Sahir’s taKhallus

March 31st, 2010

How does a poet chooses his pseudonym? Specifically, the question is, how did Sahir chose his?  Sahir which means “magician”, was definitely a pseudonym worthy of this poet who created magic with his words.  Note that Sahir, nee Abdul Hayee, was born in 1921 in Ludhiana.  His life-story has been talked about in several posts on this blog.  See the posts under the category “Articles” and “Documentary” on the left sidebar.   None of them have mentionned how Sahir chose his taKhallus or pen-name.

Recently there was a discussion on ALUP about the origin of Sahir’s taKhallus.  I thought it would be pertinent to sum up the discussion here (which wasn’t much of a discussion regarding the authenticity of this claim).

The original poster of this thread (linked above) mentionned that he heard on a Radio program that Sahir chose his taKhallus from a sh’er he heard written by the noted Urdu poet Allama Iqbal.  The sh’er in question is:

is chaman mein hoNge paida bulbul-e-sheraaz bhi,
saiNkRon saahir bhi hoNge saahib-e-eijaaz bhi

The meaning of this sh’er was further discussed in the ALUP thread, the gist of which is being presented here:

The term bulbul-e-sheraaz most probably refers to the famous Farsi poet Haafiz, whose name was Khvaajah Shamsuddin Muhammad and as he hailed from Shiiraaz, hence the word Sherazi making him Hafiz Sherazi.  He was also known as “bulbul-e-Shiiraaz”.  The term “saahib-e-eijaaz” refers to those who perform miracles.  The literal meaning of this couplet would be

There will be poets like Haafiz who will be born in this garden
There will also be thousands of magicians and those who perform miracles

Interesting to know that Sahir actually settled on his taKhallus after reading this sh’er.


aao k koi Khwaab buneiN

March 31st, 2010

Here’s another nazm by Sahir Ludhianvi:

aao k koi Khwaab buneiN, kal ke vaaste
varnaa ye raat, aaj ke sangeen daur ki
Das legi jaan-o-dil ko kuchh aise k jaan-o-dil
taa-umr phir na koi haseeN Khwaab bun sakeiN

go hamse bhaagti rahii ye tez-gaam umr
KhwaaboN ke aasre pe kaTii hai tamaam umr

zulfoN ke Khwaab, hoNToN ke Khwaab, aur badan ke Khwaab
mairaaj-e-fan ke Khwaab, kamaal-e-suKhan ke Khwaab
tahzeeb-e-zindagii ke, faroGh-e-watan ke Khwaab
zindaa ke Khwaab, koocha-e-daar-o-rasan ke Khwaab

ye Khwaab hii to apni jawaanii ke paas the
ye Khwaab hii to apne amal ki asaas the
ye Khwaab mar gaye haiN to berang hai hayaat
yuuN hai ki jaise dast-e-tah-e-sang hai hayaat

aao k koi Khwaab buneiN kal ke vaaste
varnaa ye raat aaj ke sangeen daur kii
Das legi jaan-o-dil ko kuchh aise k jaan-o-dil
taa-umr phir na koii haseeN Khwaab bun sakeiN


sangeen daur = difficult era, time
taa-umr = whole life
tez-gaam = fast, speedy
mairaaj-e-fan = proficiency of an art-form
kamaal-e-suKhan = proficiency in poetry
tahzeeb-e-zindagii = civilized life (mannerful life)
faroGh-e-watan = countries progress
zindaa = prison
koocha-e-daar-o-rasan = the path that leads to gallows (martyrdom perhaps?)
asaas = base, foundation
dast-e-tah-e-sang = hand under a rock

ye haNste hue phool – pyaasaa

March 10th, 2010

Updating with a song this time, technically I can easily classify this under nazm as well as it is a beautiful nazm, but it was sung in Pyaasaa (Guru Dutt, 1957, Mohd. Rafi).  Attaching the video as well at the bottom from youtube.

ye haNste hue phool, ye mahka hua gulshan
ye raNg meiN aur noor meiN, Doobi hui raaheiN

ye phooloN ka ras pee ke machalte hue bhaNvre

maiN douN bhi to kyaa douN tumheiN aie shoKh nazaaroN
le de ke mere paas, kuchh aaNsoo haiN kuchh aaheiN

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