My reputation is luckier than me

A long long time ago the serial “Mirza Ghalib” was aired on Doordarshan. That was
my introduction to urdu poetry. Later I purchased its audio cassette and the ghazals
of the serial have always been special to me. A few weeks back I purchased the
DVD of the serial to see it again. We see an episode every 3-4 days. It is so much
better than the crap they show on TV these days. What makes the experience even more
special is the poetic couplets that get exchanged in the dialogues. So I sit with a
pen and paper and note down these couplets. In the third episode Ghalib says the line with a twinkle
in his eyes: ” zikr mera behtar hai ki us mehfil mein hai”. Now that is a WOW line.
My day was made! I had to find the complete ghazal. I found the ghazal on the internet and in a book.
Unfortunately some words were different between these. However here it is for you to

saadgi par uski mar jaane ki hasrat dil mein hai,
bas nahin chalta ki phir khanjar kaf-e-qatil mein hai.

( My desire is to again die for her innocent face…
I have no control, I have again handed over the dagger to my murderer)

garche hai kis kis burai se vale ba-in-hamaa,
zikr mera mujh se behtar hai ki us mehfil mein hai!

( It is okay if all she is saying is bad things about me at the party…
My name and my bad reputation is luckier than me- atleast it has been invited
to her “mehfil”!)

dekhna takreer ki lazzat ki jo usne kaha….
maine yeh jaana ki goya yeh bhi mere dil mein hai!

( My discussions with here were so delightful that whatever she said…..
it seemed to me that my heart said the same thing to me- (Hamare vichar
kitne milte julte hain!))

ranj-e-rah kyon kheenchiye? va-mandagi se ishq hai,
uth nahin sakta hamara jo kadam manzil mein hai?

( why should I not walk along that painful path? I love the tiredness…
my feet have fulfilled their ambition to experience that painful path,
why should I draw them back? )

jalwa zaar-e-aatish-e-dozakh hamara dil sahi,
fitna-e-shor-e-qayaamat kis ki aab-o-gil mein hai?

( My heart may look like the spark from hell
But in which other substance will you find the magic of doomsday?)

hai dil-e-shoriidaa-e-Ghalib tilism-e-pech-o-taab,
raham kar apni tamanna par ki kis mushkil mein hai!

( The disturbed heart of Ghalib contains the magic of complication and fury…
You should worry about your your desire for him: you do not know what
it has got you into!)



husn ghamze ki kashakash se choota mere baad
bade aaram se hai ahal-e-jafa mere baad

( the beautiful eyes of beauty are saved from the tension of looking and being looked
at after I left. There was nothing for the insincere beauties to do after I left!)

aaye hai bekasi-e-ishq pe rona “Ghalib”
kis ke ghar jayegi sailab-e-bala mere baad?

( Sometimes I feel sad for the problems that love will encounter ‘Ghalib”
whose house will love in the form of a flood of misfortune visit after I go away?!)

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