Perfection of my Companion II

Further to my earlier post “Perfection of my Companion” on Saadi’s beautiful poetry, Isa Daudpota from Islamabad has sent me the Urdu translation. I am posting this for the Urdu buffs who will enjoy it more. It is quite an evocative translation. For english version below: [Perfection of my Companion]

I had seen a reproduction of this miniature earlier and was delighted to discover it on the internet

A sweet-smelling piece of clay, one day in the bath,
Came from the hand of a beloved one to my hand
I asked: Art thou musk or ambergris?
Because thy aromatic odour intoxicates me.
It replied: I was a despicable lump of clay;
But for a while was in the company of a rose.
The perfection of my companion took effect on me
And, if not, I am the same earth which I am.

-From Gulistan

Gulistan and Bostan were taught to most children in northern India as a key guide to living and an initiation into the classical thought! This practice was discontinued over time. The creation of nation states in 1947 dictated what was to be ‘taught’ to the young patriots. Compare this to what children are taught in their early years now!
For more details on Gulistan, here is a useful site: Gulistan


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