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Here is a beautiful ghazal penned by Javed Akhtar and made immensely popular by Jagjit Singh. The simplicity of the thought captured in each couplet, of comparing now and then, adulthood and childhood, the contrasts and tribulations of life, is most celebratory. Below is the ghazal with a loose English translation of each couplet:

Jagjit_Singh_(Ghazal_Maestro)Mujhko yaqeen hai sach kahti thi jo bhi ammi kahti thi… 
Jab mere bachpan ke din the, chaand mein pariyaan rahti thi

I am certain now, that mother was right, when she said to me
In the days of my childhood, fairies did live on the moon

Ek ye din jab apnon ne bhi hamse naataa tod liyaa… 
Ek vo din jab ped ki shaakhen bojh hamaaraa sahti thi

Now we live in a time when even loved ones have broken their ties
Then was a time when even branches of trees bore our burden

Ek ye din jab saari sadken roothi roothi lagti hain… 
Ek vo din jab aao khelen saari galiyaan kahti thi

Now is a time when all the roads lie desolated
Then was a time when every street called out ‘come, let’s play’

Ek ye din jab jaagi raaten deevaaron ko takti hain… 
Ek vo din jab shaamon ki bhi palken bojhal rahti thi

Now is the time of staring at walls in sleepless nights
Then was a time when evenings brought tired drooping eyes with them

Ek ye din jab laakhon gham aur kaal padaa hai aansoo kaa… 
Ek vo din jab ek zaraa si baat pe nadiyaan bahti thi

Now we live in times of a million sorrows and yet there is a drought of tears
Then was a time tears would flow for the smallest of reasons

Mujhko yaqeen hai sach kahti thi jo bhi ammi kahti thi… 
Jab mere bachpan ke din the, chaand mein pariyaan rahti thi

I am now certain that mother was right, when she said to me
In the days of my childhood, fairies did live on the moon

And here is the link to the ghazal sung by Jagjit Singh:

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