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

My love

Tarique writing to his then girlfriend
Tarique writing to his then girlfriend
Your carefree
and the joy
that adorns your face
takes away
the darkest of
my fears

The smile
that begins
as a sparkle
in your eyes
reaches your tender lips
makes me feel warm
all over
and so loved

Thank you, my love
for loving me
the way you do
I can not even
begin to imagine
my life without you.

जीवन समिधा

आज फिर तुम्हें देखकर खयाल आया
कि हमारे बीच ये कैसा नाता है
जिसे तोड़ना मुनासिब नहीं
इस लंबे सफर में
मेरे हमकदम –
हम ज़रूर कुछ देर रुक जातें है
किसी मकाम पर
मगर फिर निकल पड़ते हैं
अगले पड़ाव को …
इक दूसरे के सहारे बिना
हम क्या करेंगे
मेरे हमसफर, मेरे हमइनाँ
जब किसी दिन किसी एक की
जीवन समिधा चुक जायेगी ?

Dr. Zarina Sani, my Ammi.

http://www.zarinasani.org goes live today. It is a website about mother-in-in law, Dr. Zarina Sani’s literary works.

I find it difficult to describe the range of emotions I went through while creating this site. I smiled, laughed, cried and marveled at the way she expressed herself. Through her writings I even got a glimpse of my husband’s childhood (मेरा फनकार)

Never having met her, I only knew her through my husband, Tarique , my brother-in-law Nadeem and the others in the family. My father-in-law would talk a lot about her to me and he regularly read out the poems she wrote. So I knew her as a wife, a mother, a sister and an aunt.

When I got a chance to go through her writings first hand, her poetry, her stories and her books, I discovered the woman in her. A strong, positive woman, deeply attached to her roots, family and beliefs. Her poetry touched me – she wrote from her heart and about the matters close to her heart; be it her children, her country, her love or her relationships.

Today would have been her 75th birthday; I have transcribed and put on her website 56 of her published poems. It will be my endeavor to keep updating the website often. I will update the poems with meanings of difficult words, will post some of the stories she had written and will publish online her literary works on Safdar Aah Sitapuri, Seemab Akbarabadi, Sadat Hasan “Manto” and Zia Fathehabadi.

Today, Through her poetry I am sharing her eclectic world with the world. I miss you, Ammi, but I also know that your blessings will always be with your children.