Monday, January 24, 2011

Zindagi jab bhi...

Here's a Ghazal from the movie Umrao Jaan:

Title: Zindagi jab bhi teri bazm mein
Album: Umrao Jaan
Lyrics: Shahryar
Composer: Khayyam
Original Singer: Talat Aziz

I love this song. Khayyam's music, of course, has a purity that is always enthralling, but I also appreciate the beautiful poetry of Ghazals. Although I have translated songs before on my blog, I think I will not do it this time. I am coming to realize that word-by-word translations fail to do justice to the original poetry. So, I am just summarizing the meaning of the song here:

The poet is talking about how the presence of his beloved makes the mundane world look extra-ordinarily beautiful to him... his heart gets filled with the fragrance of flowers... he hears the voice of her beloved calling him to come close to her... But then there is separation. And the memories of her beloved start whispering in his ear... sometimes they knock so loud that he wakes up in the middle of the night. The poet then asks rhetorically, "Why do all meetings always ultimately end up in separation?" He laments that this question torments him constantly.

It's these last lines that are my favorite in this Ghazal. Although the poet laments separation, the lines hit you hard, because they describe the truth of separation being inevitable in life. Actually, I guess, the song came to my mind today, because within the last 24 hours, I came to know of two deaths and a breakup. One of the deaths was of a very good friend of mine from yesteryears, and the other was of a friend's grandmother. The breakup involved a very close friend as well; it was very sad because the couple seemed to be a perfect match for each other. But then, as the line goes, har mulaqat ka anjaam judaai hota hai. Separation is inevitable. The only thing we don't know is when will the separation happen and in what form. But these unknowns are twists enough to make our stomach churn for months (and sometimes years). I guess that's why they call life a roller-coaster. However, even the scariest roller-coaster ride is a mere toddler's toy compared to the jolts that real life provides us. I guess it must have been in this context that Woody Allen said, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans." But somehow I never cease to make plans. Nor have I stopped sharing my plans with God. After all, somebody needs to keep the old man entertained!


  1. Look deeply..there is separation.

    And think not you can guide the course of love. For love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course.
    .....Kahlil Gibran

  2. Yes Correct life is very unpredictable and separation from love can happen any time, but in separation there is a love so love is always great,but fear of loosing love one should not loose(miss) the love.