Bhrigu's question

कभी जो याद भी आता हूँ मैं तो कहते हैं के आज बज़्म में कुछ फ़ित्ना-ओ-फ़साद नहीं - मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

Location: the valley, California, United States

Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Quiz Question: Na Kisee ke Aankh Ka Noor Hoon

This funda is from ALUP. Thanks to Vijay saheb and co for the info.

Ghazal: Na Kisee ke Aankh Ka Noor hoon
Poet: Muztar Khairabadi
  1. Mohd Rafi Film: Rafi - Laal Qila (1960)
  2. Mehdi Hassan Non-film - Mehdi Hassan's greatest hits.

This ghazal was composed by Muztar Khairabadi, paternal grandfather of Javed Akhtar. i.e. father of Jan Nissar Akhtar. Javed Akhtar's grandfather Muztar Khairabadi and great grandfather Syed Ahmad Husain Ruswa were also famous Urdu poets. JA's great-great-grandfather Maulana Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi was also a scholar and a contemporary of Ghalib. He was hanged in Delhi after the 1857 mutiny and apparently, his body was found in a canal, a few days later. [All these folks must've collectively rolled in their graves when their descendant churned out such beauties as "Ek, Do, Teen", "Strawberry Aankhen" and"Columbus Columbus"]

Anyway, the quiz question is as follows. The ghazal is almost always attributed to "X". In fact, the error is such that it finds its way into the Diwan-e-"X". In fact, the Hindi film credits and LP sleeves also misattribute it to "X". Who is this mysterious "X"?

na kisee kee aankh kaa noor hooN

na kisee kee aankh kaa noor hooN na kisee ke dil kaa qaraar hooN
kisee kaam meN jo na aa sake maiN vo aik musht-e-Ghubaar hooN

noor = ray of light
qarar = dwelling

musht-e-Ghubaar = handful of dust

maiN naheeN hooN naGhma- e-jaaN-fizaa ko'yee mujh ko sun ke kare gaa kyaa
maiN baRe birog kee hooN sadaa maiN baRe dukhee kee pukaar hooN

naghma-e-jaan-fizaa = melody that increases life
birog = separated from his beloved
sadaa = voice

meraa baKht mujh se bichhaR gayaa meraa rang-roop bigaR gayaa
jo KhizaaN meN baaGh ujaR gayaa maiN usee kee fasl-e-bahaar hooN

bakht = fortune
khizaan = autumn
fasl-e-bahaar = crop of spring

pa e faatiha ko'yee aa'ye kyoN ko'yee chaar phool chaRhaa'ye kyoN
ko'yee shama' laa ka jalaa'ye kyoN k maiN bai-kasee kaa mazaar hooN

faatiha = opening chapter of the Quran, prayer for the dead
mazaar = shrine, tomb

na maiN Muztar un kaa habeeb hooN na maiN Muztar un kaa raqeeb hooN
jo bigaR gayaa vo naseeb hooN jo ujaR gayaa vo diyaar hooN

muztar = distressed, in necessity. Here it is the takhallus
habib = beloved, friend
raqib - watcher, observer, rival
diyaar - province


Blogger Suhail said...

X=Bahadur Shah Zafar, right? Unill now I was also under the same misconception. I guess it would have got substantial backing because of the fact that he was the last of the Moghal Emperors and the ghazal truly matches his last days on the throne, the insult meted out to him, and his prison days in Rangoon. Are you really sure that Muztar is the one and not Zafar ? Coz I can't imagine something like this creeping in Deewan-e-X.

Thanks for giving the interesting lineage of the Akhtar khaandaan as well. Not to mention of the link between Ghalib and JA's gr8-gr8-grandpa. All I knew was upto Jaan-Nissar Akhtar. Somehow the Ghalib link, makes my hair stand on its end.

Btw, just some useless but interesting trivia of how things link each other. Bahadur Shah Zafar was jailed by the British in Rangoon. And the Burmese king Thibaw's mausoleum is in Ratnagiri, which is my native district in Maharashtra. I haven't seen it though, and not that it matters :) But after coming to know the historic importance of this tomb sometime back, maybe I should visit sometime.

Also, some clarification on yr translation is in order. I hope you'll appreciate:
[1]Fatehaa: is the opening chapter of Quraan. It is a v.general and short prayer. Basically it praises God, and it asks of Him to constantly guide us in the right path, and save us from the wrong path of sins.

[2]fatehaa: is also the term used for prayer which is read for the dead and many other ocassions. Consider it as a common noun for any prayer. However except for the words, there is no other linkage. This 2nd 'fatehaa' may or may not include the above Fateeha[1] amongst the other things. Strictly speaking technically this fateeha[2] has popular usage/currency only in the subcontinent. The same practice of prayers for dead isn't followed by the Muslims elsewhere. So in popular slang in Bombay, if we have to reference the end of some event or function or a boring lecture etc, people will say, "chalo bhaai fatehaa padh lo" ["let us come to the ending" ;)] - which if you see is quite contradictory to the reference of Fateeha[1] which means the opening chapter.

So here in the ghazal the poet references the second meaning

ie. why should people come and pray on my grave, why should people come and put flowers on my shrine
why should they light candles on my tomb, when I am nothing but a mark of failure.

ofcourse to make matters confusing, once in a while some people also use the word 'fateeha' to denote the start of some ocassion(going by reference [1]), but this is more of an exception to the rule, and based on the context the crowd can understand what's going on :)

8:18 AM  
Blogger Quizman said...


Fascinating comments. Much appreciated. I'll add them as a post. I used Platts for my translation and probably lost the context. But this is really good stuff you wrote. Thanks.

ALUP has references to various articles that are further proof of Muztar's authorship.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Quizman said...

Oh, yes. X = BSZ

10:18 AM  
Blogger Suhail said...

Hey Quizfan, thanks for that free publicity. And you are right in your previous post's comments. There are many Eng lit-bibliophiles, but few in our category. But you know, precious gems are rarely found. For whatever this solace is worth:

dil ke behlaane ko Ghalib ye khayaal acchaa hai :)

11:54 AM  
Blogger Nasa said...


Do you mean to say

Dil ke khush rakhne ko Ghalib ye Khayaal Achha hai...

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imam Fazle Haq Khairabadi [ Rh] was sent to prison in Andaman Islands where he died. He was chraged for revolting and issuing Fatwa ( verdict) against British.

His grave is in Andaman Islands.

You have stated that his body was found in Canal , which is not correct. Please correct this.

To know more about this great man ,please visit

where , Insha Allah , soon more artciles will come.

7:30 AM  

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