Tag Archives: Gulzar

Mausam


What can a change in weather trigger?

A tirade of memories, a sense of longing or a stomach full of butterflies.

If life is an adventure and the call of the new keeps the wheels in motion, then a sudden change in atmosphere, a low pressure hanging over the Arabian sea, something very banal and scientific, suddenly carries the mind back in time and drops it at the edge of the balcony where many a cool evenings were spent.

This sudden onset of cool winds in the peak of the Indian summer brings me back here today, on my blog.

Although the weather is a most welcome respite and I have spent the evening taking long walks, sharing a cuppa, sitting outdoors in a cafe with south Indian filter coffee accompanied by soft puffed pasty, the heart longs for the familiar, to the city of my youth, my childhood and my home.

Bangalore is now a buzz word, beaming with pride and so much envy. In a country like India, it is utopian in many ways, and now home to so many Indians, who have their own version of the city they have made home.

But I do not refer to the shiny bars, the glimmering malls, the breweries or the shops that line 100 feet road on Indiranagar, nor the buzz of koramangala and the  high rises of the south.

I refer to the yellow tabebuia trees that bloom every year at the onset of summer. Especially the ones that line the road leading upto Windsor Manor. I have memories of seeing these trees in bloom from my days in school, early in the morning when riding  the school bus.

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Or the soft pastel pink trees or tabebuia rosea that paint Cubbon Park into an image of romance, and urge you to take the diversion into the road leading into the park as you criss-cross across the city.

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I reminisce the massive Jacaranda trees that line Mosque road and make you look up as you maneuver your car in the traffic and park on the side to just enjoy the colorful canopy.

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Or the magnificent Jacaranda trees in Domlur as you drive towards airport road. Not to forget the Pink cassia trees around the city or the gulmohar tress also known as the flame of the forest in east Bangalore, around Malleswaram and Sankey Tank.

The trees inside Jaymahal or the ones that line Ulsoor lake carpet the streets with flowers and when it gets too hot for the city, a light shower brings down the mercury and the city smells like the first blush of romance.

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To rainy evenings and cool breezes….also a reminder to not pick the flowers, but let them be.

Transliteration

Darakht sochte hai jab, toh phool aate hai
Woh dhoop main duboke ungaliyan
Khayal likhte hai lachakti shaakhon par,
Toh rang rang lavz chunte hai,
Khushbuon se bolte hai aur bulate hai.

Hamara shook dekhiye….
Ki gardane ki kaat lete hai
jahan koi mehekta hai koi

In Hindi

दरख़्त सोचते हैं जब, तो फूल आते हैं,
वो धुप में डुबो के उँगलियाँ,
ख़्याल लिखते हैं, लचकती शाख़ों पर,
तो रंग रंग लफ्ज़ चुनते हैं,
खुशबुओं से बोलते हैं और बुलाते हैं.

हमारा शौक़ देखिये
की गर्दनें ही काट लेते हैं,
जहां कहीं महकता है कोई

Translation By Pavan K Verma

Blooms blossom when trees sink in thoughts,
With fingers smudged in sunshine,
They carve their emotions on swaying shoots,
Weave the words, painted in shades of colours,
Speaking with the fragrances, they then intimate us.

And see, in the name of desire,
We prune it off its stem,
the moment its fragrance reaches us.

A short movie with Gulzar’s voice

An amazing art work series inspired by the trees of Bangalore: Here

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Sabz Lamhe


Sabz…The Persian word سبز sabz means “green”, “black”, or “dark”. In Persian erotic poetry, dark-skinned women are addressed as sabz-eh. Green the color of nature, presents itself in so many shades and tones in the hills and mountains, truly dark beauties standing tall, peering at you from different places. Gulzar captures these moments, these lamhe, in this poem.

After I read this poem, I tried to visualize the many views of the hills covered with trees that I have been fortunate to see. I always wonder when I stand looking at the trees so far beyond, that seem like a speck, what lies beside it, can I reach it, what path leads to it?

What I loved most about this poem was the eagle or the storyteller, bringing us the story about different trees, like they were real people, with their quirks and idiosyncrasies. It reminded me of my house-help and how she bought us news from our apartment and stories from around the neighborhood block.

If Green is the color of jealousy and envy, would the color of gossip be jade or may be olive?

Sabz Lamhe from Selected Poems by Gulzar

Transliteration

safedi cheel jab thak kar kabhi niche utarti hain
Pahado ko sunati hai
Purani dastaan pichle pedo ki!

Wahan deodar ka ek unche kad ka, pedh tha pehle
Woh badal baandh leta tha kabhi pagdhi ki surat apne patto par
Kabhi doshale ki surat usi ko ordh leta tha~
Hawa ki tham ke bahe~
Kabhi jab jhumta tha, use kehta tha,
Mere pao agar jakrhe nahi hote, mein tere saath hi chalta!

Udhar sheesham tha, kikar se kuch aage
Bahut larhte the woh dono~
Magar sach hai ki kikar uske uche kad se jalta tha~
Surili sitiyan bajti thai jab sheesham ke patto mein,
Parinde beth kar shaakhon pe, uski nakle karte the

Wahan ek aam bhi tha,
Jis par ek koyal kahi barso tak aati rahi~
Jab bor aata tha.
Udhar do teen the jo gulmohar, ab tak baki hai,
Woh apne jism par khode hue namo ko hi sehlata rehta hai
Udhar ek neem tha
Jo chandini se ishq karta tha
Nashe mein nili padh jati thi saari pattiyan uski.

Zara aur us taraf parli pahadi par,
Bahut se jhadh the jo lambi-lambi saanse lete the,
Magar ab ek bhi dikhta nahi hai, us pahadhi par.
Kabhi dekha nahin, sunte hai, us waadi ke daman mein,
Bade barghad ke ghere se badi ek champa rehti thi,
Jahan se kaat le koyi, wahi se dudh behta tha,
Kayi tukdho mein bechari gayi thi apne jungle se!

Safeda cheel ek sukhe huye se pedh par bethi
Pahadho ko sunati hai purani dastane unche pedho ki
Jinhe in past-kand insaan ne kaanta hai, giraya hai,
Kai tukde kiye hai aur jalaya hai!

Translation

Although The english version does not do justice to this or any other urdu nazm, i hope you enjoy pavan varma’s translation.

When tried of winging around
The white eagle descends
It speaks to the mountains
Of trees that once were.

There a tall deodhar had stood once
It would tie the clouds to its leaves like a turban
Or wrap them around like a shawl
Holding the breeze
Swaying, it would say
If i was not rooted, i would waft away with you!

And there, a little ahead of the keekar
Was a sheesham
The two would fight a great deal
But the truth was that
The keekar was envious of the sheesham’s height!
When the wind whistled through the leaves of the sheesham
The birds on its branches would imitate the sound.

There was a mango tree too
For years a koel would alight on it as it flowered
Nearby were a few gulmohars, of which only one remains
It spends its time assuaging the pain
Of the names gouged on its body
And here a neem tree, in love with moonlight
Drunk with joy its leaves would turn blue

A little further away, on the next mountain,
A rustle of pines could be heard breathing deeply
But today not one can be seen there!
I have not seen but it is said
That in the embrace of that valley lived a champa
Larger than the big banyan tree
Lush, milk white sap oozing from its cuts.
The poor champa was taken away
From this jungle in so many pieces.

Sitting on a barren tree, the white eagle
Tells the mountains old stories
Of tall trees that once were.
Trees that stunted men felled
Cut into pieces and burnt.

My experiments with art end this post….view from the window…which window it was i cant remember.

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