A peacock calls in the grove of passion

For many days I’ve contemplated on the verse

‘is ishq di jhangi wich mor bulenda’

(A peacock calls in the grove of passion)

To know why Bhulleh Shah ( sufi mystic) used ‘mor/peacock’ and not other figure for this expression.

So before exploring this particular verse, one should know the background first. ‘Tery ishq nachaya’ (your love has made me dance like mad) was written for his spiritual master Shah Inayat Hussain, for whom Bhulleh Shah had great reverence and discipleship. But Bhulleh Shah’s family was against such spiritual relationship because Bhulleh Shah was a ‘syed’ ( a noble caste among Muslims, the direct descendants of the Prophet) and his master was an ‘ Arain’ (a caste considerd lowly in comparison to sayeds) His family tried to induce him to give up Inayat and find another master. He refused.

It is then he wrote ‘Bhulleh nun samjhawan ayan behna tay parjhayan’ (Bhulleh shah’s sisters and sister in laws came to convince him) narrating the whole story. The song I first heard in Khuda Kay liye (for the sake of God, the movie) but couldn’t comprehend a single word until now.

Inayat though himself upon realizing his family’s attitude, parted his ways.

He immediately went to Inayat’s house. Knocked on the door. The conversation goes..
Kaun?’ (Who)
‘Mein Bullah ann’ (I am Bullah)
‘Tu Bullah nai tu bhulliyan ann’(You are not Bullah, you are lost)
Knowing that what was given to him had been taken away, pained him a lot.

He figured out his master loved dancing. So he asked the dancing girls to teach him how to dance. Bhulleh Shah then dressed in woman’s clothing went straight to his murshid’s house and started singing ‘tery ishq nachaya’ (your love made me dance)

It’s striking how it starts with ‘chaiti avi,vay tabiba nai ty main mar gayan’ ( come my healer or else i die) reflecting the intensity of pain Bhulleh Shah had from this separation. ‘Tabiba’ means doctor, a healer which can loosly translate to his murshid.

So that was the backdrop of ‘tery ishq nachaya’
Now lets look at the significance of ‘mor/peacock’.

In Greek and Persian, mor often connotes to immortality. Freedom and independence. Which if put in context does not make much sense.

So what other explanation is left?
Mor/peacock is a bird that dances to please others. Here in this particular verse, Bhulleh Shah does not use mor as a symbol but as an analogy to compare his own state to that of a peacock.

That is, like a mor (peacock) he’s trying to lure his master. Which is followed by ‘ sanon qibla ty kaba sona yar dasenda’ indicating complete surrender, Ultimate submission.

Ps. The beauty and purity of this poem cannot be fully deciphered!

#words #poetry #sufipoetry #sufism #philosophy #life #wisdom #thoughts


(Poetic interpretation, like art is a matter of subjectivity. Same poetic piece can be a masterpiece for many and obscure for others.)

Many times while contemplating on life, what it really is, i often stuck with confusions. Of all the philosophical and literary text i have read this far, they pushed me further in the utter bottomless state of chaos and labyrinthine yet ivent come closer to even unwind the inner conflicts.

My struggle to decipher the undertones of life comes to an end one afternoon in American Poetry’s lecture. While discussing one of Frost’s poems, my professor linked few verses penned down by Bhulleh Shah and an Urdu couplet of whose poet i no longer had in my memory.

Upon further searching, i found it was by Mirza Ghalib, the man who nurtured Urdu verse and kept Urdu language intact through his poetry.

The couplet in Urdu goes like this.

Imaan mujhy roke hay tu keenchy han mujhy kufar

Kaaba mery peechy hy tu kaleesa mery agay

(Faith limits and whereas the idolatry lures me

Kaaba is behind me and the church stands ahead)

The literal backdrop of this couplet is merely the enforced conversions during British rule in india where modern philosophy evolving new trends of life conflicting the predisposed ideas.

Yet, To me this meaningful and voluminous verses with an extended metaphor encompass the essence of life. Its ups and downs. Its struggles. The meaning. The totality of definition. Everything.

The worldly obligations, moral and social limitations as defined by the society have an exhausting affect on human mind. They chain human heart and thus cage it forever.

But what allures the heart, is all the forbidden things. That bring pains and suffering.

Here the analogy of Frosts ‘ stopping by woods’ is thus far the most suited one.

The woods are lovely dark and deep

But i have promises to keep.

Again, the worldly obligation the consciousness, the knowledge of being right and wrong, keeps human heart from being fully content.

Thus, to achieve happiness and satisfaction, which human heart is always seeking, it is requisite to really believe what Darwin says. Being adaptable to change. To our surroundings. To survive.

To thrive with the thorns of life. Not to eradicate them. Because thats not what we born for.

There are days, when we feel completely hopeless. Depression dwells deeper. Because all of us, want life to be perfect. Free of distractions. Chaos. Like a straight one lane road without any speed breakers. Because our limited and conservative imagination fails to comprehend the rule on which the universe works. Balance. The cyclic nature. It aint a one sided road. It cant be. Its a balance between two extremes. Two opposites that do not at all negate each other but complement.

#life #thoughts #philosophy #poetry #words