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Three legendary Urdu poets, three unique styles, three different perspectives on the universal thought of meeting and separation, of time and space, of love and longing.

Maulana Hasrat Mohani (takhallus of Syed Fazl-ul-Hasan), who penned the classic ghazal, ‘Chupke Chupke raat din’ that was sung by Ghulam Ali, wrote the couplet below, about longing for the beloved and the passing of time and changing spaces –

Nahi aati toh yaad unki mahino tak nahi aati
Magar jab yaad aate hai, toh aksar yaad aate hai

English translation:
When I don’t remember my beloved, I don’t think of her for months on end
But when I do remember him, I remember him often

Allama Iqbal took this thought of love and longing to another level by elaborating on the longing felt for

Mahine vasl ke, ghadiyon ki soorat ud jaate hai
Magar ghadiya judai ki, guzarti hai mahino mein

English translation:
Months of togetherness, disappear as if they were just moments
But moments of separation pass by as if they were months

And Firaaq Gorakhpuri took this to an ultimate expression of love with this couplet –

Ek muddat se teri yaad bhi na aayi hamein
Aur hum bhool gaye tujhe aisa bhi nahi

English translation:
An age has passed since I thought of you
To say I had forgotten you would be untruth too
(English translation by Nasreen Munni Kabir)

The above couplets were also shared at the Mehfil@Prithvi this month.