A thousand desires…..

My father was a great fan of Urdu poetry. He had collections of Mirza Ghalib, Allama Iqbal, and many other Urdu poets. There was a couplet he was very fond to reciting to us when we asked for something that was out of his purchasing power;

hazaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle

buhat niklay mery arman lekin phir bhi kam niklay

(ہَزاروں خَواہشیں ایسی کہ ہر خَواہش پہ دَم نکِلے

بُہت نکِلے میرے اَرمان لیکن پھر بھی کم نکِلے)

Roughly translated/ paraphrased, it goes like this;

In life there are thousands of desires, each demanding a sacrifice

Many of my wishes were fulfilled, yet too many left unfulfilled

At first, he had to explain the meaning of these lines to us and later whenever we made an outrageous request, he would recite only the first line and we got the message.

All his life, he was in government service and had a lot of power during his tenure, but being scrupulously honest we had a very simple lifestyle. We never went without necessities but had very few luxuries. But he taught us that honesty was way more important than having material things.

Written for Linda’s SoCS- A phrase I grew up with.

Your prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a phrase you grew up with.” Include in your post a phrase your mom/dad/grandparent/sibling used all the time when you were growing up, or just write whatever inspires you based on that phrase. Enjoy!



54 thoughts on “A thousand desires…..

  1. This couplet is my mom’s favorite, as my grandfather used to recite this to her. Yes, my maternal grandfather could read, speak, and write Urdu. For that matter, even my paternal grandfather could read and speak. I don’t know much about writing. They both were childhood besties who met in their old age, each seeking a suitable match for their child…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My mom also recites one more couplet, and I am sharing it here with you… Please do the translations, as I am not good at that…
        Ya toh deewana hasein, yaah to deewana hasein, yaah phir who, jisse tu taufiq de, warna iss duniya main aakar ke hassta sakta hain kaun.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this better than “Do as I say not as I do.”
    Which while said often in jest… by some of my family… was more of a reality.
    I learned to be a better person by others bad examples which I chose to ‘not do as they did.’

    Also thank you for introducing me to; ‘Urdu poetry is a tradition of poetry and has many different forms. Today, it is an important part of the cultures of South Asia. According to Naseer Turabi there are five major poets of Urdu which are Mir Taqi Mir, Mirza Ghalib, Mir Anees, Allama Iqbal and Josh Malihabadi.’ I’m looking at the Wiki post about it.
    ‘Both the Muslims and Hindus from across the border continue the tradition.’ ‘It is fundamentally performative poetry and its recital, sometimes impromptu, is held in Mushairas (poetic expositions). Although its tarannum saaz (singing aspect) has undergone major changes in recent decades, its popularity among the masses remains unaltered. Mushairas are today held in metropolitan areas worldwide because of the cultural influence of South Asian diaspora. Ghazal singing and Qawwali are also important expository forms of Urdu poetry.’

    I’ve heard of Ghazal, but not Qawwali. May we all be content with what we have. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jules! I’m so impressed that you did all that research. I’m a big fan of Urdu poetry, thanks to the influence of my father. Sometimes I’ll share a qwalli and gazal with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My mother would often say, “That’s just ducky.” She would say it when things didn’t go as planned, or more often if she was unhappy about something we did or said that didn’t please her.

    Liked by 1 person

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