wo jo diwar-e-ashnai thi

wo jo diwar-e-ashnai thi
apni hi zat ki ikai thi
main sar-e-dasht-e-jaan tha aawara
aur ghar mein bahaar aai thi
maile kapdon ka apna rang bhi tha
phir bhi qismat mein jag-hansai thi
ab to aankhon mein apna chehra hai
kabhi shishe se aashnai thi
apni hi zat mein tha main mahfuz
aur phir khud hi se ladai thi
apni aawaz se bhi darta tha
hae kya chiz aashnai thi
zindagi gard gard thi 'akhtar'
jaane lut kar kahan se aai thi

tha ek saya sa pichhe pichhe jo muD ke dekha to kuchh nahin tha

tha ek saya sa pichhe pichhe jo mud ke dekha to kuchh nahin tha
ab apni surat ko dekhta hun kabhi jo sad-paikar-afrin tha
wo phir bhi jaan se aziz-tar tha tabiaten go juda juda thin
agarche ham-zad bhi nahin tha wo mera ham-shakl bhi nahin tha
main ruk sakunga thahar sakunga thakan safar ki mita sakunga
kahin to koi shajar milega tamam raste yahi yaqin tha
kai chatanen gudaz jismon mein apni garmi se dhal gai thin
buton ke qisse mein tesha-karon ka tazkira bhi kahin kahin tha
na jaane kya dhund darmiyan thi ki kohkan ki nazar na pahunchi
jahan se phuta tha chashma-e-mah-shab ka patthar bhi to wahin tha
main apni aawaz ke taaqub mein mawara-e-nazar bhi pahuncha
magar palat kar na us ne puchha ki main khala ke bahut qarin tha
wahi manazir lute lute se wahi shikasta makan 'akhtar'
main roz-marra ke raste se jo ghar mein pahuncha bahut hazin tha

shayan-e-zindagi na the hum moatabar na the

shayan-e-zindagi na the hum mo'atabar na the
han kam-nazar the itne magar kam-nazar na the
ab ke baras jo phul khila kaghzi hi tha
ab ke to dur dur kahin barg-e-tar na the
har phul ek zakhm tha har shakh ek lash
goya ki rah mein thin saliben shajar na the
baadal uthe to ret ke zarre baras pade
hum ko bhigo gae hain wo daman jo tar na the
kahte the ek ju-e-rawan hai chaman chaman
dekha to bastiyon ke kinare bhi tar na the
takra ke sar ko apna lahu aap chatte
achchha hua ki dasht mein diwar-o-dar na the
dariya ka sina chir ke ubhre jo sath par
daman mein sang-reze the 'akhtar' guhar na the

qarya-e-jaan se guzar kar humne ye dekha bhi hai

qarya-e-jaan se guzar kar hum ne ye dekha bhi hai
jis jagah unchi chatanen hain wahan dariya bhi hai
dard ka chadhta samundar jism ka kachcha makan
aur un ke darmiyan aawaz ka sahra bhi hai
ruh ki gahrai mein pata hun peshani ke zakhm
sirf chaha hi nahin main ne use puja bhi hai
raat ki parchhaiyan bhi ghar ke andar band hain
sham ki dahliz par suraj ka naqsh-e-pa bhi hai
chand ki kirnen kharashen hain dar-o-diwar par
aur dar-o-diwar ke pahlu mein ek saya bhi hai
ghar ka darwaza muqaffal hai agar dekhe koi
andar ek kohram hai jaise koi rahta bhi hai
jab main 'akhtar' pattharon ko aaina dikhla chuka
main ne dekha aainon ke hath mein tesha bhi hai

phir ye hua ki log darichon se haT gae

phir ye hua ki log darichon se hat gae
lekin wo gard thi ki dar-o-baam at gae
kuchh log jhankne lage diwar-e-shahr se
kuchh log apne khun ke andar simat gae
wo ped to nahin tha ki apni jagah rahe
hum shakh to nahin the magar phir bhi kat gae
pur-haul jangalon mein hawa chikhti phiri
wapas gharon ko kyun na musafir palat gae
itne to raste mein bhi sae nahin mile
jitne ki log aae aur aa kar palat gae
mitti ke in charaghon ki himmat to dekhiye
jo jate jate shab ki safon ko ulat gae
jab hum se apni zat ka patthar na uth saka
'akhtar' hum aaine ke muqabil hi dat gae