Faves from Ghalib

I have been reading Gulzar’s book on the maestro of Urdu poetry recently. Need a place to keep some of the verses… may add translations later.

You have any faves of your own? Feel free to leave a comment.

Na tha kuchch to Khuda tha, kuchch na hota to Khuda hota
duboya mujhko hone ne, na hota main to kya hota ?

ragon mein daudte firne ke hum nahi kaayal,
jab aankh hi se na tapka to fir lahoo kya hai?


Khuda ke vaaste pardaa na Kaabe se utha zaalim
Kahin aisa na ho yaa bhi vahi kafir sanam nikale….

Hum ko maloom hai jannat ki haqeeqat, lekin
Dil ke khush rakhne ko, Ghalib yeh khayal achha hai.


Un ke dekhe se jo aa jaati hai chehre pe raunak
Wo samajhte hain ke beemar ka haal achha hai.


Jala hai jism jahan, dil bhi jal gaya hoga
Kuredte ho jo ab rakh, justuju kya hai?


Ishq par zor nahi, hai ye woh aatish, Ghalib,
Jo lagae na lage or bujhae na bujhe


Mat pooch ke kya haal hai mera tere peechhe
Tu dekh ke kya rang hai tera mere aage.


kahoon kis se main ke kya hai, shab-e-gham buree bala hai
mujhe kya bura tha marna agar ek baar hota


Ye masaail-e-tasawwuf, ye tera bayaan ‘GHalib’ !
Tujhe ham walee samajhate, jo na baada-Khwaar hota…


Nikalna khuld se aadam ka soonte aaye hain lekin
Bahot be-aabru hokar tere kooche se hum nikle


Hui muddat ke Ghalib mar gaya, par yaad aata hai
Woh har baat par kehna, ke yun hota to kya hota…


You have any faves of your own? Feel free to leave a comment.

A Short Story

Meet Smiley. She is seven years old, loves wearing red-colored frocks and dancing in the rain. To her, everything seems like a miracle. She smiles when she sees a tree, a flower, a moon, a horizon, a person, a thing.

It is raining lightly, a gentle tip-tap over the roof of Smiley’s little hut. As soon as she wakes, her eyes are lit and her smile curves more as she stretches her arms. Little footsteps trace the muddy path outside the hut, disappearing in to a distant forest. In the shade of trees, with the leaves whispering secrets about the rain, she finds a golden pencil, lying near the trunk of one of the trees.

At home, she gets herself a sheet of paper. She thinks of the moon, and begins to draw. The moon is on her sheet. She thinks of the stars, and they are on her sheet. Smiley picks up another sheet — this time thinking of a sunrise — and it is right there. The golden pencil actually has magic! Whatever she thinks of, she can draw, see, live.

Smiley wanders across landscapes, snow-capped mountains, oceans. She thinks of the Taj Mahal and finds it on the paper. The golden pencil helps her visit the Great Wall of China, the churches of Europe, the skyscrapers of New York, and the lakes of Tibet. Smiley then wanders further. She thinks of Venus and Saturn and stars and galaxies. By exploring the expanse, she immerses herself in the beauty of the cosmos.

As dusk draws near, she lays the pencil to rest and prepares to go to sleep.

Next morning, she has the widest smile she has ever had on her face. The first thing she does after waking up is to pick up the golden pencil. There is something special on her mind today. A dream that is the sum of all her dreams, and more. A thought that captures all her thoughts, and beyond. Today she wants to witness that thought. See it, feel it, live it. She thinks… God. The smile curves with greater joy.

The pencil on paper, her hands gently begin to move. One line leads to another, trying to unravel the most beautiful essence of it all. Smiley lets her pencil go, not wondering where it is going. She lets the lines trace themselves, without trying to figure out what it is, yet.

After a few minutes, the golden pencil is still. Smiley looks at the sheet of paper, and her smile turns in to an eruption of joy. She laughs, with her eyes wet.

On the sheet of the paper, she sees her face. And the smile.

Dedicated to the dreamy conversationalist. This needs to be kept lest I forget.