समझौता (Compromise)


हर शक्स ने तब तलक नेमते बक्शी
जब तलक रस्म-ए-जहान निभाया हमने

हर उम्मीद लड़ती रही यक़ीन के सरहद पर
जब तलक ख्वाहिशों को बचाया हमने

हर रोज़-ए-फर्दा बनी अक्स वादा-ए-बातिल की
जब तलक माज़ी से दिल बहलाया हमने

हर शाम रोशन रही महफिलें हमारी
जब तलक अरमानो को जलाया हमने

यूँ रूह लुटती रही रेज़ा रेज़ा करके
जब तलक ज़ाहिर को सजाया हमने


Naya saal mubarak!


With the help of Gulzar saab’s wonderful words, Urduwallahs wishes everyone a very Happy New Year!

आहिस्ता चल ज़िन्दगी, अभी कई क़र्ज़ चुकाना बाकी है.
कुछ दर्द मिटाना बाकी है, कुछ फ़र्ज़ निभाना बाकी है.
रफ़्तार में तेरे चलने से कुछ रूठ गए, कुछ छूट गए.
रूठों को मनाना बाकी है, रोतों को हसाना बाकी है.
कुछ हसरतें अभी अधूरी हैं, कुछ काम भी अभी ज़रूरी हैं.
ख्वाहिशें जो घुट गयीं इस दिल में, उनको दफ़नाना बाकी है.
कुछ रिश्ते बन कर टूट गए, कुछ जुड़ते जुड़ते छूट गए.
उन टूटे छूटे रिश्तों के ज़ख्मों को मिटाना बाकी है.
तू आगे चल मैं आता हूँ, क्या छोड़ तुझे भी पाउँगा?
इन साँसों पर हक़ है जिनका, उनको समझाना बाकी है.
आहिस्ता चल ज़िन्दगी, अभी कई क़र्ज़ चुकाना बाकी है….

Go slow, life, some debts are still to be paid
Some wounds are still to be forgotten,
Some duties are still…

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Dear stranger friend

After spending countless nights trying to gift wrap my finite vocabulary into  a fancy email, cherry picked words carefully strung into lines, that keep disappearing and reappearing on my computer screen like the ocean spume – fleeting and pointless, I wonder what it would be like if the obliviously wondering pointer finds its way to the send button before the discard button can find it.

May be you will write back, end  with a question, expecting an answer.  We might hit it off instantly or probably take a little while to find our comfort zone. Perhaps I will gradually become a little careless about what I write and how I put it. Soon we will be talking about our likes and dislikes, hobbies and pet peeves, birthdays and anniversaries. You will tell me about that neighbor you have a crush on, about that recently released movie, about the song that you kept humming all day. And I will tell you about my lovely morning walks, about the shows that I am binge watching and amusing tales and funny episodes from road trips and vacations. We will share a piece of our worlds with each other, sometimes trying hard to impress and other times trying hard to express.

Then the freshness will wear out, the humdrum of our lives will take over – we will still write to each other, but instead of your new love, you will tell me about your annoying colleague, instead of the songs and movies you will complain about the honks and the reckless drivers from your traffic packed commute, while I tell you about the unforgiving weather and my dreary workplace. And when we will have finally shared everything about our lives that we think is even remotely interesting, and when we will have run out of all the other mundane things to talk about, the almost everyday conversations will turn to weekend conversations and slowly slide into once in a while notes. 

And before we know it, we would be spending countless lonely mornings refreshing the inbox, over and over,  each time a hint of despair slipping into an almost infinite optimism and there will be no unread messages.  Soon enough the despair will take over, it always does, much like the shadow that grows gingerly through  the  brightest of the days and eventually engulfs the darkest of the nights. An uncomfortable silence. We will think about one another, once in a while, but by then we will have lost touch. We will not know where to start, what to write, when to stop? I will wait to hear from you and you will wait to hear from me, but we will have drifted apart. Our existence for the other will be like the muffled sound of the TV from the neighbor downstairs, too soft to follow and too loud to ignore.

And then one day I will look back and wish I had not sent that first pointless gift wrapped email. We would probably still be friendly strangers and not estranged friends.




Humne kaati hai (Hariharan) – Dil Nasheen (Lyrics and Meaning)

Youtube link to a beautiful rendition of the ghazal by hariharan- Humne kaati hai

Humne kaati hai teri yaad mein raatein aksar 

Dil se guzari hai sitaaron ki baraatein aksar 

I have often spent nights reminiscing you

Starry (glistening) processions have often crossed my heart (in doing so)

Aur to kaun hai jo mujhko tassali deta 

Haath rakh deti hai dil par teri baatein aksar 

Who else would (sit by my side and) console me? 

 But for your words that often felt like a consoling hand caressing my aching heart

Humse ek baar bhi jeeta hai na jeetega koi 

Wo to hum jaan ke khaa lete hain maatein aksar 

No one had and no one ever will be able to claim victory over me

Its is just that I often intentionaly lose to others

Unse poocho kabhi chehre bhi padhein hain tumne 

Jo kitaabon ki kiya karte hain baatein aksar

Ask them if they have ever read a face (the stories behind the faces) 

Who often keep talking about the (tales from) books 

This is where the ghazal in the album Dil-nasheen ends. However the original ghazal by Jaan Nisaar Akhtar has more compelling couplets. (I guess the album probably just picked the lines that were easier to understand, but the other couplets in my opinion sound more beautiful). The rest of the couplets go as :

Husn shaaist-e-tehzeeb-e-alam hai shayad

Ghamzada lagti hai kyun chaandni raatein aksar

Beauty probably is polished by the manners of sadness

Else why do beautiful full moon nights often feel melancholic? 

Haal kehna hai kisi se to mukhaatib hai koi

Kitni dilchasp hua karti hain baatein aksar

I want to express my feelings to someone, and I address them to someone else

Feelings are often so interesting (when expressed) 

Ishq raahzan na sahi, ishq ke haathon fir bhi 

Humne luTti hui dekhi hain baraatein askar

Love is not a burglar but still in the hands of love

I have often seen many a processions robbed (of their happiness, pomp and show)

Humne un tund hawaaon mein jalaaye hain chiraag

Jin hawaaon ne ulat di hain bisaatein aksar 

I have lit up lamps in such violent winds 

The winds which have often overturned expanding empires