A Zauq ghazal

This is one of my favourite ghazals. I heard it first sung by Begum Akhtar and later in the moving voice of Saigal, though both only sing three or four shers of the ghazals. Strangely, nobody else has attempted to render this meaningful ghazal of Zauq, whose name and career was eclipsed by his famous and doomed protege, Bahadur Shah ‘Zafar’.

It was later that i read the ghazal and saw some other shers, which were no less profound. My personal choice for the ‘bait-ul-ghazal’ is the third, especially when rendered by Saigal, but the fourth is equally deep, though he didnt use it. However, this is a personal choice.

I have another link with this ghazal. Years back, when I was in the university imeni J N, and the president of my hostel, I was presiding over a ‘baitbazi’ -cum ‘mushaira’ competition held as part of the hostel day celebrations. I was certainly in illustrious company, with the hostel’s senior warden (who was from my faculty), another warden who was in the Urdu department, and two professors from the Urdu and Persian departments. In the end, it was insisted that I also recite something and excusing myself as a listener and reader (It was years before I had met the Gentle Tyrant) , I satisfied the requirements by reading this Zauq ghazal which I knew well.

Anyway, here is the ghazal itself:

Layi hayat aaye qaza le chali chale
Na apni khushi aaye na apani khushi chale

Ho umr-e-Khizr bhi to kahenge ba vaqt-e-marg
Ham kya rahe yahan abhi aaye abhi chale

Behtar to hai yahi ke na duniya se dil lage
Par kya karen jo kaam na bedillagi chale

Naazaan na ho khirad pe jo hona hai vo hi ho
Daanish teri na kuch meri daanishwari chale

Kam honge is bisaat pe ham jaise badqimaar
Jo chaal ham chale vo nihaayat buri chale

Duniya ne kis ka raah-e-fanaa mein diya hai saath
Tum bhi chale chalo yun hi jab tak chali chale

Jati hui hawa-e-shauq mein hain is chaman se ‘Zauq’
Apni balaa se baad-e-sabaa ab yun hi chale


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anil Kala on May 24, 2010 at 15:03

    some corrections:


    apni Khushi ‘se’ aaye na apni khushi chale

    2nd she’r

    ho umre khizr bhi to ho m’aaloom waqt e marg

    naazaan na ho khirad pe jo hona hai ho vahi


  2. Posted by Niranjan on April 15, 2012 at 22:04

    Also, the way I recall the last line,
    Apni balaa se baad-e-sabaa ab yun hi kabhi chale


  3. Posted by Niranjan on April 15, 2012 at 22:05

    Kabhi in place of yun hi.


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