Monday, April 04, 2011

Commit to Amnesia my Name

Forget me, forget my voice, forget my smell, my face;
Commit to amnesia my name. Just memorize my Ghazal.

My flesh is like a parchment. It wanes with time.
Don’t leave me on a printed page. Internalize my Ghazal.

Isn’t Ghazal the dying call, of a dying deer to its beloved?
Its formally a rhyming lament. Why penalize my Ghazal?

It’s a string of couplets. Strum it with your voice.
To comprehend my allegories, symphonize my Ghazal.

In English, I lack melody; in translation, I lack sense.
For an unadulterated rendering, as an Indian, realize my Ghazal.

Don’t ask me to recite on street, its liquor on empty stomach.
Invite me home. Savor in moonlight, aphrodisiac spice my Ghazal.

Sold her own flesh, Umrao Jaan, at a Kotha composed Umrao Jaan;
Verses more popular than hymns. That immortality eyes my Ghazal.

Hafiz, Ghalib had God’s gift, Shahid, Faiz acquired their skill.
Vivek has neither gift nor skill; don’t idolize my Ghazal.

  1.  “Albeit world is full of gallant bards, but Ghalib’s style is beyond everyone”
    If Mir, Faiz be Keats n Shelley, Ghalib’s at least the Shakespeare of Ghazals.
  2. Umrao Jaan, a geisha, the seductress – dancer - poetess of the first major Urdu Novel,
    shuns her reason/Vivek and has affairs with three men, all enchanted with her Ghazals.
  3. Kotha literally means terrace. It also means a house of ill fame. The seductress, a tawaif, was usually trained in classical dance and music, performed a sensual dance (mujra) for money, either on her own terrace (kotha) or at special ceremonies (mehfil). She could take lovers if she wished. Umrao Jaan Ada written by Mirza Ruswa in 1905 was adapted into a critically acclaimed movie titled Umrao Jaan by Muzaffar Ali in 1981.

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