Tuesday, June 5, 2012


My tryst with that liltingly beautiful language known as Urdu began years ago, as a response to a challenge that was never proffered. And the redemption has been wholesome, in full measure but not substantial in the slightest!

Beginning as a foray into only the easiest of couplets, it soon evolved towards a deliberate selection of the most delectable nuances of its poetry. Ruminations on love, cogitations about life, perplexity at emotions-Urdu always presented an inexorable repertoire to encompass and articulate the most nebulous of thoughts.

Even better have been the words that it has compelled me to revisit, words that we all mostly know of but usually employ in their more ordinary and diluted avatars. Words such as aafaat, nazakat, simatnaa, khwahish, adaa, bahaar, gulistaan, fateh, maat....an endless list of hauntingly beautiful words. Other languages might have words that are better than them and are worse than them but rarely such that are just the same.

One such word is the one that forms the title to this post-Mukhtasar. It conveys a very simple meaning, yet in an unforgettably beautiful cadence-the syllables gurgle forth with each enunciation, eliciting the commensurate sentiment even as they tumble forth from the lips.

And with due deference to the context that initiated this train of thought, here is Frost’s take on the theme;

"Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length"