muraqqa-e ibrat-01-brij narain chakbast

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

brij narain chakbast (1882-1926) was born in faizabad into a kashmiri brahmin family who moved to lakhnau soon after his birth.  He received his early education from a maulvi, learning urdu, arabi and faarsi.  Later, he got a law degree and then practised law in lakhnau.  Unfortunately, he died very young of a stroke he suffered while traveling by train to argue a case in bareily.  His book was published posthumously.

He was politically very acutely aware and wrote many nationalistic poems also promoting communal harmony.  He was very active in the formation of Kashmiri Young Men’s Association.  Parts of this long nazm, “muraqqa-e ibrat” were written for the annual gathering of the association in kashmir, when he was barely sixteen years old.  Other parts, written later, were combined into a booklet.

“muraqqa” is an album, a collection of sketches/images. “ibrat” is meant to draw a moral lesson from something.  Thus, “muraqqa-e ibrat” is an exhortation for kashmiri youth on a collection of diverse topics.  It is extremely good in its literary composition even for a mature poet, but amazingly so for a 16 year old.  It is divided into 8 thematic sections for easy reading.

 

A word of caution.  urdu was chakbast’s primary language, his mother tongue.  He learnt it along with faarsi and arabi.  He uses islamic imagery/vocabulary even when describing completely secular topics.  Thus, his criticism of orthodoxy, written in islamic vocabulary, is meant to be a criticism of all, not just islamic orthodoxy.

1.  “tamheed” is a short introduction of 7 stanzas of six lines each praising his own abilities of versification, lyrically expounding on why he is writing this and transitioning into praising the region of kashmir. The language and the style is reminiscent of another great kashmiri brahmin, daya shankar naseem, in his own introduction of his ‘gulzaar-e naseem’.

2.  “kashmir” is a section of 9 stanzas describing the beauty of the hills, gardens, orchards, rivers, waterfalls of kashmir in lyrical metaphors and acknowledging his own debt to and love for his homeland.

3.  “qaum ki haalat” a very short section of 4 stanzas is full of pathos describing the sorry state of the community of kashmiris.4.  “naujavaanauN ki haalat” of 11 stanzas is rich in its literary content and maturity.  You have to remind yourselves again and again that this is a 16 year old writing.  There is much hand-wringing about the wastefulness and self-absorption of the youth of kashmir.  He is laying the ground work to inspire them to join the freedom movement.

5.  “daulat” is a 13 stanza piece moralizing about the accumulation of wealth which is used for selfish pleasures rather than for helping others.  There is little recognition of dialectical/materialist ideas of socialism (chakbast wrote this in 1898) but there is keen awareness of maldistribution of wealth in a moral/ethical sense.  The literary quality is amazing giving every indication of genius.

6.  “aazadi o islaah” is 6 stanzas on freedom and reform.  He praises the reformers of Europe and chides his audience that they have not drawn the right lessons from their lives.

7.  “mazhab” is a short 7 stanza section deriding religious leaders as well as concepts of orthodoxy.  It is not just “daulat” and lack of understanding of “islaah” that blinds us, it is also orthodoxy.  Recall that because of his educational background the vocabulary and imagery he is using might sound like islamic, but it is entirely secular, equally critical of all orthodoxy.

8.  “taNbeeh” is the concluding section of 4 stanzas with exhortation but still very beautiful in its literary content.

مُرقّع عبرت ۔ پنڈت برج نرائن چکبست

تمہید

۱

ہاں نورِ ازل جلوۂ گفتار دکھا دے

ہاں شمع زباں مطلعِ انوار دکھا دے

ہاں طبعِ رواں قلزمِ زَخّار دکھا دے

ہاں رنگِ سخن گلشنِ بے خار دکھا دے

گلزار معانی کا مہکتا نظر آئے

طوطی چمنستاں میں چہکتا نظر آئے

۲

ہو حسنِ بیاں میں چمنستاں کا تجمّل

ہر نکتۂ رنگیں نظر آئے صفتِ گُل

ہر معنیِ پیچیدہ بنے طُرّۂ سنبل

عاشق ہوں سخن پر جو سُنیں صورتِ بلبل

جو شعر ہو طوبےٰ کا وہ ثانی نظر آئے

کوثر کی طبیعت میں روانی نظر آئے

۳

ہاں طبع رسا خاطرِ احباب ہے منظور

بس شرم کا بُرقع رُخِ معنی سے ہو اب دور

دکھلا دے سرِ بزم تجلّیِ سرِ طور

غش صورتِ موسیٰ ہوں جو سُن پائیں یہ مَذکُور

منکر جو ہیں فرعوں صفت اعجازِ سخن کے

ہوں آج وہ قائل مرے اندازِ سخن کے

۴

ہاں طعنہ و تشنیع کی پروا نہیں مجھ کو

تحسین و ستایش کی تمنّا نہیں مجھ کو

نیرنگیِ افلاک کا شکوہ نہیں مجھ کو

کچھ فکر ہو شہرت کی یہ سودا نہیں مجھ کو

ڈوبا ہوا ہوں مِثلِ سخن رنگِ سخن میں

گُل ہو کے میں رہتا ہوں لطافت کے چمن میں

۵

اُس وقت کا اب ہوش بھی پورا نہیں زِنہار

سر مست مجھے رکھتی ہے جب سے مئے اشعار

لیکن نہ رہا مجھ کو تعلّی سے سروکار

ہے میری خموشی پہ فدا عالمِ گفتار

اِس مے نے کچھ ایسا مجھے مدہوش کیا ہے

خود اپنے تئیں میں نے فراموش کیا ہے

۶

عالم سے جدا ہے مری تقریر کا عالم

بد بینوں پہ حیرت سے ہے تصویر کا عالم

رنگیں سخنی سے ہے یہ تحریر کا عالم

ہر صفحے پہ ہے گلشنِ کشمیر کا عالم

کیفیّتِ گلزار سمائی ہے نظر میں

اِس خِطّہ دِلکش کا ہے سودا مرے سر میں

۷

محتاج نہیں وصف کا یہ خِطّۂ دل گیر

ہے روکشِ گلزارِ جناں گلشنِ کشمیر

فردوسِ بریں اِس کی ہے بگڑی ہوئی تصویر

واں موجِ ہوا میں دمِ عیسیٰ کی ہے تاثیر

ہر سوختہ جانے کہ بہ کشمیر در آید

گر مُرغِ کباب است کہ با بال و پر آید

मुरक़्क़ा-ए इब्रत – पंडित ब्रिज नरायन चक्बस्त

तम्हीद

हां नूर-ए अज़ल जलवा-ए गुफ़्तार दिखा दे

हां शमा-ए ज़बां मत्ला-ए अन्वार दिखा दे

हां तबा-ए रवाँ क़ुल्ज़ुम-ए ज़ख़्ख़ार दिखा दे

हां रंग-ए सुख़न गुल्शन-ए बे ख़ार दिखा दे

गुल्ज़ार म’आनी का महकता नज़र आए

तूती चमनीस्तां में चहकता नज़र आए

हो हुस्न-ए बयां में चमनीस्तां का तजम्मुल

हर नुकता-ए रंगीं नज़र आए सिफ़त-ए गुल

हर मानी-ए पेचीदा बने तुर्रा-ए सुंबुल

आशिक़ हों सुख़न पर जो सुनें सूरत-ए-बुल्बुल

जो शेर हो तूबा का वो सानी नज़र आए

कौसर कि तबीयत में रवानी नज़र आए

हां तब’अ-ए रसा ख़ातिर-ए अहबाब है मंज़ूर

बस शरम का बुरक़ा रुख़-ए मानी से हो अब दूर

दिख्ला दे सर-ए बज़्म तजल्ली-ए सर-ए तूर

ग़श सूरत-ए मूसा हों जो सुन पाएँ ये मज़्कूर

मुन्किर जो हैं फ़िर’औन-सिफ़त एजाज़-ए सुख़न के

हों आज वो क़ायल मेरे अंदाज़-ए सुख़न के

हां ताना ओ तश्नी कि परवा नहीं मुझ को

तहसीन ओ सता’एश कि तमन्ना नहीं मुझ को

नैरंगी-ए अफ़्लाक का शिक्वा नहीं मुझ को

कुछ फ़िक्र हो शोहरत कि ये सौदा नहीं मुझ को

डूबा हुआ हुं मिस्ल-ए सुख़न रंग-ए सुख़न में

गुल हो के में रहता हुं लताफ़त के चमन में

उस वक़्त का अब होश भी पूरा नही ज़िन्हार

सर-मस्त मुझे रखती है जब से मै-ए अश’आर

लेकिन ना रहा मुझ को त’अल्ली से सरोकार

है मेरी ख़मोशी पे फ़िदा आलम-ए गुफ़्तार

इस मै ने कुछ ऐसा मुझे मदहोश क्या है

ख़ुद अपने त’ईं मैं ने फ़रमोश क्या है

आलम से जुदा है मेरी तक़्रीर का आलम

बद-बीनौं पे हैरत से है तस्वीर का आलम

रंगीं सुख़नी से है यह तहरीर का आलम

हर सफ़ह पे है गुलशन-ए कश्मीर का आलम

कैफ़िय्यत-ए गुल्ज़ार समाई है नज़र में

इस खत्ता-ए दिल-कश का है सौदा मेरे सर में

मोहताज नहीं वस्फ़ का यह खत्ता-ए दिलगीर

है रू-कश-ए गुल्ज़ार-ए जिनां गुल्शन-ए कश्मीर

फ़िरदौस-ए बरीं इस कि है बिग्ड़ी हुई तस्वीर

वां मौज-ए हवा में दम-ए ईसा कि है तासीर

हर सोख़्ता जाने के ब कश्मीर दर आयद

गर मुर्ग़-ए कबाब अस्त के बा बाल ओ पर आयद

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926). See “Overview” tab for a more complete introduction.
1
haaN noor-e-azal1 jalva-e-guftaar2 dikha de
haaN shama-e zabaaN matla-e-anvaar3 dikha de
haaN taba-e-ravaaN4 qulzum-e-zaKhKhaar5 dikha de
haaN raNg-e-suKhan6 gulshan-e be-Khaar7 dikha de
gulzaar mu’aani ka mahakta nazar aaye
tooti8 chamanistaN meN chahakta nazar aaye   
1.eternal light 2.glory of speech/recitation 3.dawn of rays of light 4.flowing/dynamic mood/nature 5.raging ocean 6.style of versification 7.without thorns 8.parrot, parakeet
O, eternal light help me show the brilliance of recitation. O, flame of the tongue, help me show the light of dawn. O, dynamism of nature, help me show a raging ocean. O, style of versification, help me show a blooming garden without thorns. Let fragrance spread in the garden of meaning. Let the parakeet chirp joyfully in the garden.

2
ho husn-e-bayaaN1 meN chamanistaN ka tajammul2
har nukta-e raNgiN nazar aaye sifat3-e gul
har m’aani-e pecheeda4 bane turra5-e suNbul6
aashiq hoN suKhan7 par jo suneN surat8-e bulbul
jo she’r ho tooba9 ka vo saani10 nazar aaye
kausar11 ki tabiyyat meN raavani nazar aaye   
1.beauty of recitation 2.adornment, glory 3.nature, characteristics 4.complicated 5.crown 6.fragrant grass topped with a crown-like flower 7.verse 8.like, similar to 9.legendary tree in heaven that bears all kinds of fruit for everyone to enjoy 10.example, similar to 11.legendary river in heaven
Let the beauty of my recitation be like the glory of the garden. Let every colourful point (of meaning) be fragrant (meaningful) like a blooming rose. Let every complicated meaning adorn my she’r like the crown on top of suNbul. Let those who hear my verse fall in love with it, like the bulbul (in poetic legend the bulbul falls in love with the rose). Let every she’r be like the tooba in heaven, yielding fruit (meaning) to all who come. Let my verse flow like the legendary kauser in heaven.

3
haaN tab’a1 rasa2 Khaatir3-e ahbaab4 hai manzoor5
bas sharm ka burqa ruKh6-e mu’aani se ho ab duur
dikhla de sar-e-bazm7 tajalli8-e sar-e-toor9
Ghash10 soorat-e-moosa11 hoN jo sun paayeN ye mazkoor12
munkir13 jo haiN fir’aun-sifat14 ejaaz15-e suKhan ke
hoN aaj vo qaa’el16 mere andaaz17-e suKhan ke   
1.nature 2.reaching high, influential 3.consideration, praise 4.friends 5.desirable 6.face 7.open assembly/gathering 8.brilliance 9.top of Mt. Sinaii 10.faint, pass out 11.like/similar to Moses 12.recitation 13.denier 14.nature of Pharoah 15.miracle 16.convinced 17.style
This has many Biblical/quranic references. Moses went on top of toor (Mt. Sinaii) asking to see god. He saw a manifestation as a lightning strike/brilliance and fainted. Pharaoh was a denier of divinity. When Moses demonstrated miracles, he had to accept/be convinced. My influential/convincing nature desires the consideration of friends. Let the veil of shyness be lifted from the meaning of my verse. Show to everyone gathered, the same (divine) brilliance that moosa saw on toor. Let them faint with fear/awe just like moosa did. And those who deny the miracle of my verse, like Pharaoh denied divinity, let them be convinced by the (miraculous) style of my recitation.

4
haaN taana1 o tashnee’2 ki parva nahiN mujh ko
tahseen3 o sataa’esh4 ki tamanna nahiN mujh ko
nairaNgi5-e aflaak6 ka shikva7 nahiN mujh ko
kuchh fikr ho shohrat ki ye sauda nahiN mujh ko
Dooba hua huN misl-e-suKhan8 raNg-e suKhan meN
gul ho ke maiN rahta huN lataafat9 ke chaman meN   
1.sarcasm 2.taunt, reproach 3.tribute 4.praise 5.deception 6.skies, heavens, fate 7.complaint 8.similar to my verse 9.elegance
I do not care about taunts and sarcasm. I do not desire tributes or praise. I do not complain about the vicissitudes of fate. I do not bargain for any fame. I am drowned in the style of verse like verse itself. I am like rose surrounded by elegance (of verse).

5
us vaqt ka ab hosh1 bhi poora nahiN zinhaar2
sar-mast3 mujhe rakhti hai jab se mai-e-ash’aar4
laikin na raha mujh ko ta’alli5 se sarokaar6
hai meri Khamoshi pe fida aalm-e guftaar
is mai ne kuchh aisa mujhe madhosh kiya hai
Khud apne ta’eeN7 maiN ne faraamosh8 kiya hai   
1.awareness, consciousness 2.absolutely not 3.intoxicated 4.wine of verse 5.exaggerated praise 6.concern, relationship 7.self-interest 8.forget
I absolutely do not have awareness of anything else, ever since the wine of verse has intoxicated me. I do not want to indulge in self-praise. The world of versification appreciates my silence (why do I need to praise myself). This wine has intoxicated me so much that I have forgotten self-preservation.

6
aalam1 se juda2 hai meri taqreer3 ka aalam4
badbeenoN5 pe hairat se hai tasveer ka aalam4
raNgiN-suKhani se hai ye tahreer6 ka aalam
har saf’he7 pe hai gulshan-e kashmir ka aalam
kaifiyyat8-e gulzaar samaai hai nazar meN
is Khitta9-e dil-kash ka hai sauda mere sar meN    
1.world 2.separate, different 3.speech, recitation 4.condition, state 5.ill-wishers 6.writing (written verse) 7.page 8.condition 9.region
The condition/state of my recited verse is different from that of the world. Those who wish me ill, are a picture of amazement, such is the colourful versification of my writing. On each page the garden of kashmir is apparent. The picture of this garden is infused in my eyes. My heart desires this pleasant region.

7
mohtaaj1 nahiN wasf2 ka ye Khitta-e-dil-geer3
hai roo-kash4-e gulzaar-e-jinaaN5 gulshan-e kashmir
firdaus-e-bariN6 is ki hai bigRi hui tasveer
vaaN mauj-e hava meN dam-e-eesa7 ki hai taaseer8
har soKhta9 jaane ke ba kashmir dar aayad10
gar murGh-e-kabaab11 ast ke ba baal o par aayad
1.beholden, dependent 2.praise 3.heart capturing region 4.reflection of 5.garden of heaven 6.high heaven 7.breath of Jesus, healing breeze 8.effect 9.burnt 10.to come 11.roasted bird
This heart capturing region does not need any praise. The garden of kashmir is a twin-image of the garden of heaven. High heaven is but a spoiled picture of this garden. Every gust of wind has the effect of the healing breath of Jesus. Every burnt/saddened heart should come to kashmir, even if it is like a bird roasted into a kabaab, it can regenerate its feathers and wings.

panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926).  See “Overview” tab for a more complete introduction.
tamheed – Preface
1
haaN noor-e-azal1 jalva-e-guftaar2 dikha de
haaN shama-e zabaaN matla-e-anvaar3 dikha de
haaN taba-e-ravaaN4 qulzum-e-zaKhKhaar5 dikha de
haaN raNg-e-suKhan6 gulshan-e be-Khaar7 dikha de
gulzaar mu’aani ka mahakta nazar aaye
tooti8 chamanistaN meN chahakta nazar aaye

1.eternal light 2.glory of speech/recitation 3.dawn of rays of light 4.flowing/dynamic mood/nature 5.raging ocean 6.style of versification 7.without thorns 8.parrot, parakeet

O, eternal light help me show the brilliance of recitation.  O, flame of the tongue, help me show the light of dawn.  O, dynamism of nature, help me show a raging ocean.  O, style of versification, help me show a blooming garden without thorns.  Let fragrance spread in the garden of meaning.  Let the parakeet chirp joyfully in the garden.
2
ho husn-e-bayaaN1 meN chamanistaN ka tajammul2
har nukta-e raNgiN nazar aaye sifat3-e gul
har m’aani-e pecheeda4 bane turra5-e suNbul6
aashiq hoN suKhan7 par jo suneN surat8-e bulbul
jo she’r ho tooba9 ka vo saani10 nazar aaye
kausar11 ki tabiyyat meN raavani nazar aaye

1.beauty of recitation 2.adornment, glory 3.nature, characteristics 4.complicated 5.crown 6.fragrant grass topped with a crown-like flower 7.verse 8.like, similar to 9.legendary tree in heaven that bears all kinds of fruit for everyone to enjoy 10.example, similar to 11.legendary river in heaven

Let the beauty of my recitation be like the glory of the garden.  Let every colourful point (of meaning) be fragrant (meaningful) like a blooming rose.  Let every complicated meaning adorn my she’r like the crown on top of suNbul.  Let those who hear my verse fall in love with it, like the bulbul (in poetic legend the bulbul falls in love with the rose).  Let every she’r be like the tooba in heaven, yielding fruit (meaning) to all who come.  Let my verse flow like the legendary kauser in heaven.
3
haaN tab’a1 rasa2 Khaatir3-e ahbaab4 hai manzoor5
bas sharm ka burqa ruKh6-e mu’aani se ho ab duur
dikhla de sar-e-bazm7 tajalli8-e sar-e-toor9
Ghash10 soorat-e-moosa11 hoN jo sun paayeN ye mazkoor12
munkir13 jo haiN fir’aun-sifat14 ejaaz15-e suKhan ke
hoN aaj vo qaa’el16 mere andaaz17-e suKhan ke

1.nature 2.reaching high, influential 3.consideration, praise 4.friends 5.desirable 6.face 7.open assembly/gathering 8.brilliance 9.top of Mt. Sinaii 10.faint, pass out 11.like/similar to Moses 12.recitation 13.denier 14.nature of Pharoah 15.miracle 16.convinced 17.style

This has many Biblical/quranic references.  Moses went on top of toor (Mt. Sinaii) asking to see god.  He saw a manifestation as a lightning strike/brilliance and fainted.  Pharaoh was a denier of divinity.  When Moses demonstrated miracles, he had to accept/be convinced.  My influential/convincing nature desires the consideration of friends.  Let the veil of shyness be lifted from the meaning of my verse.  Show to everyone gathered, the same (divine) brilliance that moosa saw on toor.  Let them faint with fear/awe just like moosa did.  And those who deny the miracle of my verse, like Pharaoh denied divinity, let them be convinced by the (miraculous) style of my recitation.
4
haaN taana1 o tashnee’2 ki parva nahiN mujh ko
tahseen3 o sataa’esh4 ki tamanna nahiN mujh ko
nairaNgi5-e aflaak6 ka shikva7 nahiN mujh ko
kuchh fikr ho shohrat ki ye sauda nahiN mujh ko
Dooba hua huN misl-e-suKhan8 raNg-e suKhan meN
gul ho ke maiN rahta huN lataafat9 ke chaman meN

1.sarcasm 2.taunt, reproach 3.tribute 4.praise 5.deception 6.skies, heavens, fate 7.complaint 8.similar to my verse 9.elegance

I do not care about taunts and sarcasm.  I do not desire tributes or praise.  I do not complain about the vicissitudes of fate.  I do not bargain for any fame.  I am drowned in the style of verse like verse itself.  I am like rose surrounded by elegance (of verse).
5
us vaqt ka ab hosh1 bhi poora nahiN zinhaar2
sar-mast3 mujhe rakhti hai jab se mai-e-ash’aar4
laikin na raha mujh ko ta’alli5 se sarokaar6
hai meri Khamoshi pe fida aalm-e guftaar
is mai ne kuchh aisa mujhe madhosh kiya hai
Khud apne ta’eeN7 maiN ne faraamosh8 kiya hai

1.awareness, consciousness 2.absolutely not 3.intoxicated 4.wine of verse 5.exaggerated praise 6.concern, relationship 7.self-interest 8.forget

I absolutely do not have awareness of anything else, ever since the wine of verse has intoxicated me.  I do not want to indulge in self-praise.  The world of versification appreciates my silence (why do I need to praise myself).  This wine has intoxicated me so much that I have forgotten self-preservation.
6
aalam1 se juda2 hai meri taqreer3 ka aalam4
badbeenoN5 pe hairat se hai tasveer ka aalam4
raNgiN-suKhani se hai ye tahreer6 ka aalam
har saf’he7 pe hai gulshan-e kashmir ka aalam
kaifiyyat8-e gulzaar samaai hai nazar meN
is Khitta9-e dil-kash ka hai sauda mere sar meN

1.world 2.separate, different 3.speech, recitation 4.condition, state 5.ill-wishers 6.writing (written verse) 7.page 8.condition 9.region

The condition/state of my recited verse is different from that of the world.  Those who wish me ill, are a picture of amazement, such is the colourful versification of my writing.  On each page the garden of kashmir is apparent.  The picture of this garden is infused in my eyes.  My heart desires this pleasant region.
7
mohtaaj1 nahiN wasf2 ka ye Khitta-e-dil-geer3
hai roo-kash4-e gulzaar-e-jinaaN5 gulshan-e kashmir
firdaus-e-bariN6 is ki hai bigRi hui tasveer
vaaN mauj-e hava meN dam-e-eesa7 ki hai taaseer8
har soKhta9 jaane ke ba kashmir dar aayad10
gar murGh-e-kabaab11 ast ke ba baal o par aayad

1.beholden, dependent 2.praise 3.heart capturing region 4.reflection of 5.garden of heaven 6.high heaven 7.breath of Jesus, healing breeze 8.effect 9.burnt 10.to come 11.roasted bird

This heart capturing region does not need any praise.  The garden of kashmir is a twin-image of the garden of heaven.  High heaven is but a spoiled picture of this garden.  Every gust of wind has the effect of the healing breath of Jesus.  Every burnt/saddened heart should come to kashmir, even if it is like a bird roasted into a kabaab, it can regenerate its feathers and wings.

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