Aapki Yaad Aati Rahi (Makhdoom/ Chaya Ganguly)

Here is a ghazal by Makhdoom Mohiuddin and beautifully rendered by Chaya Ganguly.

What follows is my feeble attempt at a literal translation (hoping that I don’t add my interpretation to it)

Aap ki yaad aatee rahee raat bhar
Chashm-e-nam muskaratee rahee raat bhar

The night was haunted by your memories
And my teary eyes smiled all night long

Raat bhar dard ki shamma jaltee rahee
Gham ki lau thartharatee rahee raat bhar

The candles of pain kept the night awake
And the flames of sadness kept flickering all night long

Bansuri ki surilee suhanee sada
Yaad ban ban kay aatee rahi raat bhar

Ah, the sweet soulful yearning of the flute
Kept tugging at my memories all night long

Yaad kay chaand dil mein utartay rahay
Chandni jagmagatee rahi raat bhar

As the moons of a memory would set in my heart
The moonlight kept shining like a beacon all night long

Koee deevana galiyon mein phirta raha
Koee aawaz aati rahi raat bhar

A forelorn lover kept wandering the streets
And a voice could well be heard all night long

*************************************************************
When Makdhoom died, Faiz wrote the following lines in his memory (“Makhdoom ki yaad mein”–Faiz Ahmed Faiz)

“Aap ki yaad aati rahi raat bhar”
chaandni dil dukhaati rahi raat bhar

The night was haunted by your memories
And the moonlights made my heart bleed all night long

gaah jalti hui, gaah bujhti hui
shamm-e-gham jhilmilaati rahi raat bhar

Restlessly, it flickered at times, at times it didn’t
The flame of sadness kept shining all night long

koi khushboo badalti rahi pairahan
koi tasveer gaati rahi raat bhar

A fragrance kept changing its body all night
And a portrait kept singing all night long

phir sabaa saaya-e-shaakh-e-gul ke talay
koi qissa sunaati rahi raat bhar

And again, in the shades of blossomed tree
A gentle breeze narrated some tales  all night long

jo na aaya use koi zanjeer-e-dar
har sadaa par bulaati rahi raat bhar

The chains of the courtyard, with every call,
Sought him, who did not turn up, all night long

eik ummeed se dil behalta raha
ik tamanna sataati rahi raat bhar

A hope kept my heart at bay
And a desire kept burning within all night long

(Faiz–Sept 1978, Moscow)

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Mo(u)rning Couplet

Bahut gumaa tha mujhe apne khuda hone ka
Aaj tehreer-e-ashq mein khuda nihaan paaya

Baad jannat bhi koi duniya hua karti hai
Aaj jaana jab utha sar se khuda ka saaya

बहोत गुमां था मुझे अपने खुदा होने का
आज तहरीर-ए-अश्क में खुदा निहां पाया

बाद जन्नत भी कोई दुनिया हुआ करती है
आज जाना जब उठा सिर से खुदा का साया..

गज़ल – Ghazal

(१) ढलती शामों के उलझे साये में परवाज़ भी है

गुज़री रातों की सियाही में छुपा आज भी है

(२) मुर्दा चीखों में सुलगता है आनेवाला कल

बुझते शोलों में उम्मीदों का ईक आगाज़ भी है

(३) हैं कई दौर छुपे उम्र की गहराई में

हम हैं, तुम हो, और कई राज़ भी हैं

(४) बुत्कशी इल्म कभी, गर्दिश-ए-एहसास कभी

है अज़ां शोर कभी, कभी दाउद की आवाज़ भी है

(५) कह दो अपने खुदा से कल ना मुझॆ दिखलाए

झूठे वादों से शायर को ऐतराज़ भी है

dhalti shamon ki uljhe saaye mein parwaaz bhi hai
guzri raaton ki siyaahi mein chupa aaj bhi hai

murda cheekhon mein sulagta hai aane wala kal
bujhte sholon mein umeedon ka ik aagaaz bhi hai

hain kaii dauur chupe umR ki gehraii mein
hum hain, tum ho, aur koi raaz bhi hai

butKashi ilm kabhi, gardish-e-ehsaas kabhi
hai azaan shor kabhi, kabhi dawood ki awaaz bhi hai

keh do apne khuda se kal na mujhe dikhlaaye
jhoothe waadon se shayar ko aitraaz bhi hai

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Woh Jiski Deed Mein – Faiz by Abida

Have been meaning to write out this beautiful ghazal – Wo jiski deed mein…Again,a FAIZ-ABIDA combination… companion for a quiet evening.. Here is a feeble attempt at translating it – (with special thanks to DigDownDeep

Woh jiski deed mein laakhoun masarratein pinhaaan
Woh husn jiski tamanna mein jannat pinhaan

Just for a look at her, I have lost a million joys
And its the desire of her beauty, that I let go of my Prophet

Hazaar fitney tah-e-paa-e-naaz khaak-e-nasheen
Har eik nigaah khumar-e-shabaab se rangeen

Shabaab jis se takhaiyul pe bijliyaan barsein
Waqaar jiski rafaqat ko shokhiyaan tarsey

A thousand temptations rise and fall, with every delicate footprint of hers
In every eye, the colored dreams of her youthful beauty lie

The mere thought of her youth, strikes me from the heavens above
Yet my innocent mischievousness seeks the solemnity of her companionship

Ada-e-laghzisheiy paa par qyamatein qurbaan
Bayaz-e-rukh pey sahar ki sabahatein qurbaan

Siyaah zulfoun mein badaaon sa nikhatoun ka hujoom
Taweel raatoun ki khwabeedah raahatoun ka hujoom

In the delicacy of those misplaced feet, I can sacrifice eternities
To read a leaf, off the book of her face, I can let go of the morning wine

From her dark tresses, the intoxicating fragrance of wine lures,
Like the dreamy long nights and the promise of tranquility

Woh aankh jiski banao pe khaliq dey raae
Zabaan-e-shair ko tareef kartey sharmaae

Gudaaz jism qaba jispe sajke naaz karey
Daraaz qad jisey sarw-e-sahi namaz karey

The shape of her eyes is brooded over by the Almighty
And the poets finds themselves inadequate at praising her beauty

Whatever she wears is honored by the fall off her buxom body
Her tall personality is worshipped by the rich and the fakir

Kisi zamaney mein is rah-guzar sey guzraa thaa
Ba-sad guroor-o-tajammul idhar sey guzraa thaa

Aur ab ye raah guzar bhi hai dilfareb-o-haseen
Hai uski khaak mein kaif-e-sharab-e-sair makeen

There was a time, when I had cross these streets
And so full I was of pride and magnificence

But the times have changed, and these very streets allure me
As even your dust carries the exhilaration of wine and intoxication

Hawa mein shokhi-e-raftaar ki adaaein hain
Faza mein narmi-e-guftaar ki sadaen hain

Garaz vo husn is raah ka juzu-e-manzar hai
Niyaz-e-ishq kou eik sajda gaah maiyassar hai

The air is full of the coquettishness of youth and agility
The weather seems full of the warmth of a conversation

And the pursuit of her beauty is what the heart craves to witness
a mosque is never too far for a prayer of love


Some of the key words and their meanings –
Masarrat: Happiness, Joy; Pinhaan: Concealed, Hidden; Tah : Plait, fold, multiplicity, perplexity; Fitnaa: Sedition, Mischief, Quarrel, Revolt, Temptation, Wickedness; Naaz : coquetry, amorous playfulness; Shabaab: Juvenility, Youth ; takhaaiyul : imagination, fancy ; Waqaar : Solemnity ;rafāqat : companionship, society, friendship ; Shokhiyaan : Coquetry, Mischief, Restlessness; Laghzish: Blunder, Lapse, Mistake, Tottering ; Bayaaz: Album, Handbook, Notebook, Vade Mecum; Sahaba : Wine, Esp. Red Wine ; Rukh : Face, Cheek, Side ; Siyaah :Black, Dark ; Baadaa : Booze, Wine ; Nikhat: Fragrance; Hujoom: Assault, Attack, Crowd, Onset, Throng, Tumult ; Taweel: Extended, Lengthy, Long ; Raahat : Quiet, rest, repose, ease, tranquillity; Banaao : Appearance, form, shape, colour, Adornment; Khaliq : The Great Creator, the Originator ;Gudaaz: Well-Mixed, Well-endowed ;Daraaz : Long, tall; Qaba: Gown, Long Coat Like Garment ;Sarw : Affluent, Opulent, Rich, Wealthy; Sahi : A religious mendicant, a Mohammadan faqīr; Tajammul : Dignity, pomp, splendour, magnificence; guroor : pride, vanity, haughtiness; Ba-sad : by a hundred; Dil fareb : Alluring, Beautiful, Charming, Enticing; Sair : Walk, Excursion, Stroll; Makeen : Firmly fixed; well-established;–in a high station; Kaif: exhilaration, Happiness, Intoxication, Joy; Fiza ; Atmosphere, Environment; guftaar : discourse, conversation ; Raftaar: Going, motion, walk, gait, pace; Shokhi : Playfulness, fun, mischief; pertness, sauciness; coquetry, wantonness; Garaz: An object of aim or pursuit, or of desire; aim, end, object, design, view, purpose; Manzar: Aspect, Countenance, Landscape, Scene, Visage ; Niyaz : Petition, supplication, prayer; Mayassar: easy, feasible, practicable; favourable

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Gul Hui Jaati Hai : Faiz

This is one of the most beautiful Faiz compositions that I have heard. With Abida Parveen’s voice adding soul to these beautiful words, its the perfect setting for a nice quiet evening. I have seen a lot of people wondering about what the ghazal means. Thats when I thought I should just write this bit out. Listen it here

गुल हुई जाती है अफ़सुर्दा सुलगती हुई शाम
धुल के िनक्लेगी अभी चश्म-ए-माहताब से रात
और मुश्ताक िनगाहों की सुिन जाएगी
और उन हाथों से मस होंगे ये तरसे हुए हाथ

Gul hui jaati hai afsurda sulagti hui shaam
Dhul ke niklay gi abhi chashma-e-mahtab se raat
Aur mushtaaq nigaahon ki suni jaaye gi
Aur un hathon se mas hongay yeh tarse huay haath….

The morose evening is lost in the silhouette of a fading sun
But soon, it will come out bathed in the moonlit night
And those eager eyes will be heard to, one more time
and these longing fingers will be entwined with those fingers again

उन का आंचल है िक रुखसार िक पैराहन है
कुछ तो है िजस से हुई जाती है िचलमन रंगीन
जाने उस ज़ुल्फ़ िक मौहूम घनी छावं में
िटमिटमाता है वो आवेज़ा अभी तक के नही

Un ka aanchal hai ke rukhsaar keh payrahan hai…
Kuch to hai jis se hui jaati hai chilman rangeen…
Jaanay us zulf ki mauhoom ghani chaaoon mein…
Timtimataa hai woh aawayzah abhi tak keh nahi…

Is this the decorated end of your sari, or the colors on your face, or the way you’ve dressed
There has to be something, that has made the curtains (that hide you) so colorful
I wonder, if in the thick dark tresses of her long hair,
does it(the moon) still twinkle, hanging, suspended, still yearning for thee?

आज िफर हुस्न-ए-िदल-अारा की वो ही धज होगी
वो ही ख्वाबीदा सी आंखें वो ही काज़ल की लकीर
रंग-ए-रुखसार पे हल्का सा वो गाज़े का गुबार
सन्द्ली हाथों पे धुन्धिल सी िहना की तहरीर

Aaj phir husn-e-dil aaraa ki wohi dhaj hogi…
Wohi khaabeedah si aankhein wohi kaajal ki lakeer…
Rang-e-rukhsaar pe halka sa woh gaazay ka ghubaar…
Sandali haathon pe dhundli si hina ki tehreer…

Tonite, the beauty of my beloved will show itself in the same resplendent glory
Those dreamy eyes, and those black eyelashes
the color of her cheeks flushed with the pink of roses (cosmetics/powder)
and those hands smelling of sandal, decorated with beautiful Hina designs

अपने अफ्कार के अशआर िक दुिनया है यही
जान-ए-मज़मून है ये शािहद-ए-माना है यही
अपन मौज़ू-ए-सुखन इन के िसवा और नही
तब्बा शायर का वतन इन कॆ िसवा और नही

Apnay afkaar ki ashaar ki duniya hai yehi…
Jaanay mazmoon hai yehi, shahid-e-ma’anaa hai yehi…
Apna mauzoo-e-sukhan inke siva aur nahi
Tabba shayar ka vatan inke siva aur nahin


This is the world of the couplets and my thoughts

Such is the essense of my writings, such is the fate of this doomed poet.
there is no other subject of my conversataions,
The mood of the poet wanders in no other kingdom but that of the beloved

ये खूं की महक है िक लब-ए-यार िक खुशबू
िकस राह की जािनब से सबा आती है देखो
गुलशन मे बहार आई के िज़न्दा हुआ आबाद
िकस संग से नगमों की सदा आती है देखो

Yeh Khoon Ki mahak hai ki labe yaar ki khushboo
Kis raah ki – Jaanib se saba aati hai dekho
Gulshan mein bahar bahaar aayi ki zinda hua abad
Kis sang se naghmon ki sada aati hai dekho


Is this the warm smell of blood, or the sweet fragrance of beloved’s lips

From which direction is this wind blowing, someone go and check
Can you feel, with the arrival of spring, that the estranged have come alive
You must go and check who is the stone-hearted that sings the song of serenade!

Its difficult to do justice to such a marvellous nazm given my limited vocab. But an attempt is always on! 🙂 Let me know if you can think of some better lines.

Ek Ghazal

TeriI SadiYOn meIn jii rahaA hooN maaiN

SAans lene ki kise fursat haii

MujhKo hairAani se mat dekhaA karo

Mera visAal hi aE dost merii furqat haii..


JAane do lamhon mein kyaa kyaa yahaan bikhraa paaya

JAane kis kis ki tamanNaon ka silaa paaya

Do ghadii ruk gaya to waQt badal jayega

Ajnabi aasmAan merii pehchan, merii jaroorat haii


Baandh lo mujh ko merii Umr ke viraAne meIn

TumSe firr mil sakooN bas itni merii hasrat haii…

Couple of weeks of missed reviews!

Few snippets that’ve been lost in the sands of the last few (phew!) weeks –

1. Double deal – I decided to catch up with this fairly well known play. Experience – 4-5 out of 10.
Sandhya Mridul looks very beautiful. But Mahesh Manjrekar acted better. Even if I am the only person to think so – I always got a feeling that both the people are acting at 2 levels – 1. when they are trying to have this continuous conversation in English (I find it normal for Indians to intuitively think in their native tongue and then translate before conversing), and 2. The play itself.
It must be difficult to pull these multi-stor(e)y acts!
Also, its a one-act play split into 2 halves. 2 characters. Talking continuously.
Sense of humor – ok. Sense of drama – average. plot – good. Use of stage – minimal. Use of props – minimal. Characterization – could be better. Background music used- average.
Final comment – Its that one thing you dont want to do for fun when you want to do something for fun.
2. Ghostrider – Again.. Pathetic! Of all the comics turned movies, I have ended up liking X-men and Spiderman. Superman- the older ones. The recent one was not quite there.
Ghostrider is that Ajay Devgan action movie where even if he jumped from the 50th floor to land on 2 bicycles, there would be some B-grade movie watchers hooting for him. And the director would still say – my movie is different. It appeals to a different class of people.
Nicholas Cage, and Eva Mendes disappoint. Cage looks like a doped patient of running-stomach-syndrome. I want to go somewhere but I am too doped to understand where I want to go kinda looks! The devil is useless – does not evoke a laughter, definitely does not scare. Villains are more funny with their frozen white makeup!
Action sequences are basic, stuff that can be seen in every third movie.

High point of the movie – Emraan Hashmi, the serial kisser of Bollywood, was standing next to me in the washroom. And I realized that he is shorter than me (for those who havent seen me, someone has to be extremely extremely short to be shorter than me). God bless Indian Cinema!

3. Chennai – the city deserves a mention. I was in Chennai for 3-4 months in 2003. While talking to Bonnie and Tushar, we all agreed on two things –
a. Anyone who stays here for more than x months, should be a given a certificate of appreciation. X is a function of how far north of chennai the person is from.
b. If you see a beautiful girl in Chennai, then most probably she is a tourist. And its not about them not being good looking. They just dont have the attitude to look good.

In 2006, with probably 60% of educated families having one family member who is/has been abroad, the city is down in the pits with its conservative nature. The autowallahs havent changed in the last 40 years it seems. The roads continue to be messy (though definitely better than Mumbai roads). People on the street still cannot come out of the north-south divide and their biases. Extremely unfriendly. And any johnnie can become a hero down south!

4. Saving the best for the last – Prithvi Theater– Celebrating Poetry. I was there on a saturday when they were showcasing the emergence of progressive poetry. However, the story went back to as far as Bulle Shah, Kabirdas and covered Ghalib, Nirala, and contemporary Nida Fazli sahab as well. Beautiful collection of poetry. Couple of the actors could have done better by memorizing their lines completely.

Final suggestion – The Babbar family kids (Raj Babbar’s son and daughter) – they should stay away from theatre. Those who cannot act in movies, will never be able to act on a stage. and especially, if the stage is like Prithvi!

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