Rational & Non-rational Ways of Dealing With Unrequited Love by Gaurang Bhatt, MD SignUp
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Rational & Non-rational Ways
of Dealing With Unrequited Love
by Gaurang Bhatt, MD Bookmark and Share
 

The first, obvious and inevitable example of unrequited love is the obsessive attachment to or affliction with god. This is manifested most poetically in Sufism ibn Islam and the Bhakti marga in Hinduism. The now widely available translations of the poems of Rumi are the most popular and best examples of this style in Islam. In Hinduism, the best examples are the poems of Meera and they are inordinately beautiful. To give a few examples which have been taken and pasted from the web with gratitude to the efforts of those who put them up and translated them for English speakers.

Eri men to premdiwaani, meraa dard naa jaane koi
I am just intoxicated by love and none can understand my pain

Naa men jaanu artibandhan, naa pujaa ki rit
I have no knowledge of ritual incense nor method of worship

Hai anjaani, daras diwaani, meri pagal prit
Unparalleled, craving only a glimpse of you is my insane love

Lieri mene do nayanon ke deepak liye sanjoy
I have only lighted a fire of my eyes as an offering to you.

It gets even more masochistically self-sacrificing in her bhajan (devotional song) Jogi mat jaa.

Hindi Lyrics:

jogi mat ja paanv paduun main tori

mat ja mat ja mat ja jogi
paanv paduun main tori

prem bhakti ko panth hi nyaaro
ham ko gyaan bata ja
chandan ki main chita rachaayuun
apane haath jala ja
mat ja mat ja mat ja jogi

jal jal bhayi bhasm ki dheri
apane ang laga ja jogi
mira ke prabhu giridhar naagar
jyot mein jyot mila ja jogi
mat ja mat ja mat ja jogi

Don’t abandon me, I implore you
I will build a funeral pyre with sandalwood
And let you light it with your own hands
When I burn into a pile of ash
Anoint yourself with the ashes so I can still be with you after death
Strange are the paths of devotional love
Give me the wisdom to understand them
O Meera’s lord, let me merge my flame into your eternal one.

It was two hundred years earlier that Rumi lived in Balkh, Afghanistan but had intellectually advanced to express some doubt. Prior to that Omar Khayyam had raised even more serious challenges to this total subjugation to a god not to be questioned, as in his famous verses.

Some for the pleasures here below
Others yearn for The Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the cash and let the credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant drum

And much as Wine has played the Infidel
And robbed me of my robe of Honour, well ...
I often wonder what the vintners buy
One half so precious as the stuff they sell

And he had an answer to match the Hindu theodicy which only served to perpetuate the crushing rule of the caste system, while Judaism, Christianity and Islam had no such answers.

Then to the lip of this poor earthen Urn
I lean'd, the Secret of my Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd - "While you live
Drink! - for, once dead, you never shall return."

And this verse comparable to William Blake’s on the tyger and the lamb which follows Omar Khayyam’s

After a momentary silence spake
Some Vessel of a more ungainly Make;
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry:
What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"

Now Blake

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Then there is the great Persian poetry of Hafez and Saadi.

But coming back to unrequited love in Urdu poetry we have four ghazals, which I want to emphasize.

For the still non-cursing without wanting revenge are

1)

ho, tamannaa lut gayi phir bhi tere dam se muhabbat hai
mubaarak ghair ko khushiyaan mujhe, gham se muhabbat hai
na miltaa gham to barbaadi ke afsaane kahaan jaate
na miltaa gham to barbaadi ke afsaane kahaan jaate
agar duniyaa chaman hoti, to veeraane kahaan jaate

chalo achchhaa huaa apnon mein koyi ghair to niklaa
ji, koyi ghair to niklaa
agar hote sabhi apne, to begaane kahaan jaate
to begaane kahaan jaate

duaayen do muhabbat hamne mitkar tumko sikhlaadi
duaayen do muhabbat hamne mitkar tumko sikhlaadi
mohabbat tumko sikhlaadi
na jalti shamaa mein to parwaane kahaan jaate
to parwaane kahaan jaate
agar duniyaa chaman hoti, to veeraane kahaan jaate

tumhin ne gham ki daulat di badaa ehsaan farmaayaa,
badaa ehsaan farmaayaa
zamaane bhar ke aage haath phailaane kahaan jaate
na miltaa gham to barbaadi ke afsaane kahaan jaate

2) The lyrics are by Sahir Ludhianvi

jise tu qubool kar le
wo adaa kahaan se laaun
tere dil ko jo lubhaa le
wo sadaakahaan se laaoon
jise tu qubool kar le

main wo phool hoon
ke jis ko gayaa har koyi masal ke
meri umr beh gayi hai
meri aansuon mein dhal ke
main wo phool hoon
ke jis ko gayaa har koyi masal ke
meri umr beh gayi hai
mere aansuon mein dhal ke
jo bahaar ban ke barse
wo ghataa kahaan se laaoon
tere dil ko jo lubhaa le
wo sadaa kahaan se laaoon
jise tu qubool kar le

tujhe aur ki tamanna
mujhe teri aarzoo hai
tere dil mein gham hi gham hain
mere dil mein tu hi tu hai
tujhe aur ki tamanna
mujhe teri aarzoo hai
tere dil mein gham hi gham hain
mere dil mein tu hi tu hai
jo dilon ko chain de de
wo dawaa kahaan se laaoon
tere dil ko jo lubhaa le
wo sadaakahaan se laaoon
jise tu qubool kar le

meri bebasi hai zaahir
meri aah-e-be-asar se
kabhi maut bhi jo maangi
to na paayi uss ke dar se
meri bebasi hai zaahir
meri aah-e-be-asar se
kabhi maut bhi jo maangi
to na paayi uss ke dar se
jo muraad le kea aaye
wo duaa kahaan se laaoon
tere dil ko jo lubhaa le
wo sadaa kahaan se laaoon
jise tu qubool kar le
wo adaa kahaan se laaun
tere dil ko jo lubhaa le
wo sadaa kahaan se laaoon
jise tu qubool kar le

3) A ghazal by Ahmed Faraz

Ranjish hi sahi
Ranjish hi sahi dil hi dukhane ke liye aa
Aa phir se mujhe chhod ke jaane ke liye aa

Pehle se marasim na sahi phir bhi kabhi to
Rasm-o-rah-e-duniya hi nibhane ke liye aa

Ab tak dil-e-khushfeham ko tujh se hain umeedain
Ye aakhri shamein bhi bujhane ke liye aa

Kis kis ko batayenge judai ka sabab hum
Tu mujhse khafa hai to zamane ke liye aa

Ek umr se hoon lazzat-e-girya se bhi mehroom
Aye raahat-e-jaan mujhko rulaane ke liye aa

Kuchh to mere pindar-e-mohabbat ka bharam rakh
Tu bhi to kabhi mujhko manaane ke liye aa

Maana ke mohabbat ka chhupana hai mohabbat
Chupke se kisi roz jataane ke liye aa

Jaise tumhein aate hain na aane ke bahaane
Aise hi kisi roz na jaane ke liye aa

Giriya - Weeping, Crying
Bharam - Consideration, Regard
Pindaar - Arrogance, Ego, Pride, Self-esteem
Marasim - Agreement, Relationship
Ranjish - Anguish, Distress, Enmity

Poet: Ahmed Faraz

English Translation :

Let it be anguish, come still to torment my heart
Come, even if to leave me again

If not for our past association
Come to fulfill the rituals of the world

Who else must I explain the reason of separation
Come, despite your displeasure, to continue the ceremony

Respect a little the depth of my love for you
Come someday to placate me as well

Too long have I been deprived of the pathos of longing
Come my love, if only to make me weep again

Till now, my heart suffers from some expectation
Come to snuff even these last candles of hope

4) when it comes to certain alienation after unrequited love, the resigned attitude changes to predicting pain in the one who did not reciprocate love and shifts from pure masochism to early revenge. See my article on Sulekha.com on “Aberrant Politica & Sex”. Once again this is by Shakeel Badayuni.

(O.... teer chalaane waale.....)
teer khaate jaayenge, aansoo bahaate jaayenge
zindagi bhar apni kisamat aazamaate jaayenge
teer khaate jaayenge, aansoo bahaate jaayenge

dil ka sheesha todne waale kiye jaa tu sitam
apani barbaadi ka shikwa lab pe laayenge na ham
lab pe laayenge na ham
tu jo gham dega kaleje se lagaate jaayenge
teer khaate jaayenge.............

be-asar hote nahin , aansoo kisi naakaam ke
tujh ko bhi rona padega ek din, dil thaam ke
ek din, dil thaam ke
dard ban kar ham tere dil mein samaate jaayenge
teer khaate jaayenge.........

Having praised Urdu and Persian poetry which is to a great extent focused on love, one appreciates the beauty of Tennyson’s Brook, Shelley’s Ozymandias, Byron’s The Prisoner of Chillon and many others whose poetic talents were not obsessively laser directed to sexual love fulfilled or unfulfilled.

15-Oct-2011
More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD
 
Views: 1434
Article Comment Thanks for your comments, Prof. Tiwari. I also tried to hint at how unrequited love when not sublimated to a deity can begin to turn into a latent schadenfreude as Tujh ko bhi rona padega in the last ghazal. It is like the story of the bottled genie in Arabian Nights who swears to be a slave of one who frees him, but after a few thousand years of incarceration vows to kill the person who frees him. Of course there are exceptions like in Radha and Krishna bhajans particularly "Tere bharose he nandlala" and Dickens' tale, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." . Then as Shelley said in his ode to a skylark --

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
Gaurang Bhatt
10/16/2011
Article Comment Another beautiful and recurrent idea in poetry is that the basic prerequisite of love is reciprocity. If not returned, it cannot be called love. Donne says in the 'The Good Morrow', 'Whatever dies, was not mixed equally'. So says Shakespeare in most of his meditative, soothing sonnets.

Your reference of poems is very elevating. As you rightly hint, this purest of the pure emotion, love cannot have a predecided agenda.
Prof. Shubha Tiwari
10/15/2011
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