Tag Archives: ahmed

a Lovers Quarrel 


Never have more vehement emotions been exchanged than during a lovers quarrel.

Far too many poems have been written on ‘hijr’ or separation from your lover and about ‘ishq’ or romance and its sweet overtures. Witnessing a lovers quarrel earlier this week, led me into an expedition to find Urdu poetry about this very important aspect of love that is shared between two souls.

A couple who share a powerful bond for 40 odd years, is seen in the middle of a scene with flared nostrils, inflamed earlobes, and pursed lips, making the onlooker gasp in surprise. But is it so odd?

When the poets write about the lover, the all encompassing , the soulmate, the center of their universe, they might at times imply that it’s going to be perfect and acrimonious all the time. They might simply leave that part out; because just like no one wants talk about dirty laundry or farting and cursing, (although all poets do it and so do their lovers), it is something that won’t seem very elegant, and wont go in tandem with Urdu adab(manners) and its nazakat (elegance), something very central to its culture and its nuances.

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A lovers quarrel has a different kind of alchemy at play. Fueled by the complete opposite emotions that make their bond so powerful, the raw feelings of pettiness, impatience, pride and most importantly expectations enter the arena.

“The quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love” said, Jean Racine, referring may be to the making up after the fight.

But it isn’t just the making up, rather about how long a time elapses before they decide to make up. Lingering around in a pool of hurt, as pride doesn’t allow you make the first move; each one waits for the cloud of anger to subside, not being able to decide whether the other is ready to start a conversation.

It also isn’t just in the after-a-fight embrace, but whether there will be acceptance of the hurt caused, or will defense of one’s actions cause further damage. No matter who was wrong, pain was caused by both, words were exchanged and soft spots uncovered. Apologies plagued with defensive explanations, never seem to help the cause.

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After the harsh experience, simple moments that were so ordinary like sharing a cup of tea, sleeping in the same bed, eating a meal (mostly in silence), seem to have a cloud hanging over them.

Both sides would like the moment to lighten again, the comfort of being in each others company to be restored, but an unexpected visitor doesn’t allow them to start the discussion. As their eyes meet across the table, they can feel the hurt they have experienced, instead of words they choose to touch their hands, and smile.

The next morning, worldly commitments force them to travel part, carrying with them the hurt of last night. Too much time would be consumed in peeling the layers and asking the other to respond.

But as this poem by Ahmed Faraz says,

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even if it causes anguish, do return to me,

for the sake of the pride you have in our love, come back,

Or just to turn off the lights, come back.

A lovers quarrel …..

Transliteration

Ranjish hi Sahi… by Ahmed Faraz

ranjish hi sahi dil hi dukhane ke liye aa
aa phir se mujhe chod ke jane ke liye aa

pahale se marasim na sahi phir bhi kabhi to
rasm-o-rahe duniya hi nibhane ke liye aa

kis kis ko batayenge judai ka sabab hum
tu mujh se khafa hai to zamane ke liye aa

kuch to mere pindar-e-muhabbat ka bharam rakh
tu bhi to kabhi mujh ko manane ke liye aa

ek umr se hun lazzat-e-giriya se bhi maharum
ae rahat-e-jan mujh ko rulane ke liye aa

ab tak dil-e-khushfaham ko tujh se hain ummiden
ye aakhiri shammen bhi bujhane ke liye aa

mana ki muhabbat ka chipana hai muhabbat
chupke se kisi roz jatane ke liye aa

jaise tujhe aate hain na aane ke bahane
aise hi kisi roz na jane ke liye aa

Translation

If it is grief so be it, come to break my heart again
Come,  if only for the act of leaving me again

Our relationship may not be the same now, but even so,
Come to fulfill the rituals and traditions of the world

To who all must I explain the reason of separation
Come, despite your displeasure, at least for the sake of the world

Till now my hopeful heart is keeping some expectations from you
But at least come back to put off these last candles of hope

Too long have I been deprived of the pathos of longing
Come my love, if only to make me weep again

Respect a little the depth of my love for you
Come someday to placate me as well

It has been a long time I haven’t had the luxury of grieving
My peace-of-mind please do come back if only to make me cry

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This amazing video by button poetry called When love arrives,  performed by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye is a must watch.

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i am You beloved


In Eastern poetry, love is treated like a ‘nasha’, an aphrodisiac, or a ‘fitoor’ or madness that is all consuming, a feeling that envelopes you like a thick cloud. The beloved becomes everything, and you the one who offers that love is nothing.

Yet it gives you meaning, an identity and a purpose. You are you because you love.

As Mansur al-Hallaj wrote:

I am He whom I love,
and He whom I love is I:
We are two spirits
dwelling in one body.
If you see me,
you see Him,
And if you see Him,
you see us both.

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Sundown Nilgiris Hills

 

This love was not just between man and woman, but also, guru and shishya: like in the case of Amir Khusrau and Nizaamuddin Aulia, between man and Khuda(God), as seen in the works of Rumi, or citizen and country as seen with Pablo Neruda.

Many poems and works of music encompass this all engulfing love,  but this poem, which I now listen to over and over through the song sung by Meesha Shafi, captures the most powerful emotions that come with love.

It captures longing and distance, memory and union, and the comfort of those eyes and moving lips that you long to lay your sight on. This love gives, does not ask, it breathes in your existence, celebrates you and simply stands by offering everything it has.

My first post of the year, I start with Faiz.

Dasht-e-Tanhai

Transliteration

Dasht-e-tanhayee Mein
Aye Jaan-e-jahaan Larzaan Hai

Teri Aawaaz Ke Saaye
Tere Honton Ke Seraab

In the desert of my solitude,
oh love of my life, Quiver

the shadows of your voice,
the mirage of your lips.

Dasht-e-tanhayee Mein
Doori Ke Khas-o-khaak Talei
Khil Rahe Hain Tere Pehlu Ke Saman Aur Gulaab

In the desert of my solitude,
beneath the dust and ashes of distance,
bloom the jasmines and roses of your proximity.

Uth Rahi Hai Kahin Qurbat Se
Teri Saans Ki Aanch
Apni Khushboo Mein Sulaghti Huee
Maddham, Maddham…
Door Fuq Paar Chamakti Hui
Qatra Qatra…
Gir Rahi Hai Teri Dildaar Nazar Ki Shabnam

From somewhere very close,
rises the warmth of your breath,
smoldering in its own aroma,
slowly, bit by bit.
Far away, across the horizon, glistens
drop by drop
the falling dew of your beguiling glance

Is Qadar Pyaar Se
Aye Jaan-e-jahaan Rakkha Hai
Dil Ke Rukhsaar Pe Is Waqt
Teri Yaad Ne Haath
Yunh Ghumaan Hota Hai
Garje Hai Abhi Subh-e-firaaq
Dhal Gaya Hijr Ka Din Aaa Bhi Gayi Wasl-ki-raat

With such tenderness, O love of my life,
on the cheek of my heart,
has your memory placed its hand right now
that it looks as if
(though it’s still the dawn of adieu)
the sun of separation has set
and the night of union has arrived.

Dasht-e-tanhayee Mein
Aye Jaan-e-jahan Larzaan Hai
Teri Aawaaz Ke Saaye
Tere Honton Ke Seraab

In the desert of my solitude,
oh love of my life, Quiver
the shadows of your voice,
the mirage of your lips.

The beautiful video, which I must confess I watched at least 15 times while writing this post. Not just for the words and music, but for Meesha Shafi, her voice and those red lips.

May you be surrounded with love this year or become the all-encompassing lover!