Saying the unsaid

Aruna thought of this song earlier today when we were trudging across dried paddy fields to get back home. The human mind is amazing. You never can predict what will be the next thought that will pop into your mind. This ghazal, to me has been immortalized by the one and only Khansaheb, Mehdi Hassan. Just doesn’t getter better than this:  his expression of emotions is just sublime, absolutely and undoubtedly par excellence.

Amazingly, as novitiates would be surprised to discover, the words are by the last of the moghuls, Bahadurshah “Zafar”. I must honestly admit he does convey the pain and poignancy so beautifully. A sensitive mind of a person who was clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time, comes through.

बात करनी मुझे मुश्किल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

बात करनी मुझे मुश्किल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

जैसी अब है तिरी महफ़िल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

ले गया छीन के कौन आज तिरा सब्र ओ क़रार

बे-क़रारी तुझे ऐ दिल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

उस की आँखों ने ख़ुदा जाने किया क्या जादू

कि तबीअ’त मिरी माइल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

अक्स-ए-रुख़्सार ने किस के है तुझे चमकाया

ताब तुझ में मह-ए-कामिल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

अब की जो राह-ए-मोहब्बत में उठाई तकलीफ़

सख़्त होती हमें मंज़िल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

पा-ए-कूबाँ कोई ज़िंदाँ में नया है मजनूँ

आती आवाज़-ए-सलासिल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

निगह-ए-यार को अब क्यूँ है तग़ाफ़ुल ऐ दिल

वो तिरे हाल से ग़ाफ़िल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

चश्म-ए-क़ातिल मिरी दुश्मन थी हमेशा लेकिन

जैसी अब हो गई क़ातिल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

क्या सबब तू जो बिगड़ता है ‘ज़फ़र’ से हर बार

ख़ू तिरी हूर-शमाइल कभी ऐसी तो न थी

For those who like me are taking (or yet to take their baby steps in understanding the language, here are a few words that you might have difficulty with. Those who are more at ease with the language are free to correct me, I will only learn from your pointing out my mistakes, please go ahead without the slightest hesitation. माइल: आकर्षित, आसक्त,    अक्स: प्रतिबिंब,रुख़्सार: गाल, कपोल, (लाक्षणिक -चेहरा) ताब: ताप, गर्मी, मह-ए-कामिल: पूर्ण चंद्र, पूनम का चाँद, राह-ए-मोहब्बत: प्यार का रास्ता, पा: पैर, कदम, चरण कूबाँ: एक लकड़ी के उपकरण का निचला हिस्सा या पाँव जिसे इमारतें गिराने के काम में लाया जाता है आवाज़-ए-सलासिल: बेड़ियाँ या कड़ियों की आवाज (बंदिवास का प्रतीक) निगह-ए-यार: प्रिय व्यक्ति की नजर, (कृपा) दृष्टि, तग़ाफ़ुल: ध्यान न देना, उपेक्षित करना, चश्म-ए-क़ातिल: eyes of a killer (usually for one’s beloved) , killer look, ख़ू: स्वभाव, आदत, हूर-शमाइल: अप्सरा जैसी सुंदर, exquisitely beauteous.

The ghazal, being so famous, naturally was covered by other greats of the field as well: here is my personal friend, the truly great human being, Jagjit Singh, in his inimitable style. This is a very early rendition by him, nearly half a century old and the freshness of his voice shows.

The ghazal has been rendered by Abeda Parveen. Her style is totally different from the other greats and the song sounds so different (from the others’ versions) it is possible others may mistake it at a casual listening. Here it is, check it out.

For me the bias and the choice is truly a no brainer. Whenever a Mehdi Hassan version exists, I will always go for it, 101 times out of a hundred.

Enjoy your Sunday, folks, I will let the day pass over me. Languor is always pleasurable when resorted to at the most apt moment. Stay safe, stay healthy and happy. Stay away from the Chinese virus


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

15 replies on “Saying the unsaid”

Please translate the stanza निगहे-यार…fully. I am struggling no end.
Zafar and Mehdi make an atom bomb. You know what the word ‘hurt’ means.

Liked by 1 person

Sir, check it out. This is my interpretation of the sher that you referred to
निगह-ए-यार को अब क्यूँ है तग़ाफ़ुल ऐ दिल
वो तिरे हाल से ग़ाफ़िल कभी ऐसी तो न थी,
” Why are you now insensitive to the loving gaze of my beloved, my heart, it (the gaze) was never unaware of your tribulations (as you are to it)”


Three different artists and three different presentations..👍👍
Liked the Mehdi Hasan version the most….
Jagjit Singh ji’s version is also beautiful ….peaceful….slower….
Everytime the efforts you take to explain the meaning of difficult words makes the experience of understanding the poetry more easy with less hurdles to cross over sir…..😊👌
Thanks a bunch Aniruddha Sir!!🙏🏻🙏🏻

Liked by 1 person

Dear Dr. Ji
Kindly accept my sincere salute for such a superb analysis with minute detailing.

A m a z i n g indeed.
Am zapped 🙏

Warm regards
Pravin Paritkar

Liked by 1 person

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