My composition of Faiz's 'Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat'sung by Seema Sehgal, at Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, on 20th May, 2012.
I trust you will enjoy listening to this as much as I have enjoyed composing it. The poem is one of the most well-known in modern times and among the best Faiz wrote.
Even now your beauty is tantalizing, but what can be done
There are other heartaches in the world than those of love
This rings true to the nature of men, especially those who see beyond the pleasures and entrapments of love; a life-long game for those prone to romanticism. Should love be the pursuit, and life the hobby. Or should the world be the pursuit, and love a side-game, a passion indulged when the sufferings of the world are lost to the mind.
Early on in the poem he says,
Your face would bring permanence to every spring
What is there but your eyes to see in the world anyway
A short-lived passion - when faced with the essence of life, whatever we know of it.
But even in the worst of places and circumstances, when life has wearied us, we pause and say, 'what is there but your eyes to see in the world anyway'. Such is the game of life, the mantra of its continuum.
And when the mind has wearied of the promises of love, it looks at the world beyond
The dreadful magic of uncountable dark years
Woven in silk, satin and brocade
In every corner are bodies sold in the market
Covered in dust, bathed in blood
Don't ask me for the love I once gave you, my love.