Friday, November 13, 2009

A veteran poet's immortal couplet: LamhoN ne khataa ki thi, sadiyoN se sazaa payee...

This is a couplet that is recited by heads of states and is heard in speeches in parliaments but the poet is not as widely known.

yeh jabr bhi dekha hai taarikh ki nazroN ne
lamhoN ne khataa kii thii, sadiyoN ne sazaa paayii

Translation is impossible as the beauty of the couplet can't be translated in another language though it means that 'History has been a witness to this tragedy that mistakes of moments have brought sufferings to mankind for millennia'.

Like several other popular and oft-repeated couplets, it has also acquired a unique status and is used to describe decisions [like partition] that altered the course of history and changed destiny of countless citizens for centuries.

Interestingly, poet Muzaffar Razmi, 73, is alive and lives in his hometown, Kairana, a prominent town in Muzaffar Nagar in Western part of Uttar Pradesh. The couplet is part of the ghazal that has five 'ashaar' but other couplets of the ghazal are hardly known.

The first couplet [matlaa] is:

mahruum-e-haqiqat haiN saahil ke tamaashaaii
ham Duub ke samjhe haiN daryaaoN kii gahraaii

Another couplet of Razmi:

mere daaman mein agar kuchh na rahegaa baaqi
agli nasloN ko duaa de ke chalaa jaaungaa

In the words of eminent poet late Rafat Sarosh, this couplet that was written in a moment of almost divine revelation, expresses the essence of mankind's experiences over several millennia.

Good couplets travel fast across the world. Razmi's couplet was first recited on the Urdu Majlis programme of All India Radio, many decades ago. It got instant popularity and turned into a 'zarbul misl' sher that is quoted quite often in conversations and conventions.

Had Razmi been living in Delhi or Mumbai, TV crews would have queued up at his residence for interviews. But he lives a contented life in his hometown. His collection of poetry was released by Prime Minister sometime back.

However, Muzaffar Razmi Kairanvi is at least fortunate that in his life time he is admired in poetry circles to some extent and is known as the man who wrote this couplet. Many other poets didn't live enough to see their poetry or couplets get such popularity.

Worst it the case of some poets whose couplets were 'hijacked' and wrongly attributed to others. There is a long list of such poets. Meanwhile, read similar posts about less known poets and famous couplets that were posted on this blog earlier. [Muzaffar Razmi's photo and some information about him courtesy website]

1. Popular couplets, Unknown poets

2. Five immortal couplets of a little-known poet

3. Confusion over couplets: Six Urdu 'ashaar'

4. Famous couplets, forgotten poets


Muzaffar Razmi passed away in his hometown Kairana on September 19, 2012 after a brief illness. Razmi was 76. He is survived by three sons and two daughters.