Urdunama: One Urdu Word at a Time – What is ‘Mukammal’?

Learn Urdu with Bollywood songs and some shayari in Urdunama, a series that will make you look and sound cooler .

Art and Culture
2 min read

Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan

Camerapersons: Abhishek Ranjan and Shiv Kumar Maurya


Urdu hai jiska naam hum hi jaante hain Daagh,

Hindostan mein dhoom humari zabaa’n ki hai

Anybody who understands this couplet by poet Daag Dehlvi will nod his head in agreement. And those who didn’t understand are the ones we need to talk with.

The poet is telling us through this sher that the country is smitten by the beauty and grandeur of Urdu.

In a country like India that has 23 official languages with more than 700 dialects, Urdu finds its way to every household, to every TV and radio set. And now to every mobile phone through the internet.

Rather than unknowingly speaking Urdu humming a Bollywood song or saying a famous dialogue, how about also trying to understand what they mean?

Take Barfii’s song ‘Phir le aya dil’ for reference. The song is about longing, and the line ‘usey mukammal kar bhi aao wo jo adhoori si baat baaqi hai’ hopes for a comforting closure in love.

The word Mukammal means ‘perfectly complete’.

The poet wants to finish one chapter of his life completely and perfectly, smoothen all rough edges and then move on.

And the ‘closure’ the lyricist is seeking is explained by Nida Fazli in one of his famous couplets.

Kabhi kisi ko mukammal jahan nahi milta

Kahin zameen to kahin aasman nahi milta.

The sher is a reminder that the idea of a perfectly complete world is nothing but an obsession and a false expectation from life.

Ye kya azaab hai sab apne aap mein gum hain

zabaan mili hai magar, hum zaban nahi milta

The poet here reflects how everyone is busy in their own lives. There will always be those who will say they understand your problems. But the poet says he is yet to find someone who is genuine in intent.

Chiraagh jalte hain, *binaai bujhne lagti hai

khud apne ghar mein hi, ghar ka nishaan nahi milta.

*binaai - vision

This sher is a strong comment that although we have made our world lit with all the comforts, we somewhere have lost touch with basic happiness.

And despite all these imperfections, we continue to keep living. That's because if something is 'incompletely complete', or ‘perfectly imperfect’, that's what life actually is about.

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