Advice ad nauseum

Understanding life through an Urdu Poetry lens

Batane wale wahi par batate hai manzil
Hazaar baar jaha se guzar chuka hu mai

People tell me therein lies the destination
On the path that I have walked over a thousand times

A sher can be interpreted in different ways by different people. It depends on how it resonates with us and how we interpret it using our own life experiences and filters. For me in this sher the poet is trying to say that he can't reach the destination even though he's aware of the path. There is something missing, perhaps he cannot commit to the actions needed to reach the goal.

Here is an anecdote from my life on this sher.

So my husband was lecturing me on why I should start a blog and write and do this and that to be a better person. Most of the time, in a situation like this I pretend to listen to his self-help didactics or I cook up an excuse for my inaction.

But this time it was different. I had read something recently and I had a retort- I quoted this sher

This was written by an Urdu poet from Lucknow called ‘Majaz’, who died quite young at an age of 44. He was a prolific poet but not very good at life’s decisions. This sher tells how he may have felt when people  advised him

The truth is we all mostly know what we need to do to achieve our goals. But knowing is not doing. It takes a lot of effort, motivation, and self-discipline to walk in the direction of the goal.

It becomes especially annoying when you are struggling to overcome these issues and a friend or a close one admonishes you for not doing enough to fix the situation. There is a sher on this

mera zameer bahut hai mujhe sazaa ke liye
tu dost hai to naseehat na kar ḳhudaa ke liye

(Zameer-conscience; Naseehat-admonish, chastise, strong advice)

My conscience is enough to punish me
Don't chastise me if you're a friend for God's sake!

And another one with a similar theme from the famous Urdu poet ‘Ghalib’

Ye kaha ki dosti hai ki bane hai dost naaseh 
Koi charasaaz hota koi ghamgusar hota

(Naaseh-a preachy person who admonishes
Chaarasaaz- healer, a person with a solution
Ghamgusar-one who consoles & comforts)

It doesn’t behoove of a friend to be preachy 
I wish I had a friend who could heal me or comfort me 

But advice and admonishes are such low-hanging fruits, that it's difficult to not pluck them when a situation calls. They make us feel good about ourselves that we have helped the person without really doing anything real.

By and large, I understand where my husband is coming from, in fact, I am guilty of the same folly myself. Every time I am strongly advising my younger sister for some life lesson, she lashes out at me with this - ‘tell me something I don't know’.

I read somewhere that ‘all good advice is a cliche' 

 So we all know mostly what we need to do but until we find the 'WILL' to do what is needed, keep quoting this sher to poetically get out of a situation :)


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