Urdunama: Why is the Lover in Urdu Poetry a ‘Qaatil’ or ‘Killer’?

In this episode of Urdunama, learn about the many ways the word ‘qatl’ is used by shayars.

1 min read

Video Editor: Kunal Mehra

Camera: Mukul Bhandari

In Urdu poetry, the word qaatil has been used to refer to the lover and love as a crippling accident that the poet has met with. In fact, Urdu poet Fakhira Batool's poem is titled 'Mohabbat Haadsa Hai'  which translates to 'Love is an accident'.

Mohabbat haadsa hai

hadse se bach nikalne ki

koi tadbir karlo isse pehle khvab ho jaao

jise hum haadsa kehte hai

jeevan ko ghadi bhar mein

mita kar khaak karta hai

koi ilzaam dharta hai

kabhi mazooriyon ke jaal mein qaidi

bana kar chhod deta hai

ye bandhan tod deta hai

mohabbat hadsa hai

haadse se bach nikalne ki

koi tadbeer karlo isse pehle khaak ho jaao.

This translates to 'Love is an accident. Before you lose yourself to it, think of a solution. What we call an accident, can turn your life around in a second.’

But when the word 'qatl' is used to write about political situations, it is synonymous with 'inqilab' or revolution.

Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab humare dil mein hai

Dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-qaatil mein hai.

Sarfaroshi means rebellion: one that we are willing to sacrifice our life for. All one needs to wait and watch for, is how powerful one’s opponents will be.

But one should always remember the lines of the poet Sahir Ludhianvi.

Zulm phir zulm hai, badhta hai to mit jata hai

khoon phir khoon hai tapkega to jam jayega.

These lines translate to – no matter how powerful or mighty a tyrant is, oppression always leaves behind a mark.

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