The Other Me
Abh uss sabaa ki shayar-e-kaatib kyun banun;
jiske lihaaf-e-azaab ki samoom mein biyaabaan thi rakhsh-e-umr,
Kyun na iss baad-e-sabaa ki aabid banun:
jiski silah-e-quyood mein bhi shaad hai dil.
Sogwaar nahin main yahaan marg-e-sitam se,
Bas ek ranj-o-khalish hi toh hai:
jiski taaboot mein dafan hai misrah-e-raaz-o-niyaaz.
Gul-dum nahin main gulshan-e-gulcheen-e-khiffat ki,
Gul-barg hun main shaakh-e-marqad-e-habeeb ki.
Haan hun main baadah-parast mardood-e-mareez,
maiy-khwaar hun main maiykhaane ki uss khumaari ki:
Pilaata hai saqi mujhe tere hijr ke faasiq-e-jaam.
Taabindagi hun mein dard mein sulaghti uss mashaal ki,
Roshan hai jisse guzre waqt ke kuch waaqi’ah-e-khas.
Siyaahi hun mein khizaan-e-khushq mein likhi gayi uss ghazal ki,
Taazah hai aaj bhi jis se mere sukhnwar-e-humdum ke poosheeda alfaz.
____ _____ _____ _____ ______ ______ ______ _____ ______
Why should I be a poet of those dreadful winds of the past?
Those fiery vengeful winds:
that enshrouded an unending parched span of my life.
The winds this morning offered me a strange solace,
imprisoned and restrained, I am:
yet, my soul is free from those searing flames,
Let me write in their praise.
Strange; though I am agonized in this confinement,
I am learning to be happy,
There’s but one remorse,
buried deep inside: it has veiled many secrets of the past.
I am no more the nightingale of the wicked Gardener’s repelling garden,
I am the rose; on the branch of a dead friend’s grave,
Dead; but who loved me dearly.
Yes, I am the sick blasphemous drunkard,
who drinks in ecstasy and trance
but all that cupbearer offers is the spell: ending my disunion to my beloved,
Tell me if that is profanity, I would proudly drink it again.
I am the flames rising out of dying candle’s wick,
Flames: that have lit some of the dead forgotten memories of our past.
I am the dried ink of the Ghazals which my beloved wrote in hardhearted autumn,
Ghazals: some of them I remember, out of a hundred others which he chose to conceal.
P.S: The title comes from Ghalib’s famous ‘Dil hi toh hai na Sangh-o-khisht”.
Filed under: Poetry