Friday, May 22, 2015

Ghalib~Nama: Rendezvous with Mirza Ghalib (Part-1)

Mirza Ghalib
Source: Google Images
Mirza Ghaib Series (All Parts) : Part (1) │ Part (2) │ Part (3) │ Part (4) │ Part (5) │ Part (6)

The excitement and challenge to get a window seat is something which awakens the child even in the grown up person. So when I was purchasing the tickets for the bus, I specifically requested at the ticket counter to arrange for the window seat, if possible. And when the voice from the ticket window answered in the positive tone my joy knew no bounds.

It was a long tiring day. No sooner did I have the tickets in my hand I flopped into the window seat with a sense of victorious pride in my heart. As I positioned myself comfortably, I could feel the fatigue and exhaustion taking a toll on the body. I stretched my body and surrendered myself lazily on the couch with Ghalib’s soulful ghazal playing in my earphones…
हजारों ख्वाहिशें ऐसी कि हर ख्वाहिश पे दम निकले
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमाँ, लेकिन फिर भी कम निकले
(Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle
Bohat niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle)
(Thousand desires such that at every desire occurs another death
Many of them I have realized, yet I yearn for more)

What a genius, this man was. Every time I listen or read his ghazals or ‘shers’, I keep on wondering as to from where on the earth he got his inspiration. There is so much of depth in his words each time you read them they will throw a different interpretation, a varied perception. I don’t recall any other Urdu poet who has become synonymous with terms as Urdu poetry, shers, ghazals, shaaiyri etc. Truly a phenomenon!!!

As I peeked out of the window pane, I could see the fading golden beams of the setting sun absolving the environment from the long tiring day and bringing up the night so that everyone can sleep and rest in peace from the day’s hard work. Along-with, it also gives hope and assurance to the wandering souls of the world – to the ones who had a splendid day that this day would remain forever afresh in the memories emitting mild fragrance forever and to the ones who had a bad one that this day has finally ended and tomorrow would be a new day with a new start. The birds also seem to have got the message and were seen heading towards their nests in the group. I have always been fascinated and thrilled by the sight of the flight undertaken by birds to reach their destination, no matter what happen they follow a pattern and stick to that always taking whole flock together. If only we humans could learn something from them, it’s not at all difficult to stay together provided the intent is noble and effort is genuine.

Lost in those thoughts don’t know how and when, the lousiness took me over landing me in the embrace sleep queen who tenderly took me to the world of dreams. And I surrendered with my tired ever-running mind slowly transforming into a half sleeping and half dreaming state until a nudge on my shoulder parted us and brought me back to the reality. I heaved a deep sigh yawning, stretching and rubbing one eye simultaneously looking at the person in front of me with the hazy vision.

“Barkhurdaar (son) is any one sitting here?” said the voice with the perfect blend of etiquette and sophistication. That’s what the magic of the Urdu language. Poet Ahmed Wasi has remarkably said, “Woh kare baat toh har lafz se khushboo aaye, Aisi boli wohi bole jise Urdu aaye.” (Every word spoken lends fragrance to the soul, that language can be spoken only by the one knows Urdu). However, the best lines on the Urdu and its neglect and decline in recent times have been penned by Iqbal Ashar. I am reproducing some of his couplets below which highlight the plight of the language on being demarcated in the name of religion and sect. When the language is nothing but the medium to convey the state of soul, why do we trace and assign the label of religion to the same. Do ponder on this one…who made Hindi the language of Hindu and Urdu that of Muslims, wouldn’t it be better if we let the language remain just the language of expression - love, joy and sufferings.
उर्दू है मेरा नाम मैं खुसरो की पहेली
मैं मीर की हमराज हूं गालिब की सहेली
(Urdu hai mera naam main Khusrau ki paheli
Main Meer ki humraaz hun Ghalib ki saheli)
(My name is Urdu and I am Khusrau’s riddle
I am Meer’s confidante and Ghalib’s friend)

क्यों मुझको बनाते हो तासुब का निशाना
मैंने तो कभी खुद को मुसलमां नहीं माना
Kyun mujhko banate ho tassub ka nishana
Maine to kabhi khud ko musalmaan nahi maana
(Why have you made me a target for bigotry?
I have never thought myself a Muslim)

देखा था मैंने भी कभी खुशियों का जमाना
अपने ही वतन में हूं मैं आज अकेली।
Dekha tha kabhi maine bhi khushiyo ka zamana
Apne hi watan me hum agar aaj akayli
(I too have seen an era of happiness
But today I am an orphan in my own country)

(The whole poem is given at the end of the post for interested readers…do read once)

Anyways, when I finally managed to dodge the lousiness, I noticed that a light complexioned middle aged man having a mid-sized grey beard, wearing a long robe with a conical cap adorning his head placed just perfectly on his long ears.

“No Sir, please be seated” I said with a warm smile. He had a stooping posture and when I affirmed, he adjusted his long robe and got seated adjacent to me. There was that soothing fragrance which he carried with himself (which I guess vapored from the essence he must have applied on his clothes), which filled the whole bus in moments. He had a royal finesse in his appearance and the way he had dressed gave an impression as if he had walked straight from some imperial setting. I couldn’t help gazing at him over and again. His face was radiant and had a charm that didn’t allowed the glance to sweep away from him, though his eyes looked hollow as if they are holding a whole era of longingness and suffering in them, still he stood there cool, calm and composed.
तेरे वादे पर जिये हम, तो ये जान झूठ जाना
के खुशी से मर ना जाते, अगर 'ऐतबार' होता
(Tere waade par jiyee ham to yeh jaan jhoot jana
Keh khushi se mar na jaate agar aetbaar hota)
(If I lived because of my faith in your promise, I knew It was a lie,
Had i really believed in your word, I would have died of sheer joy)

My running thoughts were interrupted by the soulful rendition of Ghalib’s ghazal slowly heard from the speaker of my earphone which hung around my neck dangling freely as did the hope hanging there in my companion’s eye swinging between longingness and suffering. He gave me a smile as I fumbled while unwinding the coils of earphones wrapped around my neck.

“You seem to be the lover of ghazals?” He asked. “Oh…Yes, especially when it’s by Ghalib. I hope you have heard about him, he is too good. If you haven’t read or heard him, you should at least once & I can assure you can’t help but fall in love with him.” I replied. He smiled again and said,
होगा कोई ऐसा भी कि ग़ालिब को जाने
शायर तो वो अच्छा है ' बदनाम बहुत है
Hoga koi aisa bhi Jo "Ghalib" ko na jaane
Shayar to woh accha hai pa badnaam bohut hai'
(It's difficult to find a person who has no opinion about Ghalib'
He is a good poet, but the dark rumors about him are more than enough....)

“Anyways son, tell me are you able to comprehend the meaning and thought behind the ghazal just played on your phone”. I felt embarrassed a bit not because I didn’t know the in depth meaning but because the person who should be thankful to me for allowing him the seat beside me is actually taking me for a ride. I remained silent, wrapped the earphones, tied them with a string and as I opened my bag to place the same therein, he pulled out my copy of “Deewan-E-Ghalib” from the bag and said (again with a smile), “Oh, so you are reading my deewan. How did you find that? They say my verses are difficult to comprehend, hope you didn’t face any problems.”

While the inside of me wanted to scream at him at the peak of my lungs, I just said, “Excuse me Sir, Your deewan, your verses!!!”

“Absolutely”, he smiled yet again.

“With due respect Sir, I offered you the seat for the simple reason that you are old and thus command my respect. And by now you must have realized that my Urdu is not good but that in no way gives you the right to mock me at my language skills. You might be conversant with the language as you would have learnt the same during your school days or have got special lessons for the same. But the fact that I didn’t, in no way undermine my love for the language than yours” I retorted, attempting to sound as sober as I could, still cursing myself moments later for the manner those words came out of my mouth.

“Oh I am sorry son, if I sounded that way but I never intended to do so. Blame it on this loneliness and solitude, the only company I ever had was solitude, wine and words. Seems like that constant habit of self-talks have made me forgot the basic etiquette of conversation. Perhaps that’s why most of the people assume that I’m arrogant and egoist, but the fact remains I am not. Oh, I curse these words – when woven in couplets they give me so much of appreciation but when offered in discrete they set a stigma upon me. Infact, it gave me immense pleasure to see the youth in you inclined towards the long forgotten Urdu language and more importantly towards my writings.” he said apologetically.

As I said earlier that the moments I spoke above words, I regretted the manner in which those words came out of my mouth. “Sir, I am sorry for that outburst, I didn’t mean to sound like that. But you are time and again asserting on your writing, your deewan. It can be a slip of tongue initially or just a playful attempt by you to pull my leg but a prudent person like you won’t and shouldn’t do it every time. You words and statements are baffling me. Who are you? What’s your name and why are you repeating above phrases” I asked.

“I am the composer of the ghazals you are hearing and the creator of the couplets you are reading. That thick book in your hands is the compilation of my ghazals. My name is Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan, people call me Ghalib, and that’s my deewan, Deewan-E-Ghalib!!!”

Mirza Ghalib

पूछते हैं वो किगालिबकौन है,
कोई बतलाओ कि हम बतलाएं क्या
(Puucchte hain woh ki "Ghalib" kaun hai,
Koii batlaao ki hum batlaayein kya)
(They ask, ‘Who is Ghalib?’
Some tell me what shall I say)

~*~*~ . . . Continued in Part (2) ~*~*~

Postscript. . .

As I had mentioned above, I am reproducing the whole poem by Iqbal Ashar for all the interested readers. . .do read once & I am sure you will fall in love with it. Kindly bear with the English translation, have tried to the best of my capabilities to retain the essence of the original, don’t know how far I have succeeded. Here we go >>>

उर्दू है मेरा नाम मैं खुसरो की पहेली
मैं मीर की हमराज हूँ , ग़ालिब की सहेली
(Urdu hai mera naam main khusro ki paheli
Main meer ki humraaz hu ghalib ki saheli)
(My name is Urdu and I am Khusrau’s riddle
I am Meer’s confidante and Ghalib’s friend)

दक्कन की वली ने मुझे गोदी में खिलाया
सौदा के कसीदो ने मेरा हुस्न बढाया
है मीर की अज्मत कि मुझे चलना सिखाया
मैं दाग के आंगन में खिली बन के चमेली
(Dhakkan ke wali ne mujhe godhi me khilaya
Sauda ke qaseedo ne mera husn badhaya
Hai meer ki azmat ke mujhe chalna seekhaya
Main daag ke aagan me khili ban ke chameli)
(The great Wali (Mohammad Wali) of Deccan has fondled me in his lap
The great (Mirza Mohammad Rafi) Sauda has adorned me in his verses
Glory of the great Meer has taught me to walk
I have blossomed in the courtyard of the great Daag (Daag Dehlvi))

ग़ालिब ने बुलंदी का सफर मुझको सिखाया
हाली ने मुरव्वत का सबक याद दिलाया
इक़बाल ने आइना - ये हक मुझको दिखाया
मोमिन ने सजाई मेरी ख्वाबो की हवेली
(Ghalib ne bulandi ka safar mujhko seekhaya
Hali ne muravvat ka sabak yaad dilaya
Iqbaal ne aaina_e_haq mujhko dikhaya
Momeen ne sajayee mere khwabo ki haveli)
(Ghalib taught me the journey to pinnacle
(Altaf Hussain) Hali taught me the lesson of being considerate
Iqbal made me see the rightful place of mine
Momin decorated the home of my dreams)

है जोक की अजमत कि दिए मुझको सहारे
चकबस्त की उल्फत ने मेरे ख़्वाब सवारे
फानी ने सजाये मेरी पलको पे सितारे
अकबर ने रचाई मेरी बेरंग हथेली
(Hai zauk ki azmat ke diye mujhko sahare
Chakbast ki ulfat ne mere khwab saware
Fani ne sajaye meri palko pe sitare
Akbar ne rachayee meri berang hatheli)
(Zauq’s (Mohammad Ibrahim Zauq) glory supported me through out
Chakbast’s (Brij Narain Chakbast) affection gave wings to my dreams
Fani graced the stars on my eyelids
Akbar (Akbar Allahabadi) decorated my hand with colours)

कयू मुझको बनाते हो ताशुक का निशाना
मैंने तो कभी खुद को मुसल्मा नही माना
देखा था कभी मैंने खुशियों का जमाना
अपने ही वतन में हूँ आज अकेली
Q mujhko banate ho tassub ka nishana
Maine to kabhi khud ko musalmaa.N nahi mana
Dekha tha kabhi maine bhi khushiyo ka zamana
Apne hi watan me hu magar aaj akayli
(Why have you made me a target for bigotry?
I have never thought myself a Muslim
I too have seen the era of happiness
But today I remain like an orphan in my own country)

उर्दू है मेरा नाम मैं खुसरो की पहेली
मैं मीर की हमराज हूँ , ग़ालिब की सहेली
(Urdu hai mera naam main khusro ki paheli
Main meer ki humraaz hu ghalib ki saheli)
(My name is Urdu and I am Khusrau’s riddle
I am Meer’s confidante and Ghalib’s friend)

~Shubh Life . . . Om Sai Ram

© 2015 Manish Purohit (Reserved)

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