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My name is Urdu and, I am not parochial

My name is Urdu and, I am not parochial

SANA SIKANDER

Hyderabad: Although many would have us believe otherwise, Urdu — an intoxicating mix of the Hindu and Muslim cultures that began intermingling even before the onset of Mughal rule — is very much native to this land.

Although many would have us believe otherwise, Urdu — a refined outcome of the Hindu and Muslim cultures that began interacting centuries ago— is native to this land. As the Turkic-Afghan Delhi Sultanate spread its footprint in India, it established Persian as its official language. Khariboli, the earliest form of Hind, would then be sprinkled with many Farsi influences.

As many Turkic-Afghan and Central Asian people began embedding themselves into this beautiful land of golden birds, they planted Persian linguistic seeds in the soil. The Persian gradually seeped in local languages and gave to a new lingo—Hindavi. From the 13th century to the 18th century, it then became known as Lashkari, Rekhta, Hindustani and finally Urdu. The last tag is said to have arisen from the Turkish word Ourdu which means army. It is said to have been the language of the “army camps.”

Hyderabad’s very own Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah was a poet in Deccani (an earlier form of Urdu). Considered to the foremost author of Urdu, he composed poetry and turned it into a diwan or a collection that ran into 1800 pages

The Aurangabad-born Wali Muhammad Wali, known popularly as Wali Deccani, is deemed by many to be the father of Urdu poetry which we find in the present form. It is his visit and that of Siraj Aurangabadi’s visit to Delhi from where the Urdu came into its own. 

Iqbal Ashar – an outstanding poet who has 16 ghazals published in Rekhta – has composed a beautiful poem describing the origin and reach of Urdu. He explains how the language is a powerful vehicle of expressing heart touching poems, love poetry and religious and non-religious prose. BBC Urdu has decided to portray the reach of this poem by getting it rendered by its staff in the London Office.

اردو ہے مرا نام میں خسروؔ کی پہیلی

میں میرؔ کی ہم راز ہوں غالبؔ کی سہیلی

دکن کے ولیؔ نے مجھے گودی میں کھلایا

سوداؔ کے قصیدوں نے مرا حسن بڑھایا

ہے میرؔ کی عظمت کہ مجھے چلنا سکھایا

میں داغ کے آنگن میں کھلی بن کے چنبیلی

اردو ہے مرا نام میں خسروؔ کی پہیلی

غالبؔ نے بلندی کا سفر مجھ کو سکھایا

حالیؔ نے مروت کا سبق یاد دلایا

اقبالؔ نے آئینۂ حق مجھ کو دکھایا

مومنؔ نے سجائی مرے خوابوں کی حویلی

اردو ہے مرا نام میں خسروؔ کی پہیلی

ہے ذوقؔ کی عظمت کہ دیے مجھ کو سہارے

چکبستؔ کی الفت نے مرے خواب سنوارے

فانیؔ نے سجائے مری پلکوں پہ ستارے

اکبرؔ نے رچائی مری بے رنگ ہتھیلی

اردو ہے مرا نام میں خسروؔ کی پہیلی

کیوں مجھ کو بناتے ہو تعصب کا نشانہ

میں نے تو کبھی خود کو مسلماں نہیں مانا

دیکھا تھا کبھی میں نے بھی خوشیوں کا زمانہ

اپنے ہی وطن میں ہوں مگر آج اکیلی

اردو ہے مرا نام میں خسروؔ کی پہیلی

उर्दू है मेरा नाम मैं ख़ुसरो कि पहेली

मैं मीर कि हमराज़ हूँ, ग़ालिब कि सहेली

दक्खन के वली ने मुझे गोदी में खिलाया
सौदा के क़सीदौं ने मेरा हुस्न बढाया
है मीर कि अज़्मत के मुझे चलना सिखाया
मैं दाग़ के आँगन में खिली बन के चमेली
उर्दू है मेरा नाम मैं ख़ुसरो कि पहेली

मैं मीर कि हमराज़ हूँ, ग़ालिब कि सहेली

ग़ालिब ने बलंदी का सफ़र मुझ को सिखाया
हाली ने मुरव्वत का सबक़ याद दिलाया
इक़बाल ने आईना ए हक़ मुझको दिखाया
मोमिन ने सजाई मेरी ख़्वाबौं कि हवेली

उर्दू है मेरा नाम मैं ख़ुसरो कि पहेली

मैं मीर कि हमराज़ हूँ, ग़ालिब कि सहेली

है ज़ौक कि अज़्मत के दिए मुझ को सहारे
चकबस्त कि उल्फ़त ने मेरे ख़्वाब संवारे
फ़ानी ने सजाये मेरी पलकों पे सितारे
अकबर ने रचाई मेरी बेरंग हथेली

उर्दू है मेरा नाम मैं ख़ुसरो कि पहेली

मैं मीर कि हमराज़ हूँ, ग़ालिब कि सहेली

क्यूँ मुझको बनाते हो ता’असुब का निशाना
मैं ने तो कभी ख़ुद को मुसलमां नहीं माना
देखा था कभी मैं ने भी ख़ुशियों का ज़माना
अपने ही वतन में हूँ मगर आज अकेली

उर्दू है मेरा नाम मैं ख़ुसरो कि पहेली

मैं मीर कि हमराज़ हूँ, ग़ालिब कि सहेली

Transliteration Translation
Urdu hai mirā naam maiñ ‘ḳhusrav’ kī pahelī Urdu is my name and I am the mystery of Khusro.
Maiñ ‘mīr’ kī hamrāz huuñ ‘ġhālib’ kī sahelī I am the confidante of Mir, the playmate of Ghalib.
dakkan ke ‘valī’ ne mujhe godī meñ khelāyā Vali, of Dakkhan nurtured me in his lap.
‘saudā’ ke qasīdoñ ne mirā husn baḌhāyā Sauda’s panegyrics brought out my beauty. 
hai ‘mīr’ kī azmat ki mujhe chalnā sikhāyā Mir was priveleged to teach me to walk.
maiñ daaġh ke āñgan meñ khilī ban ke chamelī And I flowered in the garden of Dagh.
urdu hai mirā naam maiñ ‘ḳhusrav’ kī pahelī Urdu is my name and I am the mystery of Khusro.
‘ġhālib’ ne bulandī kā safar mujh ko sikhāyā I am the confidante of Mir, the playmate of Ghalib.
‘hālī’ ne muravvat kā sabaq yaad dilāyā Hali gave me lessons in humility.
‘iqbāl’ ne ā.īna-e-haq mujh ko dikhāyā Iqbal showed me the mirror of righteousness
‘momin’ ne sajā.ī mire ḳhvāboñ kī havelī Momin gave me dreams of home and comfort.
urdu hai mirā naam maiñ ‘ḳhusrav’ kī pahelī Urdu is my name and I am the mystery of Khusro.
hai ‘zauq’ kī azmat ki diye mujh ko sahāre Zauq had the privelege of supporting me.
‘chakbast’ kī ulfat ne mire ḳhvāb sañvāre Chakbast’s love made my dreams beautiful.
‘fānī’ ne sajā.e mirī palkoñ pe sitāre Faani brought starlight to my eyes.
‘akbar’ ne rachā.ī mirī be-rañg hathelī Akbar coloured my palm with henna
urdu hai mirā naam maiñ ‘ḳhusrav’ kī pahelī Urdu is my name and I am the mystery of Khusro.
kyuuñ mujh ko banāte ho ta.assub kā nishāna Why do you make me the target of bigotry.
maiñ ne to kabhī ḳhud ko musalmāñ nahīñ maanā I have never claimed to be restricted to Muslims.
dekhā thā kabhī maiñ ne bhī ḳhushiyoñ kā zamāna I too once saw an age of happiness.
apne hī vatan meñ huuñ magar aaj akelī But today I am helpless in my own home.
urdu hai mirā naam maiñ ‘ḳhusrav’ kī pahelī Urdu is my name and I am the mystery of Khusro. 


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