Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".

gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun.

Originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," "gallimaufry" comes from French galimafrée; in Old French, from the word galer, "to rejoice, to make merry"; in old English: gala + mafrer: "to eat much," and from Medieval Dutch maffelen: "to open one's mouth wide."

It's also a dish made by hashing up odds and ends of food; a heterogeneous mixture; a hodge-podge; a ragout; a confused jumble; a ridiculous medley; a promiscuous (!) assemblage of persons.

Those of you who know me, will, I’m sure, understand how well some of these phrases (barring the "promiscuous" bit!) fit me.

More importantly, this blog is an ode to my love for Shimla. I hope to show you this little town through my eyes. If you don't see too many people in it, forgive me, because I'm a little chary of turning this into a human zoo.

Stop by for a spell, look at my pictures, ask me questions about Shimla, if you wish. I shall try and answer them as best as I can. Let's be friends for a while....

27 August 2008

They Came Only To Speak Of You

The morning paper brought unhappy news. “Famous poet Ahmed Faraz passes away”, it said.

What is it that attracts so many people to Faraz’s poetry? His poems are loved for their sheer lyrical beauty. A perplexed romanticism which cries out for empathy in hard times.

Faraz was a deep romantic who wrote “ranjish hi sahi, dil hi dukhane ke liye aa” (let there be antipathy between us, but come, come (back) to break my heart). Sentimental, without being maudlin, it was his poesy as much as his brooding good looks that would draw dozens, nay hundreds of fans to his doorstep. His success as a poet can be measured by the fact that his female fans in particular would accord him the adulation normally reserved on the Sub-continent for cricketers and film actors!

At the same time, his poems bear a kind of stoic optimism as seen in his nazmKhwaab Marte Nahin”:

ख्वाब मरते नहीं

ख्वाब दिल हैं न आँखें हैं ना साँसें के जो

रेजा-रेजा हुए तो बिखर जायेंगे

जिस्म की मौत से ये भी मर जायेंगे

ख्वाब मरते नहीं

ख्वाब तो रौशनी हैं, नवा हैं, हवा हैं

जो काले पहाडों से रुकते नहीं

ज़ुल्म के दोज़खों से भी फूकते नहीं

रौशनी और नवा और हवा के आलम

मक़्तलोन में पहुँच कर भी झुकते नहीं

ख्वाब तो हर्फ़ हैं

ख्वाब तो नूर हैं

ख्वाब तो सुकरात हैं

ख्वाब तो मंसूर हैं

Khvaab marate nahin
Khvaab dil hain na aankhen na saansen ke jo
rezaa-rezaa hue to bikhar jaayenge
jism kii maut se ye bhi mar jaayenge
Khwaab marate nahiin
Khvaab to raushani hain, navaa hain, havaa hain
jo kaale pahaadon se rukate nahin 
zulm ke dozakhok.n se bhi phukate nahin
raushani aur navaa aur havaa ke aalam 
maqtalon men pahunch kar bhii jhukate nahin
Khvaab to harf hain
Khvaab to noor hain
Khvaab to Suqraat hain
Khvaab Mansoor hain

Dreams do not die.

Dreams are not hearts, nor eyes nor breath
Which once shattered, will scatter (or)
Die with the death of the body.

Dreams do not die.
Dreams are light, life, wind,
Which cannot be stopped by mountains black,
Which do not burn in the hells of cruelty,
Like light and life and wind, they
Do not bow down even in graveyards.

Dreams are letters,
Dreams are illumination,
Dreams are Socrates!

Dreams are Mansoor!

This poem comes from a man who, upholding the best traditions of Faiz, consistently spoke out against the tyranny of military dictatorship in his country. Like Faiz, he too was to pay a heavy price for his outspoken opposition to prevailing ideas. He was sent to jail, and even exiled from his beloved homeland. Forever a proponent of freedom and equality, his poem “Mahasra” (The Siege) is a scathing indictment of Pakistan’s military rule. Faraz has travelled beyond petty concerns of minor poets of whether his words would get published. His far greater concern was to ensure that the voice he had raised against repression not be stilled.

In the words of Siegfried Sassoon, in the days to come, his name shall be as music that ascends.

Requiescat in pacem, Ahmed Faraz.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How come such in depth interest in Urdu ? wonderful! This is an excellent blog i have gone through.Great Post on Ahmed faraz.

Usne Sukoote Shab Mein bhi
Apna Payaam Rakh Diyaa
Hijr Ki Raat Baam Pe
Maahe tamaam Rakh Diya .
Usne to Baat Baat Mein
Aise Bhale Sukhan Kahe
Meine to uske Paanv Mein
Saara Kalaam Rakh Diyaa.
Shidat E tishnagi mein Bhi
Gairat e Maikashi Rahi
usne jo Pher Lee Nazar
Maine Bhi Jaam Rakh Diyaa.
( Ahmed Faraz )

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