02 – zindagi o maut – josh malihabadi – 14-28 zindagi

بند  ١٤

نغمہ بر لب، جام بر کف، گل بداماں زندگی

قوسِ طرفِ  کوہ  و محراب خمستاں زندگی

جو ئے  رنگ و چشمہ آبِ چراغاں زندگی

موجِ رقص و دجلہِ  آہنگ و  اِلحاں زندگی

موجِ سوزِ دل ہے اسکے شعلہ آواز میں

حرف کنُ کے نرم ہلکورے ہیں اسکے ساز میں

بند  ١٥

زندگی ربطِ نہانِ اِنتشار و انجماد

اِتحادِ برف و اخگر، اِرتباطِ حبس و باد

اِنضمامِ خشک و تر، آ میزشِ بست و کشاد

بادہ طبع و باد اصل و برق نسل و بحر زاد

سینہِؑ شمشیر میں حبِّ گلو ہے زندگی

چاک کے ہاتھوں میں تسبیحِ رفو ہے زندگی

بند  ١٦

زندگی وحشی عناصر کا مہذب شاہکار

ربطِ صبح و شام، ضبطِ ریگزار و جوئے بار

اعتدالِ آب و آ  تش، اِمتزاجِ نور و نار

خرمن و برقِ تپاں کا نقطہؑ بوس و کنار

ایک تکوینی ضمانت، اِمتناعِ جنگ کی

ایک تعمیری ہم آغوشی بلور و سنگ کی

بند  ١٧

زندگی اضداد کا پیمانِ لطف و اتفاق

ایک ہم آ ہنگی میانِ جذبہِؑ وصل و فراق

اک اٹل میثاق مابینِ جمود و انشقاق

خیر و شر کا صلح نامہ، شمع و صر صر کا وفاق

شبنم و خورشید کا عہدِ وفا ہے زندگی

دیکھئے تو بت پرکھئے تو خدا ہے زندگی

بند   ١٨

دن  ترنگیں بخشتا ہے رات خواب  شکرّ  یں

صبح چھٹکاتی ہے کرنیں شام زلف عنبر  یں

نبض چٹکاتی ہے تن میں غنچہ ہاے ماوُطیں

سانس  چنتی  ہے قباے آرزو کی آستیں

ایک نعمت ہے چہکتی چہچہاتی زندگی

پھولتی پھلتی پھبکتی لہلہاتی زندگی

بند   ١٩

قعر سے تا سطح قلزم پر فشاں ہے زندگی

خار میں حرف خفی گل میں اذاں  ہے زندگی

برگ پر شبنم فضا پر کہکشاں ہے زندگی

داستاں  در داستاں  در داستاں  ہے زندگی

فرش سے تا عرش زلف ناز بکھراے ہوئے

فتح  سیار و ثو ا بت کی قسم  کھاے ہوئے

بند    ٢٠

زند گی  باگیسری،  سارنگ،  دیپک،  سوہنی

بت تراشی، رقص، موسیقی، خطابت، شاعری

پنکھڑی، تتلی، صنوبر، دوب، نسر ین، چاندنی

لاجوردی،  شربتی، دھانی، گلابی،  چمپئی

زعفرانی، آسمانی، ارغوانی زندگی

لاجونتی، مدھ بھری،  کومل سہانی زندگی

بند   ٢١

سحر خو، عیسی نفس، معجز ادا، جادو کلام

بادہ رنگ و مہ وش و بستان لب و کوثر خرام

شیشہ بزم و سنگ عزم و لالہ سقف و ماہ بام

قند حرف و گل مزاج و سرد طبع و مے قوام

زند گی سعی بلیغ ارتقا کا ناز ہے

آب و آ  تش کی کرامت، خاک کا اعجاز ہے

بند    ٢٢

زندگی جام و صراحی ، مرغزارونسترن

اک سجاوٹ اک گھلاوٹ اک لگاوٹ اک پھبن

رقص طاوس و جمال صبح و رنگ نارون

گل نفس، گل چہرہ، گل خو، گل جبیں، گل پیرہن

رقصِ ابروُ  نغمہِ آبِ رواں ہے زندگی

خاک بے آواز کے منھ  میں زبان ہے زندگی

بند   ٢٣

گنگ اِشاروں کو صدا کی گود میں پالے ہوے

نطق سے حبسِ تکلمّ کی بلا ٹالے ہوے

مضطرب انفاس کو الفاظ میں ڈھالے ہوے

رِشتہِ بادِ پر افشاں میں گرہ ڈالے ہوے

لعلِ جوہر آفریں و کلکِ گوہر بار ہے

زندگی طنبورہٗ افکار کی جھنکار ہے

بند   ٢٤

ہر نفس موتی پروتی، پھول برساتی ہوئی

خیمہ زر بفت میں پازیب چھنکاتی ہوئی

مرکیاں لیتی، ٹھمکتی، ناچتی، گاتی ہوئی

دوڑتی، بڑھتی، ہمکتی، جھومتی، چھاتی ہوئی

اک سنہری تان کی زنجیر، بل کھائی ہوئی

ایک انگڑائی دھنک کے پل پہ لہرائی ہوئی

بند   ٢٥

سر پے سہرا، بر میں جوڑا، بات میں قند و نبات

چال میں گنگا کی لہریں، زلف میں برکھا کی رات

سانس میں بوُ ئے سمن، لہجے میں عود سومنات

زندگی رنگوں کے ساۓ سے گزرتی ایک برات

انکھڑیوں میں رتجگوں کی راگنی گھولے ہوئے

بال بکھراے ہوے بند قبا کھولے ہوئے

بند   ٢٦

زندگی یوسف زلیخا، قیس و لیلیٰ، نل دمن

عید کا دن، چودھویں کی رات، چوتھی کی دلہن

اک کھنکتی لب کشائی، ایک چبھتا بانکپن

رنگ ساگر، راگ مندر، روپ مالا، پھول بن

جسکی قرنوں حجلہ قدرت میں رکھوالی ہوئی

بدلیوں کی رسمساتی چھاؤں کی پالی ہوئی

بند  ٢٧

زندگی مڑتے ہوئے پتوں پہ   بوندوں کی کھنک

صبح سرما کی کرن، شام بہاراں کی دھنک

بول، تتلی کی  اْڑان ، آواز، کوندے کی لپک

کوکتی برکھا میں سارنگی کے تاروں کی لچک

شہر تن میں پھول والوں کی گلی ہے زندگی

گردن آفاق میں چمپا کلی ہے زندگی

بند   ٢٨

زندگی فرماں روایے کشور دنیا و دیں

موجد حرف خدا و رحمت اللعالمین

نوع انساں کے لئے اے محرمان دور بیں

موت سے بڑھکر کوئی شے قابل نفرت نہیں

زندگی تکریم ہے، توقیر ہے، تمکین ہے

موت شاہ ارض کی سب سے بڑی توہین ہے

बन्द १४

नग़मा बर लब, जाम बर कफ़, गुल बदामाँ ज़िन्दगी
क़ौस ए तरफ़ ए कोह ओ मेहराब ए ख़ुमिस्तां ज़िन्दगी
जू ए रंग ओ चश्मा ए आब ए चिराग़ा ज़िन्दगी
मौज ए रक़्स ओ दज्ला ए आहंग ओ इल्हाँ ज़िन्दगी
मौज ए सोज़ ए दिल है इसके शोला ए आवाज़ में

हर्फ़ ए कुन के नर्म हलकोरे हैं इसके साज़ में

बन्द १५

ज़िन्दगी रब्त ए निहान ए इंतेशार ओ अन्जुमाद
इत्तेहाद ए बर्फ़ ओ अख़गर, इर्तेबात ए हब्स ओ बाद
इन्ज़ेमाम ए ख़ुश्क ओ तर, आमीज़श ए बस्त ओ कुशाद
बादा तब’अ ओ बाद असल ओ बरक़ नस्ल ओ बहर ज़ाद
सीना ए शमशीर में हुब्ब ए गुलू है ज़िन्दगी

चाक के हाथों में तस्बीह ए रफ़ू है ज़िन्दगी

बन्द १६

ज़िन्दगी वहशी अनासिर का मोहज़्ज़िब शाहकार
रब्त ए सुबह ओ शाम, ज़ब्त ए रेगज़ार ओ जू ए बार
ए’तेदाल ए आब ओ आतिश, इम्तिज़ाज ए नूर ओ नार
ख़िरमन ओ बरक़ ए तपां का नुक़्ता ए बोस ओ किनार
एक तक्विनी ज़मानत, इम्तेना’ ए जंग की

एक ता’अमीरी हम आग़ोशी बिलोर ओ संग की

बन्द १७

ज़िन्दगी अज़दाद का पैमान ए लुत्फ़ ओ इत्तेफ़ाक़
एक हम आहंगी मियान ए जज़्बा ए वस्ल ओ फ़िराक़
एक अटल मीसाक़ माबैन ए जुमूद ओ इंशेक़ाक़
ख़ैर ओ शर का सुलह नामा, शमा ओ सर सर का वफ़ाक़
शबनम ओ ख़ुर्शीद का अहद ए वफ़ा है ज़िन्दगी

देखिए तो बुत परख्ये तो ख़ुदा है ज़िन्दगी

बन्द १८

दिन तरंगें बख़्शता है, रात ख़्वाब ए शक्करीं
सुबह छिटकाती है किरनें शाम ज़ुल्फ़ ए अंबरीं
नब्ज़ चिट्काती है तन में ग़ुंचा-हा ए मा ओ तीं
सांस चुन्ती है ख़बा ए आरज़ू के आस्तीं
एक ने’मत है चहकती चहचहाती ज़िन्दगी

फूलती फलती फबक्ति लहलहाती ज़िन्दगी

बन्द १९

क़ार से ता सतह क़ुल्ज़ुम परफ़शां है ज़िन्दगी

ख़ार में हर्फ़ ए ख़ुफ़ि गुल में अज़ाँ है ज़िन्दगी
बर्ग पर शबनम फ़िज़ा पर कहकशां है ज़िन्दगी
दास्ताँ दर दास्ताँ दर दास्ताँ है ज़िन्दगी
फ़र्श ता अर्श ज़ुल्फ़ ए नाज़ बिखराए हुए

फ़तह सय्यार ओ सवाबत की क़सम खाए हुए

बन्द २०

ज़िन्दगी बागेसरी, सारंग, दीपक, सोहिनी
बुत तराशी, रक़्स, मौसीक़ि, ख़िताबत, शाएरी
पंखडी, तितली, सनोबर, दूब, नसरीं, चांदनी
लाज्वर्दी, शरबती, धानी, गुलाबी, चम्पई
जाफ़रानी, आसमानी, अरग़वानी ज़िन्दगी

लाजवंती, मध्भरी, कोमल सुहानी ज़िन्दगी

बन्द २१

सहर ख़ू, ईसा नफ़स, मोजिज़ अदा, जादू कलाम
बादा रंग ओ मह वश ओ बुस्तान लब ओ कौसर ख़राम
शीशा बज़्म ओ संग अज़्म ओ लाला सक़्फ़ ओ माह बाम
क़ंदा हर्फ़ ओ गुल मिज़ाज ओ सर्द तबा ओ म’अए क़वाम
ज़िन्दगी सा’ई ए बलीग़ ए इर्तेक़ा का नाज़ है

आब ओ आतिश की करामत, ख़ाक का एजाज़ है

बन्द २२

ज़िन्दगी जाम ओ सुराही, मर्ग़ज़ार ओ नस्तरन
एक सजावट, एक घुलावट, एक लगावट, एक फबन
रक़्स ए ताऊस ओ जमाल ए सुबह ओ रंग ए नारवन
गुल नफ़स, गुल चेहरा, गुल ख़ू, गुल जबीं, गुल पैरहन
रक़्स ए अबरू नग़मा ए आब ए रवां है ज़िन्दगी

ख़ाक ए बे आवाज़ के मुंह में ज़बां है ज़िन्दगी

बन्द २३

गुंग इशारों को सदा की गोद में पाले हुए
नुत्क़ से हब्स ए तक्कलुम की बला टाले हुए
मुज़्तरिब अनफ़ास को अल्फ़ाज़ में ढाले हुए
रिश्ता ए बाद ए पर अफ़शां में गिरह डाले हुए
लाल ए जौहर आफ़रीन ओ कल्क ए गौहर बार है

ज़िन्दगी तंबूरा ए अफ़कार की झंकार है

बन्द २४

हर नफ़स मोती पिरोती, फूल बरसाती हुई
ख़ैमा ए ज़र बफ़्त में पाज़ेब छनकाती हुई
मुर्कियाँ लेती, ठुमकती, नाचती, गाती हुई
दौड़ती, बढती, हुमकती, झूमती, छाती हुई
एक सुनहरी तान की ज़ंजीर बल खाती हुई
एक अंगड़ाई, धनक के पुल पे लहराई हुई

बन्द २५

सर पे सेहरा, बर में जूड़ा, बात में क़ंद ओ निबात
चाल में गंगा की लहरें, ज़ुल्फ़ में बरखा की रात
सांस में बू ए समन, लहजे में ऊद ए सोमनाथ
ज़िन्दगी रंगों के साए से गुज़रती एक बरात
आंखडियों में रतजगों की रागिनी घोले हुए

बाल बिखराए हुए बंद ए क़बा खोले हुए

बन्द २६

ज़िन्दगी यूसुफ़ ज़ुलैख़ा, क़ैस ओ लैला, नल दमन
ईद का दिन, चौदहवीं की रात, चौथी की दुल्हन
एक खनकती लब कुशाई, एक चुभता बांकपन
रंग सागर, राग मंदिर, रूप माला, फूल बन
जिसकी क़र्नों हुजला ए क़ुद्रत में रखवाली हुई

बदलियों की रसमसाती छाओं की पाली हुई

बन्द २७

ज़िन्दगी मुड़ते हुए पत्तों पे बूंदों की खनक
सुबह सरमा की किरन, शाम ए बहारां की धनक
बोल, तितली की उड़ान, आवाज़, कोंदे की लपक
कूकती बरखा में, सारंगी के तारों की लचक
शहर ए तन में फूल वालों की गली है ज़िन्दगी

गर्दन ए आफ़ाक़ में चंपा कलि है ज़िन्दगी

बन्द २८

ज़िन्दगी फ़रमां रवा ए किश्वर ए दुनिया ओ दीं
मौजिद ए हर्फ़ ए ख़ुदा ओ रहमत उल लिलालामीं
नौ ए इन्सां के लिए एय मेहर्मान ए दूरबीं
मौत से बढ़कर कोई शै क़ाबिल ए नफ़रत नहीं
ज़िन्दगी तकरीम है, तौक़ीर है, तम्कीन है

मौत शाह ए अर्ज़ की सब से बड़ी तौहीन है

Click here for overview and on each stanza for meanings and discussion.These are lyrical, metaphorically rich and draw upon Farsi, Urdu and Hindi imagery to paint a beautiful, energetic and enjoyable picture of life lived to its fullest. In stanza 28 he transitions seamlessly into how fearsome and ugly Death is …

Stanza 14
naGhma bar lab1, jam bar kaf2, gul badamaN3 zindagi
qaus4 e tarf e koh5 o mehrab6 e KhumistaN7 zindagi
ju e rang8 o chashma9 e aab e chiraGhaN10 zindagi
mauj e raqs11 o Dajla12 e aahaNg13 o ilhaN14 zindagi
mauj e soz e dil15 hai iske shola16 e avaz meN
harf e kun17 ke narm halkore18 haiN iske saz19 meN
1. song on its lips 2. wine cup in hand 3. bearing flowers 4. rainbow 5. towards the mountain 6. central prayer arch in a masjid 7. tavern 8. river of color 9. spring/source 10. brilliance of lamps (aab also means shine) 11. the pleasure of dance 12. Tigris, river, flow 13. rhythm 14. melody 15. the wave of the pain of the heart 16. flame 17. the word “to be”, creation 18. swinging, swaying 19. music
A song on its lips, a glass of wine in hand, bearing flowers. Beautiful like the rainbow over hills, the mehraab of the tavern. The main arch of the mosque (mehraab) is juxtaposed with the tavern (KhumistaN). The arch of the mehraab also goes with the arch of the rainbow. A river of colour, the source of the brilliance of light. A wave of dance, the flow of rhythm and melody. Tigris used for any river (metaphor for flow, rhythm and melody of Life. A welling up of sweet pain in the pleasure of its sound. Pain is considered something to be valued. “shola e avaz”, or flame of sound, (enthusiasm of) pleasurable sound. Life is described as carrying sweet pain along with its pleasurable sound. The word of creation heard softly in its music – that is Life.

Stanza 15
zindagi rabt e nihaan1 e inteshar o anjumaad2
ittehad3 e barf o aKhgar4, irtebat5 e habs o baad6
inzemam7 e Khushk o tar8, aameezash9 e bast o kushaad10
bada tab’a11 o bad asl12 o barq nasl13 o bahr zaad14
sina e shamshir15 meN hubb e gulu16 hai zindagi
chaak17 ke hathoN meN tasbih e rafu18 hai zindagi
1. hidden connection 2. scattered and collected, disorder and order 3. cooperation 4. ice and fire 5. bridging 6. stillness/suffocation and breeze/freedom 7. amalgamation 8. dry and wet 9. mixing 10. closed and open, narrow and wide 11. of the same nature (characteristics) as clay 12. same lineage as wind 13. same heritage as lightning/fire 14. child of the ocean/water 15. sharp edge of a sword 16. love of the throat 17. tearn 18. sewing thread
Life is the hidden relationship between disorder and order. Togetherness of heat and cold, the bridging of stillness and free flowing breeze. The compact of wet and dry, the admixture of wide and narrow. Combining in itself the nature of the earth, air, thunder and sea. Life is like the love of the sharpness of a sword for the gentleness of the throat. In the hands of Tear, life is the thread that mends. Josh says life is a mixture of elements and a proportional balancing of opposites. Josh envisions life as the love that the sharp edge of a sword has for the throat. While this has echoes of universal love, Josh often uses the victory of the throat over the sword as the victory of Husain … of good over evil.

Stanza 16
zindagi vahshi1 anaasir2 ka muhazzib3 shahkar4
rabt5 e subh o sham, zabt6 e regzar7 o ju e bar8
e’tedal9 e aab o aatish10, imtizaj11 e nur o nar12
Khirman13 o barq e tapaN14 ka nuqta15 e bos o kinar16
ek takvini17 zamanat18, imtena’ e jang19 ki
ek ta’amiri20 ham aGhoshi21 bilor o sang22 ki
1. wild, untamed 2. elements 3. civilized, tamed 4. publication, magnum opus 5. connection 6. control 7. sandy desert 8. rain fed river 9. moderation 10. water and fire 11. blend, mix 12. light and fire 13. harvest 14. strong lightning 15. point 16. kiss and hug, love and peace 17. from creation (the very beginning) 18. guarantee 19. prohibition of war 20. constructive, peaceful 21. embrace, agreement 22. crystal and rock
Life is the magnum opus of the taming of untamed elements. The relationship of night and day, the moderation of (the excesses of) desert (dry) and rain. The balance between rain and drought, the blend of light and fire. The love and peace between fiery thunder and the harvest. Khirman o barq – the field is harvested and stacked in a pile (Khirman) and gets struck by lightning (barq) and gets burnt. This is an often used metaphor in Urdu poetry for calamities that befall. With Josh, Life is described as the love and peace (bos o kinar=kiss and hug) between barq and Khirman. Life is the original guarantee of keeping war at bay. Life is a guarantee given by creation (takvini zamanat) that destruction (war) will be prohibited, the very essence of civilization. A peaceful embrace between crystal and rock. “bilor o sang” a theme of conflict and destruction … crystal falling on rock and getting broken. With Josh, life is a peaceful embrace between crystal and rock.

Stanza 17
zindagi azdad1 ka paiman2 e lutf o ittefaq3
ek ham aahaNgi4 miyaan5 e jazba6 e vasl o firaq7
ek aTal8 meesaaq9 maabayn10 e jumud o insheqaq11
Khair o shar12 ka sulh nama13, shama14 o sar sar15 ka vafaaq16
shabnam o Khurshid17 ka ahd e vafa18 hai zindagi
dekhiye to but parakhye19 to Khuda hai zindagi
1. opposites 2. pledge 3. pleasure and concurrence 4. harmony 5. between 6. feelings/sentiments 7. union and separation 8. permanent 9. contract 10. between 11. integration and disintegration 12. well being and conflict 13. peace agreement 14. lamp 15. breeze, storm 16. agreement 17. dew and sun 18. promise of faith/fealty 19. evaluate, examine
Life is the pledge by opposites to be agreeable and pleasant. Harmony between the pleasure of union and the sorrow of parting. An inviolable contract between order and chaos. An agreement between Peace and Conflict, lamp and breeze. Lamp and breeze and dew and sun – lamp gets blown off by the breeze and the dew gets dried off by the sun. These are more often used as victim and victimizer, but Josh describes life as harmony between these opposites. Life is a promise of fealty between the sun and dew. At a casual glance, a stone idol, in reality one with Khuda. Life as a balancing of opposites continues “buth” i.e. idol and “Khuda” i.e. god as one of the “conflicted pairs” to say that there is oneness between the two.

Stanza 18
din tarangeN1 baKhshta2 hai, raat Khwab e shakkariN
subah chhiTkaati3 hai kirneN shaam zulf e anbariN4
nabz5 chiTkaati6 hai tan meN Ghuncha-ha7 e ma o tiN8
saaNs chunti9 hai qaba e aarzu10 ki aastiN11
ek na’emat12 hai chahakti chahchahati zindagi
phoolti phalti phabakti13 lahlahati14 zindagi
1. resonance 2. grants 3. sprinkles 4. dark tresses 5. pulse (of life) 6. bud blossoming into a flower 7. buds 8. clay and water (all creation, made of clay and water) 9. a high fashion way of making folds/wrinkles in sleeves 10. cloak of desire 11. sleeve 12. blessing 13. adorns 14. verdant waves
Pleasant music resonating by day, sweet dreams at night. Dawn sprinkles light rays, dusk spreads dark tresses. The throbbing pulse of Life makes creatures of clay come alive. The breath of life refines the cloak of desire. Josh describes love of life as beautiful, powerful and healthy. Every breath adds refinement/culture/respectability (aastiN chunna –specially formed wrinkles on the sleeve is fashionable and a sign of refinement) to the cloak of desire. Early human desire was of mere survival. With every breath refinement was added making human desire more cultured and tasteful. A great blessing, this chirping, dancing life. Blossoming, fruiting, beautiful, lush, verdant life.

Stanza 19
qa’ar1 se ta satah2 qulzum3 parfashaaN4 hai zindagi
Khaar5 men harf e Khufi6 gul meN azaaN7 hai zindagi
barg8 par shabnam9 fiza10 par kahkashaN11 hai zindagi
dastaaN12 dar dastaaN dar dastaaN hai zindagi
farsh13 ta arsh14 zulf e naaz bikhrae15 hue
fatah16 sayyar17 o sawabath18 ki qasam19 khaye hue
1. depth 2. surface 3. ocean 4. wings spread 5. thorn 6. hidden word 7. call to prayer, metaphorically open declaration 8. leaves 9. dew 10. atmosphere, ambience 11. constellation 12. story 13. floor, earth 14. sky 15. proud/enticing display of tresses 16. conquer 17. moving 18. stationary – “sayyar o sawabath” i.e. “moving and stationary” generally used to refer to planets and stars, here anything that moves or does not i.e. everything. 19. determined
From the deepest depths to the highest heights, Life with its wings spread, ready to fly, expresses itself subtly in thorns, with an open manifestation of its beauty in flowers. “azaaN” is used as a metaphor for open declaration. Even thorns have life/beauty, even if hidden. It is one with the open declaration of beauty in flowers. Shining drops on leaves, twinkling stars in the sky, Life is mysterious, a story within a story within a story. Life is a damsel tresses invitingly spread out in flirtation. Determined to conquer all in the universe.

Stanza 20
zindagi baagesri, saarang, dipak, sohini2
buth tarashi2, raqs3, mauseeqi4, Khitabat5, sha’iri6
pankhaRi, titli, sanobar7, doob8, nasriN9, chandni
lajwardi, sharbati, dhani, gulabi, champai10
zafrani, asmani, arGhawani11 zindagi
lajwanti12, madhbhari13, komal13, sohani14 zindagi
1. names of raags 2. art of sculpture 3. dance 4. music 5. (public) speaking 6. poetics 7. cypress (traditional description of tall slender beauty) 8. grassland, meadow 9. white tulip like flower 10. brilliant colours 11. more colours 12. bashful 13. honey sweet 14. delicate 15. pleasing – all sensuous descriptors Life is musical like bagesari, sarang, dipak, sohini.
Life is sculpture, dance, music, speech, poetry. Tender as petals, butterflies, beautiful as the cypress, the open meadow, the tulip and moonlight. Life has many colours – sea green, sky blue, orange of the setting sun. Colourful earth with saffron, blue, rose and white. Bashful, sweet as honey, tender, pleasant – that is what life is. This is one of the more lyrical stanzas in the marsia. Consider how beautiful and musical the simple listing of the raags and the fine arts sounds. It also shows the high value Josh places on the “refinements/culture” of life. In much the same way, a “simple” listing colours lends great musicality. Of course the list is not “simple”, the words are chosen carefully to lend weight and lyricism. Josh uses “paNkhaRi” and “titli” as metaphors for the delicate aspects of life. The “sanobar” – cypress is used in Urdu poetry as a metaphor for tall slender beauty. This stanza also illustrates the difficulty of translation.

Stanza 21
sahr1 Khoo2, Eesa nafas3, mojiz ada4, jaadu kalam5
baada6 rang o mah vash7 o bustan lab8 o Kausar9 Kharam10
shisha bazm11 o sang azm12 o lala saqf13 o mah baam14
qanda harf15 o gul mizaj16 o sard tab’a17 o mai qawaam18
zindagi sa’ee19 e baleeGh20 e irteqa21 ka naaz22 hai
aab o aatish23 ki karamat24, Khaak25 ka ejaaz26 hai
1. magic spell 2. nature 3. breath of Jesus i.e. healing 4. performing miracles 5. enchanting speech 6. wine 7. moon faced 8. closed lips, considered beautiful in urdu poetry 9. river in paradise 10. gait (gentle flow) 11. made of crystal i.e. delicate 12. rock like determination 13. tulip covered – bedecked 14. moon above the roof (considered romantic) 15. sweet word/speech 16. (flower) sweet natured 17. cool nature (not excitable, calm 18. same status (desirable) as wine 19. struggle 20. maturity 21. progress 22. pride 23. water and fire 24. accomplishment 25. dust/earth 26. miracle
Life is magical, healing, miraculous, beguiling. Eesa nafas – the breath of Eesa(Jesus) that could cure the sick by blowing on them. The color of wine, the beauty of the moon, the delicacy of lips and gentle gait of River Kauser. Delicate like crystal, determined like a rock, flower decked (lala saqf, translated as “flower decked” is literally “with a roof of tulips”), beautiful like the full moon viewed from the terrace. Sweet words, flower natured, cool and collected, valuable as wine. It is the struggle to reach maturity of progress in style. There is a struggle to make progress, to get progress to maturity “saee e baleeGh e irteqa” … and when it reaches this mature state it shows great pride and style, hence the “naz”. The wonder of water and fire, the miracle of clay. Elements play a part in the making of life and of course, made out of clay, life is a miracle.

Stanza 22
zindagi jaam o suraahi1, marGhzaar2 o nastaran3
ek sajavaT, ek ghulavaT4, ek lagavaT5, ek phaban6
raqs e tauoos7 o jamal e subah8 o rang e narvan9
gul nafas10, gul chehra, gul Khoo11, gul jabiN12, gul pairahan13
raqs e abru14, naGhma e aab e ravaaN15 hai zindagi
Khaak e be awaz16 ke muNh meN zabaaN hai zindagi
1. cup and flask (of wine) 2. green meadow 3. wild flowers 4. dissolved, melting – elixir (of sweetness) 5. attraction 6. adornment 7. dance of the peacock 8. face (beauty) of dawn 9. color/brilliance/warmth of fire 10. soul, breath 11. nature 12. forehead, brow 13. clothing 14. dance of the eyebrows 15. music of flowing water 16. dumb clay
Beautiful like a flask and cup, lovely like meadow and flowers. Life is sweet elixir, a fondness, a preening beauty as well. The dance of the Peacock, freshness of dawn, colors of fire, beauty of the soul, the brilliance of the face, the dance of the eyebrow and the song of flowing water. the voice of the voiceless clay.

Stanza 23
gung1 isharoN2 ko sadaa3 ki goad meN paaley hue
nutq4 se habs5 e takkalum6 ki balaa7 Taaley8 hue
muztarib9 anfaas10 ko alfaaz11 meN Dhaaley12 hue
rishta13 e baad e par afshaN14 meN girah15 Daaley hue
laal16 e jauhar aafrin17 o kalk18 e gauhar bar19 hai
zindagi tanbura20 e afkaar21 ki jhankaar22 hai
1. silent, dumb 2. signs (sign language) 3. sada=sound, call 4. speech 5. stillness, suffocation 6. conversation 7. curse 8. postpone, keep away 9. disturbed, restless 10.souls, breaths, lives, thoughts 11. words 12. cast, mould 13. connection, string 14. scattered/random directionless breeze 15. knot 16. ruby 17. compliment to jewels 18. pen 19. pearl scattering 20. drone (completing the musical note) 21. thoughts, thinking, philosophy 22. resonance
Life nurtures dumb sign language in the lap of sound. Conversation once suffocated can now breathe free. habs e takkalum should be understood as the suffocation that can result from an inability to talk. Life removes this curse. Life casts scattered thoughts into a pattern of words. The helter skelter breeze of thoughts is tethered and knotted by the expression that voice gives it. Life is like the ruby that is a compliment to jewels, the pen that showers pearls. Life is the musical drone of thoughts.

Stanza 24
har nafas1 moti piroti, phul barsati hui
Khaima2 e zar baft3 meN pazeb chhankati hui
murkiyaaN4 leti, Thumakti5, naachti, gaati hui
dauDti, baDhthi, humakti6, jhoomti, chhaati hui
ek sunehri taan ki zanjir bal khaati hui
ek angRai, dhanak7 ke pul pe lehrai hui
1. every moment 2. tent, place, stage 3. gold brocade 4. singing full range of musical notes high to low 5. titillating, evocative dance 6. reaching out (as a child eagerly reaches to be picked up) 7. rainbow
One moment Josh describes LIFE in all its creativity and power another moment in very sensuous terms as a damsel. Just close your eyes and allow yourselves to be seduced and fall into his trap and experience how much you enjoy his description. Every moment stringing pearls and scattering petals. A bedecked stage, the tinkle of ankle bells. The sound of musical notes, the steps of sensuous dance. Running, reaching, swaying, overpowering. It is alike a golden chain of music twisted around itself. Like a yawn arched like the rainbow.

Stanza 25
sar pe sehra1, bar men jooRa2, baat meN qand o nibaat3
chaal meN Ganga ki lehreN, zulf4 meN barkha ki raat
saaNs meN bu e saman5, lahje6 meN ood e Somnath7
zindagi rangoN ke saye se guzarti ek baraat
ankhRiyoN meN ratjagoN ki ragini ghole hue
baal bikhraye hue band e qaba8 khole hue
1. garlanded veil around the head 2. hair tied in a bun and garlanded 3. honey and sugar in her words 4. tresses 5. fragrance of jasmine 6. accent, speech 7. muscial lute of the temple of Somnath 8. ties (strings) of the cloak/robe
Life is a bride with floral veil and “jooRa”, sweetness in her voice. Her gait like the waves of Ganga, her dark tresses like spring clouds. The fragrance of jasmine, the chants of Somnath. Life is a wedding procession passing under banners of colour. The colour of late night celebrations dissolved in her eyes. “ratjaga” literally “awake all night” is an all night long celebration of dance, music, poetry or the like. There is sensuous imagery of “ratjaga” resulting in sleepy eyes tinged with red. Life carries a colorful “ragini” dissolved in her eyes, left over from all night celebrations. Flowing tresses, her robe flying, ties undone.

Stanza 26
zindagi yusuf zuleiKha, qais o laila, nal daman1
eid ka din, chaudhwiN ki raat, chauthi ki dulhan2
ek khanakti3 lab kushaai4, ek chubhta5 baaNkpan6
rang sagar7, rag mandir8, roop mala9, phool ban10
jiski qarnoN11 hujla e qudrat12 meN rakhwaali hui
badliyoN13 ki rasmasaati14 chhaoN ki pali hui
1. all legendary lovers 2. bride visiting her parents home the day after the wedding night 3. hurting 4. parted lips 5. piercing yet pleasing 6. rebelliousness 7. ocean of colour 8. temple of music 9. string of beauty 10. forest of flowers 11. for millennia 12. womb of nature 13. (gentle) clouds 14. changing (dark and light)
Life is the passion of legendary lovers Yusuf-Zuleikha, Qais-Laila, Nal-Damayanti. The legends of the lovers are well known and Josh wants us to believe that life is as passionate as the passion of these lovers. Every day of life is like eid, a moonlit night and “chauthi ki dulhan” – imagine the happy bride coming home to her parents the day after the wedding. The sweetness of parted lips, a piercing rebelliousness – “khanakti lab kushai” is piercing/hurting parted lips – and chubhta is also hurting … “chubhta baNkpan” is pleasantly hurting youthful rebelliousness – both are a juxtaposition of pleasure and pain, an almost universal practice of Urdu poetry. Ocean of colour, temple of music, garland of beauty, forest of flowers. Nurtured for millenia in the womb of nature, raised in the ever changing shades of clouds.

Stanza 27
zindagi muRte hue pattoN pe boondoN ki khanak
subh sarma1 ki kiran, shaam e baharaaN2 ki dhanak3
bol, titli ki uRaan, avaaz, konde ki lapak4
kookti barkha meN, sarangi ke taroN ki lachak
shahr e tan5 meN phool valoN ki gali hai zindagi
gardan e afaaq6 meN champa kali hai zindagi
1. winter morning 2. spring evening 3. rainbow 4. thunderbolt, the sound of thunder 5. if the body were like a city 6. plural of ufaq, horizons Life is the sound of rain drops on dry leaves.
The warming rays of sun on a cool winter morning, the rainbow of a spring evening. Soft conversation like the flight of a butterfly, anger like the cracking sound of a thunderbolt. The song of the koel, like the supple waves of sarangi strings. The body is a city, life is like the flower vendors’ street. A garland of “champa” in the neck of the horizon – in the “gardan” of the horizon … a bright line of light just before sunrise … a garland of white flowers … like white champa.

Stanza 28
zindagi farmaN rava1 e kishvar e duniya o diN2
mojid3 e harf e Khuda4 o rahmat ulilalamiN5
nau e insaN6 ke liye ae mehrman e duurbiN7
maut se baRhkar koi shai8 qabil e nifrat9 nahiN
zindagi takreem10 hai, tauqeer11 hai, tamkeen12 hai
maut shah e arz13 ki sab se baRi tauheen14 hai
1. one who gives proclamations/orders 2. domain of the here and hereafter 3. inventor, author 4. word of god 5. blessing bestowed upon the worlds (refer to Mohammed in the Islamic tradition) 6. humanity, mankind 7. far seeing friends 8. thing 9. hateful 10. kindness 11. comfort, contentment 12. respect 13. king of the earth, human being 14. insult
It is life that commands the domains of the here and the hereafter. Life is the author of the word of god and that of Mohammed (has Josh slipped in the thought that the “word of god” is a human creation and has nothing to do with god!). O my dear farsighted friends, don’t you see that for humanity there is nothing more hateful than Death. Life is kindness, comfort and respect/honour. Death is the greatest insult to the king of this earth. In the next several stanzas (posted under “maut”) Josh effortlessly transitions to death and describes how horrible Death is.

Stanza 14
naGhma bar lab1, jam bar kaf2, gul badamaN3 zindagi
qaus4 e tarf e koh5 o mehrab6 e KhumistaN7 zindagi
ju e rang8 o chashma9 e aab e chiraGhaN10 zindagi
mauj e raqs11 o Dajla12 e aahaNg13 o ilhaN14 zindagi
mauj e soz e dil15 hai iske shola16 e avaz meN
harf e kun17 ke narm halkore18 haiN iske saz19 meN

1. song on its lips 2. wine cup in hand 3. bearing flowers 4. rainbow 5. towards the mountain 6. central prayer arch in a masjid 7. tavern 8.  river of color 9. spring/source 10. brilliance of lamps (aab also means shine) 11. the pleasure of dance 12. Tigris, river, flow 13. rhythm 14. melody 15. the wave of the pain of the heart 16. flame 17. the word “to be”, creation 18. swinging, swaying 19. music
A song on its lips, a glass of wine in hand, bearing flowers.  Beautiful like the rainbow over hills, the mehraab of the tavern.  The main arch of the mosque (mehraab) is juxtaposed with the tavern (KhumistaN).  The arch of the mehraab also goes with the arch of the rainbow.  A river of colour, the source of the brilliance of light.  A wave of dance, the flow of rhythm and melody.  Tigris used for any river (metaphor for flow, rhythm and melody of Life.  A welling up of sweet pain in the pleasure of its sound.  Pain is considered something to be valued.  “shola e avaz”, or flame of sound, (enthusiasm of) pleasurable sound.  Life is described as carrying sweet pain along with its pleasurable sound.  The word of creation heard softly in its music – that is Life.

Stanza 15
zindagi rabt e nihaan1 e inteshar o anjumaad2
ittehad3 e barf o aKhgar4, irtebat5 e habs o baad6
inzemam7 e Khushk o tar8, aameezash9 e bast o kushaad10
bada tab’a11 o bad asl12 o barq nasl13 o bahr zaad14
sina e shamshir15 meN hubb e gulu16 hai zindagi
chaak17 ke hathoN meN tasbih e rafu18 hai zindagi

1. hidden connection 2. scattered and collected, disorder and order 3. cooperation 4. ice and fire 5. bridging 6. stillness/suffocation and breeze/freedom 7. amalgamation 8. dry and wet 9. mixing 10. closed and open, narrow and wide 11. of the same nature (characteristics) as clay 12. same lineage as wind 13. same heritage as lightning/fire 14. child of the ocean/water 15. sharp edge of a sword 16. love of the throat 17. tearn 18. sewing thread
Life is the hidden relationship between disorder and order.  Togetherness of heat and cold, the bridging of stillness and free flowing breeze.  The compact of wet and dry, the admixture of wide and narrow.  Combining in itself the nature of the earth, air, thunder and sea.  Life is like the love of the sharpness of a sword for the gentleness of the throat.  In the hands of Tear, life is the thread that mends.  Josh says life is a mixture of elements and a proportional balancing of opposites.  Josh envisions life as the love that the sharp edge of a sword has for the throat. While this has echoes of universal love, Josh often uses the victory of the throat over the sword as the victory of Husain … of good over evil.

Stanza 16
zindagi vahshi1 anaasir2 ka muhazzib3 shahkar4
rabt5 e subh o sham, zabt6 e regzar7 o ju e bar8
e’tedal9 e aab o aatish10, imtizaj11 e nur o nar12
Khirman13 o barq e tapaN14 ka nuqta15 e bos o kinar16
ek takvini17 zamanat18, imtena’ e jang19 ki
ek ta’amiri20 ham aGhoshi21 bilor o sang22 ki

1. wild, untamed 2. elements 3. civilized, tamed 4. publication, magnum opus 5. connection 6. control 7. sandy desert 8. rain fed river 9. moderation 10. water and fire 11. blend, mix 12. light and fire 13. harvest 14. strong lightning 15. point 16. kiss and hug, love and peace 17. from creation (the very beginning) 18. guarantee 19. prohibition of war 20. constructive, peaceful 21. embrace, agreement 22. crystal and rock
Life is the magnum opus of the taming of untamed elements.  The relationship of night and day, the moderation of (the excesses of) desert (dry) and rain.  The balance between rain and drought, the blend of light and fire.  The love and peace between fiery thunder and the harvest.  Khirman o barq – the field is harvested and stacked in a pile (Khirman) and gets struck by lightning (barq) and gets burnt.  This is an often used metaphor in Urdu poetry for calamities that befall.  With Josh, Life is described as the love and peace (bos o kinar=kiss and hug) between barq and Khirman.  Life is the original guarantee of keeping war at bay.  Life is a guarantee given by creation (takvini zamanat) that destruction (war) will be prohibited, the very essence of civilization.  A peaceful embrace between crystal and rock.  “bilor o sang” a theme of conflict and destruction … crystal falling on rock and getting broken. With Josh, life is a peaceful embrace between crystal and rock.

Stanza 17
zindagi azdad1 ka paiman2 e lutf o ittefaq3
ek ham aahaNgi4 miyaan5 e jazba6 e vasl o firaq7
ek aTal8 meesaaq9 maabayn10 e jumud o insheqaq11
Khair o shar12 ka sulh nama13, shama14 o sar sar15 ka vafaaq16
shabnam o Khurshid17 ka ahd e vafa18 hai zindagi
dekhiye to but parakhye19 to Khuda hai zindagi

1. opposites 2. pledge 3. pleasure and concurrence 4. harmony 5. between 6. feelings/sentiments 7. union and separation 8. permanent 9. contract 10. between 11. integration and disintegration 12. well being and conflict 13. peace agreement 14. lamp 15. breeze, storm 16. agreement 17. dew and sun 18. promise of faith/fealty 19. evaluate, examine
Life is the pledge by opposites to be agreeable and pleasant.  Harmony between the pleasure of union and the sorrow of parting.  An inviolable contract between order and chaos.  An agreement between Peace and Conflict, lamp and breeze.  Lamp and breeze and dew and sun – lamp gets blown off by the breeze and the dew gets dried off by the sun.  These are more often used as victim and victimizer, but Josh describes life as harmony between these opposites.  Life is a promise of fealty between the sun and dew
At a casual glance, a stone idol, in reality one with Khuda.  Life as a balancing of opposites continues “buth” i.e. idol and “Khuda” i.e. god as one of the “conflicted pairs” to say that there is oneness between the two.

Stanza 18
din tarangeN1 baKhshta2 hai, raat Khwab e shakkariN
subah chhiTkaati3 hai kirneN shaam zulf e anbariN4
nabz5 chiTkaati6 hai tan meN Ghuncha-ha7 e ma o tiN8
saaNs chunti9 hai qaba e aarzu10 ki aastiN11
ek na’emat12 hai chahakti chahchahati zindagi
phoolti phalti phabakti13 lahlahati14 zindagi

1. resonance 2. grants 3. sprinkles 4. dark tresses 5. pulse (of life) 6. bud blossoming into a flower 7. buds 8. clay and water (all creation, made of clay and water) 9. a high fashion way of making folds/wrinkles in sleeves 10. cloak of desire 11. sleeve 12. blessing 13. adorns 14. verdant waves
Pleasant music resonating by day, sweet dreams at night.  Dawn sprinkles light rays, dusk spreads dark tresses.  The throbbing pulse of Life makes creatures of clay come alive.  The breath of life refines the cloak of desire.  Josh describes love of life as beautiful, powerful and healthy.  Every breath adds refinement/culture/respectability (aastiN chunna –specially formed wrinkles on the sleeve is fashionable and a sign of refinement) to the cloak of desire.  Early human desire was of mere survival.  With every breath refinement was added making human desire more cultured and tasteful.  A great blessing, this chirping, dancing life.  Blossoming, fruiting, beautiful, lush, verdant life.

Stanza 19
qa’ar1 se ta satah2 qulzum3 parfashaaN4 hai zindagi
Khaar5 men harf e Khufi6 gul meN azaaN7 hai zindagi
barg8 par shabnam9 fiza10 par kahkashaN11 hai zindagi
dastaaN12 dar dastaaN dar dastaaN hai zindagi
farsh13 ta arsh14 zulf e naaz bikhrae15 hue
fatah16 sayyar17 o sawabath18 ki qasam19 khaye hue

1. depth 2. surface 3. ocean 4. wings spread 5. thorn 6. hidden word 7. call to prayer, metaphorically open declaration 8. leaves 9. dew 10. atmosphere, ambience 11. constellation 12. story 13. floor, earth 14. sky 15. proud/enticing display of tresses 16. conquer 17. moving 18. stationary – “sayyar o sawabath” i.e. “moving and stationary”  generally used to refer to planets and stars, here anything that moves or does not i.e. everything.  19. determined
From the deepest depths to the highest heights, Life with its wings spread, ready to fly, expresses itself subtly in thorns, with an open manifestation of its beauty in flowers.  “azaaN” is used as a metaphor for open declaration. Even thorns have life/beauty, even if hidden.  It is one with the open declaration of beauty in flowers.  Shining drops on leaves, twinkling stars in the sky, Life is mysterious, a story within a story within a story.  Life is a damsel tresses invitingly spread out in flirtation.  Determined to conquer all in the universe.

Stanza 20
zindagi baagesri, saarang, dipak, sohini2
buth tarashi2, raqs3, mauseeqi4, Khitabat5, sha’iri6
pankhaRi, titli, sanobar7, doob8, nasriN9, chandni
lajwardi, sharbati, dhani, gulabi, champai10
zafrani, asmani, arGhawani11 zindagi
lajwanti12, madhbhari13, komal13, sohani14 zindagi

1. names of raags 2. art of sculpture 3. dance 4. music 5. (public) speaking 6. poetics 7. cypress (traditional description of tall slender beauty) 8. grassland, meadow 9. white tulip like flower 10. brilliant colours 11. more colours 12. bashful 13. honey sweet 14. delicate 15. pleasing – all sensuous descriptors
Life is musical like bagesari, sarang, dipak, sohini.  Life is sculpture, dance, music, speech, poetry.  Tender as petals, butterflies, beautiful as the cypress, the open meadow, the tulip and moonlight.  Life has many colours – sea green, sky blue, orange of the setting sun.  Colourful earth with saffron, blue, rose and white.  Bashful, sweet as honey, tender, pleasant – that is what life is.  This is one of the more lyrical stanzas in the marsia.  Consider how beautiful and musical the simple listing of the raags and the fine arts sounds.  It also shows the high value Josh places on the “refinements/culture” of life.  In much the same way, a “simple” listing colours lends great musicality.  Of course the list is not “simple”, the words are chosen carefully to lend weight and lyricism.  Josh uses “paNkhaRi” and “titli” as metaphors for the delicate aspects of life.  The “sanobar” – cypress is used in Urdu poetry as a metaphor for tall slender beauty.  This stanza also illustrates the difficulty of translation.

Stanza 21
sahr1 Khoo2, Eesa nafas3, mojiz ada4, jaadu kalam5
baada6 rang o mah vash7 o bustan lab8 o Kausar9 Kharam10
shisha bazm11 o sang azm12 o lala saqf13 o mah baam14
qanda harf15 o gul mizaj16 o sard tab’a17 o mai qawaam18
zindagi sa’ee19 e baleeGh20 e irteqa21 ka naaz22 hai
aab o aatish23 ki karamat24, Khaak25 ka ejaaz26 hai

1. magic spell 2. nature 3. breath of Jesus i.e. healing 4. performing miracles 5. enchanting speech 6. wine 7. moon faced 8. closed lips, considered beautiful in urdu poetry 9. river in paradise 10. gait (gentle flow) 11. made of crystal i.e. delicate 12. rock like determination 13. tulip covered – bedecked 14. moon above the roof (considered romantic) 15. sweet word/speech 16. (flower) sweet natured 17. cool nature (not excitable, calm 18. same status (desirable) as wine 19. struggle 20. maturity 21. progress 22. pride 23. water and fire 24. accomplishment 25. dust/earth 26. miracle
Life is magical, healing, miraculous, beguiling.  Eesa nafas – the breath of Eesa(Jesus) that could cure the sick by blowing on them. The color of wine, the beauty of the moon, the delicacy of lips and gentle gait of River Kauser.  Delicate like crystal, determined like a rock, flower decked (lala saqf, translated as “flower decked” is literally “with a roof of tulips”), beautiful like the full moon viewed from the terrace.  Sweet words, flower natured, cool and collected, valuable as wine.  It is the struggle to reach maturity of progress in style.  There is a struggle to make progress, to get progress to maturity “saee e baleeGh e irteqa” … and when it reaches this mature state it shows great pride and style, hence the “naz”.  The wonder of water and fire, the miracle of clay.  Elements play a part in the making of life and of course, made out of clay, life is a miracle.

Stanza 22
zindagi jaam o suraahi1, marGhzaar2 o nastaran3
ek sajavaT, ek ghulavaT4, ek lagavaT5, ek phaban6
raqs e tauoos7 o jamal e subah8 o rang e narvan9
gul nafas10, gul chehra, gul Khoo11, gul jabiN12, gul pairahan13
raqs e abru14, naGhma e aab e ravaaN15 hai zindagi
Khaak e be awaz16 ke muNh meN zabaaN hai zindagi

1. cup and flask (of wine) 2. green meadow 3. wild flowers 4. dissolved, melting – elixir (of sweetness) 5. attraction 6. adornment 7. dance of the peacock 8. face (beauty) of dawn 9. color/brilliance/warmth of fire 10. soul, breath 11. nature 12. forehead, brow 13. clothing 14. dance of the eyebrows 15. music of flowing water 16. dumb clay
Beautiful like a flask and cup, lovely like meadow and flowers.  Life is sweet elixir, a fondness, a preening beauty as well.  The dance of the Peacock, freshness of dawn, colors of fire, beauty of the soul, the brilliance of the face, the dance of the eyebrow and the song of flowing water. the voice of the voiceless clay.

Stanza 23
gung1 isharoN2 ko sadaa3 ki goad meN paaley hue
nutq4 se habs5 e takkalum6 ki balaa7 Taaley8 hue
muztarib9 anfaas10 ko alfaaz11 meN Dhaaley12 hue
rishta13 e baad e par afshaN14 meN girah15 Daaley hue
laal16 e jauhar aafrin17 o kalk18 e gauhar bar19 hai
zindagi tanbura20 e afkaar21 ki jhankaar22 hai

1. silent, dumb 2. signs (sign language) 3. sada=sound, call 4. speech 5. stillness, suffocation 6. conversation 7. curse 8. postpone, keep away 9. disturbed, restless 10.souls, breaths, lives, thoughts 11. words 12. cast, mould 13. connection, string 14. scattered/random directionless breeze 15. knot 16. ruby 17. compliment to jewels 18. pen 19. pearl scattering 20. drone (completing the musical note) 21. thoughts, thinking, philosophy 22. resonance
Life nurtures dumb sign language in the lap of sound.  Conversation once suffocated can now breathe free.  habs e takkalum should be understood as the suffocation that can result from an inability to talk. Life removes this curse.  Life casts scattered thoughts into a pattern of words.  The helter skelter breeze of thoughts is tethered and knotted by the expression that voice gives it.  Life is like the ruby that is a compliment to jewels, the pen that showers pearls.  Life is the musical drone of thoughts.

Stanza 24
har nafas1 moti piroti, phul barsati hui
Khaima2 e zar baft3 meN pazeb chhankati hui
murkiyaaN4 leti, Thumakti5, naachti, gaati hui
dauDti, baDhthi, humakti6, jhoomti, chhaati hui
ek sunehri taan ki zanjir bal khaati hui
ek angRai, dhanak7 ke pul pe lehrai hui

1. every moment 2. tent, place, stage 3. gold brocade 4. singing full range of musical notes high to low 5. titillating, evocative dance 6. reaching out (as a child eagerly reaches to be picked up) 7. rainbow
One moment Josh describes LIFE in all its creativity and power another moment in very sensuous terms as a damsel.  Just close your eyes and allow yourselves to be seduced and fall into his trap and experience how much you enjoy his description.  Every moment stringing pearls and scattering petals.  A bedecked stage, the tinkle of ankle bells.  The sound of musical notes, the steps of sensuous dance.  Running, reaching, swaying, overpowering.  It is alike a golden chain of music twisted around itself.  Like a yawn arched like the rainbow.

Stanza 25
sar pe sehra1, bar men jooRa2, baat meN qand o nibaat3
chaal meN Ganga ki lehreN, zulf4 meN barkha ki raat
saaNs meN bu e saman5, lahje6 meN ood e Somnath7
zindagi rangoN ke saye se guzarti ek baraat
ankhRiyoN meN ratjagoN ki ragini ghole hue
baal bikhraye hue band e qaba8 khole hue

1. garlanded veil around the head 2. hair tied in a bun and garlanded 3. honey and sugar in her words 4. tresses 5. fragrance of jasmine 6. accent, speech 7. muscial lute of the temple of Somnath 8. ties (strings) of the cloak/robe
Life is a bride with floral veil and “jooRa”, sweetness in her voice.  Her gait like the waves of Ganga, her dark tresses like spring clouds.  The fragrance of jasmine, the chants of Somnath.  Life is a wedding procession passing under banners of colour.  The colour of late night celebrations dissolved in her eyes.  “ratjaga” literally “awake all night” is an all night long celebration of dance, music, poetry or the like.  There is sensuous imagery of “ratjaga” resulting in sleepy eyes tinged with red. Life carries a colorful “ragini” dissolved in her eyes, left over from all night celebrations.  Flowing tresses, her robe flying, ties undone.

Stanza 26
zindagi yusuf zuleiKha, qais o laila, nal daman1
eid ka din, chaudhwiN ki raat, chauthi ki dulhan2
ek khanakti3 lab kushaai4, ek chubhta5 baaNkpan6
rang sagar7, rag mandir8, roop mala9, phool ban10
jiski qarnoN11 hujla e qudrat12 meN rakhwaali hui
badliyoN13 ki rasmasaati14 chhaoN ki pali hui

1. all legendary lovers 2. bride visiting her parents home the day after the wedding night 3. hurting 4. parted lips 5. piercing yet pleasing 6. rebelliousness 7. ocean of colour 8. temple of music 9. string of beauty 10. forest of flowers 11. for millennia 12. womb of nature 13. (gentle) clouds 14. changing (dark and light)
Life is the passion of legendary lovers Yusuf-Zuleikha, Qais-Laila, Nal-Damayanti.  The legends of the lovers are well known and Josh wants us to believe that life is as passionate as the passion of these lovers.  Every day of life is like eid, a moonlit night and “chauthi ki dulhan” – imagine the happy bride coming home to her parents the day after the wedding.  The sweetness of parted lips, a piercing rebelliousness – “khanakti lab kushai” is piercing/hurting parted lips – and chubhta is also hurting … “chubhta baNkpan” is pleasantly hurting youthful rebelliousness – both are a juxtaposition of pleasure and pain, an almost universal practice of Urdu poetry.  Ocean of colour, temple of music, garland of beauty, forest of flowers.  Nurtured for millenia in the womb of nature, raised in the ever changing shades of clouds.

Stanza 27
zindagi muRte hue pattoN pe boondoN ki khanak
subh sarma1 ki kiran, shaam e baharaaN2 ki dhanak3
bol, titli ki uRaan, avaaz, konde ki lapak4
kookti barkha meN, sarangi ke taroN ki lachak
shahr e tan5 meN phool valoN ki gali hai zindagi
gardan e afaaq6 meN champa kali hai zindagi

1. winter morning 2. spring evening 3. rainbow 4. thunderbolt, the sound of thunder 5. if the body were like a city 6. plural of ufaq, horizons
Life is the sound of rain drops on dry leaves.  The warming rays of sun on a cool winter morning, the rainbow of a spring evening.  Soft conversation like the flight of a butterfly, anger like the cracking sound of a thunderbolt.  The song of the koel, like the supple waves of sarangi strings.  The body is a city, life is like the flower vendors’ street.  A garland of “champa” in the neck of the horizon – in the “gardan” of the horizon … a bright line of light just before sunrise … a garland of white flowers … like white champa.

Stanza 28
zindagi farmaN rava1 e kishvar e duniya o diN2
mojid3 e harf e Khuda4 o rahmat ulilalamiN5
nau e insaN6 ke liye ae mehrman e duurbiN7
maut se baRhkar koi shai8 qabil e nifrat9 nahiN
zindagi takreem10 hai, tauqeer11 hai, tamkeen12 hai
maut shah e arz13 ki sab se baRi tauheen14 hai

1. one who gives proclamations/orders 2. domain of the here and hereafter 3. inventor, author 4. word of god 5. blessing bestowed upon the worlds (refer to Mohammed in the Islamic tradition) 6. humanity, mankind 7. far seeing friends 8. thing 9. hateful 10. kindness 11. comfort, contentment 12. respect 13. king of the earth, human being 14. insult
It is life that commands the domains of the here and the hereafter.  Life is the author of the word of god and that of Mohammed (has Josh slipped in the thought that the “word of god” is a human creation and has nothing to do with god!).  O my dear farsighted friends, don’t you see that for humanity there is nothing more hateful than Death.  Life is kindness, comfort and respect/honour.  Death is the greatest insult to the king of this earth.  In the next several stanzas (posted under “maut”) Josh effortlessly transitions to death and describes how horrible Death is.

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