Remembering Sahir

main pal do pal ka shaayar hoon
pal do pal meri kahaani hai
pal do pal meri hasti hai
pal do pal meri jawaani hai

—————————–

I’m a poet only for a second or two;
My story will be over soon.
My existence is only for a moment or two;
My youth will be over soon.

— translation, modified, from here

Many of the Hindi songs whose lyrics have stayed with me over the years have been penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. Whether it is Kabhi Kabhi, Tabdeer se bigdi hui, Main Zindagi ka Saath, Sahir has explored the depths of love and infinities of life like no other lyricist. He can juxtapose the impeccable beauty of nature with the emotions of a waiting lover in an almost effortless way.

duur vaadi mein duudhiya baadal,
jhuk ke parbat ko pyaar karte hain
dil mein naakaam hasraten lekar,
ham tera intezaar karte hain

————–

in a distant valley, while a milky cloud
leans over to kiss the mountain,
with unfulfilled wishes in my heart,
I wait for you…

There is a certain pain, a very palpable one, in Sahir’s words. Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai…  He was not one to care much about the conventions of the world, or be drawn to its materials. Do you have any Sahir verses that are a favorite of yours?

At some point, would love to dive deeper in to his life and poems, and write more. For now, if you wish to spend 20 minutes for Sahir, highly recommend hearing his story from none other than Javed Akhtar:

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Agnipath – Harivansh Rai Bachchan

Vriksh ho bhale khade,
ho ghane ho bade,

Ek pat chhav ki
mang mat, mang mat, mang mat

Agneepath Agneepath Agneepath.

Tu na thakega kabhi,
tu na thamega kabhi,
tu na mudega kabhi,

Kar shapath, kar shapath, kar shapath,
Agneepath, Agneepath, Agneepath.

Ye mahaan drishya hai,
chal raha manushya hai,

Ashru swed raqt se
lathpath, lathpath, lathpath,

Agneepath, Agneepath, Agneepath.

Harivansh Rai Bachchan

Translation (from here)

There may be huge, shady trees all around
Don’t even ask for the shade of a single leaf
Walk on the Path of Fire, Walk on the Path of Fire

You will not stop, You will not turn, You will not halt
Take this oath, take this oath, take this oath
The Oath of Fire, the Oath of Fire, the Oath of Fire

This is a great situation
Man Walks
Tears, Sweat and Blood
They swathe Him, they swathe Him
Walk on the Path of Fire, Walk on the Path of Fire

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.