The Long Winter

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I found
Leaves shivering in cold,
and showing pattern,
I once traced on your skin…

I found
sky vomiting gold,
searching for tree,
under which we had our first kiss…

I found wind blowing
just to float me away
from today to yesterday…
when your fragrance used to linger on me…

They all reminded me,
how winter once used to be…
of time when nothing cold was painful,
since warmth of your breaths surrounded me…

Even moon used to bow
in an alley we used to meet in…
where I touched your hands first..
stars kissed your feet.

But this is not the winter
in which we weaved our dreams…

We’ve slipped far far away
from the mirror – our axis…
we no longer know what
kept our heart racing…

I keep looking for you,
in my present,
knowing I buried you,
out in the world for centuries
shutting myself in a coffin
holding sands of a last spring.

I found
sand mixing with the storm,
unraveling my tombstone,
on which you said once,
“You’ll never forgive me!”

Now, I find stars too,
complaining to me…
for I don’t share with them anymore,
what I wished for our destiny.

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– Dedicated to lovers unaware of long stretches of glacial boundaries that often grow in between, post beautiful snowfall they dance in…

Image Credits:
1. Glacier_person_cold_alaska (wallpaperscraft.com)
2. Couple_snow_rain_love (hdwallpapers.im)

The Yearning

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

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

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

Once used to roll in the hair,
used to wake from the slumber,
and put 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 this silence, you’d refrain…?

Once used to show both the joy
and the pain, felt everything,
like a journeyman, traveling,
to end up at a new place…
The soul longs for
that vulnerable body again…
such as 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 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.

Weather and Whether…

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“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

Verses of Parveen Shakir

Here’s a page for one of my most favorite poetess… Parveen Shakir… Her couplets spell binds one with such a strong hold, one’s propelled to think way beyond words, and pushed to dwell in melancholy, that exists between the lines of the couplets… Following, is my feeble attempt to translate her gems…

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تری خوشبو بچھڑ جانے سے پہلے…
میں اپنے آپ میں تجھ کو سمو لوں
― پروین شاکر

Before your fragrance withers away from my embrace,
Come this close that I absorb you with-in my essence!

کس جان گلستاں سے یہ ملنے کی گھڑی تھی…
خوشبو میں نہائی ہوئی اک شام کھڑی تھی
― پروین شاکر

What moment was it, to encounter a life of the heavens,
As eve too conspired, leaking colors in melted patterns.

اب اُن دریچوں پہ گہرے دبیز پردے ہیں…
وہ تاک جھانک کا معصوم سلسلہ بھی گیا
― پروین شاکر

On those windows, now reside blinds permanent,
that once often eves-dropping too is now absent.

تجھ کو کھو کر بھی رہوں ،خلوتِ جاں میں تیری…
جیت پائی ہے محبت نے عجب،مات کے ساتھ
― پروین شاکر

Even after losing you forever, I find myself basked in your yearning.
What sort of win it is for love, that propels even after surrendering..?

I stay soaked in your presence, even though you’re gone forever,
Unique sort of victory is this, it tends to couple with a loss forever!

دیوار سے بیل بڑھ گئی ہے…
پھر کیوں نہ ہَوا میں پھیل جاؤں
― پروین شاکر

The vine has covered whole range of fence…
Wish it dissipates in wind, like an incense…

اس نسل کا ذہن کٹ رہا ہے…
اگلوں نے کٹائے تھے فقط سر
― پروین شاکر

Back in past, for once, we just used to lose our heads,
In this generation, we lose our brains, our competence!

پا زیب سے پیار تھا ، سو میرے…
پاؤں میں سدا بھنور ہی ٹھہرے
― پروین شاکر

From the beginning, I was quite fond of the anklets,
perhaps how my feet never made it out of the vortex.

کھلونے پا لیے ہیں میں نے لیکن…
مرے اندر کا بچہ مر رہا ہے
― پروین شاکر

Though I finally found, my way to the toys,
But a child inside me is loosing its voice…

اُتر رہی ہیں عجب خوشبوئیں رگ و پے میں…
یہ کس کو چھُو کے مرے شہر میں صبا آئی
― پروین شاکر

Basking me all in its glory, and having me all shivering…
Touching whom today, the gusts of wind are blowing…?

بستی میں جتنے آب گزیدہ تھے سب کے سب…
دریا کے رُخ بدلتے ہی تیراک ہو گئے
― پروین شاکر

As soon as the river turned into new direction…
All turned into swimmers, who claimed self as aqua-phobics.

جسم کے تیرہ و آسیب زدہ مندر میں…
دل سرِ شام سُلگ اُٹھتا ہے صندل کی طرح
― پروین شاکر

In a ruined temple of body, ruled by an evil affliction,
The heart burns each evening, with a blind conviction.

یہ غربتیں مری آنکھوں میں کسی اُتری ہیں…
کہ خواب بھی مرے رُخصت ہیں ،رتجگا بھی گیا
― پروین شاکر

My eyes have contracted what new sort of limitedness…
The insomnia is cured, but sleep has turned dreamless…

جھونکے کچھ ایسے تھپکتے ہیں گلوں کے رخسار…
جیسے اس بار تو پت جھڑ سے بچا ہی لیں گے
― پروین شاکر

The gusts of charming wind, caress my cheeks in such manner…
as perhaps this time they would save me from an autumn forever!

Update: 5th of May 2015

رگ رگ میں اُس کا لمس اُترتا دکھائی دے…
جو کیفیت بھی جسم کو دے ،انتہائی دے
― پروین شاکر

In each crack of mine, light of beloved should make a play,
For all you bestow on body, sensation should forever stay…

دشتِ غربت میں جہاں کوئی شناسا بھی نہیں…
اَبر رُک جائے ذرا دیر تو رحمت جانو
― پروین شاکر

In wilderness of deprivation,
where there’s no soul known.
A miracle it will be considered,
should clouds stay for bit long!

جستجو کھوئے ہُوؤں کی عُمر بھر کرتے رہے…
چاند کے ہمراہ ہم ہر شب سفر کرتے رہے
― پروین شاکر

Kept fluttering, to meet the lost ones, an entire life…
I kept marching, with the moon’s line, each night…

سماعتوں میں اب جنگلوں کی سانسیں ہیں…
میں اب کبھی تری آواز سُن نہ پاؤں گی
― پروین شاکر

In my surroundings now breath the dense forest,
howling in way I may never hear from you again!

سُوکھے پتوں کے جھُرمٹ پر …
شبنم تھی یا ننّھا چاند
― پروین شاکر

On heaps of those dry leaves, was it a dew,
or pebble-sized moons were seeking orbits?

– Dedicated of course to the legendary Parveen Shakir

Image credits: Tribute to Parveen Shakir by Doki-Neko at DeviantArt.

Poems written for you (Likhe jo khat tujhe)

– Performed by the legendary Indian singer Mohammad Rafi for a Hindi film: Kanyadan (1968).

Translation:

Poems written for you,
in remembrance due,
they emerged into…
the thousand splendid views.

As dawn fare-welled night,
they morphed as – the flowers and the hue…
When night absorbed the sun,
they became sparkling stars and the dew…

As melody somewhere, comes into play,
my heart points me, there you may,
slips somewhere, a bud alcove,
I consider it, your foreplay.
As scent somewhere, spills in air,
seems your curls inter-played.

An eager breeze, enthralling pace,
this gracefulness, and elegance,
those curves and the restlessness,
your swaying away, leaving unquenched.
Who won’t it then, turn into…
A beguiled lover passionate…

I am there, where you are,
If I am the heart, the pulse you are…
If I wander, you are a destiny,
In my thirstiness, rain you are…
My world is, the way you see me,
and heaven is, your never being far.

– Dedicated to the love letters  – the thousand splendid views…

Likhe jo khat tujhe
woh teree yad me
Hazaaro rang ke
nazaaray ban gaye

Sawera jab huwa,
toh phul ban gaye
Jo rat aayee toh,
sitare ban gaye

Koyee nagma, kahee gunja
kahan dil me, yeh tu aayi
Kahee chatkee, kalee koyee,
mai yeh samjha, tu sharmayi
Koyi khushbu, kahee bikhri,
laga yeh zulf lehrayi

Likhe jo khat tujhe…….

Fiza rangeen, Ada rangeen,
yeh ithlana, yeh sharmana
Yeh angdayi, yeh tanhayi,
yeh tarsa kar, chalay jana
Bana de ga nahi kisko,
jawan jadu yeh divana

Likhe jo khat tujhe…….

Jaha tu hai, waha mai hu,
mere dil ki, tu dhadhkan hai
Musafir mai, tu manzil hai,
mai pyasa hu, tu saawan hai
Meri duniya, yeh nazray hain,
meri jannat, yeh daman hai

Likhe jo khat tujhe…….

– Original lyrics penned by famous Indian poet: Gopaldas Neeraj

In such a way, walls of my life did collide with someone (Yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gya koi)

– Performed by non other than Ghazal legend: Mehdi Hassan saheb.

Translation:

In such a way, walls of my life did collide with someone…
Like canvas of darkness is spilled of light by someone…

That stroke, first bump into each-other, what can I say?
How unique was the situation be-felling, what can I say?
That crash, that shock and the awe, I do remember…
Her appearing cold and indifferent, I do remember…
Irremovable such an ink, way it’s inscribed by someone…

As she crossed her eyes with mine, she got all frost.
Stepping into realm of her thoughts, she got all lost.
At defenseless stance of mine, she showered her compassion.
Perhaps, the way I suffered, too stirred up her veiled passion.
As close to an extent of feeling the breaths came someone…

With such love and affection she brushed my guard,
Like destination itself chose a journeyman’s heart…
In tenth of the moment, such lightning got struck…
In all veins to my heart, her fragrance got stuck…
Curls leading to a trance were waved at me by someone…

Ask me no further, state of my heart in the pittance…
Ask me nor of those nameless desires now in emergence…
A stranger in a life, became a fuel for soul’s fire…
An accident unpredicted, became sole subject of desire.
Path waiting along destiny is revealed to me by someone…

– Dedicated to serendipitous collisions…

yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gaya koi
ik roshni andheroun mein bikhra gaya koi

woh haadsa woh pehli mulaakat kya kahoon
kitni ajab thi soorat-e-haalaat kya kahoon
woh kehar woh ghazab woh jafa mujh ko yaad hai
woh uski be-rukhi ki adaa mujh ko yaad hai
mit-ta naih hai zehn say yun chhaa gaya koi
yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gaya koi

pehlay mujhay woh dekh kay barham si ho gayee
phir apnay he haseen khyaaloun mein kho gayee
bechaargi pe meri usay reham aagya
shayed meray tarapnay ka andaaz bhaa gaya
saansoun se bhi kareeb thee mere aa gaya koi
yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gaya koi

yun usnay pyar say meri baanhoun ko chhoo liya
manzil nay jaisay shauk ki raahoun ko chhoo liya
ik pal mein dil pe kaisi qayamat guzar gayee
rag rag mein uski khushbu bikhar gayee
zulfoun ko mere shaanay pe lehra gaya koi
yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gaya koi

ab is dil-e-tabaah ki haalat na poochiye
be-naam aarzu’oun ki lazzat na poochiye
ik ajnabi ka rooh ka armaan ban gya
ik haadsa tha pyar ka, unwaan ban gya
manzil ka raasta mujhe dikhla gya koi
yun zindagi ki raah mein takra gya koi

yun zindagi ki raah mein…

Urdu version:

یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی
اک روشنی اندھیروں میں بکھرا گیا کوئی

وہ حادثہ وہ پہلی ملاقات کیا کہوں
کتنی عجب صورتحال کیا کہوں
یوں قہر وہ غضب وہ جفا مجھ کو یاد ہے
وہ اسکی بے رخی کی ادا مجھ کو یاد ہے
مٹتا نہیں ہے ذہن پہ یوں چھا گیا کوئی
یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی

پہلے مجھے وہ دیکھ کے برہم سی ہوگئی
پھر اپنے ہی حسین خیالوں میں کھو گئی
بیچارگی پہ میری اسے رحم آ گیا
شاید میرے تڑپنے کا انداز بھا گیا
سانسوں سے بھی قریب تھی مرے آگیا کوئی
یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی

یوں پیار سے اس نے مری باہوں کو چھو لیا
منزل نے جیسے شوق کی راہوں کو چھو لیا
اک پل میں دل پہ کیسی گزر گئی
رگ رگ میں اسکی خوشبو بکھر گئی
زلفوں کو مرے شانے پہ لہرا گیا کوئی
یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی

اب اس دل تباہ کی حالت نہ پوچھیے
بے نام آرزوؤں کی کی لذت نہ پوچھیے
اک اجنبی کا روح کا ارمان بن گیا
اک خادثہ سا تھا پیار کا، عنوان بن گیا
منزل کا راستا مجھے دکھلا گیا کوئی
یوں زندگی کی راہ میں ٹکرا گیا کوئی

یوں زندگی کی راہ میں۔۔۔۔

– Original poem penned by Masroor Anwar.