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

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


Dr. Zarina Sani, my Ammi. 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.

तू अपने जैसा अछूता खयाल दे मुझको

तू अपने जैसा अछूता खयाल दे मुझको
मैं तेरा अक्स हूँ अपना जमाल दे मुझको

मैं टूट जाउँगी लेकिन झुक न सकूंगी कभी
मजाल है किसी पैकर में डाल दे मुझको

मैं अपने दिल से मिटा दूंगी तेरी याद मगर
तू अपने ज़ेहन से पहले निकाल दे मुझको

मैं संगे कौह की मांनिंद हूँ न बिखरूंगी
न हो यकीं जो तू उछाल दे मुझको

खुशी खुशी बढ़ूं खो जाऊं तेरी हस्ती में
अना के ख़ौफ से “सानी” निकाल दे मुझको

— ड़ा. ज़रीना सानी

अक्स – प्रतिबिंब /reflection
जमाल – सौंर्दय /beauty
पैकर – िजस्म / body (here it means mould)
संगे कौह – पहाड़ का पत्थर / stone (here it means strong as a stone)
अना – अहंभाव /ego


This Ghazal was published in “Kaumiraj” (date not known)



मेरी हस्ती की हकीकत क्या है
एक शोला है हवा की ज़द पर
जो भड़कता भी है
जो सर्द भी हो जाता है
या सफीना है कोई
वक्त की लहरों पे रवां
अाज तक हस्ती ए मौहूम का इर्फां न हुअा
खुदशनासी या खुदअागाही क्या
नफ्स ए नाकारा तकाज़े तेरे
खुदफरेबी के सिवा कुछ भी तो नही
कौन समझायेगा हस्ती की हक़ीक़त मुझको
है कोई?
कोई भी है?

— ड़ा ज़रीना सानी

हस्ती- अस्तित्व, existance
सफीना – कश्ती, boat
मौहूम – काल्पनिक, imaginary
इर्फां – विवेक, wisdom
खुदशनासी-  अपने अाप की पहचान, self recognition
खुदअागाही – अात्मज्ञान, knowledge of soul
नफ्स ए नाकारा- वर्य्थ/मिथ्या जीवन, useless existence
तकाज़े – माँग, demand
खुदफरेबी अातमवंचना, self deception

This free verse written by Dr. Zarina Sani was published in a magazine called “Tehreek” in February 1973.

शक्ल धुधंली सी – एक अाज़ाद ग़ज़ल

Dr. Zarina Sani
Dr. Zarina Sani

शक्ल धुधंली सी है शीशे में निखर जायेगी,
मेरे अहसास की गर्मी से संवर जायेगी

अाज वो काली घटाओं पे हैं नाज़ां लेकिन,
चाँद सी रौशनी बालों में उतर अायेगी

जिन्दगी मर्हला-ए-दार-ओ-रस्ल हो जैसे
दिल की बेचारगी ता-वक्त सहर जायेगी

ज़ौक तरकीब से थी कोख़ सदफ़ की महरूम
कैसा अंधेरा है ये बात मगर अब्र के सर जायेगी

मोहनी ड़ाल रही है गुलतर की सूरत
ज़द पे अायेगी हवा के वोह, बिखर जायेगी

वक्त रफ्तार का बहता हुअा दरिया “सानी”
जिन्दगी अापके साये में नहीं, न सही फिर भी गुज़र जायेगी

— ज़रीना सानी

* अाज़ाद ग़ज़ल : जब ग़ज़ल के शेरों से मीटर की पाबंदी हटा दी जाती है मगर रदीफ और क़ाफिये की पाबंदी बरकार रखी जाती है.  ड़ा. ज़रीना सानी अाज़ाद ग़ज़ल की समर्थक थीं, अौर उन्होंने कई ऐसी ग़ज़लें लिखीं.

रदीफ: अशअार का वो शब्द जो दोनों मिसरों मे अाता है (शेर की हर पंक्ति को मिसरा कहते हैं)  (जायेगी, अायेगी)

क़ाफीया: वह शब्द जो शेर की हर पंक्ती में रदीफ के पहले अाता है (निखर, संवर, उतर)

मर्हला — destination
दार-ओ-रस्ल -gallows and prison
सदफ़ – sea shell
महरूम -deprived (here barren -the sea shell is without a pearl)
अब्र- clouds (rain clouds)


This aazad ghazal was published in the magazine “Kohsaar” in March 1980


फिर चाख गिरेबाँ होने लगा
और मौत का सामाँ होने लगा

कुछ अश्क थमे थे ए हमदम
फिर दीदा-ए-गिरियाँ होने लगा

फिर साज़े आहे शबीना पर
हाथ अपना रक्सां होने लगा

गुलज़रे लाला-ए-दिल पर अब
लय दर्द-ए-बहाराँ होने लगा

अब लज़्जते ग़म पर ए ‘ज़ारी’
दिल अपना नाज़ाँ होने लगा

— ज़रीना सानी

चाख गिरेबाँ – खुला हुआ सीना
दीदा-ए-गिरियाँ – आँखों से टपकते आँसूं
शबीना- अंधकार
लाला-ए-दिल – दिल की लाली
नाज़ाँ – अभिमान युक्त

Dr. Zarina Sani wrote this Ghazal on 13th June 1963.


Dr. Zarina Sani
Dr. Zarina Sani

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

— ज़रीना सानी

Dr. Zarina Sani wrote this when her 13 year old son* once told her that she wrote very tough Urdu and he could not understand it and that she should perhaps write for the common man.