Tags

, ,

ghalibThe legendary Mirza Ghalib was known for his poetic prowess and his witticisms especially when dealing with the harsh truths of his everyday life. Here is a couplet that displays his fantastic play on words with an incredible thought behind it.

“Ghalib wazifa-khwaar ho, do Shaah ko dua
Vo din gaye ke kehte the naukar nahi huu’n main.”

Ghalib you are now a salaried man, bless the King,
Those days are no more when you said you are nobody’s servant

Sourced from the blog “Hazrat-e-Dilli”
*Source: The photo belonged to Mrs. Santosh Mathur, great-granddaughter of Babu Shiv Narain, who was a friend of Ghalib’s; it is now in a private collection in Allahabad. The scan is provided here through the courtesy of Alok Rai and Rajul Mathur, and through the good offices of Francesca Orsini, Jan. 2010.

This thought brought to mind the popular classic Bob Dylan masterpiece “Gotta Serve Somebody”. Here are the lyrics to this wondrous song, for some indulgent reading:

bob-dylanYou may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Might be a rock’n’ roll adict prancing on the stage
Might have money and drugs at your commands, women in a cage
You may be a business man or some high degree thief
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a state trooper, you might be an young turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord you might even own banks.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be working in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may call me Terry, you may call me Jimmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say.

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.