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
enjoy:

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!)

Kanwar

===========================================================================

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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