Thursday, September 22, 2011

Abhi na parda giraao (Pukhraaj)

A totally amateurish sketch of Gulzar by me
I've presented two interpretations of this gair-filmi nazm in paragraphs marked (1) and (2). Which one, if any, do you think makes more sense?

Like many other poets, Gulzar's fascination with death is quite apparent in many of his couplets and poems. Also apparent is his fascination with stage and characters (most famously heard in the brilliant Rajesh Khanna monologue from the movie Anand (1971)) - the latter probably resulting from his being a director and screenplay writer.

(1) In this nazm, he seems to be talking about the death of a person. The pain of someone who has lost a near one, and is not ready to let go just now. (Like the song 'Na leke jaao mere dost ka janaaza hai' from Fiza (2000)). Para-1 of the nazm supports this version.

(2) He could also possibly be talking about putting an end to a thought. Sometimes, when a writer/poet has been playing with a thought for long enough, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere, it's a predicament - whether to carry forward an idea probably long dead, or letting it die when something good could come out of it. This idea is particularly reinforced by the second para of the nazm.

अभी न पर्दा गिराओ
अभी न पर्दा गिराओ, ठहरो, कि दास्ताँ आगे और भी है
अभी न पर्दा गिराओ, ठहरो!
अभी तो टूटी है कच्ची मिटटी, अभी तो बस जिस्म ही गिरे हैं
अभी तो किरदार ही बुझे हैं
अभी सुलगते हैं रूह के ग़म, अभी धडकते हैं दर्द दिल के
अभी तो एहसास जी रहा है

ये लौ बचा लो जो थकके किरदार की हथेली से गिर पड़ी है
ये लौ बचा लो यहीं से उठेगी जुस्तजू फिर बगूला बन कर
यहीं से उठेगा कोई किरदार फिर इसी रौशनी को लेकर
कहीं तो अंजाम-ओ-जुस्तजू के सिरे मिलेंगे
अभी न पर्दा गिराओ, ठहरो!

अंजाम = Anjaam = Result
जुस्तजू = Justjoo = Search, Desire
बगूला = Bagoola = Whirlwind. Bagoola is different from Bagula (बगुला) = Crane (the bird)

Wait, don't bring the curtains down, there's more to the story
Stop, don't bring the curtains down yet!
It's just the clay breaking down, only the bodies falling
Just the characters being extinguished
Smoldering still are sorrows of the soul; pain in the heart still throbbing
Feelings are not dead yet

Save this flame that has fallen off the tired character's grip
Save this flame! From it a whirlwind of desire will grow once more
From here a new character will take shape again,
This search has to end somewhere*
Wait, don't bring the curtains down just now!

My two cents:
1. I could not quite make out what the line marked with * meant. Any comments?
2. No comments on the clumsy sketching please :D! It's just a fan-girl thing. Also, after all, the blog is not about my amateurish sketching; it's about the amateurish writing - and you are free to comment upon that! :P

Abhi na parda giraao
Abhi na parda giraao, thahro, ki daastaan aage aur bhi hai
Abhi na parda giraao, thahro!
Abhi to tooti hai kachchi mitti, abhi to bas jism hi gire hain
Abhi to kirdaar hi bujhe hain
Abhi sulagte hain rooh ke gham, abhi dhadakte hain dard dil ke
Abhi to ehsaas jii raha hai

Ye lau bacha lo jo thak-ke kirdaar ki hatheli se gir padi hai
Ye lau bacha lo yahin se uthegi justjoo phir bagoola bankar
Yahin se uthega koi kirdaar phir isi roshni ko lekar
Kahin to anjaam-o-justjoo ke sire milenge
Abhi na parda giraao, thahro!


  1. Never heard this song (nazm)

    Good one

  2. maybe 'coz it's never been in a movie. I have a book called Pukhraaj, and it's from there :)

  3. nice read

    I agree with your interpretations on 1st para

  4. thanks Anon :) I, too, think para 1 is more possibly the original thought behind this nazm.

  5. It din't look like written for a person's death.
    It more looks like saying more about the character one plays on stage. How a person gets into the feeling of a character and how it is difficult for him to come back to normal soon after that curtains are down.
    The sorrow of death in here you mean the death of the character or in person?

    BTW, lovely nazm ... and shukra-guzaar hai aapke jo aapne yahan pe use leekha hai !

  6. @Sam:
    that's as good a interpretation as any. and a very genuine point as well. I think that's the most correct one :)

  7. I agree with SK on the interpretation. On the line marked *, I think he wants to say that the paths/ends of desires and the actual results will meet somewhere.

    And I like the fact that you focus on non-bollywood stuff as well on this blog.

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  9. Wow. I can think of so many interpretations my head is starting to spin. I think the main theme is continuity - a twist in the "all the world is a stage..." concept. Gulzar saab seems to be saying that the story is bigger than the characters. So while one set of characters leaves to be replaced by another, the story marches on. Characters die, the story doesn't. And each one of us believes that in the end it will all make sense. But then again, who has seen the end? A bit abstract, but a powerful idea.

    I can't wait for my copy of Pukhraj to be delivered. :)

    1. That is one idea! This surely seems to be one layered piece of poetry. The deeper you dig, the more layers it shows.

      Pukhraj would be a priced possession for any Gulzar fan :)

  10. Kahin to anjaam-o-justjoo ke sire milenge
    I think he wants to say that
    "by watching this result (of the play) a new search/desire will begin"

    1. He's a master of words... He alone truly knows what he means :)


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