जब छोड़ चले लख्ननऊ नगरी ,
कहें हाल के हम पर क्या ग़ुज़्ररी
There is an attachment that each of us has to the places where we were born.Having spent our childhood in wonder running after butterflies and chasing rainbows,playing silly little games with our chums,eating and sleeping at will,getting scolded by almost everyone who got annoyed by our constant flow of energy.There is really no difference in the places and people whether now and then,only we have changed.When we were young everything around us was a posiibility,a dream,a hope,a mystery.As life took us through its myriad lanes of deciet,competition,money,power,lust,information,death,destruction what got killed in us was the simplicity of our heart,the innocence.That is one reason we keep coming back to the time and place where we had felt alive.
Another strong attachment is Family.Father,Mother,Siblings,Uncles,Aunts cousins.You have a sense of getting rooted,a sense of belonging,you don’t just exist here,you live.You make what this place is all about.The people around you are yours.They think,talk,walk,learn,fail,laugh like you.Their actions are similiar and their reactions same.You don’t belong to Lucknow,it belongs to you.You are a part of the landscape not an alien planted from outside .There is no possibility that you can find that level of identification,connect and concern anywhere else.
लखनऊ हम पर फिदा और हम फिदा ए लखनऊ,
क्या है ताक़त आसमां की ,हमसे छुड़ाए लखनऊ
You can take me out of Lucknow
But you can never take Lucknow out of me.
My love for poetry comes from the city I lived and loved in.When times were bad and friends were not around I found peace in books and poetry.Must be in my DNA as I instantly took to shaayari as it had always been a part of my being,for ages.Majaaz Lucknowi on whose book I have named this blog inspired me and I continue to discover new gems every now and then.I recently saw an old picture of him and found that my father used to look almost like him in his younger days.Both of them belong to a place near Barabanki.I am sure people used to dress that way in those times and looks were inspired by cinema but that’s how a colletive mind is born.A mind that cannot but think similiarly.As I travelled more and more I realized that how different we were from other people and how we got a feeling of calmness when I was amongst my own.In India everything starts and ends with religion whether you are a hindu or a muslim but in China many of the young people do not even have the concept of religion,even God.
जिन से हम छूट गए अब वो जहां कैसे हैं
वो मक़ीं कैसे हैं शीशे के मकां कैसे हैं
ए सबा तू तो उधर से ही गुज़रती होगी
उस गली में मेरे पैरों के निशां कैसे हैं
Now I am asking for trouble but I will speak the truth nevertheless.The concept and idea of beauty changes from place to place but not really from time to time.I always found women from Lucknow more attractive not only because of their face and form but also their word and thought drew my mind more than the others.The nazaaqat , nafaasat,the values,ethos,whims and fancies belong only to the women born in this beautiful city.Once again enlarging the context you will seldom find westeners getting attracted to African women or Arabs getting attracted to chinese.I am not talking sex but actual relationships.It is very difficult to relate to someone who is very different from you.at least for lesser evolved minds like me.I am not John Lenon.
खुदा आबाद रखे लखनऊ फिर भी गनीमत है
कहीं न कहीं कोई अच्छी सूरत दिख ही जाती है
And lastly you have to come back where it all started
बहुत धूप थी ज़रा सी शाम कर लें
बहुत दौड़ॆ ज़रा आराम कर लें
खुद को खो कर इस शहर की खाक़ में
नए फिर अपने जिस्म ओ जान कर लें
In our parts older women will put it something like this :
अऊते कैसे नाहीं , उनकी नाल हिएं गड़ी जऊन है
( He had to die where his umbilical chord lies buried)
Even Josh Malihabadi has said :
अब्र तक़ रहने ना देना तुम दक़न की खाक़ में
दफ्न करना अपने शायर को वतन की खाक़ में
(Literally translates don’t let me be there in deccan till eternity,bury your poet in the dust of his beloved land.)
Above lines were written by Josh Malihabadi when he was appointed in the royal court in Hyderabad and after almost a century I am writing about the same emotion living in Hyderabad.
So I just hope that one day when all is done and over I will get a chance to pass my days in the bylanes and bazaars of Lucknow enjoying a drink in the evening and a walk in the morning.