Monday, October 19, 2009

The Government of Jack Boots. habib jalib (with punjabi translation)

English Version

If the dacoit had not had
The village guard as his ally
Our feet would not be in chains
Our victory would not defeat imply
Mourn with turbans round your necks
Crawling on your bellies, comply
Once the jack boot government is up
It’s hard, to make it bid good-bye

Punjabi Version

 پنجابی ترجمہ

ڈاکوں دا جے ساتھ نہ دندا پنڈ دا پہرے دار
آج پیران زنجیر نہ ہندی جیت نہ ہندی نہ ہار
پگان اپنے گل وچ پا لو ترو پیٹ دے بہار
 چھڈ جائے تے مشکل لہندی بوٹاں دی سرکار

What Does Pakistan Mean?.by habib jalib

English Version

Bread, clothes and medicine
A little house to live in
Free education, as may right be seen
A Muslim, I, too, have always been
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God, but God, The Rab-al-alameen

For American alms do not bray
Do not, the people, laugh away
With the democratic struggle do not play
Hold on to freedom, do not cave in
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God...

Confiscate the fields from the landowners
Take away the mills from the robbers
Redeem the country from its dark hours
Off with the lordly vermin
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God...

Sind, Baluchistan and Frontier
These three are to Panjab most dear
And Bengal lends them splendour
Anguished should not be their mien
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God...

This, then, is the basic thing
For the people, let freedom’s bell ring
From the rope, let the plunderer swing
Truly they speak, who the truth have seen
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God, but Allah...

Urdu Version

اردو ترجمہ

روٹی کپڑا اور دوا
گھر رہنے کو چھوٹا سا
مفت مجھے تعلیم دلا
میں بھی مسلمان ہوں واللہ
پاکستان کا مطلب کیا
 لا الہٰ ال الله

امریکا سے مانگ نہ بھیک 
مت کر لوگوں کی تضحیک
روک نہ جمہوری تحریک
چھوڈ نہ آزادی کی راہ
 پاکستان کا مطلب کیا
 لا الہٰ ال الله

کھیت وڈیروں سے لے لو
ملیں  لوٹروں سے لے لو
ملک اندھیروں سے لے لو
رہے نہ کوئی عالی جا
 پاکستان کا مطلب کیا
 لا الہٰ ال الله

سرحد سندھ بلوچستان
تینوں ہیں پنجاب کی جان
اور بنگال ہے سب کی آن
آے  نہ ان کے لب پر آہ
پاکستان کا مطلب کیا
 لا الہٰ ال الله

بات یہ ہے بنیادی
غاصب کی ہو بربادی
حق کہتے ہیں حق آگاہ
 پاکستان کا مطلب کیا
 لا الہٰ ال الله 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A palace of wax by Kishwar Naheed

Before I ever married
my mother
used to have
Her fearful screams shook me
I would wake her, ask her
"What happened?"
Blank-eyed she would stare at me.
She couldn't remember her dreams.

One day a nightmare woke her
but she did not scream
She held me tight in silent fear
I asked her
"What happened?"
She opened her eyes and thanked the heavens
"I dreamt that you were drowning".
She said,
"And I jumped into the river to save you".

That night she lightning
killed our buffalo and my fiance.

Then one night my mother slept
And I stayed up
Watching her open and shut her fist
She was trying to hold on to something
Failing, and willing herself to hold on again.

I woke her
But she refused to tell me her dream.

Since that day
I have not slept soundly.
I moved to the other courtyard.

Now I and my mother both scream
through our nightmares.

And if someone asks us
we just tell them
we can´t remember our dreams

The grass is really like me by Kishwar Naheed

The grass is also like me
it has to unfurl underfoot to fulfil itself
but what does its wetness manifest:
a scorching sense of shame
or the heat of emotion?

The grass is also like me
As soon as it can raise its head
the lawnmower
obsessed with flattening it into velvet,
mows it down again.
How you strive and endeavour
to level woman down too!
But neither the earth's nor woman's
desire to manifest life dies.
Take my advice: the idea of making a footpath was a good one.

Those who cannot bear the scorching defeat of their courage
are grafted on to the earth.
That`s how they make way for the mighty
but they are merely straw not grass
-the grass is really like me.

Anticlockwise by Kishwar Naheed

Even if my eyes become the soles of your feet
even so, the fear will not leave you
that though I cannot see
I can feel bodies and sentences
like a fragrance.

Even if, for my own safety, I rub my nose in the dirt till it becomes invisible
even so, this fear will not leave you
that though I cannot smell
I can still say something.

Even if my lips, singing praises of your godliness
become dry and soulless
even so, this fear will not leave you
that though I cannot speak
I can still walk.

Even after you have tied the chains of domesticity,
shame and modesty around my feet even after you have paralysed me
this fear will not leave you
that even though I cannot walk
I can still think.

Your fear of my being free, being alive
and able to think might lead you, who knows, into what travails.

Talking To Myself by Kishwar Naheed

Punish me for I've written the significance of the dream
in my own blood written a book ridden with an obsession
Punish me for I have spent my life sanctifying the dream of the future
spent it enduring the tribulations of the night
Punish me for I have imparted knowledge and the skills of the sword to the murderer and demonstrated the power of the pen to the mind
Punish me for I have been the challenger of the crucifix of hatred
I'm the glow of torches which burn against the wind
Punish me for I have freed womanhood from the insanity of the deluded night
Punish me for if I live you might lose face
Punish for if my sons raise their hands you will meet your end
If only one sword unsheaths itself to speak you will meet your end
Punish me for I love the new life with every breath
Ishall live my life and shall doubly live beyond my life
Punish me for then the sentence of your punishment will end.

We Sinful Women by Kishwar Naheed

It is we sinful women
who are not awed by the grandeur of those who wear gowns

who don't sell our lives
who don't bow our heads
who don't fold our hands together.

It is we sinful women
while those who sell the harvests of our bodies
become exalted
become distinguished
become the just princes of the material world.

It is we sinful women
who come out raising the banner of truth
up against barricades of lies on the highways
who find stories of persecution piled on each threshold
who find that tongues which could speak have been severed.

It is we sinful women.
Now, even if the night gives chase
these eyes shall not be put out.
For the wall which has been razed
don't insist now on raising it again.

It is we sinful women
who are not awed by the grandeur of those who wear gowns

who don't sell our bodies
who don't bow our heads
who don't fold our hands together.

Censorship by Kishwar Naheed

In those times when the camera could not freeze
tyranny for ever

only untill those times
should you have written
that history
which describes tyranny as valour.

Today, gazing at scenes
transferred on celluloid
one can guage
what the scene is like
and the sound
when trees are uprooted from the hillsides.

whether you are happy or sad
you must breathe
whether your eyes are open or closed
the scene,its imprint on the mind
does not change.

The trees that stands in the river
alway remain wooden
cannot become a crocodile.

For a long time now;
we have stood
on the rooftops of stories
believing this city is ours

The earth beneath the foundations has sunk
bu t even now we stand
on the rooftops of stories
assuming life to be
the insipid afternoon's wasted alleyways
with their shattered bricks
and gapping fissures.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

We Are All Dr Faustus...,Parveen shakir

In a way we are all
Dr Faustus.
One from his craze
and another helpless from blackmail
barters away his soul.
One mortgages his eyes
to trade in dreams
and another offers
his mind as collateral.
All that one may need sense
is the currency of the day.
So a survey of life’s Wall Street says
that among those with the buying power these daysself-respect is very popular

Steel Mills Worker...,Parveen shakir

Black ghost
born of sperm of coal
at hellish temperatures.
His work now to keep shovelling
coal into the burning furnace.
For this
he gets extra wages and special diet,
and no work beyond the four hours
at a time. Perhaps he
does not know that he has signed
a suicide pact in full knowledge.He is the fuel for this furnace.

Hot Line,Parveen shakir

How he used to complain to me!
So many people
come between us
we cannot talk.
In the season’s first rain,
first snow,
full-moon nights,
evening’s mild fragrance,
morning’s blue cool,
how helpless!
How the heart aches!

Today between him and me
there is no third.
There can be contact
with a slight movement of the hand.
But how many seasons have passed
since hearing that voice.
It is not hard for me to call upon him,
but the truth is
the voices and the accents
do not have the same tones.
The tune is the same but the heartsare not close enough.

Pink Flowers,Parveen shakir

Pink flowers blossomed
in the season I met you.

With your attentions they are opening again,
though these wounds had healed already.

How long could the columns support
these houses shaken to their foundations?

That old strangeness came back,
as if our meetings had been done.

The body was still hotfoot with its infatuations,the feet bruised on the way.

A Message,Parveen shakir

It’s the same weather.
The rain’s laughter
rings in the trees, echoes.
Their green branches
wear golden flowers
and smile thinking of someone.
The breeze is a scarf, again the light-pink.
The path to the garden that knows us
is looking for us.
The moment of moon-riseis waiting for us.

Kanras,Parveen shakir

The eyes downcast,
the tone enervated,
sentences uttered in fragments,
lashes covered in dust
and sunburnt face.
Bowing his unkempt head has come a long lost friend.
The heart is tempted to take hold of his hand,
to rush immediately to kiss his brow,
and never allow him to go back alone.
But deep within me someone whispers:
all this is feigned, phantasm, facade,
Don’t ever believe!Don’t ever believe!

Your Attitude.,Parveen shakir

Your attitude toward me has been like
a seasoned diplomat’s toward a young journalist
—every statement heedful of its implications
and possible repercussions,
every word carefully weighed
(the issue lost in the quagmire of quotations).
Nothing that he says should turn out to be
an arrow recoiling on himself(which he may have to repent).

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Taj-- perhaps a manifestation of love for you!

Maybe you venerate this colourful vale!

My darling! let's meet somewhere else --
What place do poor have in the royal courts?
Roads which are sealed by the monarch's stamp,
how could loving souls tread on such paths?

My love! hidden behind this proclamation of fidelity,
you ought to have seen the facade of royal grandeur.
So easily lured by the tombs of dead kings,
cast also a look on our gloomy abodes.

Innumerable people in this world have been in love,
who says they didn't carry genuine feelings?
They simply lacked the means for their display,
because they were also poor -- like you and me.

These buildings and tombs, forts and castles,
symbolic pillars of greatness by the despotic kings,
are cancerous sores on the breast of our earth,
soaked in them is the blood of our fore-parents.*

My darling! those people must also have loved,
whose skill has bestowed beauty upon this ediface.
The tombs of their own beloveds went unmarked,
no one ever lights a candle on their graves.

This garden, Jumna's¤ bank -- this lovely palace,
these engraved walls, arches and the recess!
An emperor, by merely relying upon his riches,
has mocked at the love of poor people like us.

My darling! let's meet somewhere else.


Cruelty is after all cruelty –
when it inflates, it dissipates.
Blood is after all blood –
when it drips, it coagulates.

It may congeal
On the desert’s chest,
or on the murderer’s sleeve;
On the faulty scales of justice,
or on the links of chains;
On the oppressive sword,
or on the slaughtered corpse.

Blood is after all blood –
when it drips, it coagulates.

One may hide in whichever shelter on likes,
blood itself reveals the executioner’s hide-out.
Conspiracies may cast around the veil of darkness,
yet, every drop of blood carries its own burning torch.

The blood which you tried to suppress in the abattoir,
today has rushed out in the streets and squares –
as a flame, or a battle-cry, or as a stone.
Once blood starts flowing,
the bayonets cannot restrain it.
Once blood lifts its head,
the ordinances cannot constrain it.

What is to be said about cruelty!
What is cruelty’s nature?

Cruelty is always cruelty –
from its beginning to its end.
Blood is after all blood,
It can take so many forms:
forms which cannot be destroyed,
flames which cannot be extinguished,
cries which cannot be silenced.

WAITING,Sahar Ansari

All night the rain by the window
creeping along the champac
drop after drop sent down the poison.

My eyes kept remembering your face.

In the morning, there was a heap of leaves
on the floor, the face of fallow earth.
A revenge—because I wait for the sun.

VANITY / Vanity Thy Name Is… ,Parveen Shakir

He is so simple.
His world is so different from mine.
So separate are his dreams
and his preferences.
He says very little.
He writes
this morning I saw
some lovely flowers in the lawn
and thought of you.

I know
I am at that dishevelled stage of life
when my face
is not much like any flower.
But I wish—whatever he says—
I could believe it a while.

WHERE AM I? ,Parveen Shakir

Where am I
in your life?

In the morning breeze
or the evening star,
hesitant drizzle
or sharp rain,
silver moonlight
or hot noon,
deep thoughts
or casual tunes?

Where am I
in your life?

Down from work,
a weekend’s interval
on a beach,
or an unintended
silken release between your fingers
from serial smoke?
Or a readily replenished,
freshened moment without wine,
or a moment’s leave, anonymous,
between the breaking of one dream
of love and another’s beginning?

Where am I
in your life?

the people of machine,attiya dawood

To live a respectable life
We the people of big cities
Keep going on like robots.
To keep the home going
We are crushed to fine powder
Under the mill-stone of rising prices.
Home, for which we wove so many dreams,
In the mad race for it,
Our sleep got left behind.
Love and other such fine feelings,
Which are proof of good taste,
We keep them on display in the drawing room.
All the words we speak
Their dates have expired long ago,
The new words in our dictionary
Are miss-prints.We are like the deaf and dumb
We understand each other’s unspoken needs.
Like a well-practiced typist
His fingers move on my body’s key-board
And I give him
The results he wants.


These paths, these lengthy paths!
Where do they lead to?

To some very ancient palaces --
Where some lost friends meet?

Perhaps, to the dense forests --
To scare us, like a vicious beast?

Or, after a round of aimless wandering,
Just bring us back to where we started!

A Simple Statement ,MUNIR NIAZI

If Death is all there in the fate!
Then why should we try evading it?

Why in our quest to forget it,
Should we surrender to mere illusions?

Why make some friends -- true or false,
And talk about the dreams -- in our hearts?

Why not just sit alone in the houses,
And then laugh -- like the lunatics do?

The City Buildings,MUNIR NIAZI

Driven by their own terror,
They encroach,
upon each other.

Early in the Morning ,MUNIR NIAZI

First, the bangles clinked -- so softly,
Then, she woke me with a tender pinch.
Wouldn't meet my playful eyes!
Just kept on giggling, incessantly.

NO TRACE OF BLOOD ,Faiz Ahmad Faiz

Nowhere, there is any trace of blood

Neither on the hands and nails of the slayers,
nor any sign on the sleeve.
No redness on the dagger's edge,
nor any colour on the spear's head.
No stains on the earth’s breast,
nor any smear on the ceiling.
Nowhere, there is any trace of blood

It was
Not spent in the service of kings,
to gain some bounty;
Nor offered in a religious rite,
to obtain absolution;
Nor spilled on the battlefield
to attain fame – as inscription on a banner.

It cried for attention –
that unprotected, helpless blood.
Yet, none had the time or the will –
to listen to that blood.
No accuser nor any witness –
just a ´clean sheet`
That blood from the figures of clay –
the Earth consumed it

O' TRUE GOD,Faiz Ahmad Faiz

O' true God! You had decreed:
"My Man! You are the king of the world,
My bounties are now your riches,
You are my deputy and viceroy."

After sending me away on this pretence,
Have you ever asked:
"How have you endured life, my Man?"
Have you ever enquired, O' My Lord!
How this world has treated your viceroy?

On the one hand there is intimidation by the police,
On the other there is persecution by the stewards.
This skeleton of mine carries a heart which trembles,
The way a sparrow flutters when caught in a trap.

What a king you have made? O' My Lord!
A chain of sufferings, not a moment's peace for him.
I do not wish any kingship, O' My Creator!
A bit of dignity shall suffice for me.
These palaces and mansions are not my choice,
A corner in life's fabric is all that I ask.

If you listen to me, then I will listen to you,
I swear in your name: "I shall never go astray."
But if this demand of mine is not met by you,
Then I must also search, and find a new God.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Shabir Hassan Josh Malihabadi

There she sweats on the road, a beauteous, restless lass,
In scorching sun she breaks the stones, her bangles clink and clash.

A painful moan with the music strangely mixed up lies,
At each stroke dropes of tears trickle down her eyes.

Dust-splattered are her cheeks, her locks embroiled in dust,
Her deep depressed eyes a tender grace reflect.

The blood-red sun sucks her blood without a touch of ruth,
Each heavey hammer stroke tells upon her budding youth.

In the sun her fragrant locks are flying about adrift,
Her limber self is getting wrecked amid the stones and bricks.

Ruddy rays of the sun are drinking undefied,
The wine of her jasmine cheeks, nectar of narcissus' eyes.

Clouds of sorrow heavily hang o'er her tender heart,
Are these her cheeks, or roses two which are fading fast?

Through her tatters can be glimpsed her youthful shape, sorrow-gripped,
Like the moon that wanders through bits of clouds adrift.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Jawab-e-Shikwa,Allama Iqbal

The word springing from the heart surely carries weight,
Though notendowed with wings, it yet can fly in space.

Pureand spiritual in its essence, it pegs its gaze on high,
Rising from the lowly dust, grazes past the skies.

Keen, defiant, and querulous was my passion crazed,
It pierced through the skies, my audacious wail.
"Someone is there," thus spoke the heaven's warder old,
the planets said, "From above proceeds this voice so bold."

"No, no," the moon said," "tis someone on the earth below,"
Butted in the milky way: "The voice is hereabouts, I trow."

Ruzwan alone, if at all, understood aright,
He knew it was the man, from heaven once exiled.
Even the angles wondered who raised this cry,
All the celestial denizens looked about surprised.

Does man possess the might to scale empyreal heights?
Has this mere pinch of dust learnt the knack to fly?

What are these earthly folks? Careless of all respect,
How bold and impudent, the lowly dwellers of the earth!
Extremely rude and insolent, cross even with God,
Is it the same Adam whom angels once did laud?

Steeped in bliss, man is of wisdom's lore possessed,
Nonetheless, he's alien to humility's sterling worth.

Man feels proud of the power of his speech,
But the fool doesn'tknow how and what to speak.
You narrate a woeful tale, thus the voice arose,
Your heart is boiling overwith tears uncontrolled.

You have delivered your plaint with perfect skill and art,
You have brought the humans in contact with God.

We are inclined to grant, but none deserves our grace,
None treads the righteous path, whom to show the way?
Our school is open to all, but talent there is none,
Where is that soil fertile to breed the human gems?

We reward the deserving folks with splendid meed,
We grant newer worlds to those who strive and seek.

Arms have been drained of strength, hearts have gone astray,
The Muslim race is a blot on the Prophet's face.
Idol-breakers have left the scene, idol-makers remain,
Aazar has inheritedAbraham's glorious name.

Wine, flask,and drinkers-all arenew and changed,
A differentKaaba, different idols now your worship claim.

Therewas a time when you were respected far and wide,
Once this desert bloom was the season's wealth and pride.
Every Muslim then was a lover profound of God,
Your sole beloved once was the all-embracing Lord.

Who removed falsehood from the earth's face?
Who broke the shackles of the human race?

Who reclaimed our Kaaba with their kneeling brows?
Who presses the sacred Quran to their heart and soul?
True, they were your forbears, but what are you, I say?
Idle sitting, statue-like you dream away your days.

What did you say? Muslims are with hopes of houries consoled,
Even if your plaint is false, your words should be controlled.

Justice is the law supreme, operative on this globe,
Muslims can't expect the houries, if they follow the kafir's code.
None of you is,infact,deservingof the"hoor",
A Moses is but hard to fin,burneth still the Tur.

Common to the race entire is their gain or loss,
Common is their faith and creed, common too the Rasul of God;

One Kaaba, one Allah, and one Quran inspire their heart,
Why can't the Muslims then behave like a single lot?
Cast, creed and factions have disjointed this race,
Is this way to forge ahead, to flourish in the present age?

It's the poor who visit the mosque, join the kneeling rows,
The poor alone observe the fasts, practise self-control.

If someone repeats our name, it's the poor again,
The devout poor hide your sins, preserve your vaunted name.
Drunk with the wine of wealth, the rich are unconcerned with God,
The Muslim race owes its life to the poor, indigent lot.

"Muslims have vanished from earth," this is what we hear,
but we ask, " Were the Muslims ever the Jewish sects.

You are Nisars by your looks, but Hindus by conduct,
Your culture puts to shame even the Jewish sects.
If the son is alien to his learned father's traits,
How can he then claim his father's heritage?

All of you love to lead a soft, luxurious life,
Are you a Muslim indeed? Is this the Muslim style?

All of you desire to be invested with the crown,
You should first produce a heart worthy of renown.

The new age is the lighting blast, it will set your barns on fire,
It can't produce in groves or deserts the Old Sinai's burning spire.

The new fire consumes for fuel the blood of nations old,
The clothes of the Prophet's race are incinerated in its folds.

Don't be depressed, gardener, by the present scene,
The starry buds are about to burst with a brilliant sheen.
The garden will soon be rid of its thorns and weeds,
The martyr's blood will bring to bloom all the dormant seeds.

Mark how the sky reflects its orange purple hues,
The rising sun will flush the sky with its rays anew.

Islamic tree exemplifies cultivation long and hard,
A fruit of arduous gardening over centuries past.
Your caraven needn't fear the perils of the path,
But for the call ofbells you own no wealth at all.

You are the plant of light, the burning wick that never fails,
With the power of your thought you can incinerate the veil.

We'll love you as our own, if you follow the Prophet's ways,
The world is but a paltry thing, you'll command the pen and pag

Shikwa,Allama Iqbal

Why should I abet the loss, why forget the gain,
Why forfiet the future, bemoan the past in vain?

Hear the wail of nightingal, and remain unstirred,
Am I a flower insensate that will not say a word?

The power of speech emboldens me to speak out my heart,
I'll sure be damned, I know, if fault my God.
Hear, O Lord, from the faithful ones this sad lament,
From those used to hymn a praise, a word of discontent.

Enternally were you present, Lord, eternally omniscent,
The flower hung upon the tree, but without incense.

Be Thou fair, tell us true, O fountsinhead of grace,
How could the scent spread withoutthe breeze apace?
The world presented a queer sight ere we took the stage,
Stones and plants in your stead were worshipped in that age.

Man, being inured to senses, couldn't accept a thing unseen,
How could a formless God impress his senses keen?

Tell me, Lord, if anyone ever invoked Thy name,
The strength of Muslim arm alone restored Thy fame.
There was no dearth of peoples on this earth before,
Turkish tribes and Persian clans lived in days of yore;

The Greeks and the Chinese both bred and throve,
Christians as well as the Jews on this planet roved.

But who in Thy holy name raised his valiant sword,
Who set the things right, resolved the rigmarole?
We were the warrior bands battling for Thy cause,
Now on land, now on water, we the crusades fought.

Now in Europe's synods did we loudly pray,
Now in African deserts made a bold foray.

Not for territorial greed did we wield the sword,
Not for pelf and power did we suffer the blows.
Had we been temped by the greed of glittering gold,
Instead of breaking idols, would have idols sold.

We impressed on every heart the oneness of our mighty Lord,
Even under the threat of sword, bold and clever was our call.

Who conquered, tell us Thou, the fearful Khyber pass?
Who vanquished the Imperial Rome, who made it fall?
Who broke the idols of the primitive folks?
Who fought the kafirs, massacred their hordes?

If the prayer time arrived right amid the war,
With their faces turned to Kaaba, knelt down the brave Hejaz.

Mahmud and Ayaz stood together in the same flank,
The ruler and the ruled forget the difference in their rank.
The rich and poor, Lord and slave, all were levelled down,
All became brethern in love, with Thy grace crowned.

We roamed the world through, visited every place,
Did our rounds like the cup, serving sacred ale.

Forget about the forests, we spared not the seas,
Into the dark, unfathomed ocean, we pushed our steeds.
We removed falsehood from the earth's face,
We broke the shackles of the human race.

We reclaimed your Kaaba with our kneeling brows,
We pressed the sacred Quran to our heart and soul.

Even then you grumble, we are false, untrue,
If you call us faithless, tell us what are you?
You reserve your favours for men of other shades,
While you hurl your bolts on the Muslim race.

This is not our complaint that such alone are blesse,
Who do not know the etiquette, nor even can converse.

The tragedy is while kafirs are with houries actually blest,
On vague hopes of houries in heaven the Muslim race is made to rest!
Poverty, taunts, ignominy stare us in the face,
Is humiliation the sole reward of our suffering race?

To perpetuate Thy name is our sole concern,
Deprived of the saqi's aid can the cup revolve and turn?

Gone is your assemblage, off your lovers have sailed,
The midnight sights are no more heard, nor the morning wails;
They pledged their hearts to you, what is their return?
Hardly had they stepped inside, when they were externed.

Thy lovers came and went away, fed on hopes of future grace,
Search them now with the lamp of your glowing face.

Unassuaged is Laila's ache, unquenched is Qais's thirst,
In the wilderness of Nejd, the wild deer are still berserk.
The same passion thrills the hearts, enchanting still is beauty's gaze,
You are the same as before, same too is the Prophet's race.

Why then this indifference, without a cause or fault?
Why with your threatening looks dost thou break our heart?

Accepted that the flame of love burneth low and dim,
We do not, as in your, dance attendance on your whims;
But you too, pardon us, possess a coquettish heart,
Now on us, now on others, alight your amorous darts.

The spring has now taken leave, broken lies the lyre string,
The birds that chirped among the leaves have also taken wing;

A single nightingale is left singing on the tree,
A flood of song in her breast is longing for release.
From atop the firs and pines the doves have flown away,
The floral petals lie scattered all along the way.

Desolate lie the garden paths, once dressed and neat,
Leafless hang the branches on the naked trees.

The nightingale is unconcerned with the season's range,
Would that someone in the grove appreciates her wail.
May the nightingale's wail pierce the listeners' hearts,
May the clinking caravan awaken slumbering thoughts!

Let the hearts pledge anew their faith to you, O Lord,
Let's re-charge our cups from the taverns of the past.

Through I hold a Persian cup, the wine is pureHejaz,
Thought I sing an Indian song, the turn is of the Arabian cast.

Song of Hindustan,Allama Iqbal

Nothing like our hindustan in the world entire,
She is o'r garden, we her warbling choir.

We may wander far from home, home resides in our thoughts,
We too live at that place where lies our heart.

The highest mountain of the world, a neighbour of the skies,
That tough and tall watchman guards us day and night.

A thousand rivulets criss-cross through her plains and wilds,
Because of which our garden vies with Paradise.

O Ganges, flowing past thy banks, remember thou that time,
When we landed on thy shore, in this sacred clime.

religion does not teach us to harbour mutual spite,
We are Indians, one and all, Hindustan our land of pride.

Greece, Egypt and Rome, have vanished out of sight,
But our name lives on in spite of time and tide.

Something must be there to keep our name alive,
Though the world for centuries has been to us hostile.

We don not have a confidant in the world, Iqbal,
None knows what sorrows lurk within our heart.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mir Taqi Mir

I couldn't stir or speak, I'd grown so weak,
Even to life my eye-lids was a trying feat.

If I tried to stand, my feet beneath would shake,
My body would tremble, my limbs would quake.

My legs would totter, my head would reel,
Blast-like appeared to me even the gentle breeze.

Slowly my faculties began to stablize,
Day by day I regained my clearer sense of sight.

Debility from my body did at last depart,
With the vigour returning, life resumed its part.

Who was there, after all concerned about my life,
But for my tenacious will I would sure have died.

My body's failing strength at last revived,
I wasn't fated, so it seemed. so soon to die.

I had staged a comeback from the farthest end,
From the very edge of grave I had been returned.

Rarely that illusory shape sprang before my sight,
I would catch a glimpse of her, albeit, once a while.

She wouldn't look at me with love, as heretofore,
Despairingly she beat her head against the walls and doors.

Sometimes she felt becalmed, sometimes ill-at-ease,
Sometimes, maddened in my love, restless would she reel.

Tears of blood for my sake sometime she would spill,
Or with her chin in hand stare statue-still.

Now she would point out her broken heart to me,
Or charge me to my face with infidelity.

Now with her hand on heart stood that moon-like shape,
Now she'd cast on me a longing, wistful gaze.

Now she was found bidding me adieu,
Saying that this woeful life she couldn't endure.

Now she was callous and full of foul abuse,
Now sent messages through the wind that blew.

Come, so we may change,Mirza Ghalib

The laws of the heavens;
Let us alter the decree of destiny
By the circulation of the heavy goblet.

Let us enjoy the spectacle
With our eyes and heart;
With the humility of our heart and soul.
Let us transform our loss.

We will sit in the corner
And open the door;
We will turn the guard into the street
And throw him on the footpath.

If there is any seizing and holding
By the officer of the police, -we care not;
If we receive a present from the king
We shall return it to him.

If the sage speaks the same language
As ours, we would not talk to him;
If Khalil is our guest,
We would ask him to go away.

We would dismiss the boon companion,
The minstrel and the saqi from the assembly,
And turnout the experienced lady
Who manages our affairs?

Sometimes, with a show of courtesy
We will mingle our speech with grace,
And sometimes while snatching a kiss
We would turn our tongue in the mouth.

With the ardour of our breast
We will stop the breath of morning;
We will safeguard .the world from the affliction
Of the heat of the day.

With the thought of tomorrow,Mirza Ghalib

Be not niggardly today,O Saqi;
This would be disrespectful
To the Saqi of Paradise.
Why have we become so contemptible
Today, when till yesterday ,
Our honour did not tolerate
The impudence of the angel.
Listening to sweet music, why does it seem
That one's life is draining away?
Is it because we hear His voice
In the notes of the lute and the rebeck?
The steed of age is galloping;
Let us see where it will stop;
The hand does not hold the rein
And the foot is not in the stirrup.
I am as far removed
From my own reality
As my twisting and turning
Stems from the thought of the other.
The reality of the sight of God,
The one who sees, and what is seen,
All in effect are one; I am amazed
Then, what is all this witnessing?
The sea's substance consists of
The shifting appearance of forms;
What then is in the drop,
And the bubble, and the wave?
Coyness, even with oneself
'Is but a form of dalliance;
How many unveiled ones
Go about covered by a veil?
The adorning of her beauty
Leaves no time for ease;
Even beneath the veil, her mirror
Constantly confronts her.

That sigh from the heart,Mirza Ghalib

Has not the importance of a straw,
Although it can cause
A crack in the sun.
That magic is of no avail
For the fulfilment of one's desires,
That magic by which
The boat floats on the mirage.
Ghalib, I have for some time
Given up drinking wine; I drink only
When it is a cloudy day,
Or a moonlit night

Ye that once lived, and now lost are whose traces,Mirza Ghalib

His are peace and rest of nights
His ALL the pride.
The grief no longer needed 'its remedy;
I got no better, better still not to be..
Why should you gather my rivals?
It will be fun, not my trial.
If you don't want to test your dagger's lust,
Where else might I find someone to try my luck?
How sweet your lips happened to be,
Even insults did not upset my enemy.
She will be coming over - a rumour is hot in the air.
Just today in my house not a piece of mat is there.
I was not Nimrod, one who proclaimed God to be.
I was your servant, but what good was it to me?
I gave my life, but it was His gift.
To be- fair, I did no justice to it.
The wound though healed, blood did not stop to drain.
Work once hindered, would not get back on track again.
A robbery or breaking of a heart - What is it?
The heart-breaker snatched and got away with it.
Read something at least, for people say,
"Ghalib is not singing his lyrics today."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

His are love's delights...Mirza Ghalib

By whose adoring side
You sit on whose arm your lovely hair scatters...
This is all that matters.
Eyes, that my lacking fate has turned into a keen-edged Sword
To pierce and rent my heart...Why O Lord?
Should still sink into my soul,
Possessing all.
Were man to suffer pangs of pain,
Again, and still again,
Even grief would lose its sting.
Of sorrows I've had so full a share,
That now they are almost easy to bear.
If Ghalib still will sorrow thus,
He cannot long remain with us...
Good friends, good fellow creatures, hearken ye,
How poorer far, deserted and denied, this world will be.

Laid in the dust forever to rest...Mirza Ghalib

Is it some of these lost faces
Are in the poppy and rose manifest?
Once life's pageant I too knew
Of beauty rare, of glorious hue.
Now like pictures on a painted alcove: lifeless, still,
Its dead images, the alcoves of my memory fill.
O brilliant constellation of stars seven,
Seven daughters of the sky
That all day veiled lie,
What sudden emotion in your heart, sweet, uncertain
Prompts you ail
When night doth fall
To rent the curtain?
It is the night of parting
Let blood tears flow...
I will think, with day's departing,
I've set two candle flames aglow

The world is as children's playful fun to me,Mirza Ghalib

Night and day this show is performed before me.
The throne of Solomon is but a pastime for me
The Miracle of the Messiah is a valuless trifle before me
The appearance of the world is only a name
The existence of things is but a fancy before me

My love, My life ...Faiz Ahmed Faiz

If I were sure of this, O my love, my life
!If your weary heart and breast, your despondent eyes,
Soothed by my love and care would indeed revive;
If my word of solace could act as anodyne,
To relume your darkened brain, uplife your mind,
Wash away the blot of shame from your brow depressed,
And restore to its health, this your faded prime;
If I were sure of this, O my love, my life!
I would entertain you day and night, morn and eve,
For ever sing for your delight songs light and sweet,
Of spring and gardens, and of waterfalls,
Of rising sun, the sailing moon, and the shining youth,
How the frigid beauties proud,
Melt in the heat of warm embrace,

Ask me not, my love,Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Ask me not, my love, for the love of former days,
I had thought, with you around life 'uld be dazzling bright,
With your griefs to fill my heart, other griefs would vaporize,
Your beauty keeps the spring alive,
The world contains naught else but your starry eyes,
To own you is to own the fortune's richest prize.
It wasn't so; I simply wished it could be so!
Besides the griefs of love, there're other griefs in life,
Besides the joy of union there're other delights.
The dark, devilish spells, o'er several centuries cast,
Woven in silks and satins, in brocade finely wrought;
Human bodies for sale in every street and shop,
Bodies bathed in blood, splashed with gory spots,
I cannot help but see them all.
Your beauty still attracts the heart; but what to do?
There are other griefs in life,
Besides the joy of union, there're other delights

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Overture(n. m. rashed)

Aye Death,
Here, meet these people,
Artless people

Not of the book
nor of wine

Not of letters
nor of numbers

Nor the letters

Not of books
nor of machines

Not of space
nor of the world

People of doubt

Death, do not veil yourself!
Death, meet these people!

Step up! You all as well!
Greet Death!
Step up with your beggary
Step up donít hide your mercy bowls
You have nothing left to say for life
Laugh of Death! Laugh with Death!
Step up! You people of the world,
Step up! People of possession!

Death, all these men are negatives
Greater negatives, lesser men
Upon them look with favor!

Dance of Chains (habib jalib)

You, alas unbeknown to you,
the etiquettes of slavery:
You can dance, even in chains

Rebel woman! Today on the killing field,
the executioner demands that you perform deathís
And for the world, you shall be whipped to dance

Thus tyrannyís tribute is paid
and you can dance, even in chains

Dare! Lift those feet! Donít plead or bow!
What others shall do tomorrow, you must do now:
Dance for freedom, dance till death

For the limit of love is living by deaths
And you can dance, even in chains

Extract (faiz ahmed faiz)

Those shadows shimmering around the distant lamps:
Who knows if these are assemblies of pain or
gatherings of wine and drink
Those scattered colors on every wall, every door:
The distance doesnít divulge
if these are petals or blood

Quatrain (faiz ahmed faiz)

No image, no word
Nothing now, said or heard
Not even some comforting deceptionó

And the longing is prolonged:
Belovedís yearning, the eagerness of sight, the color of
Letís keep silent tonight, for the heart is sad

When in Your Ocean Eyes(faiz ahmed faiz)

This shore of sunlight on
The slopes of evening,
This meeting of times:
Not day or night
Not today or tomorrowó
In a moment eternal, in a moment fume

Moments on this shore of lightó
The spark of lips
The clink of armsó
Our intimacies,
Not lies, not truths

Why should I secret this, why should I blame?
For what should I lie:

When in your ocean eyes
This eveningís sun shall set

The home shall find its sleep
And the traveler will walk his way

Memory(faiz ahmed faiz)

In the wilderness of solitude, O dear one,
echo the shadows of your voice
the mirages of your lips

In the wilderness of solitude
among the dusty desiccated steps of distance,
bloom the fruit and roses of your arms

Ah, from nearness rises,
smoldered in its own scents,
the warmth of your breath, soft and faint

And upon the far horizons sparkle, drop by drop,
the falling dewdrops of your dear glance

With such tenderness, dearest,
your memoryís palm so touches my heartís visage
that although it is the morn of separation
I dare to think it is the night of union, already