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مُڈھلا ورقہ >> شاہ مُکھی وچار >> کلاسک >> کافیاں شاہ حسین >> سنگت شاہ حسین >> Kaafi Shah Hussain: 9

Kaafi Shah Hussain: 9

Muzaffar A Ghaffar
June 29th, 2008

راگ آساوری


١ اِک دن تینوں سُپنا تھِیسن، گلیاں بابل والیاں وو
٢ اُڈ گئے بھور پھُلاّں دے کولوں، سن پتراں سن ڈالیاں
٣ اِک دن تینوں سُپنا تھِیسن، گلیاں بابل والیاں وو
٤ جِت تَن لگّے سو تَن جانے، گلاں کرن سُکھالیاں
٥ اِک دن تینوں سُپنا تھِیسن، گلیاں بابل والیاں وو
٦ رہ وے قاضی دِل نہیوں راضی، ہوئیاں تاں ہوون والیاں
٧ اِک دن تینوں سُپنا تھیِسن، گلیاں بابل والیاں وو
٨ سو ای راتِیں لیکھے پوسن، نال صاحب جو جالیاں
٩ اِک دن تینوں سُپنا تھِیسن، گلیاں بابل والیاں وو
١٠ ناؤں حُسینا جات جُلاہا، تانیاں والیاں گاہلیاں
١١ اِک دن تینوں سُپنا تھِیسن، گلیاں بابل والیاں

ਰਾਗ ਆਸਾਵਰੀ

1 ਇਕ ਦਿੰਨ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਸੁਪਨਾ ਥੀਸਨ, ਗਲੀਆਂ ਬਾਬਲ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਵੋ
2 ਉਡ ਗਏ ਭੌਰ ਫੁੱਲਾਂ ਦੇ ਕੋਲੋਂ, ਸਣ ਪੱਤਰਾਂ ਸਣ ਡਾਲੀਆਂ
3 ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਸੁਪਨਾ ਥੀਸਨ, ਗਲੀਆਂ ਬਾਬਲ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਵੋ
4 ਜਿੱਤ ਤੰਨ ਲੱਗੇ ਸੋ ਤੰਨ ਜਾਣੇ, ਗੱਲਾਂ ਕਰਨ ਸੁਖਾਲੀਆਂ
5 ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਸੁਪਨਾ ਥੀਸਨ, ਗਲੀਆਂ ਬਾਬਲ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਵੋ
6 ਰਹਿ ਵੇ ਕਾਜ਼ੀ ਦਿਲ ਨਹੀਓਂ ਰਾਜ਼ੀ, ਹੋਈਆਂ ਤਾਂ ਹੋਵਣ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ
7 ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਸੁਪਨਾ ਥੀਇਸਨ, ਗਲੀਆਂ ਬਾਬਲ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਵੋ
8 ਸੋ ਈ ਰਾਤੀਂ ਲਿਖੇ ਪੋਸਣ, ਨਾਲ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੋ ਜਾਲੀਆਂ
9 ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਸੁਪਨਾ ਥੀਸਨ, ਗਲੀਆਂ ਬਾਬਲ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਵੋ
10 ਨਾਊਂ ਹੁਸੀਨਾ ਜਾਤ ਜੁਲਾਹਾ, ਤਾਣੀਆਂ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਗਾਹਲੀਆਂ
11 ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਸੁਪਨਾ ਥੀਸਨ, ਗਲੀਆਂ ਬਾਬਲ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ

Raag Asaavri

1 Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waaliaan vo

2 Udd ga’ae bhaur phullaan dae kolon, san patraan san daaliaan

3 Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waaliaan vo

4 Jit tann laggae so tann jaanae, gallaan karan sukhaaliaan

5 Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waaliaan vo

6 Reh vae qaazi, dil nahyon raazi, hoiyyaan taan hovan waaliaan

7 Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waaliaan vo

8 So ee raatin laekhae posan, naal Saahib jo jaaliaan

9 Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baadal waaliaan vo

10 Naaon Husayna, jaat julaaha, taaniaan waaliaan gahliaan

11 Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waaliaan vo

GLOSSARY:

Rahaao/refrain (Line 1, etc.):

Supna: s.m. Sleep, dreaming, a dream, vision; fancy, conception, thought.

Thisan: v.n. Will become, will be; will attain (to); will accrue, result; will be effected, will be accomplished; - will come to pass; will prove to be.

Baabal: s.m. Father (a term used by daughters and their friends, especially in songs sung at weddings).

Line 2:

Bhaur: s.m. A large bee, the bumblebee; (met.) a lusting lover.

San: prep. With, along with

Line 4:

Tann: s.m. The body, person; one’s own person, self.

Sukhaaliaan: s.f. pl. Women who are in an abode of happiness and ease, or in easy circumstances or in a season of plenty; easy, (with) facility.

Line 6:

Raazi: adj. Pleased, well pleased, content; approving; (colloq.) well, in good health.

Line 8:

Laekhae: In the accounts, in reckoning, etc.; from laekha: s.m. Account, reckoning, in the ledger; state, condition, style, fashion; - that which is written, fate, account for reckoning.

Sahib: adj: Possessing, possessed of, endowed with; - s.m. Companion, associate, comrade; possessor, owner, lord, great man, governor, chief; God.

Jaaliaan: I live; I am living, etc.; from jaalna: v.n. To spend time; to live; to endure, to suffer; to pass through; to experience.

Line 10:

Taaniaan: s.f. pl. Those whose cloth is being woven (those who have provided the yarn with which the warp has been made); owners of the yarn.

Gahliaan: (f. pl. of gahla): s.f. Those who are remiss or inattentive or unmindful, thoughtless, careless, sensesless, unconscious; those who are foolish, stupid, drunk intoxicated, not themselves (at the time).

1 One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

2 Lusting bees have flown from flowers, taking leaves, branches entire

3 One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

4 Only the afflicted self knows, they prattle who is ease retire

5 One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

6 Come judge! The heart’s not content, what was to be happened grandsire

7 One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

8 Only those nights will be in reckoning, which with the Lord transpire

9 One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

10 Weaver by caster, name Husayna! Unmindful skein-owners spitfire

11 One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

NOTES:

Though the texts which come to us via the oral tradition have problems, we tend to hold what is printed as sacrosanct. This we may do even when the metre or meaning is problematic, or even when the text is technically deficient and unlikely to be what the master poet would have written. Such problems abound in most old Punjabbi poetic works, which have, almost without exception, come to us via the oral tradition. There can be many reasons for these problems.1 No-change protagonists are well pleased with this status-quo. But some scholars have worked on these problems and contributed greatly. For example, barrister Shaekh Abdul Aziz spent thirty-five years meticulously weeding out stuff that he assessed did not belong in Heer Waaris Shaah ultimately reducing the 1900 couplets to 630. Shaekh Sharif Sabir worked on the text edited by Shaekh Aziz for fourteen and solved many texual problems. For Shaah Husayn similar work needs to be done both by editors who are intimate with words and by scholars who are not only seeped in poetics and poetry, but also in the language and social context of the times.

Rahaao/refrain (Line 1):

Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waaliaan vo

One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

The kaafi starts like a wedding song. The word baabal is used by daughters and their female friends for their fathers (also meaning parents), more often in wedding songs.

However, the poet expands the usual line sung for a bride who is about to leave her parent’s home to live with her husband. He does so by telling us that for her the streets of the father will become a dream. Thus, joy for a new life with a lover-husband runs parallel to leaving the life she knew – friends, place, parents, siblings, even possessions.

In these lines we see not a village but the city of Lahore, where Shaah Husayn lived. Children played in the streets. Little boys and girls played together till the girls attained puberty and were married soon after. There were secret places, smells, sounds, particular friends, pet hates, elders who were comical, harsh or affectionate and so on. All such experiences shaped one’s childhood. Leaving them is like losing a part of oneself. But not quite. There is a delicate overlap here between what was physical and what was emotional. This is where dreams and thoughts have come to intersect. They were real and yet they were not. The poet creates such an overlap by mentioning tangible streets that have been intertwined with fancy and dreams.

Two qualities of experience are available in this line. Dreams, and streets (where one spent childhood) which become dreams. These are interlaced with memory, and kept alive in the recesses of the mind. The girl has left her father’s streets. She will be able to remember them. But Shaah Husayn says that they will become a dream, indeed they have become a dream. The feeling evokes possibilities of ‘what could have been’ – for example, Heer going with her beloved Raanjha and not with the unknown khaera. (Heer makes an appearance in a later line). Pondering on ‘what could have been’ is not unusual in life even though it may not be so intensely felt. What is not attained always sits in man’s desire. We can see these shades of feelings in this line. Perhaps all is not well in the present, making one linger over ‘what could have been’. That feeling is confirmed by the next line. We are shown the possibility that the dream may be a nightmare. Time past is a memory or dream. It can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

On the face of it we see the dream that is being lost. What is being lost will become a dream. Or the dream is of what is lost. There is an ‘owning’ of the streets here. ‘father’s streets’ is what the line says. There are not quite ‘my streets’, because father stays on there, but the bride does not. The line applies to each of us who leaves home.

There is a deeper possibility in this line. Baabal could be the Father, or God. The mode when all was One, has now become part of man’s dream-baggage. It has already happened. A world with ‘streets’ is shown to us – a primordial mode before this world came into being. We carry the ‘dream’ of being in God in our innermost chambers. Sometimes these ‘dreams’ overpower us.

That other ‘childhood’ (when we were close to God, or even earlier when we were in God, according to some adherents of Waahdat-al-Vujood) as well as this one, is a recurrent theme of Shaah Husayn. He is wistful about it, like he is here.

Line 2:

Udd ga’ae bhaur phullaan dae kolon, san patraan san daaliaan

Lusting been have flown from flowers, taking leaves, branches entire

The imagery of this line shows violence. The large bees have flown away from flowers and they have taken away not only the fragrance or sap of the flowers but destroyed the very bushes or trees on which the flowers blossomed. The leaves and branches are also gone. The destruction here is unusual. It describes a desolate landscape. Perhaps it reflects the devastation within the bride.

The bhaur also represents lust. Here the body, not just the mind, is being destroyed the lust. The line represents deflowering with force. The flower remains, now deflowered. The perpetrator, and the body and mind of the flowers (read victims), are all gone. A deflowered flower lives only in appearance. The poet shows us the difference between love and lust. Between consummation and rape (illegal, or within a marriage). Indeed this line encapsulates both the physical and emotional devastation caused by rape.

Faqeers also call themselves bhaur because they are forever on the move. With this meaning a completely different reading emerges. Faqeers have ‘flown’ away from flowers and become alien. As they leave the whole plant ‘leaves’ with them, such is the attachment. Shaah Husayn is also recording for us that bees are the instruments of pollination. Perhaps the floral juice they suck is compensation for furthering the genus. When there are no bees, no pollination takes place, thus no branches and leaves (of new plants) emerge. Poetically, when a lover leaves his beloved he takes away all the essentials of the personality of the beloved. And he leaves behind much of himself. This too the poet implies.

Rahaao/refrain (Line 3):

Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waaliaan vo

One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

With the first reading above, the dreams can turn even sourer if the new husband is lustful. If he not only deflowers the bride but also makes her desolate. The refrain makes the dreams even more precious. The second reading makes the bhaur (the faqeer) sad when he flies off. This gives a new dimension to the life of a faqeer. He moves by some compulsion, but all relationships he leaves behind become incorporated in his dreams, quite like the dreams of a bride for the streets of her parents. In the third reading the lover may have to become alien by compulsion, circumstances, or the emergence of another lover who is preferred. Then the beloved is incorporated in his dreams. If the beloved is forced to abandon the lover then all he goes with are dreams of the beloved, of what might have been.

Line 4:

Jit tann laggae so tann jaanae, gallaan karan sukhaaliaan

Only the afficted self knows, they prattle who is ease retire

Who knows our pain? Only ourselves, says the poet. Only the body which feels the hurt knows the pain. The poet then introduces those who have objective experiences –those who have not experienced love, or its loss. These are women in easy circumstances. Not necessarily in financial ease, but the ease of not having loved and lost. Hear them cackle about heer, says the poet. ‘Poor dear! How awful! How terribly devastating!!’ And so on. We hear the women and link the line with our experiences. But the poet also releases another layer of sentiment. It is these women who are to be pitied. The flavour is that ‘tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’. The pain of these women (read people) is pitiable. We read the pain in their superficial commentary. They miss the prospect of not experiencing the pain of having loved and lost. They hold love against the now desolate woman – ‘why she? What’s she got that I haven’t,’ seems to be in the air. They experience in the pain of self-pity because they have not been affected by love. There is no catharsis.

Rahaao/refrain (Line 5):

Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waadliaan vo

One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the site

The refrain underscores the loss felt by the bride. But it also reminds the women unafflicted by love of the love they have missed.

Line6

Reh vae qaazi, dil nahyon raazi, hoiyyaan taan hovan waaliaan

Come judge! The heart’s not content, what was to be happened grandsire

The poet takes us into they story of Heer. The tale of Heer Raanjha is old. Shaah Husayn’s allusion here is to a dialogue between the qaazi (judge) who has been retained to marry her off to Khaera2. Enough Mr. Judge’, says Heer. ‘Stop rationalizing. The heart is not content’. The judge represents the law. But here logic goes by the board. The heart rules in matters of the heart, not law. That is Heer’s (and the poet’s) position. The judge does not agree.

The second part of the line says that what may have happened, or was to happen has happened. The word hovan which the poet uses has a poetic vagueness about it. It throws up many colours and many possibilities. And it has a wistfulness that works on the words. It takes away acceptance from what has happened. It tells us, ‘what has happened was anticipated but I am not content with it. And nothing that the qaazi can say can ever change that’.

Why do poets of the old tradition identify so strongly with women? Is it because folklore tells us that poetry was primarily sung (usually chorally) by women, so poets wrote as women? Is it because women were considered chattels thus they drew strong sympathy from the poets? (And what greater expression of sympathy than identity with woman?) Is it because God is always addressed in the masculine gender and thus man uses the feminine gender for himself? Or because faqeer address themselves in the feminine gender? 3 The discovery of woman by herself is a cliché. The split between men and women is in the consciousness of man (and woman). Perhaps the poets are saying that the two genders are the same in so many ways, thus proposing poetic genderlessness to underscore the sameness of the humanity and breaking of gender stereotypes. And they are willing to pay the price of attempting this healing by willingly accepting the stereotyped subservient role. Heer is not a stereotype of an ordinary woman. Her arguments with the qaazi their categorical summary in this line belong to a person, not just a man or a woman stereotype. So does the complexity of the second part of the line, also spoken by Heer, belong to a person – an assertive, plain-speaking one at that. Shaah Husayn is purposively subverting gender stereotypes to convey his message.

Rahaao/refrain (Line 7):

Ik din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waaliaan vo

One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

The refrain can now be experienced as a chorus. All its import is felt by the reader.

Line 8:

So ee raatin laekhae posan, naal Saahib jo jaaliaan

Only those nights will be in reckoning, which with the Lord transpire

This line again pulls towards the ‘pre-primordial’ or primordial firmly stationed in the present via the primordial dream (when, as many Sufis suggest, man was an undifferentiated part of God). Only that time will be in reckoning which is spent with the Lord. All other time is of no consequence, says the poet. Indeed Time, which started when God ordered Creation, is anathema to many Sufis. It is the time of separation from the Lord.

The line is replete with passionate love. Other love-making is left out. It does not matter. It is of no consequence. They body does not make love, the total person does. For Heer her total person is only ‘with’ Raanjha.

This line is on the face of Khaera and all he symbolizes, i.e., those who force themselves on to others. It is also a slap on the face of that qaazi and the likes of him who use the law blindly, who interfere in matters of the heart. A whole section of the population, probably the majority, vehemently disagrees with lovers creating their own law of love’ which violates the law of society. But it changes nothing. Society upholds the law. If it did not society would collapse. This dichotomy has always pervaded society.


Rahaao/refrain (Line 9):


1k din taenun supna thisan, galiaan baabal waaliaan vo
One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire


The refrain invites us to look at it again. We read that the event has not happened yet. The kaafi then opens itself to a review of the tenses. The refrain presents a dreaded time which manifests psycho-somatic symptoms in so many brides. It is in the future. The second line is in the present, or the past. It gives an extreme case for what might happen by showing that it has happened.

The fourth and sixth lines are in the present. This is happening now. The eighth line is astride both the present and the future. Perhaps the poet is structurally creating confusion about time. Times are awry seems to be the structural message. Indeed Time is the culprit which records our separation from the Lord.


Line 10:
Noon Husayna,jaat julaaha, taaniaan waaliaan gahliaan
Weaver by caste, name Husayna! Unmindful skein-owners spitfire


The hereditary weaving profession of the poet now steps in. The fact that castes and classes matter is highlighted. ‘Look’, women in easy circumstances seem to say, ‘he’s just a weaver but he has a venerable name.’ ‘How drool’ or ‘how presumptuous’ or even ‘don’t these people know their place’, seems to be hidden in the line. As the poet is playing with these thoughts he even distorts his own name. Not Husayn, but Husayna. This could have been done by those who talk of him in derision (or those who hold him in affection). The poet could be snickering here. He knew his poetry was well-regarded. These women are torn between half-ridiculing him for his low caste, and admiration for his verse. His defiant and devil- may-care lifestyle may also create a difficulty for these women. ‘How to stereotype him?’ Their bewilderment shines through the line.

Who are these women? Are they the customers of the weaver? They have the yarn and they commission the weaver. But they are also unmindful, stupid, or even intoxicated. Here too the poet plays with the already abashed women. Perhaps they are also abusive because they want him to weave (and to live the weaver stereotype). But he would not. They are unthinking, and yet on the way to, metaphorically, becoming a ball of carded cotton, then yarn. And then they have to come to Husayn to be woven into a fabric.

The poet is also circumspect here. The women may be saying that though this Husayn is a weaver, he doesn’t weave! Or the more wistful, ‘but he won’t weave!’. The women remain plateaued in the quest of ‘becoming’.

Rahaao/refrain (Line 11):
Ik din taenun supna thisan,galiaan baabal waaliaan vo
One day they’ll just be dreams, these streets of the sire

The refrain now addresses these women. All they will have in life are the dreams of childhood. They will not grow any more. And their reckoning will be futile because they will spend no time with the real Saahib.

The taunts of passers-by are also here. The poet is wistful. He seems to say that ‘the world rejects me because I do not accept the stereotyped weaver, i.e., that I do not weave while belonging to the weaver caste.’ In his own way the poet is militating against the inalienable delineation of castes. But the taunts continue. ‘He is really a weaver’, they could be saying, ‘but pretends to be a poet!’

The refrain now applies to Shaah Husayn. She has lost her father’s streets and the dreams that they nurtured. All she has got are taunts. Taunts have replaced the dreams. And they lead her back to the dreams, to ‘what might have been’. With those who go counter to the norms of society, this is how it has always been. That too flows from the line.

Note:
One musical composition of the rahaao is as follows:
Galiaan baabal walliaan
vo
1k din taenun supna thisan

The word vo would follow each antra, and then the whole rahaao.

 


 

 

1- Additions or subtractions in the original works may be a result of lapses of memory in the oral tradition, the ‘give’ in music which persuades singers to add or subtract words or syllables, ‘editors’ or scribes who add words to ‘clarify’ the line, incorporation of new material (inspired by the poetic work) into the original text, lack of knowledge of metres with scribes, and then some singers may also have led to the corruption which were then passed on to the next generation. Then these texts were written down, and for some, became sacrosanct.

2- This dialogue is one of the high points or Waris Shah’s Heer, two centuries later. It is possible that Shaah Husayn may have been familiar with some other Heer. Here we are given the essence of the conversation by Shaah Husayn.

3- The male stereotype is strong, competitive, brave, active, masterful, etc,; and the female stereotype is soft, patient, complaint, etc.. Is that how it really is?

 


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