Holi 2024: The Hues Of 'Eid-E-Gulabi', From Mughal Epoch To Sufi And Urdu Poetry, Celebration Of Colours With Syncretic Memories

Holi 2024: The Hues Of 'Eid-E-Gulabi', From Mughal Epoch To Sufi And Urdu Poetry, Celebration Of Colours With Syncretic Memories

From the literature of the Mughal epoch to Sufi-poems and Urdu shayari, the prestige of Holi opens up chronicles of a syncretic past. It's significant to recount the melody of combined 'Ganga-Jamuni Tahzeeb', with striking compositions to win your heart!

Mariyam UsmaniUpdated: Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 09:37 AM IST
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The festival of colours incites vibrant hues in the arena of history, art, culture and poetry. From the literature of the Mughal epoch to Sufi-poems and Urdu-shayari, the Holi opens up chronicles of a beautiful syncretic past. Currently, when the politics of colours and related gangsterism are inflaming dreadful mishaps against the minority sect, it's significant to recount the melody of combined 'Ganga-Jamuni Tahzeeb', with striking compositions to win your heart!

Widely mentioned in the creative remains of the 'Mughal' era, Holi was regarded as 'Gulabi Eid' and 'Aab-E-Pashi' to welcome the new season.

Holi In Mughal Epoch

Holi had a different aroma and aurora in the Mughal epoch with the flower-shower rituals. It was more like 'Phoolon Ki Holi' with scrumptious Hindustani flavors and culinary amazements. Sub-continental music and cultural performances around Red Fort and Yamuna Ghat were held to cherish the blissful occasion.

The era of Akbar embraced the Holi-hues with tales of love. Tuzuk-E-Jahangiri, the autobiography of Jahangir, mentions a 'Mehfil-E-Holi' in Agra, where Brahmin poets flexed and chanted Sanskrit verses to adore their emperor.

A painting form  Jahangir-era, depicting the happy moments of Holi

A painting form Jahangir-era, depicting the happy moments of Holi | X/ IndiaHistorypic (Via- Chester Beatty Library, Dublin)

Badshah Shah Jahan also contributed to the 'Hori' poetry with Hindwi allure.

'Laal gulal su khelan Hori ko aai sabai ras beeni yah nari'

('This woman, soaked in blooming essence, has come to play Hori with red gulal.')

On a quite same pattern, the famous Holi-compositions of Bahadur Shah Zafar stand out with the friendly spirit and the grandeur of syncretic past.

'Kyun mope maari rang ki pichkaari

Dekh Kunwarji du'ngi gaari'

('Why have you splashed these colours on me?

O Kunwarji, I will slander you!')

Lucknow also consists of rich historic and festive memories. The city of Nawabs still harks back to the auspicious day when Nawab Wajid Ali Shah managed to cherish the Holi and Muharram together with sober division of morning and evening hours.

Holi With Sufi And Mystic Swirls

Sufi poets are a way ahead in deciphering, understanding and freezing the deep visions and rivers of sensitivity. Dominated by the colour 'pink' and 'yellow', spring and Holi have a particular cultural value in the world of great Sufi poets, who not only compliment the filaments of co-existence but also dig deep to vibe with the melodic beats of the heart. The Sufi verses have been sung by various artisans in India and Pakistan to match and catch the immortal stream of time.

Bulle Shah hails the spring with mystic swirls of elevated vision-

'Hori khelungi, kah Bismillah

Naam Nabi ki ratn chari,

Boond pari Allah Allah'

('I will play Hori with the chantings of Bismillah,

Draped in the love of beloved Prophet,

The colours will shower through the grace of Allah')

Similarly, Ameer Kusro weaves the threads of harmony, colours and devotion to combine the personal annotations with the glittering faith of the public.

' Aaj rang hai aye maan rang hai ri,

mere mehboob ke ghar rang hai ri'

(What a glow, Oh mother, what a flutter!

In the home of my beloved, it's a day of colour!)

Holi Hues In Urdu Poetry

Nobody can beat the people's poet Nazeer Akbarabadi, in terms of the most vivacious and joyful festive compositions that relate to the emotions, dreams and buzz of ordinary masses. He writes-

'Gulzar khile hon pariyon ke aur majlis ki tayyari ho,

Kapdon pe rang ke chhinton se khushrang ajab gulakri ho'

(Fairies should be flourishing with delight to join the vibrant carnival,

The colour-sprinkles should paint floral blooms on their attires.)

Another iconic poet Sheikh Zahiruddin portrays the glimpses of preparation rituals-

Muhaiyya sab hai ab asbab-e-holi,'

Utho yaro bharo rango se Jholi

( The things to celebrate Holi are all attainable,

Get up and fill the satchels with colors.)

While poet Qalb Hussain Nadir connects to the tradition of wearing white costumes during happy blissful phase,-

Safed pairahan ab to utar de Allah,

Basanti kapde ho aye gul-ezar holi mein

(Change this white cloak now for the sake of Allah,

Costumes should be colourful like spring in the luminous Holi)

Relevance

In the clutch of current hooliganism and cruel bouts of communalism, the minority communities are facing countless socio-political hazards, and attempts to establish a monarchy of language are dismantling the other flamboyant linguistic spurs. Thus, these chronicles revive the glory of the past to safeguard the beautiful sagacity of cultural values from political propaganda and derogatory behaviour. Harmony means that the doors are open to honour everyone, while the imposed insulting explosions of Hindutva-pro hate are against the idea of love and humanity.

Harmony means that the doors are open to honour everyone, while the imposed insulting explosions of politics-infused Hindutva-pro hate are against the idea of love and humanity. Religion and faith belong to a sect, but celebrations have no barriers, and communalism is the only thing that can distort the scene.

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