Bhittai has characterized love in a fashion of a real character guiding the human beings towards doing in impossibilities and enjoying enlightenment properly.
By Noor Ahmed Janjhi
Literature expresses itself through characters. It creates and values the characters. Characterization is an important dimension of the literature. The writers and poets demonstrate different aspects of life through the characters; they create and project them before their readers. It has been in vogue to present scenario of human life through these characters. It is observed that the characters are created in shape of man, women or animals. It is rarely seen throughout the literature of different language to characterize the abstract ideas and project the same with personification. However, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, the great poet, has done it in Sindhi language. He has composed his poetry on human characters of generosity, courage, patriotism, and struggle and so on. Besides, he has characterized the abstract ideas and concepts as the characters. For example love, beauty, longing, pain, thirst, commitment, steadfastness, fighting, bravery etc. He makes these concepts live and personify too. He has discussed human behavior through these characters.
Love is the concept that is integrated with human evolution since beginning. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai has depicted the love as an important and pivotal force and every motivation and preference of human being springs from it. There are many concepts about the term love or Ishiq. The word ‘Ishiq’ can be seen from the vermicelli like plant ‘Ishiq Pech’ to the religious documents and different writings. Depth of the term takes us towards the basic concepts that need to be defined. Neenhn, muhabat, piyar, prem are used as the synonyms of it. Love is used as its English version. Love can be understood by observing it. Miyan Abdul Rahim Mangrio of Girhor has rightly said, ”ڳڙ نه سُڃاپي ڳالهيين ، جان جان ڳُڙ نه کاءِ“ means one cannot understand the taste of jiggery by the tales about it. Love is love and it is spread throughout the human history. It is said that love is blind but I would like to say that love is the great light that enlightens human vision to dig out the hidden potential. It is the third eye of human being. Love is celebrated, discussed and sung by the artists of all of the cultures and civilizations of globe.
Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, a poet of globe, has depicted it as a character itself rather than presenting it as a part of human life and attitude. He has presented the concept of love as pivotal potential of human life and said about the indefiniteness of love as:
عدد ناهي عشق جو، سُڻي ٿيءُ ساڻي،
ڪانهي پُڄاڻي ، مهندان مُنڌ ميهار جي
According to the poet, the love has no any number. It is uncountable. There is no limit before mehar (beloved).
عشق اهڙي ذات ، جو منجهائي مين کي ،
ڏيهان ڏورڻ ڏونگرين، رئڻ سڄيائي رات ،
اُٿي ويٺي تات ، ميان محبوبن جي
Love is such a thing that perplexes the giants. It makes to wander through mountain ranges in day time and weeping in night – Remembrance of beloved every time.
Ishiq is too indefinite to be defined. People have tagged it as imagery love, real love and with some other names, but the sea of love remains unfathomable. They don’t need any means of swimming who have the genuine love. Longing for Sahar makes the sea a limited water reserve before Suhni. It is not a children play. It requires sacrifice of self and to volunteer one’s head for sake of love and the claim of love. Generally the death is by default a part of life but the death by choice makes the life meaningful. The Ishiq teaches the lesson of that great choice in life. Latif says:
عشق جنين کي آڪرو ، تُرهو مٿي تن،
جي ساهڙ کي سڪن ، تنين جر جنڊ ٿئي
.(They are always embarking on voyage who have genuine love. The sea is small pond of water for them who long for Sahar)
عشق ناهي راند ، جيئن کيڏن ٿا ڳڀرو،
جيءَ جُثي ۽ جان جي ، ڀڃي جو هيڪاند،
سسي نيزي پانڌ، اُڇل ته ٻه اڌ ٿئي
(Love is not a children play. It exhausts body, heart and spirit. Throw your head on arrow as it may be broken into two halves)
Love has to incubate internally. It takes panacea for pain from pain and by pain and pangs. All the threats and fears have to be crossed smoothly. The sea is to be crossed as there is knee deep water. Everyone moves ahead with the means but love enables us to go ahead without any means. They cross the sea smoothly who know about love. Moving ahead with means and resources is the limit of human reason and acquired knowledge. Love is the sublime potential of human being that not only motivates and moves ahead but also enables us to achieve unachievable in world. Love is the great guide and knowledge that helps human being to move beyond possibilities. All the great achievements in world are made by this great potential. Bhittai says:
تُرهو آڇ م تن کي ، جن عشق سين آگاهه ،
پُڇي مس ملاح ، ساهڙي مڻي سوهڻي
(Don’t offer means of swimming to them, who have familiarity with the love. Sohni seldom inquired from seamen. However, she met with Mehar)
پاڻ م کڻج پاڻ سين ، ريءَ وسيلي وڌُ،
لالڻ تنين لڌ ، عشق جن جي اڳ ۾
(Don’t take yourself along with you. Move ahead by no means. They do find beloved who are guided by love.)
پڇن جي ميهار کي ، پڇي سي ميهار،
ترهو تنين بار ، عشق جنين آڪرو .
(Mehar asks for them who ask for Mehar. They feel burdensome to the means of swimming)
Mediocre people follow the route developed by others but the lovers make their own way. It means that people follow them on the way of love. All the inventions and discoveries are the result of the pursuit of love. The lovers like Sahar don’t ask about the routine routes. Thirst of love leads them towards their goal. They feel a channel of water as only two steps. The fire of love burns everything except love. Consequently, the lovers become fully baked. The snake bitten can only feel the poison of snake. In the opinion of Bhittai, the person will feel comfortable who has genuine love …..Love with God. He declares the voice of universe as the voice of love and tries to explain the secret of universe by these words:
رُڃن ۾ رڙ ٿي ، جهڙي ڪري جوءِ،
ايءَ نه عورت هوءِ، ايءَ تان آه عشق جي
رُڃن ۾ رڙ ٿي ، ڪر ڪرڪي ڪونج ِ،
نعرو منجهه نڪونج ِ، ايءَ تان آه عشق جي
رُڃن ۾ رڙ ٿي ، ڪر سارنگيءَ ساز ،
ايءَ عشق جو آواز ِ، ايءَ تان آه عشق جي
رُڃن ۾ رڙ ٿي ، ڪر ڪوول جي ڪوڪ ِ،
ولولو ۽ ووڪ ِ، ايءَ تان آه عشق جي
رُڃن ۾ رڙ ٿي ، چتون جي چانگار ِ،
ايءَ عشق جي اُٻڪار ، ايءَ تان آه عشق جي
It is all about love. Cry in wilderness, slogans in whirlpool, coo of cuckoo, screech of parrot and tunes of a fiddle all are the voices of love. Harmony is because of love. None can compete with a lover. Pains, pangs and longing of love are unlimited. Everyone goes by limits but there is great enjoyment in limitlessness. Love fire cleanses the inner self and polishes it too. The polished inner self reflects clearly. Love makes possible to impossible. All are motivated by possibility but the lovers pursue impossible options and ways. The options and ways of impossibility are proved the milestones in human journey towards intellectual as well as infrastructure development. In this way world moves ahead. All of the achievements beyond to possibilities are because of the impetus of Ishiq or love. In view of Bhittai, it is Ishiq that turns fire into water. It is the pearl of human heart and reflects very shining everywhere. Bhittai says:
نسورو ئي نينهن جو ، دل ۾ دونهون پاءِ،
آڻي آڳ عشق جي ، ٻاري جان جلاءِ،
جندان تون جاڳاءِ، جنهن سين آتش آب ٿئي
نسوريائي نانهن جي ، دل ۾ دونهين دُکاءِ،
آڻي آڳ عشق جي ، لاهوتي تن لاءِ،
جندا تنءَ جاڳاءِ ، جنءَ آتشيا آب ٿئي
It is the self-initiated love that guides human beings. All of the great human moves take place under that light. Knowledge has three dimensions and love is the most sublime of all of them. Other two dimensions are reason and observance (learning, study and experience). The love guides us where the two other dimensions don’t work. Bhittai has characterized love in a fashion of a real character guiding human beings towards doing in impossibilities and enjoy enlightenment properly.
About the Author
Noor Ahmed Janjhi is a senior educationist based in Desert District Tharparkar of Sindh. He is author of around two dozen books in Sindhi and English on folk literature including two poetry books.