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Tassawar-i-aashiq dar tehzeeb-e-maa (The concept of the Lover in our culture)

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    Tassawar-i-aashiq dar tehzeeb-e-maa (The concept of the Lover in our culture)


    Even a perusal through our Urdu poetry (and before that Persian/Arabic ghazals too) will lead one to the conclusion that the ideal of love in our culture--i'm talking of romantic love--ishq-- is one of suffering and pain at the hand's of the cruel mashooq.

    My question is: kyon? Why? Why is the mashooq always 'sitamgar' 'zaalim' 'jaanistan' equipped with 'dashna-e-ghamzah' and 'teer' and 'naavak' which go through your dil and leave it 'paara paara'. Why does the aashiq always complain about her 'nakhray' and 'zulm'? Her high-handed-ness and aloofness and 'firaaq' aur 'yaas ' and 'gham' are extolled?

    An outsider would think that we are a culture of masochists when it comes to romantic love?! Also aashiq apne aap ko itna zaleel kyon karte hain apne mashooq ke saamne?

    Ghalib ka yeh shair lejiye:

    Dil phir tawaaf-e-koo-e-malaamat jo jaaye hai
    Pindaar ka sanam-kadaH veeraan kiye huwe!

    see? He wil still circle his beloved's street, though his self-esteem has been reduced to nothing (by her rejection.)...

    My answer is that this is a part of the Muslim psyche which has come into our culture; the idea of completely submitting to your loved one's every and each whim...Majnun crosses the desert...Farhad makes a path through a mountain with his pik-axe....Ranjha is reduced to herding buffalo....Mahiwal, a prince, becomes a potter...etc.

    And this has passed onto us today to a lesser extent I think, the idea of suffering for ishq. Even Hazrat Iqbal pukaar uThay the ke:

    "Ishq mein sitam na ho, to ishq ka mazaa hi nahin.." (or something like that!)??

    The concept of Lover....your posting...I don't know why...reminds me this:

    Tell me, Am I right!




      Dear Asif,

      Walakum Adab,

      You neglected to see the other side of Ishk, the “mulaim (silky)”, the “satisfying”. It is true that Ishk has been reduced to garbage in our present day society, but there still are a lot of Dil Waley who will do anything to revitalize the original ‘zakhminess’ of ishk. Aaye-din you read in the papers that an Aashik killed himself (along with a few others) because his Dil was broken. So there still are Farhad and MajnoN in our society, the only thing that has changed is their percentage in the population. I blame Indian Movies for that (except for Mukesh’s songs). If an Ashik is heartbroken, he goes on and finds himself another Mashook. The only way we can go back to the good old days is to ban Indian Movies in our country. If that is not enough, there is no ‘kamee’ of English crap, where an Ashik has a minimum of 4 Mashooks, he goes on hopping from one to the other as if he were tasting mangoes in a Suzee Mandee. This bad foreign influence has influenced our original concept of Ishk very badly.

      But, the good thing is that there still are some diehard Ashiks in our country, and I hope that the next millennium can be a millennium to revitalize our original version of Ishk. Ameen.