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.


2 thoughts on “Ye Ishq Hai

Add yours

  1. Few months back, after listening to this song, I fervently scoured the internet for some interpretation but could not find any. Thanks to you, my search ends here. Beautifully written, as always.
    I can’t help but pour my heart out…

    “Aren’t we all a little about love in one way or another?
    Even if it’s our poison.”
    can completely relate to the second part (unfortunately maybe!),

    “Aatish ye bujhke bhi
    Jalti hi rehti hai”
    Isn’t that simply wow! is aatish ko bujhane ki koshish karo, fir jal jati hai aur fir uthti hai aur sab kuch sama jati hai…
    “Ishq par zor nahin hai ye wo aatish “Ghalib”, jo lagaye na lage aur bujhaye na bane” are some words from another song by Gulzar sahab written some 20 years ago borrowed by ghal

    “Jaage toh Tabrezi
    Bole toh Rumi hai”
    What I inferred, Tabrezi being the spiritual mentor of Rumi, analogous to our awakened heart, mentors our thoughts and when those spoken out loud, come out like the words of Rumi… timeless, immense and beautiful.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. You written a wonderful interpretation of this layered poetic song. There so many things it conveys, almost like Rumi’s verses. There is always more than what meets the eye.

    Perhaps everytime we delve deeper into what love means to us and then listen again, to a song like this; we’ll always find something new about what it means.

    That’s what makes Gulzar’s verses so beautiful. But I really love how you simplify the translation and meaning into English so everyone can understand. You’re a genius and Einstein would agree with me on that. 😉👍🏼

    Cheers ❤️


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