After all, I only have my eyes

Le de ke apne paas faqat ek nazar hi to hai…

(Sahir Ludhianvi)

Sahir Painting

I generally try to avoid adding whole posts that are simply a lengthy duplication of what (little I have read of) other great thinkers, writers and artists. Obviously, this is not because I do not value their creations, and certainly not because of any delusions of grandeur where I believe my words are more significant – far, far from it!

I feel my simplistic and amateur writing has some value to myself. It is extremely personal and depicts my world at particular moments in time, as seen from my eyes. This space, like my other creative endeavours is a mingling of my memories, experiences, feelings, observations and dreams – my realities from the past, present and future.

However, once in a while, I come across literature, or an anecdote that I find so truthful that it connects with me on an emotional and even spiritual level. It speaks to my inner most self in such a way that I feel the words are the unspoken thoughts that I could not express due to my limited talents. It is those time, that I am compelled to share it and the feelings of longing and love that they arouse within me.

A few days ago I came across a two lines of touching poetry a few days ago by the great poet, Sahir Ludhianvi, who is best known for penning some of the most tragically romantic couplets, ghazals and lyrics that immortalised many Indian film songs .

As I searched to get an accurate translation in English, I discovered that these two lines were actually part of a larger, beautifully tragic ghazal. I am compelled to post it on here, as it is seeping in romance, idealism, tragedy, regret and longing. It is one of the most touching things I have ever read and echoes the exact sentiments of my heart, and I suspect that of every deeply sensitive, romantic, rebellious, cynical dreamer that has lived and will live through the ages…

Bhadka rahe hain aag lab-e-naghma-gar se hum

(Today I stoke fire from the songs from my lips)

Khamosh kya rahenga zamane ke darr se hum

(I cannot fall silent because of fear of the world)

Kuch aur badh gaye jo andhere to kya hua

(So what, even if the darkness has increased further?)

Maayus to nahin hain tulu-e-sahar se hum

(I have still not lost hope in the rising of the dawn)

Le de ke apne paas faqat ek nazar hi to hai

(After all, my only real possessions are my eyes/view)

Kyon dekhein zindagi ko kisi ken nazar se hum

(Why should I see the world from another’s viewpoint?)

Mana ke is zamin ko gulzaar na kar sake,

(I accept that I could not turn this earth into a garden)

Kuch khaar kam to kar gaye guzre jidhar se hum

(Yet, I did lessen some of the thorns on whichever path I walked)

(Sahir Ludhianvi)