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Ai Mohabbat Tere Anjaam Pe: A Ballad of Failed Love

February 21, 2020 | By

Ai mohabbat tere anjaam pe rona aayaa – a Shakeel ghazal is one of the best on the point of failed love, rendered timeless by Begum Akhtar’s gaayaki. Vijay Kumar translates it into English.

Begum Akhtar

Begum Akhtar

Ai mohabbat tere anjaam pe rona aayaa…

This ghazal of Shakeel Badayuni, that has failed love for its central idea, acquired, in the gaayaki of Begum Akhtar, an impact that extended beyond the connoisseurs, turned it reasonably popular. The reason: the innate sadness in Begum’s gaayaki finding an obvious affinity for the sentiments in this ghazal. This was a creative confluence of the highest order.

I also have a feeling that this gem of a ghazal of early fifties at least inspired the opening lines of a later day Sahir ghazal that muses, generally, on a life coming unstuck: kabhi khud pe kabhi haalat pe rona aaya / baat nikali to har aik baat pe rona aaya…

But this Shakeel ghazal is one of the best on the point of failed love, rendered timeless by Begum’s gaayaki.

The ghazal with its rendering in English:

kabhī taqdīr kā mātam kabhī duniyā kā gila
manzil-e-ishq meñ har gaam pe ronā aayā

Lamenting the fate now
And remonstrating with the world the moment next
I cried at every step to my destination love!

yuuñ to har shaam umīdoñ meñ guzar jaatī hai
aaj kuchh baat hai jo shaam pe ronā aayā

Though I survive the evenings in anticipation
What snapped today that I lament the evening itself!

mujh pe hī ḳhatm huā silsila-e-nauhagarī
is qadar gardish-e-ayyām pe ronā aayā

As all mourning sat on me, finally
I thus lamented my own vicissitudes!

jab huā zikr zamāne meñ mohabbat kā ‘shakīl’
mujh ko apne dil-e-nākām pe ronā aayā

When the world at large alluded to love
Shakil lamented his own heart distraught!

ai mohabbat tire anzaam par rona aayaa…
jaane kyuuñ aaj tire naam pe ronā aayā

More to read

Mehdi Hassan: Touching the Finer Chords of Emotion in Music

Mujhe Le Chalo: An Ode to the Lost World by Rajinder Krishan

Bipade More Rakkha Karo: The Prayer to Be Fearless (Translation of Tagore Song)

Born in 1950, Vijay Kumar’s ancestral roots were in Uttar Pradesh. He took early schooling in Ludhiana, Punjab; secondary school and college education in Kanpur; a post-graduate in Statistics, and much later, obtained a law degree from the Delhi University. A government job brought him to Delhi, where he had the opportunity to handle national policies on education and culture. His last professional engagement was in the Ministry of Tourism, where he was the Director, heading the division responsible for the promotion of education and skills specific to the tourism sector. Vijay Kumar is a recipient of the National Hospitality Education Award 2011-12, in recognition of his contribution towards skill development initiatives for the tourism and hospitality sector. His early childhood was shaped by a familial milieu that was quasi rural, with songs and music for every occasion. His mother had a good memory for Kabir and Tulsidas and she recited them. This music sensitization mutated into a love for the Hindi film music as he grew.
All Posts of Vijay Kumar

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2 thoughts on “Ai Mohabbat Tere Anjaam Pe: A Ballad of Failed Love

  • Monica Kar

    One of my very favorite Begum Akhtar ghazals. Somehow didn’t realize this was Shakeel!
    Loved your connect with Sahir and the interpretation of this.
    Will hear it more carefully now.
    Vijay ji please likhte rahiye.

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