Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I put up these two pieces because the similarities were so clear to me. What does one do at the end of a love affair? Tending wounds apart, how does one behave at an accidental meeting? Wave, or not? Meet eyes? for how long? Go over and talk? Pretend it never happened?

Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part,
Nay, I have done: you get no more of me,
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free.
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
-Michael Drayton

chalo ik baar phir se ajnabi ban jaaen ham dono
na main tumse koi ummeed rakhun dilnavaazi ki
na tum meri taraf dekho galat andaaz nazaron se
na mere dil ki dhadkan ladkhadaaye meri baaton se
na zaahir ho tumhaari kashmkash ka raaz nazaron se...
chalo ik baar phir se ajnabi ban jaaen ham dono
-Sahir Ludhianvi


bhupinder singh said...

This is absolutely amazing. I have for a long time felt that this is one of the more unique poems by Sahir- unlike much of his other work, this one has no equivalent in Faiz, whose echo Sahir seems to be in spirit- almost a double, as it were.

Sahir has used a lot of poems, sheyrs and even transmutated many, including, more famously those by Allama Iqbal and Shelly. And this extract from a poem by Michael Drayton is so close to 'Ek Haseen Mod" that it makes one fel that Sahir may have picked up this as well from the original in English.

One needs to reflect much more on this- is it coincidence?- it is equally possible that it is one, to be fair to Sahir.

Thanks a lot, all the same for sharing this piece of information- it means a lot to me (as any information on Sahir or his works do). Can you also please share the link to this poem if it exists on the internet, or any other book/print reference?

Sheetal said...

BS: I wondered too, if it was a coincidence. Again, I'm so fond of Sahir, I like to think he wouldn't need to 'borrow' from other poets, but if he has been influenced... it's possible, I suppose.
Has Sahir produced material similar to Shelley's? I didn't know. Which piece?

You wanted a link to Drayton's sonnet - here it is:

bhupinder singh said...

Thanks for the link.
Sahir's 'Ashkon ne jo paaya hai' seems to be Shelly-ish, but I must admit that I cannt think of an equivalence immediately. I think I had Shailendra's 'Hain sabse madhur woh geet jinhe' (which is "Our sweetest songs are those that tell our saddest thoughts") when I posted my comment yesterday.
Even if Sahir or poets of Shailendra's caliber (he is probably the next best lyricist after Sahir), do take off from others they only add to the original, I dont think it reflects poorly on them. Sahir, for example, parodies Iqbal, but also gives a new meaning (content) to the original form. Sahir has used Kabir's dohas very effectively, while building a critique as well.
If you are interested in Sahir, you may like a piece by Parkash Pandit that I translated from the original in Hindi, it is available at:
(I havent updated my site for years now, so please excuse its rather archaic look and feel, broken links et al).
Thanks again for the link. More I think about it, the more uncanny the resemblance between the two poems.

Sheetal said...

Nice site, Bhupinder - I think I've visited it before.
I agree - even if there's an echo of a phrase or a sentiment, there is such felicity that it doesn't matter.
I'm interested in this Kabir angle as well - you know, perhaps you could post about it in detail, quoting and drawing out comparisons. Should be fascinating.

bhupinder singh said...

I was thinking the same too. This exchange was becoming longer- though very interesting after your 'discovery'. However, postponing it to a later post might be like putting this thought into a deep freezer. Let me see...

Thanks for visiting my site before- I thought I was the only one going there- if only to increment the counter to a respectable number. The web is not such a big place after all.

Incidentally, I saw read your post on Abida Parveen and Kabir, I have posted a somewhat hazy comment there.