Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Shreya ghazal

I was traveling in a BEST bus from Mahim to Powai when I first heard the song Chalo Tumko Lekar Chale on my MP3 player. It was love at first listen.

My affection for Shreya grew as months passed. I decided to write a ghazal for her. Being a rookie at ghazal writing, I requested my friend and Urdu mentor Roshan for help. He was extremely gracious and generous in commenting at length on each of the verses I would throw at him. Finally, after 193 e-mail exchanges with him, my ghazal was ready. This was around a year ago.

Ever since, I’ve been trying to meet Shreya in every possible way I can. I plucked out all the pictures of her that existed on the internet, chose one, and created a design, with the ghazal written in Devanagari next to her picture. Because I have no exposure to graphic design, I couldn’t do a good job. However, I put everything into it in terms of effort. I framed the image. It can definitely reach her through an indirect contact I have, but I want to hand it over to her myself. I’ve not been in Mumbai for more than nine months now.

When I was in Seattle, I heard she was coming there to perform. I went to a supermarket to buy another frame. I was checking out their large collection. I noticed a lady having stacked up quite a few frames. Curiously, I asked her whether she actually planned to buy all those frames. She replied in the affirmative, and told me that it’s part of her job because she is a professional photographer. So I thought I’d ask her for her judgment on the kind of frame I should buy. I did not have a print of the image I had created, so I could only describe it to her. I told her that the image has the picture of a girl on the left and poetry I wrote for her, on the right. She looked me up and down and after suggesting the kind of frame I should buy, she advised, “Don’t buy an expensive frame.” :)

Then when I was in Hyderabad, Shreya came to perform there. I’d requested her for a meeting over Twitter. She replied saying she’ll meet me if everything goes all right. I don’t know what went wrong; she didn’t meet me.

Then she came to Bangalore. Because I’ve recently not been active on Twitter , I ddin’t know that some of her other Twitter fans would be attending the Bangalore concert. They got to meet her after the concert. Had I known this, I’d have hung around with them.

All this makes me think that I’m not destined to meet her. At least as a fan. I’ll need to become a music composer. Then I should be able to meet her.

So, now that I’ve given up the hope of meeting her, here’s the ghazal I wrote for her:



वो गहराई! रवानी! और लय! अल्लाह ही अल्लाह!
कहीं दिल से निकलती तो नहीं आवाज़ श्रेया की!

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: That depth! That flow! That rhythm! O Lord!

Sentence 2: I wonder whether Shreya's voice emanates from her heart (instead of her throat!)

More detailed explanation:

Depth (metaphorically), flow, and rhythm are attributes associated with the heart. Shreya's voice has all three to an uncanny extent. Therefore, when one listens to her voice, it would not be surprising if a thought crosses one's mind, making one wonder whether Shreya's voice comes from her heart instead of her throat.

गरजती बर्क़ भी शर्मिंदा हो गर सामने पाए
जमाल-ए-रू-ए-श्रेया और बुलंद आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: Striking lightning would also be put to shame if it encounters in front of it...

Sentence 2: ...the beauty of Shreya's face and her sublime voice.

More detailed explanation:

Lightning is a phenomenon that has the atrtributes of light and sound. Shreya has two similar atrtibutes--beauty and voice. When lightning strikes, the pristine white light looks very beautiful. And the sound of thunder is extremely powerful and has an element of height associated with it because lightning appears above the skyline. This couplet says that even though striking lightning has an extremely beautiful visual aspect and a very powerful associated sound, Shreya's face is prettier, and she has a voice that's more sublime than thunder. Therefore, encountering Shreya would put striking lightning to shame.

सुनी आवाज़ रब की और बताए राह पर निकला
हुआ गुमराह लेकिन जब सुनी आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: I heard God's voice and started to walk on the path suggested by Him.

Sentence 2: However, when I heard Shreya's voice, I went astray (off that path).

More detailed explanation:

I heard the voice of God and started walking on the path shown by Him. However, when I heard Shreya's voice, I went astray. Because in this couplet I have not clearly stated the reason I went astray, it is open to interpretation. A potential (and the intended) reason is that while I was walking on the path sugggested by God, I heard a voice again (this time Shreya's) and mistook it for the voice of God and started to walk in that direction, leaving my current path.

क़यामत हो अगर सुनता रहूँ आवाज़ श्रेया की
क़यामत हो मगर सुनता रहूँ आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1:

Meaning 1: If I keep listening to Shreya's voice, this will indeed be an extraordinary occurence.
Meaning 2: The last day of the universe will eventually come if I keep listening to Shreya's voice.

Sentence 2: Let the last day of the universe come if it has to; however, I would still like to continue to keep listening to Shreya's voice even after that.

More detailed explanation:

The first line says that if I keep listening to Shreya's voice, this will indeed be an extraordinary occurence because there cannot be anything better in the world than listening to her voice, and ordinarily it is not possible for anyone to keep listening to her voice non-stop. The line also means that if I keep listening to her voice, eventually the last day of the universe will arrive. The general conception is that everything in the universe will get destroyed on this day. However, because I love listening to Shreya's voice so much, I can never get enough of it even if I keep listening to it till the last day of the universe arrives. Therefore, even after the last day passes, meaning, even after everything is destroyed (which ideally includes both me and her voice), I would still like to keep listening to her voice.

मेरी धड़कन का बस रस्मी-सा रिश्ता है मेरे दिल से
समझ लो वो रुकी जिस दम थमी आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: My heartbeats have only a perfunctory (something done only for the sake of doing it) relationship with my heart.

Sentence 2: My heartbeats will stop when Shreya's voice ebbs for even a moment.

More detailed explanation:

Generally, as long as the heart is functional (working), heartbeats exist. But here I'm saying that in my case, my heart shares only a perfunctory and superficial relationship with my heartbeats. The real reason my for the existence of my heartbeats is Shreya's voice. Therefore, the moment Shreya's voice ebbs (or pauses) even a little, my heartbeats will stop.

परे हैं मौत के हाथों से, उनको मर्ग का क्या ग़म?
ख़ुशी से मर गए हैं सुनके जो आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: (They) are beyond the clutches of death; how can death cause them grief?

Sentence 2: These people happily gave away their lives when they heard Shreya's voice.

More detailed explanation:

The people who can happily give up their lives in the honor of Shreya's voice are beyond the cluthches of death, and death can never cause them grief.

अगर दिल वज्द में आया, तो धड़कन शोर कर देगी
ज़रा दिल थामकर "मोहित" सुनो आवाज़ श्रेया की

Literal meaning:

Sentence 1: If the heart goes absolutely wild in rapture, its heartbeats will be so loud and heavy that they'll cause noise.

Sentence 2: Restrain your heart, and then listen to Shreya's voice.

More detailed explanation:

Shreya's voice always makes the heart go absolutely wild in rapture. Therefore, one always craves to listen to it. However, on listening to it, one's heart becomes euphoric. Consequently, the hearbeats become very loud and heavy, which causes noise and is a hindrance in the process of listening to her voice. Therefore, restrain your heart, and then listen to Shreya's voice.

8 comments:

Rajesh Kumar Masetty said...

Extraordinary :) the explanation in English really helped me. It's really touching.

Mayur said...

Awesome. Adhbhut :) Expressing your feelings via a shayari is absolutely Mohit class :)

Mohit said...

Thanks Rajesh :)

Mohit said...

Thanks Mayur baba :)

MuZiC iN vEiN ! ! ! ! said...

Mo-Hit.. Let your posts get
Mo(re)-Hit(s)...

What a Poem... A 'Proper' ghazal I should say - as it has appropriate 'RADEEF' and a 'QAFIYA'... Excellent work there.. Loved it!

Mohit said...

Thanks, Akki!

Nishant said...

Mohit..Its really well written!!

But hw can Shreya sing it? I mean her name is der in d song..or its for d chorus?

Mohit said...

Thanks, Nishant. And I don't think I have mentioned that I want Shreya to sing this song.