The exquisite journey of love passes through numerous twists and turns, bringing different experiences to each individual.
In Urdu poetry, poets have penned down these diverse experiences in rhyme with a sheer eloquence that aptly expresses the exceptional bond between the lover and the beloved. Meer, Ghalib, Momin, Dagh, Faiz and hundreds of Urdu poets have voices to the emotions of lovers going through stages such as longing, interplay, loving, possessiveness, rivalry, seperation, breaking-up and frenzy.
This eloquence makes every reader share this thought, as was inimitably expressed by Mirza Ghalib:
Dekhna taqreer ki lazzat ki jo us ne kahaa
Maine ye jaanaa ki goyaa ye bhi mere dil men hai
‘Love Longing Loss in Urdu Poetry’ offers a lyrical English transcreation of these experiences woven in the web of an enchanting tale that includes the subtle nuances and the beauty of Urdu poetry with all its beauty.
Industrialist, investor and social entrepreneur Sanjiv Saraf juggles many roles, but his passion for Urdu poetry is what is closest to his heart. He set up Rekhta Foundation—which hosts the world’s largest and most popular resource for Urdu language and literature—apart from doing extensive work for preservation of texts and propagation of the language among youth through festivals and events.
An alumnus of the Scindia School (1975) and a graduate from IIT Kharagpur (1980), Sanjiv was involved in business and industry for over thirty years during which he founded Polyplex Corpn. Ltd., an Indian multinational, Manupatra, India’s leading legal database, and other ventures in the green energy space. Thereafter, he turned his energies towards Urdu literature and is now fully involved in what he considers ‘the most satisfying work of my life, so far’.
Sanjiv is a recipient of several awards and honours, including the distinguished Doctor of Letters (D. Litt.) degree by Maulana Azad National Urdu University Hyderabad in 2016, the National Sir Syed Excellence Award 2018 by Aligarh Muslim University for his contribution to the cause of preserving and promoting Urdu and the Madhav Award as an Old Boy of Eminence for the year 2020 by the Scindia School for his outstanding work through Rekhta Foundation.
LOVE LONGING LOSS IN URI SANJIV SARAF JURDU POETRY LOVE LONGING LOSS IN URDU POETRY SANJIV SARAF BOOKS A Rekhta Publication INDEX Urdu: Donald Peck Foreword: Huma Khalil Introduction by Author About this book (in rhyme) Love/'ishq Tropes / 'alāmāt Heart / dil Beloved/ ma'shuq Messenger/qasid Neglect / taghaful Veil/naqab Face-to-face / ruu-ba-ruu Interplay / mu'amlat-e-'ishq Kiss / bosa Promise and Wait / vaada aur intizăr Tryst/vasl Love-sickness / bīmāri-e-'ishq Possessiveness / hasad Rival/ raqib Infidelity / bevafā.i Tyranny / jafā Killer/qatil Alienation/ bargashtagi Breaking-up / tark-e-taalluq Separation / hijr Beloved's lane / kuu-e-jānāñ Frenzy / junūn Death wish / KHvähish-e-marg Poets' Glossary Transliteration Key XV XXI XXVII XXXIV 001 043 061 075 119 127 137 145 165 183 199 215 243 253 261 273 285 299 311 327 333 355 367 379 388 391 Love Longing Loss WHAT IS LOVE? This eternal question has been answered by poets in different ways. Love is versatile and all-encompassing ik lafz-e-mohabbat kaa adna² ye fasāna³ hai simTe¹ to dil-e-'ashiq³ phaile to zamana hai Jigar Moradabadi About the word called Love / this simple story stands If shrinks, a lover's heart, the world if it expands It is multi-faceted mohabbat chiKH' bhii KHämoshi bhii naghma² bhii na'ra³ bhii ye ik mazmun* hai kitne hii 'unvanon³ se vabasta Hafiz Merathi A shout, love is, and silence too / and slogan, song, as well This is a subject which under / many headings doth dwell Is all-consuming puchhe hai kyaa vajud-o-'adam' ahl-e-shauq² kaa aap apni aag ke KHas-o-KHäshak³ ho gaye Mirza Ghalib Of lovers' being and nothingness, what do you enquire? Brushwood, kindling they've become, for their own desire. Miir says Love is a religion followed by heretics saKHt kāfir¹ thaa jin ne pahle 'miir' maz.hab-e-'ishq iKHtiyar kiya Mir Taqi Mir 'Miir', he was an infidel severe Who to Love/as faith did first adhere 2 01 1. The word "Love" 2. Trivial 3. Tale 4. Shrink 5. Lover's heart 02 1. Scream 2. Song 3. Slogan 4. Article 5. Titles. 6. Related to 03 1. Existence and non-existence 2. People in love 3. Sticks and sprigs 04 1. Severe infidel 2. Religion of love 3. Adopted Love is "imaginary" (In the initial stages of love when the mind is perplexed, Love is dismissed as immature and crazy by the lover himself.) bulbul' ke kārobär pe hain KHanda-haa-e-gul² kahte hain jis ko 'ishq KHalal hai dimagh kaa Mirza Ghalib The flower laughs out loud at the bulbul's enterprise What is known as Love, is mind's / imperfect premise Urdu's greatest poet says that Love enables "seeing" mohabbat ne zulmat' se ka.Dha² hai nuur³ na hoti mohabbat na hotā zuhur¹ Mir Taqi Mir From the depths of darkness, love has extracted light If love did not exist, there would have been no sight And that Love is self-contained ishq ma'shuq' 'ishq 'ashiq hai va'ni apna hii mubtala³ hai ishq Mir Taqi Mir Love is the beloved, Love's the paramour, Love is thus enmeshed / in its own allure Note 1: The bulbul represents the lover and the gul (rose), the beloved. 05 1. A type of bird 2. Flowers laughing aloud 3. Defect Note 1 06 1. Darkness 2. Extract 3. Light 4. Visibility Love 07 1. Beloved 2. Lover 3. Enmeshed 3 Love Longing Loss ASIR/SAYYAD (PRISONER/CAPTOR) The Lover calls himself the 'prisoner' of the beloved. He is captivated by her beauty, her tresses, her mannerisms etc. While he may complain about his state, he actually relishes it. Typically the lover (prisoner) is represented by a bird and the beloved is its captor. As can be seen from huuñ giraftar-e-ulfat-e-sayyād¹ varna baqi hai täqat-e-parvaz² Mirza Ghalib By the captor's love ensnared am I Otherwise, I have the strength to fly Says he has no complaint at being a captive na gila hai na shikayat mujhe bedād' kii hai hai vahi meri KHushi jo mire sayyad kii hai Lala Madhav Ram Jauhar I have no complaint nor gripe / with her cruelty What makes my captor happy, it is the same for me He is regretful that she has 'freed' him us ne apnā banā ke chho.D diyā kyaa asiri¹ hai kyaa rihā.i² hai Jigar Morādābādī She made me hers, away then sent What's freedom? What's imprisonment? 52 30 1. Imprisoned by the captor's love 2. Power of flight 31 1. Cruelty 2. Captor 32 1. Captivity 2. Liberation Love Longing Loss Tongue-tying karne gaye the us se taġhäful' kaa ham gila kii ek hii nigah ki bas KHäk² ho gaye Mirza Ghalib I had gone there to complain / of being ignored and spurned She just cast one glance at me - to ashes I was turned Deep and mysterious for him ek jangal hai teri ankhon meň main jahän raah bhul jätä huuñ Dushyant Kumar A forest in your eyes does stay Where I tend to lose my way And for others ik hasin änkh ke ishare par qafile' raah bhul jate hain 'Abdul Hamid 'Adam A sign from pretty eyes they get And caravans their route forget ARROW-LIKE Penetrating ko.ii mere dil se puchhe tire tiir-e-niim-kash' ko ye KHalish² kahän se hoti jo jigar ke paar hotā Mirza Ghalib What pain your arrow, partly drawn, inflicts upon my heart Cleanly through if it had gone, would it this sting impart? 92 60 1. Neglect 2. Dust 61 62 1. Caravans 63 1. Half-drawi arrow 2. Sting Love Longing Loss Sends another message kahnä qasid ki us ke jine kaa va'da-e-vasl' par madar² hai aaj Mardān 'Ali KHăn Rãng To her, O herald, go and tell My breaths on union's promise dwell He hopes to have some effect on her vo bhii shayad ro pa.De virän' käġhaz dekh kar main ne us ko aKHiri² KHat men likha kuchh bhii nahin Zuhür Nazar Maybe she will weep as well, on seeing the empty note In my final letter, there was nothing that I wrote The qasid brings a reply, but he silences him qasid payām un kaa na kuchh der abhi sună rahne de mahv-e-lazzat-e-zauq-e-KHabar² mujhe Asar Lakhnavi Messenger, just for a while, her message do not quote Let me be immersed in joy, just because she wrote On hearing her reply, he exclaims qayamat' hai ye kah kar us ne lauTäyā hai qasid ko ki un kaa to har ik KHat aKHiri paighăm² hota hai She'ri Bhopali Calamity, the messenger / she sent with this comment: "His every letter claims to be the last one to be sent" Note 1: This is relatively unusual where the poet actually quotes the beloved. Normally the poet simply communicates about his emotions or her responses. 124 17 1. Promise of a tryst 2. Based 18 1. Erapty 2. Last 19 1. Message 2. Rapt in the pleasure of the flavour of receiving news 20 1. Apocalypse 2. Message Note I Love Longing Loss Because he enjoys the tussle 'ajib lutf kuchh āpas ke chhe.D-chha.D' men hai kahäñ milap² meň vo baat jo biga.D³ men hai Insha Allah KHän Insha In mutual provocation / there is a strange delight In accord, where is the zest/ that there exists in fight? When she gets angry, he says tum ko aata hai pyar par ghussa mujh ko ghusse pe pyar aata hai Amir Mina.i When at my passion you're irate Your anger makes me passionate And he feels... ghazab' muñh pe zähir² vale dil meň chah nihan³ aah aah aur a'yan¹ vaah vaah Unknown There's fury on her face, but love her heart belies Obvious is her anger and silent are her sighs But then reasons with her zindagi yüñhi bahut kam hai mohabbat ke liye rūTh kar vaqt ganväne' kii zarurat kyaa hai Unknown As it is, this life's too short / for loving, anyway What's the need to get upset and while it all away 178 49 1. Skirmishing 2. Getting together 3. Messing thing up 50 51 1. Fury 2. Apparer 3. Hidden 4. Obvious 52 1. Wasting Love Longing Loss When she keeps prevaricating, he is petulant milnā jo na ho tum ko to kah do na milenge ye kyaa kabhi parsoñ' hai kabhi kal hai kabhi aaj Nüh Närvi If you wish to meet me not, you should clearly say Why today, tomorrow and/day-after, then, pray? He suddenly realizes mire mahbub¹ ne va'da kiya hai pāñchven² din kaa kisi se sun liya hoga ki dunyà chăr din kii hai Unknown My beloved made a vow / to meet me on day five She must've heard from someone: Four days doth man survive He ends up alone us pe takya¹ kiya to thaa lekin raat din ham the aur bistar thaa Mir Taqi Mir My hopes had rested on her / but instead Night and day, it's just me and my bed Note 1: Delightful play on takya which is pillow. In urdu takya karna means "to depend on". Mir juxtaposes the takya and the bistar (bed), to evoke the pathos of being left alone in the lurch. 210 41 1. Day-after tomorrow 42 1. Beloved 2. Fifth 43 1. Reliance Note 1 Love Longing Loss When she says that she is testing him yahi hai āzmānā to satänä² kis ko kahte hain 'aduu' ke ho liye jab tum to meră imtihän kyon ho Mirza Ghalib If this is a trial, then / what else is torment, say? When my rival's you've become, then why test me this way? He is miffed by his rival's access to his beloved's house pahuncha hai shab kamand' lagā kar vahan raqib sach hai haram-zade² kii rassi darāz³ hai Sheikh Ibrahim Zauq At night, with a lasso, there did my rival lope It is true the bastard / did have a lengthy rope And makes a hue and cry raqib-e-ruu-siyah' kaa kaam hai kyaa kuu-e-jänân² men nikālo isko shaitān³ hai ye jannat men ghusa kyon hai Rashk Fatehpuri What work does the blackguard have / in my beloved's alley? Drive him out, it's paradise, why here this devil's sally? When she asks him to befriend his rivals tumhen chähün tumhare chähne väloň ko bhii chahun mira dil pher do mujhse ye jhag.Da' ho nahin sakta Muztar Khairabadi I should love you and I should / then love your lovers too! Do return my heart to me, as this I cannot do 266 16 1. Testing 2. Tormenting 3. Rival 17 1. Lariat. 2. Bastard 3. Lengthy 18 1. Black faced rival 2. Beloved's lare 3. Satan 4. Paradise. 19 1. Quarrel Love Longing Loss Because she enjoys his pain dard-e-dil kitnā pasand aaya use main ne jab kii aah us ne vaah kii Asi Ghazipuri She relished my heartache so When I sighed, she said: "Bravo!" On being told it's the heavens which are to blame, he says charKH' ko kab ye saliqa² hai sitamgäri³ men ko.ii ma'shuq hai is parda-e-zañgari men Mannü Lal Safa Lakhnavi When did the skies possess, the style to so torment? Some lover is behind / this verdant veil present And so asks her ye fitna¹ admi kii KHäna-vīräni² ko kyaa kam hai huye tum dost jis ke dushman us kaa äsmän kyon ho Mirza Ghalib Is this mischief not enough, for one to meet one's end? Why should Heaven be his foe, if you've become his friend? Sometimes she is embarrassed by her actions kabhi neki' bhii us ke jii meñ gar aa jäye hai mujh se jafayen² kar ke apni yaad sharmä jaye hai mujh se Mirza Ghalib Sometimes, in her heart, for me, if there's clemency She recalls her tortures and / hides her face from me 292 23 24 1. Heavens 2. Proper manner 3. Tyranny 4. Behind the rust-coloured veil 25 1. Mischief 2. Desolation of home 26 1. Piety 2. Oppression Love Longing Loss Junün is the state where the lover goes completely crazy and wanders around in the wilderness and deserts, seeking his beloved. He is frenzied, hair unkempt and collar rent. He is jeered at by onlookers who throw stones at him. At times he is restrained in chains. Such a person is called Majnun (like the famous lover in the Laila-Majnün tale.) This is also called diwangi and could happen at any stage in love, whether crazed in love or crazed with yearning or in grief. 'Cuando el amor no es locura, no es amor' "When love is not madness, it is not love" Pedro Calderón de la Barca He is scoffed at by people 'ishq karte hain us pari-ruu¹ se 'miir' sahab bhii kyaa divāne hain Mir Taqi Mir He is besot by that fairy face Mister 'mir' is such a crazy case And pitied bhala admi thaa pa nädän¹ niklā suna hai kisi se mohabbat kare hai Kalim 'Ajiz A decent man, but foolish, proved to be It has been heard that he loves somebody People tell him ankh pa.Dti hai kahin pañv kahin pa.Dtā hai sab kii hai tum ko KHabar apni KHabar kuchh bhii nahin Mohammad 'Ali Tishna You look in one direction, your feet do go elsewhere You have news of everyone, of self you're not aware 368 01 1. Angel-faced 02 1. Foolish 03