Ye Ishq Hai

Aren’t we all a little about love in one way or another?

Even if it’s our poison.

A recent dialogue that played out in my head:

I turned to someone because I was scared and unsure and feeling lost and mustered a lot of courage to say: “I feel nothing.”
He turned to me and said: “Now isn’t that brilliant?”

Wanting to feel nothing and then wishing to feel something- I think we’re quite messed up. Such is love? This beautiful song kind of captures some nuisance of what I think the idea of love is.



Ye Ishq hai is the kind of song that probably makes one go, “Ah. That’s nice and mellow”. And maybe you move on.
But if you listen to it carefully, there’s meaning stitched into it very, very subtly.

Two things which caught my attention in this song- the phrase Allah hu, being one. Read on to find out what this really means. I was rather surprised that I hadn’t looked it up before despite having heard it in several qawwalis.

Second- Jaage toh Tabrezi, bole toh Rumi hai.

Isn’t that just beautifully genius?

I’m not sure if I’ve cracked what that line really means. I wish I could ask the man himself 🙂 What wouldn’t I give!

PS. Tabrezi was the spiritual guide of Rumi’s.

From the film Rangoon, written by the genius Gulzar. 

And yes, Arijit Singh is magical.



Ye ishq hai
Ye ishq hai

This is love, perhaps.
This is what they call love.

Sufi ke sulfei ki
Lau uthke kehti hai
Aatish ye bujhke bhi
Jalti hi rehti hai
Ye ishq hai
Ye ishq hai

The weed this Sufi smokes
The flames quietly rise from it

Like a fire that’s burning out
But slowly keeps burning away anyway
Love is such
Such is love.

Sahil pe sar rakhke
Dariya hai soya hai
Sadiyon se behta hai
Aankhon ne boya hai
Ye ishq hai re
Ye ishq hai

As if the sea is resting
Its head
On the shore
This has been flowing for years
This ocean of feelings
It was ploughed
By my eyes

That’s love
And love’s about it all.

Tanhai dhunta hai
Parchhai bunta hai
Resham si nazron ko
Aankhon se sunta hai
Ye ishq hai
Ye ishq hai

Love walks around
Love stitches together shadows
The silky eyes
And the things they say
It hears it all from its eyes
Such is love
That’s love

Sufi ke sulfei ki
Lau uthi, allah hoo
Jalte hi rehna hai
Baaki na main na tu
Ye ishq hai re
Ye ishq hai

The flames are rising
From what this Sufi smokes
It will keep burning forever
And we’re nothing
No one in front of it
We’re nothing in front of love
That’s love
Such is love

Bekhud se rehta hai
Ye kaisa Sufi hai
Jaage toh Tabrezi
Bole toh Rumi hai

Mostly out of his senses
I wonder kind of Sufi he is

When he’s awake, he’s much like the master
But when he talks
He seems to become the disciple- Rumi

Ye ishq hai
Ye ishq hai

Love is weird.
But such is love.
That’s love.

Dono Jahaan Teri Mohabbat Mein Haarke

“If I could hold a heart in the palm of my hand and protect it for the rest of my life,
I’d chose for it to not be mine.

But yours.”

That’s that.


Noor Jahan’s voice can move you to tears. And this simple recording I luckily found online can shake the ground beneath my feet if I let it. I know. But for now, I’ll just live off its words. ‘Playing it safe’ it’s called.

Dono jahaan teri mohabbat mein haarke
Wo ja raha hai koi shab-e-gham guzaarke

Surrendering both worlds in your love, the one that’s his, and the one that wasn’t
There goes that somebody drowning in another night of sorrow

Veeran hai mai-qada
Khum-o-sagar udaas hain
Tum kya gaye
Ki rooth gaye din bahaar ke

The bars are empty and bare
Both the wine and the glass are saddened
Since the day you left
It’s almost as if happiness walked away too

Ik fursat-e-gunaah mili
Wo bhi chaar din
Dekhe hain humne hausle
Parvardigaar ke

I did get the freedom to sin in life
But that lasted only four days
Haven’t we all witnessed the courage
Of the Almighty to turn things around?


Duniya ne teri yaad se
Begaana kar diya
Tujhse bhi dil-fareb hain
Gham rozgaar ke

The world has tried hard my love
To turn me a stranger to the memories of you
The pain of this daily ordeal

Is nearly as enticing as you

Bhule se muskura toh diye the
Wo aaj ‘Faiz’
Mat puch val-vale
Dil-e-na-kardaa-kaar ke

I, Faiz, accidentally smiled today
Don’t ask, my love about the enthusiasm
Of a heart whose efforts have been futile always

Dono jahaan teri mohabbat mein haarke
Wo ja raha hai koi shab-e-gham guzaarke

There he goes
Letting go of this world and beyond
In your love, my dear
Drowned in the sorrow of this long, dark night


दोनो जहान तेरी मोहब्बत में हार के
वो जा रहा है कोई शब-ए-गम गुज़ार के

वीरां है मयकदा
खुम-ओ-सागर उदास है
तुम क्या गये
कि रूठ गये दिन बहार के

इक फुर्सत-ए-गुनाह मिली
वो भी चार दिन
देखे हैं हमने हौसले
परवरदिगार के

दुनिया ने तेरी याद से
बेगाना कर दिया
तुझ से भी दिल फ़रेब हैं
गम रोज़गार के

भूले से मुस्कुरा तो दिये थे
वो आज ‘फ़ैज़’
मत पूछ वल-वले
दिले-ए-ना-करदाकार के

दोनो जहान तेरी मोहब्बत में हार के
वो जा रहा है कोई शब-ए-गम गुज़ार के

Naya Saal

Nida Fazli said:

“दुनिया जिसे कहते हैं जादू का खिलौना है
मिल जाए तो मट्टी है खो जाए तो सोना है”

But someone very dear to me once told me:

“मिल जाए तो मट्टी है, खो जाए तो भी मट्टी है”

The more I live, the more I believe in what he told me.

Nothing is mine. Nor will anything ever be. Very little we ‘own’ in this world is really ours, no? Except the moments we’ve stolen. The stories we’ve struggled to live. The wrong ones we fall in love with and the right ones we shove out of our lives. The tiny gifts we buy for people we care for. The phone calls that begin with abuses and “why the hell have you not called in months?”. A random text on a random day when someone thought of you. The very first time you break someone’s heart, tell them you love them, have a baby, cry in front of an absolute stranger. And more.

Such thieves we are. But then, after all, great artists steal, don’t they?

As life unfolds, in this seventeen day-old new year, all I ask for is strength, wisdom and the power to believe in doing great things. And the little things.

I hope this new year fills our lives with lots of love and light.

Naya Saal by Amrita Pritam is a hauntingly beautiful expression of what broken things look like. What emptiness is made up of and why the darkness exists. A wonderfully written memory, I’d say.

Probably her own.


Naya Saal

Jaise soch ki kanghi mein se 
Ek danda toot gaya

It’s as if a tooth broke off 
Of a comb of thoughts

Jaise samajh ke kurte ka
Ek cheethda udd gaya

It’s as if the long shirt that rationality was
Was torn into pieces

Jaise aastha ki aankhon mein
Ik tinka chubh gaya

It’s as if a thorn
Went into the eyes of faith

Neend ne jaise apne haathon mein
Sapne ka jalta koyla pakad liya

As if sleep stretched its hand forward
And held a burning piece of coal from my dreams

Naya saal kuch aisa aaya.

Such.. was the new year.

Jaise dil ke fikre se
Ek akshar bujh gaya

As if whatever thoughts I had in my heart
I’ve forgotten the words for them

Jaise vishwas ke kaaghaz par
Syahi gir gayi

It’s as if the paper that was trust
Is blotted with ink now

Jaise samay ke honthon se
Ek gehri saans nikal gayi

It’s as if from the very lips of time
A very deep breath just passed

Aur Aadam-zaat ki aankhon mein
Jaise ek aansu bhar gaya

And us, humans (from Adam), whose eyes
Have filled with tears

Naya saal kuch aisa aaya.

The new year.. was such.

Jaise ishq ki zabaan par
Ek chhala uth aaya

As if Love’s tongue
Suddenly bore blisters

Sabhyata ki baahon mein se
Ik choodi toot gayi

As if from the arms of traditions
A bangle broke away (considered a bad omen)

Itihaas ki angoothi mein se
Ek neelam gir gaya

As if rom a precious ring of the past
A sapphire fell

Aur jaise dharti ne aasmaan ka
Ek bada udaas sa khat padha

And.. As if the earth read aloud
A very melancholic letter of the skies

Naya saal.. kuch aisa aaya.

New year.. that’s what it brought with itself.

amrita pritam


जैसे सोच की कंघी में से
एक डंडा टूट गया

जैसे समझ के कुर्ते का
एक चीथड़ा उड़ गया

जैसे आस्था की आँखों में
इक तिनका चुभ गया

नींद ने जैसे अपने हाथों में
सपने का जलता कोयला पकड़ लिया

नया साल कुछ ऐसा आया ।

जैसे दिल के फिक्रें से
एक अक्षर बुझ गया

जैसे विश्वास के काग़ज़ पर
स्याही गिर गयी

जैसे समय के होंठों से
एक गहरी सांस निकल गयी

और आदम-ज़ात की आँखों में
जैसे एक आंसू भर गया

नया साल कुछ ऐसा आया ।

जैसे इश्क़ की ज़बान पर
एक छाला उठ आया

सभ्यता की बाहों में से
इक चूड़ी टूट गयी

इतिहास की अंगूठी में से
एक नीलम गिर गया

और जैसे धरती ने आसमान का
एक बड़ा उदास सा खत पढ़ा

नया साल.. कुछ ऐसा आया ।


As the new year unfolds, I couldn’t help but look back on how much the relationships I’ve had over the last few years have shaped who I am. People have walked into my life, without a warning, and changed it. For better, mostly.

I’ve learnt so much in 2016.

Twenty sixteen. The year of many, many highs. And a lot of lows too.

MBA got done. I worked hard on my first project, my baby, at FMS (Life at FMS, the intra-network). I got a good job from campus (something I wanted). THIS BLOG HAPPENED. I got a chance to spend two months with an awesome, learned, human being on a secret project (lol) which resulted in a published book. I did my first poetry open-mic (it was bad, and I had friends to witness it, which was awesome). I left home, for real. (First time). First salary. First first salary gifts. Chotu learnt how to talk (aren’t babies the bestest thing). Moti (my pet stray dog) turned three. I wrote to people. A lot of them. Emails/letters/Facebook messages. I fell in love with words and photography again. I also found my calling. I half-read my first Murakami. Experienced Calcutta and kept a cat-count of the city for two months. I bought more books in the name of retail therapy than I had in the last few years combined. I gave a lot of presents (others’ happiness= my happiness logic, yes?). I’ve seen friends grow and be awesome. I’ve watched them break down too and learnt from them when they got back up and fought the goddamn world. 


All of this, kind of, makes me want to cry. And laugh. And hug everyone. And hit myself in the face with some bricks, I think. But most of all, I’m learning to live with myself.

It’s so important to have people around you to share it all with, yes?

It’s true- happiness, if not shared, means nothing.
And sadness? If not talked about can harm you in so many ways.

Twenty sixteen. It gave me humans- to love, and to hate, both. Sometimes, to love/hate them at the same time.

PS. Dr. Who taught me something I didn’t expect to learn from a fantasy show. Look beyond. Humans are a fascinating species.



For all my humans, Yariyaan. A collaboration between Noori, a wonderful Pakistani rock band (known to have revolutionised the pop music scene in Pak) and Hari and Sukhmani, from India. Isn’t this song perfect? Two beautiful countries, collaborating. All in love, and for their love- music.

A huge shoutout to Aishwarya Mehra for introducing me to this song! Totally loved working on it. Discovered quite a few things (see see!). I hope you enjoy this post 🙂

WELCOME, 2017.



Sadday nibhavan
Sajan banaavan.. Yariyaan

Those, who are truly ours
Always stand by us
We make them our own, our companions
Those are friends

Lakkhan di roti
Akkhan de moti.. Vaariyan

For them
We can give away all our riches

They’re the apple of our eyes, our friends
And for them, we’d give it all up

Karam hatta-de
Karam nibhavan.. Aiyaan
Hatta-di mehndi, laavan
Mithdi yariyaan

All those things we’ve done
And all those things we’re destined to do (Karma).. We’ve come for those
The henna on my hands.. The hymns being sung (in this wedding) in praise of the Lord
And the sweetness of friendship.. (So fulfilling)

(Laavan: Discover what is the hidden meaning behind this tiny word in Punjabi. Read more below)


Laage akhiyaan
Bas tore angna
Jiya more rang na
Ke yaar aaya hai

My eyes are set upon your courtyard
(I wait for your return, always)
Sweet heart, immerse me in all the joys of the world
My beloved’s arrived!

Laayi batiyaan
Jaage ratiyaan, ae yariyaan
Peer bane
Sajan mile.. Yariyaan
Ajj bhaag banavan de
Dil yaar sajaavan de
Sajan rang de!

Endless conversations
Throughout the night, that’s what these friendships are

They become our own
They become our loved ones.. these friendships.
Let me build a brighter tomorrow
Let me rejoice my heart out
Come on, friend, immerse me with such happiness!

Yaar tu rang de
Jindadi jaan ke sadke
Laage na koi rog
Jis raah tu langde
Har dukh harjai
Ke yaar aaya hai 
Har dukh harjai
Ke yaar aaya hai

Love, ruin me
For every bit of life I’ve got, it’s yours

Nothing evil can come my way
If only you’re by my side
Every sadness has turned its back on itself
Now that you’re coming
Every bit of pain has betrayed its own self
Now that you’re coming, love

Laayi batiyaan
Jaage ratiyaan, ae yariyaan
Peer bane
Sajan mile.. Yariyaan
Ajj bhaag banavan de
Dil yaar sajaavan de
Sajan rang de!

Never-ending conversations
Till the break of dawn- that’s what great friendships are like
Some great human beings
Some great companions.. Such is friendship.
Let me chalk out my brightest fortunes
Let my heart beat wildly for this
Friend, let’s rejoice!

Aena yariyaan de sadke
Panja peeran nu chhadke
Assa la leyiyaan tere naal
Ae yariyaan

(Panja Peeran: Discover what is the hidden meaning behind this tiny word in Punjabi. Read more below)

For friendships like these, I can sacrifice
I’ve even left behind my faith in the Five Great Saints
Such is the bond I share with you
My friends

Badlan zamaane
Badlan ae fasaane
Par na badlan.. Na marjan
Ae yariyaan..

It doesn’t matter if the world changes
Or the stories that we tell each other
But this? This will never change.. Nor die
Our friendship never will.

Laage akhiyaan
Bas tore angna
Jiya more rang na
Ke yaar aaya hai!

I’ve been looking out for you for so long
Sweet heart, let me immerse myself in this happiness
My friend is here!

Laayi batiyaan
Jaage ratiyaan, ae yariyaan
Peer bane
Sajan mile.. Yariyaan
Ajj bhaag banavan de
Dil yaar sajaavan de
Sajan rang de!


Hidden meanings in very simple words in this beautiful song!



The four hymns of Laav are performed during the four nuptial rounds of the Sikh wedding ceremony. Each of the four Laav has a special significance and describes the marriage of the soul-bride to the divine husband. The hymns outline the progressive stages of the awakening soul-bride as she advances spiritually to ultimately blend with the divine groom in the dawning realization of her divine destiny.
The Lavan hymns are compositions of Guru Raam Das, and were written for the occasion of his own wedding to Bibi Bhani. They are meant to fuse the soul of bride and groom into one conscious being who is subsequently wedded to God in spiritual union.
The verses of the Lavan are from the scripture of Guru Granth Sahib.)




Panj Peer (or Panj Pir), the Five Great Saints, mentioned in South Asian (Punjabi) literature[1] are as follows:

These are mentioned in the great love-epic of the Sufi poet Sayyid Waris ShahHeer Ranjha“, which opens with an invocation to these holy sages.


Sanu Ik Pal Chaen Na Aave

I know nothing. Nothing. 

Imagine being on a boat. A boat that has no oars. A boat riding on waters that are still.

Imagine a sun. A sun that lights up everything it touches. In a sky that’s spotless.

Imagine a body on that boat, under that sun. Imagine that it has no ties to anything in this world.

It has no sorrows, and it has no pain. It has never felt heartache and never suffered a loss. There’s little that it knows of darkness and creatures in the shadows. Of the ghosts beneath the bed. It doesn’t understand why dreamcatchers were born, what is fearsome and what is death. It knows no evil and cannot define sin.

Imagine a body bereft of all the above things.

What does it know after all- if not the bad, the evil, and suffering?

How will it ever know what happiness can do to you, the things that love can change? Of the power of believing in times so hard you think you will break, and of a touch of kindness?

The day I fell in love, I became a person.

That day, that body morphed into a being. Living, laughing, shouting, loving, and a very, very foolish human.

I fell in love not when I gave my heart to someone the very first time.

I fell in love the second I realised life’s worth living. In a million different ways. For a zillion different reasons.


Madness is good. Madness keeps you sane.

Madness keeps me sane.

Here’s an all time favourite- for love and other things-Sanu Ik Pal Chaen Na Aave by Nusrat Sahab.

Here’s to you, Abhishek. 🙂


Sanu Ik Pal Chaen Na Aave

Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sajna tere bina
Sajna tere bina

There isn’t a moment
That I’m at peace, my love

Without you
Without you, my love

Dil kamla dub dub jaave
Dil kamla dub dub jaave
Sajna tere bina

Sajna tere bina

My heart’s going crazy 
My heart’s sinking further
Without you, my love
Without you

Khuda dushman kisse nu vi
Hijr da rog na laave
Zamaana marda taaney
Judaai jaan pai khaawe

I pray to God that not even my enemies, no
Should bear this pain of separation
It’s like the world is taunting me
As separation engulfs my life

Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sajna tere bina
Sajna tere bina

Beqadre naal preetaan laake
Aeho pujhdi hoon
Sunjhya raahvan takdiyan rehna
Kaliyaan baihke roun

I fell in love with an insensitive one
And I worship him such
So much
That I stare
The empty paths around me
I sit alone, and wait
And cry

Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sajna tere bina
Sajna tere bina

Beparwaai aadat teri
O rudia jaan rakhiyaan
Suthray bhaag na jaage mere
Son na dendiyaan akhiyaan

To not care is a habit of yours, love
Mine? Wherever I’ve 
My fate’s sealed, fast asleep
And my eyes? They don’t let me

Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sajna tere bina
Sajna tere bina

Tan vi pyaasa
Mann vi pyaasa
Tainu kol bulawaan
Tu aave te jaan na dewaan
Jaave te mar jaawan..

My body’s longing for yours
My soul’s longing too
I wish I could call you here
And if you were to come, I would never let you go
If you do, love.. I’d die

Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sajna tere bina
Sajna tere bina

Dil kamla dub dub jaave
Dil kamla dub dub jaave
Sajna tere bina
Sajna tere bina

Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sanu ik pal chaen na aave
Sajna tere bina
Sajna tere bina




सानु इक पल चैन न आवे
सजना तेरे बिना
सजना तेरे बिना

दिल कमला डुब डुब जावे
दिल कमला डुब डुब जावे
सजना तेरे बिना
सजना तेरे बिना

खुदा दुश्मन किसे ने वि
हिज्र डा रोग न लावे
ज़माना मारदा ताने
जुदाई जान पाई खावे

सानु इक पल चैन न आवे
सानु इक पल चैन न आवे
सजना तेरे बिना
सजना तेरे बिना

बेक़द्रे नाल प्रीतां लाके
एहो पूझदी हूँ
सुंझ्या राहवां तक्दियाँ रहना
कलियाँ बैके रोऊँ

सानु इक पल चैन न आवे
सानु इक पल चैन न आवे
सजना तेरे बिना
सजना तेरे बिना

बेपरवाई आदत तेरी
ऐ रूजियां जान राखियां
सुथरे भाग न जागे मेरे
सोंड़ न देन्दियाँ अखियां

सानु इक पल चैन न आवे
सानु इक पल चैन न आवे
सजना तेरे बिना
सजना तेरे बिना

तन वि प्यासा
मन वि प्यासा
तैनू कोल बुलावां
तू आवे ते जान न देवां
जावे ते मर जावां..

Channa Mereya


‘Channa’, in Punjabi, means the moon.

The Moon.

The constant companion of lovers throughout the history of mankind.

There was a time once, a very long time ago, when I used to look up at the moon and feel comforted that if nothing else, someone I knew, and I shared this one thing every single night. I would sit and watch it for hours, and I remember feeling amazed at how quickly it moved and that I never noticed it before. Or maybe time slowed down for just me and, no one and nothing else did ever see its effects.

Now that I think about it, the moon must have been a source of comfort for millions of other lovers who’ve lived through time.

I often wonder how lonely the Earth must have been that it called for the Moon, and the Moon, like a faithful lover, carefully aligned itself with our planet, vowing to be hers till the end of time.

Like every other lover, it has its moments of absence too.

But then it remembers.
And it returns every single time, almost.

It doesn’t give up. Instead, each time it shows up, it showers the planet with all the light  it can borrow from a burning star to remove the darkness in the planet’s heart. So much for one planet.

So much, and all of it, by chance. By design, too.

And to do this for years is insane. For 4.53 billion years.

Forever, from a distance. That’s something.

It could have been just another rock, but no. It isn’t. Somewhere it chose not to be one.

It’s the Moon.

Earth’s Moon.

Its heart beating in songs of love, in lullabies, in poetry, in paintings, in still pictures and in sculptures. Each night when lovers bathe in its light, hiding between shadows, its heart beats through them. Each night when a mother holds her child in her arms and sings to her of the Suns and Moons, its heart beats through them too. And maybe, we will remember it forever, won’t we?



I read a quote by David M. Eagleman a couple of days ago and I can’t stop thinking about it:

There are three deaths: the first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.

I fear my name will be forgotten soon. That unlike the Moon and the Earth, my love story would be rather short. Possibly forgotten and lost in the magnificent folds of time. Maybe.



Anyway, this song, Channa Mereya, from the film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, has been beautifully penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya and composed by Pritam with Arijit Singh weaving his magic through it with his voice.

This song is rather.. catchy. I see that it’s latched on to people’s minds and everyone’s got their own reasons for it. It reminds them of some place. That place could be a person too. But whatever their reasons may be, I do like this very much!

PS. This one is for my roommate, Rumi, a.k.a. Anupama Sharma, (WHO LOVES THIS SONG, BY THE WAY) and is the coolest roommate ever. No, she absolutely didn’t ask me to write this.





Here’s my interpretation!

Channa Mereya

Achha chalta hun
Duaaon mein yaad rakhna
Mere zikr ka 
Zubaan pe suwaad rakhna

I think it’s time to leave now
But.. just remember me
In all your prayers

Remember me
And the taste of my name
on your tongue

Dil ke sandookon mein 
Mere achhe kaam rakhna
Chitthi taaron mein bhi
Mere tu salaam rakhna

In all the secrets you’ve hidden
And buried away in your heart
Remember everything we shared
In the letters you write 
And the stars you gaze upon 
Remember my name


Andhera tera
Maine le liya
Mera ujla sitaara
Tere naam kiya

I’ve devoured your darkness (Like the Moon does, for Earth)
The shining star within me (The soul of the Moon, the Sun)
Is yours now.. Everything is.


Channa mereya mereya
Channa mereya mereya 
Channa mereya mereya beliya
Channa mereya mereya 
Channa mereya mereya 
Channa mereya mereya beliya
O piya..

My moon, my love
My moon
My moon, the light of my soul
Love of mine
My moon
My moon, my love

Piya.. O piya.

Lover.. my lover.


Mehfil mein teri
Hum na rahe toh
Gham toh nahi hai
Gham toh nahi hai

I know I can’t be with you anymore
But it doesn’t sadden me

It doesn’t change anything


Kisse humaare nazdeekiyon ke
Kam toh nahi hain
Kam toh nahi hain

I have all your memories with me
Of all the times we shared

There’s plenty
And it’s enough for me


Kitni daffa subah ko meri
Tere aangan mein baithe
Maine shaam kiya

I have lost count
Of the number of days

I’ve turned into nights
Just sitting in your verandah with you

Channa mereya mereya
Channa mereya mereya

Tere rukh se apna raasta
Mod ke chala
Chandan hun main
Apni khushboo chhodke chala

I have separated my ways from yours now
But I am like sandal
My fragrance will linger in the air around you
Long after I’m gone too


Mann ki maaya rakhke tere
Takiye tale
Bairagi, bairagi ka sooti chola
Odhke chala

Every wish and desire I ever had
I’ve snuck it under your pillow
I’ve become a saint, my love
Look.. I’ve adorned the cotton clothes they wear too
(I have nothing more to lose)


Channa mereya mereya 
Channa mereya mereya 
Channa mereya mereya beliya
O piya..

Lover of mine, my moon
My moon, my love
My moon
Oh love..



अच्छा चलता हूँ
दुआओं में याद रखना
मेरे ज़िक्र का जुबां पे स्वाद रखना

दिल के संदूकों में
मेरे अच्छे काम रखना
चिट्ठी तारों में भी
मेरा तू सलाम रखना

अँधेरा तेरा
मैंने ले लिया
मेरा उजला सितारा
तेरे नाम किया

चन्ना मेरेया मेरेया
चन्ना मेरेया मेरेया
चन्ना मेरेया मेरेया बलिया
ओ पिया..

तेरे रुख से अपना रास्ता
मोड़ के चला
चन्दन हूँ मैं
अपनी खुशबू छोड़ के चला

मन की माया रखके तेरे
तकिये तले
बैरागी, बैरागी का सूती चोला
ओढ़के चला

चन्ना मेरेया मेरेया
चन्ना मेरेया मेरेया
चन्ना मेरेया मेरेया बलिया
ओ पिया..

Main Wahi Hoon

The world needed this, I think.

At least I did.

Hear this on Saavn^

7 songs. 7 stories. Tagore and Gulzar.

Words can break your bones. Words can heal your soul. I can’t be sure which has been more prominent in my life.

Main Wahi Hoon is something we’ve heard of several times, probably been through it too. When love can’t notice you and walks away. Or leaves you in the middle of it all. And then it’s gone.

Sung by the beautiful, Shrey Ghoshal. Shantanu Moitra‘s familiar music. Love.

Thank you, Gulzar sahab for bringing this to life.


Author, Poet and Filmmaker Gulzar in New Delhi on saturday. (Interview Photo for Web) Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal New Delhi 190316

Main Wahi Hoon

Jab sirhaane bujh raha tha raat bhar jalkar diya
Der tak baithi rahi main, baithi rahi

When the midnight’s oil was slowly burning away
I kept waiting.. Waiting for a long, long time

Subah ke halke gulabi kohre se guzra musafir
Mere darwaaze pe aakar ruk gaya
Pucha mujhe:
“Woh kahan hai?”
“Woh kahan hai?”

Like the fog that slowly passes over a rosy dawn, a traveller came
He stopped right outside my house
And asked me:
“Where is she?”
“Where is she?”

Main hi maare sharm ke keh na saki
Main wohi hun
Main wohi hun
Main hoon woh mere musafir

I was so shy that I couldn’t utter a word, I couldn’t tell him
I’m her
I am her

I’m the one you’re looking for, traveller

Shaam aayi jab sarhaane par chalana tha diya
Der tak baithi rahi khidki pe main
Baithi rahi

Shaam ki surkhi mein rath par lautkar aaya musafir
Dhool thi kapdon pe
Darwaaze pe phir poocha mujhe

When the night fell and I needed to light up the lamp again
I just sat there quietly, by the window
I sat there. And waited.

In the fading red of dusk, he came around in his chariot again- him, the traveller
His clothes were dusty and rugged
He stood at my doorstep and asked me once again

“Woh kahan hain?
Woh kahan hai?”

“Where is she?
Where’s the one I’ve been looking for?”

Main hi maare sharm ke
Keh na saki
Main wohi hoon
Main wohi hoon
Main hoon woh mere musafir

I was so smitten
I simply couldn’t say
That I’m the one
I’m the one you’re looking for
It’s me, traveller

Baarishon ki raat hai
Kamre mein jalta hai diya
Farsh pe baithi hun khidki ke tale
Aur andheri raat mein ab gungunati rehti hun
Main wohi hoon
Main wohi hoon
Main hoon woh.. Mere musafir

It’s pouring hard outside tonight
And the lamp is slowly burning away
I’m sitting on the floor beside the window
And I keep singing away in the darkness..

I’m her.
I’m the one you were looking for
I am that woman.. My traveller.



जब सिरहाने बुझ रहा था रात भर जलकर दिया
देर तक बैठी रही मैं, बैठी रही

सुबह के हलके गुलाबी कोहरे से गुज़रा मुसाफ़िर
मेरे दरवाज़े पे आकर रुक गया
पूछा मुझे:
“वो कहाँ है?”
“वो कहाँ है?”

मैं ही मारे शर्म के कह न सकी
मैं वो ही हूँ
मैं वो ही हूँ
मैं हूँ वो मेरे मुसाफ़िर

शाम आयी जब सिरहाने पर चलाना था दिया
देर तक बैठी रही खिड़की पे मैं बैठी रही
शाम की सुर्खी में रथ पर लौटकर आया मुसाफ़िर
धुल थी कपड़ों पे
दरवाज़े पे फिर पुछा मुझे

“वो कहाँ है?”
“वो कहाँ है?”

मैं ही मारे शर्म के कह न सकी
मैं वो ही हूँ
मैं वो ही हूँ
मैं हूँ वो मेरे मुसाफ़िर

बारिशों की रात है
कमरे में जलता है दिया
फ़र्श पे बैठी हूँ खिड़की के तले
और अंधेरी रात में अब गुनगुनाती रहती हूँ

मैं वो ही हूँ
मैं वो ही हूँ
मैं हूँ वो.. मेरे मुसाफ़िर


Aankh Uthi Mohabbat Ne Angdai Li

Qawalli is magical chaos. 

Every time I listen to one, I get confused.


How do they manage to engulf you? Each time?

Be it the lyrics or the music or the sheer power in the voice that fills your chest with some sort of warmth and the need to lose yourself.


Qawallis are it.

They’re warm. And rich. And so, so powerful.

I sound foolish, don’t I?

Well. At 4.54 in the song, you’ll know.

Another gem. Nusrat sahab.

Thank you, Avankita for introducing me to this one.

Here’s to you 🙂

Aankh Uthi Mohabbat Ne Angdai Li


Aankh uthi mohabbat ne angdai li
Dil ka sauda hua chandni raat mein

We looked at each other, and love lazily stretched itself
A deal was made, of hearts, in the glistening moonlight one night


Unki nazron ne kuch aisa jaadu kiya
Lutt gaye hum toh pehli mulaqaat mein

Her eyes wove a magic like no other
And I was hers the very first time we met


Hosh bhi apne bhool gaye, imaan bhi apna bhool gaye
Dil hi nahi, iss bazm mein hum na jaane kya kya bhool gaye
(bazm: mehfil)

I lost all consciousness, I forgot all my beliefs
It wasn’t my heart alone, I lost a lot of other things 


Jo baat unko kehni thi
Wo baat hi kehna bhool gaye
Gairon ke fasaane yaad rahe
Hum apna fasaana bhool gaye

The one thing I wanted to tell my love
I forgot to tell her that
I remembered romances that others kept telling me 
But I forgot, I forgot my very own


Aisa jaadoo kiya unki nazron ne
Jadoo kiya unki nazron ne
Humpe aisa jaadu kiya unki nazron ne

Such was the magic she wove with her eyes
Her eyes did it
Her eyes enchanted me like no one else’s


Aankh uthi mohabbat ne angdai li
Dil ka sauda hua chandni raat mein

One look and love was awoken between us
We made a deal of hearts, under the moonlight that night



आँख उठी मोहब्बत ने अंगड़ाई ली
दिल का सौदा हुआ चांदनी रात में

उनकी नज़रों ने कुछ ऐसा जादू किया
लुट गए हम तो पहली मुलाक़ात में

होश भी अपने भूल गए, ईमान भी अपना भूल गया
दिल ही नहीं, इस बज़्म में हम न जाने क्या क्या भूल गए

जो बात उनको कहनी थी
वो बात ही कहना भूल गए
गैरों के फ़साने याद रहे
हम अपना फ़साना भूल गए

ऐसा जादू किया उनकी नज़रों ने
जादू किया उनकी नज़रों ने
हमपे ऐसा जादू किया उनकी नज़रों ने

आँख उठी मोहब्बत ने अंगड़ाई ली
दिल का सौदा हुआ चांदनी रात में

Afreen Afreen

Do we say it often?

Do we tell them enough how beautiful they are?

I don’t think so.

Just tell people they’re beautiful, yes? Just. Say it.
And one day, I guess, we’ll find that one person we can’t say it to.

Because they leave us speechless.



I just thought this was pretty too.

A beautiful song performed two decades ago by the master, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, with some hauntingly wonderful music. Lyrics by Javed Akhtar sahab, performed by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan.

PS. This one’s for youuu JD! 😀



Such badasses. Such a happy picture!


Afreen Afreen

Aisa dekha nahi khoobsoorat koi
I’ve never seen anyone as beautiful as her

Jism jaise Ajanta ki moorat koi
Her beauty is like that of the sculptures at Ajanta

Jism jaise nigaahon pe jaadu koi
Such beauty that’s bewitched my gaze

Jism naghmah koi
Her beauty is an alluring song

Jism khushboo koi
Her beauty is an intoxicating fragrance

Jism jaise mahkti hui chaandni
Her beauty is like scented moonlight 

Jism jaise machalti hui raagini
Her beauty is very much like a haunting melody

Jism jaise ke khilta hua ik chaman
Hers is the beauty of a blossoming garden

Jism jaise ke suraj ki pehli kiran
Her beauty’s like the first light of dawn

Jism tarsha hua dil-kash o dil-nasheen
Her beauty’s been sculpted such that it’s beyond attractive

Sandaleen sandaleen
As warm and smooth as sandalwood

Marmareen marmareen
As pure and delicate as marble

Husn-e-jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi
Husn-e-jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi
No words of praise do justice to the beauty of my beloved
It’s impossible to describe her beauty

Afreen afreen
Afreen afreen
So beautiful.
Praise to her Creator!

Tu bhi dekhe agar to kahe ham-nasheen
When you see her, you’ll say the same

Afreen afreen
Afreen afreen
So beautiful.
Praise to her Creator!

Husn-e-jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi
Husn-e-jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi

Jaane kaise baandhe tune akhiyon ke dor
I don’t know what you did and how you charmed me with your eyes

Manm mera kheencha chala aaya teri or
My mind is drawn to you irresistably

Mere chehre ke subh
Zulfon ki shaam
Whether it’s the light of the dawn on my face
Or the dusky twilight of my tresses in the evenings

Mera sab kuchh hai piya ab se tere naam
Everything that’s mine, lover, is yours now

Nazron ne teri chhua
Your eyes met mine

To hai ye jaadu hua
And spun this magic

Hone lagi hun main haseen
I’ve started to feel that I’m becoming.. beautiful.

Afreen Afreen

Chehra ik phool ki tarh shaadaab hai
Her face is as fresh as a flower’s

Chehra uska hai ya koi mehtaab hai
Is it her face or that’s the light of the moon shining?

Chehra jaise ghazal chehra jaan-e-ghazal
Her face is sheer poetry

Chehra jaise kali chehra jaise kanwal
Her face is like a blossming bud, a lotus

Chehra jaise tasawwur bhi tasveer bhi
Her face is like an artist’s thought and translation too

Chehra ik khwaab bhi chehra taabeer bhi
Her face is both a dream and a reality

Chehra koi Alif-Lailwi daastaan
Her face in itself is like a magical tale, like Alif-Laila

Chehra ik pal yaqeen chehra ik pal gumaan
Her face is both certainty and an assumption

Chehra jaisa ke chehra kahin bhi nahi
Her face is like no other I’ve ever seen

Maahru maahru mehjabeen mehjabeen
Just like the beautiful moon, just like it’s beautiful light

Husn-e-jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi
Husn-e-jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi
Afreen afreen
Afreen afreen

Tu bhi dekhe agar to kahe ham-nasheen
Afreen afreen
Afreen afreen
Husn-e-jaanaan ki tareef mumkin nahi

Afreen afreen
Afreen afreen


I’ve been away from home for more than three months now and I’d never imagined I’d feel the things I’m feeling now.

Parents are your roots, you know. They are your true one and only.
I always fancied the idea of romance and I thought I wanted my life to be about love and I wanted to love this way and that way, do certain things, and love beyond love and all those things. And I’ve realized that if you manage to do all these things, and even greater things (if you have anything in mind), it’s all just.. ashes if you don’t have your true one and only.

Lovers and friends come and go.
True love comes around, very rarely. And if you have to be very very lucky to keep it.
But family?
The constant of life and the universe can reside in those two humans.

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’ve wanted to get married for the longest time. The longest.

And now that I’m away from home, and maybe a few years from now I’ll marry someone and have a family of mine, become their anchor, what will become of my constants then?

The fear grips me on some days and I run home. I run home despite every other thing in life. We have so little time to be doing anything else, but loving. Yes?

Madhaniya just makes me sit still and wonder. About my parents, about love, about my brother, about leaving home to start another, and everything in between. Each time.

So beautiful and so painful, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Listen to this beautiful rendition of this folk Punjabi song by Neha Bhasin. I’ve not been able to get over this song and it’s been a while. A while.


The word ‘Madhaniya’ means a milk churn.

This song is about everything a girl remembers when she leaves home.

The insignificantly insignificant things.
The blindingly ordinary ones.

Here’s my interpretation of it:



Haye ve mereya dadya rabba
Kinna jamiya, kinane lae jaaniya haye

Oh lord, the Almighty.. Look at how
I’m born to someone
And someone else will take me away now

She remembers the way chickpeas are cooked at home. Her mom’s recipe. Possibly her favourite.

Babul tere mehala vicho satrangiya kabutar bole haye
Father, look. As I’m ready to fly away, the rainbow pigeons are singing

Ever so slowly.

Babul tere mehala vicho teri lado pardesan hoi haye
Dear father.. In her own home, soon your beloved daughter will become a stranger

She was made to.

Mere apne vira ne dola tor ke aga nu keeta hai.
My own brothers who I laughed and played with
Will be the ones softly carrying my palanquin.. Bidding my farewell.


The lanes..

Maawan thiyan milan lagiyaan chare kandha ne chaubaare diya haliyaan hai
I remember embracing my mother and felt the entire four walls of the house shaking
Like my entire home was.. weeping.