top of page

The Language of Love: Rekhta in Retrospect

Rekhtā from the Persian verb ریختن literally means ‘Scattered’ or ‘Mixed’ was the name given to the language of early courtly literature of the Delhi Sultanate. The intermixing of Dehlavi and Persian resulted in the birth of ‘Rekhta’ in the 18th Century. This dialect lived a successful century and gave a number of early literature pieces of great significance till the 19th Century when the terms ‘Urdu’, ‘Hindi’, and ‘Hindustani’ came into existence. The element that makes it the keystone of the crown is, this style evolved in both the Perso-Arabic and Devanagari scripts which made it easily accessible and comprehensible for people regardless of their ethnic, religious, and communal identity. In later developments ‘Rekhta’ transformed into ‘Hindustani’ and finally into ‘Urdu’ after the partition. The language reached its peak of perfection through the joint endeavours of Legendary poets like Mir-Taqi-Mir (Khuda-e-sukhan) fondly called God of Poetry, Mirza Ghalib, Mir Anees, and Allama Iqbal.

Urdu Poetry at a Glance The primary and most renowned forms of Urdu poetry that are relevant in today's modern world are as follows: 1. Ghazal: Ghazal غزل,s a set of two-liner couplets, which strictly should end with the same rhyme and should be within one of the predefined meters of ghazals. The first Sher is called Matla and the last one is called Maqta. Other than these it should also consist of Qaafiya, Radeef Takkhalus (Pen-Name), and Beher.

2. Nazm: Nazm نظم is the basic type of Urdu poetry. It can be written on any topic, and so a large number of Nazms exist that have covered common life, philosophical thinking, national issues, and the precarious predicament of an individual human being. • Significance of Beher in Urdu Poetry Beher in Urdu poetry is the meter of a sher (couplet). Essentially, beher is a specific pattern, combining the arkaans (dummy meaningless words) of Urdu prosody that define the "length" of a sher.

As in the ghazal “daastaan-e-hijr mein main mubtala bhi ho gaya” penned by me, I have used ‘ बहर-ए-रमल मुसमन महज़ूफ़ ’ which has a rhythmic pattern of 2122 2122 2122 212, which means every couplet has to follow the same meter.

Example: In the couplet, “ दास्तान-ए-हिज्र में मैं मुब्तला भी हो गया आस्तान-ए-इश्क़ में सो अब ख़ुदा भी हो गया ” The weight of the word दास्तान-ए-हिज्र would be weighed as 2122 21 and में would be weighed as 2, and so on. In recent developments, languages such as English and Hindi have introduced free verse and writers/poets are compiling splendid works in the latter but Urdu Poetry does not allow the creator to write in free verse or Blank verse. The poetic piece should follow the prescribed rhythmic pattern derived hundreds of years ago to qualify as a poetic piece!

Attached is a Ghazal written by me along with the Translation for better understanding of the concept as well as for widening the spectrum of perception. • Legacy of Rekhta Jashn-e-Rekhta which literally translates to Celebration of Rekhta is a three-day event held annually in New Delhi. The event showcases Urdu poetry and Urdu literature along with Calligraphy (Nastaliq). It's star studded with performances such as Ghazal and Nazm recitations, Sufi Music, panel discussions, debates, conversations on films, and calligraphy workshops. It provides a middle ground for Urdu lovers and Connoisseurs of this lingo to interact and engage with the Masters and Maestros. The experience is inspiring, innovative, and larger than life as live performances of prominent names from the film, music, and TV industry from India, Pakistan, and the United States are a very common sight. It is attended by the celebrities such as Javed Akhtar, Imtiaz Ali, Shabana Azmi, Gulzar, Nawazuddin Siddique, Zakir Khan, and many more. As the quote says tradition is the preservation of fire, not the ashes so explore your heritage, know your roots and decorate your mind palaces with the beautiful hangings of the language of love at Rekhta on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of December 2022. Warm Regards and Best Wishes. Aditya Sandu

198 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page