February 27, 2010

स्पर्श (Sparsh)

कुरान हाथों में लेके नाबीना एक नमाज़ी
लबों पे रखता था
दोनों आँखों से चूमता था
झुकाके पेशानी यूँ अक़ीदत से छू रहा था
जो आयतें पढ़ नहीं सका
उन के लम्स महसूस कर रहा हो

मैं हैराँ-हैराँ गुज़र गया था
मैं हैराँ हैराँ ठहर गया हूँ

तुम्हारे हाथों को चूम कर
छू के अपनी आँखों से आज मैं ने
जो आयतें पढ़ नहीं सका
उन के लम्स महसूस कर लिये हैं
- Gulzar

Amir Khusro's Ghazal

ज़िहाल-ए मिस्कीं मकुन तगाफ़ुल,
दुराये नैना बनाये बतियां
कि ताब-ए-हिजरां नदारम ऎ जान,
न लेहो काहे लगाये छतियां

शबां-ए-हिजरां दरज़ चूं ज़ुल्फ़
वा रोज़-ए-वस्लत चो उम्र कोताह,
सखि पिया को जो मैं न देखूं
तो कैसे काटूं अंधेरी रतियां

यकायक अज़ दिल, दो चश्म-ए-जादू
ब सद फ़रेबम बाबुर्द तस्कीं,
किसे पडी है जो जा सुनावे
पियारे पी को हमारी बतियां

चो शमा सोज़ान, चो ज़र्रा हैरान
हमेशा गिरयान, बे इश्क आं मेह
न नींद नैना, ना अंग चैना
ना आप आवें, न भेजें पतियां

बहक्क-ए-रोज़े, विसाल-ए-दिलबर
कि दाद मारा, गरीब खुसरौ
सपेट मन के, वराये राखूं
जो जाये पांव, पिया के खटियां

The English translation is:
Do not overlook my misery
Blandishing your eyes, and weaving tales;
My patience has over-brimmed, O sweetheart,
Why do you not take me to your bosom.

The nights of separation are long like tresses,
The day of our union is short like life;
When I do not get to see my beloved friend,
How am I to pass the dark nights?

Suddenly, as if the heart, by two enchanting eyes
Is beset by a thousand deceptions and robbed of tranquility;
But who cares enough to go and report
To my darling my state of affairs?

The lamp is aflame; every atom excited
I roam, always, afire with love;
Neither sleep to my eyes, nor peace for my body,
neither comes himself, nor sends any messages

In honour of the day of union with the beloved
who has lured me so long, O Khusrau;
I shall keep my heart suppressed,
if ever I get a chance to get to his place

- Amir Khusrau.
The phrase "Zeehaal-e-miskeen" comes from a poem of Amir Khusrau. The unique thing about this poem is that it is a macaronic, written in Persian and Brij Bhasha. In the first verse, the first line is in Persian, the second in Brij Bhasha, the third in Persian again, and the fourth in Brij Bhasha. In the remaining verses, the first two lines are in Persian, the last two in Brij Bhasha.

Na kisi ki aankh kaa nuur hoon

न किसी की आँख का नूर हूँ न किसी के दिल का करार हूँ
जो किसी के काम न आ सके मैं वो एक मुश्त- ऐ -गुबार हूँ

न तो मैं किसी का हबीब हूँ न तो मैं किसी का मैं हूँ
जो बिगड़ गया वो नसीब हूँ जो उजाड़ गया वो दयार हूँ

मेरा रंग-रूप बिगाड़ गया मेरा यार मुझ से बिछड़ गया
जो चमन फिजां मैं उजाड़ गया मैं उसी की फसल-इ-बहार हूँ

पाए फातेहा कोई आये क्यूं कोई चार फूल चदाये क्यूं
कोई आके शम्मा जलाए क्यूं मैं वो बेकसी का मज़ार हूँ

मैं नहीं हूँ नगमा-इ-जान_फिझाएं मुझे सुन क्यूं कोई करेगा क्या
मैं बड़े बरोग की हूँ सदा मैं बड़े दुःख की पुकार हूँ

- Bahadur Shah Jafar

Baat karani mujhe mushkil kabhii aisi to na thii

बात करनी मुझे मुश्किल कभी ऎसी तो न थी
जैसी अब है तेरी महफ़िल कभी ऎसी तो न थी

ले गया छीन के कौन आज तेरा सब्र-ओ-करार
बेक़रारी तुझे ऐ दिल कभी ऎसी तो न थी

चश्म-इ-कातिल मेरी दुश्मन थी हमेशा लेकिन
जैसे अब हूँ गई कातिल कभी ऎसी तो न थी

उन की आँखों ने खुदा जाने किया क्या जादू
के तबीयत मेरी माँ'इल कभी ऎसी तो न थी

अक्स-इ-रुख-इ-यार ने किस से है तुझे चमकाया
ताब तुझ मैं माह-इ-कामिल कभी ऎसी तो न थी

क्या सबाब तू जो बिगड़ता है "ज़फर" से हर बार
खू तेरी हूर-इ-शमा_इल कभी ऎसी तो न थी

- Bahadur Shah Jafar

February 20, 2010


We all live in darkness, kept apart from each other
by walls easily crossed but full of fake doors;
money drawn for light spending on friends or love
......our arguments
about the inexhaustible don't even graze it
just when it's time to start talking again, and take
a different road to get to the same place.

We have to get used to knowing how
to live from day to day, each one on his own,
as in the best of all possible worlds.
Our dreams prove it: we're cut off.

We can feel for each other,
and that's more than enough: that's all, and it's hard
to bring our stories closer together
trimming off from the excess we are,
yo get our minds off the impossible and on the things
.......we have in common,
and not to insist, not to insist too much:
to be a good storyteller who plays his role
between clown and preacher.

- by Enrique Lihn

from The Dark Room and Other Poems; New Directions Books, 1963

February 7, 2010

The Rhodra

In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals fallen in the pool
Made the black water with their beauty gay;
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that, if eyes were made for seeing,
Then beauty is its own excuse for Being;
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask; I never knew;
But in my simple ignorance suppose
The self-same power that brought me there, brought you.

-The Rhodora is an poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is a response to the question "whence is the flower". The poem is about the rhodora, a common flowering shrub, and the beauty of this shrub in its natural setting.

"What Is Success"

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

February 6, 2010


And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship."

Your friend is your needs answered.

He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.

And he is your board and your fireside.

For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."

And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;

For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.

When you part from your friend, you grieve not;

For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.

For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.

If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.

For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?

Seek him always with hours to live.

For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.

For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

The poem is taken from 'The Prophet' a famous scholary work of Kahlil Gibran.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

"Invictus" is a short poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903).

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