Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Zahera


Zahera is a Turkish/Arabic name which has various meanings attached to it. Zahera is radiance, she is a white, blossoming flower, as bright and luminous as dawn... Zahera is you, Zahera is me... She is in each one of us. The little moments of brightness in our lives is what Zahera is...

This is my first attempt at writing a Urdu Short Story. I have presented the first part of the story in this post. The Video or A/V is a vocal rendering to the words written by me. I have attempted to translate my words in English. You can refer to the translation for reference. The ghazal/thumari has been selected from various sources. The voice/narration/composition is my own, and the photographs have been taken from the Internet.

Suggestion: Buffer the entire video and play it on full screen

Original Text:
Zahera - Part One

Unki aab daar aankhon se maano aansu rukte nahin the... Har lamhe ko masroofiyat mein badalne ki hazaaron naakaam koshishon ke baad unhone socha ke ab is bechain ,beqaraar jism ko fursat ke kuch pal de dein. Jism maut ko mujassam hona bhi na chahta tha. Yaadon ke qafas mein naa jaane kitne khwaab batore rakhti thi... 'Khaalah' 'Khaalah' keh ke pukaarte the log unhe... Jab mukhaalif ne bhi yaaron ki tarah dagaa de diya aur apni mehfil se door kar diya to khaalah ko maano aise khaalipann ne gher liya jaise burkhe ke saaye mein chupi timtimaati sard aankhein ho. Puraane postcardon ka ek majmaa banaye rakha tha... Zahera ke bheje postcard the woh.

Zahera... Zahera... Zahera.... yaad karte karte, khaalah ki boodhi aankhon mein aisi saqib nazar aane lagti, maano jaan atki ho unki us ladki mein... Train mein mili thi ek roz... Dilli se Lakhnau jaa rahi thi woh bhi... Saamne waali seat pe baithi thi... Chikan ka kadhaidaar dupatta maano sar pe tik ta hi na ho... halki gulaabi salwaar ke silvatein kaale naqaab ke peeche se jhaank rahe the. Un mein maknoon narm nange paon mein bandhe dhaage jaise do bareek chaandi ke paazaib chipe the. Unki sheereen mauseeqi jab Khaala ke kaanon pe padti to maano raag-e-dil ko qaraar mil jaata.

Khaalah bachpan se hi baatuni qism ki thi. Mauka milte hi logon se humnavaaii kar leti. Zahera se bhi kuch aisi guftagu hui ki rukne ka naam na liya. Do tanha be-kas aurton ko masroor hone ka isse accha kya bahana milta? Zahera ne bataya ke uske shauhar barri fauj mein sipaahi hain. Watan ki khidmat mein Kashmeer ki vaadiyon mein hi unka basera rehta. Do saal ho gaye the nikaah ko gar deedar bas ek baar hi hua tha. Muntazar ke intezaar mein tanha raatein fughaan ke shab mein badal jaati... Har saher , darvaaze pe hasrat-e-deedar hota. Magar unka aana to maano ab khwaab sa lagne laga tha...

‘Nakkhas’ ki un tang galiyon mein ek chote se makaan mein Zahera ne apna aashiyaan banaya tha. Aangan mein jab achaar ke martabaan bhar jaate tab woh unhe sametne jaaya karti thi. Dhoop mein chamakte woh rangeen shishiyan bhi uske tanhaaii ke aage pheeke lagte. Kabhi kabar ek purane se takht par baith woh kuch gungaati nazar aati thi. Maano khud se baatein kar rahi ho. Padosiyon ne bhi kayi majrooh kar dene waali ghazalein suni thi...
Painted by Anukriti Sharma, Nov 1, 2011

Translation:

It seemed that her bright eyes could no longer behold tears. Failing miserably even after innumerable attempts to change every moment into comfort and leisure, she thought, why not give this anxious, restless body a few moments of rest. But her body did not want to embody/embrace death. She kept countless dreams collected and captured in the cage of memories. ‘Khaalah(Aunt) , Khaalah’ that is how she was known to the world... When opponents too betrayed her like her friends, and abandoned her, Khaalah was enveloped in a cloud of emptiness... This emptiness seemed like a woman's cold, twinkling eyes, hidden behind a veil (Burkha). She had stacked a lot of old postcards... All were sent by Zahera...

Zahera....Zahera...Zahera...whenever her thought crossed the mind, Khaalah's old eyes filled with brightness... It seemed that her life depended on the girl... They had met in a train...Zahera too was travelling from Delhi to Lucknow... seated in front of her. A Chikan embroidered stole constantly uncovered her head . The creases of her light pink Salwar(Pyjamas) peeped from the black coloured veil... Hidden within its folds, tied on smooth, nude feet were two thin thread-like anklets. Whenever its sweet melody reached khaalah's ears, the strings of her heart played musical notes.

Khaalah had been talkative since childhood. Given an opportunity, she could befriend any one. Even with Zahera, the kind of interaction she had was so delightful that it continued endlessly. What better way to rejoice/please two helpless, lonely women? Zahera said that her husband was a soldier in Indian Army. Dedicated to the service of the country, he had made the valleys of Kashmir his abode. Even after two years of marriage, she had seen him just once... Waiting for one awaited, lonely evenings turned into nights of lamentation... Every morning she awaited his arrival standing at her doorstep. But now,  his homecoming seemed like a faraway dream...

Zahera had created a little home for herself in the congested alleys of Nakkhas (part of Old Lucknow). When her courtyard was filled with pickle pots, she went to assemble them. Even those colourful glass pots, illuminated by sunlight, seemed faded in the face of her loneliness. Sometimes she could be seen seated on an old armchair, humming verses ... as if talking to herself. Even the neighbours had heard many heart-wrenching couplets/ghazals/songs..

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20 comments/suggestions:

Sahir said...

Subhan'allah...!! Sabse pehle maadum hoti urdu zuban mein likhne ki koshih par meri mubarakbat.
Be-shaq ek zaheen aghaz hai..!

Ab tak afsane ko aapne shafaf aur suljha hua rakha hai umeed-o-darkhwast hai ke aage ke kishton mein aisa hi rakhengi !

Ek jurrat aur kar raha huun, aap ise urdu ke ek aur aashiq ka utawalapan jaan ke muaaf rakhein. Afasana ek aurat ki nazar se likha gaya hai aur isme markazi kirdar bhi zanana hai isliye alfazon mein thodi lachak..thodi aur ada layee ja sakti hai.

Shukriya,
Sahir

confused soul said...

Wow the urdu, I could understand and the translation was good too.. This was a nice story.. Good read! :)

Ashwini Sane said...

That was very beautiful. Am also waiting for my husband to come back he too is in the army. But very well written. My best wishes, looking forward to read more!

Andy said...

Hello.
Visiting from the group Bloggers.

WoW! The music is so haunting!
Thanks for the translation.
I love the name "Zahera".
Awesome imagery.
Touching & heartfelt.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Thoughts Of Beuty In The Stillness OF DAwn

Menachery said...

BEAUTIFULLLL.. loved the voice ovber, loved th eurdu- translation... this one is simply brillaint.. oh a nd the music has a haunting effext to it.. just amazing

Divenita said...

Loved the write and the painting too!

जाट देवता (संदीप पवाँर) said...

great work

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Sahir
Shukriya... Aapne behad khoobsoorati se apni baat rakhi hai mere saamne... umeed karti hun ke aapki umeedon pe khari utrungi... Jald hi poori karne waali hun Zahera ki adhoori kahani :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Confused Soul
Thank you dear for such a nice/warm comment :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Ashwini...
Thank you dear... hope your husband comes back soon... being a wife of an army officer is very difficult... You make me proud...Salute! ma'am :) will complete my story soon... Till then take very good care of yourself...

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Andy
Hello... Good to know that you came here from Bloggers :) i saw your blog too... Loved it! :) Thank you for liking the music and the name... even I loved the name... Your words have touched me... made my day!

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Menachery
Well thank you soooo much... You are the first one to like my voice-over :) i am glad you liked it... Thank you for such a beautiful comment. I guess you are also on indiblogger aren't you?

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Divenita
Thank you dear... I am glad that you like my painting :)

@jat Devta
Thank you :)

Rajendra Raikwar said...

I will surely visit again

jitaditya said...

I loved the Urdu part... although I might not have got a couple of words here and there, I found it delightful... there is a certain charm in Urdu which was evident in old Bollywood films... sad nobody cares now!

would like to see more of it...

jitaditya said...

also... lovely painting...:)

Nikhil Poddar said...

This post is 'AWESOME'..

Why don't you write more... don't want me to drool over my laptop?? or some other reason? :P

Regareds.
www.thenikiller.blogspot.com

संजय भास्कर said...

very beautiful...good work

Sahir said...

Hamare Lakhnau mein ek mukhtasar sa qissa kahte hain-

Hua yuun ki ek baar ek afsanago ustad kisi chote nawab sa'ab ko qissa suan rahe the.
Afsana dilchasp ho chal tha- Shahzaadi ko le kar do mulqon mein baat than gayee thi.
Bahadur sultan apni begamaat se rukhsat maang kar bahar aa chuke the.
Unhone shamsheer haath mein uthaa lee thi aur sipahiyon se meukhatib ho kar kah rahe the-"Bahaduron, aaj faisle ka waqt hai...".!
Nawab sa'ab chaukadi maar ke afsana sun rahe the.
Itne mein koi baanda bhagta hua aaya aur afsanago ustaad ke kaan mein aa ka bola ki huzuur aapke sasur mohtaram inteqaal farma gaye hain.
Ustaad ko kato to khoon nahin.
Afsana agar aage na badha to nawab sa'ab naraz, aur agar fauran sasuraal na gaye to bhi galat. Unhone apne ek shagird ko ishaare se bulaya aur use bataya ki afsana falane jagah tak pahuncha hai aur use achhe se aage badhane ki tasdeeq di.
Shagird ne salaam bajaya aur bola -"aap jaayen, afsana main suna dunga"
Ustaad ne dheere se "badi garmi hai..." kehte hue bahar ki gali pakad lee.
Khair !
Vapas qafan-dafan kar ke aate-aate unhe hafta lag gaya. Jis din nawaab sa'ab ki dyodhi par gaye maare dar ke unhe pasine choot rahe the.
Soch rahe the pata nahin kambakht chele ne kahin sab gud-gobar na kar diya ho!
Soch mein hi the ki dekha saamne nawab sa'ab kuch teetar haath mein liye udhar hi chale aa rahe hai.
Ustaad ko dekhte hi unhone daud ke gale se lagay aur batane lage ki unka shagird kitna daanishwar aur mumtaz hai.
Ustaad ko samajh mein aaya ki shagird ne qissa achhe se chalaya hai.Thodi rahat mili.
Nawaab sa'ab se faarig ho kar unhone chele ko dundha aur usse kinare bula ke poocha ki qissa kahan tak pahuncha hai ?
Shagird ne bade tahzeeb se jhuk ke bola-"Ustaad mohtaram meri kya majaal ki aapke peeche main qissa aage badhata."
Ustaad ko kuch samajh nahin aaya. Shagird aage bola- qissa abhi bhi vahin hai. Sultaan shamsheer haath mein le chuke hai aur sipahiyon se khitaab kar rahe hain.
Ab aaj aap aa gaye hain to jang shuru kara dete hain !


Moral of the story: A good story teller can keep her story hanging at tantalising turns for ever. But it would be good if we get to hear more of zahera. ;)

shovonc said...

Nice work!