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Something better…

ملن ہر جدائی سے بہتر ہے

صلح ہر لڑائی سے بہتر ہے

.

منافقت کچھ عزیز ہے یاروں  

عزت رسوائی سے بہتر ہے

.

اک گور کو دیکھ دل بولا

سطح گہرائی سے بہتر ہے

.

عصرِ حاضر کی کیا بات کریں؟

خامشی گواہی سے بہتر ہے

.

وہ بڑا گلاس دے کے کہیں  

زیادتی کمی سے بہتر ہے

.

میخانہ آ کے بولا استاد

یہ جاہ تیری گلی سے بہتر ہے

.

A meeting between lovers

Is better than all partings

A truce

Is better than all fights

 

A little bit of Hypocrisy

Is quite nice my friends

Saving face is better

Than losing it

 

Upon seeing a grave

My heart cried out

The surface is better

Than the depth

 

And what could I say

About the world today?

My silence

Is better than bearing witness

 

So she handed me

A large drink

You should not be

Caught short

 

And at the tavern

He spoke such

This place is better

Than yours

 

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14-12-14

وطن کے بچوں کے مزار پے رو دینا
ماں باپ کے گزشتہ پیار پے رو دینا
جو کوئی کہے کسی غیر کا ہاتھ تھا
ذہنی بیمار ہے، بیمار پے رو دینا

Weep at the mausoleum erected for the children
For the lost loves that the parents had for their children
And if someone dare to mention a foreign hand
Weep for the sickly mind that construed the thought

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Ego’s suggestion and the Heart’s reply…

مشورہِ نفس

اب تو اسے بھول جا کے نہ غم رہا نہ خوشی رہی

جو بات تیرے دل میں تھی، وہ بات دبی دبی رہی

 

دیکھ  صحبتِ یار  بہت،  وعدہِ بوس  و  کنار بہت

پھر کیوں وہی لبِ جو، تیرے لب پے تشنگی رہی

 

نا دیکھ اس طرف بھی توں، نا گلی سے گزر بھی توں

جس  در  کی  صدا  تھا  توں، اس در پے خامشی رہی

 

Try to forget her

Now she neither gives you happiness nor sorrow

Those things you had to say to her

Will remain unsaid

 

Hark, You have friends

Promises of pleasurable company

Yet you remain thirsty

At the edge of a river?

 

Do not look towards her

Do not pass by her house

That house which was once your voice

Remains silent now

 

جوابِ دل

نا ربط ہے نے سلام ہے، جو رہی تو ضبطِ دلی رہی

یاں  کچھ  خیالِ جنوں  رہا، یاں  فکرِ  بادہ کشی رہی

 

جو  وہ نہیں  تو کچھ  نہیں؟ جو  کچھ  نہیں  تو  میں نہیں

میری فکر میں میری نظر میں، جو رہی تو بس وہی رہی

 

اے نفس توں بھی  یاد  کر، وہ  معاملاتِ  شام  و سحر

جوں میں یہاں ہوں جی رہا، وہ بھی کہیں ہے جی رہی

 

A lost connection

A burdened heart

Thoughts of madness

Or of going back to the cup

 

Nothing matters if she is not there?

If nothing matters, I do not matter

In my thought and mine eyes

She was all that mattered

 

Ego, recall those times

Those evenings and mornings

And yet now I am alive somewhere

And she must be alive somewhere else

 

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Qais and Farhad

عرقِ چشم کبھی گرداب نہ ہوا

قیس  بھی  کبھی  فرہاد نہ ہوا

I never had enough tears

To make a whirlpool

The desert dweller

Could not bring forth a river

 

ہاں اس نے وعدے سے آزاد تو کیا

پر  دل  تو  اب  تک  آزاد  نہ  ہوا

Yes I was liberated

From that promise

Yes I am free

But not my heart

 

عرضی  تو  بلبل نے بار بار دی

عرضنامہ  منظورِ  صیاد  نہ  ہوا

And though the caged bird

Cried a thousand times

The pleas went unheard

By the bird keeper

 

اب تو ہم عشق کو فساد ہی سمجھیں

خدا  کا  شکر  ہے،  فساد  نہ  ہوا

Now love is merely

A disturbance

I thank God

I am not disturbed

 

تخلیقِ  آدم  ہوئی  تو جہاں کیلئے

فرشتوں  سے  جہاں،  آباد نہ ہوا

Man was created

For the world needed creation

Angels could not

Make this planet a home

 

کتنے ظلم کرے گا اور توں استاد؟

کون کون تیرے لیے برباد نہ ہوا؟

And how many more people

Will you destroy?

Have you seen the roster

Of those ruined because of you?

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A Strong Desire

کسی طرح تو یہ میرے دل کا ارماں نکلے

زباں صنم کا نام لے، منه سے خدا نکلے

I wish

That if I ever say

The name of the beloved

It comes out as God

 

سفرِ حجازی میں تھے کے بتکدہ آ نکلے

کہاں  جانا  تھا  ہمیں  اور  کہاں آ نکلے

On my way to the holy sites

I found myself in a temple of lies

Where was I supposed to go?

Where am I now?

 

سنبھل کے فتوے دے کہیں ایسا نہ ہو

جس کو جانو گنہگار وہی باصفا نکلے

And be careful

In passing judgements

What you consider sin

Maybe a virtue

 

طالبِ معجزہ ہیں اقوام پھر موسیٰ  سے

کے یدِ بیضا اور بھی دراخشاں نکلے

The tribes demand

Another miracle from Moses

The want the brightness

To be brighter yet

 

یہ آرزو بھی تمہاری پوری ہوئی استاد

اس نے ٹوٹ کے چاہا تمہی بیوفا نکلے

This wish was also fulfilled

She loved you

With all her heart

You couldn’t keep up with it

 

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The Minister

اب بھی کچھ ان سے رغبت کریں

سچ  یہ  کے اب  بھی محبت کریں

I still

Admire her deeply

Truth be told

I still find her fascinating

 

خواب دیکھا تھا کے وصال ہوا تھا

چلو خواب کو اک  حقیقت  کریں

A dream

About union

Should be turned

Into a reality soon

 

معمہ ہے  پیامِ  نظر و اشارہِ  یار

کبھی کریں کریں کبھی مت کریں

Her eyes carry

Mysterious messages

Sometimes yes

Sometimes no

 

پیامِ  مشیرِ  خاص  بنامِ  وزیرِ  اظم

جمہوریت کو چھوڑیں خالفت کریں

The minster

Sends a message

To the prime minister

Forget democracy, lets have a caliphate

 

بات ان کی باتوں سے باتوں میں آئی

یہ  بات  وہ بات  کس کی بابت کریں

A word

From a conversation

Within a conversation

What was that word concerning?

 

واعظِ پرسوز ہم کو تو یوں لگا

میاں  فصیحت نصیحت کریں

A heartfelt sermon

Appears to be

One coming from

A whiskey priest

 

تھک چکے جہاں گردی سے ہم

چلو اب ہم  خوابِ راحت کریں

And I am tired

From roaming the world

Let us now

Sleep for a bit

 

عذاب بن چکے وہ میرے فیصلے

خدا سے کہو کوئی رحمت کریں

Those past decisions

Have become a torture

Ask God

To have mercy on me

 

حکمِ  حاکم  ہوا  مرے  حال  پر

اسی  حال پے اب قناعت کریں

The judge

Tells me

Stay as you are

Remain patient

سفید بال استاد کے دیتے ہیں مشورہ

عمرِ  آخر آ چکی  وصیت  کریں

Those white hair

Of his suggest to him

To make a will

Prepare for the next world

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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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They left smiling…

ہمدمِ عزیز سے ملاقاتیں گئیں

گم ہوے وہ دن، وہ راتیں گئیں

I miss meeting

My dear friend

I miss those days

And nights

 

محرومیِ آوازِ دوست مدت سے ہے

وہ  شیریں  کلام،  وہ  باتیں  گئیں

And it has been a while

Since I heard her voice

That sweet language

Those conversations gone

 

وعدہ تو ہے انکا، یقین نہیں میرا

خوشیاں دل میں، آتے آتے گئیں

Although she has promised it

I have my doubts

I do not think

My heart will play host to joy

 

آمدِ خورشید! بیدار او خطاکار!

یہ پیام صبح کرنیں سناتے گئیں

The sun comes! Hark!

Wake up O sinful man

This message brought by

The morning ray

 

کیوں پوچھو عہدِ جوانی کے قصے؟

کے  ویسی  تمام   وارداتیں   گئیں

And why do you ask me

About my vagrancies of youth?

All those incidents

Lost from memory

 

تیری یاد ہر سوچ بدل دیتی ہے

جو روتے آئیں، وہ گاتے گئیں

And it is your remembrance

Which alters my thoughts

Those which would bring tears

Now bring music

 

فتویِٰ کفر ہے شیخ کا مجھ پے

کے تسبیح گئی، منجاتیں گئیں

I am called a disbeliever

By the preacher

Since I lost my rosary

My lamentations

 

جو یاد کرایا  اُن کو  پرانا وعدہ

ہنس کے بولے وہ ساعتیں گئیں

And when I reminded her

Of her promises

She smiled and said

The moment has passed

 

جو ملنے آئیں استاد سے اس دن

حسینانِ شہر، مسکراتے  گئیں

That day when they came to see him

The beauties of the city

Heard him speak

And they left smiling

 

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What is it?

تیری دشمنی بتاتی ہے تیری دوستی کیسی ہے

اور یہ دوستی ہے تو تیری دشمنی کیسی ہے؟

By being your enemy I learnt

What it would be to have you as a friend

And if this is being a friend

What would being an enemy entail?

 

مرنے کے کافی گر تو شیخ جی بتا گئے

کون بتاے گا ہمیں کے زندگی کیسی ہے

And he has given me lessons

On how to die

Who will teach me

How to live?

 

سنا  یہی  ہے آج  تک  کے  توں  رحمان  ہے

تو پھر مجھ دل جلے سے تیری دلگی کیسی ہے؟

And I have heard about you

That you are merciful

Then why do you play

With my heart so?

 

خیالِ زہد  کے  ساتھ  ہی  آیا  نشاطِ حیات

میں کیا کہوں کے میری بندگی کیسی ہے

The thought of piety

Was coupled with the wine of life

What would I call

My piety?

 

عمر گزری ہے منکر و نکیر کے پہلو میں

بھول گیا ہوں کے صورتِ آدمی کیسی ہے

And I’ve spent a lifetime

In the company of the angels

I have forgotten

What people look like

 

بعدِ اقرارِ وفا جو نظریں ملیں تجھ سے

تب جانا  میں  تیری سادگی کیسی ہے

And when I met your gaze

After I heard your confessions

I was mesmerized by

Your beauty, your innocence

 

وہ  بھی دن تھے کے  خلیفہ فاروق تھے

اس دور میں یا رب خواجگی کیسی ہے؟

There was a time

When our rulers made a difference

Dear God

What is kingship today?

 

مرے  پاس  آ  ذرا، کوئی  درد اپنا بتا

کچھ دل کھول اپنا، یہ تنگی کیسی ہے؟

Come closer

Tell me what has hurt you

Open your heart to me

Do not restrict yourself

 

جنوں تو ہے استاد تجھ میں  پر وفا  نہیں

تیرا عشق کیسا ہے؟ یہ عاشقی کیسی ہے؟

And it is said about me

That I have madness but no faith

They ask what is this love of yours?

What is this manner of loving?

 

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Then I cried a lot…

میں  درِ رحماں  گیا،  جا  کر بہت رویا

پھر واپس میکدے میں، آ کر بہت رویا

I went to the house of worship

I cried a lot there

Then I came back to the tavern

And cried a lot there

 

جب آے یاد مجھ کو، گناہ سارے کل کو

خدا کے آگے سر، جھکا  کر بہت رویا

And yesterday

I recounted all my sins

I bowed my head before God

And cried a lot for forgiveness

 

اقرارِ  عشق  پے  وہ  کچھ  بدل سی گئی

جو بات نہ سنانی تھی، سنا کر بہت رویا

On the confession of love

Things changed

The words I was not supposed to say

Made me cry a lot once I had said them

 

جو  ترے  سامنے  رونا  ممنوع ٹھہرا

تو میں چراغِ  شام، بھجا کر بہت رویا

And hopelessness

Is forbidden before you

So I turned out the lights

And cried in the darkness

 

قسم  یاد تھی ان کے آگے نہ رونے کی

ان  سے  اپنا چہرہ ، چھپا کر بہت رویا

I swore

I would not cry

Before her

So I hid my face before shedding tears

 

جو  تجھ  سے  دوری ہی  میرا مقدرٹھہرا

میں اپنے ہاتھ اپنا کفن، سجا کر بہت رویا

If I am destined to be

Away from you

I will decorate my burial shroud

And cry as I do it

 

جانتا  تھا  کے  اسی راستے سے آئیں گے

سرِ رہگذر ان سے نظر، ملا کر بہت رویا

I knew she would walk

Upon this path

I wept uncontrollably

When I met her gaze

 

امتحانِ عشق ہی تو تھی میری جاں طلبی

وہ  یوں  میرا عشق، آزما  کر بہت رویا

And he wanted

To take my life as a test of love

He cried a lot

After testing my love

 

کیسے اسے معاف نہ کرتا؟ دل صاف نہ کرتا؟

کے وہ کافر ادا میرا دل،  دکھا  کر  بہت رویا

And how could I not forgive him?

How could I hold a grudge?

He cried a lot

After hurting me

 

عاشقی صبر طلب سہی غالب پر میں تو

شکوہ کر، شکایت کر، گلہ کر بہت رویا

As per the words of Ghalib

Love demands patience

Yet I cry a lot

With laments, complaints, plaints

 

ایک دریا لیے پھرے، استاد اپنی آنکھوں میں

ان  کو  اپنا  زخمِ  دل،  دکھا  کر  بہت  رویا

You’ll find a river in his eyes

As he cries

While he shows

The wounds on his heart

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