words for beloved in Urdu poetry

A Guide to Addressing the Beloved in the Manner of Poets

By Maniza Khalid

The vision of the beloved’s silhouette over a balcony makes one dream. A word by them sets the heart ablaze with hope. The sight of a wrist, a meeting and even the promise of one, are little instances of magic set within a disconnected world. Human connections endow existence with value. Dreamers and lovers have been providing hope to humanity.

Their tools are words that make beauty conceivable. They tap into the magic that lies in poetry. To be more specific, these words are metaphors. The metaphor shows to the mind, the superlative and the abstract. Moon-like luminosity radiates from the mistress’ face. Bodies serve as vessels of intense passion; it is the site of a lover’s desires that threaten to consume the senses as flames do.

The metaphor & the analogy render beauty conceivable. Without them, beauty cannot be spoken of. How could a poet refer to the beloved, if not through the mesmerizing charm of metaphors? What words apart from these poetic devices could approximate the condition of the heart?

To explore these ideas, we have listed popular metaphors that came to be used over the ages by poets, lyricists and songwriters to refer to the beloved. Read them and consider which one you would use for your beloved.

dil-rubaa
gul-badan
Gul-andaam
mahtaab-ruu
rashk-e-maah
rashk-e-qamar
gul-pairahan
mahvash
parii-chehra
ghairat-e-naahiid
dil-bar
parii-zaad
mah-jabiin
maah-rukh
shola-badan

You notice that the very moon envies your beloved. You recognize flowers in her very gait. The finesse of roses is manifest in her form. Her eyes are warm and limpid pools like those of a gazelle in the forest. You watch her and you want to let her know. Perhaps now is a good time as ever to pick up from the language of poets. It is time. Go tell her how you feel.

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