aaj ke naam. a dedication.

aaj ke naam
aur aaj ke gham ke naam
zard patton ka ban jo mera des hai
dard ki anjuman jo mera des hai

un haseenaaon ke naam
jinki aankhon ke gul
chilmanon aur dareechon ki belon par 
bekaar khil khil ke murjha gaye

un byahtaaon ke naam
jinke badan be-muhabbat riyakaar sejon pe 
saj saj ke ukta gaye
bevaaon ke naam

katriyon aur galiyon, mohallon ke naam
jinki napaak khasaak se 
chaand raaton ko
aa aa ke karta hai aksar wuzu
jinke saayon se karti hai aah-o-buka
aanchalon ki hina
choodiyon ki khanak
kaakulon ki mehak.. 
aarzumand seenon ki apne paseene mein jalne ki bu

aaj ke naam
aur aaj ke gham ke naam
un dukhi maaon ke
un haseenaaon ke
un biyahtaaon ke naam..
– faiz





A new rendition of Faiz’s Intesaab by Rekha Bhardwaj, composed by Vishal Bhardwaj appears in the film Haider as an elegy to the suffering of the people of Kashmir. It surpasses Nayyara Noor’s rendition of the same poem in its soft, nuanced and sensuous sadness which is perhaps closer to Faiz’s own sentiment in writing this poem.

A poem for today, and for the sorrows of today. For this forest of dry, autumn leaves, that my country is. For this congregation of sorrows, that my country is.. a poem. To those beautiful women, the flowers of whose eyes, having endlessly waited in expectance at their windows, have now wilted. To those wives, whose bodies, tired of adorning themselves on loveless, vacant beds, have now neither hope nor desire. To those lanes and those slums, in whose dirt the moon purifies itself for its prayers. In whose shadows sigh and weep the vivid colours of veils, the tinkling of bangles, the fragrance of loosened hair; and the scent of bodies full of longing, burning in their own sweat. A poem for this country that is mine.

Sadness seeps out of one’s body as one hears these words. Every day one sees a few people sleeping on the pavements, or under the lofty flyovers, the same flyovers on which cruise the long cars of the rich who celebrate our journeys to Mars and to Madison Square Garden. Those on the pavement are easy to forget when we dance in the mirages of our illusions. They aren’t so easy to forget if step back to our own reality, to our own sorrows, and realise that there aren’t so many sorrows, but just one – which belongs to all of us, to you, to me, to them. That one sorrow makes its appearance in the quiet but passionate sighs of lovers in a slum, as it does in the tears of the comfortably-off, entrapped in the lonely, complex webs of problems of their own making. The beauty of what could be and the sobering reality of what is co-exist in Faiz’s tapestry of all humankind. To us all, and to our sorrow,  a beautiful poem.

~ by tdcatss on October 4, 2014.

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