Sunday, November 17, 2019

गर बाज़ी इश्क़ की बाज़ी है, जो चाहे लगा दो डर कैसा

कब याद में तेरा साथ नही, कब हाथ में तेरा हाथ नही 
सद शुक्र के अपनी रातों में, अब हिज्र की कोई रात न

मुश्किल है अगर हालात वहां, दिल बेच आयें जां दे आयें 
दिल वालो कूचा-ऎ-जानां, क्या एसे भी हालात नही

जिस धज से कोई मकतल में गया वो शान सलामत रहती है
ये जान तो आनी जानी है, इस जां की तो कोई बात नही

मैदान-ए-वफ़ा दरबार नही, यां नाम-ओ-नसब की पूछ कहां
आशिक़ तो किसी का नाम नही, कुछ इश्क़ किसी कि जात नही

गर बाज़ी इश्क़ की बाज़ी है, जो चाहे लगा दो डर कैसा
गर जीत गये तो क्या कहना हारे भी तो बाज़ी मात नही

Gorgeousness that inflicts pain

Breathtakingly gorgeous. It is really difficult to express just how excruciatingly beautiful she is! I lose my speech when she flicks her hair, when she giggles or even hints a smile... and oh that glorious smile, entire paens could be written just on that. ? Every little gesture, every shy nod of the head, every whispered word, every arrangement of her aanchal is so completely stunning that it becomes painful. You cannot help but most hopelessly fall in love with her.

How could one be so beautiful? Is that face even real ? It was not so pleasant to watch her in earlier films, even a bit disturbing, since she looked a child, barely into here teens (she was 14 when her first film as an adult star released ). But as the years went by, oh my, what a gobsmackingly beautiful lady she became! The transformation is quite amazing, and needs to be seen to be believed...from the barely recognizable teenager of Neel Kamal to the heart pounding lady of Barsaat ki Raat! I can only imagine how many men, women developed complexes upon setting their eyes upon her. The men would definitely have lost their minds, never able to recover from the daze of her beauty and unable to appreciate any other girl they encounter, for she would always fall well short. And one can only imagine the insecurities that would have bred in women folk, upon seeing her perfect face! So actually, if you look at the larger picture, such extreme beauty shouldn't exist in the real world, it should not happen for it causes more harm than anything else...oh the heartburns, the disappointments! Apart from the face, the squinting eyes, the fulsome, rose like cheeks, the pearly teeth, the braids on her locks, the slenderness of her neck and shoulder, the attractive lips, alight with a crooked smile, apart from all of that...the other stunning things about her were...her voice. Oh that hint of mischief in the inflexions, the mesmerizing timbre of her speech...ohh I get goose bumps just listening to her.

But the sad part is, I know my life is doomed, it will probably only face disappointments now, there would never be any solace, for nothing could come even remotely close to her in beauty, in pure spell-binding gorgeousness. I will endlessly compare everything to her and endlessly feel sad when it doesn't measure up. Probably it was better if I hadn't set my eyes on her ever; probably I would have been happier that way, at least satisfied. That is why I say, her beauty is searingly painful, in the long term.

It only leads to perpetual heartbreaks and disappointments, with there being no hope of getting what you desire. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

The haunting melancholy of Meena Kumari

Verse after verse, in every breath, she breathes sadness. Raw and unflinching sadness. Melancholy so haunting, it can move mountains.

ज़िन्दगी में अगर तमाम तमन्ना पूरी हो जाये तो वो ज़िन्दगी ही क्या हुई, अलादीन का चिराग़ हो गया |
ज़िन्दगी तो बोझिल बोझिल साँसों का गुच्छा है, ऐसी ऐसी गिरहें लगी रहती हैं, कि न नाख़ून से खुले न दांतों से.....

Or these lines from her own recital...her own words and voice! And what a voice at that! Every strain, screams of scorching pain and suffering

हंस हंस के जवाँ दिल के हम क्यूँ न चुनें टुकड़े ? हर शख़्स की क़िस्मत में ईनाम होता 
जब चाहा दिल समझें हंसने की आवाज़ सुनी | जैसे कोई कहता हो, ले फिर तुझको मात मिली 
टुकड़े टुकड़े दिन बीता धज्जी धज्जी रात मिली, जिसका जितना आँचल था उतनी ही सौग़ात मिली  
मातें कैसी घातें क्या चलते रहना आठ पहर, दिल सा साथी जब पाया बेचैनी भी साथ मिली 

An endless stream of all pervading, all encompassing melancholy that wraps your whole existence, engulfs and consumes you along the way!

ज़िन्दगी क्या इसी को कहते हैं, जिस्म तनहा है और जान तनहा 
चाँद तनहा है आसमां तनहा, दिल मिला है कहाँ तनहा तनहा 
राह देखा करेगा सदियों तक, छोड़ जायेंगे ये जहां तनहा....छोड़ जायेंगे ये जहां तनहा 

And finally this fine summary of her own her own voice

अक्सर मैंने अपने आप  को बहुत घुटा घुटा पाया है, और या तो बिलकुल बाग़ी.....


Thursday, May 19, 2016

ग़ज़ल का साज़ उठाओ, बड़ी उदास है रात...

/ Strains of melancholia by Jigar Muradabadi, Vinod Sehgal /

तबीयत इन दिनों बेगाना-ए-ग़म होती जाती है
मेरे हिस्से की गोया हर ख़ुशी कम होती जाती है

क़यामत क्या ये ऐ हुस्न-ए-दो-आलम होती जाती है
कि महफ़िल तो वही है दिल-कशी कम होती जाती है

वही हैं शाहिद ओ साक़ी मगर दिल बुझता जाता है
वही है शम्अ लेकिन रौशनी कम होती जाती है

वही मय-खाना ओ सहबा वही साग़र वही शीशा
मगर आवाज़-ए-नोशा-नोश मद्धम होती जाती है

वही है ज़िन्दगी लेकिन 'जिगर' ये हाल है अपना
कि जैसे ज़िन्दगी से ज़िन्दगी कम होती जाती है
*हुस्न-ए-दो-आलम : beauty of both worlds | *सहबा : wine
*शाहिद ओ साक़ी : wine bearer | *साग़र : goblet
*आवाज़-ए-नोशा-नोश मद्धम : cheers/ toast

[ From the album Kahkashaan ]

The elusive singer Vinod Sehgal at his absolute best, in this deeply moving meditation on melancholia, depression and everything else. Almost an automatic choice for me, whenever I feel down, feeling hopeless with the world and its inability to be even a tad just, equitable for everyone.

Have listened very little of Vinod Sehgal, but the manner in which he expresses "'Qayamat kya ai-husn-e-do-aalam hoti jaati hai ?..." Uff!!

By the way, the title is a misra by Firaq Girakhpuri.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Quirky, amusing 'Young India Records'

Time capsules from a bygone era

A pre-independence Gramophone records company under the banner of 'Young India Records' just made a huge collection of its recordings, public in digital form. These have been released by the British Library publicly on its website's Sounds archives (link below).

Upon trawling through the entire collection of 1427 records, I found some rather amusing and intriguing ones, which I shall share now. 

A speech by Subhas Chandra Bose

A rather interesting piece of history captured here, with Bose delivering a call to the nation, in Queen's English with a hint of Bengali accent which was the norm it seems during those British era days. He is canvassing for Congress after the 1937 elections probably, as he mentions its victories at one point. Also mentions student movements in Russia, France and Italy!

A Congress election jingle 'Viceroy milan ko jaana'

Now this is really interesting. A Congress election song that asks voters to select Congress, so they can get to meet the Viceroy !! And amusingly, it is set to the tune of 'Piya Milan ko Jaana', a Bombay film song, which must have been a smash hit at that time. Well played, I guess, given how strict the censors were at the time for any political themes.

A radio play on Jahangir

This is a short radio play on the fabled justice of Jahangir, the Mughal emperor. The whole play is in verses and presents interesting themes, where the emperor has to take a call on justice when his own wife Nur Jahan is involved in a crime against a non-Muslim subject.

Adl-e-Jahangir | Part 1              Adl-e-Jahangir | Part 2

Meri Wafaayein yaad karoge

This ghazal seems similar to one by one of the lesser known poets : Mohammad Deen Taseer, which was re-worked by Sameer in 90s film Sainik (starring Akshay Kumar). Some of the words seem to have been changed in both versions from the original ghazal. In anycase this is performed by a singer named Manohar Kapoor.

And the version by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

And this one in full 1990s innocent, cheesy glory :)

And finally the link to access the whole collection of 1427 records :

Friday, May 13, 2016


कुछ छींटें पड़ीं मेरे दीवार पर ग़ालिब की

कुछ खिल उठा रंग फैज़ ओ फ़िराक़ का !

Monday, April 18, 2016

Majaaz's 'Hum pee bhi gaye chhalka bhi gaye'

Oh Majaz !!

तस्कीन-ए-दिल-ए महजूँ न हुई वो सई-ए-करम फ़रमा भी गए
इस सई-ए-करम को क्या कहिये, बहला भी गए, तड़पा भी गए

[Wasn't even close to being satisfied, my heart, and she had left, showering favour
But what can be said of this heavenly favour, that caresses you but tortures too]

हम अर्ज़-ए-वफ़ा भी कर न सके, कुछ कह न सके कुछ सुन न सके
याँ हमने ज़बां ही खोली थी, वाँ आँख झुकी शर्मा भी गए

[Couldn't even express the love, I was rendered deaf and dumb
Just as I uttered the first syllables, those eyes fall and she shied away]

रुदाद-ए-ग़म-ए-उल्फ़त उनसे हम क्या कहते क्यूँ-कर कहते
एक हर्फ़ न निकला होंठों से और आँख में आंसू आ भी गए

[Now why would I narrate those sorrowful stories of love to her and How? Hardly a word had left my lips and tears welled up in my eyes]

इस महफ़िल-ए-कैफ़-ओ-मस्ती में, इस अंजुमन-ए-इरफ़ानी में
सब जाम-ब-कफ़ बैठे ही रहे, हम पी भी गए छलका भी गए !

[In this august company, this gathering of the passionate
they kept holding onto their glasses brimful, waiting! Me? I drank away and spilled some too, for good measure! ]

[ Series : Kehkashaan (DD), Poet : Asrar Ul Haq Majaz, Singer: Jagjit Singh ]