Saturday, January 31, 2015

Khusrau: Ay Chehra-e-Zeba-e-Tu

A fellow down on his luck, having heard of the munificence of Hazrat Nizamuddin, came in from an outlying village to the khanaqah in Delhi to seek alms. The saint had nothing to give him, so he gave away his slippers.

The mendicant was disappointed, and eventually left. On the way back, he took night's shelter in a caravanserai where, as chance would have it, Amir Khusrau had halted on his way back from a lucrative foray, trading jewels with Bengal. Khusrau recognized his master's footwear, and, after the briefest of enquiries ("I smell the fragrance of my lord"), ransomed the item for all he had made from his trading expedition. "You got them back cheap, then" - was Nizamuddin Auliya's laconic comment when he had his slippers returned.

Below, Farid Ayaz and party render another Khusrau qawwali.

Ay chehra-e-zeba-e-tu rashk-e-butan-e-Azari;
Har chand wasfat mikunam dar husn-az-aan zebatari.

Surat gare naqqash chi rau surat-e-ya-ram qibi
Ya surat-e-kaskhki chuni ya tabr yoon surat gari

Tu az pari ja mukhtari az barg-e-gul na sukhtari
Shamsi nadanam ya qamar, ya zohrai, ya mushtari

Aafaq ra gar deedah am mehr-e butan warzeedah am;
Bisyar khuban deedah am lekin tu cheez-e deegari.

Man tu shudam, tu man shudi, man tan shudam, tu jan shudi;
Taakas nagoyad baad azeen man deegaram tu deegari.

Khusrau ghareeb ast-o gada uftadah dar shehr-e shuma;
Baashad ki az behr-e khuda, su-e ghareeban bangari.

O Thou whose beautiful face is envy of the idols of Azar (Abraham's father and image engraver of antiquity);
Thou remainst every moment superior to any praise of mine.

The mask maker who makes visages, if he saw Thine visage
The dryness of his past choices would make him start all over

Thou Queen of Fairies, bouquets of flowers pale beside Thee
Neither Sun nor Moon can match Thee, Resplendent  Thou, Jupiter Thou

All over the world have I traveled; many a maiden’s love have I tasted;
Many a beauteous star have I seen; but Thou art unique.

I am become Thou, Thou me; I am become the body, Thou the soul;
So that none hereafter may say “I am I and Thou are Thou. (i.e. someone else)”

Khusrau a beggar, a stranger has come wandering to your town;
For sake of God's Ocean, pity the poor, turn him not from the door.