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You talk about how poetry has the power to either take you in its dear arms, waltz with you around an empty ballroom or flung you down the dankest, darkest pits of gloom. All in a moment’s verse. You talk about how a particular poet appeals you. Moves you. Destroys you. And then recreates you. But, why don’t you ever talk about what is it like falling for a poet?
What is like knowing a poet in person? What is it like to look into their observant yet dreamy eyes and become a living parchment to all their poems? What is it like to see untold, unpenned verses in their eyes? How listening to them read poetry is like getting your heat axed, yet so much more like walking barefoot on young, oasis-sprinkled grass of the morning walks. At the same time.
I fell in love with a poet. And here is how it was like.
“Kahani yun likh kar sunata hun apni,
Meri jaan mujh mein ghatt’ti jarahi hai”
1) He had a poetic verse to define every situation. Endless Ghalib, yes
Or did he make every situation about poetry? “F*ck, I can’t get over him, Kazim. Why did he have to get too close?”
“Yaad e maazi azaab hai ya Rab
Cheein leh mujhsey Hafiza mera?
“Dude, I am losing my shit. I haven’t slept properly in straight 5 days now.”
“Bin tumharey kabhi nahi aai
Kya meri neend bhi tumhari hai”
“I am craving for the sight of you. I can’t wait for March.”
“ Bhar bhar kay jam bazm mein chhalkaaye jatay hain
Hum un mein hain jo door say tarsaaye jatay hain”
2) The terrible realization that there is no going back
If you ever had the luxury of falling for a poet, you become the poorest soul on the planet because you are robbed. Robbed of the choice of ever letting them completely desert your heart. It is a hedonist feeling. It is the most terrible affliction. You can try wrung loss of the love, but you will always carry them in your heart-shaped box. And your heart shaped box will rattle whenever you will read poetry again.
3) They will make you swoon, sway, blush and feel and…
.. You will unwind from your pupa and flutter away as a butterfly. It is scary how easily they can woo you away with mere words.
*cradles my hands in his*
“Dekhun terey hathun ko tau lagta hai terey hath
Mandir mein faqat deep jalanay keliye hain”
And if that failed to destroy me, sahib irshad kartay hain;
“Yaaron kuch tau zikar karu tum unki qayamat bahun ka,
Jo simat’tay hungay uss mein, woh tau marjatay hungay”
“Ayeina kyun na dun kay tamasha kahain jissey,
Ehsas kahan se laaun kay tujh sa kahain jissey”
4) Began to see poetry in the most mediocre things
How many times have I brewed poetry in my head, gazing at spilled tea as it drools its way towards my resting arm on the desk?
5) I can never be the center of his universe
I accepted it. How can you be the lone pumping center, the heart of his life, when he’s sensitive to the entire universe about him? Sorry, but that place is for Ghalib, Jaun, Faiz and Nasir. Who are you to take over their turf? Back off, woman.
6) The incorrigible case of pensive sadness and moments of inexplicable elation
It is difficult to keeping pace with poets. They are either an era ahead of us, or an era behind. Some mornings they will be blooming with vibes similar to that of a child with new crayons. A man who has discovered the cure for cancer. And more.
By evening the same man will be found stubbing cigarettes out moodily, enveloped in a self-created bubble of sadness. Carrying the weight of the world. Reveling in Ghalib, whorled in skepticism. Sigh.
“Kitni dilkash ho tum, kitna dil joh hun mein,
Kya sitam hai kay hum loug marjaaingay”
7) Poets will burn you. With words. But if you love them, you will be scarred.
And you will stare at them, at loss for words. Nothing that you learned in 15 years of education will help you in coming up with a sound reply. Scarred, I swear.
8) They will be pleased when they find you reading their favorite poets and writers
And will be overjoyed if you ever quote a fitting verse. And so easily discredit you if you quoted Ghalib’s wrong.
9) I received a personal copy of Deewan e Ghalib for my birthday
“It is not much. But it’s where I learned to read Ghalib.”
Thank you, my love, it is the best present I will have in many years to come.
“Na kar baat mushkil tu seedha btadey,
Kay yad iss ki tujh ko buhat araahi hai”
10) “The Aaamad”
They could be talking to you on call, sipping tea right in front of you and they will utter a shair, coined by them in the moment’s time. It is exhilarating knowing you were the first one to hear it, straight from those beautiful lips.
11) “I put a spell on you..”
You could be a PhD. in Accounting and Finance, the showstopper at all parties, a know-it-all at all events but have faith in how the spoken words of beautiful poetry from your lover’s mouth can so readily belittle you. How something strengthening and vast as poetry from his mouth can make you so tiny, so minuscule, so insignificant…so emasculated. You’d feel avoid tearing in your heart. Replenished by the warmth of their voice. And words. Over and over and over again.
12) The curse of the personal space
Giving personal space may be the primary requisite for nearly all relationships to work right. But when it comes to poets, they take their personal space pretty darn seriously. And if you love them; you’re over. They space out. And you feel that they are slipping through your fingers. But have faith in me when I tell you this; he probably is slipping away.
13) You begin to read prose and poetry in their voice
It is like their voice resonating, loud and clear, in your head every time you pick up poetry and read. It is the tragedy. I can’t even revel in a few verses without tearing myself.
14) Endless skepticism
Poetry is freedom. Poetry questions and challenges. Poets are puppets.
“Yeh saari shairi ishq mein nakamyabi pe hee kyun?
Koi shairi kamyab ishq pe kyun nahi?”
15) He broke will eventually break your heart
I can’t even hate him for this.