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Sorry, guys, for coming around here less often than I've wanted to...been engulfed in a production ...I had started this post in the days of RJGK 22, when I think it was Ashok who said the article on Sahir's life talked about 'Universal Love' in his shaayari but not about his 'socialistic' tendencies...here's what methinks :))
The guy who wrote:
zindagHi sirf mohabbat nahiN kuchh aur bhi hai zulf-o-rukhsaar ki jannat nahiN kuchh aur bhi hai bhookh aur pyaas ki maari huyi is duniyaa meiN ishq hi ek haqeeqat nahiN kuchh aur bhi hai
found it quite natural, at one time, to get immersed in a 'revolution' of his own design...a war against injustice of 'all' kinds as he perceived it, be it the injustice done to him by people like his father/his beloved's father, or that perpetrated by other perceived oppressors against the man on the street. Sometime in the early sixties, Sahir's pen seemed to become his sword in this war, and he wrote:
ham amn chaahte haiN magar zulm ke khilaaf gar jang laazmee hai to phir jang hi sahi zaalim ko jo na rokay vo shaamil hai zulm meiN qaatil ko jo na Tokay vo qaatil ke saath hai ham sar-ba-kaf uTThay haiN ke haq fatehyaab ho keh do usay jo lashkar-e-baatil ke saath hai is Dhang par hai zor to ye Dhang hi sahi [sar-ba-kaf=hatHeli par sar lekar haq=truth fatehyaab=victorious lashkar-e-baatil=jhooTh ki senaa]
Very quickly, of course, these 'socially-conscious' pieces brought the poet himself a label of 'the socialist'...all kinds of movements of a similar nature readily owned Sahir as their spokesman, and Sahir wrote more:
zulm phir zulm hai, baDtaa hai to miT jaataa hai khoon phir khoon hai, Tapkegaa to jam jaayegaa zulm ki baat hi kyaa, zulm ki auqaat hi kyaa zulm bas zulm hai, aagaaz se anjaam talak khoon phir khoon hai, sau shaql badal saktaa hai aesee shaqleN ke miTaao to miTaaye na bane aese sholay ke bujhaao to bujhaaye na bane aese naaray ke dabaao to dabaaye na bane!
kuchh din tak chaltaa rahaa ye pravaah 'zulm' ke khilaaf 'jang' ke jazbaat ka...Pdt. Nehru died...1965 ki Indo-Pak conflict apnay saath jang ki us bhayaanak shaql ko lekar saamne aayi jisme apnay roobaroo apnay khoon ko bemaqsad behtay dekh kar Sahir ko apni hi likhi huyi usi ghazal ki akhri do laayineN jaise yaad aa gayiN
tum agar aaNkh churaao to ye haq hai tumko maine tumse hi nahiN, sabse mohabbat ki hai ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
baat to vohi mohabbat se shuroo huyi tHi, jang-0-khooN meiN kaise aTak kar reh saktee tHi? He wrote:
khoon apnaa ho ya paraayaa ho nasl-e-aadam ka khoon hai aakhir jang mashriq meiN ho ke magHrib meiN amn-e-aalam ka khoon hai aakhir jang to khud hi ek mas_alaa hai jang kyaa mas_aloN ka hal degee aag aur khoon aaj bakhshegee bhookh aur ehtiyaaj kal degee [mas_alaa=samasyaa ehtiyaaj=needs] isliye ae shareef insaano jang Taltee rahe to behtar hai aap aur ham sabhi ke aaNgan meiN shammaa jaltee rahe to behtar hai bartaree ke suboot kee khaatir khooN bahaanaa hi kyaa zarooree hai? ghar ki taareeqiyaan miTaane ko ghar jalaanaa hi kyaa zarooree hai? [bartaree=baDappan]
Sufi-poets usually equate ISHQ with IBAADAT, and many a time therefore, oppose organised religion and organised conflict (war) of all kinds. They also talk about love with the beloved being the same as love with God as well as with all of His creation. They consider this kind of love to be, sometimes, a difficult, yet the only way to 'get there'. Previous sufi-poets who have left a huge treasure of kalaam (usually sung, not recited...a lot of it in the form of Qawwalis / KaafiyaaN / Dohay / Rang) etc. They express a close affinity to all the popular love-ballads: Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu, Sassi-Punnu, Dhola-Maaru, Shirin-Farhaad, even Radha-Krishna and Seeta-Ram.
Sahir was never very far from this preoccupation with ishq...he had written earlier in 'TalkhiyaaN':
mere sarkash taraane sun ke duniyaa ye samajhtee hai ke shaayad mere dil ko ishq ke nagHmoN se nafrat hai [sarkash=revolutionary] magHar ae kaash dekheN vo meree pursoz raatoN ko main jab taaroN pe nazreN gaaDkar aaNsoo bahaataa hooN maiN shaayar hooN mujhe fitrat ke nazzaaroN se ulfat hai meraa dil dushman-e-nagHmaa-saraayi ho nahiN saktaa [fitrat=nature nagHmaa-saraayi=geet gaanaa] mujhe insaaniyat ka dard bhi bakhshaa hai qudrat ne meraa maqsad faqat sholaa-nawaayi ho nahiN saktaa [faqat=sirf sholaa-nawaayi=aag barsaanaa]
The late-sixties saw a number of sufiyaanaa stuff from Sahir in the movies. When he talked about the fundamentals of sufism in... Barsaat Ki Raat / Roshan:
ishq aazaad hai, hindu na musalmaan hai ishq aap hi dharm hai, aur aap hi imaan hai ishq Allah aur Rasool ka farmaan ishq hai yaani Hadees ishq hai, Quraan ishq hai Gautam ka aur Maseeh ka armaan ishq hai Ye qaaynaat jism hai, aur jaan ishq hai ishq Sarmad, Ishq hi Mansoor hai ishq Moosaa, Ishq Koh-e-toor hai khaq ko but, aur but ko devtaa kartaa ishq intehaa ye hai ke banday ko Khudaa kartaa hai ishq!
And, BTW, the following couplet in this qawwali is 'inspired' by the famous Sufi Amir Khusrau :)
Sahir: bahut kaThin hai dagar panghaT ki (ab) kyaa bhar laaooN maiN jamunaa se maTakee maiN jo chali jal jamunaa bharaN ko (dekho ri sakhi ri) maiN jo chali jal jamunaa bharaN ko Nand ko chhoro mohe rok-ke chhaaRo (to) kyaa bhar laooN maiN jamunaa se maTakee (ab) laaj raakho mere ghooNghaT-paT kee Khusrau: bahut kaThin hai dagar panghaT ki kaise maiN bhar laaooN madhwaa se maTakee paniyaa bharan ko maiN jo gayi tHee dauR jhapaT moree maTakee paTakee Khusrau nizaam ke bal-bal jaayiae laaj raakho mere ghooNghaT paT kee
Back to Sahir...he talked about the khokhlaapan of organised religion and man-made divisions of this planet in ...Dhool Ka Phool / N. Dutta:
achhaa hai abhi tak teraa kuchh naam nahiN hai tujhko kisi mazhab se koyi kaam nahiN hai jis ilm ne insaan ko taqseem kiyaa hai us ilm ka tujh pe koyi ilzaam nahiN hai ! maaliq ne har inssan ko insaan banaayaa hamne usay hindu ya musalmaan banaayaa qudrat ne to bakhshee tHee hameN ek hi dhartee hamne kahiN Bharat kahiN Iran banaayaa nafrat jo sikhaaye vo dharam teraa nahiN hai insaan ko roNday vo qadam teraa nahiN hai Quraan na ho jisme vo mandir nahiN teraa Geeta na ho jisme vo haram teraa nahiN hai
And he put ishq-o-mohabbat above takht-o-taaj in... Tal Mahal / Roshan:
aap daulat ke taraazoo meiN diloN ko toleN ham mohabbat se mahabbat ka silaa dete haiN takht kyaa cheez hai aur laal-o-jawaahar kyaa hai ishq waale to khudaayi bhi luTaa dete haiN
And he questioned the sin-virtue concept pushed by organised religion in...Chitralekha / Roshan:
ye paap hai kyaa, ye punya hai kyaa ? reetoN par dharm ki mohreN haiN har yug meiN badalte dharmoN ko kaise aadarsh banaaoge ?
And when he came back to the love with khudaayi, this time he compared God with baabul in...Dil Hi To Hai / Roshan:
bhool gayi sab bachan bidaa ke kho gayi maiN sasuraal meiN aake koree chunariyaa aatmaa moree mael hai maayaa jaal vo duniyaa more baabul ka ghar ye duniyaa sasuraal jaa ke babul se nazareN milaaooN kaise, ghar jaaoN kaise laagaa chunaree meiN daag chhupaaooN kaise
He wrote plenty of love-songs, plenty of zamaanaa-khilaaf songs, plenty of insaan-ki-insaan-se-mohabbat songs...most of this stuff had couplets that relate to the concept of sufism (which may comment on 'pre-occupation' with material things, and may disagree with putting 'daulat' ahead of 'dil' but does not have an 'unconditional' problem with the use/enjoyment of material things as such) a lot more than to the narrower concept of anti-capitalism...understandably I guess, because when he found himself in the midst of success and 'capital' the guy did not abstain from an extravagant personal life-style himself ! He supported it thus:
ye bhog bhi ek tapasyaa hai tum tyaag ke maare kyaa jaano ham janm bitaa kar jaayenge tum janm gaNvaa kar jaaoge !
Source: From the archives of ALUP (alt.language.urdu.poetry)
Maintained by Nita Awatramani |
Last updated on: 20th September, 2001