On the 10th of January this year I started a Facebook group ‘Main Shayar To Nahin’ primarily to air my devotion for him and some other Urdu poets. I regularly put up Shakeel’s poetry with meanings so that more and more people can savour his excellence. I call him the King of Irony since no one can write irony better than he did. Just one example:
Na milata gham to barbaadi ke afsaane kahan jaate?
If there was to be no sorrow, where would odes of ruin find a place
Agar duniya chaman hoti to veeraane kahan jaate?
If the world would be just a garden, where would deserts find a place
Chalo achha hua apano mein koi gair to nikala,
It is good that amongst own people there was an outsider too
Agar hote sabhi apane to begaane kahan jaate?
If all people were your own (in the world) where would strangers find a place
My blog already has a number of articles on Shakeel Badayuni (‘Shakeel Badayuni – The King Amongst Lyricist And Poets – Part I’; ‘Shakeel Badayuni – The King Amongst Lyricist And Poets – Part II’, ‘The Best Of Old Hindi Songs – Rafi, Shakeel, Naushad And Dilip Kumar Together’, and ‘Another Tribute To Shakeel Badayuni In The Month Of His Death Anniversary’)
We were a slave nation for 31 years of his 53 that he walked on this earth. All his contemporaries wrote about social inequalities, poverty, slavery and the like. Shakeel wrote about Love, Mohabbat, Ishq, Wafa, Ulfat; it is as if he lived in a different world. In addition, his god faring nature ensured that he also wrote the finest Bhajans in Hindi movies.
A RARE HAPPY GHAZAL BY SHAKEEL (He says so in the ghazal)
BAHAAR AAYI KISI KA SAAMANA KARNE KA WAQT AAYA
Bahaar aayi kisi ka saamana karne ka waqt aaya,
Sambhal ai dil ki izhaar-e-wafa karne ka waqt aaya.
Unhen aamaada-e-mehr-o-wafa karne ka waqt aaya,
Badi muddat se arz-e-mudda.aa karne ka waqt aaya.
(Aamaada-e-mehr-o-wafa=bent on love and loyalty; Arz-e-mudda.aa=expression of desire)
Ravaan hain apne markaz ki taraf aasuudaa umiiden,
Hujuum-e-yaas ko dil se judaa karne ka waqt aaya.
(Ravaan=moving/active; Markaz=centre; Aasuudaa=satisfied/contented; Hujuum-e-yaas=mob of despair)
Phir ik gum-karda raah ko mil gayi manzil,
Sujuud-e-shukr-e-be-panaah adaa karne ka waqt aaya.
(Gum-karda=lost/missing; Sujuud-e-shukr-e-be-panaah=touching forehead on ground in prayer to offer infinite thanks)
Kabhi doori thi lekin ab khayaal-e-khauf doori hai,
Fughaan ki saa.aten guzri duaa karne ka waqt aaya.
(Khayaal-e-khauf=thought of fear; Fughaan=cry of pain or distress; saa.aten= moments)
Kahaan par khatam rehta darmiyaan par dil ka afsaana,
Bil-aakhir darmiyan se ibtidaa karne ka waqt aaya.
(Darmiyaan=middle/during; Bil-aakhir=at last; Ibtidaa=beginning)
Har ik jurm-e-mohabbat is nigaah-e-lutf ke sadqe,
Naved-e-aafiyat le kar khataa karne ka waqt aaya.
(Jurm-e-mohabbat=crime of love; Nigaah-e-lutf=look of love; Naved-e-aafiyat=good news of well being; Khata=mistake)
Nigaah o dil se ab tafseer-o-sharh-e-aarzoo hogi,
Zabaan o lab se tark -e-iltijaa karne ka waqt aaya.
(Tafseer-o-sharh-e-aarzoo=interpretation of desire; Tark-e-iltijaa=renouncing request)
Woh aate hain Shakeel ab apne dil se haath do baitho,
Nigaah-e-naaz ki keemat adaa karne ka waqt aaya.
(Nigaah-e-naaz=look of love)
ZAMEEN PE FASL-E-GUL AAYI FALAK PE MAAHTAAB AAYA
(A very beautiful Ghazal*)
Zamii.n pe fasl-e-gul aa_ii falak par maahataab aayaa
Spring season arrived on Earth, Moon rose in the sky
Sabhii aaye magar ko_ii na shaayaan-e-shabaab aayaa
All came but none befitting your youth
[Fasl-e-gul=spring season; Falak=sky; Maahataab=moon; Shaayaan=befitting/suitable; Shabaab=youth]
Meraa Khat pa.Dh ke bole naamaabar se jaa Khudaa_haafiz
After reading my epistle she told the messenger, go, good-bye
Javaab aayaa merii qismat se lekin laajavaab aayaa
Her reply arrived (through the messenger) but it silenced me
[Khat=letter; Naamaabar=messenger/letter carrier; Javaab=reply:
Ujaale garmii-e-raftaar kaa hii saath dete hai.n
Light accompanies only fast motion
Baseraa thaa jahaa.N apanaa vahii.n tak aaftaab aayaa
Sun arrived only up to my abode
[Garmii-e-raftaar=fast motion; Baseraa=abode; Aaftaab=Sun]
“Shakeel” apane mazaaq-e-diid kii takamiil kyaa hotii
Shakeel, how could appreciation of seeing her be completed
Idhar nazaro.n ne himmat kii udhar ruKh par naqaab aayaa
Here my eyes emboldened to see her, but she hid her face in a veil
[Mazaaq=good taste/appreciation; Diid=seeing/sight; Takamiil=completion; ruKh=face; naqaab=veil]
(*A Ghazal traditionally deals with just one subject: love; specifically an unconditional and superior love. The ghazal is always written from the point of view of the unrequited lover whose beloved is portrayed as unattainable. Most often either the beloved does not return the poet’s love or returns it without sincerity, or else the societal circumstances do not allow it. The lover is aware and resigned to this fate but continues loving nonetheless; the lyrical impetus of the poem derives from this tension)
GHAZAL KYAA HAI?
Abhi taq maine Shakeel ki 32 ghazalen aap ki nazar ki hain. Ab tetisviin pesh-e-khidmat hai.
Iss se pehle ki main nawazish karun, main bataana chahata hoon mujhe Ghazal mein kyaa dikhta hai:
Buniyadi taur pe nazam, she.r, ghazal Jazbaat ke Alfaaz hain. Ghazal to sarasar Pyaar, Ishq, Mohabbat ka andaaz hai, agarche ye pyaar, ishq, mohabbat kisi aadmi ya aurat se hi nahin, Allah ya khuda se bhi ho sakati hai. Gham, khushi, beqaraari, bekasi, havas, tanhaai, afsurdgi yaa aur koi bhi jazbaat jaise ki inteqqaam, in sab ki jadh Ghazal mein pyaar ya ishq ke illawa kuchh bhi nahin.
Yaqeenan, Wikipedia mein bayaan kiya hai: “Most ghazal scholars today recognise that some ghazal couplets are exclusively about Divine Love (ishq-e-haqiqi), others are about earthly love (ishq-majazi), but many of them can be interpreted in either context.”
Ghazal kaa ishq se talaaq hona, mere liye qatal-e-aam hai. Zamaana, log, majlis aur awaam ko ghazal mein sirf ishq ke taluq mein laaya ja sakta hai.
Ek ghazal ka namuuna nazar andaz hai:
Unako ye shikaayat hai ki ham kuchh nahin kehte,
Apani to ye aadat hai ki ham kuchh nahin kehte,
Kuchh kehne pe toofaan utha leti hai duniya,
Ab isape qayamat hai ke ham kuchh nahin kehte.
Yahan poori ghazal mein ishq ki wazaahat nahin. Phir bhi ishq hi isaki ibtidaa hai. Urdu shaa’ir aksar apane ishq mein zamaane ko shaamil kar lete the. Misaal ke taur pe:
Kis kis ko sunaayenge judaai ka sabab ham,
Tu mujhase khafa hai to zamaane ke liye aa!
Shaa’ir to ishq mein chand sitaaron ko bhi shaamil kar lete the par Ghazal ka vaasta phir bhi ishq se hi raha hai.
TUM NE YE KYAA SITAM KIYAA
Pesh karta hoon Shakeel Badayuni janaab ki ek aur Ghazal, jisaki bunayad bhi ishq hai:
Tum ne ye kyaa sitam kiyaa zabt se kaam le liya,
What outrage you committed, you used restraint,
Tarq-e-wafa ke baad bhi mera salaam le liya
Even after the end of faithfulness you accepted my salutation.
(Sitam=outrage; Zabt=restraint; Tark-e-wafa=end of faithfulness)
Rind-e-kharaab-nosh ki be-adabii to dekhiye,
Have a look at the lack of respect of the excessive drinker,
Niyyat-e-mai-kashii na kii haath mein jaam le liya.
He took a goblet in his hand even with no intention of drinking.
(Rind-e-kharaab-nosh=excessive or bad drinker; Be-adabii=lack of respect; Niyyat-e-mau-kashii=intention of drinking)
Haay vo paikar–hawas, haay vo khugar-e-qafas,
Alas that appearance of lust, alas that habit of being encaged,
Bech ke jis ne aashiyaan halqa-e-daam le liya
The one who sold his nest and bought hoops of a net.
(Paikar-e-hawas=appearance or form of lust; Khugar-e-qafas=habituated to cage; Aashiyaan=nest; Hakqa-e-daam=loops or hoops of nest)
Baadaa-kushaan-e-ishq ko kuchh to milaa paa.e sukoon
Some peace or repose wine-makers of love may get,
Husn-e-sahar na le sake jalwa-e-shaam le liya
They couldn’t get the beauty of morning but obtained splendour of evening.
(Vaadaa-kushaan-e-ishq=wine makers of love)
Naama-e-shauq padh ke vo kho gaye yak-ba-yak Shakeel,
Upon reading my love letter she was suddenly lost in thought, Shakeel,
Moonh se to kuchh na keh sake dil se payaam le liya.
She couldn’t respond with her voice but took a message with her heart.
Ise Talat Mahmood ne bahut khoobsurati se gaaya hai:
This is a very beautiful ghazal by him; and once again will provide you with an understanding of what Shakeel’s poetry means to me.
AAJ PHIR GARDISH-E-TAQDIR PE RONA AAYA
Aaj phir gardish-e-taqdeer pe rona aaya
Dil ki bigadii huii tasveer pe rona aaya
Today again I cried at the movement (gardish) of fate (taqdeer)
I cried looking at the marred picture of my heart.
Ishq ki qaid mein ab taq to ummiidon pe jiye
Mit gayi aas to zanjeer pe rona aaya
In the prison of love I lived on hopes so far
As the hopes shattered, the chains made me cry
Kyaa haseen khwaab mohabbat ne dikhaya tha hamen
Khul gayi aankh to taabeer pe rona aaya
What a beautiful dream Love showed me
As soon as my eyes opened, I cried about the ‘meaning (or interpretation) of the dream’ (taabeer)
Pehle qasid ki nazar dekh ke dil seham gaya
Phir teri surkhi-e-tahreer pe rona aaya
First I was stunned/shocked (seham gaya) looking at the eye of the messenger (qasid)
Then I cried looking at the headlines of your writing (teri surkhi-e-tahreer)
Dil ganvaa kar bhi mohabbat ke maze mil na sake
Apani khoyi huii taqdeer pe rona aaya
I lost my heart and still couldn’t win the joys of Love
I cried at my destiny (taqdeer) that I lost.
Kitne masruur the jeene ki duaa.on pe Shakeel
Jab mile ranj to taaseer pe rona aaya
How delighted/cheerful (masruur) I was about the prayers for my life, Shakeel
When I got grief (ranj), I cried at the effect/influence (of the prayers)
Another beautiful ghazal:
AB TO KHUSHI KA GHAM HAI NA GHAM KI KHUSHI MUJHE
Ab to khushi ka gham hai na gham ki khushi mujhe;
Be-his bana chuki hai bahut zindagi mujhe.
Now, I neither lament happiness, nor rejoice in sorrow,
Life has made me very senseless (be-his).
Vo waqt bhi khuda ne dikhaya kabhi mujhe;
Un ki nadaamton pe ho sharmindagi mujhe.
God has shown me that time too
When I feel ashamed of her regrets (nadaamton)
Rone pe apne un ko bhi afsurda dekh kar,
Yuun ban raha hoon jaise aayi hansi mujhe.
To see her depressed (afsurdaa) on my crying,
I am making it up as if I am about to break into laughter
Rakha hai tishna-kaam to saaqi bas ik nazar,
Sairaab kar na de meri tishna-labii mujhe.
You have kept me thirsty (tishna-kaam), but my wine server, just look,
My parched lips (tishna-labbi) may not leave me fulfilled (sairaab)
Paaya hai sab ne dil magar is dil ke bavaaajuud,
Ik shai mili hai dil mein khatakti hui mujhe.
Everyone has a heart, but despite this heart,
I found a thing (shai) in my heart that is like an obstacle.
Raazi hon ya khafaa hon vo jo kuchh bhi hon Shakeel,
Har haal mein qubuul hai un ki khushii mujhe.
She may be contented or angry, in whatever mood it may be, Shakeel,
In every way I accept her happiness.
Here is the 36th ghazal of Shakeel Badayuni with meanings.
This is, like all ghazals, about Love but see the andaz!
ABHI JAZBA-E-SHAUQ KAMIL NAHIN HAI
Abhi jazba-e-shauq kamil nahin hai
Ki begana-e-aarzu dil nahin hai
(Emotion of love is not yet complete
My heart is not (fully) ignorant of desire)
(Jazba-e-shauq=Emotion of love; Kamil=Perfect or complete; Begana-e-aarzu=Ignorant of desire)
Koi parda-e-raaz haa.il nahin hai
Sitam hai vo phir bhi muqabil nahin hai
(Some veil of secrecy is there but it is not a hindrance
It is an oppression but still not a confrontation)
(Parda-e-raaz=Veil of secrecy; Haa.il=Hindrance; Sitam=Oppression; Muqabil=Confrontation)
Sar aankhon pe nairangi-e-bazm-e-aalam
Jise KHauf-e-gham ho ye vo dil nahin hai
(I honour the bewitching deception of the world
(But) my heart is not the one that fears sorrow)
(Beautiful couplet indeed!)
(Sar aankhon pe=To accept with respect; Nairangi-e-bazm-e-aalam=Bewitching art, deception of world; KHauf-e-gham=Fear of sorrow)
Masarrat-ba-daman huun sailab-e-gham mein
Koi mauj mahrum-e-sahil nahin hai
(In the flood of grief, I find happiness in (her) hem
It is not some wave that is deprived of shore)
(Masarrat-ba-daman=Happiness in hem; Sailab-e-gham=Flood of grief; Mauj=Wave; Mahrum-e-sahil=Deprived of shore)
Mohabbat se bach kar kahan jaayega
Talatum hai aghosh-e-sahil nahin hai
(The most beautiful couplet in this ghazal!)
(Where will you go saving yourself from Love?
It is a sea-storm and not the embrace of shore)
(Talatum=Sea storm or upheaval; Aghosh-e-sahil=Embrace of shore)
Woh kis naaz o andaz se keh rahe hain
Shakeel ab mohabbat ke qabil nahin hai
(With what pride and style she is saying:
Shakeel is now not deserving of Love)
Lest anyone should feel I have given up or even paused my fascination for Shakeel’s poetry, here is his 37th (a long one at that) after I gave his 36th on 16 June: Abhi jazba-e-shauk kamil nahin hai.
Please enjoy: BAS EK NIGAH-E-KARAM HAI KAAFI
Bas ik nigaah-e-karam hai kaafii agar u.nhe.n pesh-o-pas nahii.n hai
Zaahe tamannaa kii merii fitarat asiir-e-hirs-o-havas nahii.n hai
Her kind glance (nigaah-e-karam) is sufficient if she has no hesitation (pesh-o-pas)
My nature (fitrat) is not prisoner of greed and lust (asiir-e-hirs-o-havas) of the bow string (Zahe) of desire (tamanna)
Nazar se sayyaad duur ho jaa yahaa.N teraa mujh pe bas nahii.n hai
chaman ko barbaad karanevaale ye aashiyaa.N hai qafas nahii.n hai
O hunter (sayyad) go away from glance, here you have no control over me
O ye who has destroyed the garden (chaman), this is a nest (aashiyaa.N) and not a cage.
Kisii ke jalve ta.Dap rahe hai.n huduud-e-hosh-o-Khirad ke aage
huduud-e-hosh-o-Khirad ke aage nigaah ke dastaras nahii.n hai
Someone’s splendour (jalve) is agitating beyond the limit of consciousness and reason (huduud-o-hosh-o-Khirad)
Beyond the limit of consciousness and reason there is no reach (dastaras) of the eye (nigaah)
Jahaa.N kii nayarangiiyo.n se yaksar badal ga_ii aashiyaa.N kii suurat
Qafas samajhatii hai.n jin ko nazare.n vo dar-haqiiqat qafas nahii.n hai
Worldly deceptions (narangiiyo.n) have entirely (yaksar) changed the face (suurat) of the nest (aashitaa.N
One that the glance (nazare.n) held as cage (Qafas) is in actuality (dar-haqiiqat) not a cage
Kahaa.N ke naale kahaa.N kii aahe.n jamii hai.n un kii taraf nigaahe.n
Kuchh is qadar mahv-e-yaad huu.N mai.n ki fursat-e-yak-nafas nahii.n hai
No time for complaints (naale), no time for sighs (aahe.n), my eyes are fixed in her direction
I am absorbed in memory (mahv-e-yaad) in such a way that I don’t have the leisure for breathing (fursat-e-yak-nafas)
Qusuur hai ishrat-e-guzishtaa kaa husn-e-taasiir allaah allaah
Vahii fazaaye.N vahii havaaye.N chaman se kuchh kam qafas nahii.n hai
Guilt (qusuur) is that of earlier pleasures (ishrat-e-guzishtaa) as effect of beauty (husn-e-taasiir), by God,
Same weather (fazaaye.N), same breeze (havaaye.N) are no less imprisoned (qafas) by the garden
Kisii ke be’etanaa_iyo.n ne badal hii Daalaa nizaam-e-gulashan
Jo baat pahale bahaar me.n thii vo baat ab ke baras nahii.n hai
Someone’s carelessnesses (be’etanaa_iyo.n) have changed the system of garden (nizaam-e-gulashan)
That thing that was earlier there in the spring (bahar), that thing is not there this year
Ye buu-e-sumbul, ye Khaa.ndaa gul aur aah! ye dard bharii sadaaye.N
Qafas ke a.ndar chaman ho shaayad chaman ke a.ndar qafas nahii.n hai
This smell of hyacinth, this smile of flower (Khaa.ndaa gul) and sigh! this painful voices (sadaaye.N)
Perhaps garden is inside the cage, but, cage is not within the garden
Na hosh-e-Khilvat na fikr-e-mahafil ayaa.N ho ab kis pe haalaat-e-dil
Mai.n aap hii apanaa ham-nafas huu.N meraa ko_ii ham-nafas nahii.n hai
There is neither sense of privacy (hosh-e-Khilvat) nor worry of assembly (fikr-e-mahafil), with whom should I make my heart’s condition (haalaat-e-dil) clear (ayaa.N)
I am my own friend (ham-nafas), no one is a friend of mine
Kare.n bhii kyaa shikavaa-e-zamaanaa kahe.n bhii kyaa dard kaa fasaanaa
Jahaa.N me.n hai.n laakh dushman-e-jaa.N ko_ii masiihaa nafas nahii.n hai
With whom should I complain about times (shikavaa-e-zamaanaa), with whom should I tell tale of pain (dard kaa fasaanaa)
The world has lakhs of enemies of heart (dushman-e-jaa.N), there is no messiah to revive the dead
Sunii hai ahal-e-junuu.N ne aksar Khaamoshii-e-marg kii sadaaye.N
Sunaa ye thaa kaaravaan-e-hastii rahiin-e-baa.ng-e-jaras nahii.n hai
The mad people (ahal-e-junuu.N) have often (aksar) heard the voices (sadaaye.N) of the silence of death (Khaamoshii-e-marg)
(They had) heard that caravan of life (kaaravaan-e-hastii) is not pledged to call of bells (rahiin-e-baa.ng-e-jaras)
Chaman kii aazaadiyaa.N muaKhKhar tasavvur-e-aashiyaa.N muqaddam
Gam-e-asiiriihai naa-mukammal agar Gam-e-Khaar-o-Khas nahii.n hai
Freedoms (aazaadiyaa.N) of garden (chaman) are above all (muqaddam) imagination of nest (tasavvur-e-aashiyaa.N)
Sorrow of imprisonment (Gam-e-asiirhai) is incomplete (naa-mukammal) if there is no sorrow of thorns and dry-grass (Gam-e-Khaar-o-khas)
Na kar mujhe sharmsaar naaseh mai.n dil se majabuur huu.N ki jis kaa
Hai yuu.N to kaun-o-makaa.N pe qaabuu magar muhabbat pe bas nahii.n hai
O adviser (naaseh), do not make me ashamed (sharmsaar) I am forced by heart (dil se majabuur) to say
That the one who has the whole world (kaun-o-makaa.N) under her power (qaabuu) but has no control over love
Kahaa.N vo ummiid-e- aamad-aamad kahaa.N ye iifaa_e ahad-e-fardaa
Jab aitabaar-e-nazar na thaa kuchh ab aitabaar-e-nafas nahii.n hai
Where is that hope of arrival (ummiid-e-aamad-aamad), where is that keeping of promise of tomorrow (iifaa_e ahad-e-fardaa)
Then there was no trust of glance (aitabaar-e-nazar), now there is no trust of breath (aitabaar-e-nafas)
Vahii.n hai.n naGme.n vahii hai naale sun ai mujhe bhuul jaane vaale
Terii sama’at se duur huu.N mai.n jabhii to naalo.n me.n ras nahii.n hai
The melodies (naGme.n) are still there, lamentations (naale) are still there, O you who has forgotten me
Whenever I am out of your hearing range (sama’at se duur), my lamentations have no quintessence (ras)
“Shakeel” duniyaa me.n jis ko dekhaa kuchh us kii duniyaa hii aur dekhii
Hazaar naqqaad-e-zindagii hai.n magar ko_ii nuktaaras nahii.n hai
Shakeel, I have seen them in the world, who have a different world
Thousands of critics of life (naqqaad-e-zindagi) are there, but, no one is perceptive of minute detail (nuktaaras)
I have explained several times my adoration of Shakeel Badayuni; I grew up listening to his ghazals and songs and they made an indelible mark on my consciousness. Hence, out of 60 Ghazals and Nazams that I have put up in the group Main Shayar To Nahin (not including 32 of my own), 38 of them happen to be Shakeel’s.
Here is a short one of his that was sung by Talat Mehmood:
RAUSHNI SAYA-E-ZULMAT SE AAGE NA BADHI
Raushni saya-e-zulmat se aage na badhi,
Zindagi shama ki ik raat se aage na badhi.
Light did not proceed beyond the shadow of darkness (saya-e-zulmat)
Life didn’t proceed beyond one night of the candle (shama)
Apni hasti ka bhi insaan ko irfaan na huaa,
Khaak phir khaak thi auqaat ke aage na badhi.
Human being had no enlightenment (irfaan) about own existence (hasti)
Dust was just dust, it didn’t go beyond its limit/boundary.
Naam badnaam huaa sinf-e-ghazal ka lekin
Shairi rasm-o-rivayat se aage na badhi.
Form of Ghazal earned a bad name, but,
Shairi didn’t proceed beyond custom (rasm) and tradition (rivayat)
Be-takalluf hui tajdid-e-mulaqaat magar,
Woh bhi ik tishna mulaqaat se aage na badhi.
The novelty of meeting (tajdid-e-mulaqaat) came down to informality (be-takalluf), however,
That too didn’t go beyond the thirsty (tishna) meeting.
Zulf-bar-dosh woh ik baar to aaye, Shakeel,
Phir koi raat bhi us raat se aage na badhi.
Tresses on shoulders (Zulf-bar-dosh) she at least visited once, Shakeel,
Then, no night (ever) went beyond that night.
My adoration appears to be tapering off! It had been 11 days since I put up his 38th: RAUSHNI SAYA-E-ZULMAT SE AAGE NA BADHI on the group Main Shayar To Nahin.
By the way, I was only 16 when Shakeel died; three years before joining the Navy. And yet, witness the strong influence!
Please enjoy: MUJH KO SAAQI NE JO RUKHSAT KIYA MAIKHAANE SE
Mujh ko saaqi ne jo rukhsat kiya maikhaane se,
Khud mai-e-naab chhalakane lagi paimaane se.
As the bar-woman dismissed me from the tavern,
By itself neat alcohol (mai-e-naab) started swirling (or spilling) from the goblet.
Dekh kar haalat-e-dil unako taras aa hi gaya,
Wo bhi ghabra se gaye mere tadap jaane se.
(At last) she took pity after seeing the condition of my heart,
She too was worried to see me wince.
Dete hain taana-e-asnaam-parasti mujh ko,
Sajda karte huye jo nikale hain maikhaane se.
They taunt me on my idolatry (asnaam-parasty)
But I have seen them leaving the tavern with heads bowed in prayer (for her) (sajda)
Aap ke jaate hi aabaad hui bazm – e – khayaal,
Ban gayi aur bhi taqdeer bigadh jaane se.
As soon as you departed, the assembly of imagination (bazm-e-khayal) became inhabited (aabaad)
Destiny became better as it got spoiled.
Mohatasib ab tujhe tauba ka yakeen ho ke na ho,
Ham to takra chuke paimaane ko paimaane se.
Law officer (Mohatasib: magistrate), now you may or may not believe (my) penitence (tauba),
I have finished knocking goblet against goblet (meaning, saying “cheers”).
Apna ham-maslak o hamraaz kise kahiye Shakeel,
Nazar us bazm mein sab aate hain begaane se.
Who to call as belonging to same sect (ham-maslak) and confidante (hamraaz), Shakeel,
All in that assembly (bazm) appear to be strangers
Fortieth ghazal – the first one being ‘Kaise keh doon ke mulaqaat nahin hoti hai?’ on the day when the group Main Shayar To Nahin was formed, on 10th of January 2015 – and we cannot get over the beauty of his creations.
IK IK QADAM FAREB-E-TAMANNA SE BACH KE CHAL
Ik ik qadam fareb-e-tamanna se bach ke chal,
Duniya ki aarzu hai to duniya se bach ke chal.
Every step walk away from deception of desire (fareb-e-tamanna),
If you desire the world then walk away from the world.
Khud dhoond lega tujh ko tera munfarid maqaam,
Raah-e-talab mein naqsh-e-kaf-e-paa se bach ke chal
On its own your individualistic (munfarid) position (in life) (maqaam) will find you,
On the path of desire (Raah-e-talab) move clear of the footprints (of others).
Milti nahin hai raah-e-sukuun khauf o yaas mein,
Gulshan ki justuju hai to sahra se bach ke chal.
Path of peace of mind (raah-e-sukuun) cannot be found in fear (khauf) and despair (yaas),
If you have quest (justuju) for garden (Gulshan), you must walk clear of desert (sahra).
Munh jaada-e-wafa se na moD ai wafa-shi.ar,
Lekin huduud-e-chashm-e-tamasha se bach ke chal.
O faithful (wafa-shi.ar) don’t turn away from way of love (jaada-e-wafa),
But move away from the boundary or limit (huduud) of spectacles’ (tamasha) eyes (chashm) (meaning don’t turn away from love but from the confines of spectacles)
The next couplet is really very beautiful:
Kitani haseen hain un ke sitam ki masarraten,
Shukr-e-karam ki zahmat-e-be-ja se bach ke chal.
How beautiful (haseen) are the joys (masarraten) of her tyranny (sitam),
(But) Move away from the unnecessary inconvenience or trouble (zahmat-e-be-jaa) of gratitude of (her) kindness (shukr-e-karam) (meaning, whilst the joys of her tyranny are beautiful, you don’t have to go out of the way to express gratitude for her kindness!
Lamhen udaas udaas faza-en ghuti ghuti,
Duniya agar yahi hai to duniya se bach ke chal.
Moments are very sad, atmosphere is stifled,
If this is the world, then move away from the world.
The last one is a self-analysis and self-caution:
Apne adab pe naaz hai tujh ko agar Shakeel,
Maghrib-zada adiib ki duniya se bach ke chal.
Shakeel, if you have pride (naaz) in own literature (adab),
Then move away from the westernised literary world.
Love is not a reasoned emotion. When you fall in love, you don’t compare and rue the loss of others; you cling to the one you have fallen in love with. I wrote a complete essay on it in my blog about why certain songs, ghazals, poetry touch the chords of our heart.
Shakeel’s do that for me. It would have been different if I just ‘liked’ his poetry as I do of others. But, I am in love with his poetry!
Here is his 41st in this group made famous by Begum Akhtar and Peenaz Masani:
DUUR HAI MANZIL RAAHE.N MUSHKIL AALAM HAI TANHAAII KAA
Duur hai manzil raahe.n mushkil aalam hai tanahaa_ii kaa
Aaj mujhe ehasaas huaa hai apani shikastaapaa_ii kaa
Destination is far, ways are difficult, there is a world of loneliness,
Today, I have been made conscious of the the infirmity of my feet (shikastaah_paaii)
Dekh ke mujh ko duniyaaa vaale kahane lage hai.n diivaanaa
Aaj vahaa.N hai ishq jahaa.N kuchh Khauf nahii.n rusavaa_ii kaa
Upon seeing me the people of the world started saying I am crazy (in love)
Today, love is at a stage where there is no fear of stigma (rusavaa_ii)
Chho.D de.n rasm-e-Khud_nigarii ko to.D de.n apanaa iimaa.N
Khatm kiye detaa hai zaalim ruup terii a.nga.Daa_ii kaa
I should abandon the custom (rasm) of self description (Khud_nigarii), break my conscience or faith (iimaa.N)
The tyrant picture of your stretching in bed (a.nga.Daa_ii) destroys (me and my description)
Note: Peenaz Masani sings this as:
chho.D de rasm-e-Khud_nigarii ko chho.D de apanaa haath yahaa.N
Khaak kiye detaa hai zaalim ruup terii a.nga.Daa_ii kaa
Mai.n ne ziyaa husn ko baKhshii us kaa to ko_ii zikr nahii.n
Lekin ghar ghar me.n charchaa hai aaj terii raanaa_ii kaa
I lent splendour (ziyaa) to (your) beauty, there is no mention of that
But, everywhere there is talk of your radiance (raanaa_ii)
Ahal-e-havas ab ghabaraate hai.n Duub ke behar-e-Gam me.n “Shakeel”
Pahale na thaa bechaaro.n ko a.ndaazaa geharaa_ii kaa
People of lust or desire (ahal-e-havas) are now worried whilst drowning in the sea of sorrows (behar-e-Gam), Shakeel
Earlier the poor souls (bechaaro.n) had no estimate of the depth
I couldn’t locate the Peenaz Masani version. I am giving you Begum Akhtar version:
Greetings to everyone on the Birth Anniversary of Shakeel Badayuni on 03rd August.
Here is his Ghazal #42 on this auspicious day that in a way tell us what his life and poetry are all about.
Please enjoy: KABHII ISHQ KAA TAQAAZA KABHI HUSN KE ISHAARE
Kahii.n ishq kaa taqaazaa kahii.n husn ke ishaare
Na bachaa sake.nge daaman Gam-e-zi.ndagii ke maare
Somewhere there is demand (taqaazaa) of Love, at others there are gestures of Beauty
You won’t be able to save the hem of your dress from the sorrow of life
Shab-e-Gam kii tiiragii me.n merii aah ke sharaare
Kabhii ban gaye hai.n aa.Nsuu kabhii ban gaye hai.n taare
In the gloom (tiiragii) of night of sorrow (Shab-e-Gam) are the sparks (sharaare) of my sigh (aah)
Sometimes they appear as tears and sometimes as stars.
Jinhe.n ho sakaa na haasil kabhii kaif-e-qurb-e-ma.nzil
Wahii do kadam hai.n mujhako terii justajuu se pyaare
Those that couldn’t obtain the intoxication of vicinity of destination (kaif-e-qurb-e-ma.nzil)
Those two steps in your quest (justajuu) are dear to me
Mai.n ‘Shakeel’ unakaa ho kar bhii na paa sakaa huu.N unako
Merii tarah zi.ndagii me.n ko_ii jiit kar na haare
Shakeel, I couldn’t claim her even though I was hers,
Like me, in life, no one should lose after winning.
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