Saturday, May 26, 2018

EK GHAZAL


ग़ज़ल

प्यार बहुत कुछ, पर जान से बढ़ के थोड़े है
है दौलत ज़रूरी, पर ईमान से बढ़ के थोड़े है

तख़्त-ओ-ताज, लाल-ओ -जवाहिर चाहिए मुझे
ये सब लेकिन तेरी  मुस्कान से बढ़ के थोड़े है

सुना है बड़ा शानो शौक़त है साहब-ए -मसनद का
मगर उनका जलवा , खुदा की शान से बढ़के थोड़े है

काशी, काबा या हो कलीसा, सब अपनी जगह हैं
इनकी क़ीमत मगर किसी इंसान से बढ़के थोड़े है

माना की  हवा से बातें करती हैं उसके महल की मीनारें
लेकिन उसकी बुलन्दी इस आसमान से बढ़के थोड़े है

वैसे तो  पढ़ा है मैंने खुसरो,ज़ौक़ और ग़ालिब को  भी
लेकिन उनकी तहरीरें ‘अब्द’ के दीवान से बढ़के थोड़े है





Thursday, May 24, 2018

लघुकथा : Storiette

शहर के एक चौराहे पर कुछ हिन्दू और चंद मुसलमान। बहस का मुद्दा है ‘कौन सा धर्म इंसनियत , प्यार और  अमनपसन्दी’ को सब से ज्यादा अहमियत देता है। बात आगे बढ़ती गयी और शहर में दंगा हो गया।

Sunday, May 06, 2018

A NEW GHAZAL


झूठी  वतन परस्ती का यह कारोबार बंद करो
वहशत की तिज़ारत,नफ़रत का बाजार बंद करो


देखो झुलस रहीं हैं  कलियाँ कितनी चमन में
साथ लाये हो  जो,वो मौसम-ए -बहार बंद करो


तेरे इश्क़ से तेरी हमदर्दी से परेशां हैं बहुत लोग
अपना ये झूठा दिखवा ये अपना प्यार बंद करो


मैं जनता हूँ की नहीं है उल्फत तुमको मुझ से
खुदा के वास्ते ये बार बार का इज़हार बंद करो


तेरे फरेब का सलीका है शानदार ,सुभानअल्लाह
चलो मैं तुमसे हार  गया, अब ये तकरार बंद करो


शहर पे  पूरा कब्ज़ा है अब शब-ए -ज़ुल्मात का
अब्द नहीं आएगी वो सहर  इंतज़ार बंद करो

Sunday, April 15, 2018

BOOK REVIEW



Return to frontpage

IN SHORT BOOKS


Peace has Come by Parismita Singh 

Peace has Come by Parismita Singh reviewed by Abdullah Khan
MORE-IN

Ordinary people try to lead their lives in extraordinary times

In this achingly good collection of short stories by Parismita Singh, each of the eight tales unravels in a part of upper Assam which is also often referred to as ‘Bodoland’. The word ‘Peace’ in the title refers to a period of ceasefire between the government and the Bodo rebels.
Living in a post 9/11 world, we well understand the meaning of ‘collateral damage’, but we seldom realise that ‘ceasefire’ also claims its share of victims, and like a war, it also comes with collateral damage. Through her stories, Singh tells us how common people suffer during “the uneasy, purgatory like time of ceasefire”, which is really no better than wartime.
The stories are about the extraordinary efforts of ordinary people to lead normal lives in troubled times. In the opening story, ‘A Time Made of Glass’, we meet Rwmaii and Sylvia, who are in love with each other. Their love story comes to an abrupt end when Sylvia is married off to a powerful militant leader. Later, they plan to elope, but Rwmaii realises that Sylvia’s husband can easily harm his family and decides to forsake Sylvia.
The plotlines are often predictable. But Singh’s uniqueness lies in the way she carves out her characters, looking deep into their heart and minds, so that readers immediately empathise with them.
Whether they are Bodos, Nepalis, Bengalis, Koch-Rajbongshis, Rabhas, Muslims or Santalis, every ethnic and religious group suffers in the socio-political turmoil happening around them. And despite their cultural differences, their pain and daily struggles are alike.
Most of them don’t understand politics until someone explains it to them. Their powerlessness in the face of forces beyond their control makes them one with residents of war-ravaged zones across the world.
Even while the stories evoke compassion, Singh maintains a steady distance from her characters. She describes their lives in exquisite detail, like a documenter. At places, however, the descriptions drag on and in some stories the stage seems overcrowded.
The Mumbai-based screenwriter and critic’s first novel Patna Blues will be published later this year.
http://www.thehindu.com/books/peace-has-come-by-parismita-singh-reviewed-by-abdullah-khan/article23523841.ece

SUNDAY GHAZAL

ग़ज़ल 



Faile huye sehra mein sarab sa hai                                            फैले    हुए   सेहरा  में   सराब  सा  है 
Mera wazood bas ek   khawab sa hai                                        मेरा   वज़ूद  बस  एक ख़्वाब  सा  है 

Har lafz unka hai  muamaa jaisa                                             हर  लफ़्ज़  उनका है मुअम्मा 
 जैसा 
Unka harek sawal to jawab sa hai                                           उनका  हरेक  सवाल  तो जवाब सा है 

Jaam nahin,lahu insano ka hai ye                                          जाम  नहीं  लहू  इंसानो  का है ये 
Rang iska bhale kuchh sharab sa hai                                    रंग इसका भले कुछ शराब सा है
 
 Dahakta hua aatish fishan  hai wo                                        दहकता  हुआ आतिश फ़िशां  है वो 
Chehra magar 
 uska ek
 gulab sa hai 
                                   चेहरा मगर 
उसका  एक 
गुलाब सा है 

Chandni raat hai , phir bhi teergi har taraf                      चांदनी रात है फिर भी तीरगी हर तरफ 
Chand ke rukh pe abr k  hizab sa hai                                 चाँद के रुख पे अब्र का  हिज़ाब सा है 





Sunday, April 08, 2018

GHAZAL



हर   शाख़ पे फूल नहीं,  ख़ार ही ख़ार चाहिए
हाकिम-ए-शहर को नहीं गुल-ए-गुलज़ार चाहिए


जिस्म  वो जां  तो उसने खरीद लिया कब का
अब  उसे दिल  पे भी पूरा  अख्तियार चाहिए


खुले  हैं मुल्क  में वहशत के  कारखाने कितने
और  तुमको  अब भी कोई  रोज़गार चाहिए


दिल  तोड़ने  का हर एक नुख्सा है हमारे पास
लेकिन तुम्हें  तो दिल जोड़ने काऔज़ार चाहिए


नफरत की बारिशों का भी मजा लीजिए ज़रा  
क्यों तुम्हे मोहब्बत की एक ठंडी फुहार चाहिए


पहले तो दावत ए चमन दिया ख़िज़ाँ को तुमने
अब  ये कहते  हो की मौसम ए बहार चाहिए


फुर्सत और आराम  सब अमीरों के चोचले  हैं

अब्द  तुम्हें  क्यों हफ्ते  में एक इतवार चाहिए



Saturday, March 31, 2018

A New Ghazal

ग़ज़ल


उल्फत झलक रही है चश्म-ए -पुर-आब  में
पर  इंकार  भी छुपा  है उसके जवाब  में


कैसे  आज उसने  पहचाना नहीं    मुझे
कल ही मिले थे हम तो उससे  ख़्वाब में


हर  सांस का हिसाब  रहता है उसके पास
ये वक्त  बड़ा माहिर है इल्म-ए -हिसाब  में


क्या कहूँ कितना उसके बोसे में है  सुरूर
मस्ती  कहां मिलेगी मुझे उतनी  शराब में


किस में ताब-ए -नज़ारा है ऐसे जमाल का
इसलिए  तो आएं  हैं वो यहाँ पे नक़ाब में


धड़कन ये चल पड़ी जब उसने मुझे  छुआ
कुछ अक्सीर सा असर है उसके शबाब में


गर   देखूं  तो होश गुम न देखूं तो  बेकली
अल्लाह जाने फंस  गया हूं किस अज़ाब में






Thursday, March 29, 2018

A NEW GHAZAL


ग़ज़ल


दिल मे मेरे बस  एक नन्हा सा ख़्वाब था
उस ख्वाब की आँखों में दर्द बेहिसाब था

गैरों से लेकर नूर चमकता फिरे है जो
रोशन फलक पर कल वही माहताब था

मेरे ही खत टुकड़े लिफाफे में मिले मुझको
मेरी वफ़ा का उनका कुछ ऐसा जवाब था

दिया ज़ख्म जो भी उसने मैंने लिया ख़ुशी से
मैं जानता था उसका कुछ बाक़ी हिसाब था

बहुत दूर तक था ये ज़ुल्मत का सिलसिला
चाँद ने चेहरे पे फिर से डाला नक़ाब था

अपनी खलिश को लेकर पहुंचे जहाँ पर ‘अब्द”
माहौल उस महफ़िल का भी पुर-इज़्तिराब था





Saturday, February 24, 2018

My Second Novel (A work in progress)



ASLAM, ORWELL AND A PORNSTAR


ONE

My wife, Jessie Lane, has been voted the most desirable woman of the planet by askmen.com. Playboy magazine calls her the prettiest pornstar of all time. For me, she is the kindest soul I have ever met. Of course, she is beautiful too, in fact, too beautiful to be real.

Jessie is sobbing and talking to me. I can recognise her mellow voice with a divine lilt. I can sense that she is leaning over me; my skin can feel the warmth of her uneven breath. As her hand touches mine, I have a strong urge to jump out of  bed, hug her, kiss her, and tell her not to worry about me. But, I can’t move my limbs. I can’t open my eyes. My lips feel as if they have been sewn together. Everything around me is cold and dark.

I am lying comatose in a New York Hospital, tied to a life support system. Once, I overheard the doctors telling Jessie that they didn’t know when I’d wake up. In fact, they were not sure of reviving me. I am filled with dread when I think of being stuck in this situation forever. Better to die! I think. But then Jessie tells me, in a choked voice, that I’ll be alright in a couple of days. And I believe her. I have more faith in Jessie’s reassuring words than the doctors’ medical wisdom.

‘Please move aside!’ A female voice with a slight Spanish accent says and Jessie frees my hand. She is Margarita Arellanes Cervantes, my nurse, my caregiver. I suddenly experience a stinging sensation in my veins as if hydrochloric acid has been added to my intravenous fluid. A few seconds later, my thoughts become fuzzy.

Then,multi-hued images from the past begin to inundate my memories: A bullock cart comes into the view. It is trudging along a mud road negotiating the potholes of different shapes and sizes. A dark and stout fellow sits on the driving seat, prodding the oxen between their hind legs with a stick. Just behind him is a tall,well-built young man with reddish white skin, deep brown eyes and a pencil moustache. In the canopied part of the bullock cart is an elderly woman in a blue sari, holding a beautiful and hugely pregnant young woman who is crying with pain.

The man with the pencil moustache is Abba, my father, the pregnant woman my mother, Ammi, and the lady holding Ammi is my aunt, my father’s elder sister.

 Is it a dream? Am I hallucinating? Or are these some old memories? How can I have memories of an event which happened before I was born?

‘But, there are inherited memories. We also borrow memories. The memories can be fake too—something you have never seen or experienced but in course of time you start believing that you have.’  I had read these lines in a book. But, right now, I neither remember the title of the book or the name of the author.




TWO

I was born In Motihari, in the same house in Mescourt Area where Eric Arthur Blair aka George Orwell had seen the light of the day exactly seventy years prior to my birth. On the rainy night of 25th June, 1975, Abba, Ammi, Aunt Zarina, and her husband, Mushtaque Khan, had been returning from a neighbouring village after attending a funeral. Ammi started wailing as soon as the bullock cart reached the Mescourt area of Motihari. Maybe, jerks caused by the pot holed roads had triggered early labour. She was in her eighth month of pregnancy.

Abba didn’t know what to do as our village Hamidpur was still more than 7 miles away. He looked around hoping for  help.

 On one side of the road was a long stretch of bamboo groves, on the other side were four or five dilapidated bungalows, all of them deserted, their walls covered with every kind of wild growth and creepers.There was no soul in the sight as dark cloud shrouded the sky. But then he saw a woman in a black sari in front of one of the dilapidated bungalows.  Telling the bullock cart driver to stop, Abba jumped from the cart, grabbed the hurricane lamp hanging from bamboo side rail and walked to the lady. Wheat complexioned with freckled skin, she had sharp facial features.

Bringing the hurricane lamp close to the lady, Abba asked her was what she was doing in that old bungalow.

‘I live here,’ she said matter of factly.

‘I have heard that this place is haunted,’ Abba said as he looked around surveying the place.

The lady laughed and that made Abba feel uneasy.

‘Besides me there is no ghost here,’ she said. Now, her voice was cold. ‘I am a widow from the nearby village. I have no child. I have no place to live. So, I live here. Once, I used to be the most famous midwife of my village but now, nobody calls a widow like me to facilitate a birth. It is considered a bad omen.’

Abba heard only the word midwife. He asked for help and she agreed instantly. But what she said next made Abba feel there was something wrong with her. ‘Your son was destined to born here, in this bungalow,’ she said in a whispering voice, ‘bring your wife inside the house.’

Abba didn’t have any other option but to let the strange feeling pass. He and Aunt Zarina helped Ammi get down from the cart and walk to the bungalow. Ammi shivered as she stepped in. Cobwebs hung overhead. The walls were green with moss. The floor was strewn with bidi ends.  There was a far corner of the room which seemed relatively clean and they walked over there. The woman stood at some distance with a half-smile on her face. Abba felt a chill whenever he came near her, as if she were a block of ice. My aunt rolled out a straw mat for Ammi to sit on and Abba placed the hurricane lamp near them.




 Outside the house, Uncle Mushtaque tried to start a fire with the dried leaves to boil water.
  As time of confinement drew near, Abba and Uncle Mushtaque stood outside the bungalow. Inside the room the lady did not come near Ammi, but from a distance, she guided Aunt Zarina. Ask your brother for his personal knife. Tell your husband to burn dry leaves outside and boil some water. Massage this or that part of your sister-in-law’s tummy. Ask your sister-in-law to push the baby. Aunt Zarina kept following her instructions in a mechanical sort of way as if she was under a spell. The way the lady talked was peculiar or even bizarre. Her sound was like a scratchy LP record being played on a gramophone.


 At the time of confinement, Abba and Uncle Mushtaque stood outside the bungalow. Inside the room the lady did not come near Ammi, but from a distance, she guided Aunt Zarina. Ask your brother for his personal knife. Tell your husband to burn dry leaves outside and boil some water. Massage this or that part of your sister-in-law’s tummy. Say your sister-in-law to push the baby. Aunt Zarina kept following her instructions in a mechanical sort of way as if she was under a spell. The way the lady talked was peculiar or even bizarre, observed she. Her sound reverberated as a scratchy LP record was being played on a gramophone in a big room.

Half an hour later, I was born, the umbilical cord was cut, Aunt Zarina held me with a glee on her face. Ammi was almost senseless, or rather calm, resting with her eyes closed, in postpartum fatigue.  Aunt Zarina then panicked as she realised I was not crying.

The mysterious old lady panicked too. ‘What happened to Gorakh Nath? Why he is not crying? Slap him on his back.’ This time the lady’s voice was louder and colder.

Aunt Zarina felt the room had suddenly become an ice-box

‘Gorakh! Son Gorakh!’ the lady screamed.

Aunt patted me frantically and I cried in a sharp voice. Pulling me near her chest, Aunt heaved a sigh of relief. Lifting her face to thank the lady and also to ask her why she was calling me with a Hindu name like ‘Gorakh Nath’, she found the lady had disappeared. The window was partially unhinged and shook as a whiff of wind entered the room. Frightened, my aunt shrieked. Abba and Uncle Mushtaque rushed inside. They searched every nook and corner of the bungalow but there was no sign of the lady.

‘Seems to be something wrong about that lady, brother. Better to be out of this house as soon as possible. She might be a Djinn or a ghost,’ Uncle Mustaque said.

Abba could see the dread on Uncle Mushtaque’s face. Though fear pinched his courage too, Abba tried to put a brave face. ‘Even if she was some kind of spirit, she did not mean to harm us.’ Abba said.



Back to my village, my aunt and Ammi didn’t want to take chance, so, they called the Imam of my village mosque to ward off the evil effect on me.

Reciting holy verses, the clergy blew on my body and assured Ammi that everything was fine. ‘Hamsheera,’ the Imam said, ‘she must be a help send by Allah.’

On the sixth day, Ammi and I were bathed with all the folk rituals, and a feast of goat was organized. The entire village was invited. The drumbeaters in their colourful turbans had been in the courtyard of my house since morning.

That day I got my name: Aslam Sher Khan. I was named after a hockey player who had been a part of India’s world cup winning team a few months prior to my birth. Being a hockey enthuiast it was Abba’s tribute to the Indian team. Abba decided. Ammi approved it.

Years later, I would hear the story of my birth from Aunt Zarina, again and again, and would always suspect that my aunt had been exaggerating the things to make the story sound interesting. Specially, when she told that the old lady had an icy voice, a voice from another world, I simply didn’t believe her. Little did I know that the mysterious lady in black had come to help Ammi with her own agenda. And her invisible presence would always lurk around me. 




























Sunday, December 24, 2017

A New Ghazal

शहर में हर तरफ दिखते हैं हैवान देखिए
है वहशत में मुब्तला हर एक  इंसान देखिए

सर झुका के चलते हैं मोहब्बत है जिनका पेशा
नफ़रतों के ताज़ीरों की  लेकिन ज़रा शान देखिए

ज़िक्र--इलाही  लब पे,  दिल है सनमकदा
कितने फख्र से लोग बेचते हैं  ईमान देखिए

गुनाह तो कुछ भी था मक़तूल का,लेकिन
उनको क़त्ल--आदम का था  बहुत अरमान देखिए

चलता रहा यूहीं  गर आदावतों का सिलसिला
फिर तो बर्बदियों का है पूरा इमकान देखिए

सरकश  हूँ मैं 'अब्दतो सदाकत के साथ हूँ
सर पे कफ़न मेरे और  हथेली पे जान देखिए










Shahar mein har taraf dikhte hain,haiwaan dekhiye
Hai wahshat mein mubtala har ek insaan dekhiye

Sar jhuka ke chalte hain mohabbat hai jinka pesha
Nafraton ke taziron ki  lekin zara  shaan dekhiye

Zikr-e-illahi lab pe,  dil hai sanamkada
Kitne fakhr se log bechte hain imaan dekhiye

Gunah to kuchh bhi na tha maqtool ka,lekin
Unko  qatl-e-adam ka tha bahut armaan dekhiye

Chalta raha  yuhin agar adavaton ka silsila
Phir to barbadiyon ka hai pura imkaan dekhiye

Saraksh hoon main 'abd' to sadakat ke saath hoon
Sar pe kafan mere aur hai hatheli pe jaan dekhiye







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