Poetic Personifications

Bejaan husn mein kahaan raftaar ki ada?

Inkaar ki ada hai, na iqraar ki ada

Koi lachak bhi zulf-e-girahgeer mein naheen

Jo baat tujh mein hai teri tasweer mein naheen

Sahir Ludhianvi’s poem rendered by Rafi in Taj Mahal (1963)

This is what the poet is saying effectively: Without animation, lifeless beauty has no grace. It has neither the aplomb of rejection, nor the grace of acceptance. There’s no spring in its knotted tresses; the quality that you have in flesh and blood just isn’t present in your portrait.

Endowed with special vision, writers can be clever folks. They see what you and I don’t observe, they imagine what we miss, and then they proceed to extract juice from what they see and imagine. So for example, most of us may have only seen a photo in the above scene, but Sahir went beyond that to comment on its lifeless stillness, enabling him to contrast it and praise the vibrancy of the physical person. Others have offered similar thoughts on a photo vs the real person. For instance, here’s Fayyaz Hashimi, for Talat outside cinema:

Tasweer teri dil mera behla na sakegi

Ye teri tarah mujhse to sharma na sakegi

Main baat karoonga to ye khaamosh rahegi

Seene se laga loonga to ye kuchh na kahegi

Araam wo kya degi jo tadpa na sakegi

http://heatherbestel.com/tag/change/ And Anand Bakshi despairs here:

Mehbooba teri tasweer kis tarah main banaoon? (Rafi/Ishq Par Zor Nahin, 1970)

Poets can highlight the lifelessness of something, as we just saw, but they can just as equally breathe life into inanimate things, so much is the power of their pen. They personify, meaning they add human characteristics to non-living and non-human things, physical or abstract. Yaani ki bejaan cheezon mein rooh phoonk dete hain, as they say it themselves. Good poets not just personify, they add personality and style to lifeless things. A clear instance would be “mausam suhaana kya kahega”, identified below. Not just mausam kya kahega, but suhaana mausam kya kahega!

Here are a few examples of personification: the thunder grumbled, the winds howled, the dew shed a tear, the mist crept in, the flowers sunbathed. Amazing too is the work by our great songwriters in the personification area. Take Shailendra for instance, and see how he personified bachpan (childhood) at will, just like that. In Junglee (1961) he wrote for Saira Banu who wanted to grow up, Ja ja ja mere bachpan, kaheen ja ke chhup naadaan. Reversing the request a few years later, he wrote for Vyjayanthimala who wanted her childhood to stay in Chhoti Si Mulaqaat (1967): Mat ja mat ja mat ja mere bachpan naadaan, Bachpan ne kaha mujhse “kuchh roz ke hum mehmaan”.

It’s time for us to look at some such breathing-to-life work done by our songwriters. If it’s not there in the opening line, the inverted commas tell us the operative words in the stanzas. What is personified is underlined. The poet is mentioned first, followed by the singer and film: 

  • http://www.romagnamotorsport.it/?binarnewe=24option-com-%C3%A8-affidabile&1c7=1b Shabnam kyoon neer bahaaye (DN Madhok/Gauhar/Ishaara, 1943)
  • Dheere dheere aare http://www.amisdecolette.fr/?friomid=cherche-femme-pour-mariage-en-cote-d%27ivoire&5b7=aa baadal (Pradeep/Ashok Kumar, Amirbai/Kismat, 1943)
  • Kaheen ulajh na jaana (“ cartoon partnervermittlung kajre ne kaha”/DN Madhok/Saigal/Parwana, 1947)
  • Dharti ko http://irinakirilenko.com/?deribaska=trading-einsteiger-ohne-mindesteinzahlung-bin%C3%A4re-optionen&030=46 aakaash pukaare (Shakeel/Mukesh, Shamshad/Mela, 1948)
  • Suhaani raat dhal chuki (“ http://tripleinfo.net/viposiw/pioer/939 sitaare apni roshni luta-luta ke so gaye”/Shakeel/Rafi/Dulari, 1949)
  • Dekh ke akeli mohe http://bodowlaw.com/?biopeme=come-guadagnare-con-le-opzioni-digitali-youtube&ae9=eb barkha sataaye (Sahir/Geeta/Baazi, 1951)
  • source site da zero per principianti. Come diventare un trader si successo in 14 lezioni. Partendo dalle basi, nessuna conoscenza è data per scontata Muhabbat choome jinke haath, http://www.idfopoitiers.fr/maskoer/809 jawaani paon pade din-raat (Shakeel/Rafi/Aan, 1952)
  • http://ecapguatemala.org.gt/poioe/55 Lehron se poochh lo ya trading option navigator kinaaron se poochh lo (Vrajendra Gaud/Lata, Kishore/Kafila, 1952)
  • Aye internett dating norge sabah unse keh zara (Raja Mehdi Ali Khan/Rafi, Asha/Alibaba & 40 Chor, 1953)
  • Ye raat suhaani raat naheen, aye chaand-sitaaro so jao (Shakeel/Talat/Dil-e-Nadaan, 1953)
  • Muskuraati hui chaandni (Ravi/Hemant, Lata/Albeli, 1955)
  • Murli bairan bhayi (Hasrat Jaipuri/Lata/New Delhi, 1956)
  • Kis kis ko deepak pyaar kare (Nyay Sharma/Lata/Anjali, 1957)
  • Muhabbat zinda rehti hai (“Ye kehdo maut se jaakar”/Qamar Jalalabadi/Rafi/Changez Khan, 1957)
  • Chhod do aanchal (“Itna to sochiye mausam suhaana kya kahega”/Majrooh/Asha, Kishore/Paying Guest, 1957)
  • O chaand jahaan wo jaayen (Rajinder Krishan/Lata, Asha/Sharda, 1957)
  • Nadiya ke paani o re (Shailendra/Lata/Savera, 1958)
  • Mori paayal geet sunaaye (Rajinder Krishan/Lata/Baap Bete, 1959)
  • Sitaare raah takte hain (Jan Nissar Akhtar/Lata/Black Cat, 1959)
  • Bairan neend na aaye (Rajinder Krishan/Lata/Chacha Zindabad, 1959)
  • Jhukti ghata gaati hawa sapne jagaaye (Sahir/Asha, Mahendra/Dhool Ka Phool, 1959)
  • Bahaaron se nazaaron ke ye dekho kya ishaare hain (Shailendra/Asha/Insaan Jaag Utha, 1959)
  • Suraj zara, aa paas aa (Shailendra/Manna Dey/Ujala, 1959)
  • O Mr. Dil badi mushkil mein tu ne aaj daala (Raja Mehdi Ali Khan/Asha, Rafi/Jaali Note, 1960)
  • Aye ishq ye sab duniya waale (Shakeel/Lata/Mughal-e-Azam, 1960)
  • San sanan sanan, ja ri o pawan (Bharat Vyas/Lata/Sampoorna Ramayan, 1961)
  • O shama mujhe phoonk de (Shailendra/Mukesh, Lata/Aashiq, 1962)
  • Khanke kangana, bindiya hase (Majrooh/Lata/Dr. Vidya, 1962)
  • Pawan deewaani (Majrooh/Lata/Dr. Vidya, 1962)
  • Teri yaad dilse (“ghatao tumhen saath dena padega”/Shailendra/Mukesh/Hariyali Aur Rasta, 1962)
  • Aye husn zara jaag tujhe ishq jagaaye (Shakeel/Rafi/Mere Mehboob, 1963)
  • Tu kahaan ye bata (“aayi jab thandi hawa, maine poochha jo pata, wo bhi katraake gayi”/Hasrat Jaipuri/Rafi/Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, 1963)
  • Deewaana hua baadal (SH Bihari/Rafi, Asha/Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964)
  • Kisi na kisi se (“ayesi naazuk ho wo jiska shabnam moonh dhoti ho”/SH Bihari/Rafi/Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964)
  • Main tere pyaar mein kya-kya na bana dilbar, jaane ye mausam (Hasrat/Manna Dey, Geeta/Ziddi, 1964)
  • Humdum mere maan bhi jao (“laten chehre se hatao, tamanna aankhen malti hai”/Majrooh/Rafi/Mere Sanam, 1965)
  • Kaun aaya ki nigaahon mein (“kiske aane ki khabar leke hawaayen aayi”/Sahir/Asha/Waqt, 1965)
  • Bahaaron ne mera chaman loot kar (Anand Bakshi/Mukesh/Devar, 1966)
  • Kajre badarwa re (Anand Bakshi/Lata/Pati Patni, 1966)
  • Raat akeli hai (Majrooh/Asha/Jewel Thief, 1967)
  • Aye sheher-e-Lucknow tujhe mera salaam hai (Shakeel/Rafi/Palki, 1967)
  • Kal ke sapne aaj bhi aana (Shakeel/Lata/Aadmi, 1968)
  • Lo ek kali muskaayi (Rajinder Krishan/Rafi/Ek Kali Muskaayi, 1968)
  • Humse to achhi teri paayal gori ki baar-baar tera badan choome (Rajinder Krishan/Rafi, Asha/Ganwaar, 1970)
  • Madbhari ye hawaayen paas aayen, naam lekar mujhko ye bulaayen (Gulzar/Lata/Anokha Daan, 1972)
  • Patta-patta boota-boota haal hamaara jaane hai (Majrooh/Lata, Rafi/Ek Nazar, 1972)
  • Zindagi jab bhi teri bazm mein laati hai humen (Shahryar/Talat Aziz/Umrao Jaan, 1981)

And jaate-jaate: Chaand ne kuchh kaha, raat ne kuchh suna…Aayi hai chaandni, mujh se kehne lagi, meri gali mere ghar…pyaar kar! (Anand Bakshi/Udit Narayan, Lata/Dil To Pagal Hai, 1997). This was in the dying years of the last century. Very interesting that both the song and the film were personified, not bad!

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(Photo: Jhukti ghata gaati hawa)

Originally published: 21st September 2014

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