I am no connosieur of Urdu poetry. My understanding and interest is not more than a drop in the ocean. However, it has always been a desire to read good poetry and share it with all my friends and associates. There is another angle to this also that I wish to highlight. Poetry is the essence of our culture that we are and we should be genuinely proud of. It is heavily entwined in the subcontinental traditions and values. In the olden days, as the story goes, it was considered a part of essential training to instil in child love of poetry. Hence children were taught Urdu, Persian and Arabic and were given exposure to the masters. This was one of the manifestations of our tehzeeb. Elders in those times recited verses at the drop of the hat. Mushairas were commonly held and everyone was encouraged to attend and appreciate.
We have lost the touch along the way and many young people now feel alien to our own treasure of poetry and literature. I guess it is up to us to do our bit to revive the traditions, support our own culture and literature and instil in our younger lot the love of poetry.
Coming to Urdu poetry, entering into the realm of shairy, one feels like Alice in her wonderland. And this world is truly a wonderland. The deeper you go, the more fascinating it gets. The beautiful part is that there is never a dull moment and perhaps there is no end. This paradise has much to give to everyone. A lifetime is just not enough to capture all that it has to offer. Nevertheless, whatever little that we can get from this treasure should be valued and passed on.
I have in the recent past shared some poetry with translations. I would share more translations as and when I get them. For now, I am forwarding a ghazal by late Parveen Shakir – a hugely romantic poet whose poetry had a distinct feminine touch. She knew how to express in the most flattering way. This is one of ghazals that perhaps is not much known. I have enjoyed reading her and amongst her many nazms and ghazals that I found delightful, this is certainly one of them:
darwaza jo khola toh nazar aaye kharay woh
hairat hai mujay aaj kidhar bhool paray woh
bhoola nahi dil hijr ke lamhaat karay woh
raatain toh bari thee hi magar din bhi baray woh
kiyun jaan pay ban aai hai bigra hai agar woh
us ki toh ye aadat kay hawaoon say laray woh
alfaaz thay us kay , kay baharon kay payamaat
kuhsboo si barasnay lagi yoon phool jharay woh
har shakhs mujay tuhj say juda karne ka khuwahan
sunn paye agar aik toh dass ja kay jaray woh
bachay ki tarha chand ko chhoonay ki tamanna
dil ko koi shai day day toh kya kya na karay wo
toofan hai toh kya gham,mujhay awaz toh dijye
kya bhool gaye aap mairay kachay gharay woh