ArHi || Boundless; (Of poets and poetry) - Page 37

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Posted: 1 years ago

Chapter 2 -

If only ‘wah wah’ could encapsulate all the praise I want to bestow at that breath-taking ending!

Unrequited feelings aside, we really have something to thank Payal for. I wish her the best, she seems such a pleasant person!

So apne aap ko, barbaad karke dekhte hain,” Oh! It seems like a challenge has been issued by Arnav to his own heart, to his own resolutions. Its a blessing that both the conquerer and the conquered are  the gainers in the end!


The couplets at the beginning (and the entire ghazal, as well)  is so intense and sincere, it is a struggle to begin to explain the affect it has.

Through some research, limited by my inability, I could translate 'Iss diid ki sa’at mein, kayi rang hain larzaan' as 'Even a glance that lasts a mere second reverberates my soul with myriad shades of emotions.' 

I feel that that two line couplet expands into and coexists with the beautifully written ending flawlessly.

(It also reminded me of the lines 'tu kisi rail si guzarti hai,
main kisi pul sa.. thartharata hoon' by Dushyant Kumar.)


In honour of all this chapter ceremoniously led to, few lines from a song from Jodha Akbar penned by Javed Akhtar —

Khamosh si hai zameen, hairaan sa falak hai

Ek noor hi noor sa abb aasmaan talak hai

Nagme hi nagme hain jaagati soti fizaon mein, 

Husn hain saari adaon mein

Ishq hain jaise hawaon mein

Edited by RainyDays - 1 years ago
Posted: 1 years ago

Chapter 3 (1)

As was intended, the couplets of ghazal that was presented at start embodies the soul of the chapter so perfectly! 

That beginning was heartbreaking, beautifully put. Her feelings run so deep that it made it even more poignant for the imminent heartbreak that she is in for.

The rushed recital and the thought of it being spoken in reverent tones reminded me of the following couplet from the same ghazal, 'Suna hai usko bhi hai sher-o-shayari se shagaf , so hum bhi mojaze apane hunar ke dekhate hainand left me in want of it being tested soon! 

The ending you left us at is absolutely brutal and has certainly taken all sabr o qarār☺️

Posted: 1 years ago

Originally posted by Gurmeet4Drashti


Aap ka intezaar kaun kare,

Roz ka intezaar kaun kare


*ahem update ahem* 


smiley36 coming up. 

Posted: 1 years ago

Originally posted by RainyDays


I’m an amateur seeker of poetry. This story is such a welcome nudge towards this semi-explored interest, for which I can’t thank you enough!


Being spoken to/holding a conversation, in manner of songs/sher/shayari exudes such gravity and import than mere words could ever do. Shukriya for the words and the warmth it radiates!


I consider myself an amateur seeker of poetry as well. It's a vast ocean of which I believe I have only knowledge worth a drop :) But that's the beauty of poetry. Like you said, it's gravity draws you in towards itself and makes the journey of exploration so much better than the quest for a specific destination. Shukriya for being a part of this journey.

Posted: 1 years ago

Originally posted by RainyDays


Chapter 2 -

If only ‘wah wah’ could encapsulate all the praise I want to bestow at that breath-taking ending!

Unrequited feelings aside, we really have something to thank Payal for. I wish her the best, she seems such a pleasant person!

So apne aap ko, barbaad karke dekhte hain,” Oh! It seems like a challenge has been issued by Arnav to his own heart, to his own resolutions. Its a blessing that both the conquerer and the conquered are  the gainers in the end!


The couplets at the beginning (and the entire ghazal, as well)  is so intense and sincere, it is a struggle to begin to explain the affect it has.

Through some research, limited by my inability, I could translate 'Iss diid ki sa’at mein, kayi rang hain larzaan' as 'Even a glance that lasts a mere second reverberates my soul with myriad shades of emotions.' 

I feel that that two line couplet expands into and coexists with the beautifully written ending flawlessly.

(It also reminded me of the lines 'tu kisi rail si guzarti hai,
main kisi pul sa.. thartharata hoon' by Dushyant Kumar.)


In honour of all this chapter ceremoniously led to, few lines from a song from Jodha Akbar penned by Javed Akhtar —

Khamosh si hai zameen, hairaan sa falak hai

Ek noor hi noor sa abb aasmaan talak hai

Nagme hi nagme hain jaagati soti fizaon mein, 

Husn hain saari adaon mein

Ishq hain jaise hawaon mein


In an age of meaningless lyrics, some rare pieces stand out in their beauty and soulfulness. Inn lamhon ke daaman mein, is one such song I believe. Of course, a large part of that credit goes to Javed Akhtar (who is one of the few contemporary poets I genuinely admire). 


"Its a blessing that both the conquerer and the conquered are  the gainers in the end!"  Well said. I believe this sher has already been shared on this thread by Nida, but it's relevant to what you said so I'm leaving it behind again-


'Gar baazi ishq ki baazi hai 

Jo chaahe lagalo darr kaisa

Gar jeet gaye toh kya kehna

Haare bhi toh baazi maat nahin'


Thank you so much once again for your beautifully penned reviews :)

Posted: 1 years ago






Chapter 3(2)





Just as Arnav reached his arm out for a handshake, Khushi’s right hand, of its own volition, slowly lifted towards her face. The palm cupped itself ever so slightly, fingertips grazing her forehead as her lips whispered a barely audible “Aadab”.

 

The word had not quite left her mouth before the absurdity of her action struck her. Indeed, the first casualty of captivation is often good sense. Aadab- the traditional salutation, was a gesture that she exclusively reserved for formal occasions, and for people who were at least a couple of decades ahead of her in age. A hello, a handshake, a nod of the head paired with a polite smile, pretty much any gesture would have sufficed, but for some reason she had gone ahead and presented to this man, this very young man, an aadaab. Perhaps she had taken his recitation of Faraz a little too seriously and needed a gentle reminder that he wasn’t, as a matter of fact, the poet himself. It was truly a night destined for her mortification. The damage however, was done, and prudence demanded that she held her head high in the aftermath.

 

Arnav looked visibly taken aback, the light dancing tentatively in his eyes for a quiet moment, after which he curled his palm into a fist and withdrew his outstretched arm. The scorned handshake made another valorous attempt at acquaintance, this time morphing itself into a reciprocated gesture of aadab, wherein his hand reached towards his forehead in meticulous imitation of her own, and the side of his index finger touched his forehead in brief contact. “Aadab,” he replied.

 

His voice was husky and tantalizingly low, almost at odds with the ruggedness of his features; features that were forbidding, decidedly raw, yet alarmingly attractive all at once. He dwelled on the word, as if savoring the taste of it in his mouth. The assault of his gaze on her senses was merely exacerbated by the sinful warmth in his voice. Khushi couldn’t also help but notice that his salutation had been very deft and polished, belying experience and practice. There were several ways to get an aadab wrong - you could slap your forehead clumsily with an open palm, or cup the hand a little too much making it appear as if a venomous snake had sworn to spew venom somewhere between the brows, or cup the hand a little too little which made the gesture seem like less of a salutation and more of a facepalm.

 

But he had tipped his head just right, his palm had curved to the exact extent it should, and the contact his fingertips made with his forehead was as brief as was politely acceptable. A gesture that in the finesse of its execution was worthy and redolent of the legacy of nawabs. A gesture, the polish of which did not escape her scrutiny, as she peered curiously at him from behind the thick curtain of eyelashes drawn over her slightly downcast eyes.

 

“You needn’t feel apologetic,” a voice from somewhere to her left distracted her, and she turned her head around to see that it was Nilesh Kapoor who had spoken. “You see,” he said, “Arnav here was pretty much coerced into reciting the ghazal. Let’s call it the consequence of a lost battle. If at all, your disruption would have felt like a blessed reprieve to him from the ordeal of having to utter romance. It so happens that our friend here happens to be a poetry snob who finds romantic poetry beneath him.”

 

“Yes, Arnav is all about rebellious and revolutionary poetry. Inqelaabi shayiri, as they call it,” Payal added with a wry smile, looking at Arnav as she spoke.

 

“Why must the two be separate?” Khushi asked. She didn’t meet his eyes as she raised the question, instead choosing to look at Payal and Nilesh. Had she looked at Arnav then, she would perhaps have witnessed the curious flicker in his eyes.

 

“What do you mean?” Aakash asked, leaning back on his chair and crossing his arms across his chest.

 

“Why do romantic and inqelaabi poetry have to be mutually exclusive?” she reiterated her query. “Hasn’t many a poet envisioned the nation to be his beloved? Hasn’t the wild fire of rebellion often been compared in poetry to the raging storm of love? Haven’t parallels been drawn between sacrifice in love and sacrifice in war? Suffering in love, and suffering in revolt? How is one madness different from the other?”

 

“An example, if you please?” Nilesh asked.

 

Khushi was silent for a second or two, and then began reciting -

 

“Bujha jo rauzan-e-zindaan toh dil ye samjha hai

ke teri maang sitaaron se bhar gayi hogi,

Chamak uthe hain salaasil toh humne jaana hai

ke ab seher tere ruq par bikhar gayi hogi”

 

She now, finally, turned to meet Arnav’s eyes.

 

“Yunhi tasavvur-e-sham-o-seher mein jeete hain,

Giraft-e-saaya-e-deewar-o-dar mein jeete hain.”

 

She paused and allowed the words to sway in a quiet dance between them.

 

 “Bohot khoob,” Payal tipped her head to one side. “Faiz Ahmed Faiz, no less. What an example to offer, I must say I’m impressed.”

 

“It sounded wonderful, but I didn’t really get the meaning of some words. Could someone help out this noob here?” Aakash asked.

 

“Faiz wrote this poem while in prison,” Khushi explained. “A ‘rauzan’ in Urdu means an aperture, a window you could say, but smaller. Salaasil means shackles. In the verses of the nazm that I’ve just quoted, Faiz is comparing his motherland to his lover, the imprisonment therefore creating a distance between him and his beloved. He goes on to say that when the light dims at the window of his prison cell, it tells him that stars must have crowded the maang of his beloved- meaning that it must be nightfall in his homeland. When light seeps in through the same aperture and causes the shackes around his wrist to shine in effect, he understands that morning rays must have spread their splendor on her face - the face of his lover, the face of his land. This is how he distinguishes dawn from dusk, confined within the four walls, or the “deewar-o-dar” of his prison, as he puts it.”

 

“Beautiful,” Aakash replied, looking a little awestruck. “Evokes the sentiments of pain and wistfulness simultaneously. The suffocation of imprisonment, and the boundless and free spirit of love juxtaposed in just a few lines. Very beautiful.”

 

“And a fair argument too, I must say,” Nilesh Kapoor added. “Arnav, my friend, you stand challenged.”

 

All eyes turned towards Arnav, including hers. His own gaze, however, remained riveted on her. This time, she saw respect and deference reflect from his eyes. He was looking at her with the same esteem that an honorable player bestows upon a worthy opponent.

 

“And a challenge, I always remember,” he replied, addressing NK, but looking at Khushi while he spoke thereby conveying full well who the intended recipient of his words was.

 

From her peripheral vision, Khushi saw a flurry of color behind him before Lavanya Kashyap came into view. Her friend waved at her, gesturing with her hands to come join her company.

 

“My friend is here,” Khushi said, glancing at the faces surrounding her. “I must take your leave. Thank you once again for offering me a seat, and my apologies again for the disruption.”

 

 

***


 

 

“Well that wasn’t too bad, actually,” Lavanya said, flicking her hair back as they walked out of the building and into the humid Calcutta evening air. “I actually had fun. Although I’m still pissed at you for not performing.”

 

Lavanya had been persistent in her insistence that Khushi should recite a piece on stage, but Khushi had been equally adamant in her refusals. If she had been in two minds regarding a stage performance before reaching the venue, the events that had transpired the very first few minutes after her arrival had made her definitively conclude that there was no way she was coming under one more spotlight that evening. Not under the scrutiny of those eyes that refused to free her from their captivity ever since the first glance. Throughout the remainder of the evening ever since she took leave from his company, his eyes had time and again found their way to meet hers from across the distance separating them. His eyes were not the only ones worthy of blame. She had found her own gaze gravitating every now and then, of its own accord, towards him the entire evening. Their eyes would clash for a split second, before each looked away, only to swim in an ocean of darkness surrounding them and eventually returning back to each other.   

 

“Oh damn.” Lavanya’s voice broke her out of her reverie and she turned her head to find a frown upon her friend’s face. “I forgot my wallet at our table. Will you go along Khushi? I’ll be back with it in no time. Here are the keys. The car’s parked at square 33-D.”

 

“No worries,” Khushi nodded. “Go hurry before it’s too late to have it back.”

 

Handing over the keys to her, Lavanya turned around and launched herself into a mad sprint towards the building elevators.

 

“Careful!” Khushi shouted behind her, laughing and shaking her head indulgently. Lavanya was like the wind - wild, free spirited, and moving whatever it touched in its way. Once her friend had disappeared from sight, Khushi turned around and walked towards the parking lot, the jingle of keys in her palm trying to compose a melodious chorus with the bracelet around her wrist and the anklet adorning her foot. Words from the several pieces of poetry recited that night played inside her head, giving lyrics to the strain of music inside her ears. One of the performers of the night had, much to Khuhi’s delight, sung Zafar’s famous ghazal ‘Baat karni hamein mushkil kabhi aisi toh na thi’. It happened to be one of her favorites, and just the memory of the rendition brought a small smile upon her lips. Softly, she hummed to herself-

 

Le gaya chheen ke, kaun aaj teraa sabr-o-qaraar

Beqaraari tujhe, aye dil, kabhi aisi toh na thi

 

Her voice was sweet and melodious - like the ethereal charm of tinkling silver. It was also vibrant and well-toned, such that she could switch from melancholy to seduction in the space of a heartbeat. Even so, there was a distinctly tragic edge to it - perfect for soulful ghazals. Presently, her musical crooning floated in the quiet evening air as she leisurely ambled forward, her feet gently tapping on the hard concrete beneath them.

 

A sudden gust of wind blew from seemingly nowhere - cool and fragrant - flowing in blessed contrast with the humid blanket of air that usually marked Calcutta’s evenings in summer. So strikingly pleasant was its effect that the lyrics died on Khushi’s lips and she stood to a halt and closed her eyes, allowing the breeze to play a game of gentle, playful teasing with the length of her hair. If winds were to be the harbinger of good news, Khushi thought to herself, this is what they would feel like. It reminded her of Faiz’s words when he said-

 

Raat yun dil mein teri khoyi hui yaad aayi,

Jaise veerane mein chupke se bahaar aa jaye,

Jaise sehraaon mein haule se chale baad-e-naseem,

Jaise beemar ko bewajah qaraar aa jaye

 

[Last night, your long-lost memory came back to me as though
Spring stealthily should come to a forsaken wilderness
A gentle breeze its fragrance over burning deserts blow
Or, all at once be soothed somehow the sick soul’s distress.*]

 

 

“Ayeza!”

 

The wind carried with it the sound of his voice to her ears. It took her a moment to realize that she had been called. Rarely did anyone ever address her as Ayeza. She was Khushi, always Khushi, to friends and family alike. Her eyelids flickered open, and lines of surprised confusion marked her forehead. The voice felt familiar, both in its rich timbre and the effect it had on her heartbeat that for no reason, picked up an erratic pace. Slowly, she turned around.

 

He stood there, straight, with one hand buried inside his trouser pocket. His eyes met hers again, and this time they held their gazes, almost challenging the other to pull away. It was a game both wanted to lose at, yet struggled to win. The cool breeze laughed and danced around them, unabashed and insolent, at times causing her pale yellow dupatta to flutter in agitation at its teasing, and at times making the few errant strands of hair on his forehead quiver at its impudence.

 

Yet again, words failed her, and all she could do was to slightly raise her brows in question. At the same time, a blush crept up her neck at the realization that he might have been a silent audience to her carefree humming for heaven knew how long.

 

In answer to her unspoken question, he retrieved his hand from his trouser pocket, and slowly brought it at level with his chest. A silver anklet, imprisoned within the grasp of his fingers emerged into view, leaving a tinkling chime of ghungroos in its wake. Her gaze tore away from his eyes to the object he held within his hand, and she gasped. Lowering her gaze towards the ground, she stepped her left foot forward and pinching her kurti with the fingers of her right hand, pulled it up barely a couple of inches. The paayal was missing. When had it fallen from within the safe confines of her palm and how had it escaped her notice?

 

Relinquishing her hold on her kurti, she stepped her foot back and looked up at him. He was stepping closer, taking carefully measured steps in her direction, as if the distances and separation of several years were being covered and compensated for with each step. After an eternity (or was it just a second?) he stood right in front of her, extending his arm forward. The anklet stood hanging from the tip of his fingers, swaying to and fro like a pendulum measuring the seconds they had left with each other.

 

“Aapko apni amaanat ki fikr nahi hoti, shyaad,” he said in an almost lazy drawl, causing Khushi’s eyes to snap up towards his face. She saw a challenging, teasing sparkle in his eyes making her bristle at the innocently veiled accusation.

 

“Fikr karne ki zarurat nahi padti,” she answered evenly, with her head held high. “Hamari amaanat hamare paas khud bakhud wapis aa jati hai.”

 

He tipped his head at her, and the hints of a smirk teased the corner of his lips. “Isse ghuroor kehte hain,” he accused.

 

“Nahin,” came the fiery retort. “Isse yaqeen kehte hain.”

 

With those words, she held her palm out open in front of him. After a few quiet seconds, the anklet slipped from his palm into hers. She curled her fingers possessively around the silver ornament. A little too possessively.

 

“Lautane ka shukriya."

 

In a moment that stretched like eternity between them, she felt like he would never say anything. But then, a smirk lit his face once again, as his hand rose to his forehead for the second time that night.

 

Aadab,” he replied, then turned around and walked away.

 

****



 

Musaafir hain hum bhi, musaafir ho tum bhi,

Kisi mod par phir mulaqaat hogi.

 

-Bashir Badr

 

 

 *translation by Sarvat Rahman.

 

Lexicon:

Amaanat = Belonging

Ghuroor = Pride

Khud bakhud = On its own

Inqelaab = Rebellion

Musaafir = Traveller

Edited by Whats-in-a-name - 1 years ago
Posted: 1 years ago

Lovely update.  Delicate and sensitive are what I associate this chapter with.  Beautiful.  Irrespective of what Payal feels for Arnav, overall all of them are a nice bunch of friends.  Did they notice the gestures and stealing glances?  It is hard to miss, especially when they are looking at each other every other second.  Lovely lines sprinkled all over the chapter.  Just by reading those lines I feel like I am standing next to them and enjoying the mahfil.

In the middle of the chapter I was thinking about the missing payal and lo and behold, Arnav returned it to Khushi in such a wonderful fashion.  By the way how did he know her other name is Ayeza?

Wonderful my dear writer. I have no words to express how I am feeling after reading the brilliant narration.

I learnt a lot on how to bow and touch your forehead when saying Aadab 

Bari Mukhtasir si mulaqat thi woh

Na tumne kuch kaha na

Meri himat hui.

Cheers.....

Edited by Savera84 - 1 years ago
Posted: 1 years ago

Originally posted by Savera84


Lovely update.  Delicate and sensitive are what I associate this chapter with.  Beautiful.  Irrespective of what Payal feels for Arnav, overall all of them are a nice bunch of friends.  Did they notice the gestures and stealing glances?  It is hard to miss, especially when they are looking at each other every other second.  Lovely lines sprinkled all over the chapter.  Just by reading those lines I feel like I am standing next to them and enjoying the mahfil.

In the middle of the chapter I was thinking about the missing payal and lo and behold, Arnav returned it to Khushi in a such wonderful fashion.  By the way how did he know her other name is Ayeza?

Wonderful my dear writer. I have no words to express how I am feeling after reading the brilliant narration.

I learnt a lot on how to bow and touch your forehead when saying Aadab 

Bari Mukhtasir si mulaqat thi woh

N tumne kuch kaha na

Meri himat hui.

Cheers.....


Thank you so much. It is very kind of you to say so :) 


Payal introduced Arnav and Khushi to each other at the end of chapter 3(2). That is how he knows that she is Khushi Ayeza Khan Gupta. 


Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon 


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