We present this work in honor of Dr. Ambdekar Jayanti.
There were two kingdoms only: the first of them threw out both him and me. The second we abandoned.
Under a bare sky I for a long time soaked in the rain of my body, he for a long time rotted in the rain of his.
Then like a poison he drank the fondness of the years. He held my hand with a trembling hand. “Come, let’s have a roof over our heads awhile. Look, further on ahead, there between truth and falsehood, a little empty space.”
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 255th birthday.
Cups of crimson wine are circling in rounds of dance If the beloved is glimpsed, this party abounds in dance God made this beloved peerless in my view Everything before my eyes resounds with dance You captivate beasts and birds along with people low and high Each in its way obeys your command in bounds of dance Leave the party of my rivals and come over to mine I’ll show you a star whose very name sounds like dance Why shouldn’t Chanda be proud, O Ali, in both worlds? At home with you she eternally astounds with dance
We present this work in honor of the 45th anniversary of the poet’s death.
Exuberant with youth, beautiful as an early monsoon cloud, dark-skinned, on languorous feet the village girl comes walking, proud, stately, graceful, along the snaking path.
She trails her scarf behind and pushes back her hair; quick to be embarrassed, she glances down at the twin pitchers of her breasts. A woman, restless: her laughter ripples like a brook spilling over its banks— her lips—from teeth as bright as foam.
Along the road she stops, bending a little to smooth her skirt; turns her face when she hears her lover’s footsteps— a village lad draws near, her ardent suitor; while steadily he stares at her, surprised, rejoicing, she shuts her eyes.
Beside the well enchanted man and woman! When she draws up the heavy jug filled to the brim, her breasts, like overflowing pitchers, are tensed so that they strain against her tightening blouse. She spills the water in a shower of beauty, then throws her scarf across her breast, sets the jug upon her head and starts the zigzag path for home.
Hibiscus at her ears, she weaves a garland— shephalika, white lily, oleander, and trumpet-flower, braiding blooming stars all through her hair, and roams the woodland with her cattle, calling out with lark and cuckoo. In the deserted forest she adorns herself through every season with jasmine, cassia and fragrant herbs, forest-flame and mango blossom.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 115th birthday.
He who has destroyed all the creeds With fire from his burning breast, He who quits the temple, mosque and church A drunken heretic, unblest, Who sees the snares, and now comes running From Pandit’s, Priest’s and Mullah’s cunning, He, and he only, shall today Be in my House, a welcome Guest.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 80th birthday.
Oh Pakistan, celestial land! Give us your heart! And take our heart in return! Once we shared the same sky! Sky with the same sun! We shared the same pain like twins on the battlefield to remove the dust.
Now our flesh is ripped apart By that meandering barbed-wire fence! Oh they have drawn that dividing line on a flimsy paper! That line of agony and tears Can anyone draw that line In our raw flesh, inside our heart?
Friends! Be happy where you are… now! Memory never fades, poets say distance only purifies it… We sat under the same tree, Enjoyed the fragrance of the same flower Till that time like a dagger cut those rivers into several pieces! Destroyed the mountains and flower gardens where we had played!
And those banks where we had counted those fig-coloured waves! Like the honey laden lips of the damsels! We wore the same clothes woven by our mothers! We shivered in winter and in summer our sweat slid down our backs
We enjoyed the same wine from the poems of Ghalib Momin and Zauk We cried together in pain! Under the blood stained sky.
Oh Pakistan! Celestial land Give us your heart And take our heart in return! No we need not speak now Only silence speaks in a clear voice. Oh Pakistan! Silence can bring the fragrance of a mother’s soul Silence can reveal. The heavenly beauty of Sutlej, Chenab, and the Red River Of the East! Silence can be loud like a million voices Oh Pakistan! Celestial land! Our eyes misted by the Smoke of blossoming gun powder! Our soul wounded by the unknown fires! May these eyes now witness the new Sunrise On the banks of Sutlej, Chenab, and in the Red River of the East! Oh Pakistan, celestial land! Give us your heart! And take our heart in return
My soul cries out, Snared by the beauty Of the formless one. As I cry by myself, Night and day, Beauty amassed before my eyes Surpasses numberless moons and suns. If I look at the clouds in the sky, I see his beauty afloat; And I see him walk on the stars Blazing my heart