RAJA MEHDI ALI KHAN’S HUMOROUS POEM: ADIB KI MEHBOOBA

I have already given you a blog – post on my second most favourite lyricist Raja Mehdi Ali Khan: ‘The Magic Of The Lyrics Of Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’. He paired with the great Music Director Madan Mohan to make some of the most memorable songs of Lata Mangeshkar. His song for the 1946 movie ‘Do Bhai’: Mera sundar sapna toot gaya reminds us that he was capable of deep philosophy and understanding of womanly pain and anguish at a very young age (he wasn’t yet 18 years of age when he wrote the song sung by Geeta Dutt on SD Burman’s music.

The great music director Naushad Ali brought out that two of his ghazals: Aap ki nazaron ne samajha and Hai isi mein pyaar ki aabru, with Madan Mohan‘s music were better than the entire compositions of Naushad!

And yet, not many people are aware of this that Raja Mehdi Ali Khan delved in funny, humorous and satirical Urdu poetry. As an example, I am giving you his nazm: Adib Ki Mehbooba. It is really very humorous. He has used the takhallus (pen names or non de plume) of various poets and writers both in their metaphorical sense as well as their identities to bring out the tale of his failed love.

I have attempted not just a translation of this humorous poem but also have given you the full names and short description and life-span of the poets and writers mentioned.

Please enjoy: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’s Adib Ki Mehbooba:

Tumhaari ulfat mein harmonium pe Meer ki ghazlen ga raha hoon
Bahattar in mein chhupe hain nashtar jo sab ke sab aazma raha hoon.
In your love I am singing the ghazals of Meer
These have 72 cutters (nashtar) hidden in them that I am trying out all.

Bahut dinon se tumhaare jalwe KHadija Mastoor ho gaye hain,
Hai shukr-e-baari ki saamne apne aaj phir tumako paa raha hoon.
Since many days your splendor has become Khadija Mastoor (Pakistani writer 1927-1982)
But, thank God, I still find you in front of me today.

Lihaf ‘Ismat’ ka o.Dh kar tum fasane Manto ke pa.Dh rahi ho
Pahan ke ‘Bedi’ ka garam coat aaj tumase aankhen mila raha hoon
Wrapping the quilt of Ismat (Chugtai Ismat; Urdu writer 1915-1991), you are reading the tales of Manto (Saadat Hassan Manto; 1912-1955, short-story writer)
I am wearing Bedi’s (Rajinder Singh Bedi) warm coat and looking into your eyes.

Tumhaare ghar Noon Meem Rashid ka le ke aaya sifarshi KHat,
Magar ta.ajjub hai phir bhi tumase nahin main kuchh Faiz pa raha hoon.
I came to your house with a letter of recommendation by Noon Meem Rashid (1910-1975)
But it is surprising that I am not getting any Faiz (success or victory; and also the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz; 1911-1984) from you

Bahut hai sidhi si meri baat na jaane tum kyun nahin samajhati,
Kasam KHuda ki kalaam-e-Ghalib nahin main tumako suna raha hoon.
My talk is straight, why do you not understand it
By God, I am not making you listen to some (difficult) poetry of Ghalib (1797-1869).

Tumhaari zulf-e-siyaah pe tangiid kis se likhwaayun tum hi bolo,
Shri Ibadat Barelvi ko main taar de kar bula raha hoon
The criticism (tangiid) of your black tresses (zulf-e-siyaah) who should I ask to write,
I am sending a telegram to call Shri Ibadat Barelvi (1920-1999)

Main tum pe hoon Jaan Nisar Akhtar, kasam hai Munshi Fida Ali ki,
Bahut dinon se main tum pe Sahir se jaadu tone kara raha hoon.
I am Jaan Nisar Akhtar (poet and lyricist 1914 – 1976) on you, I swear by Munshi Fida Ali (a Lucknow poet),
Since many days I am trying Sahir’s (Sahir Ludhainvi 1921 – 1980) magic and black magic on you.

Agar ho tum Hajara to phir mujh se mil ke Masroor kyun nahin ho
Tumhaare aage Upendra Nath Ashq ban ke aansu baha raha hoon
If you are Hajara (abandoned; also feminist Pakistani poet Hajara Masroor 1930-2012), then why are you not happy (Masroor) upon meeting me,
I am shedding tears in front of you like Upendra Nath Ashq (novelist 1910-1996).

Haseen ho zehra-jamaal ho tum mujhe sata ke nihal ho tum
Tumhaare ye zulm Qurrat-ul-Ain ko bataane jaa raha hoon
You are beautiful, you are like Zahra Jamal (Dr Zahra Jamal – leading protagonist of international Women’s right), you are joyous (nihal) after oppressing me,
I am going to Qurrat-ul-Ain (Qurrat-ul-Ain Hyder, female novelist 1927-2007) to tell about your tyranny (zulm).

Meri mohabbat ki dastaan sun ke ro pa.De Josh Malsiyani,
Sukha ke pankhe se un ke aansu abhi wahan se main aa raha hoon.
After hearing the tale (dastaan) of my love, Josh Malsiyani (poet, 1883-1976) was in tears,
I am just returning after blowing dry his tears by a fan.

Meri tabaahi ki chhap denge Naqsh ka ek KHaas number,
Tufail sahib ke paas saare musavvade le ke jaa raha hoon.
The imprint of my wreck shall be given in a special number by Naqsh (84 years old poet and lyricist from Lyallpur in Pakistan)
I am taking all manuscripts to Tufail sahib (Ibn Tufail – writer, novelist, philosopher 1105-1185)

Vazir Agha pathan hain saath saath yaaron ke yaar bhi hain,
Pakad ke who tum ko peet denge main kal unhe saath la raha hoon.
Vazir Agha (Pakistani poet and writer 1922-2010) is a pathan and also friend of friends,
He will catch you and beat you; I shall arrive with him tomorrow.

Hakim Yousuf Ali ne jab meri nabz dekhi to ro ke bole:
Jigar hai zakhmi tabah gurde yeh baat tum se chhupa raha hoon.
Doctor Yousuf Ali (Sir Abdullah Yusuf Ali, the famous scholar who translated Quran into English 1872-1953) when he felt my pulse, he cried and said:
Your Jigar (Liver; also famous poet Jigar Moradabadi 1890 – 1960) is wounded, kidneys are ruined; this fact I am hiding from you.

Malihabad aaj jaa raha hoon main Josh laa.un ki aam laa.un,
Tumhaare hontho pe gham ki maujon ko dekh kar tilmila raha hoon.
I am going to Malihabad (the town of famous Pakistani poet Josh Malihabadi 1894-1982) today; should I bring Josh or mangoes,
I am agitated to see the waves of sorrow on your lips.

Fasana-e-ishq mukhatsar hai qasam KHuda ki na bore hona,
Firaq Gorakhpuri ki ghazalen nahin main tum ko suna raha hoon.
The tale of love is short, I swear by God, please don’t get bored,
I am not reciting to you (the long) ghazals of Firaq Gorakhpuri (1896-1982)

Meri mohabbat ki daastaan ko gadhe ki mat sarguzisht samajho,
Main Krishan Chander nahin hoon yakeen tum ko dila raha hoon.
Do not think of the tale of my love as a donkey’s biography,
I am not Krishan Chander (Urdu writer of short stories & novels 1914-1977) I can assure you that.

Pilaao aankhon se taaki mujh ko kuchh ‘aal-e-ahmed-suruur’ aaye,
Bahut hain gham aashiqi ke bina piye dagmagaa raha hoon.
Make me drink from your eyes so that I should get Ale Ahmed Suroor (Intoxication; as well as famous poet 1911-2002)
I have a lot of sorrows of love, without drinking I am ambling.

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