Ham Ke Thehare Ajnabi …

Faiz Ahmed Faiz, is better known for his revolutionary fervor and socialist ideal. He can almost be considered the strongest amongst the socialistic revolutionary voices of Pakistan. This was not unusual for poets of his time. We had the likes of Nagarjun in India.

What is quite surprising about Faiz, or may be not, is that he has a wonderful, soft and romantic side too. We know that Faiz fell in love with and married a British woman named Alys. She is considered by many to have molded the personality and expression of Faiz. Talking about this soft side of Faiz, two gazals come to my mind, “Tum mere paas raho” (which I’ll surely post some day), and the one posted below. Its hard to say much about Faiz’s emotional state or situation in life at the time of writing, but he by far captured the awkwordness of certain situations as beautifully as anyone could. Enjoy!!

हम के ठहरे अजनबी कितनी मदारातों के बाद
अब बनेंगे आशना कितनी मुलाक़ातों के बाद

[मदारात == hospitality, expression of affection]
[आशना == lovers]

कब नज़र मे आएगी बेदाग सब्ज़े की बहार
खून के धब्बे धुलेंगे कितनी बरसातों के बाद

[बेदाग == clear, unadulterated]
[सब्ज़े की बहार == green and fresh season of spring]

दिल तो चाहा पर शिक़स्त-ए-दिल ने मोहलत हि न दी
कुछ गिले शिकवे भी कर लेते मुनाजातों के बाद

[शिक़स्त-ए-दिल == heart’s defeat (heart getting out of control because of extreme affection)]
[गिले शिकवे == cribs, complaints]
[मुनाजातों == affectionate prayers]

फ़िर बहुत बेदर्द लम्हे खत्म-ए-दर्द-ए-इश्क़ के
थीं बहुत बेमेहर सुबहें मेहरबाँ रातों के बाद

[खत्म-ए-दर्द-ए-इश्क़ == end of love’s pain]
[बेमेहर == ufriendly, unforgiving, not helpful, opposite of मेहरबाँ]

उनसे जो कहने गए थे फ़ैज़ जान सदक़ा किये
अनकही ही रह गई वह बात सब बातों के बाद

[जान सदक़ा किये == with letting life for sacrifice]
[अनकही == unsaid]

Two very different renditions of the gazal are available:

  • By Nayyara Noor, which you can listen to here. Video of one of the live shows is here.
  • By Shubha Mudgal, which you can find here. I couldn’t get you guys a free link. But this version is good too.

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