Tag Archives: 10 Years of MHFL

some things forgotten, some things remembered

This poem was posted in the 10th year of MHFL: Nov 2005 to Oct 2006

A Majaz Lucknawi ghazal:

kuch tujh ko khabar hai, hum kya kya ai shorish-e-dauraan bhool gaye?
woh zulf-e-pareshaan bhool gaye, woh deeda-e-giriyaan bhool gaye

( See the kind of things the confusion of worldly affairs has made
me forget:
I have forgotten her wild hair, I have forgotten those tear filled eyes)

ai shauk-e-nazara kya kahiye nazroon mein koi soorat hi nahin
ai zauk-e-tasavuur kya kahiye, hum soorat-e-jaana bhool gaye

( How can I talk about my desire to see when there is no beauty
before my eyes
How can I loose myself in imagining about her when I have forgotten
the face of my beloved)

ab gul se nazar milti hi nahi, ab dil ki kali khilti hi nahin
ai fasl-e-bahaaran rukhsat ho hum lutf-e-bahaaran bhool gaye

( My eyes dont meet the eyes of any flower, the bud of my heart does
not bloom
Go away “season of flowers”! I have forgotten how to enjoy
spring! )

sab ko to madaava kar daala apna hi madaava kar na sake
sab ke hi garebaan si daale apna hi garebaan bhool gaye!

( I have treated everyone around me, but I forgot to treat myself
I have repaired everyone’s torn clothes, but I sit here in torn rags)

yeh apni wafa ka aalam hai, ab unki jafa ko kya kahiye
ik nashtar-e-zehar-e-agahi rakh kar nazdik-e-rag-e-jaan bhool gaye

( This is the effect of my sincerity, her betrayal has nothing to
do with this:
I have kept a arrow dipped in poison close to my heart and have
forgotten that my life vein passes so close to it)


Heart, we will forget him,
You and I, tonight!
You must forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done pray tell me,
Then I, my thoughts, will dim.
Haste! lest while you’re lagging
I may remember him!

Celebration of 10 years of MHFL ends

Dear Friends,

As you know MHFL completed 10 years in Oct 2006. And since Oct 2006 we have recalled some of
the best MHFL poems posted during these 10 years.

As I searched through the 10 years of MHFL poetry to resend you the best I felt extremely proud.
Ordinary things don’t last this long. MHFL is an extraordinary achievement. It is the celebration of the beauty of poetry.

I do not think I could have spent my time in any better way during the last 11 and a half years.

Thank you for reading MHFL and thank you for contributing to this forum.

sher arz hai:

woh nawaa-e-muzmahil kya na ho jis mein dil ki dharkan?
woh sadaa-e-ahal-e-dil kya jo awaam tak na pahunche!?

( What is the use of singing a song that does not contain your heartbeat?
what is the point of a voice from your heart if it does not reach the whole human population!?)

MHFL will last- atleast another 10 years! I promise you that!


The unsaid words

This Faiz nazm was posted in the 10th year of MHFL.

When people meet and talk very little is said in words.
Spoken words are just the “formal” part of the communication.
There is a bigger communication going on without being expressed
in words.

In the following Faiz nazm a possible meeting between two
parted lovers is described. They deliberately avoid taking the
level of this communication to the level at which it was when they
parted. They control saying those words. But how can they control
the words that are not uttered from the lips!!!

Koi Ashiq kisi mehbooba se

Gulshan-e-yad mein agar aaj dam-e-bad-e-saba
phir se chaahe ke gulfashan ho, to ho jane do
umar-e-rafta ke kisi taq pe bisra hua dard
phir se chaahe ke firozan ho, to ho jane do
jaise begane se ab milte ho, waise hi sahi
aao, do char ghari mere mukabil baitho

Garche mil baithenge hum tum to mulakat ke baad
apna ehsas-e-zyan aaur zyaada hoga
humsukhan honge hum dono to har baat ke beech
ankahi baat ka mauhuum sa parda hoga
Koi ikraar na main yaad dilaoonga, no tum
koi mazmoon wafa ka, na jafaa ka hoga

gard-e-ayyam ki tehreer ko dhone ke liye
tum se goya hoon, dam-e-deed, jo meri ankhen
tum jo chaaho suno, aur jo na chaaho, na suno
aur jo harf kahen mujh se gurezaan aakhen
tum jo chaaho to kaho, jo na chaaho, na kaho

A lover to a beloved
(In the garden of our memories if the morning breeze
wishes to scatter flowers once again then let it do so
if on a forgotten shelf of the past some forgotten pain
wishes to flare up again, let it do so
We behave like strangers now….. okay
as a stranger come and lets sit together for some time

But when we meet then then this meeting
might increase the sense of loss that we feel for
each other
We will talk about everyday things….
but hidden in a veil would be words that are not
being said
You and I will not remind each other of our promises
we will not talk about the sincerity or the lack of it
in our past friendship

To wash away the sad tale that my life has become a part of
when my eyes become soaked with words that I will not say from my lips
You may listen to those words… or you may not
And when you lower your eyes, those eyes that otherwise would have said
so much
you may say those words, or you may choose not to)



ab bhi dilkash hai tera husn magar kya keejiye
hain aaur bhi zamaane mein gham mohabbat ke siwa
raahatein aaur bhi hain wasl ki raahat ke siwa

( Your beauty is still very attractive but…
There are other problems in the world bigger than love
ANd there are now things apart from meeting you that also give
this heart joy)

Write it!

This MHFL post was sent in the 10th year of MHFL- Nov 2005 to Oct 2006


Today we have a poem by Elizabeth Bishop. It is called “One Art”.
It is a very interesting poem. This poem is about losing things and
how the poet deals with these losses.


The art of losing isn’t hard to master
so many things filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster

Lose something everyday. Accept the fluster
of lost keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next to last, of the three houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

–Even losing you ( the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It is evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like( Write it!) like disaster.

We see that the poetess tells us that losing things is no big
deal. It is almost an art. And none of these losses causes any disaster.
In each stanza she talks about the things that she has lost. And the
things get bigger with each stanza. In the second paragraph it is just
keys. In the third she loses places and names. In the fourth stanza she
loses two of her three houses. And then she loses rivers and continents!!
But, she assures us, there is no problem…. all these losses don’t cause
much problem… “their loss is no disaster”.

But then comes the last paragraph. And here she loses the biggest
thing of all: her beloved!! Suddenly the poem becomes a love poem. The
loss of the beloved is greater than the loss of houses or even continents.
And here she cannot be very clear if it is a disaster or not. She
wants to say that this too is not a disaster. But she cannot say that.
It seems like a disaster to her. Her mind and heart tell her different
things. She is forced to admit that this loss is like a disaster. She has
to force herself to write the last line, see the “(write it!)”. And here
her art(of losing things and not bothering) betrays her.

Note also the structure of the poem. This peom is a villanelle. A
villanelle always has 19 lines divided into 6 stanzas. Five stanzas have
three lines and one stanza has four lines. The first and third lines of
each stanza rhyme. Also the middle lines of the stanzas rhyme with each

I read this poem and about villanelles in a very beautiful
book :” How to read a poem and fall in live with poetry” by Edward Hirsch.


nahin aati to yaad unki maheenon bhar nahin aati
magar woh jab yaad aate hain to aksar yaad aate hain
( Sometimes I do not even miss her for months
… but if I think about her just once then her memory
haunts all the time)

A prisoner of your eyes

This MHFL post was sent in the 10th year of MHFL ( Nov 2006 to Oct 2006)

    This is a beautiful Thomas Moore poem.

    In this poem the poet describes the power of a woman’s eyes.
His wisdom is matchless before those eyes. He becomes powerless
when she looks at him.  

    In the second stanza he compares himself with an Irish ghost
called Sprite. The ghost becomes a captive when a beautiful woman looks
at him. But as soon as the eyes are turned away he escapes, running as fast as possible.

    The poet wants to escape from her eyes but he becomes weak when
he is caught in the glance…. But then with passing time he becomes
older, wiser and colder. Things affect him less. Do those eyes still
make him powerless…. read to find out.

    THE time I’ve lost in wooing,
    In watching and pursuing
    The light that lies
    In woman’s eyes,
    Has been my heart’s undoing.
    Though Wisdom oft has sought me,
    I scorn’d the lore she brought me,
    My only books
    Were woman’s looks,
    And folly’s all they’ve taught me.
    Her smile when Beauty granted,
    I hung with gaze enchanted,
    Like him the Sprite,
    Whom maids by night
    Oft meet in glen that’s haunted.
    Like him, too, Beauty won me,
    But while her eyes were on me,
    If once their ray
    Was turn’d away,
    O! winds could not outrun me.

    And are those follies going?
    And is my proud heart growing
    Too cold or wise
    For brilliant eyes
    Again to set it glowing?
    No, vain, alas! the endeavour
    From bonds so sweet to sever;
    Poor Wisdom’s chance
    Against a glance
    Is now as weak as ever.


maine masoom bahaaron mein tumhein dekha hai
maine purnoor sitaroon mein tumhein dekha hai
mere mehboob tujhe teri pardah-nasheeni ki kasam
maine ashkoon ki kataaron mein tumhein dekha hai

( I have seen you in the innocent seasons of spring.
  I have seen you in the stars filled with light.
  My beloved, I promise by your desire to remain hidden from me,
  I have even seen you in the rows of tears from my eyes.)

The core of poetry

This MHFL post was sent in the 10th year of MHFL- Nov 2005 to Oct 2006


    Today we have a W.B Yeats poem. In this poem the poet
presents some poems to his beloved. He says that he has worked
very hard in composing some “poor” rhymes. He has extracted these
poems from tales of heroism and “battles of old times”. 
He only expects his beloved to pay attention :” FASTEN your hair with a
golden pin” and sigh when she reads his poetry : “And bind up your long
hair and sigh”. The beloved has to do nothing…. just lift her
“pearl-pale hand” as if to give permission to the poet to present his
work. And as soon as she does that poems in which  “all men’s hearts must
burn and beat” will be presented to her. She will be presented poetry
in which the existance of stars is only because they are expected to
light her feet when she walks… in short she will be presented poems
in which she appears nothing short of a goddess.. revered by all and 
the one for which Nature exists.

    In poetry of love the beloved is always placed at a high
pedestal. The poet places himself at a lower point from which
he looks up to his goddess. If she is cruel to him then he makes
her a devil but she STAYS on that pedestal. The pedestal is hers and
hers only. These themes in poetry are common in all forms of poetry
be it Engligh or Urdu , or be it Classic or modern. This tells us
that this position of reverence that the beloved aquires in love is
not a style or fashion of poetry… it is a basic human feeling that 
is expressed in poetry.

    He Gives His Beloved Certain Rhymes

    FASTEN your hair with a golden pin,
    And bind up every wandering tress;
    I bade my heart build these poor rhymes:
    It worked at them, day out, day in,
    Building a sorrowful loveliness
    Out of the battles of old times.
    You need but lift a pearl-pale hand,
    And bind up your long hair and sigh;
    And all men’s hearts must burn and beat;
    And candle-like foam on the dim sand,
    And stars climbing the dew-dropping sky,
    Live but to light your passing feet.


woh naqab-e-rukh hataa di par yeh kaid bhi lagaa di
uthe har nigaah lekin koi baam tak na pahunche
( She has lifted the veil from her face but also imposed a strict
  That every man can look at her face… but no one can come close
  to the platform on which she stands)

The disguised search

This MHFL post was sent in the 9th year of MHFL:


    When a person falls in love his world becomes very 
restricted. His world constitutes only his beloved. And there
is nothing more that he wants than to be considered worthy of
love by his beloved.

    If he is considered worthy of love he is happy and 
lives “happily ever after”. But what if he is not considered
worthy of the love and she goes away? Such a battered ego
becomes very expansive. His ego now wants the glory of the whole
world. It wants to be considered worthy of something by this world.
But deep inside it still wants to impress ONLY the beloved that 
is now a part of the big wide world. But since he cannot impress her
directly, he hopes that she will be watching when the whole world 
is impressed. Such people become poets, writers, painters, conqurers and

    Jigar Moradabadi’s words are so true:

    Ik lafz-e-mohabbat ka adna sa fasaana hai
    simte to dil-e-ashiq, faile to zamaana hai
    ( The word love has this small story:
    if restricted it becomes the heart of the lover,
    but if it expands, it becomes the whole world!)

    Here is a beautiful poem by Lord Byron in which he 
expresses similar thoughts. He talks about glory and what he 
seeks hidden in this glory.  I really loved the line:
“Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee”

Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.

What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
‘Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled:
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?

O Fame! -if I e’er took delight in thy praises,
‘Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.

There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When it sparkled o’er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.


ik tanz-e-tagaful hai, so woh unko mubarak
ik arz-e-tammana hai, woh hum karte rahenge!