pakeezah and dupatta

20 Nov

Inhin logon ne……..

Listen to this wonderful song before reading further.

Inhin logon ne, inhin logon ne, inhi logon ne le leena dupatta mera.

[These very people took away from me my shoulder scarf]


hamri na maano, bajajwa se poochho,

jis ne asharfi gaj deena dupatta mera.

[If you don’t believe me, ask the cloth merchant,

who sold me my shoulder scarf an asharfi a yard. (a gold coin a yard)]


Hamri na maano, rang rajwa se poochho,

Jisne gulabi rang deena dupatta mera.

[If you don’t believe me, ask the dyer

who dyed my shoulder scarf pink].

hamri na maano, sipahiyya se poochho,

jis ne bajaria men chheena dupatta mera

[If you don’t believe me, ask the police man,

who in the market place snatched my shoulder scarf]

This song, like many others, is a window to the Indian world of yesterday, when women used to get their clothes dyed and there were professional dyers. In this song, rangrajwa, seen here listening to the mujra along with sipahiyya and bajajwa, actually dyes her dupatta pink. Even in Karachi as late as 10 years ago, I remember our women used to ask us to take them to the area behind Disco Bakery for dyeing clothes. And remember, it also shows, in no uncertain ways, that the sipahiyya of those days were no different from our ‘petty tulleys’ of today. “Jisne bajaria mein chheena” dupatta mera. (Who grabbed my scarf in the market place). Also these days the cloth merchants have become ready made garments dealers, as hardly any one buys cloth for shirt, or for pair of trousers now.

As far as Rangrajwa is concerned, Amir khusrow, in his shohrah e afaaq nazm “Chhaap tilak sab chheeni re mose naina milayike” uses rangrajwa in a metaphorical manner.

Bal bal jaaon mein toray rang rajwa
Apni see kar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay

Here the rangrajwa is no other than the ‘mehboob’ himself who has ‘dyed’ her (the lover) in his own ‘colour’, Meaning his love has made her forget her own self as it is him she always remembers.


Apart from the three professions mentioned above, there are a number of professionals that have become ghosts of history. They include “bhurji, (who used to roast in hot sand our grains), kunjra (vegetable seller), qalayee gar, the one who used to shine our (copper) utensils with a coat of tin, madaari ( offered a pair of monkeys or a bear perform to small gathering), nut (petty circus people), jugulars (petty magicians) street medicine sellers, lohaar (black smith), kumhaar (potter), sunaar (gold smith), teli (oil squeezer), dhobi (washer man), pansari (beetle leaves seller), baniya (grocery store keeper), mahajan (money lender), Khat navees (letter writer/ reader), badhayi (carpenter), darzi (tailor)
dayee (an old woman, expert in child deliveries in homes) etc……….

Posted by on November 20, 2013 in adab and literature, videos


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “pakeezah and dupatta

  1. Rafiullah Mian

    November 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    What an interesting stuff, here, you are posting nowadays!
    The things that represent our traditions deeply mentioned here with a nice manner.
    During reading this post a thought came to my mind that some things of this stuff could be used in your “Upcoming Book!”
    You know what — some time I used to think like that! :-p

    • shakilakhtar

      November 22, 2013 at 9:35 am

      The book is alive because of your kind interest. I hope Allah SWT will do something so that it does appear in due course. I am now even contemplating to give it a shape after all. I have a guarantee of at least ONE reader. enough for me.

      • Rafiullah Mian

        November 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm

        And, I am sure that you will find, amazingly, a lot of more readers for it.

  2. Sharmishtha

    November 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    the songs of Pakeejah are haunting! This song touches the soul, if I am correct she is talking about her dignity not a mere scarf…. I am a big fan of Meenakumari

    • shakilakhtar

      November 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

      you are absolutely right, Shamistha. I did not see this obvious metaphor. It actually reinforces in the last couplet at the hands of the ‘sipahiyya’ :).
      and Meena Kumari is our favourite star no doubt.

      • Sharmishtha

        December 11, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        she was a walking, talking ghazal herself! i am a big time fan of her entire being!

        i have seen that movie, very seriously- its amazing and very inspiring.

  3. Vijay Kumar Gupta

    November 12, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Shakil saheb, Adab
    I came across this blog searching for information on Fazl Ahmed Kareem Fazali. I am a lover of urdu ghazals, but unfortunately do not read the script. I read it in devnagari and am always on the lookout for new shaiyars (shaiyars, I have not read before.) I liked Fazli’s ghazal : Ab to mahki hui si raat nahin/baat kya hai ki ab wo baat nahin.
    Ghazal is “talking to your beloved”. In this full ghazal the poet has used the language as if he is talking to his beloved. How can I get mote information on this shair?

    • shakilakhtar

      November 13, 2015 at 6:26 am

      I am also in New Zealand and away from Urdu Hindi Libraries/ book shops. But now a days Internet is the answer to all queries. I have one Fazli’s musallas ghazal in my blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: