Thursday, June 6, 2013

Matka Bharke Sooraj Ulta... (Pandrah Paanch Pachhattar)

While browsing through Gulzar's book 'Pandrah Paanch Pachhattar' (Fifteen Fives are Seventeen Five), I suddenly came across this beautiful nazm. I say suddenly, because I had read the book before, and it was like I had completely skipped this poem. And what a poem it is! 

Somewhat similar in sentiments to the lines 'Tu ab se pahle sitaaron mein bas rahi thi kabhi' by Sahir Ludhianvi (incidently, one of Gulzar's favorite lyricists); this nazm goes one step further and weaves the entire persona of the leading lady and her meeting with the poet around the universe and its miracles. 

And since I've always been in love with seas, seashores, sunsets and such; the fact this meeting takes place after sunset and before sunrise makes it all the more alluring to me. How I long for a romantic night-out by the sea!

Not surprisingly at all for a Gulzar poem, it once again makes stellar use of similes and metaphors.

मटका भरके सूरज उल्टा, शाम ने दूर समंदर की दहलीज पे जाकर 
रात का पश्मीना पहने तुम आई थीं !

You came!
When the evening was pouring a pitcher-full of sun at the far end of the sea
You came, wearing the pashmeena of the silken night

रात तुम्हारे जिस्म से फिसली पड़ती थी 
जिस्म तुम्हारा एक जलते सय्यारे सा 
दूध और धूप से गूंधी मिट्टी 
एक फ़लक भर खुश्बू थी आवाज़ तुम्हारी !

The silken night kept sliding off your body
Your body, like a smoldering celestial object
Molded from clay kneaded in milk and sunshine
Your voice, like a sky-full of fragrance!

तुम बोल रही थीं 
होंठ तुम्हारे चाँद की काशें काट रहे थे !
मैं हैरां ...
हैरां हैरां ...

As you spoke,
Your lips sliced slivers off the moon
I was disconcerted ...
Bewildered, amazed ...

मटका भर के सूरज का, एक और सहर निकली पानी से 
उँगली थाम के सुबह की तुम पानी पर चलते-चलते एक और उफ़क को लौट गईं !

And when another morning emerged from the sea, with a pitcher-full of sun
You went back to another horizon, holding the morning's finger in your hand

वक़्त के पुरइसरार किसी 'कॉमेट' की तरह 
क़ायनात से आईं तुम और क़ायनात में लौट गईं !!

Time-bound, like a comet
You went back to the universe you came from !!


  1. I love your blog! I love Gulzar even though I don't always understand him. I am glad to have found your site!

    Ab yeh bataaiye..
    होंठ तुम्हारे चाँद की काशें काट रहे थे !
    what does he mean?


    1. Thank you Vandan! Glad you liked the blog :)

      About those lines - (I think) it could mean one of these two things-
      a) The words coming out of your lips are carving slivers of the moon. (You know how the moon decreases as it approaches the new moon (poonam). The poet feels that the words coming out of the heroine's mouth are like these slivers, hence responsible for this decrease in moon's size)

      b) Your lips are beautiful, as if made out of slivers of the moon itself.

    2. Hey Kanupriya!
      I stumbled across your blog. Interesting. If you want, I maybe able to get you an autographed copy of Gulzar Saab's book of lyrics for you.
      Do let me know at

  2. It would be very helpful for people like me who can understand Hindi very well but can't read it so well, if you write the Original songs or poems in English script.

    1. Point taken :) Will do that from now on

  3. Hey Kanupriya,

    I am just amazed by your wok.You are briliant.
    I am also a big fan of gulzar sahab,so I think that publishing his poems from his books is not the right thing to do.translating songs are good but those poems are exclusive,let the people spend some money for them.(I am not criticizing you,its just a suggestion.)


    1. Hi Sameer,
      I was thinking along the same line. You're right, I won't post any more poems, unless they have also appeared in some movie.
      Thanks for your comment :)

  4. Hi kanupriya, your efforts here are appreciable. The content and the way you explain the poem, shows your interest in poetry and especially in Gulzar Saab's poetry...

    I am also a big fan of sir..
    Have read several books of him ... Please send me some good one by Gulzar Saab

    1. Hello! I like all his books, but "Raat Pashmine Ki" is one of my favorites.


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