Har Taraf Har Jagah [Ghazal]


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HAR TARAF HAR JAGAH
Performed by Lata Mangeshkar and Jagjit Singh
Album: Sajda

For Josiah Governor

Har taraf har jagah beshumar aadmi
Har taraf har jagah beshumar aadmi
Phir bhi tanhaiyon ka shikaar aadmi
Har taraf har jagah beshumar aadmi.

In every direction, every place, there are several people
Even then, man is a victim of loneliness.

Subah se shaam tak bojh dhota hua
Subah se shaam tak bojh dhota hua
Apni hi laash ka khud mazaar aadmi
Apni hi laash ka khud mazaar aadmi.

From morning to evening, he is burdened
A man is a grave for his own corpse.

Phir bhi tanhaiyon ka shikaar aadmi
Har taraf har jagah beshumar aadmi.

In every direction, every place, there are several people
Even then, man is a victim of loneliness.

Har taraf bhaagte daudhte raaste
Har taraf bhaagte daudhte raaste
Har taraf aadmi ka shikaar aadmi
Har taraf aadmi ka shikaar aadmi.

In every direction, there are paths running
Everywhere, man is a victim of man.

Phir bhi tanhaiyon ka shikaar aadmi
Har taraf har jagah beshumar aadmi.

In every direction, every place, there are several people
Even then, man is a victim of loneliness.

Roz jeeta hua roz marta hua
Roz jeeta hua roz marta hua
Har naye din naya intezar aadmi
Har naye din naya intezar aadmi.

Everyday he lives and everyday he dies
Every new day is a new waiting for man.

Phir bhi tanhaiyon ka shikaar aadmi
Har taraf har jagah beshumar aadmi.

In every direction, every place, there are several people
Even then, man is a victim of loneliness.

Zindagi ka mukkaddar safar dar safar
Zindagi ka mukkaddar safar dar safar
Aakhri saans tak bekaraar aadmi
Aakhri saans tak bekaraar aadmi.

The fate of life is journey after journey
'Til the last breath, man is always without peace.

Phir bhi tanhaiyon ka shikaar aadmi
Har taraf har jagah beshumar aadmi
Har taraf har jagah beshumar aadmi.

In every direction, every place, there are several people
Even then, man is a victim of loneliness.
..............................................................................................................................


A Note From The Gull

Thank you, Lata Mangeshkar and Jagjit Singh.

I am deliberately returning to "Sajda" tonight to settle my troubled heart and I dedicate this song "Har Taraf Har Jagah" to Josiah wherever he is now beyond the pain of this world. I read that Josiah wanted to become a police officer and I find myself wondering if this desire was inspired by his own situation of powerlessness and pain. Did he see police officers as superheroes who could protect the weak and stop the abusers in their tracks? Could he have wanted to be for others the protector that he never found in those who surrounded him? It is this aloneness that is brought to mind by the lines:

Har taraf har jagah beshumar aadmi
Phir bhi tanhaiyon ka shikaar aadmi.

In every direction, every place, there are several people
Even then, man is a victim of loneliness.

I did not respond well to the news of Josiah's death. Since my post, I was relieved to find the article below by an unidentified author. I wish that I had been able to write it because it addresses with empathy the roots of the problem rather than the fruit. Josiah's abuse and death, the dysfunctional family into which he was born and the neighbourhood which harboured his abusers are all fruits of a violence that is systemic in our society.

It helps nothing to simply respond with anger like I did, if we are not going to do something, no matter how small, to start addressing the underlying causes. Yes, some may say that it is the anger of others that is needed to shock the dreamers awake. We all share this society and at some point we have to tell those who have become too comfortable with their "issues" that society is no longer going to be their enablers, that they also have responsibilities as adults to find a way to address their problems. But anger can lead us to respond rashly and anger also fades after a while and very often when it is spent we find that we have not moved forward but have slipped back into passivity to await the next trigger. It is the thoughtful analyses of people like the author below which should be solicited and used towards creation of support systems to help those who feel that they lack the tools to help themselves.
A failure to act turns fatal.
Trinidad Express Newspapers | Jan 25, 2012 at 12:09 AM ECT

Amidst the regrets and recriminations heard every time a child is murdered, many persons invariably hasten to make a distinction between "discipline" and "abuse". Yet the reality is that most abusers do not know when they are stepping over that blurred line, and so "disciplinarians" can easily become child-killers in a society where corporal punishment is widely approved.

In the case of six-year-old Josiah Governor, who was beaten to death last Friday, reports suggest that the alleged killer used to beat the boy to do better in his schoolwork. If so, the perpetrator was performing an act which 98 per cent of parents and teachers, according to a 2004 survey headed by Prof Ramesh Deosaran, approve. This, along with distrust of the police, is why Josiah's neighbours, despite hearing the child's cries over many months, never reported the matter to the authorities.

Yet the neighbourhood was only the last set of adults to fail Josiah. Even the circumstances of his birth made it more, rather than less likely, that the odds would be against him as he grew up. His mother was in her teenage years when she conceived him, and so little more than a child herself. Josiah's biological father abandoned him when he was still a baby, hence further weakening the child's family network. When Josiah's mother formed a relationship with another man, this created another downward spiral for, while there are many good step-parents, adults who are not biologically related to children are more likely to abuse them.

In an interview with the Express yesterday, Josiah's paternal grandmother revealed that she was aware of the abuse her grandson was experiencing — indeed, the child had begged her to take him into her home. But, when she threatened to report the abuse to the police, the grandmother was told that, if she did so, she would not be allowed to see Josiah. So she kept silent, and now her grandson is silenced forever.

In this death, therefore, the whole society is culpable. Josiah's family failed to fulfil their most basic duty — protect the life of their child. The community failed him, by refusing to get involved even to the extent of reporting the matter to the police. The teachers at Josiah's school failed, either by not noticing that anything was wrong, or failing to deal with the issue if they did notice. The social services failed from the time Josiah was born, by not identifying the mother and her baby as at-risk. And all the adults in Trinidad and Tobago who believe corporal punishment is justified have tacitly contributed to the cycle of violence which all too easily leads to the killing of children.
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare.

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