Bhupen Hazarika lives on

Mira couldn’t have said it any better and I feel exactly the same way ….. quoting, “I was 12. And Doordarshan was the only channel that I was exposed to, maybe there existed no other. One day I heard a beautiful song on DD…it went, “Ek kali, do patiyan…nazook nazook unglihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifyaan, tod rahi hain kaun yeh ek kali do patiyan, Ratanpur bageeche mein”. A very soothing voice. Had never heard anything like that before. The song was picturised on beautiful girls picking tender tea leaves on some tea-estate in Assam. Time and again, a stern looking man wearing a Kumaoni kind of cap made his presence felt on the screen. His name read Bhupen Hazarika. For someone who had only heard of Kishore Kumar, Rafi and Mukesh, this sure was a different voice. But the voice and that first song stayed. RIP Bhupen Hazarika.”

Sounds

My friend, Cliff, invited me to attend an Earth Day celebration at the East West Exchange book store last night. It’s a lovely little store that they say brings together books, gifts and practices of the East and West. Not only do they carry books and gifts, but also promote music, fitness, art, creative thinking and unity. I enjoy the things they have to offer. But, yesterday’s was an evening to remember.

It was a performance on the Japanese flute called Shakuhachi by a wonderful musician Bobby. Shakuhachi literally means 1foot and 8inches, the length of the flute. There’s Ni Shaku which is a 2 feet flute and so on. Very interesting. Anyway, so back to the music. It was …. umm….. I wouldn’t use the words pleasing to the ear, or melodious, or lovely….. but I’d say it was meditative. The kind of music that could take you to another world if you just closed your eyes and concentrated. My personal favorite was one that was like the breathing Pranayam exercise of Breath of Fire or Kapalbhaati, where you exhale rapidly…………. Now, I have been doing Pranayam for a while and never have I done Kapalbhaati along with the music that’s doing it too. 🙂 ….. very refreshing.

In between excerpts of music, he’d read some nice poetry and give us some thoughts to ponder over. Now, here’s the main reason why I’m writing this post……..

The thought that has stuck with me and it’s for keeps…….
When we hear sounds like cars driving by, or babies crying, or people talking, or this typing-clicking on the keyboard, or the AC that just turned on, or anything….. we think of them as noises. But, the very fact that we hear any sound is because we are alive, we are here, we are now. It’s this one life we have and everything around sends us a reminder about that fact. The things we think of as noises or disturbances, along with all other sounds, are actually a realization of our being.

Something to think about! Since I woke up this morning, I’m in this phase of not hearing, but listening to every little sound around me. And wow! there’s so much that goes on that I have been ignoring all this time …… like…… the water hitting the sink …… the trash truck doing its rounds…….. the microwave buzzing, not beeping …….. the fridge turning on and off ………. the car door opening and closing ……. the mouse clicking …… the wood in our house creaking ……. this chair sighing everytime I move ……. the footsteps of people around me…….. and most importantly, my breath……. the in and out…. constantly telling me I have this one life that I must make the most out of….. that I’m here…. I’m alive…. I’m now…… I’m me.

Muskurane ka bojh

महफिलों में बहुत नाम कमाया है आपने,
दिल-ए-दस्ता.न को महेज़ दोहराया है आपने.

लफ्जों के काबिल हैं हमारे होंठ फ़क़त,
मुस्कुराने का बोझ उठाया है आपने.

मंदिरों में पूजे जाते हैं फ़रिश्ते कई,
इस दुनिया को जन्नत बनाया है आपने.

बाज़ारों में बिकती है दो पल की राहत,
इन आँखों में दरिया बसाया है आपने.

बन तितली उड़ चला आज कैदी कल का,
वक्त की सुइयों को हराया है आपने.

पेशानी पे लकीरें जो खिची हैं आज
क्या कहीं पोशीदा दिल लगाया है आपने?

ख़यालों के अंधरों में थी खोयी जो
उस “जिया” को खुद में पाया है आपने.

——————
पेशानी: forehead
सुइयों: needles
——————

Mehfilon mein bahut naam kamaya hai aapne,
Dil-e-dastaa.n ko mehez dohraaya hai aapne.

Lafzon ke kaabil hain hamare hond faqat,
Muskurane ka bojh udhaya hai aapne.

Mandiron mein puje jaate hain farishte kai,
Is duniya ko jannat banaya hai aapne.

Bazaron mein bikti hai do pal ki raahat,
In aankhon mein dariya basaya hai aapne.

Ban titli ud chala aaj qaidi kal ka,
Waqt ki suiyon ko haraaya hai aapne.

Peshaani pe lakeerein jo khichi hain aaj
kya kahin posheeda dil lagaya hai aapne?

Khayalon ke andhron mein thi khoyi jo
Us “ziya” ko khud mein paaya hai aapne.

——————
peshaani: forehead
suiyon: needles

अरमां-ओ-कहकशां

ज़िन्दगी माँगा नए जवाब करती है
कौन आया,
कौन गया रखा सब हिसाब करती है

क्यों बदलते हैं रुख रिश्तों के
यह पहेली बूझा शराब करती है

है खुदाई मोहब्बत की हर इक झलक
फिर क्यों हमसे वो नकाब करती है

दो लफ्जों की होती तो कह देते कसम
हमारी हर इक जुस्तजू किताब करती है

ज़मीन है कहती, है दूर कितना उफाक
अम्बर की अंगडाई उसे बेताब करती है

अन्देखे खुदा से करती है वो बातें
हमें फ़क़त दूर से आदाब करती है

कई अरमानो की कहकशां है इक “ज़िया”
बेमकसद ज़िन्दगी जो कामयाब करती है.

——————

अरमां-ओ-कहकशा : Hope and smile.
जुस्तजू : pursuit, search
उफाक : horizon

——————

And in latin script…………

Armaa.n-o-kehkashaa.n

zindagi maanga naye jawaab karti hai
kaun aaya,
kaun gaya rakha sab hisaab karti hai

kyun badalte hain rukh rishton ke
yeh paheli boojha sharaab karti hai

hai khudai mohabbat ki har ik jhalak
fir kyun humse woh naqaab karti hai

do lafzon ki hoti to keh dete kasam
humari har ik justjoo kitaab karti hai

zameen hai kehti, hai door kitna ufaq
ambar ki angdai use betaab karti hai

undekhe khuda se karti hai baatein
hamein faqat door se aadaab karti hai

kai armaano ki kehkashaa.n hai ik “ziya”
bemaqsad zindagi jo qamyaab karti hai.

———————

aramaan-o-kehkashaa : Hope and smile.
justjoo : pursuit, search
ufaq : horizon

भीगी आस्तीन

ढूँढो ज़रा, सेहरा में गुलिस्तां कहाँ
इश्क-ओ-अज़ाब बिना शायराना समां कहाँ

है खुशी हाथ की लकीरों में तो क्या
भीगी आस्तीन लिए मुस्कुराना आसां कहाँ

चंद लम्हे बैठते साथ, होते अफ़साने
यूँ तो कहने को लम्बी दस्तां
कहाँ

चूल्हे में बना कांच से नाज़ुक पियाला
टूटे कोई दिल जैसा, उढ़ता है धुँआं
कहाँ

इशारों से होती हैं सब मिन्नतें कुबूल,
मिलती है फूल-ओ-भवरे की ज़ुबा कहाँ

बदलती मंजिलों के हैं मारे मुसाफिर
जिसमे हो फुर्सत ऐसा बे-फ़िक्र जहां कहाँ

होती है नज़र अंदाज़ रोज़ इक सितारे की झिलमिल
बुझा सके यह “ज़िया”, ऐसा कोई तूफ़ां कहाँ

——–
सेहरा: desert
अज़ाब: agony/pain
आस्तीन: sleeve

——–

In Latin script….

Dhoondo zara, sehra mein gulistaa.n kahaa.n
ishq-o-azaab bina shairaana samaa.n kahaa.n

Hai khushi haath ki lakeeron mein to kya
bheegi aasteen liye muskurana asaa.n kahaa.n

Chand lamhe baidhte saath, hote afsaane
yun to kehne ko lambi dastaa.n kahaa.n

Chulhe mein bana kaanch se nazuk piyala
toote koi dil jaisa, udhta hai dhuaa.n kahaa.n

Isharon se hoti hain sab minnatein kubool,
milti hai phool-o-bhawre ki zubaa.n kahaa.n

Badalti manzilon ke hain maare musaafir
jisme ho fursat aisa be-fikr jahaa.n kahaa.n

Hoti hai nazar andaaz roz ik sitaare ki jhilmil
bujha sake yeh “ziya”, aisa koi toofaa.n kahaa.n

——–

sehra: desert
azaab: agony/pain
aasteen: sleeve

चिराग-ऐ-रहगुज़र

परछाइयों में खोजते रहे हमसफ़र अपना
दिन ढले छोड़ देती हैं जो घर अपना।

कब बन चला बेजान पत्थर सा ये दिल
कैसे बदले तखल्लुस संग-ऐ-मर्मर अपना।

न अरमां कोई, न मंजिल, न कोई आरज़ू
मकसद तलाशना ही है अब मुक़द्दर अपना।

कहते हैं वो कि बहरूपिये हैं हम
अश्कों को पी जाना है नया हुनर अपना।

खिड़कियों के रास्ते आ बैठी सिरहाने “ज़िया”
ज़रा ठहर, जला लूँ चिराग-ऐ-रहगुज़र अपना।

——–
तखल्लुस: pen name, But I used it here as identity.
संग-ऐ-मर्मर: marble
मकसद: purpose
बहरूपिया: one who tricks people by using disguise as a tool
हुनर: talent
ज़िया: light
रहगुज़र: path

And if you’d like to read in Latin script…..

Parchaiyon mein khojte rahe humsafar apna
din dhale chod deti hain jo ghar apna.

Kab ban chala bejaan pathar sa yeh dil
kaise badle takhalluss sang-e-marmar apna.

Na armaan koi, na manzil, na koi arzoo
maqsad talaashna hi hai ab muqaddar apna.

Kehte hain woh ki behroopiye hain hum
ashkon ko pi jana hai naya hunar apna.

Khidkiyon ke raste aa baidhi sirhaane “ziya”
zara thehar, jala loon chiraag-e-rehguzar apna.

——–
takhalluss: pen name. But I used it here as identity.
sang-e-marmar: marble
maqsad: purpose
behroopiya: one who tricks people by using disguise as a tool
hunar: talent
ziya: light
rehguzar: path

उलझन

बहुत दिनों बाद, इस पहले शेर के आगे कुछ लिखा है….. कुछ सुनने वालों ने कहा ठीक-ठीक है, कुछ ने कहा अच्छी है, ख़याल अच्छे हैं, कुछ ने कहा वाह! वाह!, और कुछ कहे बिना ही मुसकुरा के चल दिए….. उन सब के लिए और बाकी सब के लिए भी……

ज़िंदगी बड़ी उलझन अजीब है
हमसे बेहतर परवाने का नसीब है
मोहब्बत शरार-ऐ-कातिल ही सही
खाख़ होने में विसाल तो नसीब है।

मदहोश हवाओं का इशारा है
चल पड़े की सोचा मंजिल करीब है
उड़ जाते हम तूफानों के संग लेकिन
रिश्तों सी ज़ंजीर दिल के करीब है।

सुरमे दानी में साँस कैद है
ये ज़रूर उनकी शातिर तरकीब है
आँखों में हमे बसाके कहें
बुरी नज़र से बचने की तरकीब है।

गले लगाने की आज चाह सी है
बाँहें फैलाये खड़ा शजर गरीब है
बस छू कर निकल जाते हैं कई झोंके
कोई तो ठहरेगा जो इश्क का गरीब है।

देखे दूर से तमाशा वो है
कभी कहता है तू मेरा हबीब है
कब कौनसी डोर खींचे है किस तरफ़ “ज़िया”
इक और वफ़ा, इक और मौत मेरा हबीब है.

————

शरार : sparks of fire
विसाल : union
सुरमा : a form of kohl or kajal
शातिर : tactful
शजर : tree

————

In Latin script……..
Bahut dino baad, is pehle sher ke aage kuch likha hai….. kuch sunne waalon ne kaha theek-theek hai, kuch ne kaha acchi hai, khayaal acche hain, kuch ne kaha wah! wah!, or kuch kahe bina hi muskura ke chal diye….. un sab ke liye aur baaki sab ke liye bhi……

Uljhan

Zindagi badi uljhan ajeeb hai
humse behtar parwane ka naseeb hai
mohabbat sharaar-e-qaatil hi sahi
khaakh hone mein visaal to naseeb hai.

Madhosh hawaaon ka ishaara hai
chal pade ki socha manzil kareeb hai
ud jaate hum toofano ke sang lekin
rishton si zanjeer dil ke kareeb hai.

Surme daani mein saans qaid hai
yeh zaroor unki shaatir tarqeeb hai
aankhon mein hame basaake kahein
buri nazar se bachne ki tarqeeb hai.

Gale lagaane ki aaj chaah si hai
baahein felaaye khada shajar gareeb hai
bas chu kar nikal jaate hain kayi jhonke
koi to dhehrega jo ishq ka gareeb hai.

Dekhe door se tamasha woh hai
kabhi kehta hai tu mera habeeb hai
kab kaunsi dor kheenche hai kis taraf “ziya”
ik or wafaa, ik or maut mera habeeb hai.

————

sharaar : sparks of fire
visaal : union
surma : a form of kohl or kajal
shaatir : tactful
shajar : tree

Note (March 20, 2008):
Some of my friends and even others who read this have asked me to explain it….. I’ll try to write here what I was thinking. Let’s say this ghazal is being recited by a guy, we’ll learn more about him in the next few lines.
In the first sher he compares his luck to a moth attracted to the brilliance of sparks of fire….. he says that even though the moth dies meeting his love, atleast he does get to be with her. This sher establishes the fact that he feels defeated and blames his luck for not being close to his love.
The second sher tells us that he has hopes and aspirations of flying high, of doing things out of the ordinary, without a care in his heart. He initially does set out to do just that but has to stop. He has to stay back because he’s got responsibilities towards family and relatives.
In the third sher, he compares himself to surma (kohl) saying that the way a kohl bottle holds it together…… it is definitely her (his mother’s?) idea to hold him close similarly. She loves him, dotes on him and keeps him from leaving.
The fourth is the turning point I think. He says he’s like a tree, with his arms (/branches) outstretched he begs…. begs for someone to stop and give him a hug… but no one does. There are millions of people, like millions of breezes, that brush past, but no one that stops for him, just to be with him for ever.
Finally, the story reveals itself. He says to God….. You just sit up there and watch this game… this puppet show in which you’re holding the strings of my life….. Even though you say I’m close to you and I could have had my love…. all I get is death.
Putting it all together…. he’s dying and decides to let his love go, for her best….. so he’s dying all lonely. Hence the comparison to the moth saying that at least he was one with his love when he was dying, as his love lives on. Before he knew he was dying, he had set out to achieve much in life…… he still could achieve some…… but he remembers his family and decides to stay back for their sake and spend what ever little time he has left with them…. How could he ever leave when he has such a loving family. Many people stop by and extend their condolences, but no one who can stay with him for ever… no one he can take with him when he leaves. He blames God for playing this game …. for pulling strings of his puppet like life towards death, rather than his almost achieved love.

नक्शे-कदम

मैं तो यूँही ज़िंदगी जिए जा रही थी। यूँही वक्त अपने कदमों के निशाँ छोड़े जा रहा था और मैं उन निशानों के पीछे पीछे चली जा रही थी। जब मुड़के देखा और उन निशानों को लकीरों से जोड़ा, जैसे बच्चे अपनी कॉपियों में बिंदियों को जोड़ जोड़ कर चित्र बनाते हैं, तो क्या देखती हूँ की अजीब सा एक नक्शा! वह नक्शा जिसे देख के लगता हो कि इसे पहले कहीं देखा है। वह नक्शा जिसे समझना चाहूँ तो भी नहीं समझ सकती हूँ मैं। वह नक्शा जिसे देख के लगता हो कि किसी ने बड़ी बारीकी से, बहुत सोच समझ के इसे बनाया है. सच? क्या वक्त इसी तरह राह-नुमा बने मेरी ज़िंदगी अपने नक्शे-कदम पे चलाता रहेगा? क्या उसने पहले से ही यह नक्शा बनाये रखा है और मुझे हर मोड़ नया लगता है, यूँही? जबकि वाकई में कोई मोड़ नया नहीं, कोई रास्ता नया नहीं, कोई राहगीर नया नहीं। बदला है तो बस देखने का नज़रीया की मैं पीछे मुड़ कर उस नक्शे को देखूँ, या आगे की ओर आने वाले मोड़ को।

————

And in Latin script…..
Naqsh-e-kadam

Main to yunhi zindagi jiye jaa rahi thi. Yunhi waqt apne kadmon ke nishaan chode ja raha tha aur main un nishaano ke peeche peeche chali jaa rahi thi. Jab mudke dekha aur un nishaano ko lakeeron se joda, jaise bacche apni copiyon mein bindiyon ko jod jod kar chitr banate hain, to kya dekhti hoon ki ajeeb sa ek naqshaa! Woh naqshaa jise dekh ke lagta ho ki ise pehle kahin dekha hai. Woh naqshaa jise samajhna chahoon to bhi nahi samajh sakti hoon main. Woh naqshaa jise dekh ke lagta ho ki kisi ne badi baariki se, bahut soch samajh ke ise banaya hai. Such? Kya waqt isi tarah raah-numa bane meri zindagi apne naqshe-kadam pe chalata rahega. Kya usne pehle se hi yeh naqshaa banaye rakha hai aur mujhe har mod nayaa lagta hai, yunhi? Jabki waaqaii mein koi mod naya nahi, koi rasta nayaa nahi, koi rahgeer naya nahi. Badla hai to bus dekhne ka nazariya ki main peeche mud kar us naqshe ko dekhoon, ya aage ki oar aane waale mod ko.