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People of this Murderous City

The other day, I translated my poem in Urdu written after the events of 27 December, 2007. It has been published by this blog. I am reproducing it here.

In this island of grief
Where all journeys stand directionless
Fragrant Roses adorn your image
And, We, your murderers, impotent accomplices,
Cast guilty shadows across this barren land

O, the gifted leader, that inimitable image
You had given a new meaning to resplendence
Dragging your worn feet
and covering your bare head
You had borne invective upon invective
And the half-dead people of this city
gaped at your strength

This was the murder of all my visions
And all my dreams cracked
as you entered hades*,
beneath the weight of roses

Though a grave shall unfold its fragrance
We the ashamed,
fighting our tears
holding the placards of our dreams
Will analyse, compose elegies

And the bleeding wound shall scar
all the paths
The moon shall keep waxing
As the illumining candles of your tomb
reveal an endlessly humiliated Yazeed**

There is just a little request
Enact another wonder
what the city of Yazeed could not do
Forgive those
Who could not forgive you
and pushed you over the edge of Euphrates***

And today,
locked in the mist of wistfulness
gripping their torn shirts
they search for their forsaken hearts

* the underworld kingdom in Greek mythology inhabited by the souls of the dead.
** Yazeed (645 – 683), the second Umayyad ruler who established monarchy and killed Husain and his family members, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad who had challenged the principle of rule without the consent of the ruled.
*** The location of the legendary battle of Karbala.

The Urdu version can be read below. […]

February 13th, 2008|Poetry, Urdu|10 Comments

The Battle of Karbala (Mir Anis)

Mir Anis is a classical master of Urdu poetry whose elegies on the struggles between Imam Hussain, prophet’s grandson and the usurper, callous monarch Yazid are immortal. Today is the 10th of Muharram signifying the epic Karbala battle and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. The mourning for Hussain and his family is not complete without a reference to Anis and his peer Dabeer. Luckily I found a Marthiyaa of Anis, that has been translated into English David Matthews, published by Rupa Co. […]

Of Autumn and Roses

I sent this poem to Fahmida Riaz a few days ago to comfort her. Little did I know that there would be another death of a close one; and I had to read it again to console myself!

Autumn Rose Elegy

You’ve gone to the secret world.
Which way is it?
You broke the cage and flew.
You […]

November 15th, 2007|Arts & Culture, Poetry, Rumi, Sufi poetry, World Literature|7 Comments