Soliloquy Before Gandhi And Ghalib

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Friends, Literature, Musings, Poetry, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

Faizan and Neeraj promised to take me around Delhi, when i told them that i was comming to Delhi and that it was my first ever visit to Delhi. When they said that they will take me all around Delhi i told then, “It is a short visit and i will have only one day to roam around. So there is nothing much that we can see. But you HAVE to take me to Gandhi Smruthi and Ghalib Mazaar. I can do without visiting the other ‘must visit’ spots.

On 12 July 2009, Faizan and Neeraj took me to Gandhi Smrithi and Ghalib Mazaar. While at Gandhi Smruthi and at Ghalib Mazaar my inner self gave wings to a voice which was speaking to Gandhi and Ghalib. Here i present the soliloquies which unfolded before Gandhi and Ghalib:


Bapu, people from all over the world come to this place to pay tribute to you and to salute you. I too have come with the same purpose but more importantly to reassure myself that you really existed and are not some fictional character.

In this country where historicising mythology and mystifying history is a common practise, one would naturally get confused between the real, the unreal and the surreal.

As a child i always doubted if you really existed. When my parents and teachers would speak about you, quote your examples and narrate stories from your life, the question, “Did someone so good acctually walk on this earth?” would surface in my mind.

This doubt made me want to know more about you, learn more about you and understand you more. In this journey one of the first things i read was the reaction of Albert Einstein at your death. “Generations to come will scarce believe that a man as such with flesh and blood ever walked on this earth,” he said being sure that someone like me would be wondering, after many years, if you were real or a fictional character.

This journey towards better understanding of you and your teachings is still on Bapu and in this journey i have learnt that people of every ideology have hijacked you for their purpose, including the ideology that killed you. I, within my own limits, with many friends have been trying to fight this ideology which killed you and which is gaining a better hold on the society. In this battle of the “Right against the might,” to borrow an expression from you, we have all been drawing inspiration from you. This is an example to prove that you were right when you said, “The assasiners think that they have assassinated you and your ideas, which is not true.”

You declared that your life is your message. It meant that your life is communicating something. Even after six decades of your assassination people like me are decoding the message of your life in different contexts to draw lessons, inspirations and guidance to move towards the future and construct a better tomorrow. Bapu, lead kindly light…..


Huye Marke Hum Jo Ruswaa Huye Kyun Na Garq-E-Dariyaa
Na Kabhi Janaaza Uth’ta Na Kahi Mazaar Hota
[I earned a bad name by dying, why did not i drown and die,
Then there would have been no funeral procession nor a tombstone to remind people of me]

Ghalib sahab, remembering this couplet written by you before your tombstone i feel like picking up a fight with you for you thought of something in these lines. If you were to drown and die, so that there would be no funeral procession and no tombstone of yours, we would have missed an important link to see you so closely. But i dont pick up a fight with you because i have learnt, by reading your verses, that it is impossible to argue with someone as witty as you.

You were not just witty but also prophetic, i have always felt. And you were aware of this fact and hence you wrote:

Yeh Masaail-E-Tasawwuf Yeh Tera Bayaan ‘Ghalib’
Tujhey Hum Wali Samajhtey Jo Na Baadakhwaar Hota
[This unique outlook this unique style of presentation of Ghalib,
I would have considered you to be a prophet if you were non-alcoholic]

One of the first couplets of yours which i came across was:

Ishq Ne ‘Ghalib’ Nikamma Kar Diya
Warna Hum Bhi Aadmi Tey Kaam Ke
[Love turned me into a ineffective man,
Or else i too was a man of worth]

Be it this couplet or another couplet, which again was one of the firs couplets of yours which i read:

Hai Garm Uske Aane Ki Khabar Harsoo
Aur Aaj Hi Ghar Mein Boriya Na Hua

[The news of her arrival is all over,
And i haev no mat at home to make her sit]

The most striking part, according to me, is that though your verses encapsulate melancholy, they are divorced of self pity, which is a dominant emotion in majority of Urdu poetry. That is exactly why people agree with you when you say:

Hai Aur Bhi Duniya Mein Sukhanwar Bahut Achchey
Par Kehtey Hai Ke ‘Ghalib’ Ka Hai Andaaz-E-Bayaan Aur

[There are many better poets in the world,
But the common belief is that ‘Ghalib’s style is unique]

Few years ago Abhijeet, a bollywood singer, cut a remix album. Before singing the song ‘Chalo Ek Baar Phir Se..’ written by Sahir Ludhianvi, in his commentary Abhijeet said, “Agar Ghalib ne suni hoti Sahir ki ghazal toh woh kehtey mukarrarr mukarrarr.” Though it was a statement made in appreciation of Sahir sahab, the scale used to measure him was you Ghalib sahab, which is a reflection of your greatness and your height.

Warak Tamaam Hua Hai Aur Maddah Baaki Hai
Safeena Chahiye Bahar-E-Bekaraan Ke Liye
[Papers got over but the story remains unsaid yet,
I need a boat to travel a shoreless sea]

As you said….

15 July 2009

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