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Thursday, October 12, 2006

An encounter with Urdu poet Rahat Indori at a railway station

I was standing at the railway platform waiting for the Lucknow-bound train to arrive which my chacha [uncle] had to board when a man hurriedly walked past us.

My elderly 'chacha' said, 'Arrey, Rahat Sahab'. The middle-aged man now turned his head back and acknowledged him, with a wide grin.

I don't know how but the first couplet (matlaa) of one of his ghazals came to my lips:

uski katthai aaNkhoN meN haiN jantar mantar sab
chaaqu vaaqu, chhuriyaaN vuriyaaN, khanjar vanjar sab

اسکی کتھیء آنکھوں میں ہیں جنتر منتر سب
چاقو واقو چھریاں وریاں خنجر ونجر سب

Rahat, who earlier looked in a hurry, stopped and came towards us. He was quite overwhelmed as I had recited his couplet instantly. First, like an elder he kept his palm on my head and then embraced me warmly. That was an interesting meet.

He surely loved being recognised and more so because he heard his own couplet from someone. What a coincidence it was!

I have posted this ghazal earlier, I guess:

jis din se tum ruuThiiN, mujhse ruuThe ruuThe haiN
takia vakia, chaadar vaadar, bistar vistar sab.

You can read Rahat Indori's ghazals in Roman, Urdu and Hindi scripts at BESTGHAZALS

Meanwhile, the blog of Adil Najam and his friends, Pakistaniat.com has the lead story of Desecration of Hindu Temple in Karachi: Stop It. NOW!. It is laudable the way the blog has expressed concern over the minorities' issue (Hindus in Pakistan). It's a popular blog and would surely create awareness.

The article starts with: Religious intolerance must never be tolerated. To be silent in the face of intolerance is intolerance itself. And I absolutely agree. Heartening to see these voices, which are necessary in all evolved societies.