muraqqa-e ibrat-03-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.

مُرقعِ عبرت ۔ پنڈت برج نرائن چکبست

قوم کی حالت

۱

ہے لب پہ میرے اُلفتِ قومی کا ترانہ

آئینہ کیفیتِ نیرنگِ زمانہ

ہاں گوشِ حقیقت سے سنیں عاقل و دانا

تقدیر کی گردش کا یہ پُر درد فسانہ

کِس اوج سے اِس قوم کا یہ حال ہوا ہے

کِس طرح یہ گُلشن میرا پامال ہوا ہے

۲

خاموش تھا جو لب وہی سرگرمِ فغاں ہے

جو آگ تھی سینے میں نہاں آج عیاں ہے

بِسمل کی طرح خاطرِ ناشاد تپاں ہے

ہر مدّ نفس صورتِ شمشیر رواں ہے

لختے بَرد اَز من گزرد ہر کہ زپیشم

من فاش فروشِ دِلِ صد پارۂ خویشم

۳

ہے قوم پہ چھایا ہوا یہ ابرِ نحوست

نظروں سے ہے پنہاں رُخِ خورشیدِ سعادت

میدانِ ترقی میں قدم کرتے ہیں رجعت

سائے کی طرح ساتھ ہے اِدبار کی صورت

وہ بارِ الم ہے کہ اُٹھایا نہیں جاتا

بگڑا ہے وہ نقشہ کہ بنایا نہیں جاتا

۴

پیروں میں نہیں روشنیِ چشمِ بصیرت

عنقا ہے جوانوں میں جوانمردی و ہمّت

گمراہ ہوئے جاتے ہیں خود خضرِ طریقت

ہر صفحۂ دِل سے ہے مٹا حرفِ محبّت

باقی ہے کہاں نام و نشاں مہر و وفا کا

کچھ رنگ ہی بدلا نظر آتا ہے ہوا کا

मुरक़्क़ा-ए इब्रत – पन्डित ब्रिज नारायन चकबस्त

क़ौम की हालत

है लब पे मेरे उल्फ़त-ए क़ौमी का तराना

आईना-ए कैफ़िय्यत-ए नैरंग-ए ज़माना

हां गोश-ए हक़ीक़त से सुनें आक़िल ओ दाना

तक़्दीर की गर्दिश का ये पुर-दर्द फ़साना

किस औज से इस क़ौम का ये हाल हुआ है

किस तरह ये गुल्शन मेरा पामाल हुआ है

ख़ामोश था जो लब वोही सरगर्म-ए फ़ुग़ां है

जो आग थी सीने में निहां आज अयां है

बिस्मिल की तरह ख़ातिर-ए नाशाद तपां है

हर मद्द-ए नफ़स सूरत-ए शमशीर रवां है

लख़्ती बरद अज़ मन गुज़रद हर के ज़पीशम

मन फ़ाश फ़रोश दिल-ए सद पारा-ए ख़ीशम

है क़ौम पे छाया हुआ ये अब्र-ए नहूसत

नज़्रौं से है पिन्हां रुख़-ए ख़ुर्शीद-ए स’आदत

मैदान-ए तरक़्क़ी में क़दम करते हैं रज’अत

साए की तरह साथ है इदबार की सूरत

वो बार-ए अलम है के उठाया नहीं जाता

बिग्ढ़ा है वो नक़्शा के बनाया नहीं जाता

पीरौं में नहीं रौशनी-ए चश्म-ए बसीरत

अन्क़ा है जवानों में जवांमर्दि ओ हिम्मत

गुमराह हुए जाते हैं ख़ुद ख़िज़्र-ए तरीक़त

हर सफ़’हा-ए दिल से है मिटा हरफ़-ए मोहब्बत

बाक़ी है कहां नाम ओ निशां महर ओ वफ़ा का

कुच्छ रंग ही बदला नज़र आता है हवा का

 

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
hai lab pe mere ulfat-e-qaumi1 ka taraana
aaina-e kaifiyyat2-e nairaNg3-e zamaana4
haaN gosh-e-haqeeqat5 se suneN aaqil6 o daana7
taqdeer ki gardish8 ka ye pur-dard fasaana9
kِis auj10 se is qaum ka ye haal hua hai
kis tarah ye gulshan mera paamaal11 hua hai    
1.love of nation/community 2.condition 3.changing 4.times 5.truth discerning ears 6.intelligent, informed 7.wise 8.movement, change 9.story 10.apex, climax 11.downtrodden
The song of love of community on my lips, reflecting the condition of changing times. You, who are informed and wise, can know truth when they hear it. Hear this sorrowful story of changing fate. From what heights has this community come down. O, how this garden has been trampled.

2
Khaamosh tha jo lab vohi sargarm-e-fuGhaaN1 hai
jo aag thi seene meN nihaaN2 aaj ayaaN3 hai
bismil4 ki tarah Khaatir-e-naashaad5 tapaaN6 hai
har madd-e-nafas7 surat-e-shamshir8 ravaaN9 hai
laKhti barad az man guzarad har ke zapeesham
man faash farosh dil-e sad paara-e Kheesham    
1.engaged in wailing 2.hidden 3.apparent 4.sacrificial animal 5.unhappy heart 6.agitated, restless 7.wave of breath 8.like a sword 9.moving/cutting
The lips that were silent are now busy wailing. The fire that was hidden in my bosom has now come out. My sorrowful heart throbs/thrashes like a sacrificed beast. Every breath cuts like a sword. Everything that passes before me, cuts me into pieces. I present before you a hundred pieces of my heart.

3
hai qaum pe chhaaya hua ye abr-e-nahoosat1
nazroN se hai pinhaaN2 ruKh3-e Khurshid4-e s’aadat5
midaan-e-taraqqi6 meN qadam karte haiN raj’at7
saaye ki tarah saathh hai idbaar8 ki soorat
vo baar-e-alam9 hai ke uThaaya nahiN jaata
bigRa hai vo naqsha10 ke banaaya nahiN jaata    
1.cloud of bad luck 2.hidden 3.face 4.sun 5.good luck 6.field of progress 7.turn back 8.ill omen 9.burden of sorrow 10.picture
It is as if a cursed cloud hangs over the community hiding the bright sun of blessing. Our feet turn backwards in the field of progress. Bad luck follows us like our shadow. The burden of sorrows cannot be borne any more. The picture is scrambled so badly that it cannot be put back together.

4
peeroN1 meN nahiN raushni-e chashm-e-baseerat2
anqa3 hai javaanoN meN javaaNmardi o himmat
gumraah hue jaate haiN Khud Khizr4-e tareeqat5
har saf’ha6-e dil se hai miTa harf-e mohabbat
baaqi hai kahaaN naam o nishaaN mahr7 o vafa8 ka
kuchh raNg hi badla nazar aata hai hava ka   
1.elders 2.seeing/discerning eye 3.legendary bird which cannot be seen 4.legendary old man who is considered a guide 5.ways, tradition 6.page 7.kindness 8.promise
Our elders no longer have a discerning eye which can see what is needed. Daring and courage is absent from the young like the imaginary bird, anqa. Even the guides of tradition have lost their way. The word of love has been erased from every page. There is not even a trace left of kindness and consideration. The times have changed.

panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926).  See “Overview” tab for a more complete introduction.
1
hai lab pe mere ulfat-e-qaumi1 ka taraana
aaina-e kaifiyyat2-e nairaNg3-e zamaana4
haaN gosh-e-haqeeqat5 se suneN aaqil6 o daana7
taqdeer ki gardish8 ka ye pur-dard fasaana9
kِis auj10 se is qaum ka ye haal hua hai
kis tarah ye gulshan mera paamaal11 hua hai

1.love of nation/community 2.condition 3.changing 4.times 5.truth discerning ears 6.intelligent, informed 7.wise 8.movement, change 9.story 10.apex, climax 11.downtrodden

The song of love of community on my lips, reflecting the condition of changing times.  You, who are informed and wise, can know truth when they hear it.  Hear this sorrowful story of changing fate.  From what heights has this community come down.  O, how this garden has been trampled.
2
Khaamosh tha jo lab vohi sargarm-e-fuGhaaN1 hai
jo aag thi seene meN nihaaN2 aaj ayaaN3 hai
bismil4 ki tarah Khaatir-e-naashaad5 tapaaN6 hai
har madd-e-nafas7 surat-e-shamshir8 ravaaN9 hai
laKhti barad az man guzarad har ke zapeesham
man faash farosh dil-e sad paara-e Kheesham

1.engaged in wailing 2.hidden 3.apparent 4.sacrificial animal 5.unhappy heart 6.agitated, restless 7.wave of breath 8.like a sword 9.moving/cutting

The lips that were silent are now busy wailing.  The fire that was hidden in my bosom has now come out.  My sorrowful heart throbs/thrashes like a sacrificed beast.  Every breath cuts like a sword.  Everything that passes before me, cuts me into pieces.  I present before you a hundred pieces of my heart.
3
hai qaum pe chhaaya hua ye abr-e-nahoosat1
nazroN se hai pinhaaN2 ruKh3-e Khurshid4-e s’aadat5
midaan-e-taraqqi6 meN qadam karte haiN raj’at7
saaye ki tarah saathh hai idbaar8 ki soorat
vo baar-e-alam9 hai ke uThaaya nahiN jaata
bigRa hai vo naqsha10 ke banaaya nahiN jaata

1.cloud of bad luck 2.hidden 3.face 4.sun 5.good luck 6.field of progress 7.turn back 8.ill omen 9.burden of sorrow 10.picture

It is as if a cursed cloud hangs over the community hiding the bright sun of blessing.  Our feet turn backwards in the field of progress.  Bad luck follows us like our shadow.  The burden of sorrows cannot be borne any more.  The picture is scrambled so badly that it cannot be put back together.
4
peeroN1 meN nahiN raushni-e chashm-e-baseerat2
anqa3 hai javaanoN meN javaaNmardi o himmat
gumraah hue jaate haiN Khud Khizr4-e tareeqat5
har saf’ha6-e dil se hai miTa harf-e mohabbat
baaqi hai kahaaN naam o nishaaN mahr7 o vafa8 ka
kuchh raNg hi badla nazar aata hai hava ka

1.elders 2.seeing/discerning eye 3.legendary bird which cannot be seen 4.legendary old man who is considered a guide 5.ways, tradition 6.page 7.kindness 8.promise

Our elders no longer have a discerning eye which can see what is needed.  Daring and courage is absent from the young like the imaginary bird, anqa.  Even the guides of tradition have lost their way.  The word of love has been erased from every page.  There is not even a trace left of kindness and consideration.  The times have changed.

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