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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Faiz Ahmed Faiz' poetry: Selected Urdu couplets

Until my teenage I hadn't read much of Faiz and only a few of his couplets I could recall. Of course, he was one of the most important names in Urdu poetry and his popular Nazms like:

bol ki lab aazaad haiN tere
bol ki zabaaN ab tak terii hai....

yeh daagh daagh ujaala, yeh shab gaziida sehar
voh intezaar thaa jiskaa yeh voh sehar to nahiiN'
...(in the context of partition)
&
nisaar maiN terii galiyoN ke aye vatan ki jahaaN
chalii hai rasm ki koii na sar uThaa kar chale...


...were known to most of us. But I could never find his divan in those days though works of Jigar, Josh, Firaq and others were easily available apart from Mir, Ghalib and other masters. Of his generation, poets like Majaz, Makhdoom Muhiuddin, Kaifi Azmi, Ali Sardar Jafri and Janisar Akhtar achieved great popularity but Faiz went on to attain international fame.

It was after reading his Nazm 'Raqeeb Se', that I fell in love with his poetry. It was an overwhelming experience to read the Nazm, every time I read it. Raqeeb is your competitor in love.

And here the poet recalls how both of them had fallen in love with the same woman, and only they can understand each other's pain and passion. How failure in love becomes an inspiration for the poet to understand the pain of others and it becomes a mission for him to fight for the poor and underdog. I have written a post on this Nazm in the past also.

Here are some of the oft-quoted couplets of Faiz:

na gul khile haiN, na unse mile haiN, na mai pii hai
ajab rang meN abke bahaar guzrii hai

guloN meN rang bhare, baad-e-nau-bahaar chale
chale bhii aao ki gulshan kaa karobaar chale

zindagii kyaa kisii muflis kii qabaa hai jis men
har ghaDii dard ke paivand lage jaate haiN

chaman meN Gaarat-e-gulchiiN se jaane kyaa guzrii
qafas se aaj sabaa be-qaraar guzrii hai

terii suurat se hai aalam meN bahaaroN ko sabaat
terii aanKhoN ke sivaa duniaa meN rakhaa kyaa hai

ham parvarish-e-lauH-o-qalam karte rahenge
jo dil pe guzartii hai raqam karte rahenge

huii hai hazrat-e-naaseh se guftguu jis shab
voh shab zaruur sar-e-kuu-e-yaar guzrii hai
viiraan hai maikadaa khum-o-saaGar udaas haiN
tum kyaa gaye ki ruuTh gaye din bahaar ke

uTh kar to aa gaye haiN terii bazm se magar kuchh dil hii jaanta hai kis dil se aaye haiN

voh baat saare fasaane meN jiskaa zikr nahiiN
voh baat unko bohat naagavaar guzrii hai

dil meN ab yuuN tere bhuule hue Gham aate haiN
jaise bichhDe hue Kaabe meN sanam aate haiN

duniyaa ne terii yaad se begaanaa kar diyaa
tujh se bhii dil-fareb haiN gham rozgaar ke

tumhaarii yaad ke jab zaKhm bharne lagte haiN
kisii bahaane tumheN yaad karne lagte haiN

kab Thahregaa dard-e-dil kab raat basar hogii
sunte the voh aayenge, sunte the sahar hogii

aaye kuchh abr, kuchh sharaab aaye
uske baad aaye jo azaab aaye

tum aaye ho, na shab-e-intezaar guzrii hai
talaash mein hai sahar, baar baar guzrii hai

Faiz Ahmed Faiz was born in Sialkot (Punjab, Pakistan) in undivided India in 1911. He achieved remarkable fame and emerged as most outstanding voice among the poets of Progressive Writers' movement. He was jailed in Pakistan and also spent years in exile. He passed away in 1984.

A few more couplets:

dil naa-ummiid to nahiiN, naakaam hii to hai
lambi hai Gham kii shaam magar shaam hii to hai

raat yuuN dil meN terii khoii huii yaad aaii
jaise viiraane meN chupke se bahaar aa jaaye

jaise sahraaoN meN haule se chale baad-e-nasiim
jaise biimaar ko be-vajah qaraar aa jaaye

mataa-e-lauH-o-qalam chhin gayii to kyaa Gham hai
ki khuuN-e-dil meN Dubo lii haiN ungliyaaN maiN ne

zubaaN par mohar lagii hai to kyaa ki rakh dii hai
har halqa-e-zanjiir meN zubaaN maiN ne

Apart from the above mentioned ghazals and Nazms, I specially love his verses on Palestine, the nazm he wrote on his return from Bangladesh, Sar-e-Vaadi-e-Sina, Karbala-e-Beirut etc. Faiz's poetry is now easily available in Hindi. Every poetry lover must have a collection of Faiz. Get it if you don't have one.

Read Faiz' popular ghazals and Nazms in Urdu, Hindi and Roman scripts at Best Ghazals and Nazms