Ibn-e-Insha was a popular Urdu poet, travelogue writer, columnist and one of the best humorists of Urdu. His most famous ghazal, Insha Ji Utho, is considered a modern-day classic.
His ghazal, Kal choudvin ki raat thi, has been immortalized by the legendary voices of Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali and is considered one of his most popular ghazals in India. Below is the complete ghazal which include some couplets that have not been sung by the legends.
Kal chaudhavin ki raat thi, shab bhar raha charcha tera
Kuchh ne kaha ye chaand hai, kuchh ne kaha chehra tera
chaudhavin ki raat – night of the full moon; shab – night
Ham bhi wahin maujood the, hamse bhi sab poochha kiye
Ham hans diye, ham chup rahe, manzoor tha parda tera
Maujood- present, in attendance
Is sheher mein kisse milein, hum se to chhooti mehfilein
Har shakhs tera naam le, har shakhs deewana tera
Kooche ko tere chhod kar jogi hi ban jaaein magar
Jangal tere, parbat tere, basti teri, sehra tera
Kooche – street/corner, typically said as gali-koocha; Sehra-desert
Ham aur rasm-e-bandagi, aashuftagi? Uftaadgi?
Ehsaan hai kya-kya tera, ai husn-e-beparwa tera
Rasm-e-bandagi – the bondage of rituals; Aashuftagi – tensions/pareshani; Uftaadgi – trouble/musibat; Husn-e-beparwa – careless beauty
Do ashq jaane kiske liye, palkon pe aa kar tik gaye
Altaaf ki bearish teri, ikraam ka darya tera
Ashq-tears; altaf- kindly; Ikram – honor/respect
Ai bedareeg-o-beamaan, hamne kabhi ki hai fughan?
Hamko teri wehshat sahi, hamko sahi sauda tera
Fughan – lamentation; wehshat – horror
Ham par ye sakhti ki nazar? Ham hein faqeere rehguzar
Rasta kabhi roka tera? Daaman kabhi thama tera?
Haan-haan teri soorat haseen, lekin to aisa bhi nahin
Is shakhs ke ashaar se shohraa hua kya-kya tera
Ashaar- liveliness; Shohraa- famous
Bedard sunni ho to chal, kehta hai kya achhi ghazal
Aashiq tera, ruswa tera, shaair tera insha tera