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An Ardent Admirer Of Javed Akhtar Who Had Gone Bitter Because Of Some Personal Experiences, Transformed Into An Admirer Again After Listening To Him Recited This Poem


Ali Peter John

I must confess that I was a great and even ardent admirer of the poetry of Javed Akhtar eversince I was in college. My admiration for him grew manyfold when he presented me with his collection of poems titled “Tarqash”. He had written about his early experiences with life in Mumbai in a place very close to where I was born and brought up and I could identify with all that he had written about. My admiration for his poetry only continued to grow, not only as a literary poet but also as a lyricist of films like“Mashaal”,“Main Azaad Hoon”,“Silsila”and he never gave me any reasons to be dissatisfied with his poetry…

However, a couple of personal experiences with him, especially the two occasions when he who spoke about the highest qualities of life royally ditched me after making a solemn promise to release two of my books, made me both angry and bitter, the experiences were so painful that I did not care to even look at his poems (incidentally, I had the same kind of experiences with the other great poets, Gulzar).

Javed-Akhtar 1

This bitter feeling lasted till this morning when I out of the blue heard him at his poetic best when he was reciting a very sarcastic and symbolic and yet sensitive poem. I have been living with those lines all day and have been trying to get the exact words. It was only now when I am sitting with my young friend, Rajan Deep Singh who knows how to work magic with mobile which is as good as any other toy for me without someone like Rajan to help me. So, here goes the original great Javed Akhtar and I am also thankful to Rajan for finding me a English translation of the same poem.


Kisi ka hukm hai

Saari hawayein

Hamesha chalne se pehle batayein

Ke unki samt ( direction) kya hai

Hawaon ko batana yeh bhi hoga

Chalengi jab tto kya raftaar hogi

Ke aandhi ki ijazat ab nahi hai

Hamari ret ki yeh sab faseelein (ramparts)

Ye kagaz ke mahal

Jo ban rahe hain

Hifazat inki karna hai zaruri

Aur aandhi hai purani inki dushman

Ye sab hi jaante hain

Kisika hukm hai

Dariya ki lehren

Zara ye sarkashi ( strong headedness) kam kar lein

Apni hadd mein thehrein

Ubharna phir bikharna

Bikhar kar phir ubharna

Galat hai unka ye hungama karna

Yeh sab hai sirf vehshat ki alamat (signs of insanity)

Baghavat ki alamat

Baghavat tto nahi bardasht hogi

Ye vehshat tto nahi bardasht hogi

Agar lehron ko hai dariya mein rehna

Tto unko hoga bas chupchap behna

Kisika hukm hai

Is gulsitaN mein

Bas ab ik rang ke hi phool honge

Kuch afsar honge

Jo ye tai karenge

GulistaN kis tarha banna hai kal ka

Yaqeenan phool ikrangi tto hongey

Magar ye rang hoga kitna gehra kitna halka

Ye afsar tai karenge

Kisiko ye koi kaise bataye

GulistaN mein

Kahin bhi phool ikrangi nahi hotey

Kabhi ho hi nahi sakte

Ki har ik rang mein chupkar

Bahut se rang rehte hain

Jinhone baagh ikrangi banana chahe thay

Unko zara dekho

Ke jab ik rang mein sau rang zahir ho gayein hain tto

Woh ab kitne pareshaN hain

Woh kitne tung ( harassed )rehte hain

Kisiko ye koi kaise bataye

HawayeiN aur lehreN

Kab kisika hukm sunti hain


Hakkimon ki mutthiyon mein, hathkadi mein qaidkhano mein

Nahi ruktin

Yeh lehren roki jaati hain

Tto dariya kitna bhi ho pursukoon ( calm)

Betaab hota hai

Aur is betaabi ka agla qadam

Sailab (flood )hota hai.

Kisiko ko ye koi kaise bataye


Someone has decreed

That all the winds

Must first

Announce their direction

Before blowing

The winds must first also inform

That when they blow what would be their speed

For, storms are no longer permitted

And all these ramparts that we have built of sand

These paper palaces that have been made

It is important to protect them

The storm is their old foe

As everyone knows

Someone has decreed

That the waves in the river

Must curb their rebellion

They must stay within their limits

Their dashing and rising and dashing yet again

Only to rise

It is wrong of them to be so wilful

It is nothing but a portent of madness

An augury of rebellion

A rebellion will not be tolerated

This madness will not be accepted

If the waves want to stay in the river

They must now flow quietly

Someone has decreed

That all the flowers will henceforth be of one colour

There will be some officers who will decide

How the gardens of tomorrow will take shape

Certainly the flowers will all be of one colour

But how deep the colour or how light

Will be decided by the officers

How is one to tell them

That in no garden anywhere are all the flowers of one colour

They cannot be

For, many colours live together hiding in one colour

Look at the fate of those who have

Tried to make their garden all of one colour

See how a hundred colours have seeped into a single colour

How troubled they are

How worried they look

How is one to tell them

When have the winds and the waves ever heeded anyone’s decree

The winds do not stay

In the clenched fists of the rulers

In prisons

And in handcuffs

When these waves are stopped

The river, no matter how placid

Becomes restless

And this restlessness is a step away

From a flood

How is one to tell them…

Javed-Akhtar 2

P.S:- I could feel how Javed Saahab (please note, how the Saahab has come back in my addressing the poet, Javed Akhtar) felt during the time he campaigned for some of the candidates whose feelings he felt close to. I was especially moved when he at his own expense travelled to Begusarai to campaign for the young, fiery and the enlightened rebel who some charged with being anti-national even before a FIR was registered against him. I sincerely hope that Javed Saahab doesn’t give me anymore opportunities to have any kind of differences and feelings of bitterness against him.

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