A Broken Heart’s Musings – Awaargi In ‘Yeh Dil Yeh Pagal Dil Mera’

O love-lorn heart, has your carefree, gay abandon been extinguished?

Ustad Ghulam Ali saab’s  ‘Yeh dil yeh pagal dil mera, kyon bujh gaya awaargi‘,  a lovely rendition, in his signature style of combining melody with technique. That quintessential ghazal style.

Listen to the ghazal at leisure, but scroll down as you read for my take on the poetry.

Ghazals and Love, a beautiful combination of poetry and feelings. I have chosen to interpret this popular Ghulam Ali ghazal differently from all that is there on the web. What I write here is how I pictured it in my mind’s eye as I spent a rainy evening in solitude. It is not a translation.

A capsule of a description:

My Thought Lane

Unrequited love is the heart of the matter here, which therefore links all the expressions in the stanzas to a heart that pines for his love. The poet flits in and out of those moods, at times resigning himself to a ‘love’ lost and at others, dwelling in moments of the pain of separation. Ask lovers that have been separated and they will tell you there is a sweet something, even in the pangs. Is that why they cling to that pain for as long it takes? For, every memory that takes them back to the times of togetherness, they relive moments of love, albeit fleetingly. Even if at the end of it, there is a stabbing pain in the pit of their stomach.

Awaargi, to me in this context is that happy and carefree state of mind or solitude, where all that matters is the beautiful bond between two lovers. A certain naughtiness that comes from being in love, a certain detachment from all else.

My attempt here is to bring out the beauty in the expression of the pain of unrequited love. Hence, I have taken excerpts from the ghazal in the following couplets. There are many versions of the lyrics on the web. The one here is from the album I have.

Yeh dil yeh paagal dil mera, kyon bujh gaya awaargi

O love-lorn heart, has your carefree, gay abandon been extinguished?

Is dasht mein ek shehr tha, wo kya hua awaargi

There used to be a town here in this desert. It seems to have disappeared along with my Love. Has she taken it away with her? Is that why my heart has stopped fluttering?

Kal shab mujhe be-shakl ki awaaz ne chaunka diya, main ne kaha tu kaun hai usne kaha awaargi

Last night, a strange voice surprised me ; I asked to know who that was and it replied “your awaargi  (happy, carefree mood)” !

Here, the poet probably means that his love raises its hood now and then, refusing to die down. Reminding him of the youth of his heart. Surreal !

Ye dard ki tanhaiyaan ye dasht ka veeran safar, hum log to ukta gaye apni suna awaargi

These agonizing moments of loneliness in a journey that is even more lonelier in the desert. I am tired in mind and body. “How are you faring my Awaargi?”

The poet in conversation with his once happy state of mind. Looking for some cheer, wishing to probably go back in time. Or resigned to forever pine for his love.

Ek ajnabi jhonke ne jab poochha mere ghum ka sabab, sehra ki bheegi reth par maine likha awaargi

The voice replies : Hear my story. A soft breeze from nowhere touched me lightly and asked to know what had caused me sorrow. I replied, “I have become transient. I am a mood written in the wet sands of the desert, dampened by tears, likely to be washed away anytime. I am scared of losing myself”.

Kal raat tanha chaand ko dekha tha maine khwaab mein, mohsin mujhe raas ayegi shayed sada awaargi

The poet smiles and says : Last night I saw the moon in my dream and she appeared lonely in the vast expanse of the sky. And she seemed to say, “Mohsin, just like I am destined to be lonely up here and yet shine, so are you to a lifetime of having to live with and by your awargi. That will be your only solace to endure your journey”. So, despair not but walk with me for as long as we both last.

The ghazal tradition, Maqta has it that the poet mention his name in the final couplet of every ghazal, which is called the takhallus, thereby laying claim to the poetry and summarizing his feelings, Here, Mohsin is the poet.

I hope you all like it, this is my first attempt to interpret an Urdu poem and I enjoyed doing so.

Khuda Hafiz !



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