Under the frozen moon

The moon is a multipurpose muse, at once a symbol of ishq (love), taqwa (piety), tanhaai (loneliness), hairat (wonder), khushi (happiness) and arzoo (longing). In Urdu literature, the moon manifests in all forms: aadha chaand (half moon), poora chaand or chaundhavi ka chaand (full moon) and badli ka chaand (moon hidden in clouds). The moon has also been a symbol of the poet’s promise to the beloved, with “tumhare waste main chaand tod laaunga (I will pluck out the moon for you),” being a familiar refrain.

‘The many moods of the moon; Urdu poetry’s favourite muse’, by Nawaid Anjum, July 22, 2019, The Indian Express


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