Skip to main content

Responsibility of A Writer- As per Ghalib

कहते हैं , जब रही ना मुझे ताक़त ए सुख़न 

जानूँ किसी के दिल की मैं क्यों कर कहे बगैर।  

"Kahte hain, jab rahi na mujhe taqat-e-sukhanJanoon kisi ke dil ki main kyunkar, kahe bagair"

This is one of the lesser known couplet by Ghalib. Loosely translated it means-

“If it is said, that I no longer hold the power of writingWhy should I be told the affairs of someone’s heart, without asking?”

Being a writer is a rare privilege. It allows one to reach out deeper into human hearts, offers rare empathy to pain, happiness and ambitions of fellow human beings. When I say writing here, I am not referring to writers driven solely by commercial necessities, writing as per market-mechanization.

Writers, like doctors, have the ability and authority to look into our hearts and find the treasures which we never know, we possessed. This also puts a great responsibility on the writers. A writer searches the truth, not only for himself, but also for those about him and for the generations after him.

Not everyone is blessed with a writer’s sensitivity and the vastness of vision. Therefore, it is not always an easy life, but being a writer is a privilege. It needs to be earned. A writer often faces trauma, tragedy and terror on account of his writing in his private thoughts or public life. But he needs to keep at it. This only gives him a right to be a friend to many. It is not unusual for people to walk up to a writer and share with him or her feelings which they would otherwise not confide to best of their friends. Sometimes, it is an expectation of answers or sometimes it is merely trust and empathy that a writer offers. He needs to earn this privilege of universal brotherhood and he needs to keep being worthy of it. 

In today’s world where columns are brought by vested interests, this couplet of Ghalib is a reminder to people who write, whether as literary writers or journalists. We, the word-worshipers, owe it to ourselves. We need to celebrate our rare gift, which though might be difficult to pursue at time. Our writings need to have a purpose, offer a meaning to the aching hearts. Writers are like scientists and philosophers, searching the truth for those who are not able to search it for themselves

Which would mean that unless I am committed to reflect with sensitivity of people around me, whose feelings I can know being a writer, without being told, by interpretation and extrapolation as we often do, why should have this ability to delve into other people’s heart and affairs. This couplet may also be translated to mean
If it is said, that I no longer hold the power of writingWhy should I know the affairs of someone’s heart, without being told?”

(I have planned a series trying to interpret one couplet of Ghalib in each post. This is a part of that initiative)

Comments

Anonymous said…
Good job on this thank you for sharing
saket suryesh said…
Thank you so much, Sir. Coming from you means so much to me.

Popular posts from this blog

Know the Naxals- A brief look at the History

There have been many debates of late on the television, in the wake of the arrests of those who are now increasingly mentioned as the Urban Naxals. I am both shocked and amused at the same time to look at the audacity of the sympathizers of Naxal terrorism, in all their starched Saris and handloom Kurtas, when they hide behind the same constitution, that the want to overthrow. They are shrill, sophisticated, eloquent and deriding. They hate the common folks, and their disdain for those who work, create and make a living, peeps through their elitist smiles. They are mostly ideologues (yes, that is some work for sustenance in the modern scheme of things), academics and well, ostensibly, writers and poets. The fact remains that when communism is the scheme of things, Naxal notices mentioning Jan Adaalats in the villages of Chattisgarh too become work of art, and corpses hanging from the electricity poles, become equivalent of art work on the roof of Sistine chapel.
The other day, Ms. Arun…

बुद्धिजीवियों की बारात

बुद्धिजीवियों की बारात
शरद जी रिटायर हो चुके थे। आधार का भय आधारहीन मान कर आधार बनवा चुके थे, और पेंशन प्राप्त कर के भोपाल मे जीवनयापन कर रहे थे। एक बार बिहार जा कर शरद जी नरभसा चुके थे, पुन: नरभसाने का कोई इरादा था नहीं, सो मामाजी के राज में स्वयं को सीमित कर के रखे हुए थे। इस्लाम आज कल ख़तरे मे नही आता था, संभवत: इमर्जेंसी के बाद से, इस्लाम सबल हो चुका था, और कल निपचती जींस और लोकतंत्र के ख़तरे मे रहने का दौर चल रहा था। न्यू मार्केट के कॉफ़ी हाऊस मे चंद बुद्धिजीवी लोकतंत्र पर आए संकट पर चर्चा कर लेते थे, जोशी जी वहाँ भी नहीं जाते थे। एक दफे वहाँ के मलियाली वेटर्स को जोशी जी के हिंदी लेखक होने का पता चल गया और उन्होंने जोशीजी को यिंदी यिम्पोजीशन के विरोध मे कॉफ़ी देने से मना कर दिया था। कहाँ शरदजी सरस्वती से ब्रह्मप्रदेश तक लिखना चाहते थे और कहाँ उन्हे बड़े तालाब के उत्तर भाग का लेखक घोषित कर दिया गया था। इस से क्षुब्ध जोशी जी अपने बग़ीचे मे टमाटर उगा रहे थे। जानने वाले कहते हैं कि इसके पीछे उनकी मँशा महान किसान नेता बन कर उभरने की थी, किंतु उन्हे पता चला कि आधुनिक किसान नेता किसानों को …

A Husband's Views On Karvachauth

Today is the day of Indian, or should I say, Hindu festival of Karvachauth, much popularized by Bollywood. Initially a festival of Northern India, now it is widely celebrated. The festival is primarily of a day of fasting, observed by married women, praying for the long life of their husbands. As is the practice, the festival is marked by severe criticism every year by over-jealous atheists, fanatic feminists and bigoted secularist, who claim that the festival is patriarchal, regressive and anti-woman. If one considers those rants to be true, one would believe that there is huge amount of physical and emotional trauma that womenfolk are subjected to, in order to get them around to fast on the day.  However, if one were to visit any of the markets in Delhi, the scenario is quite contrary. You will find happy, joyous women on the streets of Delhi, excitedly visiting beauty parlors, with their husbands dragged themselves behind them, holding the kids as wife gets Mehandi to her hands- do…