Thursday 3 December 2015

The Second Attack

I get these attacks sometimes, the first time it happened was fairly scary - you can read about that here.  I have not studied Hindi beyond grade 2, so the less said about my sense of grammar the better, especially my knowledge of the genderised nouns/verbs/adjective agreement.  However, the voice inside my head cares nothing for grammar or any rules, or my diffidence, it nags incessantly till I get fed up and paste things into a screen.  

The precursor for this attack is a poem - ahista chal zindagi (walk slowly, Life..) it's been making the rounds on FB recently and was on my feed several times. And this is my response, the counterpoint, loosely in the format of a ghazal which came less formed than the previous one, but still enough to unnerve me :)

Arz kiya hai....

ए ज़िन्दगी ज़रा तेज़ चल अब यहाँ और ठहरना क्या?
करवट बदलते बेचैन पल, इनके खाली हाथ, और करना क्या?

जहाँ सोचा था बसेरा है, दिन निकला, तो लगा अंजाना सा,
अपनों की पहचान खूब हुई,और ग़ैरों से बिछड़ना क्या?

तू लाख जतन  कर ले पर दर्द मिटता नहीं, ज़ख्म भरते नहीं
कंकर पत्थर ठोकरों से बस इन घावों को भरना क्या?

दिन चार, लेकिन ग़म हज़ार, इन हज़ार ग़मों के मेले में
टूटे हुए रिश्तों  के टुकड़ो पर पिछड़ना क्या, बढ़ना क्या?

सुनसान कूचें में दामन थामा, दाग लगा तो झटक दिया,
वह दाग ही कब दामन बना, अब इसे पकड़ना क्या?

तेरी हर मीड़ से वाक़िफ़ हुए, तेरी हर राह का धुंधलापन,
क़दम बड़ा किसी और ओर, इस राह से फिर गुज़रना क्या?

यह तू ने कैसी बात छेड़ दी के अपनी रफ़्तार से चलना है
एक तू ही है बाक़ी रिश्तों में तुझ से लड़ना झगड़ना क्या?

ऐसे भी कई लोग थे कभी जिनके दिल में शामिल दिल यह था,
न वहां न यहाँ धड़कता है, तो जीना क्या और मरना क्या?

कुछ वक़्त गवां दीया  तू ने भी और कुछ मुझ से भी ज़ाया हुआ,
पर कह लीया जो कुछ कहना था अब आगे शेर और पड़ना क्या?

ए ज़िन्दगी ज़रा तेज़ चल....

Hey Life, do hurry a bit, what’s with all this meandering
these restless, empty-handed moments, what’s left for them to do here?

Where I thought I’d found a foothold, looked alien when the sun came up
I’ve figured very well who’re my own, and what’s a parting between strangers?

You can try a million time, but there’s no cure for grief, wounds never heal
now how to stitch them up with sticks and stones and the aloofness of the world?

The days are numbered four, but woes a thousand, in this revelry of grief
and snapped ties strewn all around, where to move on and what’s retreat?

In a deserted lane you clasped my shirtfront, when it got streaked you let it go,
the streaks morphed to life itself, now what to grasp and what to leave?

I got acquainted with each of your tunes, the fogginess of each of your lanes
let’s try someplace else now, why trudge along these weary roads again?

What’s this idea that you’ve got, that you alone must set the pace
the only tie I have left is you, then why this conflict between us?

There were some people once in whose heart this heart was nestled
neither there nor here it beats now, what’s the difference between life and death?

Some time you too have wasted, some were frittered away by me
but still I've said what was on my mind, do I need to read more of this poem?

Hey Life, do hurry a bit...


  1. I hope you can form a loose translation for it.

  2. That looks really pretty Nila, but I'd like to know what it says. :-)

    1. Ghazals are generally whingey...unrequited love, or some other general you will appreciate, right up my street :-)

  3. Hi Nila - I too would love to know what it means, and for you to give us a little more to the story ... Walk Slowly, Life ... we really should allow time to be with us - it disappears too quickly if we don't think about each moment ... thank you - cheers Hilary

    1. Agree Hilary, it slips off pretty quick and we need to be mindful if we are to enjoy it...

  4. I never knew that Hindi writing was so physically beautiful. I see that each 2-line stanza ends with the same word and a question mark. Very intriguing! Can't wait to see the translation!

    1. Blown away you noticed that :) those are the rules for a ghazal - the rhyme word occurring internally, at the same point before a constant phrase/word.

  5. Can one translate a thought
    to some tears will fall
    others revenge will brew
    I saw the here
    I too felt the words
    and understood
    not its touch

    1. sometimes, just feeling the words can be enough to lift my day...translating thought is proving to be elusive right now..

  6. I was till now trying to translate it with some kind of rhyme scheme in place if not the same form of a ghazal. But it's proving to be too difficult. so I will put up a straightforward translation.

    It's taken me this long to see the beauty of the Devanagari script! I guess when one reads a language and associates a meaning to each word, only the meaning kicks in, and the rest ignored. Thanks friends for making me a little less unaware! :)

  7. आपकी ग़ज़ल अच्छी लगी । आशा है और भी पढ़ने मिलेंगी ।

    1. यहाँ तक आने का बहुत धन्यवाद! ग़ज़ल अच्छी लगी जानके ख़ुशी हुई. हमें हिंदी/उर्दू ख़ास आतीं नहीं हैं, इसलिये हम ज़्यादा लिखने की गुस्ताख़ी नहीं करते, और शायद करना चाहिए भी नहीं :) हौसला अफ़ज़ाई का शुक्रिया!