Urdu poetry

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‘Hum Bhatak bhi Gaye au Kia Hoga’

After a long time, I attempted to write a poem. Here it is – pretty raw and unpolished. Will translate it later for readers who may not understand the language. It is entitled —
(so what if I went astray..)

Tum apni dunya kay baasi

Hum apni chah kay aseer
Milay jo ik din
Anjani rah per
Dekhna yeh hai keh
Who […]

November 12th, 2014|Personal, Poetry, Urdu, Urdu Literature|2 Comments

The dream that was not mine – Harris Khalique’s poetry

khud pe kia taari use
woh khwab jo apna na tha

(I let the dream take over me/ The dream that was not mine)

Harris Khalique is a poet of myriad sensibilities. Like his cosmopolitanism his poetry encompasses tradition and modernity; the urbane consciousness as well as snippets of the folk wisdom. As a bilingual poet, Khalique is even more important in a country partitioned between the two literary worlds: the native vernacular and the hip, well cut out English domain. A few months ago, I attended the launch of his new collection of poems, Melay Mein and heard the poet recite these poems. Reading and listening to poetry are two separate and distinct experiences. I re-read the slim volume, eight in his oeuvre and realized that Khalique had actually moved on.

The earlier bohemian and carefree Khalique, as he was a decade and a half ago when I first met him, is a different person in this collection. A more anguished soul can be detected under the layers of verse and rhyme. There is evidently a greater reconnection with the past as Khalique invokes the folk, the subliminal as well as the perennial metaphors of our consciousness such as Imam Husain (AS).

The poem that inspires the title is instructive. Melay Mein talks of a mother’s concerns whose child is lost in the maze of life. The pain in this poem is universal and so is the metaphor. Of losing the creativity and the fear of loss. Note the power of these lines:‘jiss ka bacha/ jahan-e baazi giraa’n ke melay mein/ kho gaya hai”. The world is cruel and uncertain and full of charlatans and this is what Khalique’s other poems in this collection also convey. In another poem Ghao, there is mention of dark worlds and demons: […]

Intisaab- Faiz’s poem with translation

Intisaab by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Aaj ke naam
Aaj ke gham ke naam
Aaj ka gham ke hai zindagi ke bhare gulistan se khafa
Zard patton ka ban
Zard patton ka ban jo mera des hai
Dard ki anjuman jo mera des hai

Kilarkon ki afsurda jaanon ke naam
Kirmkhurda dilon aur zabaanon ke naam
Postmanon ke naam
Tange valon ke naam
Rail baanon ke naam
Kaarkhanon ke bhole jiyaalon ke naam
Badshaah-e-jahan, Vaali-e-masiva, Nayabullah-e-fil-arz, dehqaan ke naam
Jiske dhoron ko zaalim hanka le gaye
Jiski beti ko daakoo utha le gaye
Haath bhar khet se ek angusht patwar ne kaat li hai
Dusri maliye ke bahane se sarkar ne kaat li hai
Jiski pag zor valon ki paon tale
Dhajjiyan ho gai hai […]

May 28th, 2008|Arts & Culture, Poetry, Translations, Urdu|12 Comments

Atiraf-e-wafaa na kho dena

surmaee  raat  mein  diya  rakha
yaad  kay  zakhm  ko  hara   rakha
tum  ne kitnaa  hamara  saath  dia!
na-rasaai  to khair  seh  len  ge
aitraaf-e-wafaa  na  kho  dena..

September 13th, 2006|Urdu|1 Comment

Silhouettes of Intimacy (Waqt ke khandar se jo..)

Shalimar  Gardens

Waqt Ke Khandar Se Jo

Qurb Ke Jharoke Se

Lamhe Chand Churae Thay

Garm Ret Ki Manind

Haath Se Phisalte Hain

Aankh Men Sulagte Hain

Din Bhi Badguman Se Hain

Shamen Ujri Ujri Si

Tum Agar Sanbhalo To

Aag Se Nikalo To

Rooh Ke Ufaq Par Door

Ek Badli Umdi Hai

Khul Ke Woh Baras Jai

Ek Shaam Bas Jai….!


And here’s an imperfect, improvised translation

From the ruins […]

September 4th, 2006|Urdu, Urdu Literature|0 Comments