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Meena Kumari had a sad life and died at a young age of 38. Her poetry is of highest standard and shows how she found her life. In one of her couplets she tells us how life has treated her. [She got a checkmate in the chess game of life every time she played: by her father, her husband and then her friends, see below *.]

Meena Kumari

ٹکڑے ٹکڑے دن بیتا دھججی دھججی رات ملی

جس کا جتنا آںچل تھا اتنی ہی سوغات ملی

جب بھی چاہا دل کو سمجھیں ہنسنے کی آواز سنی

جیسے کویؑ کہتا ہو لے پھر تجھ کو مات ملی

ماتیں کیسی گھاتیں کیا چلتے رہنا آٹھ پہر

دل سا ساتھی جب پایا بیچینی بھی ساتھ ملی

رم جھم رم جھم بوندوں مین زہر بھی ہے اور امرت بھی

آنکھیں ہنس دیں دل رویا یہ اچھی برسات ملی

Tukre tukre din beeta dhajji dhajji raat mili

Jiska jitna aaNchal tha Utni hi saughaat mili

[In pieces did I get the day and the night was all in tatters

Of the bounty, one got only as much as one could gather in one’s scarf]


Jab bhi chaha dil ko samjheiN hasne ki aawaz suni

Jaise koyee kahta ho, le phir tujh ko maat mili

[Whenever I tried to understand life, I heard someone jeering at me

As if someone is saying, lo, you got yourself checkmated again]*

MaateiN kaisi ghaateiN kya, chalte rahna aath paher

Dil sa saathi jab paya, bey chaini bhi saath mili

[It is a journey all the time, what with these checkmates or traps

When a heart is your companion, you got restlessness too]

Rimjhim rimjhim boodoN mein, zahr bhi hai aur amrit bhi

aaNkheiN hansdeeN, dil roya, yeh achhi barsat mili.

[The ringing rain- drops have both poison and elixir of life

What a rain did I get, where the eyes laugh and the heart cries]


Posted by on January 13, 2017 in adab and literature, Urdu Poetry, videos


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Amir Khusro, Man Kunto Maula

Man Kunto Maula by Fanna-Fi-Allah Sufi Qawwali. Half an hour of pure bliss, if you may.

You will understand and enjoy more if you know the wording and their meaning. Note: Ali was the Prophet’s(PBUH) son in law)

1.The preliminary wordings   

Shah-e-Mardan Sher-e-Yazdan Quwat-e-Parwardigar  

Lafatah illa Ali La Saif illa Zulfiqar.  

 {language: first line: Farsi,  second line: Arabic}


Shah-e-Mardan= King of men

Sher-e-Yazdan = lion of Allah

Quwat-e-Parwardigar = power of lord

Lafatah illa Ali = no victory without Ali

La Saif illa Zulfiqar.= no sword except zulfiqar (Ali’s sward)


2.(This piece is from the site:

Zahay izzo jalaale Bu Turaabe fakhre insaane
Ali al-Murtaza mushkil kushaye shere Yazdane

(The honour and valour of Abu Turab is the pride of mankind.
No doubt Ali al-Murtaza (K.W.K), helper in the time of need, is the Lion of God.)


[Abu Turab (Arabic: أبو تراب‎‎) or Father of Soil, is a title attributed to Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, the first Shia Caliph and Imam, and the fourth Sunni Caliph. According to narrations the title was given to Ali by Muhammad(PBUH), when he found Ali sleeping while covered with soil.]

These wordings are sung just before the main Amir Khusro’s poem.


3..The main Amir Khusro song “Mun kunto Maula...”

taken from: []


Man kunto Maula
Fa Ali-un Maula
Dara dil-e dara dil-e dar-e daani
Hum tum tanana nana
Nana nana ray
Yalali yalali yala
Yala yala ray…

~ By Amir Khusro    {language:First two lines: Arabic}


“Whoever accepts me as a master, Ali is his master too.”

(The above is a hadith – a saying of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Rest of the lines are tarana bols that are generally meaningless and are used for rhythmic chanting by Sufis.)



For more details, you might like to go to

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Posted by on October 8, 2016 in videos


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BEGUM AKHTAR, mere ham nafas.

This is Shakil badayuni’s famous ghazal. It is in very simple language and can be related to by us all.

I like the translation offered by ‘Rekhta’ very much, as it is it self poetry. Never the less I would take liberty to expand a little here and there.

The link to ‘Rekhta” is

First listen to it by Begum Akhtar

image shayari for mere ham-nafas mere ham-nawa mujhe dost ban ke dagha na de main hun dard-e-ishq se jaan-ba-lab mujh...


My explanation.

  1. O my friend, though we breathe together and our voices echo together, please do not betray me feigning friendship.

The burning love has brought me near death, do not if you will wish me well.

  1. My wounded soul glows and the light it emits keeps me alive,

I fear you, though my healer, might end up blowing the flame out.

  1. O my healer, leave me alone if you will, I have little confidence in your healing

Your brief attention might actually cause my malady to worsen.

  1.  (Here a bulbul (bird) is speaking, worried about the garden which is her abode) I am confident that any fire from outside will not touch it, but I have a real fear that the “fire” from the roses might ignite and burn down the garden.
  2. Lo and behold the beloved is ready to dispense favour, O Shakil, where are you,

What is yours might be usurped by someone else I fear.

[Literally: Where are you O  Shakil, Your lover is up, ready with wine and cup,

I fear that the peg of wine which is yours someone else might put a hand on it.]









Posted by on September 29, 2016 in adab and literature, Urdu Poetry, videos


Khabar e tahayyur e Ishq sun (Siraj Aurangabadi)

Khabr e Tahayyur e Ishq sun…. by Siraaj Aurangabadi


For the  actual ghazal and its translation, you may want to go to






Posted by on August 28, 2016 in Urdu Poetry, videos


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sayyan bina ghar soona.

A feast for the ears and the eyes. No, no, for the heart and the soul.



Posted by on March 17, 2016 in videos


pakeezah and dupatta

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


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Ghalib aur Dagh Dehlvi, Rag Darbari mein

Tina Sani ne yeh do masawi ghazlen khoob gayi hain

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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in videos