Urdu – The Decline of Romantic Language


urdu love shayari

‘Dil-e-nadaan tujhe hua kya hai, aakhir iss dard ki dawa kya hai?”

This beautiful ghazal by Ghalib fits perfectly with the situation of every Urdu lover in India. And what brings up this topic, is the current plight of Urdu language. As the title suggests, this language has been known for respect, manner, and obviously Love.

Urdu is a language of love, and a language that taught us the importance of respecting someone while conversing. It was believed that only a talented and sophisticated group of men/women could handle the weight of the language. Apparently, it was not just handled by the great Indian poets but also half of the population of India! Surprised? Well, yeah this is an Indian language.

Most of the time, we end up associating Urdu language with Arabic and Persian, but it is totally inappropriate. Urdu, which has a little touch of Arabic and Persian words, is a native to India. Being more specific, this language had its forefathers from Persia but when it came to existence, the Indians decided to give it their name.

According to the facts, Urdu was the gift of Mughals to India. However, there are a few arguments about the same. Due to the lack of fool-proof information, one has always been skeptical about its origin. This language was made by the urban India for personal benefit. It has also been termed as Khariboli, which again relates it to the other originated languages of India.

There are two myths infused with the language. First, Urdu belongs to a foreign base and second, that Urdu is only for Muslims. Many know that it’s not true, yet turn their blind eye towards it. Bringing in the first accusation, Urdu has always felt betrayed when people of the same origin shoot up questions doubting its identity. The second has a different dimension to display. Here, the only people whom to blame are the leaders who took our nation under the ‘Divide and rule’ policy.  According to the stated facts, Urdu was spoken by not just Muslims but also Hindus, Sikhs and even Christians. This was the language of an educated individual, which had no influence of religion or caste.

Talking about the romantic side of Urdu, one can say this language has been fantasized by ever possible poet and writer of India. Whether it was the ghazal of Ghalib blended for classic movies or the verses by famous lyricists like Gulzar, Irshad Kamil and Prasoon Joshi, Urdu has been nothing but the favourite of all.

Urdu is a language that profoundly showcased love in all desirable levels. It succeeded in making its readers and audience believe in the true meaning and essence of love. Be it short romantic phrases or long emotional poems, Urdu had its charm with a unique tone and style of the. Many regarded the language as their all time favourite; it gave them the chance to look sophisticated while helping them in confessing love.

They say, when actions don’t work, play the word game. This was what Urdu lovers followed. They knew the value of the language and took pride in it! But the question strikes, even after being used on a continuous note, why has the language vanished from the textbooks and why is the magic fading away? Who should be blamed?

One of the famous shayari from the basket of Ghalib’s work –

Sarayy raah jo unsaay nazarr mili,

To naksh dil kay ubharr gayay,

Hum nazarr mila kar jhijhag gayay,

Woh nazarr jhukaa kar chalay gayay…

These lines have their own charm; they need not be compared with anything else. These mellifluous lines only made the emotions look deeper and fascinating. Back in the days of Mohammed Rafi or Kishore Kumar, the songs were always appreciated by the audiences. The reason being their soulful voices, and the beautiful language used by the composers to make it more appealing. The emotion of love no more acquires the value which it actually deserves, especially if we look at our current playlists.

Just like Sanskrit, Urdu is treated as an ancient language – meant to be viewed as a historical artifact with only poetic value! Its usage in the present day has dwindled, as its elaborate grammar and superior aesthetics have not been appreciated by the present generation!

The Badshah of romantic languages is getting weaker by the day; the spotlight has been shifted on to the topics which hold no place in its comparison. This language had a major contribution under its name; it made the status of love that of a divine nature. It’s time to pay back our dues to the language that stood as the epitome of respect and style!

It is not a happy confession that even after being born in a semi Urdu speaking family, I’m not well versed with its usage. So now, I take the responsibility of initiating, at least begin with the basics hoping that someday it will help me finding my soul (Urdu) mate!!

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  1. Totally agree Shabia. Urdu is a beautiful language and shaayri by greats like Ghalib has few parallels.

    In my experience, it becomes difficult to understand Urdu poetry/literature after a point of time because there are no Hindi/English translations of words given alongside. For non-Urdu speakers, it is a definite deterrent – you can’t appreciate what you can’t understand, right?

    Maybe, you could do something in that direction?

    • thank you Vibha 🙂
      The language is not as difficult as it seems, the plus point we have is Hindi! There are few words which are similar & help you as well! Another can obviously be dictionary, we have loads of them availableb outside!! 😀


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