paris

By

din dhala kucha o bazar mein saf-basta huin
zard-ru raushaniyan
un mein har ek ke kashkol se barsen rim-jhim
is bhare shahr ki nasudgiyan
dur pas-manzar-e-aflak mein dhundlane lage
azmat-e-rafta ke nishan
pesh-e-manzar mein
kisi saya-e-diwar se lipta hua saya koi
dusre sae ki mauhum si ummid liye
roz-marra ki tarah
zer-e-lab
sharh-e-bedardi-e-ayyam ki tamhid liye
aur koi ajnabi
in raushniyon sayon se katraata hua
apne be-khwab shabistan ki taraf jata hua
paris
the day faded away, and down the streets
and alleyways
were arrayed pallid lampposts
from whose bowls rained down
this crowded city's frustrations.
over there
the vestiges of past glory
began to look hazy against the skyline
and there, in front of the eye,
some shadow embraced a wall's shadow
cherishing the faint hope for another shadow—
an everyday occurrence—
prefaces a mute comment
on the harshness of time
and some stranger
skirting these lights, these shadow,
presses on towards his dreamless bed-chamber.

panw se lahu ko dho Dalo

By

hum kya karte kis rah chalte
har rah mein kante bikhre the
in rishton ke jo chhut gae
in sadiyon ke yaranon ke
jo ek ek kar ke tut gae
jis rah chale jis samt gae
yun panw lahuluhan hue
sab dekhne wale kahte the
ye kaisi rit rachai hai
ye mehndi kyun lagai hai
wo kahte the kyun qaht-e-wafa
ka nahaq charcha karte ho
panw se lahu ko dho dalo!
ye rahen jab at jaengi
sau raste in se phutenge
tum dil ko sambhaalo jis mein abhi
sau tarah ke nashtar tutenge
wash the blood off your feet
what could we do—where could we go?
thorns were strewn in every pathway.
those bonds, now sundered—
those friendships of centuries
broken, one by one
whichever way we went, in whatever direction,
the feet were bathed in blood.

mere dard ko jo zaban mile

By

mera dard naghma-e-be-sada
meri zat zara-e-be-nishan
mere dard ko jo zaban mile
mujhe apna nam-o-nishan mile
meri zat ka jo nishan mile
mujhe raaz-e-nazm-e-jahan mile
jo mujhe ye raaz-e-nihan mile
meri khamushi ko bayan mile
mujhe kaenat ki sarwari
mujhe daulat-e-do-jahan mile
if pain could speak
my pain, a voiceless song,
my being a nameless mote.
if only my pain could speak,
i'd know who i am.
and if my self could find its essence,
i’d unravel the mystery of this world.
if i could seize this hidden mystery,
my silence would find expression.
then would i lord it over the universe,
possess all treasures of the two worlds.

kutte

By

ye galiyon ke aawara be-kar kutte
ki bakhsha gaya jin ko zauq-e-gadai
zamane ki phatkar sarmaya in ka
jahan bhar ki dhutkar in ki kamai
dogs
tramping about the streets aimlessly, these pariah dogs,
born to the prerogative of beggary—
their only treasure is the world’s scorn
their only wages, the world’s reproof
na aaram shab ko na rahat sawere
ghalazat mein ghar naliyon mein basere
jo bigden to ek dusre ko lada do
zara ek roti ka tukda dikha do
ye har ek ki thokaren khane wale
ye faqon se ukta ke mar jaane wale
ye mazlum makhluq gar sar uthae
to insan sab sar-kashi bhul jae
ye chahen to duniya ko apna bana len
ye aaqaon ki haddiyan tak chaba len
koi in ko ehsas-e-zillat dila de
koi in ki soi hui dum hila de
not a moment's respite, day or night—
dirt their abode, drains their rest-houses.

koi aashiq kisi mahbuba se!

By

yaad ki rahguzar jis pe isi surat se
muddaten bit gai hain tumhein chalte chalte
khatm ho jae jo do chaar qadam aur chalo
mod padta hai jahan dasht-e-faramoshi ka
jis se aage na koi main hun na koi tum ho
sans thame hain nigahen ki na jaane kis dam
tum palat aao guzar jao ya mud kar dekho
garche waqif hain nigahen ki ye sab dhoka hai
gar kahin tum se ham-aghosh hui phir se nazar
phut niklegi wahan aur koi rahguzar
phir isi tarah jahan hoga muqabil paiham
saya-e-zulf ka aur jumbish-e-bazu ka safar
some lover to his beloved
dusri baat bhi jhuti hai ki dil jaanta hai
yan koi mod koi dasht koi ghat nahin
jis ke parde mein mera mah-e-rawan dub sake
tum se chalti rahe ye rah, yunhi achchha hai
tum ne mud kar bhi na dekha to koi baat nahin
this path of memory on which you have been trudging
for ages
if you press on a few steps further, it will wind off
to where one encounters the wilderness of oblivion,
at the bend beyond which neither i exist, nor you.
the eyes hold their breath and wonder
if you'd come back, pass by, or look back.

KHatm hui barish-e-sang

By

na-gahan aaj mere tar-e-nazar se kat kar
tukde tukde hue aafaq pe khurshid o qamar
ab kisi samt andhera na ujala hoga
bujh gai dil ki tarah rah-e-wafa mere baad
dosto qafila-e-dard ka ab kya hoga
ab koi aur kare parwarish-e-gulshan-e-gham
dosto khatm hui dida-e-tar ki shabnam
tham gaya shor-e-junun khatm hui barish-e-sang
khak-e-rah aaj liye hai lab-e-dildar ka rang
ku-e-jaanan mein khula mere lahu ka parcham
dekhiye dete hain kis kis ko sada mere baad
'kaun hota hai harif-e-mai-e-mard-afgan-e-ishq'
'hai mukarrar lab-e-saqi pe sala mere baad'
end of the rain of stones