27th December 2017 marked the 220th Birth Anniversary of Legendary Urdu Poet Mirza Ghalib. If you’ve ever been a love-lorn aashiq, chances are the Agra-born master of Urdu literature would have been your breakup-buddy, with his eternal shayaris out to soothe the most distraught of souls. Like this epic couplet epitomizing the pain of having desires unfulfilled despite giving your best –
Hazaron khwahishen aisi ki har khwahish pe dam nikle,
bahut nikle mere armaan lekin phir bhi kam nikle
The legacy he left behind is not just limited to the poetry that still reverberates in mushairas and Atif Aslam songs. He also introduced to the entire world the undying magic of a language whose words alone have the power to make a human touch his innermost essence. Words more beautiful than any human to ever roam the earth. Words that singers, even 200 years later, incorporate in their songs. We bring to you 12 such Urdu words immortalized by the Great Ghalib, which may always be translated from one language to another, but never understood quite as deeply…
Beginning of a new day, a new story, a new path of life…
In a broader sense, everything that man says, writes or expresses, in whichever way. Deep right?
Reject anyone who says “I love you to the moon and back!”. You don’t need or deserve such a limited amount of love. From now, it’s Beshumaar, or nothing.
One word. One word to define all the females you ever liked. We warned you, Urdu is insanely and amazingly deep!
A blessing not just limited to the one that you seek from The Almighty. Sometimes, a blessing can be as simple as a human who walked into your life and transformed it for the best…
Also, a deep, inherent desire. Something you have sought all your life. A concept not unlike the Mirror of Erised as envisioned in Harry Potter. Only, 200 years its’ original…
Ever looked at someone, noticed every single detail about them, and felt a deep sense of attraction throbbing through your veins as you fall in love with everything they are and do? Yes, that’s the word to describe the one who just popped into your head reading the above line.
Some people just have that sense of tenderness about them. An innocent twinkle in the eyes, with every little movement that they make nothing less than a dance full of grace. With a sense of an aura that engulfs, and yet, exudes the softness that lies within.
The literal translation goes “The Doomsday” a concept similar to The Judgement Day, where every last man on earth is summoned to the gates of heaven for judgement. However, it is most commonly used in a metaphorical sense, to depict something that has caused intense grievance, or poses a mammoth difficulty/hurdle along your path. So yes, feel free to use the word to describe your Semester grades too.
PS - Who knew even a word with such a terrible meaning could sound so pleasing? That’s the beauty of the language!
Humans are perhaps the only animals that have the ability to form bonds and connections by being in close proximity to one another. And yet, there is no word that can describe the hundreds of emotions like love, attraction, desire, pleasure, vulnerability, etc that two humans feel as their souls intertwine with each other, even as their bodies do the same. No word in any other language, of course. Trust Urdu to have a solution to every matter of the heart!
In a broader sense, the word can also be used to describe the deepest depths of the heart. After all, that’s where our soul lies, isn’t it?
Some people walk into your life, and suddenly, everything starts falling to place. Not because they tried doing so, but it just happens. Like a magical charm. Call them good luck, or better still, call them the zehnaseeb of your life!
Just like you, we too are tempted to join an Urdu class right away and learn enough of the language to create shayaris of our own. One thing is certain - none of us will ever be able to recreate the magic that Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan - the Ghalib - wove around. Maybe, we’ll just be as sufficiently good enough to impress the one we love most. Just need to try hard, because the language has all the words waiting for us! Scintillating!