Saturday, May 27, 2006

History And Poetry: Immortal couplet of Raj Ram Mauzoo.n

How historical events get further immortalised and romanticised by poetry can not be better explained than this famous Urdu she'r [couplet].

It tells us about the power of poetry and how it passes from generation to generation. The couplet was penned when Sirajuddaulah lost in the battle against East India Company.

First read the couplet:

GhazaalaaN tum to waaqif ho, kaho majnoo.n ke marne ki
Diwaanaa to mar gaya aakhir ko viirane pe kyaa guzri

This immortal couplet was composed by  Urdu poet Raja Ram Mauzoo.n. It is said that the master poet had recited it extempore on hearing the news of Sirajuddaulah's defeat and death.

During the war in 1757, when Siraj, the last Nawab of Bengal, Bihar & Orissa, was killed, the prosperous region of Bengal [or Gaur] went to British hands. The people loved the Nawab, and ryots rued the defeat for long, as during later years, indigo cultivation ruined rural economy and the fields.

Couplet survives 250 years

The couplet has survived almost 250 years and is still afresh and on the lips of innumerable poetry aficionados who quote it.

Not many other couplets of Raja Ram Mauzoo.n, a poet from Bihar, are known. MauzooN was primarily a Persian poet and most of his kalaam was in Farsi [Persian] though he did write occasionally in Urdu as well.