Posts Tagged Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Jaipur, Faiz and Ali Sethi

14 February 2010

Ali Sethi recently attended the Jaipur literary festival and his extraordinary performance is now accessible to those who were not there. I should thank him for sharing this video. Ali’s instructions were also meticulous but I will not post them here except his concluding comment: the whole of the rest of the session is fantastic, and includes an excellent performance by Shabana Azmi as well as a very funny story told by Javed Akhtar about his first meeting with Faiz Sahib..

Click and enjoy!

Jaipur Literature Festival 2010

This night bitten dawn

2 April 2009

By Raza Rumi

The triumph of a popular movement on March 16 has marked a new beginning. The retreat of an intransigent government and the wise response by the PML-N and the lawyers averted a major crisis that could have been violent, and also a potential recipe for harming the parliamentary system in its infancy. There was a sigh of relief among the public for a long-standing issue appeared to have been resolved. This has been a monumental achievement by all standards.

However, the inherent imbalances within Pakistan’s power structure and the state of its polity are yet to be addressed and the contradictions of how our power is exercised stared us as the good news rolled out through the ubiquitous TV channels and their zealous presenters. The way quintessentially political issues and turf-wars between the PPP and PML-N were battled and resolved through a stage-managed process only concealed the bitter power-realities of Pakistan. (more…)

Du’aa (Prayer) on the Independence Day

14 August 2007

This moving poem by Faiz was written forty years ago and still sounds so fresh and relevant…

Du’aa (Prayer) — A nazm for Pakistan’s Independence Day, 1967

Come, let us join our hands in prayer.
We, who can not remember the exact ritual
We, who, except the passion and fire of Love,
do not recall any god, remember no idol.

Let us beseech, that may the Divine Sketcher
mix a sweet future in the present’s poison
For those who can’t bear the burden of time,
the rolling of days on their souls, may He lighten

Those, whose eyes don’t have in their fate, the rosy cheek of dawn
may He set for them some flame alight.
For those, whose steps know no path
may He show their eyes some way in the night.

May those whose faith is following falsehood and pomp
have the courage to deny, the boldness to discover.
May those whose heads wait for the oppressors sword
have the ability to push off the hand of the executioner.

This secret of Love, which has put the soul on fire,
may we express it today and the burning be gone.
This word of Truth that pricks in the core of the heart,
may we say it today and the itching be gone.

(Faiz translated by Agha Shahid Ali)

Here’s the Urdu version –

aayeh hath uthein hum bhi
hum jinhein rusm-e du’aa yaad nahin
hum jinhein soz-e muhabat ke siwa
koi buth, koi khuda yaad nahin

aayeh urz guzarein keh nigar-e hustee
zehar-e imroz mein shirenya furda bhar de
wo jinhein taab-e garaan bary-a iyaam nahin
un ki pulkoon peh shaub-e roz ko hulka ker de

jin ki aankhoon ko roz-e subh ka yaara bhi nahin
un ki raatoon mein koi shuma munawar ker de
jin ke kadumoon ko kisi reh ka sahara bhi nahin
un nazroon peh koi raah ujagar ker de

jin ka deeN pariw-e kizb-o riya hai un ko
himet-e kufr mile, jurat-e tehqiq mile
jin ke sir muntazar-e tegh-e jafa hein un ko
dust-e qatil ko jatuk deenay ki taufiq mile

ishq ka sir-e nihaaN jaan tapaaN hai jis se
aaj iqrar karein aur tapish mit jaa’e
hurf-e haq dil mein khatakta hai jo kante ki turhaaN
aaj izhar karein aur khalish mit jaa’e

Another favourite of mine is Ustad Daman’s immortal poem in Punjabi about the sorrows of partition that we often forget while celebrating this day. Millions had to leave their homes, were killed or hurt – and this bloodline still continues to haunt us…