Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Patient Ones

مانا کے یار کہتے ہیں  ہمیں  جہاں بین

عزیز کوئی جگہ نہیں ماسوا اپنی زمیں

I am known

As the traveller

But there is no place dearer

Than my own land

 

آج تک اسی شش و پنج میں مبتلا ہوں

اُس بدن سے رستا تھا عرق یا انگبیں

To this day

I remain confused

Was it ambrosia

Or honey that intoxicated me

 

کون ہے میخانہ میں آج لائقِ  امامت

کہاں گئے وہ نیک کار  وہ  صالحین

And who in the tavern

Is worthy of leading us

Where are the pious ones

The good people

 

فقیر ہوں  ترابی  تو گدائی میری شاہی

میری  فکر  کیوں کریں  میرے ناصحین

I am a faqir

My poverty is my kingship

Why should the caregivers

Worry about me

 

اورسن باتیں اور سه استاد ان  کی

سنتے  ہیں  کے إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ

Just show

A little more patience

I have heard

God is with the patient ones

 

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This Monster Called Love

بلاِ عشقِ  قاتل  کہاں  کہاں  نہ ملی؟

بچتے تو ہم ضرور پر اماں نہ ملی

At every turn in life

I found love staring at me

I might have avoided it

But I could not find a refuge from it

 

بلا تو لیا تو نے عیسیٰ  کوپاس اپنے

ہمیں  تو  کوئی  رہِ لامکاں  نہ ملی

And you called Jesus

Onto yourself

I for one, could not

Find the same route to you

 

لڑ جاتے ہم  غمِ زیست سے مگر

کوئی شمشیر نہ ملی کماں نہ ملی

I could have fought

Against the insults of life

But I could not find

A sword or even a bow

 

سب بیچا کے بکنے کو کچھ نہ رہا

بیچی ساری دنیا قیمتِ جہاں نہ ملی

I sold everything

To the point that I had nothing

Left to sell

Yet I did not get the right price

 

بہت شکوے تھے ان سے بہت گلے تھے

وقتِ  وصل  ہمیں  مہلتِ  فغاں  نہ  ملی

I had to complain

I had resentments

But when I met her

I did not have time to weep

 

انگریزی فارسی  ہسپانوی اطالوی

بولیں سب، اردو سی زبان نہ ملی

English, Persian

Spanish, Italian

I spoke them all

But I could not find the words

 

جایئں گے جہاں سے استاد کہتے کہتے

جاں  تو  ملی  پر  جانِ  جاں   نہ  ملی

And he will leave this world

Saying but this

I found life

But not the love of my life

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The First Submission

اولین  داغِ  سجدہ کسے یاد  ہے؟

ٱلنَّاسُ  أُمَّةً  وَٰحِدَةً  کسے یاد ہے؟

Who remembers

The first submission

All people were one nation

Who remembers that?

 

یاد  ہیں  بس   مجبوریاں  اپنی

کرنا کوئی حق ادا، کسے یاد ہے

All that I remember

Are my limitations

I do not remember

To fulfill my duties

 

ظالمینِ  طائف  کے  لیے دعا

حلیمانا وہ ادا، کسے یاد ہے؟

The incident at Taif

The prayer for Taif

Who recalls

That grace

 

جبرِ غیر ہم تو بھولتے نہیں

کریم اپنا خدا، کسے یاد ہے

And we do not forget

The insults heaped on us

By strangers

Who recalls the merciful?

 

خطبہِ پردہِ طوفانی سا ہے

نظر کا پردہ، کسے یاد ہے؟

His orders concerning Pardah

Are fire and brimstone

Who recalls

The concept of modesty?

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The both of us

آج بازار برہم کریں؟ ہم بھی تم بھی

نیلامیِ  قلم  کریں؟ ہم  بھی  تم بھی

Should we rouse

A passion somewhere?

Should we both

Put up our pens for bidding?

 

خود پے ظلم کریں ہم بھی تم بھی

جاں پہ ستم  کریں ہم بھی تم بھی

Both of us

Torture ourselves

Hurt ourselves

The both of us

 

تم جاؤ خداخانہ، ہم باسیِ میخانہ

جستجوِ علم کریں ہم بھی تم بھی

You go to the temple

I towards the tavern

We both seek

Knowledge

 

تلاش ہے کسی کی، نظرِ بےطرح کی

خواہشِ  الم  کریں   ہم  بھی  تم  بھی

We seek a vision

Like no other

A sorrow

Sought by us both

 

دعا کرتے ہیں علاجِ عشق کے لیے

دم  پے دم  کریں  ہم  بھی  تم  بھی

And we pray

For a cure

For love

A prayer repeated often

 

پتھروں میں رب نہیں تو پھر کیوں

خدا  صنم  کریں  ہم  بھی  تم بھی

And if there is no spirit

In stones

Why do we become so connected

To those rocks?

 

جو بھر گئے ہیں تیرے دل کے گھاؤ

نیا  زخم  کریں؟  ہم  بھی  تم  بھی

If your earlier wounds

Have healed

Should you and I

Make new ones?

 

یہ کیا ستم کیا؟ کیوں درد عیاں کیا

تلاشِ غم کریں؟ ہم  بھی  تم  بھی

Oh come now!

Why did you tell me

About your sorrow

Now find a new misery

 

استاد  اور کیا؟   کہنا  باقی  رہا

گفتگو ختم کریں؟ ہم بھی تم بھی

So What is left?

Yet unsaid?

Should we stop talking

The both of us?

 

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What is and is not

ہے  کوئی  امامِ   برحق  موجود؟

ہو چکی بیزاریِ حاضر و موجود

Can you find me

A true leader

I am sick of

What is present and correct

 

کیا بتاؤں کس کی تلاش کرتا ہوں

وہی مطلوب ہے جو ہے مسجود

And how do I explain

What I seek

I desire

Her that I worship

 

مجھے ہی دیکھتا ہے میرا عکس

عکس ثابت نہیں کرتا میرا وجود

The image in the mirror

Stares back at me

Does it ever

Prove my existence?

 

مقصود  ایک،    پر   راہیں   جدا  جدا

جذبِ مستی صوفی، ملا صرفِ سجود

We have the same objective

We take different paths to it

A mystic in ecstasy

The scholar in prayer

 

یہ ہے تو وہ نہیں،  یقین  لا یقین

ہیں بس یہیں تک علم کی حدود

If this is, then that is not

Belief

Disbelief

Why is knowledge restricted to that debate?

 

اپنی فکر کریں، فکرِ جہاں جانے دیں

آپ  کی  جاں   ہے,   تو  جہاں  بود

And you should worry

For yourself, not the world

The world only exists

As long as you do

 

وردِ  استاد  تو  بس  اتنا ہی  ہے

نبی بود علی بود نبی بود علی بود

His mantra is limited

To repeating

May the Prophet live may Ali live

May the Prophet live may Ali live

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A Tribute to my Father

Last month, my father passed away.

 

I got the news on a cold morning and rushed as soon and as best as I could to his city. International flights and travel being what it is, I could not get there in time to assist in his last rites. I was never as good a son as he deserved and it was perhaps destined that I would fail in the last duty a son owes to a father. Something that I will always regret. I know for certain that my family does not hold it against me and they understand the situation as it developed. I know that even God can not change the past but it does not stop me from wishing that I should have been there to be a part of the events. At the same time, my heart is filled with gratitude for all my friends and kin who came together at the time and did all that was needed. In many ways, they performed better than I could have ever managed. It is a debt I owe them which I do not think I would ever be able to repay.

 

In the past month, I have reflected on what my father meant to me and have heard glowing tributes concerning him from everyone I have met. He was a man with an infinite capacity to forgive and spent his life living with the rules he knew to be right. He was a lawyer, an engineer, a writer and as I remember him towards the end of his days, an avid crossword puzzle solver. What I remember most fondly was how he shared poetry with me and read it to me as I repeatedly stopped him to ask about the meanings of difficult words. Born in Tehran, he had a familiarity and ear for the Persian language which only a native speaker could have. He would often encourage me to read the mountains of books he had laying about the house. I know that if I had only read half of them I could have been a far better man that what I am today.

 

I miss him terribly. Tremendously.

 

Going through the things he had left behind brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. He was fond of fountain pens and good perfumes and had collected a stack of those. Many of which I had personally brought for him as gifts over the years. I found a lot of them unused and in their cases. I also found a pair of cufflinks which he had bought as a gift for me. I could not find the heart to put them on and have given them to my mother for safe custody. It was the last gift I received from him and that too comes from beyond the grave. Perhaps I am too afraid to lose it. However, it was his first gift to me that I remember and value most. The importance of an education and elucidation. Both of the mind and of the soul without which no one can be complete. I freely admit that my father and I had our differences, in politics, in thought, in matters of faith and how life should be lived but he always respected my opinions and gave me complete liberty to do as I wished. He never held me back and even if he disagreed with what I did or said, he only advised me and never enforced his ideas on me.

 

It is perhaps foolish to believe that he is still watching on and smiling from the heavens above, still playing chess online on his laptop and still reading the newspapers while commenting about what all is wrong with the world over breakfast. Yes, quite foolish. Yet it does not stop me from hoping that it is true.

 

I will not see anyone like him again.

 

فریدی طبیعت وہ فرشتہ صورت نہیں ملتی

رستگار  تو دور،  ویسی  مورت نہیں ملتی

یا  رب   بخش دے، انہیں   جو   چلے   گئے

دے صبر، کہ صبر کی  طاقت نہیں ملتی

 

That unique angelic man is nowhere to be found

I will not find one who exceeds him, nor one like him

May God forgive him and bless him; the one who went away

And I ask the Lord for patience, for I do not find patience within me

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