मेहर-ए-शायर (Love of a poet)


शायद ज़माने को इश्क़ हो जाता हमसे, गर तेरा फितूर हम होते
शायद ज़माने से इश्क़ हो जाता हमें, गर मेरा सुरूर तुम होते
मैं ढल जाती तेरी तहरीरों में तेरे लफ़्ज़ों से ज़ीनत उधार लेकर
तुम मेरे शिकस्ताह जज़्बों को अपनी शोखियों से रंग गए होते
– कृत्या

The world would have fallen in love with me, and I would have learned to love the world,   if I were your love and  you were mine. I would blend into your compositions, embracing the beauty of your words, and you would have colored my disappointments with your cheerfulness. 


Chathon se koodna by Gulzar (Ambuja Cement Ad 2018) – Lyrics and Meaning

“In love with this Ambuja Cement Ad” – that is such an odd thing to say you would think, but – “Gulzar Sahab’s narration and a fitting video”, how can one not fall in love ? And if you ever lived in a neighborhood with a maze of terraces connecting not just houses but also the people living there, you would understand the true essence of this four minute video!

Chathon se koodna chat par, chathon se chat pe chad jaana

Palon pe paanv rakhkar kood jaate the zamaana,

Wo ghar na the gharaane the, chathon ke wo zamaane the

 Subah se sham karte the, dopaharein raat karte the

Chathon se jod kar chath, jab mohalle baat karte the

Chathon mein sootha maanje, udaana guddiyaan penche ladaana

Wo ghar na the gharaane the, chathon ke wo zamaane the

 Chathon se saadiyaan dariyaan uthaa lana,

Badi chath par lagakar parde, chath par raam leela khela karte the

Jinhe hanuman ban na, wo karke tel maalish, subah se chat pe aakar ek sau dadh pela karte the

Anu ki shaadi mein khaala ke golgappe chalte the, baja karti thi dholak aur din bhar tappe chalte the

Chathon se jod kar chath, jab mohalle baat karte the

 Nahaakar geele baalon mein kisi ka chat pe aa jaana, ujhak kar rassiyon par geele kapdon ka sukhana

Hamesha yaad aayega kisi ko dekhkar dadhkan ka badh jaana

Chathon se koodna chat par, chathon se chat pe chad jaana

Palon pe paanv rakhkar kud jaate the zamaana,


Springing from one roof to another, and climbing on one roof from another

By stepping on moments we could leap over the world (below)

Those weren’t merely (roofs over) houses, (they were so connected) they were like families,

there was a world that lived on those roofs

Mornings would become evenings, Afternoons would turn into nights (on those roofs)

When roofs were glued together and when neighborhoods used to chat

Strings would be prepared on terraces, to fly kites and compete with friends

Those weren’t merely houses, they were like families,

there was an entire world that lived on those roofs

Sarees and carpets would be brought to the big terrace from all the other terraces, used for making curtains and setting the stage, for the ram leela play

And then the one who would play hanuman, would oil his body and go to the terrace and score a hundred pushups (to look strong for the part )

 At Anu’s wedding, aunt would set up her snack shop on the roof, and the drums would play as everyone danced to its tune all day

When roofs were glued together and when neighborhoods used to chat

And when she would show up on the terrace after her shower with soaking wet hair, and she would raise her heels as she reached the line wire to hang the clothes for drying

How can one forget how the heart would beat faster at just a glimpse of her on the roof

(How can one forget) Springing from one roof to another, and climbing on one roof from another

By stepping on moments we could leap over the world (below)

The punjabi lyrics and the meaning (very loosely):

Dendi munder gawaayiyaan pal pal di , Galaan kardi chathey beete kal di

The parapet is a witness to the passage of time , The terrace talks about the days gone by

 This translation as is the case many a times does not do justice to the elegance of the words but I tried.

There are so many little things in the video that grab your attention even as  you are drifting away into a reverie, relishing Gulzar Sahab’s words sprinkled with that Punjabi folk song, like the kids watching the baby birds that have just hatched, or neighbors coming together to play cricket on a leisurely afternoon, the shout out for the rising moon at Karvachauth, the ladies of the house sitting together, rolling out dough, kids playing hide and seek, holi celebrations….

I have spent many summer evenings and winter afternoons with friends, neighbors and family on the terrace of the house I grew up in, sometimes working on a homework, or reading a novel,  pointing out distant constellations that seemed to fit into our small palms , discussing who or what we aspired to be, our big dreams,  skipping stones into the pond nearby, enjoying the sunset , the sunrise, shaking the branches of the bordering mango tree  as my sister waited patiently below to collect our prized possessions aka a few half ripe fruits, leaping, jumping, leaning to gather those cotton seeds from the nearby silk cotton tree as they flew past our terrace, feeding the birds and chipmunks, having candle light meals and sleepovers (when there was a power cut) and I can go on and on..

And as I look out of my frosty glass window now, at the frigid snow coated gables spread over houses that seem so close and yet so lonely, I wonder, if they will ever know how roofs and terraces come to life in what seems like a distant memory from another life in some other world that I left behind.

Have you ever lived in a house with a functional terrace? What is your favorite terrace memory / terrace story?

Ek ghadi aur – D-day (Lyrics and Meaning)

I heard this song after a really long time (sung by Rekha Bhardwaj), thanks to the shuffle mode on iPods (does anyone still use iPods?). It is a song from the movie D-day. ( youtube link to the song) – did watch the movie a while back, but I forgot what its all about, but this song, I still remember. 🙂

Ik ghadi aur teher ki jaan baaki hai, tere hothon pe mere hone ka nishaan baaki hai

Stay for a moment longer as there is still some life left in me, the proof of my existence is still on your lips

Shab ke chehre pe chada rang savere ka to kya, dhalte khwaabon mein abhi apna jahaan baaki hai 

The night may have adorned itself with the colors of  dawn (literally morning), but our world still lives on in the sinking (setting) dreams. 

Yun bichad ke tu mujhse na sazaa de khud ko, abhi haathon se tere jurm-o-gunaah baaki hai 

Don’t punish yourself by parting ways with me, there still remain some sins to be committed by you (literally by your hands) 

Khilte phoolon ka fasaana to bas bahana tha, bujhte sholon ki dastaan abhi baaki hai 

The tale of the blooming flowers was just an excuse (to start a conversation), the story of dwindling flames still remains to be told

Aankhein suni hai, meri maang ujadi hai to kya, abhi haathon mein mere rang-e-hina baaki hai 

My eyes may be empty, my hair (literally the parting of my hair) may be ruined, but my hands are still covered with the color of henna 


Do not leave yet, because when you do I might die. I am still alive because you are around. I know its already morning (time for you to leave), but may be there is still some time we can spend reminiscing our night together which now seems like a sinking world of dreams. Do not punish yourself with the burden of separation already, you haven’t committed enough sins to deserve that yet. Our conversation may have started with the stories of blooming flowers (probably sharing happy anecdotes), but I would like to share with you stories about dying flames too (about the difficult times). I may not look as pretty as I did when we met, but if you look closely there may be thing or two that you may find charming enough to stay back a little longer.

In the movie the song plays on the radio as Rudra (Arjun Rampal) is about to bid farewell to Suraiya (Sruthi Hassan), a prostitute. This song celebrates and elaborates the brief moments right before having to bid someone good bye, hoping against hope that,  that someone stays just a little longer. There is an undertone of the sexual relationship that Rudra and Suraiya share as complete strangers trying to bond as lovers, throughout the song,  every line is as beautiful as the other, playing with the complexity of the situation and  the different emotions that accompany farewells and goodbyes.

I enjoyed listening to the song after a long time, I hope you do too 🙂



बस एक अटैची (just one suitcase)


बस एक  अटैची में समेट लाए थे ,हर ज़रूरत ज़िंदगी की

नयी पुरानी कमीज़ों के सिलवटों में, तवज्जु  मालूफ हाथों का

वो गुल-पोश चादर और  उसमें बिखरी हुई, करवटें अलसाई  सुबहों  की

तकिये के गिलाफो के सीवन में ऊँघती,  देर रातों  की गुफ्तगू

स्वेटर  के बाज़ुओं  से लिपटी हुई, कफूरी गोलियों की खुश्बू

वो  नीली छतरी की तान से टपकता शोर गली के नुक्कड़ का

और तौलिए के  रेशों से झाँकती हुई बरामदे की  धूप

कागज़ी पुड़ियों पर रेंगती हुई खबरें पुराने अख़बारों की

और पुड़ियों  में भरे मसालों में नोक झोक रिश्तेदारों की

अचार  के डब्बों में बंद आपी की खट्टी- मीठी शरारतें

नमक चीनी की गठरियों में पड़ोसियों की हिकायतें

एक थाली और उसमें ज़ायका घर की दाल रोटी का

एक कढ़ाई और  दो बर्तन  भर  अम्मी की नसीहतें

एक चाय की प्याली और उसमें गुफ्त-ओ-शनीद फारिक शामों की

किताबों के सफो मैं क़ैद बाबा के उसूल और हिदायतें

एक ताबीज़ में यकीन इक़्बाल का और बड़े बुज़ुर्गों की तर्बियत

चन्द बुतो से बँधी हुई दीन की तालीम और रिवायतें

एक ऑल्बम में अतीत से चुराए हुए कुछ खुशनुमा लम्हे और चेहरे

एक डायरी में कुछ पते और फोन नंबर, ना भूलने के वादे, फिर मिलने के इरादे

एक CD में,  बड़े  ताग-ओ-दॉ से हासिल, मज्मुआह पसंदीदा ग़ज़लों का

कुछ तस्सल्ली खुश-अंजाम फिल्मों की और  पहले प्यार की यादें

बस एक  अटैची में समेट लाए थे ,हर ज़रूरत ज़िंदगी की

मगर अब ऐश-ओ-इशरात के इस जहान में ज़रूरतें मुक़म्मल ही नही होती

बस एक  अटैची में सिमट आयी थी, हर वजह साँस लेने की

मगर अब इस वसी मकान में भी दम घुटने लगा है

– कृत्या

Shikwa na kar (Lyrics and Meaning)

Translation requested by Ikhtara. (Here is the link to the song)

This song is from a 1965 Lollywood (Lahore film industry)  movie – Zamin, written by Mushir Kazmi and sung by the legendary ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan.  You may recognize Mushir Kazmi from his famous song “chandni raatein”.  I typically like to know the situation of the song in a movie which helps with the translation, but there was not much I could find about this song or the movie. No clue what it is all about.  However I found a few old Pakistani movie songs in the process and now I am hooked (Thanks Ikhtara). More about that later, probably in another post.  First the lyrics and translation for this song.


Shikwa na kar gila na kar,

ye duniya hai pyaare, yahan gham ke maare tadapte rahe

There is no point in complaining or lamenting

This is the world O dear, the ones who hold on to sadness are the ones who suffer relentlessly

Khizaan is gulistaan mein aati rahi hai,

Hawa sookhe patte udaati rahi hai

Yahan phool khilke bahaaron se milke bichadte rahe 

Autumn keeps visiting  this garden, (never misses its turn) 

The winds keep blowing away the leaves, 

The flowers keep meeting spring and parting with it. 

(Flowers bloom and wilt as spring comes and goes)

Yahan tere ashkon ki qeemat nahi hai 

Rehem karna duniya ki aadat nahi hai 

Kisi ne na dekha yahan khoon ke aansoon dhalakte rahe 

Your tears are worthless here, 

This world is not accustomed to compassion

No one notices the overflowing tears of blood (from your eyes.)

(The world is so indifferent that even shedding blood from your eyes will not really move anyone – some exaggeration may be but it is also true to some extent.) 

Yahan ka hai dastuur, khamosh rehna 

Jo guzari hai dil pe kisi se na kehna 

Ye din kaat has ke yahan log bas ke ujadte rahe  

It is customary to remain silent here (in this world)

It is best to keep your sob story to yourself

Just spend your days with a smile, people settle down here and are also uprooted everyday.

(In short no one really cares about your problems and worries, so there is no point sharing them. The world will just continue as it did, new people will show up while the old ones will  just wear out and die as they do)

This is indeed some heavy stuff. Going by just the lyrics, it seems like it comes from a person who has seen the hardships of life, the ugly face of the world and its people and has very little hope or happiness or faith to hold on to. The central theme tends towards a pessimistic almost cynical point of view that the whole world is a big sham, good times are followed by bad times (autumn after spring, destruction after settlements) and the cycle continues. There is not much one can do about it.

So there is really no point in crying or complaining, because guess what? no one cares and no one is listening. If you still decide to hold on to your misery, all you will do is suffer. Instead it is better to spend the little time you have smiling, because the world and the people who live in it are created and ruined (live and die) everyday and one has literally no control over either.

That is in a sense true. We all have this false sense of control over our lives – if we plan well ahead of time, there will be no problems, if we work hard enough, we will keep our jobs and be happy,  if we save money, we will secure our future etc. etc., when in reality no amount of planning can escape the cycle of life. Good times go hand in hand with the bad ones. There will be unforeseen situations both good and bad, and planning may not necessarily prepare us to face them.

Then there is this false pretense of care and love. Even though it may seem like people care, there is no true selfless love,  only selfish intentions disguised as help or care or love.  (I have often wondered, isn’t charity as much for the benefit of the one being helped as it is for the satisfaction of the one helping out?)

Oh boy! I sound so skeptical and pessimistic – it is probably the song talking, but the song also seems very close to reality with no rosy beginnings and no happy endings just a circle of life with a beginning and an end and back to the beginning again- happy or sad, no one really knows, no one really cares and in the grand scheme of things doesn’t really matter. 🙂

बाज़-दीद ( A return visit)


मुद्दतों बाद लौटे हो,

जो तेरे आमद की खबर होती, तो तेरी यादों का इत्र छिड़क दिया होता पर्दों और ग़िलाफों पे

मायूसियत की बू दर-ओ-दीवार पर कब्ज़ा कर बैठी  है

जो तेरे आमद की खबर होती,  तो तेरी कुछ हिकायतों से दर-दरीचे रंग दिए होते

अर्सा-ए-हिज्र की मोटी सी परत आशनाई के सब रंग निगल गयी है

मुझे आइना देखे हुए भी बड़े दिन हो गए हैं

गुज़रा वक़्त सिमट आया है रू के सिलवटों में

पिछली बारिशों में पलकों के पुल टूट गए थे

इंतजार के कई मौसम बह गए

आँखों के किनारे कुछ धस से गए हैं

हाँ सफ़ेद होती ज़ुल्फ़ों की गिरहों में मैंने

क़ैद कर रखी है चांदनी तनहा रातों की

और चटपटे अचार की मर्तबान में सब से छुपाकर

थोड़ी सी ज़िन्दगी बचा रखी है

आओ बैठो, खुलती गिरहों की रौशनी में,

कुछ लम्हे परोस दूँ