White Lotus in blossom…


Posted in Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Language & Literature, Urdu by ytelotus on May 18, 2013

About :
Revolutionary by tone, thro’ this poetry, Faiz Ahmed Faiz urges the reader to speak up, for the lips are not sealed,  for the words are yours, for your soul is your own, for time is running out, for truth has to prevail…

Poem :

Bol ke lab azad hain tere
Bol, zabaan ab tak terii hai
Tera sutvaan jism hai tera
Bol ke jaan ab tak terii hai


Mere naseeb ne jab mujhse

Posted in Language & Literature, Shaz Tamkanat, Urdu by ytelotus on April 29, 2013

About :
This beautiful ghazal by Shaz Tamkanat, popularized to the world by the voice of Begum Akhtar, speaks of the grief and melancholy that has befallen one as though avenged by one’s fate.

Ghazal :
Mere naseeb ne jab mujhse inteqaam liya
Kahaan kahaan terii yaadon ne haath thaam liya

Faza kii aankh bhar aayii hawaa ka rang uda
Sukoot-e-shaam ne chupke se tera naam liya

Woh main nahii thaa ek harf bhii na kah paaya
Woh bebasii thii ke jisne teraa salaam liya

Har ek khushi mein tere gham kii aabroo rakh lii
Har khushii se tere gham ne inteqaam liyaa

Dictionary reference :
Inteqaam = avenge, revenge
Fazaa =  environment, atmosphere
Sukoot =  peace, silence, tranquility
Harf = syllable, letter, alphabet
Bebasii = helplessness, limitation, oppression
Aabroo = honour, dignity, reputation

Rendition by Begum Akhtar :

Baat karnii mujhe mushkil kabhii…

Posted in Bahadur Shah Zafar, Language & Literature, Urdu by ytelotus on April 11, 2013

About :
The mood of this beautiful ghazal by Bahadur Shah Zafar revolves around one’s astonishment over the sudden unforeseen transformation in the attitude/temperament of the beloved.

Poem :
Baat karnii mujhe mushkil kabhii aisii tho na thii
Jaisii ab hai terii mehfil kabhii aisii tho na thii

Le gaya cheen ke kaun aaj tera sabr-o-qaraar
Beqaraarii tujhe ai-dil kabhii aisii tho na thii

Uskii aankhon ne khudaa jaane kya kiyaa jaadoo
Ke tabiiyat merii maaiil kabhii aisii tho na thii

Nigaah-e-yaar ko ab kyon hai taghaaful ai-dil
Voh tere haal se ghaafil kabhii aisii tho na thii

Chashm-e-qaatil merii dushman thii hamesha lekin
Jaisii ab ho gayii qaatil kabhii aisii tho na thii

Kya sabab thuu jo bigadtha hai Zafar se har baar
Khuu terii hoor-e-shamaail kabhii aisii tho na thii

Dictionary Reference :
Tabiiyat = temperament, disposition
Maail = inclined, persuaded, biased
Nigaah-e-yaar = beloved’s eyes
Taghaaful = lethargy
Ghaafil = careless, oblivious, ignorant, unaware
Chashm-e-qaatil = Killer eyes (lethal look)
Khuu = habit, behaviour, nature
Hoor = nymph, beauty, virgin of paradise
Shamaail = Habits, nature, disposition
Hoor-e-shamaail =  epitome of virtues

Rendition by Mehdi Hassan :

Na kisii kii aankh kaa noor hoon…

Posted in Bahadur Shah Zafar, Language & Literature, Urdu by ytelotus on March 31, 2013

About :
This ghazal, written by Bahadur Shah Zafar, while in exile at Rangoon-Burma where he was sent to  after the Indian rebellion (1857-1858),  reflects his own forsaken, weathered state of mind at the time.  Through this piece of poetry, he presents before us as forlorn a picture as could be imagined of being a desolate; uncared for and shunned by the world.

Poem :

Na kisii kii aankh kaa noor hoon, Na kisii ke dil kaa qaraar hoon
Jo kisii ke kaam na aa sake, Main voh ek mushth-e-ghubaar hoon

Mera rang roop bigad gaya, Mera yaar mujhse bichhad gayaa
Jo chaman khizaa se ujad gaya, Main uskii fasal-e-bahaar hoon

Na tho main kisii kaa habiib hoon, Na tho mai kisii ka raqiib hoon
Jo bigad gaya voh nasiib hoon, Jo ujad gaya voh dayaar hoon

Padhne faatehaa koi aaye kyon, Koi chaar phool chadaaye kyon
Koi aake shamma jalaaye kyon, Main voh bekasii ka mazaar hoon

Main nahii hoon naghma-e-jaanfizaa, Mujhe sunke koi karega kya
Main bade barog kii hoon sadaa, Main bade dukhii kii pukaar hoon

Dictionary Reference :
Noor =
lustre, refulgence, radiance
Qaraar =
ease, patience, repose, resilience
Mushth-e-ghubaar =
handful of dust
Khizaa =
Fasal-e-bahaar =
Habiib =
beloved, friend
Raqiib =
enemy, rival
Dayaar =
place, residence
Faateha =
the first or opening sura of the Quran
Bekasii =
despair, helplessness
Mazaar =
mausoleum, shrine, tomb, grave
Naghmaa-e-Jaanfizaa =
Barog =
Sadaa =
call, tone, echo

Rendition by Mohammad Rafi :


Posted in Alfred Lord Tennyson, English, Language & Literature by ytelotus on September 27, 2012

About :

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1833, this poem is a monologue by the character Ulysses, the fictional Greek king of Ithaca.  He is the Odysseus (in Greek) of Homer’s Odyssey, famous for his Trojan Horse trick in the eventful ten-year-long Trojan war waged against the city of Troy.

The context of this poem is wound around his state of mind upon his return to Ithaca after his adventurous travels.  Ulysses, jaded by age, but ever-exploratory and indomitable by spirit, expresses his restlessness and yearning to set himself on yet another adventure, hoping “To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought”, as quoted in his own words.

Poem :

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers;
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle —
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me —
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads — you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

To an early violet

Posted in English, Swami Vivekananda by ytelotus on September 14, 2012


This poem was written by Swami Vivekananda to a Western lady-disciple Sister Christine from New York on 6th January 1896.

Violet is the spring flower of the West.  But when it blooms in late winter, i.e. before the advent of spring, it has to fight against the cold.  Urging the reader to muster strength and remain unperturbed thro’ life’s unfair trials, this poem is sure to lift one’s spirit during the trying times.


What though thy bed be frozen earth,
Thy cloak the chilling blast;
What though no mate to cheer thy path,
Thy sky with gloom o’ercast;

What though if love itself doth fail,
Thy fragrance strewed in vain;
What though if bad o’er good prevail,
And vice o’er virtue reign:

Change not thy nature, gentle bloom,
Thou violet, sweet and pure,
But ever pour thy sweet perfume
Unasked, unstinted, sure!

Gulon mein rang bhare…

Posted in Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Language & Literature, Urdu by ytelotus on July 28, 2012

Though this piece of poetry presents itself, to many, as a song of separation from the beloved and the subsequent longing, it is indicative of the revolution in the air.

Gulon mein rang bhare, baad-e-nau-bahaar chale
Chale bhi aao ke gulshan ke karobar chale

Qafas udaas hai yaaro, saba se kuch to kaho
Kahin to baihr-e-khuda aaj zikr-e-yaar chale

Kabhi to subh teri kunj-e-lab se ho aagaaz
Kabhi to shab sar-e-kaakul se mushkbar chale

Badaa hai dard ka rishta, ye dil gharib sahi
Tumhare naam pe aayenge ghamgusaar chale

Jo ham pe guzri so guzri magar shab-e-hijraan
Hamaare ashk teri aaqibat sanwaar chale

Huzoor-e-yaar hui daftar-e-junoon ki talab
Girah mein le ke gireban ka taar taar chale

Maqaam ‘Faiz’ koi rah mein jacha hi nahin
Jo koo-e-yaar se nikle to soo-e-daar chale

Dictionary reference:
Gul = flower
Baad = breeze, wind
Nau = fresh
Bahaar = spring
Gulshan = garden
Karobar = affair, business
Qafas = cage, prison, body
Udas = sad
Saba = breeze, wind
Baihr-e-khuda = for god’s sake
Zikr = mention
Kunj = corner
Lab = lips
Aaghaaz = beginner, outset
Shab = night
Kaakul = curls, plaits, locks
Mushkabaar = fragrant
Ghamgusaar = sympathiser
Hijr = separation
Ashk = tears
Aaqibat = end, conclusion, future life
Sanwar = embellish, beautify
Huzoor-e-yaar = attendance/presence of friend
Daftar = office
Junoon = frenzy
Talab = desire, quest, pursuit
Girah = tie, knot
Girebaan = collar
Taar taar = shreds, bits and pieces
Maqaam = position, status, rank
Koo = Lane, street
Soo = House
Daar = Gallows

Rendition by Mehdi Hassan:


Posted in Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Language & Literature, Urdu by ytelotus on March 14, 2012

The poet urges earnestly to raise our hands in prayer/help for the down-trodden and the oppressed, so that they muster enough courage and strength to get themselves out of the deplorable state they’re in.

Aaiye Haath Uthaayain Ham Bhii
Ham Jinhe Rasm-E-Dua Yaad Nahin
Ham Jinhe Soz-E-Mohabbat Ke Siwa
Koi But, Koi Khuda Yaad Nahin

Aaiye Arz Guzare Ki Nigaar-E-Hasti
Zahar-E-Imaroz Main Shirini-E-Fardaa Bhar Dein
Wo Jinhe Taab-E-Garaanbaari-E-Ayyaam Nahin
Unki Palkon Pe Shab-O-Roz Ko Halka Kar De

Jinki Aankhon Ko Rukh-E-Subh Ka Yaara Bhi Nahin
Unki Raaton Main Koi Shamma Munawwar Kar De
Jinke Qadamon Ko Kisi Rah Ka Sahara Bhi Nahin
Unki Nazaron Pe Koi Raah Ujaagar Kar De

Jinka Deen Pairvi-E-Kazb-O-Riya Hai Unko
Himmat-E-Kufr Mile, Jurrat-E-Tahqiiq Mile
Jinke Sar Muntazir-E-Tegh-E-Jafa Hain Unko
Dast-E-Qatil Ko Jhatak Dene Ki Taufeeq Mile

Ishq Ka Sar-E-Nihaan Jaan Tapaan Hai Jis Se
Aaj Iqraar Karain Aur Tapish Mit Jaaye
Harf-E-Haq Dil Main Khatakta Hai Jo Kante Ki Tarah
Aaj Izhaar Karain Aur Khalish Mit Jaaye

Dictionary reference:
Soz = Burning, Heat, Passion, Vexation
But = Idol
Arz guzaare = Solicit
Nigaar = Painting, Picture, Sweetheart, Beloved, Embroidery
Hasti = Being, Existence, Life
Imroz = Today
Fardaa = Tomorrow
Taab = Power/Ability to withstand
Garaanbaari = Heaviness, Weight
Ayyaam = Days, Time, Life (Plural of Yaum=Day)
Rukh = Face
Subh = Morning, Dawn
Yaara = Strength, Courage, Power
Munawwar = Illuminate
Deen = Faith, Religion
Pairavi = Support, Justification
Kazb = Lie, Deceit (Also, Kizb)
Riya = Lie, Hypocrisy
Kufr = Defy, Paganism, Infidelity, Profanity, Impiety
Muntazir = Expectant, One Who Waits
Teg = Sword, Dagger
Jafa = Oppression, Tyranny
Dast = Hand, Power
Taufeeq = Ability
Nihaan = Hidden, Buried
Tapaan = Palpitating, Throbbing
Tapish = Warmth, Heat
Harf = Syllable, Letter, Alphabet, Talk
Haq = Just, Lot, Right, Righteousness, Truth, True
Khalish = Prick, Pain, Anxiety, Apprehension, Suspicion

Rendition by Iqbal Bano: