Awaara : How one evening I really understood Majaz’s famous nazm

It may be the prerogative of a few only to really understand the underlying sentiment  in a work of poetry. Mere reading does not enable that pleasure and it is only at some time of activity you are doing, comparable to that described in the poem or ode, do you really begin to appreciate it….. It may seem presumptuous but a madcap, hurried ride years ago during the N years gave me a greater insight into “How they brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix” in a way massive tomes dedicated to the work could never have done. “The Charge of the Light Brigade” is often relived, specially those immortal lines…. “Forward, the Light Brigade” and “Theirs not to reason why…..” (of course I may add “While all the world wonders” but then that is being facetious).

However, it was Majaz’s famous nazm “Awaara” that came to my mind one of those usual, dreary evenings that characterise my off-days when no meeting with my “PER” friends is scheduled. It was one of these and I was walking round and round in one of the leading markets of this soulless  city in a bid to kill time that it strains echoed through my mind.

I am unsure how many are aware of this work. Normally the image evoked in one’s mind at the mention of the word “Awaara” is Raj Kapoor’s attempt to copy the mannerisms of the Charlie Chaplinesque tramp – in tight, ill-fitting clothes and the inspired accordion strains that introduce and permeate the eponymous song.  However, the “Awaara” by Majaz is a far sublime effort. And those of a certain age or fondness for good, meaningful and melodious music may remember two stanzas of the work in a song in the honeyed, dulcet tones of Talat Mehmood in a fairly obscure 1950’s film.

On another personal note, the refrain of this song did inspire the blog’s name…..

For those who would like to read the poem in its entriety, its given below:

i would particular commend the stanza in italics…….

Shahr ki raat aur main nashaad-o-naakaara phirun
Jagmagati Jaagti sadkon pe aawaraa phiruun
Gair ki basti hai kab tak darbadar mara phirun

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Jhilmilate qumqumon ki raah mein zanjeer si
Raat ke haathon mein din ki mohni tasveer si
Mere seene par magar chalti huyi shamsheer si

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Ye ruphali chhaaon ye akaash par taaron ka jaal
Jaise Sufi ka tasavvur jaise aashiq ka khayaal
Aah lekin kaun jaane kaun samjhe ji ka haal

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Phir vo toota ik sitara phir vo chooti phuljhadi
Jaane kis ki god mein aaye ye moti ki ladi
Huuk si seene mein uthi chot si dil par padi

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Raat hans hans kar ye kahti hai ke maikhaane mein chal
Phir kisi shahnaaz-e-laalaarukh ke kaashane mein chal
Ye nahin mumkin to phir ai dost viraane mein chal

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Har taraf bikhri hui rangeeniya raanaaiyan
Har qadam par ishraten leti hui angdaiyan
Badh rahi hai god phailaye hue rusvaiyan

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Raaste mein ruk ke dam le luun meri aadat nahin
Laut kar vaapas chala jaoon meri fitrat nahin
Aur koi hamnava mil jaaye ye qismat nahin

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Muntazir hai ek toofaan-e-bala mere liye
Ab bhi jaane kitne darwaaze hain vaa mere liye
Par musibat hai mera ahd-e-vafa mere liye

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Ji mein aata hai ki ab ahd-e-vafa bhi torh doon
Un ko pa sakta hoon main ye aasra bhi chorh doon
Haan munasib hai ye zanjeer-e-hava bhi torh doon

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Ik mahal ki aad se nikla vo pila mahtaab
Jaise mullah ka amaamaa jaise baniye ki kitaab
Jaise muflis ki javaanii jaise bevaa kaa shabaab

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Dil mein ek shola bhadak utha hai aakhir kya karun
Mera paimaana chhalak utha hai aakhir kya karun
Zakhm seene ka mahak utha hai aakhir kya karun

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Muflisi aur ye mazaahir hain nazar ke saamne
Saikdon changez-o-naadir hain nazar ke saamne
Saikdon sultaan jaabar hain nazar ke saamne

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Le ke ek changez ke haathon se khanjar torh doon
Taj par us ke damkata hai jo patthar torh doon
Koi torhe ya na torhe main hi badhkar torh doon

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Badh ke is Indar-sabha ka saaz-o-saamaan phoonk doon
Is ka gulshan phunk doon us ka shabistaan phunk doon
Takht-e-Sultan kya main sara qasr-e-Sultan phunk doon

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

Jii mein aata hai ye murda chand-taare noch loon
Is kinare noch loon aur us kinare noch loon
Ek do ka zikr kya saare ke saare noch loon

Ai gam-e-dil kya karun ai vahshat-e-dil kya karun

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