Tag Archives: Persian language

Where do we go from here?

Punjabi is one of the languages that is tremendously close to my heart. A friend of mine recently talked about the language and brought up Bullay Shah as one of the poets that inspire. I freely admit that Shah’s words have often inspired me as much as Rumi’s or the Allama’s even though I perhaps understand Iqbal better. At the same time, I find that there is a certain passion and depth as well as common sense simplicity in Bullay Shah’s words that is difficult to replicate in Persian. While Rumi and Iqbal seek to solve the mysteries of the universe, Bullay Shah is more concerned with the reality and experience of love rather than the esoteric idea of love.

As a child, one of my instructors told me that the Punjabi language will die out in a few hundred years simply because there are fewer and fewer individuals who are able to write it. At that time I was somewhat shocked and saddened to realize that the words of poets such as Waris Shah and Bullay Shah may be lost for future generations. With that realization, I also thought about all the words and works that have fallen victim to time. I’m fairly certain that there were great poets and writers as well as philosophers in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Babylon whose works are now lost. Sadly, that seems to be the essence of evolution and perhaps one should not lament the loss but celebrate that those words existed at all. Or maybe the lamentation itself should lead us towards preserving what is left. It is with that feeling of not knowing exactly what to do or feel about things that I present this dismal Punjabi ghazal.

اودے کہر وی ہو آئیں آں، هن کتہے جائیے؟

سارے کم مکا بیٹھے آں،  هن کتہے جائیے؟

I returned from her house

Not knowing where to go next

I finished all that I had to do

Now where do I go?


مکے مدینے ہو آئیں آں، زم زم پانی پی آئیں آں

حج تے عمرہ کر آئیں آں،  هن کتہے جائیے؟

I traveled to holy lands

I drank from the sacred wells

I performed my pilgrimage

Now where do I go?


کی پلیکها پا آئیں آں؟ کی کی گلاں کہ آئیں آں

اودا  دل  دکھا  آئیں  آں، هن کتہے جائیے؟

Have I created a confusion?

Whatever did I say?

Did I hurt her somehow?

Now what do I do?


یار  نواسی چھڈ آئیں آں، بتاں وچ وڑ آئیں آں

اے کی ظلم کما آئیں آں؟ هن کتہے جائیے؟

I left my friend alone

I have seen the temple of falsehood

O what a crime have I committed

Now what can I do?


دل گنوا ویکھا,  ٹھیر  مصیبتان  پا  ویکھا

رب نو وی بھلا آئیں آں، هن کتہے جائیے؟

I lost my heart to her

I took on a mount of troubles

I even forgot God in the process

Now what can I remember?


سنگھی کوئی ملدا نہی, دل دا ول کھلدا نہی

ایدر اوھدار ہو آئیں آں، هن کتہے جائیے؟

I do not find a friend

To whom I can unburden my soul

I went from pillar to post

Now where should I go?


Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

Changed Changes

تیرے راز، تیرے ہمنفس، تیرے جانی بدلے

باخدا   تیرے   سب   محبوبِ   فانی   بدلے

Your secrets, your friends

Your lovers have changed

I swear all your temporary arrangements

Have changed


موت  بھی  فرق  آتی  ہے  ملا کو  مجاہد کو

کہیں معنیِ عالم بدلے، کہیں عالمِ معنی بدلے

Even in death

The mullah and saint are different

One sees a change in the meaning of the world

The other changes a world of meanings


کیا پھر اسی طرز پے ووہی دھوکہ ملے گا؟

خدا واسطے راوی سے کہو یہ کہانی بدلے

And will I suffer

The same betrayal again?

Please tell the story teller

To change my tale


ہرعشق پے اپنے دل سے یہی کہتا ہوں

بیوفائی کی رسم، وہ عادت پرانی بدلے

On every new love

I say to my ego

Change your habit

Of being faithless


ملا نہیں اب تک  تجھے کوئی پیرِ رومی

کون ہے یہاں جو تیرا جوشِ جوانی بدلے

And you have not found

A teacher akin to Rumi

Who here can change

The passions of your youth?


رہے تو ہم رہے،  وہیں کے وہیں کھڑے

ہندی بدلے، ترک بدلے، یارِ ایرانی بدلے

And we remain

Where we were as always

The Indians changed, as did the Turks

And so did our Persian friends.


نہ رک  دعاؤں سے استاد  کے صبر لازم

کیا سمجھتا ہے کے اطوارِ سبحانی بدلے؟

Do not pause in your prayers

Patience is needed here

Do you think

The ways of the pure have changed?

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Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

Like a stranger… مثلِ انجان

خوش  تھے  ہم  کے  وہ  بن   آے  مہمان

پر آ کے کچھ بات نہ کی، رہے مثلِ انجان

I was pleased

That she came as my guest

Yet she remained a stranger

For she said nothing to me


حکام   تو  ہمیشہ  نالاں  رہے  ہم  سے

کے جو بات کی,  وہ خلافِ راےِ سلطان

The rulers of the land

Remain unhappy with me

For whatever I say

Goes against their desires


خیالِ یار سے ہر طرف روشنی ہے

وہی نورِ دل ہے تو، وہی نورِ زندان

The thought of the beloved

Brings light all around me

She is the light inside me

The light in my cage


بے  وجہ الفاظ  پےہم نےامید لگا لی

وعدہ عیدِ رمضان کا، آے عیدِ قربان

I fooled myself with words

She promised to come one day

But did not come

Till many days had passed


آخر کار اپنا ہی گریبان چاک کیا

نہ ملا  روزِ محشر،  دامنِ یزداں

I eventually had to rip my own collar

Since on the day of judgement

I could not find

God’s apron


کہتے ہیں تیری باتوں میں کچھ دم نہیں

کہاں   سے  لاؤں میں،  وہ  اندازِ  بیان

They say

Your words do not move us

Where do I find

A moving manner of speech


دل کی بات مغفی ہے معنوں کے بوجھ سے

میرے   نغمے  نہ  سن،   سن  نعراِ  فغاں

A secret is laden

With the burden of meaning

Pay no heed to my joyous songs

Listen to the cries within


جا دیکھ تو سہی شاید استاد نے توبہ کر لی

شور برپا ہے میکدے میں، چلا ماتمِ  رنداں


Mayhap he has quit drinking

A brouhaha in the drinking den

The drunkards protesting in sorrow


نہ ملا فارسی کو پھر کوئی رومی جیسا

خوب  سیرت  و شیریں  دہن،  گلِ  ایران

The Persian language

Did not find another like Rumi

A beautiful man with beautiful words

The flower of Persia

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Filed under Ghazal, Poetry