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:

Inamorata… or not?

Response to the ghazal I did translation for: Kaifi Azmi‘s “Jhuki Jhuki si Nazar” (Eyes Gazed down are yearning or not?)

Hearing my name, thy heart melts, lips get warm or not?
Though silent, yet your mirror too reflects my gaze or not?

The day my eyes don’t come to admire your radiance,
reflection too reflects the disappointment or not??

Exchange of few words, carving glance, scarce moments.
An eon old continuity of allegiance, is felt or not?

You go-ahead, dismiss me countless times among known,
Yet in solitude, you too give up to my spell or not?

With even a hint, of mine disappearing from sight for long,
Your tongue gets frozen for all goodbyes or not??

At one end is world’s effulgence, at another the age old melancholy;
being disillusioned with me remains yet distinct to you or not?

Tantamount to such level, is passion for the union impossible,
geared up to be known forever by Poète maudit’s name or not?

World pronounces me dead, naive probe for a killer.
In heart of yours, heart beat of your killer, survive or not?

– Dedicated to the relentless lover (Meera/ Chandramukhi) and once impermeable beloved (Krishna/ Devdas).

Update: 11/30/2013

Ocean's Waiting

Ocean’s Waiting – Enable me to drink you all, Or sink me in to yourself! As there’s no other way!

A friend requested me on FB to update the post with original Urdu lyrics. (My confession: I ain’t good in Urdu)

Sheeshay mei terey chup basti meri nazar hai k naheen?
Awaaz par meri bheegtay lab-o-daman terey hai k naheen?

Paray jo na nigah chehray par kisi roz meri
hojaye zulf k andheray bhi khafa hai k naheen??

Chand lafzo ki guftugu, pal do pal ki mulaqaat
sadiyon ki marasim aur bebaaqi, hai ki naheen?

Tu kar laakh dushmani k daway mujh se sar-e-bazaar,
tanhai mei dil tera bhi, giriftaar qaid-e-pyaar hai k naheen?

Waqt-e-rukhsat lafz-e-alvida kehtay huay meri tarah,
labon pe tere bhi, hichkichat si hai k naheen?

Ik taraf hai zamanay bhar ki khushiya aur ghum sadiyon k,
per khafa mujh se rehna yun, terey liye juda hai k naheen?

Qadr ho pyaar ki kuch yeh, k jo gar na huway ek,
to hoojaye naam se ek dusre k ruswa, hai k naheen?

Zamana kahay maqtool, Bekhabr khoj te hain qaatil…
Terey dil mei gunjti, meri dharkano ki awaaz hai k naheen?

Tu kar beshak zamane se parda par tanhai mei to sach bata
Meri deewangi par tujhay naaz-o-aetbaar hai k naheen??
(Kept it out of the English translation to retain freshness…)

– Dedicated to Urdu aficionados, who don’t mind to read the text from a man unlearned. (I know I’m too weak in Urdu poetry. If something’s wrong here, please let me know.)

Image Credits:

Eyes gazed down are yearning or not? (Jhuki jhuki si nazar beqaraar hai ke nahin?)


Those concealed eyes are in longing, or not?
Though repressed inside the heart – love it is, or not?

You count your heart-beats and reveal me a secret
Like mine – your heart too is restless…  or not?

That moment in which love reaches its pinnacle,
You keep yearning for such one moment…  or not?

I’m distancing and dismissing whole world in your hope,
You too possess this much belief in yourself… or not?

– Dedicated of course to the concealed eyes…

The ghazal is 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 sung by non other than Ghazal maestro: Jagjit Singh.

jhuki jhuki si nazar beqaraar hai ke nahin
daba daba sa sahee dil mein pyaar hai ke nahin

tu apne dil ki jawaan dhadkanon ko gin ke bata
meri tarah tera dil beqaraar hai ke nahin

wo pal ke jis mein mohabbat jawaan hoti hai
us ek pal ka tujhe intezaar hai ke nahin

teri umeed pe thukraa raha hoon duniya ko
tujhe bhee apne pe ye aitbaar hai ke nahin

– The original lyrics are penned by one of the greatest Indian Urdu poet: Kaifi Azmi

Such potent combination of talented people, with such rigorous emotions and eloquent expression, one that touches the paramount of perfection are rare sight indeed. They’re made to be eternal – to be cherished forever – till the consciousness remains.