Beyond Loss and Grief

Agar kho gaya ek nasheman to kya gham

maqamat-e-ah-o-fughan aur bhi hain

~ Iqbal

In his poem ‘Sitaron se aagay Jahan aur bhi hain’, Allama Iqbal puts forth a simple antidote for our misery; a simple advice when overcome with loss- the worse is yet to come.

You may argue that this will rather depress a person instead of alleviating him out of his misery but think about it, if each time we face troubles, grief, losses we remind ourselves that this hardship is quite insignificant to what we are about to face in future; we will feel ourselves more strong than ever. If I tell you that the future you would laugh off at something over which you are crying right now, you might stop crying at it because you will realize that the future you is mature enough to tackle this current situation.

Remember something that had you sleepless 5 years ago? Today, you are probably wondering, really? Did that insignificant problem matter so much?

As Ghalib puts it ~ Mushkilein mujh par padhi itni ki asaan hogayin

So, everyone is telling you one thing- it will get better just hang in there. Either you will become stronger than before or the problems will perish but latter seldom happens.

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Nothing Lasts Forever

Khan’an hindyan timan roabe khaanan

Jaan’an aes dapan yapaer ma pakh

Sundrah aasakh hoerr wognavaan

Tsomrav saet aes duvaan lasch

Pate taeth jaayi wechmai kappas vavaan

Nasar Babb, mye wuch tse wechne gas

~ Nund Resh

Those people with palaces high

Where commoners weren’t allowed in

While Nightingales were hired to sing

Expensive robes were used for dusting

Now that very place is a cotton plantation

Nasar Babb, I witnessed, now you go and see

This couplet from Nund Resh basically explains the ups and downs in life. It sheds light about the ebbs and tides in one certain family looking at which we should introspect.

This couplet is about certain rich people in some village where Nund Resh happened to visit at some point in his life/had heard about their opulence, once when they were at the epitome of their lives and then when they held nothing but dust in their hands.

These guys owned a vast amount of land that expanded over the entire horizon. The situation was such, that their land used to be between two adjoining villages. The shortest trip between the two villages was through their land but they prevented the people from taking that route in a bid to avoid their land become a thoroughfare.

While explaining their opulence, Nund Resh describes them being so wealthy that they used to hire singers whose sole purpose was to keep the ambiance melodious throughout the day and used expensive robes as dusters! Here, I think, Nund Resh hints at the fact that even if they let some part of their land become a thoroughfare it wasn’t a big deal for them but probably because of their ego they didn’t want to help out anyone.

After some time, when Nund Resh again visited that place he found it so desolate that it was turned into a cotton field. Then he tells his friend, Nasar Bab to always remember ebbs and flow in one’s life. To live a life that is grounded, if you have money and power it shouldn’t go to your head because after every rise there is a fall and after every fall you rise again.

The plant that receives sunlight in the morning should never think that it has seized the day and it will outgrow all the other plants that are in the shade because all those plants that were in shade in the morning will surely receive sunlight during some part of the day and will have their shot at life!

Same is the case with humans, those with blessings should never confuse their blessings to be a result of a special relationship with God which will never wane because both poverty and wealth are tests from God to see who performs the best of the deeds.

In A Parallel Universe

Bahut se gauhar-e-shahwaar baaqi reh gaye honge
Ki jin ki Khoobiyaan sab mit gayi tah men samandar ki
Hazaaron phool dasht-o-dar men aise bhi khile honge
Ki jin ke muskuraane men hai Khushboo mushk-e-azfar ki

~ Nazm Tabaa Tabayi

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

~ Thomas Grey

The above-mentioned couplet is my most favorite couplet, it is from the Urdu rendition of a famous English poem by Thomas Grey and somewhat similar to Ghalib’s

sab kahan kuchh lala-o-gul mein numayan ho gayin

Khak mein kya suraten hongi ki pinhan ho gayin

These couplets make you contemplate over the ‘What if’ prospect. What if you were born in a different family; with different financial and emotional capital? Could you have been the same person that you are today?

For instance, if you were born in a family with different financial resources than yours, you would have been an entirely different person. You would have had a different schooling, a different set of friends, a different outlook of the world, a different you. Wouldn’t you have been?

Isn’t it both frighting and pathos to know that there are numerous people out there more able than you physically and mentally but just because they didn’t get the chance at life like you did, they might be working a lower rung job despite having more compassion, patience, integrity, and acumen than you? And nobody will ever remember their name.

There might be someone out there who could grasp quantum physics much more easily than Einstein and could have done wonders to physics but he/she might be a househelp somewhere. Or that there might be someone who could usher incredible reforms if given a chance at leadership but he/she is somewhere slaving away in 8-hour shift.

So, in some parallel universe, you might not be reading this mundane blog but rather be the epitome in the field you always wanted to be.

Of Faith And Trust

Ikhlas gov aevyul Pann tai

Aashiq tath walnai aai

Laa’Shaqq Chui na aeshqas tzhenn tai

Yaaras wantai Bozyem na

~ Mahmud Gami

Fidelity, perceived as a feeble thread

Strong enough to bind a lover, forever

Love is boundless, without any doubt

Please tell that to my beloved

This couplet from Mahmud Gami talks about the concept of faith and trust in love. He describes faith as a fragile thread can be broken at any instance. For example, if you trust somebody with some information/ money/ or anything and they break your trust. You will never trust them again even though you might still hold them as your acquaintance but to trust them again with anything will be impossible. First of all when you trusted them at the very beginning, you knew it very well that it could go either way. So, trusting someone is like holding onto a fragile thread, hoping that it would not break. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t but when it does, it is over and out.

But what happens to this commitment when you repose your trust in someone you love and that person breaks it?

For instance, when you confide in someone you love and that person breaks your trust, do you still continue to trust them? You do. You will come up with all the excuses in favor of that person and against your own reasoning. And if a time comes again when you’ve to repose that trust in the same person you will again do it.

It’s like someone breaking your heart and after you’ve collected all the shards and rejoined them; you handover your heart to the same person just hoping that this time it’d be different but it continues to be the same exercise. You are helpless not because you cannot predict the outcome but because in love, those seemingly fragile threads of trust, entangle you so much that only thing logical seems to trust that person. And without any doubt this shows you that love in itself cannot be stopped. But should someone tell the beloved that you repose your trust in them again and again despite already knowing its outcome?

Of wishes and desires

Tharr Tharr Cham, Marr Bae Shayad
Sharr Mye Jigruk Draav Nai
Khoshh-yiwun Nundboan wesiyay 
Myon Su Dilbar Aav Nai

~ Rasul Mir

This couplet is one of my favorites because more than anything else it talks about all the things that you couldn’t accomplish, all the desires that were never fulfilled and all the wishes that you threw into the abyss of your heart.

In this blog (and maybe in future as well) I will try to take one couplet from some poem and try to explain my understanding of the couplet. My understanding of the couplet, words, idea may or may not resonate with your understanding. This is the beauty of art, everyone will have a different view of the same thing. Excuse the mistakes. Here we go.

 

The above mentioned couplet translates to-

I tremble, perhaps this is my end

For all my desires were never fulfilled

That likable beloved of mine, dear friend

Never did he ever come

If you peruse this couplet, you will find Rasul Mir explaining the vagaries of life in one single couplet. We all have wishes and desires, some of those are know to most of the people who know you- like your career choices, some are known only to your family and friends- like your future goals, some are known only to you- you know what!

Rasul Mir is talking about those desires that only you are privy to and no one else. That desire(s) of yours that you, yourself know will never be fulfilled but still you continue to provide it a special resting place inside your over packed heart. You keep it buried and shielded from all other happenings deep inside your heart and whenever it is resurrected, you will be smashed by the waves of your memory onto the rocks of reality; again and again until you go numb but it is all worth it or maybe not. The impact of the memories is so hard that you shake and think that this is the time when you might face your end or perhaps you do want it to be the end as it becomes unbearable to confront those emotions.

The thing with humans is that we always find grass greener on the other side. Similarly, with your desires, you always think that life could have been better had your wishes come true. Your desires always appear appealing to you no matter how worse/ pungent/ impractical they appear to other people. And such is the secrecy with these desires that the heart you bury them in is your only confidant in this. Your only true friend, you trust; with whom you discuss these wishes and desires.

While reading this blog, if the flames of such wishes and desires mentioned above were rekindled, you will only talk to yourself about dousing them. You will not talk to your family, your friends, this screen you’re reading from but yourself, your heart- that is your only companion in this.

Dilbaro Mye Dil’as

This Kalaam is one of the famous Kashmiri poems of Nyaam, more because of Abdul Rashid Farash’s rendition of this Kalaam. This is a mystic Kalaam and like all the mystic kalaam’s no translation can do justice to them. This is my interpretation of this Kalaam. Errors and omissions regretted.




Dilbaro Mye dil’as Kaas gaangal’ai ~

Be balai chaan’ai deedaar saet

O’ beloved, rid my heart rid of hesitations

Only thy sight is my cure now.

Aaftaab roi’yo sheen Zan gal’ai ~

Yakh galai chaanay garmei seat 

Aab myaele aab’as, kyah mojaadalai
Be balai chaan’ai deedaar saet

You, with a face like Sun; and I, a ball of snow

I, like ice melting away with the brilliance of your radiance.

Water mingles with water there’s no opposition there.

Only thy sight is my cure now.

Asmean waejthas dyeder ya jall’ai

doddur tsaam maedrai maeldai saet

Talakh goam rogan, be jigar talai

Be balai chaan’ai deedaar saet

I, a flying bird was; you, a walker made me crawl

Got rotten with sweetness of thy love

I lost everything, only my heart is yet to be lost now.

Only thy sight is my cure now.



Neel farosh darr hazratbal’ai

Bar takht shubaan soan sardaar

Khaak mal roi’yas aam khaas talai

Be balai chaan’ai deedaar saet

Sapphire seller at Hazratbal

Our master, adorned on the throne

Rub your face in dust, for commoners are the actual nobels there

Only thy sight is my cure now.

Yaar be waesthei ath khorr chali

Chalith karhai salaamah

Sar trov nyaam’an chaani bar’talai

Be balai chaan’ai deedaar saet

Come beloved so I’ll wash your feet

And send salutations upon you after that

Nyaam has put his head on your doorstep.

Only your sight is my cure now.

Haa jaani’azeezo 

This poem has been composed by Waaze Mahmoud. And in this poem, the basic theme revolves around the vagaries of life and how dear we hold our life. Following is my interpretation and understanding of the poem. Do correct me where I’m wrong. Errors and omissions regretted.

 Haa jaani’azeezo, wala goor karayo~

Matt’e laal jaraeyo, wala goor karayo

O’ dear self, let me sing you a lullaby.
Let me adorn you with pearls, let me sing you a lullaby



Panen’yav te parayav, dost’av te rafeeq’av
Banne’nas te gyool hamo, wala goor karayo

Knowns and unknowns, friends and dearest of them

All mocked at my misery, let me sing you a lullaby



Tharr’i hind gulabo, kath waari pholhamo
Meshq chaanay balayo, wala goor karayo

Rose of my garden, where did you bloom? ~
My elixir is your fragrance only, let me sing you a lullaby.



Daryav ye aeshq’un aab, saer paeth mye gov saelaab ~

Kamm’e taar’e taraeyo, wala goor karayo

This River of thy love, drowned me in its flood.

I don’t know any passage for crossing, Let me sing you a lullaby


Hakeemo waare wechtam

The name of the poet is mentioned in the poem as Ahmed (pen-name). I am not sure who exactly it is. If you know, please let me know in the comments. Errors and omissions regretted.


Hakeemo waare wechtam, doad nai dagg kamich Cham? ~

Dawa dimm kyah gasi kam, doad nai dagg kamich Cham?

 

O’ healer, treat me properly, why this pain if I have no malady?

Prescribe something to me, as may like thee, why this pain if I have no malady?

 

Tse yikhna soan saal’ai, karai zuv jaan hawaalai ~

Bara’y Gaye zulf-e-kham, doad nai dagg kamich Cham?

 

Won’t you attend my function where I’ll handover my life to you?

My tresses have lost their knots, why this pain if I have no malady?

 

Be dimiha chaak jaam’an, be khotchaan lukk’e paam’an ~

Sanyomut chum yuhai gham, doad nai dagg kamich Cham?

 

I’d tear my robe apart had I no fear of being slandered

This melancholia is eating me up, why this pain if I have no malady?

 

Mye gaerr jaame zareenik, andir gamit mye Chem ael ~

Banyam kar aab-e-zam zam, doad nai dagg kamich Cham?

 

I wear robes of glittering gold, though inside I’m rotten old

When will I receive my share of Zamm Zamm, why this pain if I have no malady?

 

Syetha Chem aash Chaenei, wandai gaash daael daali ~

Yitamo roi haavtam, doad nai dagg kamich Cham?

 

I’m pinning a lot of hopes on you, may you always bath in gilding light

Please come, show me thy illuminating face, why this pain if I have no malady?

Flood In Himalayas

Give me something, something to hold on

Even a hope that may last for century

A hope that will promise an end

To blood reeking robes, to this servility

In the valley of saints, shepherds were fettered

Wolves were allowed to guard the sheep

Who took away lambs and skewered them

Such heroics, such gallantry!

I swear! Her tears will drown them all,

Another orphan gone!

Who will console her? They even caged her destiny

Give me glad tidings after I die

Write to me: “No one was killed today.”

Our correspondence will be possible

Like that half widow complaining to her husband

Who was picked up for questioning but never did return.

How she explains to him health of his mother.

His Yaqoob waiting for Yousuf.

How she tells him about their orphan

His first toy she made, His first lullaby.

Look! she still prays for her lost love

“Be safe and return soon?!”

She still hopes of his return!

On that day, what the orphan will say?

When he will hug his father.

Should he call him ‘Abu’ or would he like to hear ‘Daddy’?

Or will their union be as silent as any unmarked grave?

Looking at each other crying till eternity?

Yaqoob was blind, now Yousuf will be.

So will this Hajira holding Ismael.

 

Tell Noah his child didn’t go astray

He climbed that mountain just to be safe

From the river of fire that flooded Himalayas

From hounds and wolves searching for prey

From this world of dismay!

 

They thought they will break us

Then feed us to those hounds kept at bay

The pandit was ripped apart from mullah

History was distorted as if Child’s play!

They tore Yousuf’s shirt meant for Yaqoob

Only our determination could they never slay.

 

Listen to the chinar that grows near my grave

Be patient and hear him say.

He has seen bodies stitched with bullets at night

Shadows torn, hopes lynched, mutilation of day

That mourner who became martyr

Wept for his beloved and shouted to thee

“Our soul were robbed my dear

Our guilt was being a Kashmiri”

Gazal

• Hai tere zulm ka shahid wo aasmaan abhi
~~ Yaad hai zameen ko meri daastaan abhi

[shahid : witness]

• Uski ruswaayi ka gham hai sata raha warna
~~ Kaati nahi hai usne meri zubaan abhi

• Aksar duaon main humko kiya karte thay yaad woh
~~ yun bicchadne ka na tha unko, na humko gumaan abhi

• Masjid ko jaate jaate unke kooche se hua guzar
~~ Mullah-o-butt ki yaari hai wahaan abhi

• Us qaatil ka ye kehna mashoor hai waaiz
~~ “kaafir ko ishaaron main kardoon musalmaan abhi”

• Usko ye khauf, ki gumrah hain gareeb
~~ Qasa liye hai darr pe mere, sultaan abhi

[Qasa : Begging bowl]

• Usko hai zidd ki wo phool ho sirf mere chaman ka
~~ Par kaantoon se bhara hai mera gulistaan abhi

Gowhar kehna ussey ki hogi mulaqaat aksar
~~ Chodda hai uska koocha na chodda jahaan abhi