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There is something uniquely captivating about the word INTEZAR that I can’t explain in a hurry. It’s a word that stands out with its myriad meanings and connotations unlike its English equivalent, WAITING, which for some reason, doesn’t resonate so intimately with me.

WAITING. As if I am on the railway platform, craning my neck from the kerb to catch a glimpse of the engine that will soon chug in with the coaches and haul me to a berth where I will lay cooped up for hours together.

On the other hand, INTEZAR - as if I am on the beach, and from the yonder a tune floats in delivering memories of an old love, the breeze gently driving the past towards me, and I stand, waveringly, wetting my feet, in anticipation of reviving the bygones.

Somewhere in the space between the sea and the sky, I yearn for a forgotten face to appear and discover the INTEZAR I have been holding in my eyes for long. This, for all those who have loved, isn’t mere WAITING, as in waiting for the train. This is drowning in nostalgia and holding on to a straw of hope that the departed love will one day return. My gaze is lined with the faith that one day there will be communion, despite all the distance and time lapse in between.

I bide my time thinking about your whereabouts; my heart becomes disquiet even today wondering where you might be now. Perhaps, I think wishfully, you will return as if you had never left.

किसी नज़र को तेरा Kisi nazar ko tera इंतज़ार आज भी हैं intezar aaj bhi hai कहा हो तुम के ये दिल Kahan ho tum key eh dil बेकरार आज भी हैं bekaraar aaj bhi hai

We have moved on, life has led us on separate ways, but my eyes are still searching for you, waiting to spot you somewhere in the distance. What can I say of my love and loyalty towards you that doesn't allow me to stop looing for you? How do I prove my allegiance to you and the fact that I have been living in anticipation of our paths crossing again ever since I parted from you?

वो वादियाँ वो फिजायें wo waadiyaan, wo fizaayen

के हम मिले थे जहां ke hum mile the jahaan मेरी वफ़ा का वही meri wafa ka wahin पर मजार आज भी हैं par mazaar aaj bhi hain

The valleys over which blows the mountain winds, the different places we have met in those times of togetherness – there the tomb of my devotion lies bearing testimony to my faithfulness. Perhaps, it will tell you the tale of my love for which I quit the world. I gave up everything for its sake and yet, all I received in return was a deep, incurable gash. Somewhere on the path of that old, unswerving promise that I made to you, my wounded love lies languishing even today.

वो प्यार जिस के लिए Woh pyar jiske liye हमने छोड़ दी दुनिया Hum ne chod do duniya वफ़ा की राह में घायल Wafa ki raah mey ghaayal वो प्यार आज भी हैं Woh pyar aaj bhi hai

The folly of love lies in faith. How often does the heart make the grave mistake of renouncing the world for the sake of the beloved who does not recognize the worth of our love and forsakes us without mercy! The one we believe will forever abide by us, through thick and thin, through times of love and war. And when the beloved eventually leaves, by design or destiny, all that remains is a wounded heart by the wayside and a tomb of dreams in places where we had met and celebrated our love.

Yet, despite all that was lost…

किसी नज़र को तेरा इंतज़ार आज भी हैं

…in the eyes there is a glimmer of hope that one day the beloved will return.

And then, one day, the love that once betrayed returns miraculously as if drawn by the intense sparks of 'intezar' in my eyes. For how long I have waited for this day!

In that moment when I see her, I feel that her authority over my heart is still intact, that she can sway me to here side as she did once upon a time. It’s unbelievable but true that my heart submits to her command even today. The grasp of her love over me has not slackened even after all these years.

न जाने देख के क्यों उनको Na jaane dekh ke kyun unko

ये हुआ एहसास ये हुआ एहसास Yeh hua ehsaas के मेरे दिल पे उन्हें Ke mere dil pe unhe इख़्तियार आज भी हैं ikhtiyar aaj bhi hai (ikhtiyar = authority)

It is hard to believe, yet somewhere in the recesses of my heart it feels as if the season of spring continues to search for me. I feel this dreariness will soon end, and the splendor of spring will arrive in my life. The time that elapsed in between is only an interim before spring finds me. Nothing has changed, and nothing will. Our hearts will one day meet again.

यकीं नहीं हैं मगर Yakeen nahin hai magar आज भी ये लगता हैं Aaj bhi yeh agta Hai मेरी तलाश में शायद Meri Talaash mey बहार आज भी हैं Shayad bahaar aaj bhi hai

Come to think of it, how much have I endured, how many bruises of unfulfilled love I have suffered ever since I parted from you! A mere remembrance of those hurts and wounds makes me melancholic all over again. It’s a love for which I had given up the world; a love that still lies crumbled on the lanes of devotion to this day.

Despite all the pain I have weathered, my eyes still wander looking for you.

न पूँछ कितने मोहब्बत की Na pooch kitne mohabat ki ज़ख्म खाए हैं Zaqhm Khaaye hai के जिनको सोच के दिन ke jinko sochke ke dil सो गवार आज भी हैं Sogvaar aaj bhi hai (sogvaar = sad)

वह प्यार जिस के लिए Woh pyar jiske liye हमने छोड़ दी दुनिया hum ne chod di duniya वफ़ा के राहमे गायल Wafa ke raah mey ghayal वो प्यार आज भी हैं woh pyar aaj bhi hai

किसी नज़र को तेरा Kisi nazar ko tera इंतज़ार आज भी हैं intezar aaj bhi hai कहा हो तुम के ये Kahan ho tum ke yeh दिल बेकरार आज भी हैं dil beqarar aaj bhi hai

No matter how much time passes, it is hard to let go of an affiliation that had anchored deep in the heart. The seasons may change, the winds may blow southwards, but the hope of the love’s return keeps the flame aglow in the hearth of winter. Intezar isn’t a voluntary action performed by a forlorn lover. It is an elixir that keeps his pining spirit alive. It is an accompaniment to his lonely nights. It is the promise of a love left behind in the wilderness of time.

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