Please leave your comments using the form below,
I am going to miss the small photos of the poets, though I understand that the list is growing far too long. I appreciate reading poets I had never heard of, and especially learning about non-Muslim poets. Who knew Qamar Jalalabadi was Om Prakash Bhandari! I had assumed he was a Muslim. Says something about my stereotyping, and how this site is helping break them!
But you DO have the photos. If you make the cursor hover over the poet’s name, a photo and short bio pops up. Where photos are not available, a photo of the front page of their book pops up.
Wow its lovely and nice
Thank you. Glad you like it. It all makes it worthwhile. Thanks.
Sir I’m 17 years old, lives in Urdu environment and study in Hindi-English environment. I love urdu too much, I know to read but unable to write it. I want to be an Urdu student , just want to blend in urdu poetry/literature culture. And I’ll definitely.
One day I’ll be like ZIA MOINUDDIN sir (My Idol)
I just discovered this just now and
you’re doing the best and the best work right now keep it up
really you’re doing EHSAN on us.
I’ll discover it more
Allah aapko boht khush aur tarotaaza rakhe.
Thank you for your appreciation. When young people like you find the site enjoyable and useful, I feel fulfilled. Best of luck in your aspirations.
Shahid bhai You are doing a great service to the Urdu language and I hope you will continue your tireless efforts to kee Urdu alive and well.
Aapne itna Khoobsoorat compilation kiya hai, Mainon aur Talaffuz ke saath … Bahut Bahut Shukriya, Janaab – mein aapka hamesha ShukraGuzaar rahoonga!!
Thanks for your appreciation.
I love your work and see your passion for Urdu language all over it. I also learnt Hindi, English & Telugu while growing up in Hyderabad, India but I have learnt Urdu recently. I can read but cannot write well. I consider myself a student of urdu & create an urdu poetry podcast.This podcast helps me keep learning. I will be visiting Urdushahkar.org more often to learn from your great work. More power to you. Please let me know if I can be of any help.
Thank you for your interest. I am glad you found the site enjoyable. Please tell your friends. That is the only way readership can increase.
Moazzam Sahib told me about your Urdu Shahkar and we are very impressed with the material/information available at this site. It is a very laborious task and I have to appreciate your devotion to Urdu. We met last time at the Urdu Markaz function when Nuzaira received an award. I am occasionally in correspondence with Asha. Hello to her.
Thank you for remembering.
I came across your website Urdu Shahkar when I was browsing the internet for my poetry online. I was pleasantly surprised to find some of my ghazals therein. I read your ‘Welcome Page’ where you had mentioned that you did not learn Urdu formally. I too have no formal background in Urdu, but the love for the ghazal inspired me to learn Urdu with its beautiful script through a correspondence course.
You are doing a wonderful job in introducing Urdu poetry to the non Urdu readers also. It is very reader friendly , not only having the ghazal in Urdu, Devanagari and Roman scripts , but also voice files of the ghazals . The icing on the cake is the Notes section where you have painstakingly given meanings of words and your explanation of the verses. What more can one who wishes to appreciate the ghazal ask for?
Bigger sites like Rekhta.org which are doing marathon work in popularizing Urdu language and poetry have a dedicated staff and a greater network.
Urdu Shahkar site appears to be a labour of love by you, supported by a few well-wishers. I too shall also be happy to help in any way I can.
Thanks and regards,
Thanks. It is a pleasure and an honour to have you associated with urdushahkar. I hope that we can see much more of your work on the site. I will certainly do my part.
this can only be a labor of devotion and love – stay blessed, sir!
aapko shat shat pranaam ki aapne itna bhala kaam kiya jis se bahut logon ko bahut fayada hoga!
Thank you kindly.
Nice selection of Urdu Poetry. I really appreciate you. Keep it up!
You can visit for more poetry selection of Allama Iqbal https://muhammad-iqbal.com/
1. Where is Meer Taqi Meer in the index of Poets?
2. Where is Naqsh-e-Faryadi in Ghaliib’s ghazals?
These are amazing omissions.
You are quite right. These would be amazing omissions except that there are two wonderful sites both created and maintained by Prof. Frances Pritchett, that have scholarly interpretations of all of Ghalib and mir. I have chosen to start with others because there is this vast portfolio already available. I do think that there is some value in adding those too because the Pritchett’s site does not have audio recitation and may be cumbersome for those who seek “street language” interpretations rather than scholarly discussions. I will get to them in due time. My only excuse is that at the moment I am handling this single-handed. I appreciate your interest. That you ask for more, implies that you like what you are getting. I am flattered.
I chanced to see your Shahkar purely accidentally today. It is a monumental work done – and being done – by you. I haven’t seen anything such a comprehensive and meaningful work on Urdu in one place. I have read Urdu poetry fairly widely but you have provided filled some of the gaps in my knowledge. One of the main difficulties in Urdu is the absence of Airaab or their incorrect placement. You have solved that problem for me. Also the importance of meter and its components is very educative.I propose to read your articles regularly and systematically and get educated at this ripe old age!
In short, marhaba for your aptly named Shahkar.
Thanks a lot SM Shahed for this beautiful site.
as a lover of both Urdu poetry and music I appreciate particularly the rendition of poems by singers
Bohot meherbani aap ki aur zindabad UrduShahkar !!
Shahed, I listened to your recitation of Khalifat-un fil arz – vaheed aKhtar. His phraseology sounded a bit stilted or forced. His queries a bit too respectful. Whatever. I was curious about this man. Taught at Aligarh for a while, then got killed in the shooting down of a passenger plane by the US Navy, with family. He was supposed to be a Marxist. I wonder was his apologetics were. Probably no reference to Stalin’s monumental misdeeds.
BTW, you don’t seem to have any of Yegana Changezi’s works.
The nazam that you posted today, titled “va-dakhli jannati” reminded me of another nazam on the same subject of the concept of jannat (heaven). While yours is serious and thought provoking, the one I am reminded of is light-hearted and satirical. It is titled “maulvi sahib Jannat mein” and describes the fictitious scenario as one shaikh/maulvi enters heaven. I thought you and your readers might be interested in listening to this video:
Amazingly courageous stuff!
The poor soul passed away 60 (or so) years ago, thinking we are just around the corner for the age of REASON to dawn for his people.
He underestimated the clutches of “fear of the unknown” on the human reptilian brain. There was going to be no dawning of REASON anywhere on the Indian Sub-Continent.
The Ummah and their foes were to move violently and with speed towards FAITH and irrationality.
And till blind faith masquerades as a VIRTUE – there will be no “SAHR”.
You have asked your readers to support this campaign. Well intentioned and granted probably better than nothing.
But the rot runs very deep below the surface and peace rallies can only be a surface balm. Even if COVA temporarily achieves its goals, there is always Macbeth’s apprehension to remind us: “We have scorched the snake, not killed it. She’ll close and be herself whilst our poor malice remains in danger of her former tooth.”
I am confused. My holy Book tells me that my God will burn “idol worshippers” in hell for eternity. Obviously, being friendly with folks that my God hates so much cannot be right. Are you asking me to ignore this teaching?
I leave you with my favorite mullah Nasruddin story:
Late one night some of Mullah Nasruddin’s students were walking past his house when they saw their venerable teacher on his hands and knees searching for something under the street lamp post.
“Mullah what have you lost?” they ask politely.
“The key to my house,” answers Nasruddin.
Being deeply respectful of their teacher, they all get on their hands and knees searching for the lost key. After quite some time one of the students finally asks the Mullah:
“Now where exactly do you think you dropped it?”
Nasruddin casually waves back towards the house and says,
“Back there, in front of the door to the house!”
Hearing this they all jump back on their feet and ask,
“Then why in the world are we looking for it here?”
Mullah Nasruddin smiles and replies: “THERE IS MORE LIGHT HERE!”
hamiN haiN vo kaThputliyaaN jin ko mazhab
nachaata hai phir bhi na hum dekhte haiN
A diseased brain, violently allergic to penicillin, but is convinced that a bigger and “purer” dose of penicillin is the only cure. For an old Honeywell engineer like yourself: look here is a great example of a death spiral with +ve feedback!
It is time to stand up and shoot back. And If that hurts the feelings of your “pious” irrational-bat-shit-believer friends, then that should be considered an acceptable and necessary collateral damage at this point in the game.
BTW did you time this after the Manchester incident?
The poem by Sikandar Ali Wajd on workers’ message to students was exquisite. Thanks for sharing that. In the tradition of Sahir’s Taj mahal and Kaifi’s Makaan. The latter poem would be a great addition to Urdu Shahkaar.
Josh Malihabadi may say …
مودِ فقر و سکونِ قلندری کو سلام
کہ اب بشر ہے خبر تشنہ و نظر مشتاق
غلط کہ بارشِ رحمت ہے کارسازِ معاش
جبینِ اہلِ عمل کا پسینہ ہے رزّاق
But also consider this:
An elephant bound in ropes, the eclipse of the sun and the poverty of the wise, makes it obvious that the power of fate is always supreme.
– Bhartrihari’s Nitishatakam 91
Dear Shahed: It seems Hindi and Urdu readers instantly know the real identity of the beloved (Aa ke wabasta hai uss husn . . . ) This identity is what gives this ghazal its great poignancy, resonance and power, but a non-Desi reader if not already informed could miss the point of all the pining. Yes, you do say that you’d reveal the identity, but it’s way down. I bet it’d be overwhelming for anyone to bounce through so many conceptual gems, so laden in meaning, before getting to your explanation.
I am pointing out this small quibble only because I have been listening to this ghazal every so often in the past 30 years, and finding solace in dark times like these. You have done a wonderful job of explaining the ideas. I admire your efforts and envy the pleasures you find in the enchanting world of Urdu sha’iri.
“February is a suitable month for dying. Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long.” Anna Quindlen.
And yet, this February has truly been remarkable, for Shahed, through his lovingly curated Faiz-Makhdoom posts has sent us all a great Valentine. Half the month is still left, and I await each offering with enthusiastic anticipation. Though I love Faiz as deeply as anyone else, I enjoy Makhdoom just a little more. Surely I am in a minority, but there is simplicity in his poetry that appeals to me.
Thank you, Shahed.
ندرت خیالی اور قادر الکلامی ، استاد قمر جلالوی کے کلام کے دونوں جواہرسے مرصع غزل شائع کرنے کا شکریہ۔
استاد قمر جلالوی کے تقریباً سبھی کلام میں بے پناہ درد کی کیفیت پائی جاتی ہے۔ میری نظر میں ان کا مقام صفِ اول کے شعرا میں ہوتاہے لیکن جس طرح اپنی زندگی میں پسماندگی کا شکار رہے ویسے ہی ان کے کلام
کوبھی وہ شہرت حاصل نہ ہو سکی جس کے وہ حق دار تھے۔ امید ہے اردو شاہکار میں ان کا مزید کلام دیکھنے کو ملے گا۔
I would like to join to enjoy Urdu. Please welcome me.
Would like to be a member to enjoy Urdu. Hope you will respond.
Thank you for posting Behzad Lucklavi’s “saamne manzil aa jaaye” and for your interpretation of the ghazal.
I have always been intrigued by the meaning and message embedded in this ghazal, especially given that it is quite popular. Superficially, the ghazal sounds like the wishful ruminations of a laid-back, indecisive person. But it has been interpreted in many different ways by many people. At one end there is Bharat Desai (on You Tube) who has given it a “divine/spiritual” interpretation invoking “Shiva/Allah/God”. At the other end, the ghazal has been used by the Pakistan Armed Forces as the background audio in martial videos, supposedly for inspiring soldiers. Perhaps the poet wrote it in the age-old tradition of deliberate ambiguity and multiple meanings. Some would say that therein lies the charm and mystique of a ghazal.
I will be curious to know what others think of the ghazal.
I received this letter with a suggestion that I post it on this page. Here is a copy-paste.
Bhai Shahed, Adaab
I was reading much of the material on Urdushakaar about all the poets that you have been
compiling. Bravo shahed Bhai, when I think of is it looks that you have surpassed any of the
Urdu sites that I have seen throughout these years. Each of the ghazal or a nazm with
translation meaning explanation, description and everything a reader would want to see.
Upon all this you also recite the poems the way they are supposed to be read, and recited.
Every time I read any of your ghazals from your archives I feel that the ghazal it is so
refreshing to read and gain knowledge of the true meaning and intention of the poet. Your
observations are remarkable. I really take my hat off for the work you are doing. After all
this, when everything is said and done you let the reader listen to a music rendering by
various artists, including me which I present in a humble way. It is remarkable. May be
some of the readers are not aware of this trend of Urdushakaar, but I sincerely hope that
people do see this and this site becomes the most successful site of the Urdu language.
Amazingly Hindi is also included. Now no one can complain that he does not know Urdu.
If Mirza Ghalib had to read and know the site, I am sure he was be amazed and then attribute
this famous share to you instead to Bhadur Shah Zafar.
Tum salamat raho hazaar baras
Her baras kay hoon din pachaas hazaar.
Great Admirer of Urdushakaar
It took long time for Fehmida Riaz to discover Nia Bharat. We have seen this in the past, long before partition and before Modi and Vajpai. It is not to say that the madness does not exist on the other side of the border. In fact border was not necessary if sanity prevailed on both side.
Anis and Shakespeare
Good research. Excellent comparison. Qualities of a righteous.
مجھے اس ویب سائڈ میں شعراء کا کلام تلاش کرنے دشواریوں کا سامنا ہے۔گزارش ہےکہ رہنمائی فرمائیں ۔
Please send me an e-mail on [email protected] with your contact information. I will be happy to walk you through the navigation procedure. Thanks for your interest.
یہ تین اشعار خاص طور پسند آئے
کیوں آئے یہاں کوئی تمنّا تیرے ہوتے
یہ کعبۂ دِل ہے کوئی بُتخانہ نہیں ہے
اُجڑا ہے تو اب یہ کبھی آباد نہ ہو گا
میرا دِلِ برباد ہے ویرانہ نہیں ہے
رونے كے بھی آداب ہوا کرتے ہیں فانی
یہ اُن کی گلی ہے تیرا غم خانہ نہیں ہے
مزدور کے بارہ میں بہت کچھ لکھا اور کہا گیا لیکن بے چارہ اب بھی وہیں ہے جہاں صدیوں پہلے تھا۔
پاکستان میں جب بھٹو مزدور کے کندھے پر سوار ہو کر تخت نشین ہوئےتوکئی شاعر، ادیب اور فن کار بھی موقع دیکھ کر جلوس میں شامل ہو گئے۔ بہرحال، ان دنوں کراچی میں مزدور کے نام پر ایک مشاعرہ منعقد ہوا جس کا مصرع طرح تھا ’ آج کا دن مزدور کا دن ہے‘۔ سرور بارہ بنکوی کا ایک دل چسپ شعر یاد آتا ہے۔
آج کا دن ہے ہے یومِ اناالحق آج کا دن مزدور کا دن ہے۔
Thanks for your comments and interest in urdushahkar.
A she’r of munnawar raana comes to mind
so jaate haiN fooT paath pe aKhbaar bichha kar
mazdoor kabhi neend ki goli nahiN khaate
The misra of suroor barabankvi that you mention is included in urdushahkar
کچھ اپنی جہالت کچھ بھلکڑ پن، سرور بارہ بنکوی کے شعر کا استحصال کر دیا۔ شعر یو ں ہے:
آج کا دن ہے یوم انا الحق آج کا دن منصور کا دن ہے
Thoroughly enjoyed your post on Iqbal’s farsi nazm Az-khwaab-e-giraan-khez. You did an incredible job of translating and explaining. The musical rendering by the Tajik singer is equally wonderful. Thank you.
Tajik singer, saifuddin akramov
اقبال کی نظم ۔از خوابِ گراں خیز کا آپ نے بہت اچھا ترجمہ کیا ہے۔ تاجک گوے سیف الدین اکرم کو کہاں سے ڈھونڈ نکالا ہے۔ پُر مغز کلام، پُر لطف ساز و آواز۔ بہت شکریہ! رشید ارشد
Azizum, here’s a query to pick your formidable knowledge of Urdu shayeri and readings in English lit. Frances Pritchett says in her book “Nets of Awareness” that the concerns and heartaches of Urdu poets are no different from those of their counterparts in other languages, Shakespeare included, I guess. Somehow, this statement does not sound entirely sound. Poets in English, Adrienne Rich and the New Yorker poems, seem to capture their intense personal moments. English political poetry I am yet to discover if it exists at all. What do the French and the fabled Russian poets speak of?
Any thoughts on this nebulous subject? You and Mir Ali Raza?
Please see the parallels between Shakespeare and Mir Anis … rough contemporaries and totally unaware of each other. There are several other examples of translations which fit naturally in each lingusitic/cultural setting – see iqbal and faiz. tabatabaii is a classic. I have some beautiful pieces by African resistance/liberation movement poets which faraz has tackled as translations. It will be a while before I get to them. But I was really intrigued by the result of my own translation of mohammed ali. It is so full of passion that the urdu translation feels so natural. Take a second look at it, especially mohammed ali’s oral recitation and think of any urdu shaa’er reciting his shaa’eri.
Re Josh’s “Aye Nau-e bashar jaag” was rousing and innovative in its use of metaphors, but its didactic tone grated on my nerves. Also, the thrust of his argument seemed to have one particular ethnic community in mind, or so I read. Applying some of his criticism to other nationalities did not seem to work.
Can anything so didactic, so sarcastic cab ever be literature? As I understand it, literature has no agenda, certainly not a political agenda. Iqbal, too, is didactic in many ways, and he also grates on the nerves. His waas as much or more propaganda than literature. Same seems to be the case. They were near contemporaries, weren’t they?
Your dedication and passion are admirable, Shahed.
Literature has an agenda or not? Classical debate of the Progressive Writer’s Association. Yes, both josh and iqbal are didactic. I am getting ready to post post iqbal’s farsi “az Khwaab-e giraaN Khez” – “from you deep slumber rise”. The title of josh’s “nau-e bashar jaag” sits as a nice parallel. It is illustrative to compare iqbal’s focus on muslims only with josh’s universalism. He does have a message for all communities. I am pasting here my comments on a relevant stanza …. There are loud cries of how great Hindu civilization was in ancient times, including knowledge of “interplanetary flight” and “plastic surgery”. There are similar flights of fancy (of Islamic superiority) in some of Iqbal’s compositions. Also see Fahmida Riaz’s “naya bharat” for a beautiful, satirical composition on this tendency. Apparently this was also quite prevalent during Josh’s time. It is not entirely clear if the focus of Josh’s composition is on Hindu or Islamic boasts of glory. I would like to think, both. Thus he says … It is a mischief of distorted history, the fable that you were once noble and great. By god this is a vain boast, o my weak-kneed friend. And even if it were true, o somnambulant and helpless one, yes once again, once again and yet again awake. O humankind, o humankind, o humankind awake.
محترم شاہد صاحب،
جوش کی پُر جوش نظم پوسٹ کرنے کا شکریہ۔
رشید ارشد، لا س انجلس
محترم شاہد صاحب
تقسیم یا بٹوارہ کے بارے میں نظموں کا انتخاب بہت عمدہ ہے۔ بات جگن ناتھ آزاد سے شروع ہوئی۔ ان کی ایک نظم کے مخاطب بھارت کے مسلمان ہیں اور دوسرئ کے پاکستانی۔ ہر دو نظموں میں محبت کا پیغام ہے ۔ کیا انہوں کی کسی نظم میں بھارت کے ہندووں کے لِیے بھی کوئی پیغام ہے؟ بات فراز کی نظم پر ختم ہوتی ہے۔
ستم تو یہ کہ دونوں کے مرغزاروں سے
ہوائے فتنہ و بوئے فساد آتی ہے
الم تو یہ کہ دونوں کو وہم ہے کہ بہار
عدو کے خوں میں نہانے سے آتی ہے
دونوں اطراف کے دانش وروں (اور غیر دانشوروں یعنی سیاست دانوں) کو اس طرف توجہ کرنی چاہیئے۔ اور اپنی سرحدوں کے اندر پیار کا پرچار کرنا چاہیے تاکہ خون سے لکھی ہوئی نظریاتی لکیر دھل جائے۔
Janab SM Shahed Saheb.A few days back I have sent a message on” contact us”. As I did not receive any response, I am writing this in this Form.
It is wonderful job you have done by this creating this website. I am not addicted to Shayeri but read poetry from different poets and enjoy it. You have done a great service for Urdu Shayeri by creating this website. The Urdu Shayri will remain always by this website. Thank you very much. I am missing my favorite Shayer Qumar Barabankvi in the list of Shayer. Any reason for not including him in this website?
Shivani Gupta Agarval sings this ghazal with great feeling in sharp contrast to Nurjahan’s rather shrill, rather smug, rather holier-than-thou rendering of many decades ago. Nurjahan is supposed to have sung this one in Faiz’s presence, reportedly during an evening when Faiz was particularly downcast. Whatever.
Dear Shahed, It is a pleasure to learn from you and I am amazed at your dedication and beautiful work you are doing. Please convey my appreciation of your latest addition Ms. Shivani whose melodious voice is soothing.
Thank you for all your efforts.
The latest addition of Josh’s Zindan-e Mussalas blew me away. Such uncompromising humanism and internationalism, which alas, remains elusive till date.
Hubb-e-vatan ke sar par, ae auj-e-aadmiyat
kab tak nahiN paRegi hubb-e-jahaN ki Thokar?
of course, Josh can be counted on for his slight broadsides at God:
haN vahdat-e-Khuda ka aelaan ho chuka hai
ab vahdat-e-bashar ka duniya koii paiamber?
Of course, Josh himself is angling for that payambari.
Bravo, Shahed. You are true curator.
I received a comment from Yousuf Sardar Sahib on the distribution list of Charminar Connection which also gets regular updates of urdushahkar. I thought I would copy and paste his comment on the site.
عزیز محترم شاھد صاحب ، آداب و دعا !
یہ ہم پر اردو اور اردو شاعری کے چاھنے والوں پر سرا سر الزام ( doubt ) ہے یہ لکھ کر
I hope you like and enjoy the site.
آپ نے اردو شہکار جو بہت ہی پیارا اور خوبصورت تحفہ ہم جیسے اردو کے شیدائوں کو سی _ سی کے توسط سے دے کر صحیح معنوں میں بچاری اردو کی بھی خدمت کر رہیں ہیں۔ وہ غزلیات اور نظمیں جن پر دھول پڑی تھی شہکار نے ہمارے ذہنوں کو پھر سے صاف ستھرا اورتازہ کر دیا ماشا اللہ ____
جس کے لئے ہم تہیہ دل سے آپ کے ممنون ہیں۔
اب ذرا ” گیتا ” کو بھی سنئے____(صرف “گیتا” اس لیے کہ “جلی” لکھنا مجھے اچھا نہ لگا ، وہ جو مخدوم و فیض کی شیدا ہو ) وہ اپنی مخملی آواز میں فیض اور مخدوم کا مختصر تعرف کرا کر یہ غزل گو ہویں___
( ایک گزارش ممبران سی – سی سے __دوران غزل گیتان جلی نے بہت ہی خوبصورت الفاظ میں یاد دھانی اور شکایت کی اپنےسننےوالوں سے _!زرا وہ بھی نوٹ کریں ___تب مجھے احساس ہوا کہ کیا ہم ؟ اپنے سی -سی کے لکھنے والے مصوروں کو دل کھول کر داد دیںنے میں کہیں کنجوسی تو نہی برت رہے ہیں ________ ؟
جو اپنا قیمتی وقت نکال کر اچھی اچھی نظمیں ، کچھ اپنی سنو کچھ میری سنو ، گزرے زمانے کی پارینہ قصے ، ارٹیکل اور قدرت کے نظارے بھیجتے ہیں ، کیا ان کی دلجوئ کے لیے بنا دوات قلم کے صرف ایک انگلی کا کھیل ہے دو حرف لکھیں ۔
The May Day poems were an awesome addition. People may carp about their poetic quality, but it is a useful reminder how Urdu poetry in the 1930s-1980s in particular was closely associated with the socialist movement in particular, and with progressivism in general.
The most interesting thing is that as Shahed continues to populate Urdu Shahkar with poems, we can actually create categories of our own and look for poems that address them. For example, I am hoping that over time, I will find many poems that address the “Third World,” a formulation that now seems antiquated, but which had powerful resonances in the post WW2 period till the break-up of the Soviet Union. Poems on Vietnam and Congo and Beirut and Iran come to mind. For the moment, I am content to enjoy Shahed’s categories (Taj Mahal is a recent favorite).
Vatan ki galiyaN is a wonderful creation. My wife, Nayeem Sultana, and I, as we listened to your audio recitation, felt that the galiyaN of this here world, too, were awfully dear to us. We recalled every court and drive we ever lived on, and looked back with great warmth. So, where is Vatan? Is this place not vatan? Why not?
Good question. “vatan” may be ephemeral, emotional, geographic and transportable. There is a tradition … “where are you from” actually means “where are your forebears buried”. I have every intention of breaking that tradition, either going into the deep blue sea or up in smoke.
While boxing up my books for an impending move, I cam upon The Rebels’ Silhouette, the late Agha Shahid Ali’s translation of a few of Faiz’s poems. Tum merey pas raho merey qatil mere dildar . . . by Nayyara Noor. This one is my altime favorite. Here’s Shahid Ali’s translation.
You who demolish me, you whom I love,
be near me. Remain near me when evening,
drunk on the blood of the skies,
becomes night, in its one hand
a perfumed balm, in the other
a sword sheathed in the diamond of the stars.
Be near me when when night laments or sings,
or when it begins to dance,
its steel-blue anklets ringing with grief.
Be here when longings, long submerged
in the heart’s waters, resurface
and everyone begins to look:
where is the assassin? in whose sleeve
is hidden the redeeming knife?
And when wine, as it is poured, is the sobbing
of children whom othing will console —
when nothing holds,
when nothing is:
at that dark hour when night mourns
be near me, my destroyer, my lover
be near me.
ہمّت افزائی کا شکریہ۔ کوشش برقرار رکھونگا۔
احمد فراز کی نظم محاصرہ
‘‘مجاہد کی تلوار’’
ویب سائیٹ کی صورت بہت اچھی ہو گئی ہے اور مواد نہایت اعلیٰ ہے۔ یہ ایک بہت بڑا مجاہدہ ہے۔
My comments refer to Ghalib’s bazichaye atfaal hai duniya . . . . I think a superior musical rendering was made by Sanjeev and karuna as in:
Bãzeecha-é-Atfãl Hai Duniyã Meré Ãgé 10:00 Karuna & Sanjeev Inspiration Unfolding World 0 6
This is from my own iTunes link of Karuna and Sanjeev’s album. Hope it works.
This nazm plays on the heartstrings of most Muslims’ fervent (febrile?) religious ideas. Woh din jiska wa’ada hai. Day of Judgment. The great leveling, koh-e giraaN flying like fir, when the public will be centerstage. Faiz’s use of all the Islamic ideas as metaphors is not just cheeky, but quite shameless. Or is it Faiz’s way of acknowledging, not just borrowing, the collective Muslim hope / prayer for Deliverance one day? Except, Faiz promises deliverance here and now, and not in the Hereafter.
Bible does not offer any such hope, just survival no matter how pathetic.
Re: Your post of March 11, 2016. Faiz’s nazm “hum dekheNge” is indeed powerful and its rendition in song by Iqbal Bano is indeed electrifying. Thank you for posting.
Although the nazm may also be suggesting a revolution of the oppressed, it occurred to me that the gist of the nazm is similar to the biblical expression “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”.
Thanks for putting the “raqeeb se” ghazal on. I have swooned to it for the past 25 years. I’m sure you know that the beauty of Urdu poetry is in the richness of “ma’ana afarini.” This poem has always meant to me what you do not seem to perceive or express explicitly: La Revolucion! Faiz seems to be likening the promise, the lusciousness of Revolution, to a young lass, whose intoxicating youth is offering itself to you, the populace, with all its power. You have seen its wide forehead, the cheeks and luscious lips. “Tujh pe bhi barsey ga is mahtaab ka noor,” if only you would welcome her.
Wow. Thanks. I will look at this again and modify the post. Thanks a lot.
Urdu-Hindi by Lata Haya.
Vah vah. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!. Shahed, your Urdu recitation is wonderful! Thanks, Bud.
Shahed: The audio didn’t play at all. Silence for 3 min. How about putting in the link to Noor Jahan’s immortal rendering of it, reportedly sung on Faiz’s request? It’s on Youtube.
Thanks for putting on “Aake wabasta hain us husn ki yadein tujh se.” This one has to be among Faiz’s top 10? One of my personal all-time favorites, immortalized by the haunting voice of Noor Jahan.
I just uploaded Noor Jahaan’s “raqeeb se”.
This site is the biggest time-thief ever!
Thank you so much, and may your pen (or your keyboard) continue its merry song as you populate the site.
My favorite mode of consumption of these poems is to play the audio site while scrolling through the English text. I am familiar with Urdu, but my vocabulary is not so strong as to do without Shahed’s annotations. I enjoy listening to his declamations because through appropriate emphasis, they help me grasp the meanings of some lines. For example, I read a line that said “Saqi mera salaam-e- adab le ke mai chala”. I thought it meant “Saqi, I took my salaam and went.” But through Shahed’s declamation, I realized it meant “Saqi, accept my salaam, as I go” (“Saqi mera salaam-e- adab le, ke mai chala”). The placement of the comma (or verbal emphasis) was helpful.
Would be interested to know how others are enjoying/using this site.
PS: My favorite set-pieces are Josh’s marsias and some very rare translations (such as Tabatabai’s translation of Gray’s Elegy.”
So much yaas in this poem. Do the “socialist” poets, Faiz and all the rest, have nothing more to say than that they were faithful to the ideal, regardless of the indifference of the people.
Shahid. ” kahaan se zindagi tere kahaan tak agai” A person who had not much of Urdu Adabi knowledge with his dedication now become a revolutionary Poet. Vah-vah. You are doing a khidmath and ahsan on Urdu and Urdu lovers. Anwer. (College Station.TX)
This version of Urdushahkar is a vast improvement over the previous one. I like the sober background colours and the absence of crowded distractions. The scripts are easy to read and the new feature of window pop-ups providing instant meanings is very helpful. I realize that this website is a work in progress but it already provides an impressive resource for Urdu poetry and a common access point for a multitude of Urdu poets.
Almost all of the masterpieces of poetry showcased on this website were originally written on paper, the earliest ones likely using quill on paper. Most of those poets must have never imagined that their memorable works would one day be immortalized in electronic form. Their works are now available in any corner of the globe through the marvel of the internet, thanks to websites like Urdushahkar.
Urdu poetry has always had a unique charm all its own. Until recently, it was enjoyed exclusively by a core of fans who were erudite in the Urdu language and comprehended the nuances, the metaphors, the Sufi philosophical thoughts and the double entendres. Outside this core, there were many who yearned to be able to enjoy this poetry but were constrained by an unavailability of transliteration in Devanagari or Roman scripts. Now they have it, along with instant translations of difficult Urdu words and phrases.
With mass availability to a wide range of potential fans, there truly seems to be a renaissance of Urdu poetry taking hold. For years to come, aficionados of Urdu poetry will be grateful to people like SM Shahed who has championed urdushahkar.org and Sanjiv Saraf who has championed Rekhta,org. Please keep up the good work. Godspeed.
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