ai dil-e-naadaan

ai dil-e-naadaan
ai dil-e-naadaan
aarzu kya hai
just’ju kya hai

hum bhatakte hain
kyun bhatakte hain
dasht-o-sehra mein
aisa lagta hai
mauj pyaasi hai 
apne darya mein
kaisi uljhan hai
kyun ye uljhan hai
ek saaya sa
ru-ba-ru kya hai… 

ai dil-e-naadaan
aarzu kya hai
just’ju kya hai

kya qayaamat hai
kya museebat hai
keh nahi sakte
kiska armaan hai
zindagi jaise khoi khoi hai
hairaan hairaan hai
ye zameen chup hai
aasmaan chup hai
phir ye dhadkan si
chaar su kya hai…

ai dil-e-naadaan
aarzu kya hai

just’ju kya hai

ai dil-e-naadaan
aisi raahon mein
kitne kaante hain
aarzuon ne har kisi dil ko
dard baate hain
kitne ghaayal hain
kitne bismil mein
is khudaai mein
ek tu kya hai… 

ai dil-e-naadaan
aarzu kya hai
just’ju kya hai

– jan nisar akhtar

jaan nisar akhtar

Of the poetry of Jan Nisar Akhtar that I have read, this film song stands out as the most touching of it all. In our heart of hearts, in the depths of our being, in the quiet night when a lamp devotedly burns to illuminate the pain and the bliss our solitude – there lies a simplicity. It conveys with as few words and as few images as possible, the greatest truths. It is a reticence that hides unfathomable depths.

Akhtar’s lyrics embody the spirit of that simplicity. What is the nature of desire? The song is a meditation on this theme, so central to what it means to be human. The lines speaks to us, the one in us who wanders desolate deserts of the heart, seeking something. He is estranged from the creator, like a wave thirsty in the sea. An angst permeates his being, he knows not why. And a shadow stands face-to-face, yet not quite there. A foretaste of the divine, consuming yet tantalisingly inadequate.

This alienation from the self is an ache in the heart, an ache so intense that it feels like the world shall crumble. Yet, I do not know who it is that I long for. Life itself is stunned, having lost its way. And the earth lies silent, while the skies hover quietly. And yet, life pulsates all around me, everywhere I turn my face.

It is the path of love, also a path of thorns. To desire, by itself, is to solicit pain, for desire is inevitably entwined with a sense of what has been lost, and a wish to regain it. The use of the Urdu word ‘bismil’, meaning wounded, seals the mystical nature of this poem. The word originally denoted the sacrificial animal that was killed as an offering to God, after pronouncing bismillah – ‘in the name of Allah’. The poet writes – as wounded I am, so sacrificed I am. The wound is only an offering to a higher reality, my pain is only Your Glory. He ends with asking himself – in the face of the vast divine, who are you? Nothing.

Jan Nisar Akhtar’s song is a meditation on desire, its place in the spiritual quest, and the meaning of the suffering it brings. Khayyam augments it with his wonderfully quiet, minimalistic music.

~ by tdcatss on March 5, 2014.

One Response to “ai dil-e-naadaan”

  1. thank you

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