eKhtiyaar nahiN – sahir ludhianavi

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the “English” or “Notes” tab.
andaleeb wasif singing

اختیار نہیں ۔ ساحر لدھیانوی

۱

ہوس نصیب نظر کو کہیں قرار نہیں

میں منتظر ہوں مگر تیرا انتظار نہیں

۲

ہمیں سے رنگ گلستاں ہمیں سے رنگ بہار

ہمیں کو نظم گلستاں پہ اختیار نہیں

۳

ابھی نہ چھیڑ محبت کے گیت اے مطرب

ابھی حیات کا ماحول خوش گوار نہیں

۴

تمہارے عہد وفا کو میں عہد کیا سمجھوں

مجھے خود اپنی محبت پہ اعتبار نہیں

۵

نہ جانے کتنے گلے اس میں مضطرب ہیں ندیم

وہ ایک دل جو کسی کا گلہ گزار نہیں

۶

گریز کا نہیں قائل حیات سے لیکن

جو سچ کہوں کہ مجھے موت ناگوار نہیں

۷

یہ کس مقام پہ پہنچا دیا زمانے نے

کہ اب حیات پہ تیرا بھی اختیار نہیں

एख़्तियार नहीं – साहर लुधियानवी

हवस-नसीब नज़र को कहीं क़रार नहीं

मैं मुंतज़िर हूँ मगर तेरा इंतेज़ार नहीं

हमीं से रंग-ए-गुलिस्ताँ हमीं से रंग-ए-बहार

हमीं को नज़्म-ए-गुलिस्ताँ पे एख़्तियार नहीं

अभी न छेड़ मोहब्बत के गीत ऐ मुत्रिब

अभी हयात का माहौल ख़ुश-गवार नहीं

तुम्हारे अहद-ए-वफ़ा को मैं अहद क्या समझूँ

मुझे ख़ुद अपनी मोहब्बत पे ए’तेबार नहीं

न जाने कितने गिले इस में मुज़्तरिब हैं नदीम

वो एक दिल जो किसी का गिला-गुज़ार नहीं

गुरेज़ का नहीं क़ाएल हयात से लेकिन

जो सच कहूँ कि मुझे मौत नागवार नहीं

ये किस मक़ाम पे पहुँचा दिया ज़माने ने

के अब हयात पे तेरा भी एख़्तियार नहीं

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. sahir ludhianavi (1921-1980) socialist, secular, irreligious, atheist. He adapted his literary Ghazal and nazm to movie songs setting a new standard of excellence. Extremely popular lyricist. Progressive Writers Association. This is an excellent example of double meaning with the beloved serving as a metaphor for socialist revolution.
1
havas-nasiib1 nazar ko kahiN qaraar2 nahiN
maiN muntazir3 huN magar tera intezaar4 nahiN    
1.desire filled, greedy 2.satisfaction, peace 3.one who waits (eagerly) 4.anticipation, waiting
The poet/lover has desire written into his destiny. He cannot find peace/satisfaction because the beloved is not here. He is eagerly waiting for her but has lost hope so much so that he is not waiting for her. Now for the socialist interpretation … greedy/acquisitive nature cannot find satisfaction/peace. The poet/revolutionary is waiting for social justice but has lost hope.

2
hamiN se raNg-e-gulistaaN hamiN se raNg-e-bahaar
hamiN ko nazm-e-gulistaaN1 pe eKhtiyaar2 nahiN  
1.rules of the garden 2.control, influence
“hamiN”/we us the working class. It is because of us that the garden is colourful. Because of us spring blooms. And yet, we don’t have any say in deciding the rules of the garden.

3
abhi na chheR mohabbat ke giit aye mutrib1
abhi hayaat2 ka maahaul3 Khush-gavaar4 nahiN  
1.singer, lyricist 2.life 3.atmosphere, condition 4.pleasant
The conditions of life are not yet pleasant enough to break out into song either because the beloved is not here or because social justice has not yet been achieved.

4
tumhaare ahd-e-vafaa1 ko maiN ahd2 kya samjhuN
mujhe Khud apni mohabbat pe e’tebaar3 nahiN  
1.commitment to keep faith 2.promise 3.trust
How can I consider your commitment to keep your promise as a firm promise. I don’t even trust my own love. This could be the leaders/politicians promises and the poet/revolutionary’s own commitment.

5
na jaane kitne gile1 is meN muztarib2 haiN nadim3
vo ek dil jo kisi ka gila-guzaar4 nahiN  
1.complaints 2.restless 3.friend 4.complainer
The poet/lover’s heart does not complain, bears all pain stoically. All the wrongs done to him and complaints because of those wrongs are restless in his heart, waiting to come out.

6
gurez1 ka nahiN qaa’el2 hayaat3 se lekin
jo sach kahuN ke mujhe maut naagavaar4 nahiN  
1.fleeing, running away 2.believe in 3.life 4.unacceptable
I do not believe in running away from (the problems of) life, but if were to speak the truth, death is not unacceptable (conditions are so bad).

7
ye kis maqaam1 pe pahuNcha diya zamaane2 ne
ke ab hayaat3 pe tera bhi eKhtiyaar4 nahiN
1.place, stage 2.times 3.life 4.control
This is addressed either to the unfortunate lover or to the exploited worker. Times have brought you to such a stage that you don’t have any control over your own life.

sahir ludhianavi (1921-1980) socialist, secular, irreligious, atheist.  He adapted his literary Ghazal and nazm to movie songs setting a new standard of excellence.  Extremely popular lyricist.  Progressive Writers Association.  This is an excellent example of double meaning with the beloved serving as a metaphor for socialist revolution.
1
havas-nasiib1 nazar ko kahiN qaraar2 nahiN
maiN muntazir3 huN magar tera intezaar4 nahiN

1.desire filled, greedy 2.satisfaction, peace 3.one who waits (eagerly) 4.anticipation, waiting

The poet/lover has desire written into his destiny.  He cannot find peace/satisfaction because the beloved is not here.  He is eagerly waiting for her but has lost hope so much so that he is not waiting for her.  Now for the socialist interpretation … greedy/acquisitive nature cannot find satisfaction/peace.  The poet/revolutionary is waiting for social justice but has lost hope.
2
hamiN se raNg-e-gulistaaN hamiN se raNg-e-bahaar
hamiN ko nazm-e-gulistaaN1 pe eKhtiyaar2 nahiN

1.rules of the garden 2.control, influence

“hamiN”/we us the working class.  It is because of us that the garden is colourful.  Because of us spring blooms.  And yet, we don’t have any say in deciding the rules of the garden.
3
abhi na chheR mohabbat ke giit aye mutrib1
abhi hayaat2 ka maahaul3 Khush-gavaar4 nahiN

1.singer, lyricist 2.life 3.atmosphere, condition 4.pleasant

The conditions of life are not yet pleasant enough to break out into song either because the beloved is not here or because social justice has not yet been achieved.
4
tumhaare ahd-e-vafaa1 ko maiN ahd2 kya samjhuN
mujhe Khud apni mohabbat pe e’tebaar3 nahiN

1.commitment to keep faith 2.promise 3.trust

How can I consider your commitment to keep your promise as a firm promise.  I don’t even trust my own love.  This could be the leaders/politicians promises and the poet/revolutionary’s own commitment.
5
na jaane kitne gile1 is meN muztarib2 haiN nadim3
vo ek dil jo kisi ka gila-guzaar4 nahiN

1.complaints 2.restless 3.friend 4.complainer

The poet/lover’s heart does not complain, bears all pain stoically.  All the wrongs done to him and complaints because of those wrongs are restless in his heart, waiting to come out.
6
gurez1 ka nahiN qaa’el2 hayaat3 se lekin
jo sach kahuN ke mujhe maut naagavaar4 nahiN

1.fleeing, running away 2.believe in 3.life 4.unacceptable

I do not believe in running away from (the problems of) life, but if were to speak the truth, death is not unacceptable (conditions are so bad).
7
ye kis maqaam1 pe pahuNcha diya zamaane2 ne
ke ab hayaat3 pe tera bhi eKhtiyaar4 nahiN

1.place, stage 2.times 3.life 4.control

This is addressed either to the unfortunate lover or to the exploited worker.  Times have brought you to such a stage that you don’t have any control over your own life.

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