Ek Akela sher

تم آؤ خزاں کی سرد ہواؤں کی طرح
میں زرد پتوں کی طرح تم سے لپٹتی جاؤں
-سواتی ثانی ریشم

तुम आओ खिजाँ की सर्द हवाओं की तरह
मैं ज़र्द पत्तों की तरह तुम से लिपटती जाऊँ
– स्वाति सानी ‘रेशम’


Maya jaal na toda jaye

IMG_0309About 14 yeas back Tarique posted this on his blog with a story of how this simple poem, Maya jaal na toda jaye was written by his mother. Just two years back, his father had passed away and all the works of Ammi were left for their children to take care. Barring a few that my Father in law read out to me while I transcribed them in Devnagri, everything was written in Urdu Rasmulkhat. Helplessness overcame us as at that time, I as well as Tarique felt very helpless at not knowing the Urdu script. That was also the time when our business was picking up and our son, Aasim was growing up and neither of us had time to spare for learning the Urdu script.

Things changed about a few years back when I found time and resources to transcribe Ammi’s poems and books from Urdu Rasmulkhat to Devanagari. That took care of all the printed and published works but still a large number of notes and hand written poems that I could not part with remained with us. Helplessness was at its peak when Dr. Tejinder Singh Rawal decided to teach Urdu Rasmulkhat to all who loved the language. In a matter of days, I could recognize the characters and read small words, even write a bit in the script that looked alien a few years back. A year of  practice of reading and writing and I can now read and write decent amount of Urdu. I still have miles to go but with I can now type using Urdu Keyboard and have started typing Ammi’s work in Urdu Rasmulkhat.

Here’s the Nazm that Dr. Zarina Sani wrote when her (then) 10-year-old son, Tarique complained that she should write in simple language for the common man.

For those who can not yet read Urdu script, I am also giving the Devanagari transcript of this Nazm.
مایا جال نہ توڈا جاے
لوبھی من مجھ کو ترساے
مل جاے تو روگ ہے دنیا
مل نہ سکے تو من للچاے
مےرے آنسو اُن کا دامن
ریت پہ جھرنا سوکھا جاے
شیشے کے مہلوں مےں ہردم
کانچ کی چوڈی کھنکی جاے
پیار موحبّت، رشتے ناطے
ثانی کوئ کام نہ آے

मायाजाल न तोड़ा जाये
लोभी मन मुझको तरसाये
मिल जाये तो रोग है दुनिया
मिल न सके तो मन ललचाये
मेरे अाँसू उनका दामन
रेत पे झरना सूखा जाये
शीशे के महलों में हरदम
काँच की चूड़ी खनकी जाये
प्यार मुहब्बत रिश्ते नाते
‘सानी’ कोई काम न अाये

Photo by Steve Corey

एक ग़ज़ल

छोटी सी इक रात की ये मुख्तसर मुलाक़ात
सितारे बिखरें हैं ज़मीं पे, मेरे घर में है काइनात

रेशम के दुपट्टे से उसने यूँ लपेटे उँगलियों के तार
किसी पुराने आशिक से मानों आज है मुलाक़ात

रोज़ ही मिला करते थे जब मुफलिसी के दिन थे
अब अच्छा वक्त है दोस्तों मग़र मस्रूफ दिन-रात

बड़ी बेतकल्लुफी से रहते थे कभी वो दिल में मेरे
हाल-ए-दिल पूछते हैं अब ये कैसे हो गये हालात

अपने दामन को समेटे रखने की आदत थी जिन्हें
सारे मोहल्ले में बाँटते फिरते है आज वो ख़ैरात

— स्वाति

Ammi’s 76th Birth Anniversary.


When I started on this journey little did I know as to how I would accomplish such a huge task of getting Ammi’s work transcribed and published to bringing her back in the world of Urdu Adab.

But as I took first steps, help came from most unexpected quarters and tasks that looked insurmountable became easy. My heartfelt thanks to all those who helped.

I hope to continue my very fulfilling journey of discovering Dr. Zarina Sani, as an adeeba and a woman.

मैं अकेला ही चला था जानिबे मंज़िल मगर
लोग साथ आते गये और कारवँा बनता गया



दिलों को पिरोने वाला अब वो तागा नहीं मिलता
रिश्तों में नमीं प्यार में सहारा नहीं मिलता

यूँ ही बैठे रहो, चुप रहो, कुछ न कहो
लोग मिल जातें हैं दोस्त गवारा नहीं मिलता

वो जिसे हम तका करते थे सहर तक
अंधेरी रातों को अब वो सितारा नहीं मिलता

रेत बंद हाथों से फिसलती जाती है
वक्त जो टल जाता है दोबारा नहीं मिलता

डूब जाने दे दरियाओं में मुझे ऐ हमदम
अब वो सुकून भरा किनारा नहीं मिलता


या मुझे अफसरे शाहा न बनाया होता – ज़फर

Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal king was also a poet. Though his literary standing was not as high as as his Ustad (Mohd. Ibhrahim Zauk) or his contemporaries Ghalib and Momin; his writings are much respected and appreciated. Zafar was a king (though in British raaj his kingdom did not extend beyond the red fort) and a freedom fighter.

This ghazal is one of his finest works specially when you read it in context to India’s freedom struggle and a helpless (and impotent when it came to doing anything for his country and men) king’s sentiments.

या मुझे अफसरे शाहा न बनाया होता
या मेरा ताज गदाया न बनाया होता

खाकसारी के लिए गरचे बनाया था मुझे
काश संगे-दरे-जाना न बनाया होता

नशा-ए-इश्क का गर ज़र्फ दिया था मुझको
उम्र का तंग न पैमाना बनाया होता

रोज़ मामूरा-ए-दुनिया में खराबी है ‘जफर’
ऐसी बस्ती से तो वीराना बनाया होता

अफसरे शाहा – शहंशाह
गदाया – भीख में मिला हुआ
खाकसारी – नम्रता, politeness
संगे-दरे-जाना – महबूब के दरवाज़े का पत्थर
ज़र्फ – योग्यता
तंग -छोटा, पैमाना – नाप actual meaning of paimana is wine goblet
मामूरा – शहर