Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Urdu Shayaris and Ghazals - Page 3

Most of you will be familiar with the most famous collection of rubaayis - The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Numerous translations of this famous book are freely available at most book stores.

For those who are interested, a brief description of the various forms of Urdu poetry is available at http://www.geocities.com/~fhnaqvi/define.html

A brief history of what is a rubayi. The word "rubayi" (ru-baa-ee) has Arabic origins and is derived from the word "arbaa" meaning four. This is indicative of the structure of a rubayi. A rubayi is an independent 4 line poem rhyming a,a,b,a. Each line of the quatrain conforms to a specific poetic metre called the hazaj, consisting of four metrical units, represented in prosodic terms by the Persian notation: mufailun, mufailun, mufailun, mufailun. There are 24 variants of this basic 'metre'. But most stick to the basic metre.

Though the rubayi originated in the 10th century Iran, it attained popularity only from the 11th century onwards. This was mainly due to the work of three famous poets of that era: Omar Khayyam, Sarmad and Abu ul Khair. The rubayi was transplanted in India along with other forms of Urdu poetry like the qasida and the masnavi and the ghazal in the 13th century. However, it did not get as much importance as the other forms of Urdu poetry. Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah wrote about 50,000 couplets in his entire life, out of which merely 41 are rubayis. Other poets of the the Deccan School also tried their hand at it but without much success or enthusiasm.

The poets of the Delhi school had better success with it. Of the first three main poets of Delhi, Khwaja Mir Dard, Meer Taqi Meer and Mirza Sauda are worth mentioning in this regard. Of the next three main poets of the Delhi school - Ghalib, Zauq and Momin - only Momin paid any significant attention to this poetry form. However, the rubayi really blossomed under the aegis of two poets from Lucknow - Babar Ali Anees and Salamat Ali Dabir. Both were renowned writers of marsiyas (elegies). The simplicity of diction and rhythmic flow of their marsiyas was reflected in their rubayis. Their rubayis also possess a seriousness of purpose and sobriety of style which is charateristic of marsiyas.

Babar Ali Anees started the practice of introducing his longer poems with the recitation of a rubayi. This became a very popular practice and was emulated by many. After Dabir and Anees, the poets who made notable contributions to the growth and popularity of the rubayi are Hali, Akbar Allahabadi and Shad Azeemabadi. Shad Azeemabadi stuck to the devotional themes while Hali and Akbar Allahabadi used it as a vehicle of reform. Hali stuck to religious reform while Akbar Allahabadi used his considerable weaponry of wit and humour to achieve his social reformistic goals.

Poet: Meer

jin jin ko thaa ye ishq kaa aazaar mar gaye
aksar hamaare saath ke biimaar mar gaye
sad kaaravaan-e-vafaa hai ko_ii puuchhataa nahii.n
goyaa mitaa-e-dil ke Kharidaar mar gaye

[Those who suffered from the ague of love are dead
Most of my fellow patients have gone to their grave
Numerous hawkers of faithful love exhibit their wares
It is as if the heart has no buyer in the world]


Poet: Khwaja Mir Dard

Gam khaate hai.n aur aa.Nsuu roz piite hai.n
din raat hame.n ajab tarah biite hai.n
guzare hai jo kuchh ke guzare hai, kyaa kahiye
par tuhfagii ye ke ab talak jiite hai.n

[Daily we drink our tears and survive on our sorrow
Strange is the way we spend our nights and days
What we go through is hard to describe
What is surprising, is that we are still alive]


Poet: Khwaja Mir Dard

aadam ko ajab Khudaa ne rutbaa baKhshaa
adanaa ke liye maqaam-e-aalaa baKhshaa
aqal-o-hunar-o-tamiiz-o-jaan-o-imaan
is ek kaf-e-Khaak ko kyaa kyaa baKhshaa

[rutbaa = status; adanaa = puny; maqaam = rank; aalaa = highest/best]
[aqal-o-hunar-o-tamiiz-o-jaan-o-imaan = sense and sensibilty, wisdom and faith (good qualities)]
[kaf-e-Khaak = handful of dust]

kis muu.Nh se kahuu.N laayaq-e-tahsiin mai.n huu.N
kyaa lutf jo gul kahe ra.ngiin mai.n huu.N
hotii hai halaavat-e-suKhan Khud zaahir
kahatii hai kahii.n shakkar ke shiriin mai.n huu.N

[laayaq-e-tahsiin = worthy of praise; halaavat-e-suKhan = sweetness of speech]
[shakkar = sugar; shiriin = sweet]

duniyaa bhii ajab saraaye faanii dekhii
har chiiz yahaa.N kii aanii-jaanii dekhii
jo aake na jaaye vo bu.Daapaa dekhaa
jo jaa ke na aaye vo javaanii dekhii

[saraaye = inn; faanii = easily destroyed/fragile/not permanent]


Poet: Akbar Allahabadi

A characteristic of Akbar Allahabadi?ritings was the inclusion
of English words to accentuate his satire.

chho.D 'literature' ko apanii, 'history' ko bhuul jaa
sheKh-o-masjid se ta'alluq tark kar, 'school' jaa
chaar din kii zi.ndagii hai, koft se kyaa faayadaa
khaa 'double-roti', 'clerky' kar, Khushii se phuul jaa

ham urduu ko arbii kyo.n na kare.n, hi.ndii ko vo bhaashaa kyo.n na kare.n
jaga.De ke liye aKhbaaro.n me.n, mazamuu.N taraashaa kyo.n na kare.n
aapas me.n adaavat kuchh bhii nahii.n, lekin ik akhaaraa qaayam hai
jab is se falak kaa dil bahale, ham log tamaashaa kyo.n na kare.n

[Why shouldn't we try and link Urdu to Arabic
Why shouldn't they try and Sanskritize Hindi
Why shouldn't we write in papers and try our best to incite more communal strife
Though there is no cause for a fight yet why should we not be ready for another battle
If God finds this to be an amusing show then we cannot help but oblige]

[Please note that the above lines are written as a satire,
and does not mean that the poet was trying to incite communal strife.
Sometimes sarcasm gets overlooked,
specially where such sensitive matters are concerned.]


Poet: Josh Malihabadi

har subah hai ik ajiib saudaa mujhako
har shaam hai ik-tarafaa taqaazaa mujhako
jug biit gayaa magar ye ab tak na khulaa
aaKhir kis shay kii hai tamannaa mujahko

tujhase jo phiregii to kidhar jaayegii
le jaayegaa jis simt udhar jaayegii
duniyaa ke havaadis se na ghabaraa ki ye umr
jis tarah guzaaregaa guzar jaayegii

jannat ke mazo.n pe jaan dene vaalo
ga.nde paanii me.n naa.v khene vaalo
har Khair pe chaahate ho sattar huure.n
ai apane Khudaa se suud maa.Nganae vaalo
[Khair = good deed]

ik umr tasavvuf ne mujhako chakaraayaa
is bahar me.n ek bhii na motii paayaa
har martabaa jab ki jaal khii.Nchaa mai.n ne
to ik-na-ik vaham aTak kar aayaa
[bahar = sea; har martabaa = every time; vaham = doubt]


Poet: Amjad Hyderabadi

kab tak hai baqaa-e-tan fanaa ko maaluum
kab tak hai ye zi.ndagii qazaa ko maaluum
har saa.Ns ye kah rahii hai jaate jaate
jaatii to huu.N vaapasii Khudaa ko maaluum

koshish hai tamaam apanii sitaa_ish ke liye
kyaa kyaa karate hai.n ek Khvaahish ke liye
har ek namuud pe miTaa jaataa hai
putale miTTii ke hai.n numaa_ish ke liye

mar mar ke mai.n ne lahad me.n jaa paa_ii hai
yaa.N tak mujhe terii hii kashish laa_ii hai
aa, ai mere muu.Nh chhupaane vaale aajaa
Khilavat hai shab-e-taar hai tanahaa_ii hai