Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Naghma e Azaadi

So my friend Sambar is discovering urdu poetry written by Ramprasad Bismil.
Ok, he is getting it from the Bollywood flick, Range de Basanti; admittedly a strange place to pick urdu couplets… or is it. As a patriotic song Naghma e Azaadi is full of the stern stuff, but it does not quite live up to the poetic challenge. Of course, by saying this, I am opening myself up to some flaming idiot with an uber-nationalistic streak. But, I digress, Sambar’s piece was all about the movie, Bismil’s verse was just something he mentioned in passing. I have come to place stock in Sambar’s reviews – I mean to say, his review of Veer Zara certainly put me off the movie for good. I haven’t seen The Rising yet, and after reading the review, I am not certain I want to; but Rang de Basanti certainly seems to have the right ingredients.

But coming back to Bismil’s verse, I cannot help but notice, the verse is almost statement of intent.

“…waqt aanay dey bata deNge tujhe ay aasmaN,
ham abhi se kya batayeN kya hamare dil mein hai
khainch kar layee hai sab ko qatl honay ki ummeed,
aashiqoN ka aaj jumghat koocha-e-qaatil meiN hai.”

Read in the context of current politics, these are scary lines. All I can do is quote Ghalib.

“Pani se sag ghazeeda dare jis tarah
Dartaa hoon aayine se ke mardom ghazeeda hoon main.”