Out My Window, by Gail Albert Halaban

Image Credits: theguardian.com