Saturday, November 14, 2020

More Waseem Barelvi

I keep coming back to Dr. Waseem Barelvi because his Shers / Ghazals are just that good. They are inspirational, uplifting and motivational in the best of times and given that the worst of times are upon us now, they mean a hell lot more. Just to keep my spirits high this falumn season, I have ordered a book of Ghazals by him along with two others by (Late) Dr. Rahat Indori and Dr. Bashir Badr. Bashir Badr apparently started writing poems at age seven and I have even heard of an anecdote that his M.A. syllabus included prescribed readings of his own Ghazal(s)! Sadly, I have become aware that he is suffering from dementia now and doesn’t remember even his most famous Shers. These are the three books that I got:

Great Shayari

Waseem Barelvi’s book titled चराग़ (Lamp) is very apt on this day, which is the festival of lights, called by many names in the Indian subcontinent: Diwali, Deepavali, Tihar. So wishing you all “Happy Diwali” and “Prosperous New Year”.

Ironically, all the three books feature some sort of a lamp on the front cover but the other two books’ titles are only vaguely related to it. For example, Rahat Indori’s book is titled नाराज़ (Angry / Annoyed) and maybe the flame of a lamp represents the silent rage of discontented masses. Then there’s Bashir Badr’s book titled मुसाफ़िर (Traveller), which suggests that one might need a flickering light of a lamp to illuminate one’s path. Anyway, more on these books in future posts. For now, we focus on the following Shers:

बातों बातों में जहाँ बात बिगड़ जाती है
फिर बनाओ भी तो वो बात कहाँ आती है

Baaton Baaton mein jahan baat bigad jaati hai
Phir banaao bhi to wo baat kahaan aati hai

When chats devolve amidst chit-chats
Fixing later won’t bring the chats back

हम बताएं तो बताने की जरूरत क्या है
किस को मालूम नहीं आपकी नीयत क्या है

Ham bataaen to bataane ki jaroorat kya hai
Kis ko maloom nahin aapki neeyat kya hai

I can tell but there’s no need to tell
Who isn’t aware of your intentions

अपने बाजार का मेयार संभालो पहले
बाद में पूछना मुझसे मेरी कीमत क्या है

Apne baazaar ka meyaar sambhaalo pahle
Baad mein poochna mujhse meri keemat kya hai

Take care of your shop’s standard first
Only after that ask me what is my price

– वसीम बरेलवी (Waseem Barelvi)

Waseem Bareivi - Mushaira at Riyadh 2018 - YouTube

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