Love: Yeh Kaisi Dilkashi

Last night, I was answering a question of one of the readers of this blog.And I used the words of Mir Taqi Mir. He is a very favorite poet of mine.An 18th century Urdu poet, he is credited to be singularly crucial to the development of the language. Mir Taqi Mir ( 1723-1810) is known as ‘Khuda-e-Sukhan’ or God of poetry.

There is one ‘gazhal’ of his which I love.Each time I heard,its beauty and magnificence was enhanced. I always wondered whether one could feel such love and passion. More specifically, whether I can ever feel so. There is an existential angst depicted in it which so characterizes romantic Urdu poetry.That is to say whether one can exist without his/her beloved? Much like what Jim Morrison ‘s ‘cosmic mate’ concept which means that you remain un-fulfilled and empty without your beloved who can only complete you;and a life without that person is one of anguish.

Rumi told me “Your task is not to seek for love but merely to seek & find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”. And I realized that it was time to let go of these barriers and surrender to love, which I have till date been forbidding myself to, despite knowing/understanding/glorifying in that person who can only complete/completes me.Why was this love forbidden? Many reasons, I guess, but most importantly because I had not let go of the ‘I’. I have let it go now….and I am reminded of Firaaq Gorakhpuri’s words( in a different context, though, about forbidden love) ” Zara visaal ke baad aaina to dekh ai dost/tere jamaal ki dosheezagi nazar aayi”( Translated: Look in the mirror after union,friend/How your beauty has acquired a virgin innocence).

When I listen to the words of Mir now, I see the face of the person who has been my beloved since I was sixteen years old and to whom I can say it 🙂 .He has been with me in many forms.But he was always/is/will be with me because, he and  I , know now that both of us cannot exist without each other.Like Heathcliff and Catherine.

These are the words of this beautiful gazhal:

‘Faqiraana aaye the, saada kar chale, miyaan khush raho hum dua kar chale”

(Entering like a beggar, unfulfilled I went, said a prayer for you, now be content)

“Jo tujh bin na jeene ko kahte the hum,So is ahd ko ab vafaa kar chale”

(A promise I made not to stay alive without you,Now I leave  the world to honor it, adieu)

“Koi na-ummeedaana karte nigaah, so tum hum se moonh bhi chupa kar chale’

(Any sign from you would confirm hopelessness, so you left sans a good-bye, hiding your face)

‘Bahut arzoo thi gali ki teri,so yaan se lahu mein naha kar chale”

(To reach your streets, was all that mattered,I arrived, but left defeated, blood-spattered)

‘dikhaai diye yoon ke bekhud kiya, hamein aap se bhi juda kar chale”

(It was portrayed as a selfless quotidian act, but it tore me asunder from you infact)

“jabeen sajda karte hi karte gayi, haq-e-bandagi hum ada kar chale’

(My head prostrated before you on the ground, the essence of servitude, my love had found)

‘Parastish ki yaan tak ke ai but tujhe, nazar mein sabon ki Khuda kar chale’

(So devout, O idol, was my faith in you,that in other eyes, I made you a God too)

‘Kahen kya jo pooche koi humse Mir,jahaan mein tum aaye the, kya kar chale?”

(How should I respond,they ask meas I leave, in this stay on earth,Mir, what did you achieve?”

The ‘gazhal’ was sung very beautifully by Lata Mangeshkar in the 1982 movie ”Bazaar’. A movie of equally great beauty and depth.One got to see some of the finest acting in it. Listen to Lata ji’s rendition here:

To the man who who matches my madness to show me  infinity and beyond,who smells like sea wind and has oceanic eyes of blue-green,this one is for you Adi…I open up my mind  to you ….that which I had guarded so fiercely from everyone till now…I open up myself to you….knowing that I have truly come home now 🙂



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