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.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


By Samuel T Coleridge

I have experienc'dThe worst, the World can wreak on me--the worst
That can make Life indifferent, yet disturb
With whisper'd Discontents the dying prayer--
I have beheld the whole of all, wherein
My Heart had any interest in this Life,
To be disrent and torn from off my Hopes
That nothing now is left. Why then live on ?
That Hostage, which the world had in it's keeping
Given by me as a Pledge that I would live--
That Hope of Her, say rather, that pure Faith
In her fix'd Love, which held me to keep truce
With the Tyranny of Life--is gone ah ! whither ?
What boots it to reply ? 'tis gone ! and now
Well may I break this Pact, this League of Blood
That ties me to myself--and break I shall !