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Wednesday, December 29, 2010


मैं भला हूँ या बुरा इन्सान हूँ I

आपके इस दौर की पहचान हूँ I

मुझको दीवारों पे चस्पाँ कीजिए,

मैं किसी के इश्क़ का ऐलान हूँ I

तू मेरी भूली हुई पहचान है,

मैं तेरा टूटा हुआ पैमान हूँ I

(पैमान - वादा)

क्या सबुक-साराने-साहिल को ख़बर,

मैं कभी कश्ती कभी तूफ़ान हूँ I

(सबुक-साराने-साहि - किनारे के असम्बद्ध लोग)

वो अगर तौबा है रिन्दों की 'नरेश',

मैं जनाबे शैख़ का ईमान हूँ I

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


सब्र से काम लेना सीख लिया I

हमने आराम लेना सीख लिया I

हमने गुस्ताख़ होके उनके हुज़ूर,

ख़ुद पे इल्ज़ाम लेना सीख लिया I

कुफ़्रो-ईमाँ से हमको क्या मतलब,

आपका नाम लेना सीख लिया I

(कुफ़्रो-ईमाँ - धर्म - अधर्म)

हमने उल्फ़त में उनके हाथों से,

ज़हर का जाम लेना सीख लिया I

शुक्र कर तुने रंज सहके 'नरेश',

अक्ल से काम लेना सीख लिया I

Friday, December 10, 2010


सब्र से काम लेना सीख लिया I
हमने आराम लेना सीख लिया I

हमने गुस्ताख़ होके उनके हुज़ूर,
ख़ुद पे इलज़ाम लेना सीख लिया I

कुफ़्रो-ईमां से हमको क्या मतलब,
आपका नाम लेना सीख लिया I

हमने उल्फ़त में उनके हाथों से,
ज़हर का जाम लेना सीख लिया I

शुक्र कर तुने रंज सहके 'नरेश',
अक्ल से काम लेना सीख लिया I

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


(Short story)

Although the decision to dispose off the revolver was a crucial decision but he had to resolve to sell it. He could tolerate any calamity – starvation, poverty, aversion, unemployment but he was unable to digest the venom of facing the stark reality when he saw his mother begging a few loaves of bread from her neighbourhood. After the demise of his father he had endeavored endlessly to procure a job even that of a peon in an office, but his pursuit ended in futility. He wandered from pillar to post with the photocopies of his certificates but the money-power and favoritism dashes his hopes to pieces. When he returned home with the fatigue of day’s futile pursuits in the evening he found his mother waiting for him. She would cajole him to eat the simple dal and chapaties. He thought that the mother must have labored hard to prepare the meals since there was no regular supply of provisions to their kitchen and the food would refuse to slip through his gullet. But the affectionate insistence of the mother made him receptive to this token of her love. But……. Today’s deadly spectacle had stunned him. The mother had been dodged to beg alms for satiating his hunger. Now……. He resolved to sell the remaining property…. The revolver….. the only and the last property bequeathed to the family by his father.

He would have sold his revolver long- long ago but whenever he thought of selling it the angry face of his father haunted him and stared hard in his face which stunned him. The entire property, including domestic utensils, was sold by the mother but even she never thought of selling this revolver. The reason being that this was the last remembrance of his father and also the symbol of the family’s high renown. His father was the ‘kul guru’ of the Maharaja of Faridkot and this revolver was the grand reward for the unique valor shown by his father when he saved the Maharaja from the clutches of a fierce lion .He took out the revolver from the dilapidated wooden almirah and stared at it. The furious visage of his father also emerged from the same apparition and putting the revolver in the pocket of his worn out overcoat came out of his house. The distance to the bazaar was not more than crossing the street itself. He traversed the street with his long strides and the image of his father once again flashed across his mind’s eye. In spite of his forced effort to dissociate himself from the vision, he could not halt his steps before the ‘Punjab Armoury’. In this state of conflict, he crossed the shop and traversed the entire bazaar which led him to the open footpath which was the link between the town and the villages nearby. This path, between the green fields, was usually untrodded but it was bustling with human activity for the last few days. The prime cause of this activity was the advent of Baba Neelgiri in the ancient temple. Baba used to deliver religious discourse every morning and evening and many women and a few men started frequenting the temple to listen to the sermons. While moving past the temple he looked towards it. The carpet was spread in the courtyard and a score of women and a few men were seated on it. In one corner of the courtyard of two rooms Baba Neelgiri was seated on a raised pedestal and delivering his sermon. Suddenly, his feet turned towards the temple. By taking long strides he moved towards the courtyard and sat on one corner of the carpet. Baba Neelgiri was saying,

“O’ Man! Think who has created this universe? Who is operating it? If there is no power like God, then who operates the rise of the Sun that dawn daily to spread his golden beams of light and ultimately sets in the evening? Who brings rains through the clouds? Who feeds the myriad creatures of the universe? Who creates the infant and fills the breasts of the mother with milk to feed him? Certainly, He is God. But you will ask me, Baba, who is He, how He looks like, where is He……well, Ladies and gentlemen, this mystery remained unsolved even by the great saints and sages. God is invisible, formless and unseen. He can only be felt by the spirit within. As you can not see the air but can surely feel it, similarly, God’s presence can be felt at every step but can not be seen………”

He heard the sermon of the Baba and felt like shrieking, “Stop this nonsense. God does not exist anywhere. This universe operates through its inbuilt system. Science has proved that there is no external power. You are just befooling the ignorant people and dragging them back into hoary centuries by giving vent to your ignorance in religious phraseology”. But he did not utter a word as he was lost in deep thoughts. Baba was continuing in his natural and spontaneous flow—“This implies that there is Brahman, Omnipresent, all pervasive but we can not know him by size, form and face….”

He felt that the Baba was unleashing the strings of his mysterious intrigue. If there were some power like Brahman, God, Ishwar or Bhagwan, then would he have starved even after passing his degree examination? Who is that Brahman, who in spite of being Omni- present can not see that the widow of Rajpurohit Pandit Mool Chand has begged the loaves of bread from her neighbourhood? With this thought, the image of his late father Pandit Mool Chand flashed across his imagination once again. But this time the image was not fierce as usual but benign and smiling with love and affection. He saw his father in velvet gown moving through the bazaar holding the finger of his innocent son. The shopkeepers saluted him with folded hands. The people on the road bowed and touched his feet. The royal guard of the palace salaamed him and the king himself bowed to his knees and he was blessing everybody. With the blood of this Mool Chand flowing in his veins, he was being subjected to the cold indifference and sharp criticism of the people. Where is Brahman? Where is God? His father devoted his entire life in the worship of God but still his mother was deprived of her suhag in spite of her own devotion and prayers. Her Brahman could not hold her hand from selling every utensil of the house- hold. Certainly god does not exist and the concept of the existence of God is a sheer concoction, a fabricated lie and a delusion.

Baba concluded his discourse and was chanting ‘Shanti Path’ with his eyes closed. With his chanting of the hymn almost all the people stood up and one by one prostrated themselves and put their heads on the feet of the Baba and received the prasad. Neither he stood up from his seat nor did he prostrate before the Baba to put his head on his feet. All the people departed and even the Baba directed his steps towards the room. The courtyard of the temple was deserted. Even the birds had retired to their nests after the hectic activity of the day. The rays of the setting sun were feeling restless to submerge their identity in the twilight. While returning to the room, the Baba looked back and saw him lost in his thoughts and staring the ground. Baba approached him slowly and asked in a benign tone ---- “who are you, son?”

He was jerked back to reality and look up. Baba Neelgiri was facing him. He cast a cursory glance to find that the courtyard of the temple was deserted. In this dreary place these two were the living human creatures on earth and many birds on the branches of the trees and the blank blue sky, vast and ready to engulf the atmosphere in the darkness of the night.

“I…..I am a human being, Baba”, he stood up saying “That I can see, but what is your name?”
“Uh, name? Unemployed, hunger, frustration, defeat, call me by any name”.

Baba was silent for a moment. He tried to be natural and suggested,

“The discourse is over. Go to your home, son”.

“I will go, Baba, I have listened to your discourse. You were just telling about the invisible, formless and unseen nature of God”.

Baba nodded in assent and astonishment.

“Have you ever seen God?”
“No, son. He is formless. He can not be seen”.

With the speed of lightening he searched the pocket of his overcoat and flashed the revolver in his right hand and aimed at the heart of the Baba. Baba was stunned. He felt as if the darkness of night had descended on his eyelids alone.

“Look, Baba”. He thundered. His voice was charged with excitement, reverberation and power.

“This is God. This is your Brahman. With its action none starves. If its trigger is pulled then no body’s mother would have to beg from anybody. Understand?”

The terror- stricken Baba was standing non- plus and dazed. But that very moment the essence of his entire experience of life flashed. He sensed the gravity of the situation. And he bowed before the revolver with folded hands.

“It is true, son. This is Narayana. This is the Brahman. This is the God. You are blessed soul who brought me face to face with God. May God bless you”.

He thundered his wild laughter in his face. Putting the revolver back in his pocket he exhorted the Baba.

“Alright, Baba, Go in and relax. You must be exhausted of delivering the sermon. I will sell myself but I will never sell my Brahman, my God, never.

And he came out with the triumphant air as if he had triumphed over the entire cosmos.

(Translated from Urdu)

Friday, November 19, 2010


कर दिया ख़ुद से भी जुदा कैसे I
जिस्म दीवार बन गया कैसे I

मुंजमिद होंठ आँख पत्थर सी ,
कल हुआ था विसाल-सा कैसे I
(मुंजमिद - जमे हुए; विसाल-सा - मिलन)

जाने क्या लफ्ज़े-अलविदा में था,
जाते-जाते वो रुक गया कैसे I

मर रहा हूँ तलाशे-हस्ती में,
हो रहा है ये हादिसा कैसे I
(तलाशे-हस्ती - जीवन कि तलाश)

भीड़ में बात हो गयी उनसे,
शोर भी काम आ गया कैसे I

नोंच कर पर 'नरेश' तुम ख़ुश थे,
फिर भी देखो वो उड़ गया कैसे I
(पर - पंख)

Monday, October 4, 2010


Apne saaye se bhagna hoga.
kya khabar thi ye hadisa hoga.
(Hadisa - durghatna)

Khamoshi ko zuban na de aye dost,
ghar mein har waqt shor-sa hoga.

Wo jo jismon ki baat par chup hai,
zehan mein uske jaane kya hoga.
(Zehan - mastishk)

Fasl vehmon ki pak chuki hogi,
ab wo shole batorta hoga.
(Shole - chingariyan)

Khudkushi uski bebasi hogi,
wo bhi kab marna chahata hoga.
(Khudkushi - aatmhatya)

Meri pehchan ke liye tumko,
apna maazi kuredna hoga.
(Maazi - ateet)

Yun to tum bhi zubaan rakhte the,
kuch bhi kehte na ban pada hoga.

Unse milna to sehal hai lekin,
mujhko deewar faandna hoga.
(Sehal - saral)

Wo jo khush tha 'Naresh' mele mein,
ghar pahunchte he ro diya hoga.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Ham bhi na ab sach bolenge

Auron jaise ho lenge

Khat na likhenge ham bhi tumhen

Yaad karenge ro lenge

Barsegi jo gham ki ghata

Fasl ashkon ki bo lenge

Ab na karenge zikr unka

Dil hi dil main ro lenge

Fasl-e-baharaan aaye to

Ham phoolon main tolenge

Unki sakha dekhenge ‘Naresh’

Lab na dua ko kholenge

(Sakha : benevolence)

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Zameen dukhtar-e-man aasmaan pisar mera

Main juzv-e-noor hoon aalam tamam ghar mera

(dukhtar-e-man - My daughter; Pisar - son; Juzv-e-noor - part of the divine light; Aalam - universe)

Ab uska zaaviya yaksar hai mukhtalif mujhse

Wo ek shakhs kabhi tha jo ham-nazar mera

(Zaaviya - angle; Yaksar - Completely; Ham-nazar - co-sighter)

Wo hoor hai ki pari hai ki koyi devi hai

Bayan-e-husn se qaasir hai har hunar mera

(Qaasir - unable)

Harek munh ko nivala harek tan ko libaas

Harek sar ko doon chhat bas chale agar mera

Na koyi raah na manzil na koyi samat ‘Naresh’

Tamaam hoga kahan jaake ye safar mera

(Samat - direction)

Friday, September 3, 2010


अपराधी की स्थिति में

हम तुम

मौन खड़े हैं I

जैसे अपना अपराधों का ही रिश्ता हो I

आज युगों के बाद मिले हैं

ऐसे जैसे दो अजनबी मिला करते हैं I

तुम ख़ामोशी के दरिया के उस तट पर हो

मैं ख़ामोशी के दरिया के इस तट पर हूँ

जैसे हम तुम

दरिया पार नहीं कर सकते I

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


यह माना कि तुमने धरा बाँट ली है,

मगर क्या कभी बाँट लोगे पवन भी?

कभी चाँदनी का विभाजन करोगे?

यह माना कि तुम बाँट लोगे गगन भी I

मुहल्ले शहर गाँव बाज़ार कूचे,

गगन चूमते पर्वतों की शिखाएं I

यह माना कि तुम बाँटने पर जो आये,

तो बँट जाएँगी मकबरों की शिलाएं I

मगर क्या कभी धूप भी बँट सकेगी?

यह माना कि तुम बाँट लोगे अरुण भी I

पके खेत खलिहान भण्डार धन के,

मचलती हुई खेतियाँ बाँट लोगे I

यह माना कि तुम बाँटने पर जो आये,

तो धरती की सब बेटियाँ बाँट लोगे I

मगर क्या कभी मौत भी बँट सकेगी?

यह माना कि तुम बाँट लोगे कफ़न भी I

बसें गाड़ियाँ दफ़्तरों के मुलाज़िम,

किले खाइयाँ खण्डहर बाँट लोगे I

यह माना कि तुम बाँटने पर जो आये,

तो पूजा इबादत के घर बाँट लोगे I

मगर क्या सुगंधी कभी बँट सकेगी?

यह माना कि तुम बाँट लोगे चमन भी I

विभाजन कठिन तो नहीं दोस्तो, पर,

कभी काश सोचो ज़रा ध्यान देकर I

कि इक बार धागा अगर टूट जाए,

तो जुड़ता है, लेकिन नयी गाँठ लेकर I

यह माना कि खुशियाँ बँटा लोगे फिर भी,

कभी काश तुम बाँट पाओ चुभन भी I

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Main kaise tasleem karun ki main zarra hun
(tasleem - sweekar; zarra - raj-kan)

Main to hun khursheed
(khursheed - ssooraj)

ki jis se kayanat roshan hoti hai
(kayanat - srishti)

main mahe-kamil hun
(mahe-kamil - poorn chandrama)

jo is jali-bujhi dharti par

amrit barsata hai

mujhe khuda ne ek sulagta dard diya hai

mujhe khuda se ek daeime pyas mili hai
(daeimi - shashwat)

mujhme sahas hai, himmat hai

aur masayab se takrane ki aadat hai

main kaise tasleem karun ki main zarra hun

Sunday, August 8, 2010


अभी हमको ये फ़न आया नहीं है।

उसे चाहें जिसे देखा नहीं है।

हर इक शै में तेरा जल्वा है लेकिन,

कोई जल्वा तेरे जैसा नहीं है।

निगाहें बे-ज़बाँ हैं क्या बताएं,

ज़बान ने आपको देखा नहीं है।

तेरे जल्वे तो रोशन हैं बहरसू ,

हमीं को ताब -ए-नज़्ज़ारा नहीं है।

(बहरसू : हर तरफ़ ;

ताब -ए -नज़्ज़ारा : देखने की शक्ति

तुम्हारा भेद क्या पाएँ कि हम ने,

अभी ख़ुद को भी पहचाना नहीं है।

उसी का इश्क़ हो पहचान अपनी,

‘नरेश ’ अपना नसीब ऐसा नहीं है।


जैसे जैसे उम्र ढलती जाए है।

ज़िन्दगी की प्यास बढती जाए है।

जाने क्या जादू है उसके ज़िक्र में,

बात चल निकले तो चलती जाए है।

कैसी गर्द -आलूद है घर की फ़िज़ा,

आईने पर धूल जमती जाए है।

मिट चुकी जीने की इक -इक आरज़ू,

साँस है कमबख्त चलती जाए है।

ज़िन्दगी को लग गयी किस की नज़र,

हर ख़ुशी ग़म में बदलती जाए है।

हो गए कच्चे मकान पक्के मगर,

गाँव से तहज़ीब उठती जाए है।

आने वाले अब ‘नरेश ’ आयेंगे क्या,

ज़िन्दगी की शाम ढलती जाए है।


घर ही जलने दो कुछ रोशनी तो मिले
और दो चार दिन ज़िन्दगी तो मिले।

जाम -ए - मय जो नहीं ज़हर -ए -ग़म ही सही,

खुश्क होंटों को थोड़ी नमी तो मिले।

इस बियाबान को शहर कैसे कहूँ,

साए ही साए हैं आदमी तो मिले।

भीड़ को शक्ल दें कारवाँ की मगर,

कारवाँ कोई राह भी तो मिले।

ए ‘नरेश ’ इश्क़ का कुछ भी दस्तूर हो,

ख़ुद भी आकर वो हम से कभी तो मिले।

Thursday, August 5, 2010

रैन बसेरा

बाबा ने पूछा
ये घर किस का है बेटा
मैंने कहा मेरा है बाबा
कहने लगा यही कहते थे
तेरे अब्बा तेरे दादा
तेरे दादा के अब्बा, उनके अब्बा के अब्बा
तेरे बेटे पोते भी तो यही कहेंगे
लेकिन तुम से पहले जिन की मिलकीयत थी
वो अब मिलकीयत का दावा क्यों नहीं करते
लब उनके ख़ामोश हैं क्योंकर
घर जब उनका था तो उनका हक़ -ए -सकूनत
किसी क़ब्र की किसी लहद तक क्यों सिमटा है

बाबा कह कर चला गया तो
मैंने घर के दरवाज़े पर लिक्खा

लेकिन कॉलेज से आते ही
मेरे बेटे ने रूमाल से
मेरा लिक्खा साफ़ कर दिया।

Friday, July 23, 2010


Baba ne poochha

Ye ghar kis ka hai beta

Maine kaha mera hai Baba

Kahne laga yahi kehte the

Tere abba tere dada

Tere dada ke abba ,unke abba ke abba

Tere bete pote bhi to yahi kahenge

Lekin tum se pehle jin ki milkiyat thi

Wo ab milkiyat ka daava kyon nahin karte

Lab unke khamosh hain kyonkar

Ghar jab unka tha to unka haq-e-sakoonat

Kisi qabr ki kisi lehad tak kyon simta hai

Baba keh kar chala gaya to

Maine ghar ke darwaze par likkha ‘Rainbasera’

Lekin college se aate hi

Mere bete ne rumal se

Mera likkha saaf kar diya.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Ghar hi jalne do kuchh roshni to mile

Aur do chaar din zindagi to mile

Jaam-e-mai jo nahin zehr-e-gham hi sahi

Khushk honton ko thodi nami to mile

Is biyaban ko shehr kaise kahoon

Saaye hi saaye hain aadmi to mile

Bheed ko shakl den kaarvan ki magar

Kaarvan ko koyi raah bhi to mile

Aye ‘Naresh’ ishq ka kuchh bhi dastoor ho

Khud bhi aakar wo ham se kabhi to mile

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Jaise jaise umr dhalti jaaye hai

Zindagi ki pyas badhti jaaye hai

Jane kya jadoo hai uske zikr mein

Baat chal nikle to chalti jaaye hai

Kaisi gard-aalood hai ghar ki fiza

Aayeene par dhool jamti jaaye hai

Mit chuki jeene ki ik-ik aarzoo

Saans hai kambakht chalti jaaye hai

Zindagi ko lag gayi kis ki nazar

Har khushi gham mein badlti jaaye hai

Ho gaye kachche makaan pakke magar

Gaon se tehzib uthti jaaye hai

Aane wale ab ‘Naresh’ aayenge kya

Zindagi ki shaam dhalti jaaye hai

Monday, July 5, 2010


A harsh reality of the six decades of independence is that we have been callously shirking our responsibility regarding giving ourselves a definite language policy. Instead, we have been using languages as tools and weapons for achieving petty political ends.

This has weakened the “vehicles for human communication” to a great extent. Our negligence and heedlessness have reduced languages to mere means of identifying religions and religious communities. This casualness has gone to such preposterous lengths that on purely sectarian grounds our people have snapped ties even with their mother-tongue and disowned en masse a particular language of the North.

If our loud talk about national unity and emotional integration is not hypocrisy, we must turn immediate full attention to the fast deteriorating condition of our languages and adopt remedial measures.

First, we must incorporate in our language syllabi _ at least at the college and university level_ a considerable portion of the literature of at least one sister or cognate language. Such interaction with literature in other languages will certainly reduce the extent of alienation we have generated for nearly half a century. This step can break mental barriers. Without such a measure all our talk about “cultural mainstream” will remain a mere abstraction.

Wittingly or otherwise, we have been confining our concept of nationalism within the four walls of provincialism. We have always taken pride in regarding, if not calling, our respective States as our country. Slogans like “Telugu Desam”,” Desan maan des Haryana”, “Sohna des Punjab ni sayyio” and “Mharo des Marwad” amply testify to the reigning and growing tendency of regionalism. If Andhra or Haryana or Punjab or Marvad is the “des” (country) of ours, then whose country is India?

This is the tendency that has been impelling us to ask for more political and financial powers and additional natural resources for our respective states even at the cost of creating imbalance in the national economy.

We do talk of cultural mainstream. One may pertinently ask, “Where does this mainstream flow?” Let us be bold enough to acknowledge that such a mainstream has yet to take a form. Unless our infatuation with a particular language transcends regional barriers and unless we set our face against associating languages with religious sects, we will never have a “cultural mainstream”.

It is but proper that we inculcate amongst our populace a sense of belonging to all the languages of India. At the national level we should have a permanent agency for translating selected pieces of literature from one language into another so that the reader of one language does not stay alienated from the literature being produced in contemporary languages.

Let us not hesitate in admitting that the linguistic reorganization of states by our top leadership was a historic blunder. Going by the result seen, this has promoted regionalism with all the attendant ills. The Academies and Language Departments of various states, in a bid to demonstrate the ‘great’ contribution of their respective states to the world of literature, have only widened the gulf between the spoken languages of the neighbouring regions.

The reorganization of states was done by politicizing the language issue, and by distorting the factual position of languages. Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar came to be declared as Hindi-speaking areas whereas in actual fact, Hindi is not the spoken language throughout the length and breadth of these states. Haryanavi and not Hindi is the spoken language in the whole of Haryana. In Uttar Pradesh Braj, Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Garhwali etc. are the languages of the general masses.In Bihar Maithili and Bhojpuri are the spoken languages.

Similarly, the reorganization of states made Jammu & Kashmir an Urdu-speaking state despite the fact that Dogri in the Jammu region and Kashmiri in the Kashmir valley are the only languages in vogue (in the composite state).

English, Hindi and Urdu, in my estimation, are not regional languages. They are inter-regional languages spoken and understood in the whole of the country.

My suggestion is that the true role of these three languages should be acknowledged by redefining these as “cultural languages of India”.

These three languages have a great deal of inter-relationship. Every member of the trio represents one very distinct shade of the composite Indian culture. Hindi is the legitimate representative of India’s age-old Aryan culture; Urdu that of the culture evolved to unite the (Indo-) Asian cultures; and English of a natural assimilation of the cultures of the East and the West.

The prevalent tri-lingual formula is based on the sound concept that in a vast multilingual country like ours, it is necessary for every citizen to learn, in addition to his mother-tongue, at least two more languages just as people in Europe do. We have been finding no problem whatsoever in learning three languages under this formula. But this formula has miserably failed in creating or catering to the “cultural mainstream” of India for the simple reason that in each state one or the other shade of our composite culture finds no room in the academic curricula.

Hence my plea for adopting a “quadric-lingual formula” in place of the tri-lingual one, which should ensure sufficient knowledge on one’s part of one’s mother-tongue and the three cultural languages of India.

Another harsh fact needing honest acknowledgement is that there is very little serious readership among the literate people of our regional languages. All the serious readership is virtually monopolized by English. That was the reason why the tallest nationalists of our country, during the freedom struggle and even later, published their most serious works in English and not in the regional languages they were most conversant with. Not only Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, C. Rajgopalachai and Dr. Rajendra Prasad did so, even the redoubtable Urdu scholar Maulana Azad, who did not know English, published his “India wins freedom” in English and not in Urdu.

There is every justification for one to feel proud of one’s regional language. There is equal need for producing serious readers in that language. This is one additional reason for my plea for a four-language formula in place of the current tri-lingual one.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Numerous paintings depicting Muslims showering atrocities over Sikhs, are exhibited in Sikh museums. One is driven to the conclusion that the Sikhs and the Muslims had never been at peace with each other and early Sikh history is nothing but a bloody tale of the Muslim tyranny vis-à-vis the Sikhs. Nothing can be further from truth than this misconception.

Before the advent of Guru Nanak, Punjab was ruled by Afghan Muslims. Afghans had remained in power for a long time before Humayun, who in his second attack on Sirhind, avenged his earlier defeat by killing Sikandar Sur, the Afghan ruler of Punjab.

With the death of Sikandar Sur, the Afghan populace of Punjab lost their Muslim ruler and their political godfather. The victorious armies of Humayun arrested hundreds of Afghan men. They were chained and dragged to Delhi for execution

At this point in history, the women folk of the arrested Afghan Muslims rushed for helpto their spiritual leader Shah Qumais, the Sufi saint of Sadhaura. Moved at the plight of the poor Afghan women, the saint immediately marched to Shahbad to see the victorious Humayaun. The latter reluctantly granted an audience to him. At this meeting the famous Bairam Khan was also present.

Shah Qumais’s way of appealing was not to beg or plead. He reminded Humayuan of the vow which he had taken on the banks of the river Attock before launching an attack on Punjab This unnerved Humayun. He had vowed not to arrest any Muslim if the merciful Almighty showered victory on him during this attack..Flabbergasted at the saint’s sweetly-worded admonition, Humayun ordered an immediate release of all the arrested Afghans.

Saved from the gallows, the Afghan Muslims became more devoted to the Sufi saint and thus Sadhaura became the forebearer of their socio-poltical activity. In the absence of a political leader, the Afghan masses, too, rallied around the Sufi saint and looked to him not only for safety but for resurrection as well.

After Shah Qumais, their centre of devotion shifted from Sadhaura to Sirhind, where Mujaddid Alif Saani Sheikh Ahmed Farooqi was vehemently attacking the doctrine of “Din-e-Ilahi” founded by Akbar. The might of the emperor Jahangir was challenged by the Sheikh.

The Muslims of Punjab, fighting their battle for survival under the leadership of spiritual leaders, were happy to find Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, crossing swords with the Mughals. They wholeheartedly sympathized with the Guru as they thought that he was fighting their enemy.

They created unrest in Punjab when the two religious leaders, Sheikh Ahmed Farooqi and Guru Hargobind, were arrested by the Mughals and locked up in Gwalior Fort. As a consequence, Jahangir had to order their release. This made the Punjabi Muslims as well as the Sikhs jubilant.

In their effort to acquire their lost power back, the Punjabi Muslims once again rallied around a Sufi saint. This time it was Adam Banuri, the valiant crusader and a faithful disciple of Sheikh Farooqi. In a bid to clinch the issue in favour of the Afghan Muslims, Sheikh Adam Banuri, in 1642 AD, decided to parade his man-power before Shah Jahan and ordered his followers to reach Lahore, where the Emperor was camping.

Noticing the thousands of sudden visitors in Lahore, Shah Jahan asked for the real motive of such a concentration of Afghan Muslims. On being told that it had happened at the behest of Adam, the Emperor deputed his Prime Minister Saadullah to go the Shiekh and sort out the problem whatsoever.

What transpired between the Sheikh and the Prime Minister can be guessed from the note Saadullah presented to the Emperor making it clear that it was not possible for the two_The Emperor and the Sufi saint_ to live together in India. Either of the two would have to submit. Enraged by the findings of the Prime Minister, Shah Jahan ordered the Sheikh to be exiled immediately.

The departure of Adam Banuri to Mecca was a deadly blow to the morale and aspirations of the Punjabi Muslims. They had already lost their political leader and now with Adam’s exit from the scene they lost their religious leader as well.

Frustrated and demoralized Afghan Muslims, felt blood course their their veins, when Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, vowed to dethrone the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. Once again, they wholeheartedly rallied behind a religious leader and put their heart in his politico-military adventures. They hopefully believed that the tenth Guru would ultimately finish their bitter enemy, the Mughals.

It was for this reason that Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan, the two dyers of Machhiwara to risk their lives to save the life of the tenth Guru. They also deceived (in the name of Islam) their Muslim enemies to provide a safe passage to the Guru out of the besieged Machhiwara.

When the decision of burying alive in the wall the two sons of Guru Gobind Singh was taken at the Mughal court of Sirhind, the chieftain of Malerkotla, the only surviving Afghan principality in Punjab, dissented. Not contented with his walk-out from the court, the Afghan chieftain also sent a nasty letter to the Emperor declaring his act of killing the innocent as unIslamic.

Had the Muslims of Punjab not backed the Sikhs fighting the Mughals, and had there been animosity between the Sikhs and the Muslims, Banda Bahadur would not have spared Muslims. In his attack on Sirhind to avenge the killing of the Guru’s sons Banda Bahadur would have lashed at the shrine of Sheikh Farooqi, a magnificent Muslim monument, just a few yards away from the place of the killing. Banda left the Muslim shrine undamaged and carefully directed his fury towards the Mughal population. Only the Punjabi Muslims who sided with or were in the pay of the Mughals attracted his wrath.

I understand that there was never a war between the Sikhs and the Muslims as such, though the Sikhs were always at war with the Mughals. Interestingly, the Afghan Muslims rarely admitted the Mughals to be Muslims because they came from a Turk father and a Mongol mother. Mughal rulers from Jahangir onwards were half Hindus from their maternal side.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


हक़ - शनासी की इब्तिदा मौला
कौन हूँ मैं मुझे बता मौला
(हक़-शनासी - Identification
of Truth; इब्तिदा - beginning)

मुझ में वो जुस्तजू जगा मौला
ढूंढ़ पाऊँ तेरा पता मौला
(जुस्तजू - craze)

तू नज़र आये ज़र्रे-ज़र्रे में
आँख को देखना सिखा मौला

जो तेरे बिन ना तुझ से कुछ माँगे
वो गदागर मुझे बना मौला
(गदागर - beggar)

मेरे माथे पे लिख दे नाम अपना
मुझ को अपना पता बना मौला

आँसू-आँसू में अक्स हो तेरा
मुझको यूँ भी कभी रुला मौला
(अक्स – reflection)

अर्श भी तेरा फर्श भी तेरा
जग है क्यूँ मसअला मौला
(अर्श - sky; फर्श - earth;
मसअला - problem)

होंठ सीखेंगे कब ज़बां चुप की
बंद कब होगा बोलना मौला

रोते बच्चे को गोद में ले ले
दे ना जन्नत का झुनझुना मौला

तू तगाफुल-पसंद है या फ़िर
बे-असर है मेरी दुआ मौला
(तगाफुल -पसंद - leisure-loving;
बे-असर - ineffective)

शेर फरयाद है 'नरेश' अपनी
शायरी है सदा-ए-या मौला
(सदा-ए-या - Cry for the Lord)

Monday, June 21, 2010


Mana ki tera husn dilavez bahot hai

Lekin ye mera dil ki anakhez bahot hai

(Dilavez : fascinating ; anakhez : egoist)

Aaye ho to kuchh baat karo yun na raho chup

Ud jaayenge lamhe ki hawa tez bahot hai

Jee mein hai maiyenaab mein kuchh zehr mila loon

Darta hun ki saaqi ki nazar tez bahot hai

(maiyenaab : colourful wine)

Main dast-e-talab kaise badha doon mere saaqi

Paiymana-e-ghairat hai ki labrez bahot hai

(Dast-e-talab : seeking hand ; paiymana-e-ghairat : bowl of vanity ; labrez - full)

Mana ki jawan azm badi cheez hai lekin

Toofan-e-hawadis bhi balakhez bahot hai

(Azm : ambition ; Hawadis : happenings ; Balakhez : trouble shooting)

Chhale se ‘Naresh’ uski zaban par bhi pade hain

Sunte the ki sach se use parhez bahot hai

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Jaate ho gaon chhod ke pachhtaoge Mian

Insaan dekhne ko taras jaoge Mian

Har bad-dua se saaf nikal jaoge Mian

Murda zamir ko kahan dafnaoge Mian

Taqleed-e-Qais khoob hai mauzoo-e-guftagu

Patte bhi sarsarae to dar jaoge Mian

(Taqleed-e-Qais : Copying Majnu)

Is shehr mein to jurm hai imdaad-e-baahmi

Kasa-b-dast kiske yahan jaoge Mian

(Imdaad-e-baahmi : mutual help; Kasa-b-dast :

With a begging bowl)

Dekhoge jab ki pedon tale bhi nahin hai chhaon

Tab khud-b-khud hi ghar ko palat aaoge Mian

Tarak-e-ta’alluqat baja kitne din magar

Aayeena dekhne ko chale aaoge Mian

(Tarak-e-ta’alluqat : breaking off ties)

Mela nahin ye bheed hai bazaar ki ‘Naresh’

Afsurdagi milegi jidhar jaoge Mian

(Afsurdagi : sadness)

Friday, June 4, 2010


Hai agar khushi koyi wo to bas zara si hai

Haasil-e-muhabbat to mustqil udaasi hai

(Haasil-e-muhabbat : Achievement of love;

Mustqil : permanent)

Koyi baat karva de koyi us se milva de

Jis ke phone ka number saat sau chhiyasi hai

Kya nasib hai apna maikade mein aakar bhi

Hont hain ki tashna hain rooh hai ki pyasi hai

Kaun usko jaanega kaun usko samjhega

Khud ko jaan lena hi asl haq-shanasi hai

Kaise isko bakhshega aye Khuda-e-bakhshinda

Ye ‘Naresh’-e-khasta-dil aasion ka aasi hai

(Khuda-e-bakhshinda : Merciful God; aasi : sinfull)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


The cinema of today represents our collective sensibility and its viewing has become a habit with us. It has gone so deep into our sub-conscience that we can not think of any other means to spend our leisure than seeing a film. And yet cinema has become a subject of discussion at the conscience level. While it has almost assumed the role of a stark necessity in our life, the intelligentia is accusimg cinema for causing degeneration of our values, our cultural pattern, our civilization and is threatening to subsume the real purpose of our life and living. On the other hand, the artistes and film-makers have a grouse that on account of lack of proper intellectual development and modernization, the general viewers are in no position to appreciate the experimental, psychological, educational and literary films.

There is no gain saying the fact that our present generation is deeply engrossed in the cinema which influences and effects the social life most comprehensively in the field of day-to-day pattern of life-style and standards of living, physical outfits etc. In fact cinema has an overwhelming impact on the attitudes and behaviour of the people. But it will not be fair to jump on the conclusion that cinema is exclusively responsible for causing a dent in our time-tested values, though cinema may be one of the factors. How can we deny that after investing millions of rupees in the production of a film, the producer shall not like to recover the costs along with profits ? It is, therefore, very natural for a producer to make a film which could become easily popular with the masses who would repeatedly see the film. This profit-motive has resulted into the making of ‘formula films’.

The present formula-films are thus to attract large number of viewers who are tempted to view titillating sex-scenes, pulsating dances, lilting songs, thrilling fights and exciting swimming- pools. Such films cater to the baser feelings of the viewers.Love and crime are the natural instincts of common masses and they get satisfaction through the formula films. The common viewer would yearn to see the fulfillment of his pent-up desires and suppressed feelings through the characters in the film. During the viewing, the antics of the hero overpowers the viewer and the latter looks to his performances intently and completely identifies himself with the hero. As the film progresses, the viewer develops a feeling that he himself is performing and the hero of the film is only a symbol. But when the viewer finds that his hero is not performing the way the viewer might have wished him to, then he gets bored and disgusted. Our film-makers are keenly aware of this state of mind and they exploit it to the fullest extent.

The inquisitive mind wants to know if such formula films have always been the weakness of our society. Looking back we find that we have almost revolutionalized the art of film-making and now our films are technically much superior than before in terms of photography, direction, dialogue-delivery, theme et,.in fact, all the departments of film production. But are there people who are still fond of old films and old actors ? The answer is emphatic yes. Such people think that the old films were far superior to the new ones. People listen to the old songs over the radio or television with nostalgic memries since that usued to be the music for the soul and not the prevalent music for the years alone. Although the old films did not have the superficial jazzy fast orchestratic songs, no obscene sexy scenes and no exiting gun-trotting, yet the treatment of the film was so near to reality that it would touch the inner chord of the heart and one could, in fact, breathe the songs and live the films.

But under the influence of the West, we have introduced sex and violence in the films. I, for one, don’t agree that sex and violence have become an essential ingredient of the modern films. People are still wedded to their old culture and old values. Otherwise how could films like ‘Do aankhen barah haath’, ‘Jhanak jhnak payal baaje’, ‘Mughal-e-azam’, ‘Geet gaya patthron ne’, ‘Shaheed’,’Poorab aur pashchim’, ‘Yaaden’ and ‘Upkar’ be great box-office hits.

Time goes on. It is never stationary. Everything is under a natural process of change. We must not be unduly alarmed if our values have undergone certain changes over the years. To my mind, the real problem is that we have neither been able to remain purely Indian in our outlook and behaviour nor have we fully adopted and accepted the Western culture and values. This contradiction or dilemma is manifest in the fact that some times we enjoy films made on Western pattern but at another time we feel disgusted with them. If we go to see a movie with an idea of seeking entertainment, then we like them but those who try to find out the purpose or morality, are disillusioned.

The modern films can be broadly classified into two categories: viz. the ‘entertainment films’ and the ‘purposeful films’. On the yardstick of popularity, the entertainment films are more successful than the purposeful ones, the reasons for which are far too to seek.In this present-day materialistic society, every one is awfully busy in his daily pursuits and does not have much spare time. Whatever little time one can cheese off from his engaging routine, one would like to relax and enjoy to the full without listening to anything that calls for serious contemplation. Such rare moments, one would like to spend in entertaining oneself and not bothering to see any serious or thematic kind of film. One would cherish to divert oneself from the dull and druggery of life and its accompanying problems and be at peace with oneself for some moments.

In other words, the entertainment films came to our rescue from our boredom and monotony. During the last few decades, we have seen the mushroom growth of such ‘escape’ films. Looking closely we find that there is a world of difference between the factually hard realities of life and the artificialities projected by the films. Caught in such a position, one can get frustrated with one’s real life because the glamour of ‘filmy-life’ is missing in one’s real life_ an ailment which can be conclusively attributed to the influence and impact of films.

The second category of films is the purposeful films which, besides feature films, include documentary films, advertisement films, news-reels etc. Documentary films have a great significance in a democratic set-up since through this medium people are wakened to their duties and responsibilities towards their society, their country and thus close relationship is established and maintained between the Government and the governed. News-reels are also very useful in imparting political education to the masses. You might have experienced that such like films have done commendable impact in making us aware about the situations when India was engaged in wars with China and Pakistan. Such films are made with some specific purposes and have no commercial overtones.

The need of the time is that apart from the films made by the Government and with the financial assistance from the Government, the entire film-industry must make such films as encourage the viewers to maintain and strengthen the Indian culture and Indian values. The film-makers must not make films with their eyes sonly on the ‘box-office’. If they can replace sex, ,action and violence with themes like humanity, mutual love and understanding which can stir our sensitivities and consciousness, inspire us to preserve and foster our composite culture, then , I am sure, films will not only be popular among the viewers but also creative and our film-makers will be fulfilling a social and national obligation apart from serving the cause of art and indeed themselves.