Faiz’s Shaam

Faiz’s poem Shaam with a translation by Agha Shahid Ali.Thanks to Junaid for the contribution.
Iss tarha hai ke har ik perr koi mandir hai
koi ujrra huwa, benoor, puraana mandir
dhooNdta hey jo kharaabi ke bahaaney kab se
chaak har baam, har ik dard ka dam-e-aakhir hey
aasmaaN koi prohit hey jo har baam taley
jism pe raakh maley, maathey pe sindoor maley
sir-niguN betha hey chup chaap naa jaaney kab sey

Iss tarha hai ke pas-e-parda koi saahir hai
jiss nay aafaaq pe phelaaya hai yuN sehar kaa daam
daaman-e-waqt sey pewast hai yuN daaman-e-shaam
ab kabhi shaam bujhey gi na andhera ho ga
ab kabhi raat dhaley gi na sawera ho ga

AasmaaN aas leeye hai ke ye jaadu tootay
chup ki zanjeer katay, waqt ka daaman chhootey
day koi sankh duhaai, koi paayal boley
koi butt jaagey, koi saaNwali ghooNgat kholey

The trees are dark ruins of temples,
seeking excuses to tremble
since who knows when–
their roofs are cracked,
their doors lost to ancient winds.
And the sky is a priest,
saffron marks on his forehead,
ashes smeared on his body.
He sits by the temples, worn to a shadow, not looking up.
Some terrible magician, hidden behind curtains,
has hypnotized Time
so this evening is a net
in which the twilight is caught.
Now darkness will never come–
and there will never be morning.
The sky waits for this spell to be broken,
for history to tear itself from this net,
for Silence to break its chains
so that a symphony of conch shells
may wake up to the statues
and a beautiful, dark goddess,
her anklets echoing, may unveil herself.
(from The Rebel’s Silhouette)

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About admin

Raza Rumi is a freelance writer from Lahore, Pakistan. He regularly writes for the Pakistani weekly The Friday Times, The News and Daily DAWN on myriad topics such as history, arts, literatue and society. Raza blogs at Jahane Rumi - a website devoted to Sufi thought, the arts, literature, and cultures of South Asia. Raza also edits a cyber-magazine Pak Tea House; and compiles the Development Industry blog . Specialties: Raza is also regular writer at All Things Pakistan, Desicritics, and Global Voices. Raza has worked in Pakistan and abroad in various organizations including multilateral institutions such as the United Nations.

  • http://sidhusaaheb.blogspot.com Sidhusaaheb

    Waah! :)

  • http://deevaan.blogspot.com Naveed Siraj

    What a great piece. reminds me that I have not been as loyal to Faiz’s nuskhayay-e-wafa as i was in the past and Faiz sb, his cigarette in hand, wearing the faizian smile, enticing me from the book shelf. Thanks for posting this lovely piece which will serve me well as i am eager to get back to my favorite book when i get home

  • http://simply61.wordpress.com/ Vandana

    What a beauty.For those of us with limited understanding of Urdu,the translations you post are a boon that let’s us enter the charmed world of urdu poetry.
    Thanks RR

  • http://iditis.blogspot.com IMeMy

    ‘temple’, ‘conch’, ‘saffron mark on forehead’… aren’t all of these associated with Hinduism?
    Says a lot about the poet Faiz! Not only is he able to overcome the barrier of religion, but he also makes beauty unimagined out of the ‘crossing over’. A true artist who senses a universality in the human experience and is able to render this in his creation.
    Thanks Raza, for sharing.

  • RR

    Many thanks Id and other readers who appreciated the softness, beauty of this poem