Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Of migraines and ghazals

I must begin this post with a warning - *Rant alert*! There are days when I feel particularly glum, as if I am hanging from a solitary cliff (in a similar dejected fashion like this bug lady in the photo) from where there is neither an escape nor any possible return. Today is one such day. It is partly the irresolute and moody weather, partly the throbbing migraine and mostly me. By which I mean there is always an unsightly, unreasonable side of me that often brings on my own doom - one that is difficult to let go or do away with. Hence, sloshed with tea, Jagjit Singh and an ice compress balanced precariously on my head, I write this.

First about the rogue migraine, 'the Beast' as I love to call it. This was a fragment that I had recently written on another day of attack:

"There was nothing she could do now. Absolutely nothing. The Beast had begun its fortnightly prowl, slowly pounding its way ahead, choosing its favourite place of attack. Her sanity. Desperately, she clung on to it, the last shreds of it. What awakened it this time? May be her mind, that keeps ticking like a tireless time bomb day and night. Ticktock, ticktock, ticktock. Or was it Red Dragon? Why must she watch it when she has absolutely no control over her peeping, pestering imagination? But there's Ralph Fiennes, that dear, dear man. How achingly beautiful his eyes are. Even when a bloodcurdling psychopath! Argh!! The Beast is finally there, waiting to unleash its savage strength. She could feel the thud of its giant, heavy paws that shook her like a wretched tree in a storm. There, the incessant hammering starts. BOOM!"

Then there are these thoughts that are of no particular dimension or consequence and therefore deserve no mention. Or are they just the always-to-be-blamed hormones, at their moody best? Or is it the near death of summer in Seattle that threatens me so? Whatever it is, I'm going to sing the last of my rants here. A haunting ghazal written by Ali Sardar Zafri and sung by Jagjit Singh that has been playing over and over again for the last hour or so. It has no choice, poor thing, being the only track on the playlist.

"Mere darwaaze se ab chand ko ruksat kar do
Saath aaya hai tumhaare jo tumhaare ghar se
Apne maathe se hata do yeh chamakta hua taj
Phenk do jism se kirnon ka sunehre zewar
Tum hi tanha mere ghamkhaane mein aa sakti ho
Ek muddat se tumhaare hi liye rakha hai
Mere jalte hue seene ka dehakta hua chand."

I have attempted a rough translation of the lines for my non-Urdu readers (if any!):

Bid farewell to the moon from my doors,
That which you brought with you from your home.
Remove that glittering crown from your head,
Strip your body of the golden jewels.
Only you, alone, are welcome into my house of misery -
For ages I have kept a moon blazing in my burning heart, for you.

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