besvaa – anand narayan mulla

بیسوا ۔ آنند نارائن مُلّا

۱

خوار ہوں بدنام ہوں، رسوا سرِ بازار ہوں

خاطرِ نازک پہ اہلِ بزم کی اِک بار ہوں

کوئی مونس ہی نہیں جسکا، میں وہ بیمار ہوں

میں وہ گُل ہوں جو زمانہ کی نظر میں خار ہوں

اہلِ دُنیا مجھ سے تم اِتنے خفا رہتے ہو کیوں؟

میں تو خود مظلوم ہوں، مجھ کو بُرا کہتے ہو کیوں؟

۲

سچ کہو تم نے کبھی اِس بات کی پُرسش بھی کی

قصۂ غم میرا سننے کی کبھی خواہش بھی کی

چشمِ رحمت میں میرے عیبوں کی گنجائش بھی کی

میرا دردِ دِل سمجھنے کی کبھی کوشش بھی کی

قابِلِ نفریں ہمیشہ مجھ کو سمجھا ہی کئے

مجھ پہ انگُشتِ حِقارت تم اُٹھایا ہی کئے

۳

مجھ کو دیکھو میں تمہارے عیب کا پردا رہی

آبرو والے رہو تم اِس لئے رُسوا رہی

زندگی بھر اک دلِ ہمدرد کی جوُیا رہی

جائے عبرت ہے کہ میں محفل میں بھی تنہا رہی

جو ہو سنا کی، جہاں میں اور کچھ دیکھا نہیں

سینکڑوں عشاق کوئی چاہنے والا نہیں

۴

کچھ غلط سمجھی ہے دُنیا نے رہِ اُلفت مری

دیکھتا کوئی نہیں محرومیِ قسمت مری

نورِ ظاہر میں نہاں ہے سوزشِ فِطرت مری

زندگی اِس بزم میں ہے شمع کی صورت مری

شوق کی نظروں سے آخر تک مجھے دیکھا کئے

میں نے جل کر جان دی جلوہ اُسے سمجھا کئے

۵

مجھ سے بدقسمت زمانے میں کوئی لڑکی نہیں

ماں کی اُلفت باپ کی صورت کبھی دیکھی نہیں

کون شئے معصومیت ہے میں یہ سمجھی ہی نہیں

میرے عہدِ زیست میں دیباچۂ طفلی نہیں

خاک و خوں میں گوہرِ فِطرت مرا رُلتا رہا

حُسن میرا گاہکوں کی آنکھ میں تُلتا رہا

۶

جب مُرادوں پر ذرا میرا شباب آنے لگا

اِک ذرا نظروں میں میری جب حجاب آنے لگا

کچھ سمجھ میں جب تمنّا کا حساب آنے لگا

جاگتی آنکھوں میں اِک اُلفت کا خواب آنے لگا

مجمعِ عُشّاق میں سرگوشیاں ہونے لگیں

کھُل گیا نیلام میرا، بولیاں ہونے لگیں

۷

حُسن کو تسخیر کرنے عشقِ بدبیں آ گیا

اپنی نظروں میں لئے  پیغامِ شیریں آ گیا

بوالہوس صیّاد لے کر دامِ زرّیں آ گیا

گُل ابھی کھِلنے نہ پایا تھا کہ گُلچیں آ گیا

آنکھ جب کھولی تو دیکھا آبرو باقی نہ تھی

وقت جب کھِلنے کا آیا گُل میں بو باقی نہ تھی

۸

جب مرے حُسنِ جوانی سے دِل اُن کے بھر گئے

یا جب اپنا نام و مال و زور و زر سب ہر گئے

اپنے اپنے عیب سارے میرے ذمّے دھر گئے

مجھ کو میرے چاہنے والے ہی رُسوا کر گئے

بارِ عصیاں ایک عالم کا مری گردن پہ ہے

داغ یہ میرا نہیں ہے جو میرے دامن پہ ہے

۹

دہر میں سب سے بڑا مجرم جو ہے وہ مرد ہے

بیوفائی میں ہے یکتا، دلبری میں فرد ہے

لب پہ ہے اِظہارِ  بیتابی مگر دِل سرد ہے

بے مُروّت، خود غرض،  پیماں شِکن، بیدرد ہے

آہ از  تیرِ جفائے اُلفتِ بیباکِ اُو

ہم چو ما نخچیر صد ہا، بستۂ فتراکِ اُو

۱۰

مجھ سے ائے پردہ نشیں حالت تری بہتر نہیں

گھر میں رہ کر بھی ترا مردوں کے دِل میں گھر نہیں

آشنا پرواز کی لذّت سے تیرے پر نہیں

مئے سے پُر ہو کر بھی گردِش میں ترا ساغر نہیں

آبرو میں نے تو کھوئی آب و دانے کے لئے

تو نے آزادی بھی کھو دی آشیانے کے لئے

۱۱

مثل تیرے میں اسیرِ حلقۂ زنجیر ہوں

عورتوں کی بے کسی کی میں بھی اِک تصویر ہوں

رحم کے قابل ہوں میں شرمندۂ تقصیر ہوں

مجھ سے یوں نفرت نہ کر میں بھی تری ہمشیر ہوں

گوہرِ نسوانیت کے کچھ نشاں مجھ میں بھی ہیں

عیب ہیں مجھ میں جہاں کچھ خوبیاں مجھ میں بھی ہیں

۱۲

اپنے ہاتھوں اپنی ہستی کو مٹانا مجھ سے سیکھ

ہنستے ہنستے آگ دامن میں لگانا مجھ سے سیکھ

سوزِ خاطر کو زمانے سے چُھپانا مجھ سے سیکھ

سینکڑوں غم لیکے دِل میں مُسکُرانا مجھ سے سیکھ

زندگی اپنی مجھے گو اِک نظر بھاتی نہیں

میری پیشانی پہ بھولے سے شکن آتی نہیں

۱۳

اُس کی درگاہِ کرم پر ایک سائل میں بھی ہوں

گو کہ ہوں جامِ شکستہ زیبِ محفل میں بھی ہوں

اپنے ساقی کی نظر میں ظرف قابل میں بھی ہوں

درد سے واقف ہوں میں بھی، صاحبِ دِل میں بھی ہوں

مجھ میں اور تجھ میں تجلّی ہے وہی مستور ایک

شمع محفل اور چراغِ خانہ میں ہے نور ایک

बेस्वा – आनंद नारायन मुल्ला

ख़्वार हुं, बदनाम हुं, रुसवा सर-ए बाज़ार हुं

ख़ातिर-ए नाज़ुक पे आहल-ए बज़्म की एक बार हुं

कोइ मोनिस ही नहीं जिसका, मैं वो बीमार हुं

मैं वो गुल हुं जो ज़माने की नज़र में ख़ार हुं

आहल-ए दुनिया मुझ से तुम इतने ख़फ़ा रहते हो क्यूं?

मैं तो ख़ुद मज़लूम हुं, मुझ को बुरा कहते हो क्यूं?

सच कहो तुम ने कभी इस बात पर पुर्सिश भी की

क़िस्सा-ए ग़म मेरा सुन-ने की कभी ख़्वाहिश भी की

चश्म-ए रहमत में मेरे एबौं की गुंजाइश भी की

क़ाबिल-ए नफ़रीं हमेशा मुझ को समझा ही किए

मुझ पे अंगुष्त-ए हिक़ारत तुम उठाया ही किए

मुझ को देखो मैं तुम्हारे ऐब का परदा रही

आबरू वाले रहो तुम, इस लिए रुसवा रही

ज़िंदगी भर एक दिल-ए हमदर्द की जूया रही

जा-ए इब्रत है के मैं महफ़िल में भी तन्हा रही

जो हो सुना की, जहां में और कुच्छ देखा नहीं

सैंकड़ों उश्शाक़ और कोई चाहने वाला नहीं

कुच्छ ग़लत समझी है दुनिया ने रह-ए उल्फ़त मेरी

देखता कोइ नहीं महरूमी-ए क़िस्मत मेरी

नूर-ए ज़ाहिर में नेहां है सोज़िश-ए फ़ित्रत मेरी

ज़िंदगी इस बज़्म में है शमा’ की सूरत मेरी

शौक़ की नज़रों से आख़िर तक मुझे देखा किए

मैं ने जल कर जान दी, जलवा उसे समझा किए

मुझ से बदक़िस्मत ज़माने में कोइ लड़की नहीं

मां की उल्फ़त बाप की सूरत कभी देखी नहीं

कौन शै मा’सूमियत है मैं ये समझी ही नहीं

मेरे अहद-ए ज़ीस्त में दीबाचा-ए तिफ़्ली नहीं

ख़ाक ओ ख़ूं में गौहर-ए फ़ित्रत मेरा रुलता रहा

हुस्न मेरा गाहकौं की आंख में तुल्ता रहा

जब मुरादों पर ज़रा मेरा शबाब आने लगा

एक ज़रा नज़रों में मेरी जब हिजाब आने लगा

कुच्छ समझ में जब तमन्ना का हिसाब आने लगा

जागती आंखों में एक उल्फ़त का ख़्वाब आने लगा

मजमा-ए उश्शाक़ में सरगोशियां होने लगीं

खुल गया नीलाम मेरा, बोलियां होने लगीं

हुस्न को तस्ख़ीर करने इश्क़-ए बदबीं आ गया

अपनी नज़रों में लिए पैग़ाम-ए शीरीं आ गया

बुलहवस सय्याद ले कर दाम-ए ज़र्रीं आ गया

गुल अभी खिलने ना पाया था के गुलचीं आ गया

आंख जब खोली तो देखा आबरू बाक़ी ना थी

वक़्त जब खिलने का आया गुल में बू बाक़ी ना थी

जब मेरे हुस्न-ए जवानी से दिल उन के भर गए

या अपना नाम ओ माल ओ ज़ोर ओ ज़र सब हर गए

अपने अपने ऐब सारे मेरे ज़िम्मे धर गए

मुझ को मेरे चाहने वाले ही रुसवा कर गए

बार-ए इसियां एक आलम का मेरी गर्दन पे है

दाग़ ये मेरा नहीं है जो मेरे दामन पे है

दहर में सब से बड़ा मुजरिम जो है वो मर्द है

बेवफ़ाई में है एकता, दिलबरी में फ़र्द है

लब पे है इज़हार-ए बेताबी मगर दिल सर्द है

बे मुरव्वत, ख़ुद ग़रज़, पैमां शिकन, बेदर्द है

आह तीर-ए जफ़ा-ए उल्फ़त-ए बेबाक-ए ऊ

हम चु मा नख़्चीर सद-हा, बस्ता-ए फ़तराक-ए ऊ

१०

मुझ से अए परदा नशीं हालत तेरी बेहतर नहीं

घर में रह कर भी तेरा मरदों के दिल में घर नहीं

आशना परवाज़ की लज़्ज़त से तेरे पर नहीं

मै से पुर हो कर भी गरदिश में तेरा साग़र नहीं

आबरू मैं ने तो खोइ आब ओ दाने के लिए

तू ने आज़ादी भी खो दी आशियाने के लिए

११

मिस्ल तेरे मैं असीर-ए हलक़ा-ए ज़ंजीर हुं

औरतों की बेकसी की मैं भी एक तस्वीर हुं

रहम के क़ाबिल हुं मैं, शरमिन्दा-ए तक़सीर हुं

मुझ से यूं निफ़रत ना कर, मैं भी तेरी हमशीर हुं

गौहर-ए नुसवानियत के कुच्छ निशां मुझ में भी हैं

ऐब हैं मुझ में जहां, कुच्छ ख़ूबियां मुझ में भी हैं

१२

अपने हाथौं अपनी हस्ती को मिटाना मुझ से सीख

हंसते हंसते आग दामन में लगाना मुझ से सीख

सोज़-ए खातिर को ज़माने से छुपाना मुझ से सीख

सैंकड़ों ग़म ले के दिल में मुस्कुराना मुझ से सीख

ज़िंदगी अपनी मुझे गो एक नज़र भाती नहीं

मेरी पेशानी पे भूले से शिकन आती नहीं

१३

उस की दरगाह-ए करम पर एक सा’एल मैं भी हूं

गो के हुं जाम-ए शिकसता ज़ेब-ए महफ़िल मैं भी हूं

अपने साक़ि की नज़र में ज़र्फ़-ए क़ाबिल मैं भी हूं

दर्द से वाक़िफ़ हुं मैं भी, साहिब-ए दिल मैं भी हूं

मुझ में और तुझ में तजल्ली है वही मस्तूर एक

शमा-ए महफ़िल और चिराग़-ए ख़ाना में है नूर एक

 

besvaa – anand narayan mulla

Click here for overall comments and on any stanza for meanings and discussion. Mulla describes the plight of a prostitute and the reasons driving prostitution in beautiful language. He rises above convention in not placing moral blame on the victim. He then very poignantly describes the claim of sisterhood of the prostitute and housewife – of all women. Unfortunately there in stanza 12 he falls for a conventional view of the qualities of womanhood. Other than that progressive thinking, certainly for the times in which it was written.

1
Khwaar huN, badnaam huN, rusva2 sar-e bazaar3 huN
Khaatir-e naazuk4 pe ahl-e bazm5 ki ek baar6 huN
koii monis7 hi nahiN jiska, maiN vo biimaar huN
maiN vo gul huN jo, zamaane ki nazar meN Khaar8 huN
ahl-e duniya9 mujh se tum itne Khafaa10 rahte ho kyuN?
maiN to Khud mazloom11 huN, mujh ko bura kahte ho kyuN?
1.pitiable, miserable, humiliated 2.shamed, disgraced 3.at the head of the bazar, in public 4.delicate/sensitive mind/soul 5.people of the assembly, elite 6.burden 7.sympathizer, friend 8.thorn 9.people of the world 10.angry, displeased 11.oppressed, wronged
I am publicly humiliated, disreputable and disgraced. I am a burden on the moral sensibilities of the elite. I am the suffering soul who does not have any sympathizer. I am the flower that in the eyes of the world is a thorn. O people, why are you displeased with me so. I am the one who is wronged, why do you blame me?

2
such kaho tum ne kabhi is baat par pursish1 bhi ki
qissa-e Gham2 mera sun-ne ki kabhi Khwaahish3 bhi ki
chashm-e rahmat4 meN mere aybauN5 ki gunjaaish6 bhi ki
mera dard-dil samajhne ki kabhi koshish bhi ki
qaabil-e nafreeN7 hamesha mujh ko samjha hi kiye
mujh pe angusht8-e hiqaarat9 tum uThaaya hi kiye
1.inquire, ask 2.story of sorrow 3.wish 4.eye of kindness 5.defects 6.capacity, make room for 7.deserving of curse 8.finger of 9.hatred, blame
Tell me the truth, have you ever inquired into this matter, have you ever wished to hear the story of my sorrow, have you ever made room in your kindness for my shortcomings, have you ever tried to understand the sorrow in my heart. You have always thought of me as deserving of being cursed. You have always pointed the finger of blame at me.

3
mujh ko dekho maiN tumhaare ayb1 ka parda2 rahi
aabru3 vaale raho tum, is liye rusva4 rahi
zindagi bhar ek dil-e hamdard5 ki jooya6 rahi
jaa-e ibrat7 hai ke maiN mahfil8 meN bhi tanhaa9 rahi
jo ho suna ki10 jahaaN meN aur kuchh dekha nahiN
saiNkRauN11 ushshaaq12 aur koi chaahne13 vaala nahiN
1.defects, shortcomings 2.veil, hide 3.respect 4.disreputable 5.sympathetic 6.search for 7.place of (example) shame 8.gathering 9.alone 10.kept listening 11.thousands 12.lovers 13.lover
Look at me, I have put a veil on your faults. I have been disreputable so that you may be respectable. All my life I have been looking for sympathy/understanding. It is shameful that in crowded gatherings I am all alone. Whatever happened, I have listened to, but have seen nothing i.e. I have been witness, never told anyone. Thousands of lovers but no one to love/like me.

4
kuchh Ghalat samjhi hai duniya ne rah-e ulfat1 meri
dekhta koii nahiN mahroomi2-e qismat3 meri
noor-e zaahir4 meN nihaaN5 hai sozish6-e fitrat7 meri
zindagi is bazm8 meN hai shama’ ki soorat9 meri
shauq10 ki nazrauN se aaKhir tak mujhe dekha kiye
maiN ne jal kar jaan di, jalva11 usey samjha kiye
1.way of love 2.deprivation 3.fortune 4.apparent brilliance/beauty 5.hidden 6.inflammation, wound, pain 7.nature 8.assembly 9.like, similar to 10.desire 11.exhibition, display
The world has not understood my way of loving. Nobody looks at my deprived fortune. The pain in my heart is hidden behind my beauty. My life in this gathering is like a lamp. Everyone looks at it with desirous/lecherous eyes for as long as I last. Even as I burn out, they think of me as a display of beauty.

5
mujh se badqismat zamaane meN koii laRki nahiN
maaN ki ulfat1 baap ki soorat kabhi dekhi nahiN
kaun sha’e2 ma’asoomiyat3 hai maiN ye samjhi hi nahiN
mere ahd4-e zeest5 meN deebacha6-e tifli7 nahiN
Khaak o KhooN meN gauhar-e fitrat8 mera rulta9 raha
husn mera gaahakauN10 ki aaNkh meN tulta11 raha
1.love 2.thing 3.innocence 4.time period 5.life 6.preface 7.childhood 8.pearl of nature 9.selected, picked 10.customers 11.weighed, valued
There is no girl in the world as unfortunate as I. I have not seen a mother’s love nor ever had a father. I have never known what innocence is. In the story of my life, there is no preface of childhood. In this dusty, bloody existence the pearl of my nature does not get recognized. My beauty is not valued by customers. “Beauty” here is to understood as “inner beauty, personhood”.

6
jab muraadauN1 par zara mera shabaab2 aane laga
ek zara nazrauN meN meri jab hijaab3 aane laga
kuchh samajh meN jab tamanna4 ka hisaab5 aane laga
jaagti aaNkhauN meN ek ulfat6 ka Khwaab aane laga
majma7-e ushshaaq8 meN sargoshiyaaN9 hone lagiiN
khul gaya neelaam10 mera, boliyaaN11 hone lagiiN
1.wishes 2.youth 3.shyness, coyness 4.longing 5.mechanics 6.love 7.crowd 8.lovers 9.whispers 10.auction 11.bids
Just when I began to entertain youthful desires, just as my glance began to be coy, just when I began to understand the workings of love, just when dreams of love flitted through my wakeful eyes, just then whispers started in the crowds of lovers. I was put up for auction and bidding began.

7
husn ko tasKheer1 karne ishq2-e badbeeN3 aa gaya
apni nazrauN meN liye paiGhaam-e shiriN4 aa gaya
bu-alhavas5 sayyaad6 le kar daam-e zarriN7 aa gaya
gul abhi khilne na paaya tha ke gulchiN8 aa gaya
aaNkh jab kholi to dekha aabru9 baaqi na thi
vaqt jab khilne10 ka aaya gul meN buu11 baqi na thi
1.capture 2.love, lust 3.evil/lustful eye 4.sweet message 5.lustful, greedy 6.bird catcher 7.golden snare 8.flower picker 9.respectability 10.blossoming 11.fragrance
The evil eye of Lust showed up to capture Beauty and brought a (deceptive) show of love. The grabbing lustful bird catcher showed up with his golden snare. The bud had not yet bloomed when the flower picker showed up. When I opened my eyes, I saw that respectability was lost. When it was time for the flower to blossom, fragrance was already gone.

8
jab mere husn-e javaani se dil un ke bhar gaye
ya apna naam o maal o zor1 o zar2 sab har3 gaye
apne apne ayb4 saare mere zimme5 dhar6 gaye
mujh ko mere chaahne vaale hi rusva7 kar gaye
baar-e isiyaaN8 ek aalam9 ka meri gardan pe hai
daaGh10 ye mera nahiN hai jo mere daaman11 pe hai
1.strength 2.wealth, gold 3.lose 4.faults 5.responsibility 6.lay on 7.disrespected, maligned 8.weight of guilt 9.world 10.stain 11.apron
When they had had their fill of my youthful beauty, when they had lost either their reputation, or strength or their wealth, they all laid their guilt on me and left. My lovers themselves left me in disrepute. The burden of the guilt of the whole world rests on my shoulders. The stain on my apron is not mine (but the world’s).

9
dahr1 meN sab se baRa mujrim2 jo hai vo mard hai
bevafaaii3 meN hai yekta4, dilbari5 meN fard6 hai
lab pe hai izhaar7-e betaabi8 magar dil sard9 hai
be-murawwat10, Khud-Gharaz11, paimaaN-shikan12, bedard13 hai
aah teer14-e jafaa15-e ulfat16-e bebaak17-e oo18
hum-chu-maa19 naKhcheer20 sad-haa21, basta-e fatrak22-e oo
1.world 2.culprit 3.faithlessness 4.unequalled 5.(show of) friendship 6.unique 7.expression 8.restlessness (of love) 9.cold 10.unkind 11.selfish 12.breaker of promises 13.heartless 14.arrow 15.cruelty 16.love 17.brazen 18.his 19.like me 20.prey 21.hundreds 23.hunters’ bag
The worst culprit in this world is Man. Unequalled in faithlessness, unique is insincerity. With expressions of love on his lips and a cold, unfeeling heart. Unkind, selfish, undependable, heartless. Alas, his brazen arrow of the cruelty of faith. He carries hundreds of prey like me in his bag.

10
mujh se aye parda-nashiN1 haalat2 teri behtar3 nahiN
ghar meN rah kar bhi tera mardauN ke dil meN ghar nahiN
aashna4 parvaaz5 ki lazzat6 se tere par nahiN
mai7 se pur8 ho kar bhi gardish9 meN tera saaGhar10 nahiN
aabru11 maiN ne to khoii aab o daane12 ke liye
tu ne aazadi bhi kho di aashiyaane13 ke liye
1.veil observing, home bound 2.condition 3.better 4.familiar 5.flight 6.pleasure 7.wine 8.full, brimming 9.circulation (used here in the sense of “effective”) 10.flask 11.respectability 12.water and grain, food, sustenance 13.nest, home
O you home-bound (married) woman, your condition is no better than mine. You have a home to live but you don’t have a home in man’s heart i.e. you too are just used. Your wings are not familiar with the pleasure of flight. You flask may be brimming with wine but it is not in circulation i.e. it does not accomplish much. I lost my respectability in for sustenance, you lost your freedom for a home.

11
misl1 tere maiN aseer2-e halqa-e zanjir3 huN
aurtauN ki bekasi4 ki maiN bhi ek tasveer huN
rahm5 ke qaabil6 huN maiN, sharminda-e taqseer7 huN
mujh se yuN nifrat8 na kar, maiN bhi teri hamshiir9 huN
gauhar10-e nusvaaniyat11 ke kuchh nishaaN mujh meN bhi haiN
ayb12 haiN mujh meN jahaaN, kuchh KhoobiyaN13 mujh meN bhi haiN
1.like, example 2.prisoner 3.circle/tie of a chain 4.helplessness 5.pity 6.deserving of 7.without guilt 8.hatred 9.sister 10.pearl 11.womanhood 12.faults 13.good qualities, merits
Like you, I too am a chained prisoner. I too am a picture of the helplessness of women. I am deserving of pity, not of guilt/blame. Do not hate me so, for I am your sister. I too have some features of the pearl of womanhood. I may have some faults, but I have some merits too. And now Anand Narayan Mulla proceeds to describe those merits. Unfortunately, completely in keeping with the times he describes a very conventional picture of the merits of womanhood. This needs to be compared with Kaifi Azmi’s “aurat” and Fahmida Riaz’s “chadar aur chardivaari”.

12
apne haathauN apni hasti1 ko miTaana mujh se seekh
haNste haNste aag daaman meN lagaana mujh se seekh
soz-e Khaatir2 ko zamaane3 se chhupaana mujh se seekh
saiNkRauN Gham dil meN le kar muskuraana mujh se seekh
zindagi apni mujhe go4 ek nazar bhaati nahiN
meri peshaani pe bhoole se shikan5 aati nahiN
1.existence, life 2.fire/pain in the heart 3.times, world 4.even though 5.wrinkle
Mulla has been able to rise above conventional thinking in describing he plight of the prostitute but now he sinks deep into traditional thinking about the role of women. Learn from how to erase your own life/existence (in the service of men?????). Learn from me how to burn in fire while still smiling. Learn from me how to hide pain from the whole world. Learn from me how to keep thousands of wounds in my heart and still smile. Though I do not like my life even for a moment, there still is no wrinkle on my brow i.e. I bear all burden with a smile, like a good woman should!

13
us ki dargaah1-e karam2 par ek saa’el3 maiN bhi huN
go ke huN jaam4-e shikasta5 zeb6-e mahfil7 maiN bhi huN
apne saaqi8 ki nazar meN zarf9-e qaabil10 maiN bhi huN
dard se vaaqif11 huN maiN bhi, saahib-e dil12 maiN bhi huN
mujh meN aur tujh meN tajalli13 hai vahi mastoor14 ek
shama-e mahfil15 aur chiraaGh-e Khaana16 meN hai noor ek
1.shrine 2.benevolence 3.petitioner, mendicant 4.cup, goblet (of wine) 5.broken 6.embellishment 7.gathering 8.wine bearer, used here for god 9.literally container, vessel 10.deserving 11.familiar 12.having a heart 13.brilliance, light 14.hidden 15.lamp of a public assembly 16.lamp of the house/home
In the shrine of his (god’s) benevolence, I (just like you) too am a mendicant. Even though I am a broken/cracked goblet, I am still an embellishment of the gathering. In the eyes of my saaqi (god) I too am a deserving cup (to be filled with wine). I am familiar with pain, I too have a heart. Hidden in both you and I is the same (divine) light. Be it the lamp of the assembly (prostitute) or the lamp of the home (house-wife), they have the same (divine) brilliance.

besvaa – anand narayan mulla

Mulla describes the plight of a prostitute and the reasons driving prostitution in beautiful language.  He rises above convention in not placing moral blame on the victim.  He then very poignantly describes the claim of sisterhood of the prostitute and housewife – of all women.  Unfortunately there in stanza 12 he falls for a conventional view of the qualities of womanhood.  Other than that progressive thinking, certainly for the times in which it was written.

1
Khwaar huN, badnaam huN, rusva2 sar-e bazaar3 huN
Khaatir-e naazuk4 pe ahl-e bazm5 ki ek baar6 huN
koii monis7 hi nahiN jiska, maiN vo biimaar huN
maiN vo gul huN jo, zamaane ki nazar meN Khaar8 huN
ahl-e duniya9 mujh se tum itne Khafaa10 rahte ho kyuN?
maiN to Khud mazloom11 huN, mujh ko bura kahte ho kyuN?

1.pitiable, miserable, humiliated 2.shamed, disgraced 3.at the head of the bazar, in public 4.delicate/sensitive mind/soul 5.people of the assembly, elite 6.burden 7.sympathizer, friend 8.thorn 9.people of the world 10.angry, displeased 11.oppressed, wronged

I am publicly humiliated, disreputable and disgraced.  I am a burden on the moral sensibilities of the elite.  I am the suffering soul who does not have any sympathizer.  I am the flower that in the eyes of the world is a thorn.  O people, why are you displeased with me so.  I am the one who is wronged, why do you blame me?

2
such kaho tum ne kabhi is baat par pursish1 bhi ki
qissa-e Gham2 mera sun-ne ki kabhi Khwaahish3 bhi ki
chashm-e rahmat4 meN mere aybauN5 ki gunjaaish6 bhi ki
mera dard-dil samajhne ki kabhi koshish bhi ki
qaabil-e nafreeN7 hamesha mujh ko samjha hi kiye
mujh pe angusht8-e hiqaarat9 tum uThaaya hi kiye

1.inquire, ask 2.story of sorrow 3.wish 4.eye of kindness 5.defects 6.capacity, make room for 7.deserving of curse 8.finger of 9.hatred, blame

Tell me the truth, have you ever inquired into this matter, have you ever wished to hear the story of my sorrow, have you ever made room in your kindness for my shortcomings, have you ever tried to understand the sorrow in my heart.  You have always thought of me as deserving of being cursed.  You have always pointed the finger of blame at me.

3
mujh ko dekho maiN tumhaare ayb1 ka parda2 rahi
aabru3 vaale raho tum, is liye rusva4 rahi
zindagi bhar ek dil-e hamdard5 ki jooya6 rahi
jaa-e ibrat7 hai ke maiN mahfil8 meN bhi tanhaa9 rahi
jo ho suna ki10 jahaaN meN aur kuchh dekha nahiN
saiNkRauN11 ushshaaq12 aur koi chaahne13 vaala nahiN

1.defects, shortcomings 2.veil, hide 3.respect 4.disreputable 5.sympathetic 6.search for 7.place of (example) shame 8.gathering 9.alone 10.kept listening 11.thousands 12.lovers 13.lover

Look at me, I have put a veil on your faults.  I have been disreputable so that you may be respectable.  All my life I have been looking for sympathy/understanding.  It is shameful that in crowded gatherings I am all alone.  Whatever happened, I have listened to, but have seen nothing i.e. I have been witness, never told anyone.  Thousands of lovers but no one to love/like me.

4
kuchh Ghalat samjhi hai duniya ne rah-e ulfat1 meri
dekhta koii nahiN mahroomi2-e qismat3 meri
noor-e zaahir4 meN nihaaN5 hai sozish6-e fitrat7 meri
zindagi is bazm8 meN hai shama’ ki soorat9 meri
shauq10 ki nazrauN se aaKhir tak mujhe dekha kiye
maiN ne jal kar jaan di, jalva11 usey samjha kiye

1.way of love 2.deprivation 3.fortune 4.apparent brilliance/beauty 5.hidden 6.inflammation, wound, pain 7.nature 8.assembly 9.like, similar to 10.desire 11.exhibition, display

The world has not understood my way of loving.  Nobody looks at my deprived fortune.  The pain in my heart is hidden behind my beauty.  My life in this gathering is like a lamp.  Everyone looks at it with desirous/lecherous eyes for as long as I last.  Even as I burn out, they think of me as a display of beauty.

5
mujh se badqismat zamaane meN koii laRki nahiN
maaN ki ulfat1 baap ki soorat kabhi dekhi nahiN
kaun sha’e2 ma’asoomiyat3 hai maiN ye samjhi hi nahiN
mere ahd4-e zeest5 meN deebacha6-e tifli7 nahiN
Khaak o KhooN meN gauhar-e fitrat8 mera rulta9 raha
husn mera gaahakauN10 ki aaNkh meN tulta11 raha

1.love 2.thing 3.innocence 4.time period 5.life 6.preface 7.childhood 8.pearl of nature 9.selected, picked 10.customers 11.weighed, valued

There is no girl in the world as unfortunate as I.  I have not seen a mother’s love nor ever had a father.  I have never known what innocence is.  In the story of my life, there is no preface of childhood.  In this dusty, bloody existence the pearl of my nature does not get recognized.  My beauty is not valued by customers.  “Beauty” here is to understood as “inner beauty, personhood”.

6
jab muraadauN1 par zara mera shabaab2 aane laga
ek zara nazrauN meN meri jab hijaab3 aane laga
kuchh samajh meN jab tamanna4 ka hisaab5 aane laga
jaagti aaNkhauN meN ek ulfat6 ka Khwaab aane laga
majma7-e ushshaaq8 meN sargoshiyaaN9 hone lagiiN
khul gaya neelaam10 mera, boliyaaN11 hone lagiiN

1.wishes 2.youth 3.shyness, coyness 4.longing 5.mechanics 6.love 7.crowd 8.lovers 9.whispers 10.auction 11.bids

Just when I began to entertain youthful desires, just as my glance began to be coy, just when I began to understand the workings of love, just when dreams of love flitted through my wakeful eyes, just then whispers started in the crowds of lovers.  I was put up for auction and bidding began.

7
husn ko tasKheer1 karne ishq2-e badbeeN3 aa gaya
apni nazrauN meN liye paiGhaam-e shiriN4 aa gaya
bu-alhavas5 sayyaad6 le kar daam-e zarriN7 aa gaya
gul abhi khilne na paaya tha ke gulchiN8 aa gaya
aaNkh jab kholi to dekha aabru9 baaqi na thi
vaqt jab khilne10 ka aaya gul meN buu11 baqi na thi

1.capture 2.love, lust 3.evil/lustful eye 4.sweet message 5.lustful, greedy 6.bird catcher 7.golden snare 8.flower picker 9.respectability 10.blossoming 11.fragrance

The evil eye of Lust showed up to capture Beauty and brought a (deceptive) show of love.  The grabbing lustful bird catcher showed up with his golden snare.  The bud had not yet bloomed when the flower picker showed up.  When I opened my eyes, I saw that respectability was lost.  When it was time for the flower to blossom, fragrance was already gone.

8
jab mere husn-e javaani se dil un ke bhar gaye
ya apna naam o maal o zor1 o zar2 sab har3 gaye
apne apne ayb4 saare mere zimme5 dhar6 gaye
mujh ko mere chaahne vaale hi rusva7 kar gaye
baar-e isiyaaN8 ek aalam9 ka meri gardan pe hai
daaGh10 ye mera nahiN hai jo mere daaman11 pe hai

1.strength 2.wealth, gold 3.lose 4.faults 5.responsibility 6.lay on 7.disrespected, maligned 8.weight of guilt 9.world 10.stain 11.apron

When they had had their fill of my youthful beauty, when they had lost either their reputation, or strength or their wealth, they all laid their guilt on me and left.  My lovers themselves left me in disrepute.  The burden of the guilt of the whole world rests on my shoulders.  The stain on my apron is not mine (but the world’s).

9
dahr1 meN sab se baRa mujrim2 jo hai vo mard hai
bevafaaii3 meN hai yekta4, dilbari5 meN fard6 hai
lab pe hai izhaar7-e betaabi8 magar dil sard9 hai
be-murawwat10, Khud-Gharaz11, paimaaN-shikan12, bedard13 hai
aah teer14-e jafaa15-e ulfat16-e bebaak17-e oo18
hum-chu-maa19 naKhcheer20 sad-haa21, basta-e fatrak22-e oo

1.world 2.culprit 3.faithlessness 4.unequalled 5.(show of) friendship 6.unique 7.expression 8.restlessness (of love) 9.cold 10.unkind 11.selfish 12.breaker of promises 13.heartless 14.arrow 15.cruelty 16.love 17.brazen 18.his 19.like me 20.prey 21.hundreds 23.hunters’ bag

The worst culprit in this world is Man.  Unequalled in faithlessness, unique is insincerity.  With expressions of love on his lips and a cold, unfeeling heart.  Unkind, selfish, undependable, heartless. Alas, his brazen arrow of the cruelty of faith.  He carries hundreds of prey like me in his bag.

10
mujh se aye parda-nashiN1 haalat2 teri behtar3 nahiN
ghar meN rah kar bhi tera mardauN ke dil meN ghar nahiN
aashna4 parvaaz5 ki lazzat6 se tere par nahiN
mai7 se pur8 ho kar bhi gardish9 meN tera saaGhar10 nahiN
aabru11 maiN ne to khoii aab o daane12 ke liye
tu ne aazadi bhi kho di aashiyaane13 ke liye

1.veil observing, home bound 2.condition 3.better 4.familiar 5.flight 6.pleasure 7.wine 8.full, brimming 9.circulation (used here in the sense of “effective”) 10.flask 11.respectability 12.water and grain, food, sustenance 13.nest, home

O you home-bound (married) woman, your condition is no better than mine.  You have a home to live but you don’t have a home in man’s heart i.e. you too are just used.  Your wings are not familiar with the pleasure of flight.  You flask may be brimming with wine but it is not in circulation i.e. it does not accomplish much.  I lost my respectability in for sustenance, you lost your freedom for a home.

11
misl1 tere maiN aseer2-e halqa-e zanjir3 huN
aurtauN ki bekasi4 ki maiN bhi ek tasveer huN
rahm5 ke qaabil6 huN maiN, sharminda-e taqseer7 huN
mujh se yuN nifrat8 na kar, maiN bhi teri hamshiir9 huN
gauhar10-e nusvaaniyat11 ke kuchh nishaaN mujh meN bhi haiN
ayb12 haiN mujh meN jahaaN, kuchh KhoobiyaN13 mujh meN bhi haiN

1.like, example 2.prisoner 3.circle/tie of a chain 4.helplessness 5.pity 6.deserving of 7.without guilt 8.hatred 9.sister 10.pearl 11.womanhood 12.faults 13.good qualities, merits

Like you, I too am a chained prisoner.  I too am a picture of the helplessness of women.  I am deserving of pity, not of guilt/blame.  Do not hate me so, for I am your sister.  I too have some features of the pearl of womanhood.  I may have some faults, but I have some merits too.  And now Anand Narayan Mulla proceeds to describe those merits.  Unfortunately, completely in keeping with the times he describes a very conventional picture of the merits of womanhood.  This needs to be compared with Kaifi Azmi’s “aurat” and Fahmida Riaz’s “chadar aur chardivaari”.

12
apne haathauN apni hasti1 ko miTaana mujh se seekh
haNste haNste aag daaman meN lagaana mujh se seekh
soz-e Khaatir2 ko zamaane3 se chhupaana mujh se seekh
saiNkRauN Gham dil meN le kar muskuraana mujh se seekh
zindagi apni mujhe go4 ek nazar bhaati nahiN
meri peshaani pe bhoole se shikan5 aati nahiN

1.existence, life 2.fire/pain in the heart 3.times, world 4.even though 5.wrinkle

Mulla has been able to rise above conventional thinking in describing he plight of the prostitute but now he sinks deep into traditional thinking about the role of women.  Learn from how to erase your own life/existence (in the service of men?????).  Learn from me how to burn in fire while still smiling.  Learn from me how to hide pain from the whole world.  Learn from me how to keep thousands of wounds in my heart and still smile.  Though I do not like my life even for a moment, there still is no wrinkle on my brow i.e. I bear all burden with a smile, like a good woman should!

13
us ki dargaah1-e karam2 par ek saa’el3 maiN bhi huN
go ke huN jaam4-e shikasta5 zeb6-e mahfil7 maiN bhi huN
apne saaqi8 ki nazar meN zarf9-e qaabil10 maiN bhi huN
dard se vaaqif11 huN maiN bhi, saahib-e dil12 maiN bhi huN
mujh meN aur tujh meN tajalli13 hai vahi mastoor14 ek
shama-e mahfil15 aur chiraaGh-e Khaana16 meN hai noor ek

1.shrine 2.benevolence 3.petitioner, mendicant 4.cup, goblet (of wine) 5.broken 6.embellishment 7.gathering 8.wine bearer, used here for god 9.literally container, vessel 10.deserving 11.familiar 12.having a heart 13.brilliance, light 14.hidden 15.lamp of a public assembly 16.lamp of the house/home

In the shrine of his (god’s) benevolence, I (just like you) too am a mendicant.  Even though I am a broken/cracked goblet, I am still an embellishment of the gathering.  In the eyes of my saaqi (god) I too am a deserving cup (to be filled with wine).  I am familiar with pain, I too have a heart.  Hidden in both you and I is the same (divine) light.  Be it the lamp of the assembly (prostitute) or the lamp of the home (house-wife), they have the same (divine) brilliance.

Search words:  feminine, feminist, women, oppressed, purdah, veil

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