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.
रात का पश्मीना पहने तुम आई थीं !
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 !!