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Friday, July 07, 2006

Brijnarayan Chakbast's classic Urdu ghazal 'Zindagi kya hai..'

As a child some of the couplets I was too familiar with because I had heard elders recite them regularly were of Pt Brijanaryan Chakbast, whose name was taken very respectfully in Urdu-speaking houses.

He belonged to a Kashmiri Brahmin family that had settled in Faizabad. He spent most of his life in Lucknow, where he had a thriving practice of law. He was associated with Home Rule movement. Chakbast lays emphasis on character building.

A contemporary of great poet Allama Iqbal, Chakbast is one of the most important poets on the classical Urdu literary firmament. The following ghazal is quite long and I am reproducing a few couplets:

dard-e-dil paas-e-wafa jazba-e-iimaaN honaa
hai yahi aadmiyat aur yahii insaaN honaa

zindgi kyaa hai, anaasir meN zahuur-e-tartiib
mau kyaa hai, inhiiN ijzaa ka pariishaan honaa

sar meN saudaa na rahaa paaoN meN beRi na rahii
merii taqdiir meN thaa be-sar-o-saamaaN honaa

safha-e-dahar meN meher-e-yad-e-qudrat samjho
phool ka Khaak ke tuude se numaayaN honaa

kal bhii woh kal hai jo hai farda-e-qayaamat zaahid
aur phir uske liye aaj pareshaaN honaa

gul ko paamaal na kar laa'l-o-gohar ke maalik
hai ise turra-e-dastaar-e-ghariibaN honaa

hai meraa zabt-e-junuuN josh-e-junuuN se baRh kar
nang hai mere liye chaak girebaaN honaa

The ghazal in Urdu script is available at www.urduindia.wordpress.com
Another ghazal:

bahaar aaii taraqqi par hai sauda dam-ba-dam meraa
baRhaa jaata hai Khud zanjiir kii jaanib qadam meraa

likaa ye daavar-e-mahshar ne merii fard-e-asiyaaN par
ye woh banda hai jispe naaz kartaa hai karam meraa

rahii hai ek tark-e-aarzuu ki aarzuu baaqi
isii par Khatm hai afsaana-e-dard-o-alam meraa