Jal gaya tha ik roshniyon ka shaher

Aggrieved by the recent sinister, senseless violence and brutal murders in Pakistan, this is my feeble attempt at poetic expression. I have also trans-created this Urdu poem below titled Adrift.


Jal gaya tha ik roshniyon ka shaher
Bujh gaye kitnay jaltay aur adh-jalay chiragh
Magar kotwaal-i-shaher ne mur kar na dekha

Jism kis ka, khoon kahan aur maut kaisee?

Yeh qatl na tha dosto
Yeh qatl hai ik ehad ka
Yeh nohaa hai insaniyat ka

Insaniyat ka khatma karnay walay jantay nahee
Insaan marta hai – bhujta nahee

Ahle-hawas aur ahle-dil
Huay sab ke sab, aseer-i-shab-i-siyah

aur ham
roshniyon ke muntazir
bhujtey jugnoo-on ko dhoondtay
thakay haray

gharon ka rasta bhool gaye



Once a city of lights, stands ruined
Lamps – lit and half-lit, all extinguished
And the guardians of the city, unmoved

Which body, what blood and whose death?

This was not a murder my friends
This was the murder of our times
A prolonged elegy of humanity

Those hell-bent on erasing humanity, are, unaware
Man dies but cannot be lost

The bleeding hearts and the hearts with no remorse
All trapped in the darkness of the night

And we the forlorn
Wait for the light
Attempting to seek dying fireflies
Tired, exhausted

Lost on our way home…

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