Piya Baaj (Without My Love) - By Quli Qutb Shah


Contributor: Prof. Raza Mir

(Photo from: Wikipedia.com)

Quli Qutub Shah (d. 1612) was one of the more celebrated kings of the Deccan, ascending the throne of Golkonda at a young age, and often credited with founding the city of Hyderabad. He is also known to have composed poems in Telugu, which was consistent with his ecumenical temperament. His language reflects a curious mix of linguistic influences, comprising a bit of Turkish, a bit of the local Pali-oriented dialect, some Arabic words, and a lot of Sanskrit as well.


The ghazal I have chosen to represent his work is relatively simple, but as can be seen, this pioneering work has helped establish the stylistic conventions of the ghazal that endure even today, such as the rhyme schemes and the trope of unattained love. This ghazal has been deployed often in popular culture, most notably in the poignant climax of Shyam Benegal’s 1975 film Nishant. The enjoyment of the poem will be enhanced by listening simultaneously to Malika Pukhraaj’s magical rendition.

Piya Baaj

Piya baaj pyala piya jaaye na

Piya baaj ek til jiya jaye na


Nahin ishq jis vo bada kood hai

Kadi us se mil besiya jaye na


Kahe the piya bin saboori karoon

Kahaa jaaye lekin kiya jaye na


Qutub Shah na de mujh deevane ko pand

Deevane ko kuchh pand diya jaye naa


Without My Love

I cannot quaff the goblet without my love.

Nor can I live a moment without my love.


Crude is the one who does not feel

Love’s power

I just cannot stand such a heel

He’s no lover.


‘Be patient without your love, this moment too will pass’

Such counsel to follow is impossible, alas!


Qutub Shah your guidance to the madman, although wise

Has no effect, for his love is beyond your advice.


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