Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sher by Mirza Ghalib

I stumbled upon this by chance while reading Sarojini Naidu's description of the Hyderabad Bazaar ( will post that later) & liked it a lot. The sher & the interpretation is completely taken from

Na tha kuchch to KHuda tha, kuchch na hota to KHuda hota

Duboya mujhko hone ne, na hota maiN to kya hota ?

The shair is a buddhist approach to the essence of existence. It is almost as if he can recollect memories of his existence before he was born. When he refers to God as having always existed he is saying that he was one with the universe. He was there when there was nothing in existence. It was only when he is born and becomes conscious of his surroundings that he is confused and over-burdened with questions and problems. In a way he is talking about the tranquility before birth and the short while that he is conscious in life as being his most trying time. He is almost wanting to escape this cage of space and time and go back to being nothingness. He talks about death as the portal to eternal life. This shair is considered by many to be one of his most thought provoking verses because of the delicate language and mesmerising metaphors.

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