Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hungama Hai Kyun Barpa..

One cannot help but soak in divine euphoria, when listening and relating to the poet's thought, as in this Ghazal, by Akbar Allahabadi. 'Hungama Hai Kyun Barpa', is beautifully crafted by Akbar Sa'ab, and this lyrical magnum opus has been equally well treated, vocally, by Ustaad Chote Ghulam Ali.

As one makes an attempt to delve deeper in the meaning behind the words, and as each word unfolds, one's left numb !

Just a little note from the pages of history which are said to be an inspiration for this Ghazal. This was written by Akbar Allahabadi during the time when there was Hindu Muslim conflict going on and the British were thriving on their 'Divide and Rule' Policy. Muslim League and the Congress were in disagreement. During this phase, Akbar, the poet, was all for Hindu Muslim Unity. Several leaders had taunted Akbar saying that this person is speaking nonsense as maybe Hindu's have offered him some wine. It was in reply to these tauntings that the poet wrote this lyrical piece.

Hungama Hai Kyun Barpa,
Thoree See Joe Pee Lee Hai
Daaka To Nahin Daala,
Choree To Nahin Kee Hai

Why is there so much hue and cry if I have had some alcohol?
I haven't robbed someone, nor have I commited
any theft.

Us Ma’ay Say Nahin Matlab,
Dil Jis Say Ho Baygaana
Maqsood Hay Oos Ma’ay Se,
Dil Hee Main Jo Khinchtee Hai

(Here in these lines he tries to answer the dogmatic politicians)
Ma'ay here meaning, Wine.
I am not cocerned with that wine, whose consumption does not touch the heart. It does not bother me as it is just for the sake of drinking.
I am bothered with, or by saying 'wine', I intend(maqsood) that entity, using which some people are trying to play dirty politics and dividing hearts. (Dil hi me jo khinctee hai).

Na Tajurba-Kari Se,
Va’iz Kee Ye Batain Hain
Us Rung Ko Kya Jaanay,
Pucho To Kabhee Pee Hai?

Inexperienced are the words of the preacher/saintly(Va'iz).
For someone who has never tasted alocohol, can never rightly comment about it.

Sooraj Main Lagay Dhabba,
Fitrat Kay Karishmay Hain
Butt Hum Ko Kahain Kaafir,
Allah Kee Marzee Hai

Sooraj me lage dhabba. Here he tries to say, that during a Solar Eclipse, even the Sun is shadowed, as if a black spot is formed on it. Black spot is signifying a black mark here. (Again in context of the taunting that the poet was subjected to, these lines portray the poet in a carefree/not bothered kind of attitude). 'Butt humko kahe Kaafir', as in, the feelingless souls, who are not more than a stone statue(butt), are saying me a traitor(kaafir). Let it be, I take this also as God's wish ! (Allah ki marzi hai).

Har Zarra Chamakta hai,
Anwar-e-Elaahi Se..
Har Saans ye kehti hai,
Hum Hai to Khudaa Bhi Hai..

Every thing that exists (har zarra) in this universe, is due to the grace of the almighty.(Anwar-e-Elaahi, meaning Grace of God).Then very beautifully the poet says, Har Saans ye kehti hai, Hum hai to Khuda Bhi hai..Its like we are a part of the Lord, and we exist and breathe within his shadow of Divinity.

Har 'Aatma' us 'Parmaatma' ki chaaya hai..So every breath(har saans) we take reminds us that the Almighty exists(khuda bhi hai) !

How beautifully the poet silences the false speaking mass and at the same time maintains the gravity and elegance that just makes it a special piece of work. I beleive, when taken in the right context this Ghazal makes so much more sense. I have just tried to translate as per my little understanding. Hope the esscence of this lyrical beauty comes across !



ANUPAM said...

Amit, very well explained... thank you very much for all those meanings...



Tejaswini Mathad said...

Thank you so very much for this translation...:)

Rani said...

Appreciated the background. Thanks for putting it down.

Pinak Lonkar said...

Can there be another hidden meaning? Islam prohibits consumption of alcohol as it is considered a sin. But people do all kinds of things hiding behind the almighty, and thus the poet takes a careless stance and does it openly.

Azad K Gopalakrishnan said...

Great work dude.. Thanks a lot.

venugopal said...

Thank you for your fantastic research
on the poet's imagination .

Har ssans yeh kahti hai

Hum hai to Khuda bhi Hai

That sums up all

Meg said...

I do not know Urdu, but I love this ghazal as sung by Ghulam Ali. Could the poet be using wine (as other Sufi poets do) as a metaphor for Divine Grace? Love of God? This would make sense when he says that those who have not tasted alcohol should not speak of it. Those who love God would also be for unity, amongst all peoples, regardless of religion. It comes from the heart. He is derided for having tasted alchohol, but does not deny it, because God's Grace is love.

Meg said...
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ഖാദര്‍ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ഖാദര്‍ said...

thank u very much....was searching for a translation for long time!

Ajay said...

beautifully translated..

i would like to add sher from same Gazal..

mein teri mast nigahi ka bharam rakh loonga
hosh aaye bhi to keh doonga ke muze hosh nahi hai

Abhi said...

Very nice work. I love this ghazal.
Can you explain the meaning what he is trying to say through these words:
"mein teri mast nigahi ka bharam rakh loonga
hosh aaye bhi to keh doonga ke muze hosh nahi hai"
I knw the word meanings but couldnt understand what he is referring to,.. here

Rohit said...

Wonderful post, really liked it. In all these modern craps, still thrives the old legends and they always will be.

As good as Akbar is in his lyrics, so is Ustaad Ghulam Ali in his voice. I must have literally heard this gazal thousands of time and still feel, there is so much to it.

Thanks Amit for the information and the background of the gazal.

Sapeckshita said...
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Bhavin said...

"mein teri mast nigahi ka bharam rakh loonga
hosh aaye bhi to keh doonga ke muze hosh nahi hai"

It means that, i am ready to pretend(bharam) drunkard if you look at me with such beautiful eyes.. (mast nigahi)

even if i wake up after the long sleep i get after drinking, i'll still say i havent woke up..!!

Hope i have clarified. This is from my understanding. Apologies if it isnt correct.

airheadjp said...

mind posting the lyrics-translation for tangan wale nain??

zabus said...

thank u so much....i was searching for the meaning of it...

Disciple said...

Great, do you have any sources for your translation relative to the historical elements?

Disciple said...

Great work, thanks for bringing this perspective. Do you have any refrences for the historical elements you cite?

Mai can also mean divine nectar that poets talk about...

Alok said...

Excellent Post!! My gratitude to you. The context under which Akbar Allahabadi wrote this ghazal makes it more meaningful.


sir thanks u for all those meanings


thank you very much for those meanings

Rini said...

B'ful indeed! Thanks Amit...

yackub said...

deviding people on basis of religion is more sinfull than drinking alcohol. this stance holds even now. These lines have value even now. What have muslims acheived yet. Where were we and where are we now. We are just happy seeking enimity of all peace loving people. I think islam is cursed with misleading aalims. So never rely on any religious leaders. As a muslim try to understand islam by yourself. Islam is religion that teaches many more things other than avoiding alcohol and covering your body like a bat. this stance holds even now. These lines have valueeven now. What have muslims acheived yet. Where were we and where are we now. We are just happy seeking enimity of all peace loving people. I think islam is cursed with misleading aalims. So never rely on any religious leaders. As a muslim try to understand islam by yourself. Islam is religion that teaches many more things other than avoiding alcohol and covering your body like a bat

Unknown said...

I don't understand what he means by I intend that entity which divides the hearts. Don't understand what intent means in this context?

Makarand said...

@unknown actually there can be better translation of below two words, which support above situation...1) Butt - Leader 2) Maqsood - Goal / Target /Concentrate

Sandeep Rudrabhat said...

Thanks brother.

Sandeep Rudrabhat said...

Thanks Brother, it is a master piece.

sulimon said...

perfectly what I was looking for, thanks!!

Ramcharasharma said...

Thanks Amit,

For making me feel the divinity of the Ghazal entirely.

RaneForrest said...

Amit, it would indeed be a nice footnote in the annals of musical and social history if your explanation of the genesis of this song were in fact true. But I would like to see some references to authenticate it. Without those, it might just be a romantic story someone invented. So: where did you read about it?

Amit said...

Hello @RaneForrest and others,

Since I have been asked a lot of times about the authenticity of the Historic piece of information I have stated in the Ghazal Explanation, here it is. This information was shared to me verbally by some of the very senior Urdu Literates, and I went ahead in search of some proof and what I have written is a result of my findings.

The Truth of such info can be only realized if one studies the work of Akbar Allahabadi. He was a poet dedicated to uplift the worsening Social Scenario during his times. Also he was a great believer of Hindu Muslim Unity. A book by Rafiq Zakaria, named "Indian Muslims: Where have they gone wrong?", also sheds some light in this context. And someone of his thought process ought to be opposed by the British so this information cannot be irrelevant. Also one way to relate to it is that a poet of his standard and his seriousness would not write something just for the sake of it, but always with a message and a pointer hidden in it.
Hope I justify the explanation I have written wrt the Ghazal. Any difference of opinion is welcome.

Amit said...

In addition to my above post, the following pages of the Book
"The clash of fundamentalisms: crusades, jihads and modernity", pages 227, 228 (Can be read on Google Books) give a clue about the scenario wrt the Poet, and his reputation.

Swapnil Salvi said...

thanks Amit
Gr8 work

thank you

George Chockiah said...

Amit, great work. I,m George, an admirer and fan of GA from Tamilnadu. It is amazing the way GA sings, brings the emotions in voice... like Dil mein ek lehr..
May be one more singer I admire is SPB. I dont know urdu at all, speak Hindi to some extent.. Attaracted by GA's style I started listening to Gazals and pepole like you help me enjoy the poetry.. Thank you.

marc said...

Me teri mast nigahi ka bharam rakh lunga.....hosh aaya agar to keh duga muje hosh nahi he....Amit.......can u transalte this first sher of this ghazal???

Amit said...


"Mai teri mast nigahi ka bharam rakh lunga;
Hosh aya bhi to keh dunga, mujhe hosh nahi.."


This is really a different interpretation of these lines as I strongly feels Akbar Saa'b could not have digressed from the subject of the ghazal.So here in my thought about it,

"Mai here meaning, "Alcohol", and not "me" as almost all translations put it. So shayar says, "In regard(bharam) to your(your, here meaning Alcohol) lovely sight(nigahi), I will not fight to prove my state of mind. Even though I am totally in my "hosh", in my senses, still I will let those people believe that I am under the effect of alcohol, as they need a reason to prove me false. As if saying, I do not care, as long as I am correct! So he says, "Hosh aya bhi to keh doonga, mujhe hosh nahi.." because that is what they want to believe so let it be!

Suryan-The Musician said...

I appreciate your work of translating this sweet and meaning Gazal, with appropriate commentary. Only at one Sher " Us May Se Nahin..." , i think the Poet has explained to the reader that he is not talking of the Wine , in general sense, but the Wine which is made ( 'Khichana' here should be construed as wine-making process ) , of course it relates to spirituality, not politics.
by :

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Unknown said...

Thanks Amit for providing the history behind the ghazal

Rahul Das said...

Beautifully Explained! Thanks a ton...

Kishore Kumar said...

Thanks a lot.
I appreciate your effort to translate this important Gazal and history of it.
its very inspiring. Usually Hindus feel that no body is shaking their hand from the other side but this work by Akbar Allahabadi is an effort to hold extended hand of Hindu.
It also underscores rich culture of Uttar Pradesh. The state may have been poor in material wealth but its richest in inspiring the best cultural and poetic works.
and Amit ji you have opened the gates of maikhana and lets all drink from it and loose our hosh and forget our identity - Hindu or Muslim. we are all Indians and share this culture.

Bhagyesh Mukane said...

no negativity at all :)

umesh mehta said...

Thanks for the excellent translation

UV Arshi said...

This is one of my most favourite ghazals. I always thought that the poet is trying to convey something deeper, something more than what is apparent at the first glance.
Your explanation gives a great insight into his thoughts; makes me appreciate the composition even more.
Thank you for sharing it out here.

Abhishek Sutar said...

what a Gazal!!! its my all time faviorite and you made me to understand this thoroughly.. thanks for all ur efforts

mehak sharma said...


Mohammed Shyjas said...

Hi Amit,
Can i get your mail id ASAP please. I went through all your translations. Can you mail me to