Thursday, 14 May 2015


'Na-rasai' had always been a very difficult word to comprehend and remember for him in Urdu. Frequently used in Urdu poetry and a major theme of it, that word had always alluded him. He had looked up the meaning of that word thrice in the worn-our Urdu dictionary that he had but he forgot it eveytime the word came up in either poetry or prose. He remembered that verse of NM Rashid, 'Harf aur maa'ni ke rishta haye ahun se admi hai wabasta, Admi ke daman se zindagi hai wabasta, uss se tum nahi darte' ( Man is connected with the iron-clad relationship of word and meaning, Life is connected with the core of Man, You are not afraid of that). How exactly, and closely was the word Na-rasai associated with his life?

But sitting there, few feets away from that person and knowing that that person knows you and is probably watching you as well, and that you know that person and still not being able or willing to walk over and say what means the most to you to that person, who, according to NM Rashid, is connected alongside you with the core of life; that he thought is what is meant by Na-rasai. Something out of reach by virtue of its existence. Not being able to access something or failing to reach out. The path of a river being diverted by a dam that existed for centuries, yet on every encounter, neither the river was the same nor the dam. 

He had found a strange kinship with every poet who had used this word in his poetry. The first such verses that came to his mind were that of Faiz;

'Na-rasai agr apni taqdeer thi
Teri ulfat tu apni hi tadbeer thi
Kis ku shikwa hai gar shouq ke silsile 
Hijr ki qatal gahon se sab ja mile
Qatal gahon se chun kar hamare alam
Aur niklien ge ushaq ke qafle
Jin ki rah-e-talab se hamare qadam
Mukhtasar kar chale dard ke fasle 
Kar chale jin ke khatir jahan geer hum
Ja'an ganwa kar teri dilbari ka bharam
Hum ju tareek rahun mien mare gaye'

'If na-rasai was in my fate
 (Still) loving you was my own decision
Who laments, if the ways of passion
Ended in the death cells of isolation
Collecting flags from the same death cells,
New caravans of lovers shall emerge
Whose passionate desires allowed my feet
to shorten the distances of pain
For whom we conquered the whole world
(and) sacrificed our lives to keep the love intact,
We, who perished in dark lanes'