Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Raat Bhi Neend Bhi Kahani Bhi

raat bhii niind bhii kahaanii bhii
haaye kyaa chiiz hai javaanii bhii

ek paiGaam-e-zi.ndaganii bhii
aashiqii marg-e-naagahaanii bhii

is adaa kaa terii javaab nahii.n
meharabanii bhii saragaraanii bhii

dil ko apane bhii Gam the duniyaa me.n
kuchh balaaye.N thii aasmaanii bhii

ma.nsab-e-dil Khushii luTaataa hai
Gam-e-pi.nhaa.N bhii paasabaanii bhii

dil ko sholo.n se karatii hai sairaab
zi.ndagii aag bhii hai paanii bhii

shaad-kaamo.n ko ye nahii.n taufiiq
dil-e-Gamagii.n kii shaadamaanii bhii

laakh husn-e-yaqii.n se ba.Dakar hai
in nigaaho.n kii badagumaanii bhii

ta.nganaa-e-dil-e-malaal me.n hai
behr-e-hastii kii bekaraanii bhii

ishq-e-naakaam kii hai parachhaa_ii
shaadamaanii bhii kaamaraanii bhii

dekh dil ke nigaar-Khaane me.n
zaKhm-e-pi.nhaa.N kii hai nishaanii bhii

Khalq kyaa-kyaa mujhe nahii.n kahatii
kuchh sunuu.N mai.n terii zabaanii bhii

aaye taariiKh-e-ishq me.n sau baar
maut ke daur-daramiyaanii bhii

apanii maasuumiyo.n ke parde me.n
ho ga_ii vo nazar sayaanii bhii

din ko suuraj-mukhii hai vo naugul
raat ko vo hai raat-raanii bhii

dil-e-badanaam tere baare me.n
log kahate hai.n ik kahaanii bhii

nazm karate ko_ii na_ii duniyaa
ki ye duniyaa hu_ii puraanii bhii

dil ko aadaab-e-ba.ndagii bhii na aaye
kar gaye log hukmaraanii bhii

jaur-e-kam-kam kaa shukriyaa bas hai
aap kii itanii meharabaanii bhii

dil me.n ik huuk bhii uThe ai dost
yaad aa_ii terii javaanii bhii

sar se paa tak sapurdagii kii adaa
ek andaaz-e-turkamaanii bhii

paas rahanaa kisii kaa raat kii raat
mehamaanii bhii mezabaanii bhii

jo na aks-e-jabiin-e-naaz ki hai
dil me.n ik nuur-e-kahakashaanii bhii

zindagii ain diid-e-yaar "Firaq"
zindagii hijr kii kahaanii bhii

Firak Gorakhpuri

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In poetry, the ghazal (Persian: غزل; Turkish gazel) is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain. Each line must share the same meter. The Arabic word "ghazal" is pronounced roughly like the English word "guzzle", but with a different first consonant, and literally means "speaking with women." A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The form is ancient, originating in 6th century pre-Islamic Arabic verse. It is derived from the Arabian panegyric qasiida. The structural requirements of the ghazal are similar in stringency to those of the Petrarcan sonnet. In its style and content it is a genre which has proved capable of an extraordinary variety of expression around its central themes of love and separation. It is one of the principal poetic forms the Indo-Perso-Arabic civilization offered to the eastern Islamic world.
The ghazal spread into South Asia in the 12th century under the influence of the new Islamic Sultanate courts and Sufi mystics. Exotic to the region, as is indicated by the very sounds of the name itself when properly pronounced as ġazal, with its very un-Indian initial voiced velar fricative g. Although the ghazal is most prominently a form of Urdu poetry, today, it is found in the poetry of many languages.
Ghazals were written by the Persian mystics and poets Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (13th century) and Hafez (14th century), the Turkish poet Fuzuli (16th century), as well as Mirza Ghalib (1797–1869) and Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938), who both wrote Ghazals in Persian and Urdu. Through the influence of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), the ghazal became very popular in Germany in the 19th century, and the form was used extensively by Friedrich Rückert (1788–1866) and August von Platen (1796–1835). The Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali was a proponent of the form, both in English and in other languages; he edited a volume of "real ghazals in English."
In some modernized ghazals the poet's name is featured somewhere in the last verse.

The ghazal not only has a specific form, but traditionally deals with just one subject: Love. And not any kind of love, but specifically, an illicit, and unattainable love. The subcontinental ghazals have an influence of Islamic Mysticism and the subject of love can usually be interpreted for a higher being or for a mortal beloved. The love is always viewed as something that will complete a human being, and if attained will lift him or her into the ranks of the wise, or will bring satisfaction to the soul of the poet. Traditional ghazal love may or may not have an explicit element of sexual desire in it, and hence the love may be spiritual.
The Persian historian Ehsan Yar-Shater notes that "As a rule, the beloved is not a woman, but a young man. In the early centuries of Islam, the raids into Central Asia produced many young slaves. Slaves were also bought or received as gifts. They were made to serve as pages at court or in the households of the affluent, or as soldiers and body-guards. Young men, slaves or not, also, served wine at banquets and receptions, and the more gifted among them could play music and maintain a cultivated conversation. It was love toward young pages, soldiers, or novices in trades and professions which was the subject of lyrical introductions to panegyrics from the beginning of Persian poetry, and of the ghazal." (Yar-Shater, Ehsan. 1986. Persian Poetry in the Timurid and Safavid Periods, Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.973-974. 1986)
The ghazal is always written from the point of view of the unrequited lover, whose beloved is portrayed as unattainable. Most often either the beloved does not return the poet's love or returns it without sincerity, or else the societal circumstances do not allow it. The lover is aware and resigned to this fate but continues loving nonetheless; the lyrical impetus of the poem derives from this tension. Representations of the lover's powerlessness to resist his feelings often include lyrically exaggerated violence. The beloved's power to captivate the speaker may be represented in extended metaphors about the "arrows of his eyes", or by referring to the beloved as an assassin or a killer. Take for example the following couplets from Amir Khusro's Persian ghazal Nami danam chi manzil buud shab:

Nami-danam chi manzil buud shab jaay ki man buudam;
Baharsu raqs-e bismil buud shab jaay ki man buudam.
Pari paikar nigaar-e sarw qadde laala rukhsare;
Sarapa aafat-e dil buud shab jaay ki man buudam.

I wonder what was the place where I was last night,
All around me were half-slaughtered victims of love, tossing about in agony.
There was a nymph-like beloved with cypress-like form and tulip-like face,
Ruthlessly playing havoc with the hearts of the lovers.