Friday, May 22, 2009

Ghazal Muse

Yesterday was a long ride home. And it was cold after the torrential downpour Bangalore experienced in the evening. So naturally our daily ritual of having tea at midnight assumed immense significance owing to the weather and I found myself eagerly preparing ginger tea at midnight and humming a Ghazal that my mind dug out from its recesses… Chitra Singh’s ‘Bahut Pehle Se Un Kadmon Ki Aahat Jaan Lete Hain'...and the medley began.

I started singing these old favourites that I used to hum regularly when I was at home In Nagpur. These days I hum only the very favourites ingrained in memory and I do that almost unconsciously. But yesterday I found myself remembering and singing the other jewels and pondering upon their words after almost an era. It was a nice start to the day : )

I mused about the moon yesterday on the blog but at night I remembered this ghazal by Hariharan which goes as,

Aks chehre pe Aftab ka hai…

It means the reflection of the Sun is on your face. It was interesting to think about that when I had ruminated upon all the comparisons made with the Moon the previous day…

There is another ghazal sung by Hariharan which says,

Koi patta hile, hawa toh chale Kaun apna hai yeh pata toh chale…

It translates to ‘Leaves should rustle now and the wind should blow, who is really one’s own one should get to know’. It’s a beautiful ghazal in melody as well as meaning and I enjoyed singing it again.

Of course there is Jagjit Singh’s ghazal of which I’ll quote all the couplets,

Apne hothon par sajana chahta hoon
Aa tujhe main gungunana chahta hoon

Koi aansoo tere daman par girakar
Boond ko moti banana chahta hoon

Thhak gaya main karte karte yaad tujhko
Ab tujhe main yaad aana chahta hoon

Chha raha hai saari basti mein andhera
Roshni ko ghar jalana chahta hoon

Aakhri hichki tere zano pe aaye
Maut bhi main shayrana chahta hoon

I love this ghazal so much! In essence it talks about a person wanting to make his beloved his song and sing it, saying that even teardrops turn to pearls when the beloved touches them, that he is tired of remembering her and he wants to be remembered by her now, that darkness is descending upon the locales and he wants to light up his home and finally, that his will be a poetic death if it is in the beloved’s presence. Such a beautiful way of expressing what a loved one means to someone. And the melody can soothe your nerves in an instant. This one is a big favourite.

There were other songs that I didn’t sing yesterday but fondly remembered – ghazals by Ghulam Ali, Chitra Singh, Pankaj Udhas…and I remembered enjoying the ambience and the education in this Persian art form at home just as much. The thing with ghazals is that listened to alone, some ghazals can induce a sense of sadness but heard in company they instantly become entities that can be enjoyed and cherished. And hence, though I love them just as much now, I’d prefer to see myself in a secluded place – near a mountain, close enough to the sea to hear its faint roar but not too close, or just some quiet place even if it is home…listening to and talking about these ghazals that are timeless melodies with someone who appreciates them equally so I can enjoy them more…maybe over a cup of warm tea, maybe next to a bonfire under the stars with crickets chirping in the distance and the mellifluous voices filling the air…I am looking forward to that time of my life to muse on this again : )

9 Thinkers Pondered:

Vibhushan said...

Thanks for this post. It took me to the melodies I have always had in my sub-conscious and enjoyed listening to them often unknowingly as they play there. I enjoyed them once more, and that made my weekend so special. :)

Sowmya said...

Blessed are people who can like ghazals... It requires such maturity and such depth to appreciate them!

Koi Patta Hile, Hawa To Chale... is a beautiful one...

Have you heard "...Unse Jab Jab Bhi Mulaqate Hui...Sari Sari Raate Barsate Hui..."

"Kabhi Khushi Se Khushi Ki Taraf Nahi Dekha..."is another... a very poignant one...

I love Hari Haran...I think he is very versatile...

Keep listening... :)

Anand said...

Here is another music freak.

I accidently stumbled into your blog. Found some really good lines on ghazals.

Really nice work. Keep it up Anupama.


I really want you to visit my web page when you find time.

Anupama said...

Hey Vibhushan,

Thanks for the comment as always :)

Hey Sowmya,

Yeah I have heard the ghazals you've mentioned and agree with you on Hariharan's versatility...his Urdu pronunciation despite being a South-Indian is flawless...

Thanks for the comment...

Hey Anand,

Welcome to the blog! Thanks a whole lot for stopping by and commenting...will certainly visit your page too...thanks for the link :)

Vibhushan said...

Had read a few lines which connects a lot to the "Apne Hothon par sajana chahta hoon" ghazal. As I listen to that ghazal again, thought would share it here:
Haqiqat se sapna achcha hai,
Muzhe sapna pyara hai.
Mai nahi sapne me jeeta,
Na hi hu mai haqiqat me marta.
Jab tak jiyu, chahe woh haqiqat ho,
Par jab maru, tab woh sapna ho,
Sapne me hi meri maut ho.

Priya Iyer said...

i love ghazals too! would love to compare notes with you sometime on ghazals...

some of my favourites:

tumko dekha toh ye khayal aaya
tere baare mein jab socha nahi tha
chhupana bhi nahi aata
kisi nazar ko tera intezaar aaj bhi hai
jhuki jhuki si nazar

and a few gujarati ones...

PS: i am not sure what differentiates a ghazal from an ordinary song.. care to enlighten me?

Priya Iyer said...

and ya, how can i forget these gems:

woh kagaz ki kashti
kiska chehraa
hothon se choo lo tum
aur ahista kijiye baatein

MP said...

Hello Anupama,

What a lovely name !!
I wonder if you could translate Jagjit-Chitra's ghazal: Bahot Pehle se, un kadmo ki...

I was very sad to hear of his passing.Avery great loss indeed.


Roshni said...

Translation of "Bahot Pehle Se" :) for all the Jagjit Singh, Chitra Singh lovers and fans.

(Some verse can be perceived differently as the same word has many meanings, below is my interpretation)

"Bahut pehle se un kadmon ki aahat jaan lete hain..
I feel (hear / recognise) your footsteps from far far away....
...Tujhe ai zindagi, hum duur se pehchaan lete hain"
Dear Life (or my love /sweetheart), I can recognize you from far away

"Tabiyat apni ghabarati hai jab sunsaan raaton mein...
When I am restless during lonely nights...
...Hum aise mein teri yaadon ki chaadar taan lete hain" I tuck myself under the blanket of your memories

"Meri nazrein bhi aise kaafiron ka jaan-o-imaan hai...
My gaze often shifts (or I fall for people) towards people who are infidel or ungrateful
"..Nigaahen milte hi jo jaan aur imaan lete hain
As soon as our eyes meet, they take away my life and faith.

"'Firaq' aksar badal kar bhes milta hai koi kaafir....
Separation or absence often disguises and I meet upon my sweetheart
"...Kabhi hum jaan lete hain....kabhi pehchaan lete hain"
Sometime I realise...and sometimes I recognize.

"Bahut pehle se un kadmon ki aahat jaan lete hain..
I feel (hear / recognise) your footsteps from far away....
...Tujhe ai zindagi, hum duur se pehchaan lete hain"
Dear Life (or my love /sweetheart), I can recognize you from far away


**Put in a request for new ones, I will be happy to try and get the meanings.

Warm regards,