“Abhi Toh Main Jawan Hoon ……….. “ this beautiful ghazal penned by Hafiz Jalandhari and rendered no less beautifully by Malika Pukhraj, one of my all time favourites from across the border, has the potential to become the voice of thousands like me- who have left young age far behind and old age is just about to knock at the door . Denial may be admission, but assertion at times also stems from self doubt , which is the underlying thought in this ghazal.The repitition of lines “Abhi toh........... ….” appears to be a feeble attempt to negate the troubles and travails one associates with old age. Mirror they say always tells the truth a la a song- Darpan jhooth na boley- from a Bollywood film This is what sets people like me thinking. Unfortunately I never had beautiful lines of teeth to enable me to exude a Binaca or a Colgate smile , but still the teeth, asymmetrical, as they were , were an asset , for the facial looks , as my face had the appearance of a bhara chehra . This is another matter that I dared give only a Mona Lisa smile, with pursed lips lest my buck- teeth should show..
I am reminded of the inherent irony in the lines of a song :
" Dand motiyan de daney ,
Na hass jaan dig jaangey “
-quoted by the famous writer Upendra nath Ashk in his novel “Bari Bari Ankhen” . The famous punjabi song rendered by the late Asa Singh Mastana “ Aayi jawani gayi jawani ….......... " is more forthright in suggesting to one to gracefully accept the arrival of old age and attendant troubles , travails and miseries. The following lines from the song deserve mention as being true and of utmost relevance:
“ Aayi jawani gayi jawani , hun oh mauj na mela ,
Jhar gaye dand motiyan vargey , ban gaya roop karela.....”
Be it as it may, there is no let up in defying old age and one does get a boost up by humming “Abhi toh main jawan hoon...... ."