September 2016

'Tum Aaye Ho...Na Shab-e-Intzaar Guzri Hai
Talaash Mein Hai Seher...Baar Baar Guzri Hai'

Shab - Late evening/Night
Seher - Dawn/Early Morning

Neither have you come, nor has this night of waiting come to an end,
In your search, the dawn has passed by again and again...

Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Urdu Poet From Pakistan

Hum Dekhenge - Faiz At His Best

September 2015

PS* This post contains multiple hyperlinks underneath the text (Purple/Non-White). Please click on them for more context.

One of my favorite revolutionary poems was written by Faiz Ahmad Faiz titled 'Hum Dekhenge' (We Shall See). He wrote this poem as a mark of protest against general Zia Ul Haq's dictatorial regime (1977-1988). The full text of the poem can be found in the link below:

Hum Dekhenge - Full Text

This poem was further used by Imran Khan, as a part of his 2013 Pakistan general election campaign in what i think to be a very well made ad. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan lent his voice to the ad.

He also sang the complete poem which i consider to be one of his best compositions.

Imran Khan did not win the elections (although my guess is he'll become the Prime Minister someday), apparently people found this ad inspirational across the board, as i gather from my Pakistani friends.

Although, i have read quite a few revolutionary writings - Uncle Tom's Cabin being my other favorite which incidentally triggered the American Civil War, this poem by Faiz holds a special place in my heart, perhaps for the extremely refined Urdu used in the verses (i admit my bias for obvious reasons). And although it did not bring about the expected change in our neighboring country in line with the theme of the ad and the underlying message itself, it doesn't take away anything from the fact that such revolutionary writings have been the harbingers of unrest which more often than not eventually unfolded into events that led to change and uplifted masses and nations as a whole.

Which brings me to the following thought by Percy Bysshe Shelley

'Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world'.

In my opinion, Faiz Ahmad Faiz was one of them who had the courage to raise his voice against oppression with this beautiful work of his.

Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Urdu Poet From Pakistan

Next Post - I'll be writing about another poem of Faiz which was banned in Pakistan. Coming soon...

Reading After A Long Time

July 2015

I am reading a book after a very long time indeed. Recommend this to readers. Available on Amazon India (click here). Kindle edition here.

The Urdu is somewhat of a higher standard vocabulary so a bit of Googling might be required to grasp the meaning of the words used in the poetry but that done the true depth of the verses comes out to light.

In saying that, the translation could have been better. The translator (Sarvat Rahman) has tried to create a poem out of the translated verses by rhyming the translation itself which somehow doesn't seem to match in fidelity to the spirit of the original verses to the fullest extent. Although no translation does that anyways, but conveying the meaning in free verse would have been better according to me instead of forced rhyming. But nevertheless i find it worth a read for the original verses.

A sample poem along with the books translation follows. At the end though, i have provided the meaning of the words used in the poem and my own interpretation/translation in free verse.

'Apne Inaam-e-Husn Ke Balde
Ham Tahi Daston Se Kya Lena

Aaj Furqat-Zaadon Pe Lutf Karo
Phir Kabhi Sabr Aazma Lena...'

Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Urdu Poet From Pakistan

Translation as in book:

In return for the honors your beauty bestows
From us, the empty-handed, what can you ask ?
Be kind today for we bore, of parting the woes,
Of testing our patience for tomorrow leave the task.

My take on this:

Tahi-Daston = empty-handed, as pointed out by the translator
Furqat-Zaadon = Those afflicted by long separation

In the verses, it's as if a lover comes after a long time to his beloved and asks her to spare some love for him while telling her all the same that he is empty handed and does not have anything to give in return as a reward for her mesmerizing beauty. He requests her to feel the union with a lover afflicted by long separation and lovingly suggests that she may test his patience some other day.

For my other posts on Poetry/Urdu/Faiz, click the appropriate label in the 'Category Cloud' in the right hand section of this blog or at the end of this post.

A couplet from my writings

May 2015

Phir Ufaq Se Mud Ke Dekha Hai 'Saaqi'
Tumne Muskura Kar Ek Zakhmi Dil Ko...

Ufaq = Horizon

Dasht-e-Tanhaai (In the desert of solitude)

September 2014

'Iss Qadar Pyaar Se Aye Jaan-e-Jahaa'n Rakkhaa Hai
Dil Ke Rukhsaar Pe Iss Waqt Teri Yaad Ne Haath
Yun Gumaa'n Hotaa Hai, Agarche Hai Abhi Subha-e-Firaaq
Dhal Gayaa Hijr Ka Din, Aa Bhi Gayee Vasl Ki Raat.'

With Such Tenderness, O Love Of My Life
On the Cheek Of My Heart Has Your Memory Placed Its Hand Now
That It Appears As If, Even Though This Is The Day Of Goodbyes 
The Sun Of Separation Has Set And The Night Of Union Has Arrived

Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Urdu Poet From Pakistan