11-raam ka israar-brij narain chakbast

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the “Roman” or “Notes” tab.  The “Introduction” tab offers a background of the whole series of posts that constitute a patchy reconstruction of the ramayan.

The ramayan has fascinated minds in India and worldwide for millennia, for the beauty of its literary composition, for its fascinating story content as well as for faith and reverence.  It is not surprising then that the Ramayan has been translated not only into all major languages, but also into unexpected ones like Polish, Norwegian and Swedish.  What is surprising is that there are more than twice as many poetic translations/trans-compositions of the ramayan in urdu as there are of the qur’aan and that the ramayan was translated into urdu even before the qur’aan was.

A book “urdu meN hindu dharm” (Hindu Religion in Urdu), Ajai Malviya,  written in Urdu, catalogues in detail urdu translations of the vedas (66), ramayan (103), mahabharat (38), bhagwad gita (83), puranas (44), manu smriti (4), biography of vashisht (14) and miscellaneous other religious compositions (472) spanning about 200 years of publications.

Why has this significant piece of literature been relegated to a neglected and ignored heap of disdain?  This needs to be corrected.  The sheer number and the high poetic and linguistic quality of this literature surprised me as I worked to string together representative parts of urdu nazm/poems of ramayan by different poets, like pearls strung in a necklace, into a near complete story.

A close reading of urdu ramayan translations offers some fascinating lessons about mingling of cultures in India, the origins and “ownership” of Urdu language, the power of the pen across languages and cultures and the universality of basic human emotions.  One is struck deeply by the acceptance and seamless adoption of multiple religious traditions as indicated by the observation that many ramayan renderings (even some by hindu poets) start with “bismillah ir-rahman ir-rahim” and a “hamd” (an ode and/or expression of gratitude to god).  Since god, like language, has no religion, these odes/hamd/vandana are entirely secular/universal. 

It is highly contentious to say that urdu is a muslim language (as if a language has religion) or even to say that urdu is a language of muslims.  There are large numbers of muslims (Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) who do not know/speak urdu.  One of the important reasons that East Pakistan separated and declared baNgladesh was that it did not want urdu to be imposed on it in preference to its own language, beNgali.

Of the 100 or so translations/re-compositions of the ramayan in urdu more than 80 were written/composed by hindu writers/poets.  In most, if not all cases the poets were orthodox, believing, practicing hindus.  Why were they writing the ramayan in urdu?  I speculate that there must have been a large section of literate hindu population who considered Urdu their primary language, not because of political favours but because it was naturally their language.  Some of the poets who re-composed tulsidas’ ramcharitmanas suggest that because it was written in “bhaaka or bhaasha” and not easily available to everyone.  Therefore, they translated/re-composed it in urdu, perhaps implying that this is more comprehensible than “bhaaka/bhaasha”.  Apparently by the 1800s neither avadhi nor braj bhaasha were considered a common language.  To show the role urdu played in devotional traditions of north Indian hindus, I paraphrase from a book by bishweshwar parshad munavvar, himself a poet and son of dwaarka parshad ufaq (another poet of renown, who composed a full urdu ramayan).  He writes that, because of the effort of munshi jagannath Khushtar (1809-1864) and munshi shankar dayal farhat (1843-1904) in translating hindu religious texts into urdu, the teachings of the ramayan saved the hindu religion from further decline.  Before we run away with the image of an alien force coming down to “save” hinduism, it might be useful put this quote in perspective.  We have to make an effort to understand that what he might have meant is that there was a substantial community of hindus to whom religious texts were not comprehensible because they were written either in sanskrit or avadhi while their primary language of learning was urdu.  Thus, these translations made religious texts available to them.

Surely these poets, most of whom were believing and observant hindus must have had an audience/readership of similarly devout believers, who revered the composition itself and must have had the linguistic finesse to enjoy its literary excellence.  It draws a picture of a large section of literate hindu population who considered urdu their primary language, not because of political favours but because it was naturally their language.  We do not have any data taken by ‘pollsters’ to show that this was the case.  But we can make some speculative estimates by numbers of publications and the content of those publications.  I am unable to compile a scholarly accounting of such magazines and the numerous contributions of urdu writers.  Suffice it to present to you names of some daily, weekly or monthly publications, “sanaatan dharm pracharak”, “tej”, “aarya veer”, “veer India”, “arya Gazette”, “bande maataram”, “jain sansaar”, “sher-e hind”, “raajput Gazette” and even “agarwal hiteshi” that were published in urdu, some as late as the 1940s.  All had editors and contributors who were hindu (at least by name).

The compositions and publications of urdu ramayan cover roughly 1825-1980.  These poets also wrote secular/romantic Ghazal, nazm as well as other devotional pieces to krishn, lakshmi and many others.  The question needs to be asked, but remains unanswered because of lack of documentary evidence, whether these poets, steeped in urdu poetic culture, also recited parts of the ramayan in the mushaa’era that they participated in.  What was the composition of the audience?  They also composed bhajans in urdu.  Were these bhajans sung in religious gatherings.  We know that bhajans composed by syed ibrahim ras Khan (1548-1628) in braj bhaasha, proto-urdu, are sung to this day in prayer meetings.  There is every reason to believe that urdu compositions of ramayan were also recited, heard and enjoyed in public gatherings whether they may be called mushaa’era or not.

Well over twenty samples from urdu ramayan composed by different poets over nearly two centuries have been selected in story sequence and strung together like the beads of a tasbiih/jap-mala.  This study of the urdu ramayan shows the versatility, beauty and power of urdu, its ownership by a wide range of communities of India, and the easy and seamless acceptance, adoption and cross pollination of one another’s traditions by all faith systems.  Alas, somewhere along the way, we have lost this unique syncretic tradition.  It is my fervent hope that such studies will contribute a little to its revival.

نامکمّل رامائن (۱۹۰۲) ۔ برِج نرائن چکبست

بن باس کی اِجازت پہ رام کا اِسرار

۱

سُن کر زباں سے ماں کی یہ فریاد درد خیز

اُس خستہ جاں کے دِل پہ چلی غم کی تیغ تیز

عالم یہ تھا قریب کہ آنکھیں ہوں اشک ریز

لیکن ہزار ضبط سے رونے سے کی گریز

سوچا یہی کہ جان سے بیکس گذر نہ جائے

ناشاد ہم کو دیکھ کے ماں اور مر نہ جائے

۲

پھر عرض کی یہ مادرِ ناشاد کے حضور

مایوس کیوں ہیں آپ الم کا ہے کیوں وُفور

صدمہ یہ شاق عالمِ  پیری میں ہے ضرور

لیکن نہ دِل سے کیجئے صبر و قرار دور

شاید خزاں سے شکل عیاں ہو بہار کی

کچھ مصلحت اسی میں ہو پروردگار کی

۳

یہ جعل یہ فریب یہ سازش یہ شور و شر

ہونا جو ہے سب اُس کے بہانے ہیں سر بسر

اسبابِ ظاہری میں نہ اِن پر کرو نظر

کیا جانے کیا ہے پردۂ قدرت میں جلوہ گر

خاص اُس کی مصلحت کوئی پہچانتا نہیں

منظور کیا اُسے ہے کوئی جانتا نہیں

۴

راحت ہو یا کہ رنج خوشی ہو کہ اِنتشار

واجب ہر ایک رنگ میں ہے شکرِ کردگار

تم ہی نہیں ہو کُشنۂ نیرنگِ روزگار

ماتم کدہ میں دہر کے لاکھوں ہیں سوگوار

سختی سہی نہیں کہ اُٹھائی کڑی نہیں

دُنیا میں کیا کِسی پہ مصیبت پڑی نہیں

۵

دیکھے ہیں اِس سے بڑھ کے زمانے نے اِنقلاب

جِن سے کہ بے گناہوں کی عمریں ہوئیں خراب

سوزِ دروں سے قلب و جگر ہو گئے کباب

پیری مِٹی کِسی کی کِسی کا مِٹا شباب

کچھ بن نہیں پڑا جو نصیبے بِگڑ گئے

وہ بجلیاں گریں کہ بھرے گھر اُجڑ گئے

۶

ماں باپ منھ ہی دیکھتے تھے جِن کا ہر گھڑی

قائم تھیں جِن کے دم سے اُمیدیں بڑی بڑی

دامن پہ جِن کے گرد بھی اُڑ کر نہیں پڑی

ماری نہ جِن کو خواب میں بھی پھول کی چھڑی

محروم جب وہ گُل ہوئے رنگِ حیات سے

اُن کو جلا کے خاک کیا اپنے ہاتھ سے

۷

کہتے تھے لوگ دیکھ کے ماں باپ کا ملال

اِن بیکسوں کی جان کا بچنا ہے اب محال

ہے کبریا کی شان گزرتے ہی ماہ و سال

خود دِل سے دردِ ہجر کا مِٹتا گیا خیال

ہاں کچھ دِنوں تو نوحہ و ماتم ہوا کیا

آخر کو رو کے بیٹھ رہے اور کیا کیا

۸

پڑتا ہے جِس غریب پہ رنج و محن کا بار

کرتا ہے اُس کو صبر عطا آپ کردگار

مایوس ہو کے ہوتے ہیں اِنساں گُناہ گار

یہ جانتے نہیں وہ ہے دانائے روزگار

اِنسان اُس کی راہ میں ثابت قدم رہے

گردن وہی ہے امرِ رضا میں جو خم رہے

۹

اور آپ کو تو کچھ بھی نہیں رنج کا مقام

بعدِ سفر وطن میں ہم آئیں گے شاد کام

ہوتے ہیں بات کرنے میں چودہ برس تمام

قائم اُمید ہی سے ہے دُنیا ہے جِس کا نام

اور یوں کہیں بھی رنج و بلا سے مَفر نہیں

کیا ہوگا دو گھڑی میں کسی کو خبر نہیں

۱۰

اکثر ریاض کرتے ہیں پھولوں پہ باغباں

ہے دِن کی دھوپ رات کی شبنم اُنھیں گراں

لیکن جو رنگ باغ بدلتا ہے نا گہاں

وہ گُل ہزار پردوں میں جاتے ہیں رائیگاں

رکھتے ہیں جو عزیز اُنھیں اپنی جاں کی طرح

ملتے ہیں دستِ یاس وہ برگِ خزاں کی طرح

۱۱

لیکن جو پھول کھلتے ہیں صحرا میں بے شمار

موقوف کچھ ریاض پہ اُن کی نہیں بہار

دیکھو یہ قدرتِ چمن آرائے روزگار

وہ ابر و باد و برف میں رہتے ہیں بر قرار

ہوتا ہے اُن پہ فضل جو ربِّ کریم کا

موجِ سموم بنتی ہے جھونکا نسیم کا

۱۲

اپنی نگاہ ہے کرمِ کارساز پر

صحرا چمن بنے گا وہ ہے مہرباں اگر

جنگل ہو یا پہاڑ سفر ہو کہ ہو حضر

رہتا نہیں وہ حال سے بندے کے بے خبر

اُس کا کرم شریک اگر ہے تو غم نہیں

دامانِ دشت دامنِ مادر سے کم نہیں

नामुकम्मिल रामायन – ब्रिज नारायन चकबस्त

बन बास इजाज़त पे राम का इस्रार

सुन कर ज़बां से मां की ये फ़र्याद दर्द ख़ेज़

इस ख़स्ता जां के दिल पे चली ग़म की तेग़ तेज़

आलम ये था क़रीब के आंखें हों अश्क रेज़

लैकिन हज़ार ज़ब्त से रोने से की गुरेज़

सोचा यही के जान से बेकस गुज़र ना जाए

नाशाद हम को देख के मां और मर ना जाए

फिर अर्ज़ की ये मादर-ए नाशाद के हुज़ूर

मायूस क्यूं हैं आप अलम का है क्यूं वुफ़ूर

सदमा ये शाक़ आलम-ए पीरी में है ज़रूर

लैकिन ना दिल से किजीए सब्र ओ क़रार दूर

शायद ख़िज़ा से शक्ल अयां हो बहार की

कुछ मसलेहत इसी में हो परवरदिगार की

ये जाल ये फ़रेब ये साज़िश ये शोर ओ शर

होना जो है सब उस के बहाने हैं सर बा-सर

अस्बाब-ए ज़ाहिरी में ना इन पर करो नज़र

क्या जाने क्या है परदा-ए क़ुद्रत में जल्वा गर

ख़ास उस की मसलेहत कोइ पहचानता नहीं

मंज़ूर क्या उसे है कोइ जानता नहीं

राहत हो या के रंज, ख़ुशी हो के इन्तेशार

वाजिब हर एक रंग में है शुक्र-ए किरदेगार

तुम ही नहीं हो कुश्ता-ए नैरंग-ए रोज़गार

मातम-कदे में दहर के लाखौं हैं सोगवार

सख़्ती सही नहीं के उठाई कड़ी नहीं

दुनिया में क्या किसी पे मुसीबत पड़ी नहीं

देखे हैं इस से बढ़ के ज़माने ने इन्क़िलाब

जिन से के बे-गुनाहौं कि उम्रें हुईं ख़राब

सोज़-ए दरूं से क़ल्ब ओ जिगर हो गये कबाब

पीरि मिटि किसी की, किसी का मिटा शबाब

कुछ बन नहीं पड़ा जो नसीबे बिगड़ गये

वो बिज्लियां गिरीं के भरे घर उजड़ गये

मां बाप मुंह ही देखते थे जिन का हर घड़ी

क़ा’एम थीं जिन के दम से उमीदें बड़ी बड़ी

दामन पे जिन के गर्द भी उड़ कर नहीं पड़ी

मारी ना जिन को ख़्वाब में भी फूल की छड़ी

महरूम जब वो गुल हुए रंग-ए हयात से

उन को जला के ख़ाक किया अपने हाथ से

कहते थे लोग देख के मां बाप का मलाल

इन बेकसौं की जान का बचना है अब महाल

है कीब्रिया की शान गुज़रते ही माह ओ साल

ख़ुद दिल से दर्द-ए हिजर का मिटता गया ख़याल

हां कुछ दिनौं तो नौहा ओ मातम हुआ किया

आख़िर को रो के बैठ रहे और क्या किया

पड़ता है जिस ग़रीब पे रंज ओ मेहन का बार

करता है उस को सब्र अता आप किरदेगार

मायूस हो के होते हैं इन्सान गुनहगार

ये जानते नहीं वो है दाना-ए रोज़गार

इन्सान उस की राह में साबित क़दम रहे

गर्दन वही है अम्र-ए रज़ा में जो ख़म रहे

और आप को तो कुछ भी नहीं रंज का मक़ाम

बाद-ए सफ़र वतन में हम आएंगे शाद काम

होते हैं बात करने में चौदह बरस तमाम

क़ा’एम उमीद ही से है दुनिया है जिस का नाम

और हों कहीं भी रंज ओ बला से मफ़र नहीं

क्या हो गा हॉग दो घड़ी में किसी को ख़बर नहीं

१०

अक्सर रियाज़ करते हैं फूलौं पे बाग़बां

है दिन कि धूप रात की शबनम उन्हें गरां

लैकिन जो रंग बाग़ बदलता है नगहां

वो गुल हज़ार परदों में जाते हैं रायेगां

रखते हैं जो अज़ीज़ उन्हें अपनी जां की तरह

मिलते हैं दस्त-ए यास वो बर्ग-ए ख़िज़ान की तरह

११

लैकिन जो फूल खिलते हैं सेहरा में बे-शुमार

मौक़ूफ़ कुछ रियाज़ पे उन की नहीं बहार

देखो ये क़ुद्रत-ए चमन आरा-ए रोज़गार

वो अब्र ओ बाद ओ बर्क़ में रहते हैं बर-क़रार

होता है उन पे फ़ज़ल जो रब्ब-ए करीम का

मौज-ए सुमूम बनती है झोंका नसीम का

१२

अपनी निगाह है करम-ए कार-साज़ पर

सेहरा चमन बने गा वो है मेहरबां अगर

जंगल हो या पहाड़ सफ़र हो के हो हज़र

रहता नहीं वो हाल से बंदे के बे-ख़बर

उस का करम शरीक अगर है तो ग़म नहीं

दामान-ए दश्त दामन-ए मादर से कम नहीं

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926), of kashmiri panDit heritage, grew up in lukhnow, where he was a practicing lawyer. He was politically active and strongly supported the independence movement. He had plans to compose a versified version of ramayan in urdu, much influenced by the style of mir anis. He even uses the same format “musaddas”, as anis. Only a few fragments of this work were completed. These fragments are re-organized as a part of a larger narrative by many different poets.
1
sun kar zabaaN se maaN ki ye faryaad1 dard-Khez2
is Khasta-jaaN3 ke dil pe chali Gham ki teGh4 tez
aalam5 ye tha qareeb6 ke aaNkehN hoN ashk-rez7
laikin hazaar zabt8 se rone se ki gurez9
socha yahi ke jaan se bekas10 guzar11 na jaaye
nashaad12 hum ko dekh ke maaN aur mar na jaaye   
1.lament 2.pain arousing, painful 3.broken hearted 4.sword 5.condition 6.near 7.raining tears 8.control 9.forego, give up 10.forlorn, sad 11.jaan se guzar jaana – to give up life 12.sad
When he heard this painful lamentation from his mother, it was as if a sharp sword had been plunged into his broken heart. He was near to breaking out into tears but controlled himself with great effort. He was afraid that his forlorn mother would give up her life. If she sees me sad, she will surely die.

2
phir arz1 ki ye maadar-e nashaad2 ke huzoor3
mayoos4 kyuN haiN aap alam5 ka hai kyuN vufoor6
sadma7 ye shaaq8 aalam-e peeri9 meN hai zaroor
laikin na dil se kiijiye sabr-o-qaraar10 duur
shaayed KhizaaN11 se shakl ayaaN12 ho bahaar ki
kuchh maslehat13 isi meN ho parvardigaar14 ki   
1.speak 2.forlorn mother 3.in the presence of 4.disappointed, unhappy 5.sorrow 6.excess 7.shock 8.hard, severe 9.old age 10.patience and acceptance 11.winter, barren season 12.emerge 13.(hidden) purpose 14.god
Then he spoke thus to his forlorn mother – why are so unhappy, why this excessive sorrow. For sure this may be a severe shock in old age, but do not give up acceptance (of god’s will) and patience. Perhaps from this barrenness will emerge the face of spring. Surely, there is some hidden purpose in god’s will.

3
ye jaal1 ye fareb2 ye saazish3 ye shor4 o shar5
hona jo hai sub us ke bahaane6 haiN sar-ba-sar7
asbaab-e zaahiri8 meN na in par karo nazar
kya jaane kya hai parda-e qudrat9 meN jalva-gar10
Khaas us ki maslehat11 koii pahchaanta nahiN
manzoor12 kya usay hai koii jaanta nahiN   
1.counterfeat, not true 2.deception 3.conspiracy 4.noise/anger 5.mischief 6.excuses 7.head to head, one to one 8.apparent reasons 9.veil of nature/god 10.manifest 11.purpose 12.acceptable
This untruth, deception, conspiracy, anger and mischief – these are but excuses for that which is supposed to happen (will of god, fate). Don’t look at these apparent reasons. Who knows what is hidden behind the veil of the will of god. No one knows his special purpose. What his will is, no one knows.

4
raahat1 ho ya ke ranj, Khushi ho ke inteshaar2
vaajib3 har ek raNg meN hai shukr4-e kirdegaar5
tum hi nahiN ho kushta6-e nairaNg7-e rozgaar8
maatam-kada9 meN dahr10 ke laakhauN haiN sogwaar11
saKhti12 sahi13 nahiN ke uThaaii kaRi14 nahiN
duniya meN kya kisi pe museebat15 paRi nahiN   
1.comfort 2.disorder, anarchy 3.incumbent, duty, required 4.thanks to 5.god 6.victim of 7.trickery 8.daily life/world 9.house of mourning 10.world 11.mourners 12.hardship 13.bear 14.difficulty 15.trouble
Be it comfort/joy or sorrow, be it happiness or disorder, it is required that under all conditions we remain thankful to god. You are not the only one who is a victim of the trickery of life in this world. This world is like a house of mourning with thousands of mourners. Who is it that has not borne hardship and faced difficulties. Who is it on whom trouble has not befallen.

5
dekhe haiN is se baRh ke zamaane1 ne inqilaab2
jin se ke be-gunaahauN ki umreN3 huiN Kharaab
soz4-e daruN5 se qalb-o-jigar6 ho gaye kabaab
piiri7 miTi kisi ki, kisi ka miTa shabaab8
kuchh ban nahiN paRa9 jo naseebe10 bigaR gaye
vo bijliyaaN giriN ke bhare ghar ujaR gaye   
1.times, world 2.revolution, violent change 3.lives 4.fire 5.internal 6.heart and liver, life and happiness 7.old age 8.youth 9.ban nahiN paRa – could not do anything 10.fate
The world has seen many more violent changes than this. Many innocents have lost their lives. The fire/sorrow inside has burnt hearts into cinder. Some have been afflicted in old age, others have lost their youth. They could not do anything when fate changed. Such calamity befell them that their homes were destroyed.

6
maaN baap muNh hi dekhte the jin ka har ghaRi
qaa’em1 thiN jin ke dam2 se umeedeN baRi baRi
daaman3 pe jin ke gard bhi uR kar nahiN paRi
maari na jin ko Khwaab meN bhi phool ki chhaRi
mahroom4 jab vo gul hue raNg-e hayaat5 se
un ko jalaa ke Khaak kiya apne haath se   
1.based/depending on 2.breath, life 3.hem of the skirt/robe 4.deprived of 5.life
They were such beloved children that the parents always wanted to look at their faces. Many hopes depended on their lives/well being. Their parents did not let the hems of their skirt/robe get soiled (did not let them get into any trouble/disrepute). They would not dream of striking them even with a gentle flower laden bough. But when the colour of life left their bodies, they burnt them to ashes with their own hands.

7
kahte the log dekh ke maaN baap ka malaal1
in bekasauN2 ki jaan ka bachna hai ab mahaal3
hai kibriya4 ki shaan5 guzarte hi maah o saal6
Khud dil se dard-e hijr7 ka miTta gaya Khayaal8
haaN kuchh dinauN to nauha-o-maatam9 hua kiya
aaKhir ko ro ke baiTh rahay aur kya kiya   
1.pain 2.unfortunate 3.difficult 4.god 5.glory 6.months and years, time 7.pain of separation 8.thought, memory 9.lamentation and wailing
Looking at the pain of the unfortunate parents (who had lost their children) everyone said that it was very difficult for them to continue to live. But it is the glory of god that as time went on the memory of the pain of separation was erased from their hearts. Yes, for a few days there was wailing and lamentation, but after crying, they went on with their lives, what else could they do.

8
paRta hai jis Gharib1 pe ranj-o-mehen2 ka baar3
karta hai us ko sabr4 ata5 aap kirdegaar6
mayoos7 ho ke hote haiN insaaN gunaahgaar8
ye jaante nahiN vo hai daana9-e rozgaar10
insaan us ki raah11 meN saabit-qadam12 rahe
gardan vahi hai amr-e-raza13 meN jo Kham14 rahe   
1.poor, unfortunate 2.sorrow and mourning 3.burden 4.patience 5.grant 6.god 7.disappointed, hopeless 8.sinners 9.knowledgable of 10.daily life/working 11.path 12.steady 13.matter of will (of god) 14.bowed
ram is telling his mother that crying about his departure is a sin – god himself grants patience to the unforunate who have to bear a heavy burden of sorrow and lamentation. Giving up hope (in god’s benevolence/kindness) makes us sinners. (Those who give up hope) don’t know that he/god is aware of the workings of this world. We should stay steady on his (the right) path with head bowed to his will.

9
aur aap ko to kuchh bhi nahiN ranj1 ka maqaam2
baad-e safar3 vatan meN hum aayeNge shaad-kaam4
hotay haiN baat karne meN chaudah baras tamaam5
qaa’em6 umeed hi se hai duniya hai jis ka naam
aur hoN kahiN bhi ranj1 o bala7 se mafar8 nahiN
kya hoga do ghaRi meN kisi ko Khabar nahiN   
1.sorrow 2.place used here to mean need 3.after travels 4.happy 5.complete 6.dependent on 7.calamity 8.refuge, escape
And you (especially) need not be sorrowful. After our soujourn, we will return to great joy/happiness. Fourteen years will pass in mere conversation. The world is based on (exists because of) hope. And wherever we may be (either in the forest or in the palace) there is no escape from sorrow and calamity. It can strike anywhere, at any time. What is going to happen in the next two minutes, no one knows.

10
aksar1 riyaaz2 karte haiN phoolauN pe baaGhaaN3
hai din ki dhoop raat ki shabnam4 unheN garaaN5
laikin jo raNg baaGh badaltaa hai nagahaaN6
vo gul hazaar pardauN meN jaate haiN raayegaaN7
rakhte haiN jo aziz8 unheN apni jaaN ki tarah
milte haiN dast9-e yaas10 vo barg11-e KhizaaN12 ki tarah  
1.often 2.practice, effort 3.gardeners 4.dew 5.heavy, difficult 6.suddenly, unpredictably 7.wasted 8.dear, beloved 9.hand of 10.yearning, desire 11.leaf/petal of 12.fall, winter
Often gardeners work hard (to grow) flowers. They work day and night (light of day and dew of night is burdensome to them). But when the garden changes colour suddenly, then even if you protect these flowers behind a thousand curtains, they will go to waste. (Such is fate, you cannot do anything about it). Even though they (gardeners) hold them (flowers) dearer than life itself, when they raise their hand of desire to reach them, all they get is wilted/wintry petals.

11
laikin jo phool khilte1 haiN sehra2 meN be-shumaar3
mauqoof4 kuchh riyaaz5 pe un ki nahiN bahaar6
dekho ye qudrat7-e chaman-aaraa8-e rozgaar9
vo abr10 o baad11 o barf12 meN rahte haiN bar-qaraar13
hota hai un pe fazl14 jo rabb-e karim15 ka
mauj16-e sumoom17 banti hai jhoNka18 naseem19 ka   
1.bloom 2.wilderness 3.countless 4.circumscribed/limited by 5.effort 6.blooming 7.nature – used here to mean miracle 8.beautiful/cultivated garden 9.daily life, world 10.cloud/rain 11.wind/storm 12.ice/snow 13.surviving 14.benevolence 15.merciful lord 16.wave of 17.poisonous, toxic 18.gust 19.morning/fresh breeze
But the countless flowers that bloom in the wilderness are not limited by (not dependent on) human effort. Look at the miracle of this beautiful garden we call the world, they (wild flowers) survive rain, storm and snow. Because the benevolent lord is kind to them, waves of toxicity turn into gusts of fresh breeze. (Thus will I too survive in the forest, if god is kind to me).

12
apni nigaah1 hai karam2-e kaar-saaz3 par
sehra4 chaman5 bane ga vo hai mehrbaaN6 agar
jaNgal ho ya pahaaR, safar7 ho ke ho hazar8
rahta nahiN vo haal9 se bande10 ka be-Khabar11
us ka karam2 shareek12 agar hai to Gham nahiN
daamaan-e dasht13 daaman-e maadar14 se kam nahiN
1.sight 2.benevolence 3.god 4.wilderness 5.garden 6.kind 7.travel 8.opposite of travel, home 9.condition 10.servant, creature 11.unaware 12.mixed, included 13.apron/protection of the wilderness 14.apron/protection/love of mother
My eyes are fixed on the kindness of god. Wilderness will turn into a garden if he is benevolent. Be it forest or hills, travel or home, he is never unaware of the condition of his creatures. If his kindness in included (available), then there is no need for sorrow, the protection of the wilderness is no less than mother’s love.

panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926), of kashmiri panDit heritage, grew up in lukhnow, where he was a practicing lawyer.  He was politically active and strongly supported the independence movement.  He had plans to compose a versified version of ramayan in urdu, much influenced by the style of mir anis.  He even uses the same format “musaddas”, as anis.  Only a few fragments of this work were completed.  These fragments are re-organized as a part of a larger narrative by many different poets.

1
sun kar zabaaN se maaN ki ye faryaad1 dard-Khez2
is Khasta-jaaN3 ke dil pe chali Gham ki teGh4 tez
aalam5 ye tha qareeb6 ke aaNkehN hoN ashk-rez7
laikin hazaar zabt8 se rone se ki gurez9
socha yahi ke jaan se bekas10 guzar11 na jaaye
nashaad12 hum ko dekh ke maaN aur mar na jaaye

1.lament 2.pain arousing, painful 3.broken hearted 4.sword 5.condition 6.near 7.raining tears 8.control 9.forego, give up 10.forlorn, sad 11.jaan se guzar jaana – to give up life 12.sad

When he heard this painful lamentation from his mother, it was as if a sharp sword had been plunged into his broken heart.  He was near to breaking out into tears but controlled himself with great effort.  He was afraid that his forlorn mother would give up her life.  If she sees me sad, she will surely die.
2
phir arz1 ki ye maadar-e nashaad2 ke huzoor3
mayoos4 kyuN haiN aap alam5 ka hai kyuN vufoor6
sadma7 ye shaaq8 aalam-e peeri9 meN hai zaroor
laikin na dil se kiijiye sabr-o-qaraar10 duur
shaayed KhizaaN11 se shakl ayaaN12 ho bahaar ki
kuchh maslehat13 isi meN ho parvardigaar14 ki

1.speak 2.forlorn mother 3.in the presence of 4.disappointed, unhappy 5.sorrow 6.excess 7.shock 8.hard, severe 9.old age 10.patience and acceptance 11.winter, barren season 12.emerge 13.(hidden) purpose 14.god

Then he spoke thus to his forlorn mother – why are so unhappy, why this excessive sorrow.  For sure this may be a severe shock in old age, but do not give up acceptance (of god’s will) and patience.  Perhaps from this barrenness will emerge the face of spring.  Surely, there is some hidden purpose in god’s will.
3
ye jaal1 ye fareb2 ye saazish3 ye shor4 o shar5
hona jo hai sub us ke bahaane6 haiN sar-ba-sar7
asbaab-e zaahiri8 meN na in par karo nazar
kya jaane kya hai parda-e qudrat9 meN jalva-gar10
Khaas us ki maslehat11 koii pahchaanta nahiN
manzoor12 kya usay hai koii jaanta nahiN

1.counterfeat, not true 2.deception 3.conspiracy 4.noise/anger 5.mischief 6.excuses 7.head to head, one to one 8.apparent reasons 9.veil of nature/god 10.manifest 11.purpose 12.acceptable

This untruth, deception, conspiracy, anger and mischief – these are but excuses for that which is supposed to happen (will of god, fate).  Don’t look at these apparent reasons.  Who knows what is hidden behind the veil of the will of god.  No one knows his special purpose.  What his will is, no one knows.
4
raahat1 ho ya ke ranj, Khushi ho ke inteshaar2
vaajib3 har ek raNg meN hai shukr4-e kirdegaar5
tum hi nahiN ho kushta6-e nairaNg7-e rozgaar8
maatam-kada9 meN dahr10 ke laakhauN haiN sogwaar11
saKhti12 sahi13 nahiN ke uThaaii kaRi14 nahiN
duniya meN kya kisi pe museebat15 paRi nahiN

1.comfort 2.disorder, anarchy 3.incumbent, duty, required 4.thanks to 5.god 6.victim of 7.trickery 8.daily life/world 9.house of mourning 10.world 11.mourners 12.hardship 13.bear 14.difficulty 15.trouble

Be it comfort/joy or sorrow, be it happiness or disorder, it is required that under all conditions we remain thankful to god.  You are not the only one who is a victim of the trickery of life in this world.  This world is like a house of mourning with thousands of mourners.  Who is it that has not borne hardship and faced difficulties.  Who is it on whom trouble has not befallen.
5
dekhe haiN is se baRh ke zamaane1 ne inqilaab2
jin se ke be-gunaahauN ki umreN3 huiN Kharaab
soz4-e daruN5 se qalb-o-jigar6 ho gaye kabaab
piiri7 miTi kisi ki, kisi ka miTa shabaab8
kuchh ban nahiN paRa9 jo naseebe10 bigaR gaye
vo bijliyaaN giriN ke bhare ghar ujaR gaye

1.times, world 2.revolution, violent change 3.lives 4.fire 5.internal 6.heart and liver, life and happiness 7.old age 8.youth 9.ban nahiN paRa – could not do anything 10.fate

The world has seen many more violent changes than this.  Many innocents have lost their lives.  The fire/sorrow inside has burnt hearts into cinder.  Some have been afflicted in old age, others have lost their youth.  They could not do anything when fate changed.  Such calamity befell them that their homes were destroyed.
6
maaN baap muNh hi dekhte the jin ka har ghaRi
qaa’em1 thiN jin ke dam2 se umeedeN baRi baRi
daaman3 pe jin ke gard bhi uR kar nahiN paRi
maari na jin ko Khwaab meN bhi phool ki chhaRi
mahroom4 jab vo gul hue raNg-e hayaat5 se
un ko jalaa ke Khaak kiya apne haath se

1.based/depending on 2.breath, life 3.hem of the skirt/robe 4.deprived of 5.life

They were such beloved children that the parents always wanted to look at their faces.  Many hopes depended on their lives/well being.  Their parents did not let the hems of their skirt/robe get soiled (did not let them get into any trouble/disrepute).  They would not dream of striking them even with a gentle flower laden bough.  But when the colour of life left their bodies, they burnt them to ashes with their own hands.
7
kahte the log dekh ke maaN baap ka malaal1
in bekasauN2 ki jaan ka bachna hai ab mahaal3
hai kibriya4 ki shaan5 guzarte hi maah o saal6
Khud dil se dard-e hijr7 ka miTta gaya Khayaal8
haaN kuchh dinauN to nauha-o-maatam9 hua kiya
aaKhir ko ro ke baiTh rahay aur kya kiya

1.pain 2.unfortunate 3.difficult 4.god 5.glory 6.months and years, time 7.pain of separation 8.thought, memory 9.lamentation and wailing

Looking at the pain of the unfortunate parents (who had lost their children) everyone said that it was very difficult for them to continue to live.  But it is the glory of god that as time went on the memory of the pain of separation was erased from their hearts.  Yes, for a few days there was wailing and lamentation, but after crying, they went on with their lives, what else could they do.
8
paRta hai jis Gharib1 pe ranj-o-mehen2 ka baar3
karta hai us ko sabr4 ata5 aap kirdegaar6
mayoos7 ho ke hote haiN insaaN gunaahgaar8
ye jaante nahiN vo hai daana9-e rozgaar10
insaan us ki raah11 meN saabit-qadam12 rahe
gardan vahi hai amr-e-raza13 meN jo Kham14 rahe

1.poor, unfortunate 2.sorrow and mourning 3.burden 4.patience 5.grant 6.god 7.disappointed, hopeless 8.sinners 9.knowledgable of 10.daily life/working 11.path 12.steady 13.matter of will (of god) 14.bowed

Ram is telling his mother that crying about his departure is a sin – god himself grants patience to the unforunate who have to bear a heavy burden of sorrow and lamentation.  Giving up hope (in god’s benevolence/kindness) makes us sinners.  (Those who give up hope) don’t know that he/god is aware of the workings of this world.  We should stay steady on his (the right) path with head bowed to his will.
9
aur aap ko to kuchh bhi nahiN ranj1 ka maqaam2
baad-e safar3 vatan meN hum aayeNge shaad-kaam4
hotay haiN baat karne meN chaudah baras tamaam5
qaa’em6 umeed hi se hai duniya hai jis ka naam
aur hoN kahiN bhi ranj1 o bala7 se mafar8 nahiN
kya hoga do ghaRi meN kisi ko Khabar nahiN

1.sorrow 2.place used here to mean need 3.after travels 4.happy 5.complete 6.dependent on 7.calamity 8.refuge, escape

And you (especially) need not be sorrowful.  After our soujourn, we will return to great joy/happiness.  Fourteen years will pass in mere conversation.  The world is based on (exists because of) hope.  And wherever we may be (either in the forest or in the palace) there is no escape from sorrow and calamity.  It can strike anywhere, at any time.  What is going to happen in the next two minutes, no one knows.
10
aksar1 riyaaz2 karte haiN phoolauN pe baaGhaaN3
hai din ki dhoop raat ki shabnam4 unheN garaaN5
laikin jo raNg baaGh badaltaa hai nagahaaN6
vo gul hazaar pardauN meN jaate haiN raayegaaN7
rakhte haiN jo aziz8 unheN apni jaaN ki tarah
milte haiN dast9-e yaas10 vo barg11-e KhizaaN12 ki tarah

1.often 2.practice, effort 3.gardeners 4.dew 5.heavy, difficult 6.suddenly, unpredictably 7.wasted 8.dear, beloved 9.hand of 10.yearning, desire 11.leaf/petal of 12.fall, winter

Often gardeners work hard (to grow) flowers.  They work day and night (light of day and dew of night is burdensome to them).  But when the garden changes colour suddenly, then even if you protect these flowers behind a thousand curtains, they will go to waste.  (Such is fate, you cannot do anything about it).  Even though they (gardeners) hold them (flowers) dearer than life itself, when they raise their hand of desire to reach them, all they get is wilted/wintry petals.
11
laikin jo phool khilte1 haiN sehra2 meN be-shumaar3
mauqoof4 kuchh riyaaz5 pe un ki nahiN bahaar6
dekho ye qudrat7-e chaman-aaraa8-e rozgaar9
vo abr10 o baad11 o barf12 meN rahte haiN bar-qaraar13
hota hai un pe fazl14 jo rabb-e karim15 ka
mauj16-e sumoom17 banti hai jhoNka18 naseem19 ka

1.bloom 2.wilderness 3.countless 4.circumscribed/limited by 5.effort 6.blooming 7.nature – used here to mean miracle 8.beautiful/cultivated garden 9.daily life, world 10.cloud/rain 11.wind/storm 12.ice/snow 13.surviving 14.benevolence 15.merciful lord 16.wave of 17.poisonous, toxic 18.gust 19.morning/fresh breeze

But the countless flowers that bloom in the wilderness are not limited by (not dependent on) human effort.  Look at the miracle of this beautiful garden we call the world, they (wild flowers) survive rain, storm and snow.  Because the benevolent lord is kind to them, waves of toxicity turn into gusts of fresh breeze.  (Thus will I too survive in the forest, if god is kind to me).
12
apni nigaah1 hai karam2-e kaar-saaz3 par
sehra4 chaman5 bane ga vo hai mehrbaaN6 agar
jaNgal ho ya pahaaR, safar7 ho ke ho hazar8
rahta nahiN vo haal9 se bande10 ka be-Khabar11
us ka karam2 shareek12 agar hai to Gham nahiN
daamaan-e dasht13 daaman-e maadar14 se kam nahiN

1.sight 2.benevolence 3.god 4.wilderness 5.garden 6.kind 7.travel 8.opposite of travel, home 9.condition 10.servant, creature 11.unaware 12.mixed, included 13.apron/protection of the wilderness 14.apron/protection/love of mother

My eyes are fixed on the kindness of god.  Wilderness will turn into a garden if he is benevolent.  Be it forest or hills, travel or home, he is never unaware of the condition of his creatures.  If his kindness in included (available), then there is no need for sorrow, the protection of the wilderness is no less than mother’s love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *