Sunday, October 9, 2011


[Warning: This post contains Shayari. Read on only after you’ve read the page contained in the tab titled “Shayari” above.]

How do you interpret things? Obviously, that’s a very vague & dumb question but here’s a global example of varied interpretations of the ‘same thing’:

सामने है जो उसे लोग बुरा कहते हैं
जिसको देखा ही नहीं उसको खुदा कहते हैं

Saamne hai jo use log bura kahte hain
Jisko dekha hi nahin usko khuda kahte hain

Physical presence is dubbed Bad by them
Notion of invisibility is dubbed God by them

-सुदर्शन 'फ़ाकीर' (Sudarshan 'Faaqir')

Such global things are not that interesting so let’s analyze things at a local level. People tend to go on about friendship, relationship, ship-in-trouble, etc. So here’s a Sher depicting such stuff:

दोस्तों से न गिला है न शिकायत है ‘सिया’
क्यों के मैं अपनों से उम्मीद ही कम रखती हूँ

Doston se na gila hai na shikaayat hai ‘Siya’
Kyon ke main apnon se ummeed hi kam rakhti hun

No regrets or complaints to register with friends, ‘Siya’
Because I do not have high expectations from them

-सिया सचदेव (Siya Sachdev)

Now, many of you may disagree with the interpretation of ‘friendship’ depicted in this Sher. Maybe because you’ve been disappointed and thinking of beating the crap out of one of your ‘friends’ as (s)he forgot to congratulate you on an important day in your life – the day when you successfully added the integer ‘1’ with units ‘year’ to your existence!

However, I don’t interpret this Sher in such a pessimistic view. I rather take on an optimistic (or realistic) view which is: Those that can be labelled as ‘friends’ don’t leave much in the realm of unexpected and hence no need for regret and / or complaints to bog you down for the rest of your life. Projecting the earlier example on this view tells you that most probably one of your ‘friends’ did not want to remind you of your helpless mortality. Think about that… It’s deep!

Now that I’ve alienated most of my readers and those of you who at least will finish this post before never coming back, let me dedicate the following beautiful Ghazal by Nawaaz Deobandi (even the translation follows most of the rhyming rules of a Ghazal and hence is almost a Ghazal) to you:

तुम नज़र से नज़र मिलाते तो
बात करते न मुस्कुराते तो

Tum nazar se nazar milaate to
Baat karte na muskuraate to

Had you looked into my eyes then
Spent not a word, just a smile then

इख्तलाफ़ात होते रहते हैं
आना जाना था आते जाते तो

Ikhtalaafaat hote rahte hain
Aana jaana tha aate jaate to

Differences do pop up once in a while
As in the past, visit once in a while then

दोस्ती में अना नहीं चलती
खुद न आते कभी बुलाते तो

Dosti mein ana nahin chalti
Khud na aate kabhi bulaate to

Arrogance doesn’t go far in friendship
If you refuse to visit, maybe I’ll then

चाँदनी रात सिसकियाँ भरतीं
तुम ज़रा अपनी छत पे आते तो

Chaandni raat siskiyaan bharteen
Tum zara apni chhat pe aate to

The moonlit night would have sighed
At your arrival on roof for a while then

भूलते शौक से हमें लेकिन
भूलने का हुनर बताते तो

Bhoolte shauk se hamein lekin
Bhoolne ka hunar bataate to

Feel free forgetting me but
Teach me this life style then

आ भी जाओ की हम बुलाते हैं
तुम बुलाते जो हम न आते तो

Aa bhi jaao ki hum bulaate hain
Tum bulaate jo ham na aate to

Do come as I am at least calling you
If you called ’n I didn’t compile then

-नवाज़ देवबन्दी (Nawaaz Deobandi)

As always, I thank DQ for spending about an hour on phone to help me get the translations correct and be meaningful. I am also grateful to him in indulging my whim to get the translation qualify as a Ghazal too but in the process stopping me using the word ‘(be)guile’ in the very first line of the Ghazal! After I told him that there’s a site where one can find rhyming words, he remarked that now ‘Internet’ allows any ‘dum-bass’ to become a poet! He also made me realize that I shouldn’t be using the words ‘daughters’ & ‘dogs’ with the same level of priority in the same sentence.

This post was inspired by (& is full of) Sketchbook-inspired anecdote(s) from my life but don’t let that bother you. Instead, I’ll let you hear the

Full Ghazal


  1. Sorry for not commenting in a while. I do not really have any good excuses.

    "No regrets or complaints to register with friends, ‘Siya’
    Because I do not have high expectations from them"

    I wonder if you could also interpret that as meaning that your friends are not clingy and let you have some alone time occasionally. If so, that seems like a positive message to me. Plus, maybe if you have too high expectations for friends you become dependent on them and do not venture off and become independent yourself.

    On the flipside, maybe the exact opposite is true (i.e. friends can help you become more independent or more internally strong). I guess that sounds strange, but I almost feel like that happens with Sora a bit in the TV adaption of Sketchbook. I could be wrong though.

    I also like the line "Arrogance doesn’t go far in friendship" because I feel like it is very true. I mean, how can you really be good friends with someone if you are so self-centered that you only think what you say is important?

  2. Don't worry about that. I wasn't expecting one since this post is not quite about Sketchbook (as mentioned in the post). But am very glad that you read the post and even commented.

    That's the beauty of poetry. One can interpret them any way one likes, any way that makes one happy (positive) or sad (negative) or both (neutral)!

    I think 'both' of your interpretations are valid. In terms of Sketchbook: for people like Sora (as you mentioned), the second interpretation holds true as they learn to overcome their weaknesses and "face the world" (In the last episode, Sora does point out that she'd gotten used to the fact that Hazuki & Aso would be always beside her!); for people like Asaka, the first interpretation holds true where friends are not really a top priority as she explains her motto of accomplishing things on her own to Nagisa.

    I also like the "Arrogance..." sher on its own but also as a translator because I got to use "I'll" to rhyme with words like "smile", "while", "style", etc. :) Personally, I like the last two Shers the most (both the originals & translations) because their second line employs a "twist" which renders them quite hilarious. (Not sure how well the translations convey that but they are supposed to be hilarious!)

  3. I really like this shayri...this is my best shayri ever

    1. I am pretty sure I asked Blogger to not allow "Unknown" commenters but here you are! :) Anyway, glad to know someone still lands up on this blog. Enjoy!